Lucille Ann Kindelman

Thursday, September 15, 2022
Lucille Ann Kindelman

Lucille Ann Kindelman

June 4, 1925-Sept. 2,

2022 Lucille Ann Kindelman took her last breath the morning of Sept. 2. She was 97 years old.

Lucille grew up on the family farm south of Bridger, hoeing sugar beets with her siblings, riding her old horse bareback to check the mail.

She always said, “I had the best life.” The Rangitsch farm was a happy place for Lucille and her nine siblings. One of Lucille’s favorite stories is about why she wasn’t allowed to go swimming. The boys often took off to their favorite swimming hole on the Clark’s Fork River, but Lucille and her sisters were never invited to go along because nobody owned a bathing suit.

Lucille loved to laugh and have fun. She and her husband, Jack, square danced for many years and were always the first ones on the dance floor and the last ones to leave it. Even in her final months of life, Lucille was up dancing, whether it be at a church gathering or at the Moose Lodge where she and Jack were regulars at Taco Tuesday.

Lucille would visit with everyone at the club, wearing her signature ear-to-ear grin. Lucille and Jack were also members of the Elks Club for many years, and Lucille loved going out with her friends in the Red Hat Society and playing pinochle with the girls. Jack called it her gambling night. Lucille and Jack traveled a bit after Jack retired from Exxon, including singing “You Are My Sunshine” on stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Lucille was born on June 4, 1925, in Silesia to parents Bernard and Matilda Rangitsch. Her brothers were so protective of her that one night after a community dance, the brothers disabled a young man’s vehicle because they didn’t want him to drive their sister home. Lucille attended Eastern Montana College Normal School and began her teaching career at Savanac School near St. Regis in 1946. It was so far from home, she ended up staying just one year and returning to the Bridger area. Lucille earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1973 from Eastern Montana College. Lucille liked to say she was lucky to find two good men to marry. They were both Navy men, something Lucille was proud of. The first, Ed Carroll, was the father of her three daughters, Marie, Diane and Barbara. When he passed, she met Jack Kindelman and the two married in 1982.

Lucille was a feisty and good-hearted woman, always the life of the party. She taught school for almost 20 years, most of the time at Holy Rosary School in Billings. “Teaching is the best job,” she always said, adding that she had the best students. And when they misbehaved, Lucille said she would , “Give them the look.” One of her students was Bill Kennedy, who will say her eulogy at her memorial service. Another student, Father Greg Staudinger, was her pastor at her church, St. Pius, and he will say her funeral mass.

Lucille volunteered at Saint Vincent Hospital and served with the Catholic Daughters at St. Pius. A devout Catholic, she often carried a rosary with her, and during her later years would leave them at relative’s homes or wear one around her neck. Lucille was loved by so many people for her fun-loving wit. Granddaughter Chrissy said, “She loved deeply and never missed an opportunity to dance, sing or laugh.”

Lucille is survived by her husband Jack Kindelman; brother Alvin (Betty); daughter Marie Basta; daughter Diane (Bill) Bagby; and daughter Barbara (Timothy) Wagner. She is also survived by four stepchildren who loved her like a mother: Dianne (Marvin) Achtenberg, Ken (Phyllis) Kindelman, Mary (Doug) Reiter, and Jaci (Chris) Webb. Together, Lucille and Jack have 17 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren. Lucille was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, Bernard, Larry, Kenneth, Raymond, James and Victor, and sisters Elizabeth and Genevieve. A vigil will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Cremation and Funeral Gallery on Eighth Street West, and a funeral mass will be held at St. Pius Catholic Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, followed by a lunch at the church. The family asks that attendees wear red to celebrate Lucille’s zest for life. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the South Side Senior Center.

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