Eva Elizabeth (Benner) Slonaker, 86, died peacefully with her children and husband at her bedside Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005, at a Havre hospital of natural causes.
Cremation has taken place. Her memorial service was scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel with Brad Ulgenes officiating. Burial will be held at a later date with a private family ceremony at the John Stevens Memorial Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the Eagles immediately after the service.
Eva was born 86 years ago in Billings. As a young child, she moved with her family to Stevensville and then Hall, before they settled on the family farm south of Zurich. Eva helped in the sugar beet fields with her numerous siblings, embracing life in this rural family setting. Although they were not all living at home at the same time, Eva enjoyed life with her brothers and sisters.
Eva met Leland (Fat) Slonaker in the spring of 1940. After a romantic courtship, they were married in Havre on Oct. 26, 1940. World War II took them to Tacoma, Wash., where Fat worked in the shipyards as part of the war effort. It was there that their first child was born. When Fat's dad became ill, they moved back to Montana to help with his farm. They bought a house in Zurich and would live there until 1957. Then they moved to Havre and they remained there ever since.
Eva enjoyed raising her children and supporting them in all of their endeavors and adventures. She worshipped her grandchildren, who were a much enjoyed part of her life. After retirement, Eva enjoyed the yearly trips to Arizona with Fat, where they met many friends. They also made a trek to Alaska, which was quite an adventure. In her early years, she was an excellent ice skater and roller skater. In later years, Eva enjoyed her flowerbeds and crossword puzzles. Her family was often rewarded by her love of crocheting and sewing. Most of all she enjoyed her family and her devoted husband of 64 years.
Eva was preceded in death her parents; four brothers, one of whom passed away as an infant; and seven sisters.
Eva is survived by her husband of 64 years, Leland (Fat) Slonaker, of Havre; daughters, Karen Hughes of St. Paul, Minn., and Janine (David) Harada of Havre, Lori Spinler of Basin; sons, Dick (Barbara) Slonaker of Havre and Bob (Kathy) Slonaker of Dundee, Ore.; 19 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
Memorials in Eva's honor may be made to a charity of one's choice.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.