Loretta Mae Nieskens Beebe Sand was born on May 15, 1927 at her grandparents’ farm in Buffalo, Minnesota. Her father sent her mother and older brother to Minnesota to make sure she was with family for the birth, as he was working on Jim Hill’s railroad that spring. Except for a short time in Great Falls, Loretta lived in either Daniels or Valley County from the time she was brought home to the homestead on the South Fork of the Poplar River until she moved to Bozeman in June of 2010.
Loretta attended schools in Daniels County, where she graduated from Peerless High School in 1945. She then attended beauty school in Great Falls, where she met her first husband, Willard H. Beebe who was back from the War and working at East Base. The couple married and moved to Willard’s hometown of Opheim. During the years in Opheim, they had two daughters, Sheila and Marcia, both born in Glasgow’s Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital. The family moved to Glasgow in 1949, along with several other young couples from Opheim to work on the construction of St. Raphael’s School.
After completion of the school, Loretta and Willard managed the H. Earl Clack cabins and gas station on Highway 2 East, where they were living when their son, Larry, was born in 1952. The couple divorced in 1955. In 1957, Loretta married Milford “Sandy” Sand; they were married for 33 years until his death in 1990. They had one daughter, Denise.
Loretta worked hard all her life, whether on the family farm, at a grocery store during high school, at Clack’s motel, as a waitress at the Montana Cafe, a dispatcher for the Glasgow Police Department and, later, as a retail clerk at Beede’s Mens Wear. Loretta was a generous and funny woman, a loving mother and a good friend. Her life revolved around her family, friends and St. Raphael’s Church where, over many decades, she, LaVern Beede and other members of the Altar Society cooked dozens, if not hundreds of meals for community and parish events. She was a member of the parish for more than 61 years, an active member of the Altar Society and, in her later years, a Eucharistic Minister.
Loretta lived in the same home on Fifth Avenue North in Glasgow for 46 years. Most all of the other houses had multiple owners during that time, but each new neighbor quickly became a friend. After she sold her home, she moved to Nemont Manor, where she enjoyed being with old friends from Glasgow and the North Country, playing Bingo, Whist, and participating in the many activities for residents. She especially appreciated the extra helpings of pickled herring and Bud Light that Sam sometimes provided with a wink.
Loretta was preceded in death by her first daughter, Sheila Marie Beebe, parents, Peter and Stella Nieskens , brother, Luverne Nieskens, husband, Milford G. Sand, father and mother-in-law Gust and Marie Sand, brother-in-law Don Sand, soul sister, LaVern Beede, and her faithful friend and whist partner, Bud Miller. She is survived by her children, Marcia Beebe Rundle of Bozeman, Larry Beebe (Nancee) of Bozeman, Denise Sand of Missoula; grandchildren, R. Michael Rundle of Sammamish, Washington, Jacque Rundle of Missoula, Heidi Rundle of Missoula, Mitch Rundle of Bellevue, Washington, and Jennifer Barrett (Brian) of Lander, Wyoming; great-grandchildren Morgan Shingle of San Francisco, California, R. James Rundle and Dawsyn Hastings of Missoula, Brooke Rundle of Ellensburg, Washington, and Miles and Ella Rundle of Bellevue, Washington; sister-in-law Louise Nieskens, nephews Chris Sand, Pflugerville, Texas, Gary Nieskens, Scobey, and niece, Jeanette Nieskens-Bokma of Sunnyvale, California, plus great nieces and nephews, dozens of cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow, Montana on Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 1:00-5:00 PM. A vigil service will follow visitation beginning at 7:00 PM at St. Raphael’s Parish in Glasgow, Montana. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:00 AM at St. Raphael’s Parish with burial to follow at Highland Cemetery in Glasgow, Montana.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that any memorials be made to the Nemont Manor Foundation, PO Box 654, Glasgow, St. Raphael’s Church, Glasgow, your local Hospice, or to your favorite charity.