MISSOULA - Erma Grace Murray, 93, loving mother, grandmother and friend passed away peacefully at her daughter's home in Clyde Park on Thursday, March 4, 2010.
Erma was born July 25, 1916, the youngest of six children in Wolf Point, where she spent her early years on the family ranch. Her early years were full of interesting stories growing up on the ranch. In high school she was on the winning state basketball championship for Wolf Point.
After high school, she attended Western Montana Teaching College in Dillon, where she met her husband Bob Murray; they were both teachers early in the marriage. They resided in Nashua, Cutbank, Glasgow and Great Falls, where all their children attended Great Falls High. Bob preceded her in death in 1992; they were married for 52 years.
Erma worked in the home and later as a receptionist, but her favorite job was working in Great Falls as a Montessori teacher. She and Bob worked together in their land management company and Erma still did the bookkeeping up until her death.
After retirement, she and Bob built their dream home on the banks of the Missouri River near Craig, where they entertained family and friends. Erma was a wonderful hostess and cook; many friends from around the country would come to visit. Erma's love for her flowers and vegetable garden was very evident; each fall they would take road trips to deliver all their fresh produce to friends and family. She traveled the world when Bob was alive, but was happiest at home.
Erma moved back to Great Falls in 1994, where she began volunteering for the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and the Children's Literacy Program. She enjoyed volunteering and spending time with family and the many friends she had in Great Falls. Erma then moved in 2004 to Misssoula, living at Grizzly Peak Retirement Center up until the last month of her life, when she moved to Clyde Park.
Erma's family was very important to her; she corresponded by mail, e-mail and phone to her four children, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; at age 80 she got a computer and began using e-mail of Gramerm.
Her grandchildren fondly called her "Big Erm" and they have great memories of the wonderful cookies she would make and all the fun they had while visiting her home.
Erma was a caring mother, grandmother and friend to many; she touched others lives uniquely; she enjoyed her friends she had met throughout her life and also her new friends she had met in Missoula.
In her elder years, people would marvel at her keen intelligence; she read five books per week. Her humor was undeniable; even during the past year with her health problems, she would make people laugh!
Erma is survived by her four children, Jaime Latvala (Warren), Bob Murray (Jay), Matthew Murray and Laurie Lawrence; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
At Erma's request there will be no service.