Created on Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:50 Published Date Hits: 376
Leionne Grace Martin Freebury, 93, who taught school before ranching and farming with her husband, died Oct. 2, 2012.
She was born Nov. 3, 1918, to Loran and Mathilda Martin on a farm near Steele, N.D. She started first grade in a one-room school and rode horseback or in a buggy with her sisters and brother. She graduated from Bismarck, N.D., High School in 1937.
In 1942, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Dickinson State University. She attended graduate school at Valley City State College in North Dakota and Friends University in Wichita, Kan.
One summer she worked with the war effort in a blanket factory in Seattle, Wash. Another summer she traveled to Eau Claire, Wis., and worked at another war factory.
After returning from Washington, she taught school in North Dakota and worked summer jobs. She eventually also taught school in Sidney, Cut Bank, Conrad and Devon.
She married George Freebury on July 20, 1952, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Steele, N.D. They spent 18 years cattle ranching and farming, beginning on the Freebury ranch north of Conrad.
In 1970, they moved to Conrad, where Mrs. Freebury owned and operated a pre-school and day care center for several years. In 1979, they started spending winters in Yuma, Ariz. She painted and sold many of her pieces in Arizona.
She was a member of Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad until moving to Billings to be closer to her daughter in 2000. She was a member of the Legion Auxiliary, Conrad Garden Club and the Homemakers Club. She was a 4-H leader and taught Sunday school for many years.
After moving to Billings, she joined King of Glory Lutheran Church. The last few years she resided at Sweetwater Retirement Community. She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include a daughter, Cheryl Bentley of Billings; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Jean Colton of Driscoll, N.D.
A small, private service will be held at Sweetwater Retirement Center for friends and the staff. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 3 at Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave., Suite 111, Billings, MT 59102; or to Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad.