Freda Mildred Stoneman Surber, 82, died Saturday, April 9, 2005, in Chinook after a short battle with cancer at the home of her son Larry and surrounded by her family.
A funeral service will be Friday at the Methodist Church in Denton. A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the United Methodist Church in Chinook.
Born Oct. 1, 1922, in Lewistown to Raymond and Mildred Stoneman, Freda spent her entire life in central Montana. Her childhood years were spent in Christina, where she attended grades one through eight. She graduated from Fergus County High School in 1940.
She married Kenneth LeRoy Surber on April 6, 1941, in Lewistown. They worked ranches in the central Montana area prior to renting a farm in the Moccasin area for nine years. They then bought a farm in the Denton area. Most of her years were in the Denton community. She moved to Chinook in 2003.
Freda spent her life volunteering and helping others. As a young person she was a member of 4-H and attended National 4-H Congress in Chicago in 1939. She was a life member of the Order of Eastern Star since 1945, and served as worthy matron three years. She served on the board of the Central Montana Sunset Memorial Gardens and the Denton Community Methodist Church, was a member of Circle Love and the American Legion Auxiliary, served as an election judge and volunteer for American Red Cross blood drawings. Freda was a hospice volunteer. She drove bus for Denton School and cooked at Denton School for four years.
Freda was a very influential advocate for anyone with a disability, especially those with learning disabilities. She worked as an advocate for the developmentally disabled, serving on the Region 3 Advisory Committee for many years. She was a volunteer at Meadowlark School in Chinook as a reading listener for kids.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Ray Stoneman; husband, Kenneth; daughter, Bonnie; granddaughter, Glenda Jo; and grandson, Trever.
Survivors include her sons, Ken (Mary Jo) of Pinedale, Wyo., Larry (Rita) of Chinook and Gene (Vickie) of Bozeman; and grandchildren, Kim (Bill) Ross, Kevin (Charlene) Surber, Chad (Vanessa) Surber, Shane (Lisa) Surber, Troy (Marcy) Surber; 11 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Memorials may be made to Snowy Mountain Industries, P.O. Box 1013, Lewistown, MT 59457, c/o Randy Barta or to a charity of your own choice.
Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.