Leona M. Elings, 89, passed on Thursday, November 25, 2021.
Visitation will be Friday, December 3, from 5 to 7pm at the Asper/Pondera Funeral Home. Funeral service will be Saturday, December 4, at 10:00am at Pondera Valley Lutheran Church.
Leona was born in Choteau on March 18, 1932 to Albertine Larson O’Keefe and Jack O’Keefe. The youngest of five siblings. She grew up on the family farm west of Collins with brothers, John and Orville, and sister, Evelyn, and her family. Leona graduated from Choteau High School and during that time began her nursing time working at Choteau Hospital for 25 cents/hour. She graduated from Columbus School of Nursing in Great Falls and then worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Conrad. There she met Robert Elings. They married November 1, 1953 and began farming. Together they raised three children and Leona continued working intermittently through 1969. She then turned her attention to her family, gardening, raising chickens, and spending a lot of time caring for her beloved Polled Hereford cows. Leona worked at home as a secretary for Robert’s insurance business. In later years, they clerked auctions for Zimbelman Auction Service and taught many “55 Alive” classes in the area.
As a life-long resident of Conrad and the surrounding area, she enjoyed the many friendships and business acquaintances. As the grandchildren came, Leona took great pride in watching their many achievements.
Leona was a cancer survivor. Sadly, her husband, Robert; daughter, Carol; and son, Gordon, all lost their battle from this dreadful disease. One of her most proud achievement was at age 79, she became the third person in the state to train and perform Hemodialysis in the home. From 2011 until Carol’s death in March 2013, Leona administered 521 treatments so that the drives to Great Falls were no longer needed.
She was very proud of the many achievements of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by parents; husband, Robert; daughter, Carol Mielke; son, Gordon Elings; sisters, Lilliayn Eustance and Evelyn Koenig; and brothers, John and Orville O’Keefe.
Survivors include son, Jeffrey; son-in-law, Kevin Mielke; six grandchildren; great grandchildren; numerous nephews and nieces; special nieces, Jacalyn Laverdiere, Patty Vanden Bos, Molly Christiansen, and Nancy O’Keefe.
Her belief was to do the best she could for as long as she could.
Memorials can be made to Pondera Valley Lutheran Church or donor’s choice.
If unable to attend service, click on following Zoom link to watch live service:
The Zoom link will start at approx 9:50am on Sat, Dec 4.