Juliana Regina Welle Verzuh passed away peacefully on April 13th, 2019 in her home surrounded by family and loved ones. Julie was born February 20, 1933 on a farm in Spring Hill, MN, the fifth in a German-American family of eight children. Although her first language was German, she taught herself to read English by age five and attended a one-room country school where only English was taught, but the children spoke German during recess. At twelve years of age, she left home to attend a private school for girls, St. Francis High School in Little Falls, MN; graduating as the valedictorian. She later completed a B.A. degree with a major in English at an all-women's college, the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN, again graduating as the valedictorian. After teaching art and English for four years in the Minnesota secondary public school system, she obtained a B.F.A. in art education at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She then worked as an art supervisor in the Colorado elementary schools.
In 1959 Julie married Jim Verzuh of Crested Butte, CO, and they raised their family of four sons while Jim was employed as a civil engineer in Colorado and Montana, most recently as the Regional Engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation in Billings, MT.
Through the years, Julie continued teaching part-time in both private and public schools, including the teaching of conversational German to elementary students. She established an art career, exhibiting and selling her paintings, and was a lifelong creative writer which begun when she first published short stories in the College of St. Benedict literary magazine. In 1983 she published her first work of fiction, From The Heart Of Lizzie, a short story collection (North Star Press) with a second printing in 1990. Later she published a historical novel, The Womenfolk.
She was a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, a national Catholic honor society and has belonged to the Montana Institute of the Arts and the Montana Authors Coalition. She served the Billings, MT community in many capacities including Lead roles in the Billings theater and Exchange Director with Friendship Force. She traveled Europe extensively, including the home countries of her ancestors. All the while, she continued to pursue scholarly research of German-American immigrants and the empowerment of women.
She loved God, her family and the Catholic Church. She adored being with children and was friends with people of all walks of life. She was a loving wife, wonderful mother, and super grandmother. She was a huge fan of her children and grandchildren and devotedly attended (and cheered loudly) every game, play, or musical event she could. She never missed an opportunity to boast of her grandchildren’s accomplishments - whether it was as a soldier, an actor, artist, photographer, athlete, writer, or scholar.
Julie is preceded in death by her parents Michael and Adella (Meyer) Welle; her bother Raymond (Alverna) Welle; her sister Leona (Bon) Rolfsen; her brother Walter (Lillian - living) Welle; and her sister Bernice Welle. She is survived by her brother Sylvester (Judy) Welle; her sister Angeline Welle; her sister Bernadine (Dave) Sieben; her husband James Martin Verzuh of Bozeman, MT; her son Rudy (Robin) of Great Falls, MT; her son Eric (Marlene) of Seattle, WA; her son John (Jenice) and her son James, both of Bozeman, MT. Loving her forever are her seven grandchildren James, Derek, Jennifer, Dan, Kayla, Jack, and Ryan Verzuh.
Her family would like to extend a very special thank you to the individuals of Bozeman Deaconess Healthcare, Hospice of Bozeman, Qualicare Home Health Services, and the Bozeman Lodge for their immense support and the loving care they showed for Julie.
A Viewing will be held 3:00 p.m. followed by a Vigil at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 28th at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 29th at Resurrection University Catholic Parish with a reception to immediately follow and a Graveside Service at 1:00 p.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery.