Cover photo for Una Coleman's Obituary
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1924 Una Coleman 2023

Una Coleman

November 19, 1924 — November 30, 2023

Conrad

Una Maxine Coleman joined the heavenly choir of angels on November 30, 2023 at Logan Health Care in Conrad, Montana.  She celebrated her 99th birthday on November 19, 2023. 

A funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad, followed by interment at Hillside Cemetery in Conrad.  Please visit Una’s online memorial and leave a message of condolence for the family at www.asperfh.com.

Una was born to Albert and Martha Hargens on the family farm on November 19, 1924, at Dalton, Nebraska.  She joined an older brother, Lowell, surrounded by many relative who all farmed and raised animals on dry land farms in northwestern Nebraska.  With news of available land that produced big crops in central Montana, her family moved to a farm outside of Turner, Montana, in 1929.  As a child of the Dirty 30’s, Una rode a horse to school and grew up learning to garden and cook with what they produced.  Una’s Dad operated the Farmers Union elevators in Turner and Hogeland so they moved to town where she completed high school at 16.  During her school years, she developed her singing and piano skills from her mother’s teaching and practice at the Lutheran church. 

Her parents moved to Pendroy, Montana, where her father again ran the
Famers Union elevator.  Una attended Great Falls Commercial College to secure job skills.  Upon completion of her studies, she worked as a typist and bookkeeper at offices in Great Falls, some of which were on Gore Hill.  On one of her visits to her parents in Pendroy, she met David Rice, a Naval pilot on leave to visit his parents at their farm nearby.  Their long-distance relationship blossomed, and they married in 1944.  After residing in Florida, while David completed training and served as a flight instructor, they drove west for his next assignment as a fighter pilot with The Marine Corps.  Una moved to Great Falls to live with her folks and David went to Guam in 1945.  Son David George was born while his dad served in Guam until his return in 1946.

On David’s return from the war, they moved to Bozeman where he completed college and daughter Diana Maxine was born in Great Falls in 1947. A move to Conrad, where David served as County Extension Agent, began Una’s lifelong residence there.  Son Roger Alan was born in Conrad in 1949.  They lived near Pondera Valley Lutheran Church and membership there allowed her skills as a pianist and singer to flourish.  Una sold Avon products for many years while a busy mother keeping the home fires burning.  David began operating his parents’ farm near Pendroy and aerial spraying for farmers.  Una continued her work with the PTA, church choir, and the Democratic Party.  She even took a trip to Washington, D.C. with other women, and met Senator Mike Mansfield.  As David moved away from aerial spraying, they bought the Massey Ferguson dealership, and she kept the books. Upon David’s sudden death in a crop spraying accident in 1961, Una continued to operate Rice Implement with her father, Al’s, assistance until it was sold.

With 3 children at home, Una took a job as a clerk at Gambles and eventually secured a bookkeeper’s position at Conrad PCA-FLBA.  She worked with that lively and supportive group until retiring after 20+ years.

In 1965, Una and Thomas Coleman married and began a 58 yearlong life together. With all but Roger out of the house in college, Tom and Una enjoyed golfing, skiing, travelling, and the fruits of Tom’s hunting and fishing trips.  On their retirements, they spent winters in Arizona at Parker and summers at their cabin on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River near West Glacier.  Fall trips to Alaska by camper yielded salmon to eat and share for the next year.  The garden they kept in the back yard produced vegetables for Mom to can and share with others till next year.  Her annual fruit canning led to jars of fruit.

As a Gramma, Great Gramma, and Great, Great Gramma, Una enjoyed the chance to shower all of her family with her cards and gifts.  She never forgot a birthday.  Her cooking skills could keep all of us happy whether the meal was a hot dish or a full table turkey spread. Everyone has at least one of her crocheted dishcloths.  Her angel food cake with powder sugar frosting or fruit was a birthday treat for many lucky recipients.

When her memory began to fail, we all felt a loss, but Mom kept smiling and chuckling no matter what was said.  Tom stayed by her side and kept her active till he had to slow down from his own busy pace.  These past few years showed how deep their love was and that nothing can stop lifelong love from going on.  As Una quietly passed through the gate to her life in heaven, we were all blessed by her enduring love for everyone.  Her care by Tom and all her caretakers is an example of how love will keep us close forever.

Una is survived by Tom, her husband of 58 years, and her many friends and neighbors in a town that has no equal.  Son David and wife Linda Rice of Missoula, MT, daughter Diana and husband Michael Cajohn of Fredericksburg, VA, and son Roger and wife Marlene Rice of Minot ND, say, “Until we meet again”, to the best Mom ever created.  She is also survived by six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and four great, great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents Al and Martha Hargens, brother Lowell Hargens, and her first husband, David P. Rice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Una Coleman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Una's Funeral Service

Saturday, December 9, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Pondera Valley Lutheran Church

518 South Delaware St., Conrad, MT 59425

A reception at the church will follow burial, in Hillside Cemetery.

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