Leona Jean Faltrino, 82, passed away, Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, peacefully in her home, with family by her side.
Born Leona Jean Huestis, Aug. 23, 1925, in Westington, S.D., to Francis Huestis and Florence (Smith) Huestis. Leona was always known by the nickname “Onie” since childhood. As an infant Leona traveled from South Dakota to a North Hingham Homestead with her family where she and nine siblings grew up. She loved telling stories of the hard times, yet good times and life they had. She remembered her school days at the Huestis School, how they got to school by horseback or horse and buggie and how terrible it was in the winter to get to school. After she married Louie Faltrino on Feb. 6, 1946, they lived in a converted shed on property owned by Louie’s father south of Havre, where they eventually settled down. It was here that they built a home and raised a family on the farm and ranch south of Havre. Leona helped her husband, build up their land and raise wheat, cattle and horses. Leona was the beloved mother of three children; grand mother of four and great grandmother of two. She was proud of them and loved them all so much. As a young mother Leona was involved in her children’s activities. She was a leader in both Brownie and Cub Scouts. She was always involved in her children’s lives offering support when they needed her and always ready to do fun things. She loved gardening always growing a large garden and putting up the produce in the fall. She loved flowers and tended her flower beds and passed that love on to her children. She loved caring for the animals, always anticipating the baby calves, foals and ducklings in the spring. In her later life she had rheumatoid arthritis and was in a wheelchair since 1994 and her life greatly changed, no longer able to get around very easily. She had seen life through windows, house and car. Her favorite view was sunrises over Saddle Butte. She loved seeing her grandchildren and her flowers, especially tulips, iris and peony. She liked seeing her family working in the yard and tending to the flowers she loved. Her favorite things were playing her hand held game; watching the birds in her bird feeders she had seen many varieties of birds there and watching the pond and all the wildlife that it attracted to the farmstead. She had to see her favorite old horses Sonny and Desi through her window everyday and her little dog Maxx had to be near by. She loved the Bear Paws spring, summer and fall and winter. We would load up Maxx and go to the mountains until she was no longer able to. In later years, her two sisters Evelyn and Inez were an important part of her life. They always awaited the spring flower catalogs to come in the January mail so they could plan their gardens over coffee and snacks and a lot of laughter. They got together as often as they could although they all had frail health. She had a good life with her husband and children and she always loved seeing family and friends whenever they could get together. She loved her husband, her family, her sisters and brotherin- laws brothers and sister-inlaws. Louie’s mother and sisters and brother-in-laws were always special to her. She always loved being with them and having a good time, especially in the younger days. Leona was a quiet woman by nature, hard working with a loving spirit and a big heart, she will be greatly missed by all who knew her, most especially her children. Leona was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Faltrino, in 1994; her father, Francis; mother, Florence; sisters: Bernice Streeter; Delilah Mord; Inez Halter; Evelyn Purkett and Gay Dalhberg. Her brothers: Frank and Roy Huestis; Father-in-law, Joseph Faltrino; mother-in-law, Ida (Mariani) Faltrino; sister-in-law, Rena (Faltrino) Voss. Leona is survived by her sister, Mildred (Huestis) Obie of Eugene, Ore; her children, Tana Rai Faltrino of Havre; Dean Faltrino (Terry) of Rangley, Colo.; Carrie (Rick) Linie of Havre; her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Memorial services for Leona will be held Friday, February 15th at 1 p.m. at the Fifth Avenue Christian Church with Rowlie Hutton officiating. Luncheon will immediately follow in the church fellowship hall. The family suggests contributions be made to the Fifth Avenue Christian Church or to a favorite charity in Leona’s name. Services are in the care of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home of Havre.