Angeline (Angie) M. (DeVries) Thom

November 28, 1928—May 5, 2017

Angie Thom was born in Columbus, Montana to William and Annie Onge (Brinkema) DeVries on November 28, 1928. She graduated from Robert’s High School and lived and helped with the DeVries family farm until she and sister Florence moved to Billings, where she worked at Newberry’s until she met Howard L. Thom. She married Howard on September 3, 1950, spending 56 adventurous years together. She has missed him these past 11 years.
Being painfully shy as a child and young woman, Angie told herself that she would one day conquer her shyness, or else! Mom and dad found the perfect property south of Laurel, with perfect views of the Pryor Mountains to the southeast and the beloved Beartooths to the south west. They bought their property from Marie Shay and became a 24-hour a day groundskeeper master gardener. A friendship began when she shared her shyness with Marie. Marie suggested she “get involved” in something, and introduced her as a potential member of the Laurel Garden Club sisterhood. Even though her first thought was, “these ladies are really old,” she became a member and started her journey to overcoming shyness. To her surprise, she found she really enjoyed people, and most didn’t bite!
Mom believed in serving the community in which she lived and loved. Her commitments included over 70 organizations, including: 52 years of the Laurel Garden Club sisterhood (she loved the new younger women coming in); USAW Auxiliary; a 60-plus-year member of Laurel United Methodist Church; Jolly Neighbor’s; Yellowstone County extension agent support; Elsie Johnson Garden at the Laurel Underpass; organizing the “mile-of-pennies,” donation project to build the Picnic Shelter at Thomson Park; Beartooth/Absaroka Wilderness Boundary; a Community Service youth supervisor for the Laurel City Court; and Thom’s Patio Tables. She enjoyed leading in her community as well as being a Sunday School teacher, MYF Leader and 4-H Leader. She also brought the L.O.V.E. Reading Program into the Laurel Schools, was a published author of garden/yard Qs and As for the Laurel Outlook and was a Laurel Woman of the Year Honoree.
In Angie’s “spare time” she had a passion for sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting, quilting, plant seed preservation, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, canning, recycling, antiquing, and rock and arrowhead collecting. She also loved crappie fishing with her sister-in-law Verna, brother Bob and Howard and one week of the year at the Tongue River Reservoir, water-right preservation. She enjoyed being an Aunt to all of her nieces and nephews and appreciated when they would would write and just drop in. She thought it wonderful that she had two best friends, “at her age,” Marilyn Eastman and Pat Hart.
She is preceded in death by her parents; sister Lillian (Lil) Zagurski; brothers William (Bill) DeVries and Robert (Bob) DeVries, of Roberts; and daughter-in-law Helen Thom (Les) of Laurel. She is survived by special sister-in-law Verna (Long) DeVries (Bob) of Roberts; sister Florence Sauther (Fred) of Spokane; and Richard (Dick) DeVries of Shepherd/Boyd areas. Surviving her is her son Les (Leslie) Thom of Laurel, and daughter and second son, Linda and Jesse Padilla of Lockwood. Very special to her and always treasured grandchildren Teresa Philhower Laubach and husband Lance, of Lockwood; Robert Padilla of Billings, and David Padilla of Lockwood, also survive. She has six great grandchildren whom were all her “special monkeys,” and so proud of each: Lynn Angeline Laubach, Aliana Angelique Padilla, Tegan Kole Padilla, Ashlyn Angelique Padilla, David Blaze Padilla, Angeline Laubach, Aliana Angelique Padilla, Tegan Kole Padilla, Ashlyn Angelique Padilla, David Blaze Padilla, and Roman “Austin” Padilla, all of Lockwood and Billings, and not to be forgotten, her feral kitty in taming training, Kitty Cat.
Angie believed, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop—where ever you walk, whatever you touch or see, let it begin with me, always leave it better than you found it. Not your litter, not your garbage, not your mess? Don’t grumble about it, do something! Don’t just walk by it, bend over, pick it up! Beautification is each of our responsibility. Learn to live in acceptance, living one day at a time, doing what is right for you, and let it begin with me.”
She documented her life in daily diaries and journals for 60-plus years, ending the evening before she had a massive stroke. She passed gently, without pain in the Comfort Care unit at Billings Clinic in the early morning hours May 5th.
Mom wished not to have a church funeral as her soul is with Jesus already, but to have a day celebrating her life where each can share “how she may have touched” our lives. She asked for cremation and internment at the Rockvale Cemetery with Howard. Her life celebration is being planned. Please look for an announcement in the Laurel Outlook.

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