In the early evening hours of November 23, 2012, Evelyn Lucille Cope Linse passed from this life to a place of peace and eternal life. Those of us that she left behind deeply mourn the loss of the hub of our family and her abiding love.
Evelyn Lucille Cope Linse was born in Denton, Montana on March 27, 1927 to Wilma Juanita Rowe Cope and Samuel Fonzo Cope. She grew up on the north end of Everson Bench and attended country schools until junior high school, when the family moved near Lewistown, MT and operated a dairy farm. She graduated from Fergus County High School in 1945. On October 6, 1946, she married Vincent Linse and they made their home on the Linse ranch northeast of Denton. Evelyn (Evie as family and friends called her) was the proud mother of 11 children (10 of whom grew to adulthood), the grandmother of 13, and the great-grandmother of 4.
Evie was a woman of many talents who gifted all of her children with her knowledge, creative interests, and strong sense of family. She was a tenacious, optimistic woman who did not back down from any task in her role as a farmer and rancher but actively participated alongside our father in branding and vaccinating cattle, herding horses and cattle, feeding them through the frigid Montana winters, nursing sick calves back to health, helping load the sale cattle in the fall, plowing the fields (once when she was 8 months pregnant and driving a track-driven caterpillar tractor), driving grain trucks, marketing and selling crops, keeping records, raising a garden and chickens, all the while cooking 3 meals a day and raising her brood of children. Evie was also an amazing seamstress and cook, and enjoyed sharing the fruits of her labor with others. She loved to sing and was a master storyteller. As children, we would all gather around as close to her lap as we could be to hear the wonderful stories of adventures she and her siblings had when they were growing up. Her blue eyes would sparkle and twinkle when she teased her children or told an ever-so-slightly off-color joke. She was an avid arrowhead hunter and amazed all of us by her ability to spot them as well as scrapers and other ancient tools. Evie was a member of the Methodist Church in Denton, the Order of the Eastern Star, was a den mother for Cub Scouts and supported her children in 4-H, FFA and whatever activities they were involved in for school. She was a devoted genealogist and helped trace the family history back several generations to the founding of Jamestown and early cities in New England.
Despite her busy life, Mom always tried to make time to “stop and smell the roses.” During the summers, when time would allow, she would fry up some chicken, make a potato salad, and pack us all into the car to escape to “the picnic spot” on Wolf Creek. During our school years Mom often sat with us at the kitchen table in the evenings helping us with our school work, and always, always encouraging us to strive toward our goals. She was the driving force behind our parents’ dream that all of us children get a college education, and, although it was so difficult for her to send each of us off to college, she summoned the strength to let us go and worried about us incessantly after we were gone. It was her support that helped us through our college years and beyond.
Evie was preceded in death by her parents; a son Eric (Ricky) at age 5yrs.; her sisters Vivian (and her husband Bill) Jones of Olympia, WA; Anita Steward of Selah, WA; Shirley Mascall of Dayville, OR (and her husbands Nile Greenslate of Lewistown and Bill Mascall of Dayville); her brother Bill and his wife Joyce Cope of Lewistown; brother-in-law Thomas Biglen, Lewistown; Vince’s parents John and Laura Linse of Missoula and Lewistown; brothers-in-law and their wives Cecil (Lillian) Linse of Denton, Virgil (Fe) Linse of the Philippines; sister-in-law Marjorie Linse of Stanford and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years,Vincent and their children: Fred (Dee), M.S., PhD. of Hendersonville, NC; Rod of Portland, OR; Jan (Jim) Linse-Frost, M.S. of Billings, MT; Kathy of Billings, MT; Mark of Kansas City, MO; Kristi (Tim) Johnson, D.V.M. of Berlin, WI; Judy of Denton; Kirk (Dori) of Laurel, MT; Vance of Portland, OR; and Val (Stephen Swisher) Linse, M.S., D.V.M. of Kalispell, MT and 13 grandchildren: Derek Frost, Dylan Frost, Greta (husband Matt Peterson and children Caitlin and Roland), Anna (husband Chris Scott and son Levi), Brandon Linse (wife Danae and son Elijah), Chelsea Linse, Daniel Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Natalie Linse (husband Max Miller), Justin Linse, Alex Linse, Kallie Linse, and Austin Swisher. Evie is also survived by two sisters: Audrey Biglen of Lewistown and Vera West of Federal Way, WA, and two brothers-in-law: Max Steward of Selah, WA and Carl Linse of Stanford; and many beloved nieces and nephews and a few cousins.
Her laughter and her presence will be greatly missed, until we meet again in Heaven.
Cremation will take place and a memorial fund is being established and a memorial service in the spring of 2013 is being planned.