Gloria Jean Conant, 86, of Billings, who had been a nurse and helped operate a family vegetable stand, died April 25, 2012.
She was born in North Platte, Neb., on Oct. 26, 1925, and was raised by her parents, Violet and Harold Ackerley, in Story, Wyo. After graduating from high school in Sheridan, Wyo., she trained for a nursing career. She was married to Burt Conant for 53 years.
They farmed for several years in Wyoming, then moved to Billings. Mrs. Conant was a surgical nurse at St. Vincent Hospital and later in the office of Dr. Weirzbinski. The family operated a vegetable stand, Conant Gardens, on Garden Avenue for many years.
Later she went back to college while working full-time as a ward clerk. She earned an associate’s degree in nursing, a registered nurse certificate from Chaffey College and a bachelor’s degree in health care management from LaVerne College in Southern California, making the Dean’s Honor List. She trained at the Loma Linda Hospital and then worked in the Pomona Valley Hospital in California.
She was then the public health nurse in Lewis and Clark County and worked in the family business at the Lazy B Restaurant, Bar and Hotel in Augusta. She also was a nurse at the County Nursing Home in Choteau until retirement.
She grew roses and orchids in an indoor greenhouse, taught piano and accordion and developed an accordion band with her students. She made clothes for her daughters.
Survivors include a sister, Marilyn Lewis of Evanston, Wyo.; children, Vi Grinsteiner, Strain of Bloomfield, Calif., Linda Wilson of Irving, Texas, Ardella Kanning of Billings, Rose Bryant of Augusta and Roger Conant of Billings; 10 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery in Billings. A private service will be held later in Augusta.