Betty Mae (Monger) Harvey was born February 17, 1931, and died at age 92 on April 17, 2023, in Manhattan (MT). In between, she led a generous, lovely life.
Mom was born in Bozeman, the second of four children of Joe and Dorothy (Nelson) Monger. She grew up in Belgrade.
Her grandparents on her mother's side were Swedish immigrants who farmed near Belgrade and Mom spent a lot of time on their farm while growing up.
"From my Swedish grandparents," she once wrote, "I developed an interest in cooking, gardening and raising flowers."
With three brothers she also learned how to kick a football, play sandlot baseball and "thread a worm on a fishhook."
Joe Monger was the first manager of the Gallatin County airport and Mom said she learned to drive on the runways. She also remembered how cold their uninsulated house was during the winter.
She graduated in 1949 from Belgrade High School where she was a rare female trombone player in the band and was the center for the women's basketball team.
After high school, Mom received a teaching certificate from Western Montana College in Dillon. Her first teaching job was in Shelby, but she soon moved to Somers.
There she met another teacher, Bill (Kenneth William) Harvey and they were married in 1953. They had four children, Kenneth, Thomas, Dorothy and Neil. Dad was a school administrator and we moved around, from Thompson Falls to Judith Gap, to Rudyard, to Evergreen and to Ronan where they lived for 14 years.
In Ronan, Mom had many good friends among her neighbors and co-workers when she was a teacher's aide. After Ronan, they bought a house in Lakeside overlooking Flathead Lake and also for a short time lived in Plains when Dad returned for a stint as superintendent.
Mom was a member of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) and the Red Hat Society and also worked at the Flathead County Library and was assistant manager of the Conrad Mansion. She also was a member of the Lakeside Chapel and an avid Bridge player, at one time belonging to two groups so she could play twice a week.
After Dad died in 1989, Mom stepped up and managed her house and life on her own. She was good friends with Ray Duffy until his passing.
Mom has seven grandchildren, Keeva, Mariah, Steven, Liam, Joe, Jess and Donna. She loved them all and remembered their birthdays and Christmas with many fine gifts. She also has three great-grandchildren. Numerous nieces and nephews also have sent fond remembrances.
Mom was a gentle soul but also a stubborn Swede when she wanted to be, though she said she never held a candle to her own mother against whom she claimed never to have won an argument.
Mom was a great cook and kept trying new recipes even into her 90s. She also enjoyed a good glass of white wine and friendships with her neighbors at the Mission View Terrace subdivision in Lakeside.
Mom is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law, Ken and Elizabeth of Rota, Spain; Tom and Joan of Salt Lake City; and Neil and Laura Lee of Manhattan; and one brother, Jim Monger of Bozeman. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her daughter Dorothy and brothers Ed and Bob Monger.
A graveside service and reception in the Lakeside area are planned for this summer but no dates have been set.
Neil saw her the day before she died and as he left she closed the visit as she had done many times: "Bye for now."
Mom we love you and always will.