MISSOULA — Our beloved mother, grandmother “Grammi,” great-grandmother and dear friend, Barbara James “Jamie” Brennan Stenbeck, passed away peacefully in her sleep Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Jamie was born Aug. 23, 1931, in Missoula to Wallace and Ruby Brennan.
She graduated from Missoula County High School in 1949. She was the first governor of Montana Girl’s State and Girl’s Nation. She attended the University of Montana and was very involved in student life. V.P. of Associated Students, Pan Hellenic President, Alpha Phi, Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, and finalist for Miss Montana. She graduated in 1953 with a double major in education and physical education.
That same year, Jamie married the love of her life, John Robert “Bob” Stenbeck. After military service, they moved to Kalispell, where Bob began his banking career with the First National Bank and Jamie started teaching home economics and P.E. It was there that they welcomed their three children, Barbara, John and Jim.
The Stenbecks moved to Butte in 1967. Jamie volunteered at the kids’ school, was the youth choir director at Aldersgate Methodist Church, Boy and Girl Scout leader and assistant coach for the Butte Tarpon Swim Team. She served her community as well, sitting on the boards of the Butte Silver Bow Heart Association, Salvation Army, United Way and March of Dimes. She was President of United Methodist Women, Silver Bow Republican Women, Chapter X, P.E.O and Drama Study Club. She also enjoyed her bridge clubs and substituting at East Jr. High School.
After Bob retired, he and Jamie enjoyed traveling, reunions with their dear Army friends, became “Snow Birds” to Sun City, Arizona, and loved visiting their kids and five grandchildren.
Jamie lost her Bob in 2004 and two years later moved to Texas to be near family and warmer weather. After 10 years and a decline in her health, she moved to a lovely facility near family in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Family was Jamie’s greatest treasure. She felt so blessed to see her children and grandchildren flourish. She celebrated the weddings, the new jobs and the travel adventures of her children and grandchildren. Then welcomed the births of her eight great-grandchildren. She met and loved them all knowing what a gift God had given.
Jamie’s faith, devotion and love of her family and friends was a living example to all. Her legacy lives on in each precious memory, each infectious smile, each joyous giggle and each life she touched.
Her husband preceded her in death. Jamie is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Tom Fithian; grandson and wife, Lee and Ashley Fithian and their children, Kara, Aimee and Oliver Fithian; granddaughter and husband, Krista and Nathan Mery and their children, Owen, Riley and Maggie Mery; grandson, Cody Fithian; son and daughter-in-law, John and Laurie Stenbeck; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Stephanie Stenbeck; grandson and wife, James and Tina Stenbeck and their children, Reagan and Piper; grandson and fiancée, Austin Stenbeck and Katelyn Facer; family and friends.
A celebration of Jamie’s wonderful life will be announced and held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena, The University of Montana Foundation, Montana Tech or a charity of the donor's choice.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at woodfuneralhome.com.