FLORENCE – Mary Lee Yuhas Rickert, of Florence, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. She was 70 years old.
Mary was born on Nov. 23, 1947, in Missoula, Montana, to Dr. J.L. and Mary Yuhas. She was raised on the family ranch along the Bitterroot River, southwest of Missoula. Mary had two sisters (one her twin) and one brother. Growing up on the ranch she spent her time being involved with 4-H, horses and getting into plenty of mischief, particularly with her twin. Mary especially loved horses and was very proud of her horses and the rides she accomplished with them including the ride through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. She entered many riding shows including matched pairs events on her cherished horse Coneek alongside her twin sister.
In 1963, Mary’s family moved to Gilroy, California. This is where she would finish high school and then go on to attend Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo. A proud moment while at Cal Poly was when she decorated their float for the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1973.
After college Mary moved back to Missoula where she would meet the love of her life, Kenneth Rickert. They were married on July 28, 1979, and lived on the family ranch until moving to Florence in 1999.
Mary worked various jobs throughout her life ending with Opportunity Resources. She also spent her free time with her family, working on the family ranch, raising Hampshire sheep, volunteering with 4-H, church and FFA. Throughout her life, Mary was an active member of the Presbyterian church and would often help Ken with his caretaker duties for the church. Mary was happiest when she was with Ken, they were quite the pair together.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Ken and her parents, Dr. J.L. and Mary Yuhas. She is survived by two daughters, Jacquelyn (Orwan) Smith of East Helena and their children Jenna and Orion; and Julie (Josh) Forshee of Missoula and their children Dryse and Meuli Davey; twin sister Margery (Charles) Watkins of Florence; sister Susan (Harold) Watkins of Danville, California; brother David (Margaret) Yuhas of Florence and numerous extended family members that Mary cherished.
Memorial services will be held in the spring at Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville, an announcement will be made prior to the service.
Mary’s family extends a special thanks to the staff at the Living Centre for the sincere friendship and care they offered Mary.
Condolences and memories can be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.