Cover photo for Mary J. Pekkala's Obituary
Mary J. Pekkala Profile Photo
1924 Mary 2018

Mary J. Pekkala

April 26, 1924 — January 27, 2018

     Mary J. (Kuhry) Pekkala, 93 of Grass Range went to the arms of her soulmate Carl on Saturday morning, January 27th, 2018 at her home. She was born April 26, 1924 in the homestead house of Alfred and Laura (Markwardt) Kuhry. A tomboy at heart, she was happier outside with her dad than inside doing dishes. She was in charge of watching the turkeys, working the garden, riding after the milk cows and helping milk them. She graduated from Grass Range High School in 1942. During WWII she went to work in Lewistown. One night at the roller rink, a handsome service man winked and changed her life forever. A love story began and for the next 74 years, they were rarely apart. After their marriage in Mountain Home Idaho on January 8th, 1944, the newlyweds moved around for a while. Eventually buying 35 acres near Spring Creek outside of Lewistown. With a dream of supporting a family, a few milk cows and lots of hard work, Pine Hill dairy was born. A family operation all 9 children joined in the fun.

     Our mom was an amazing woman of her time. She'd cook three meals a day, bake bread, canned hundreds of quarts of produce each year, raised a garden, helped operate the dairy and sewed our clothes at night. Mom always had music playing, the tunes weaving a song of love in our home. She adored flowers, growing gladiolas and petunias and arranged lovely bouquets. She always made our home a beautiful sanctuary.

     In 1974, they moved to Mary's dad's ranch at Grass Range. They raised sheep and cattle until 1977. After they built their retirement home on the ranch, she attended her bees, helped with "dumb" lambs and gardened till age 91. We're sure she's planning a garden right now!

     She leaves behind children Linda (John) Birkeland of Billings, MT, Keith (Anna) Pekkala of Phoenix, AZ, Kathy Lindh of Tucson, AZ, Mike Pekkala of Emigrant, MT, Christine Mueller of San Rafael, CA, Teresa (Herb) Hastings of Helena MT, Karen (Mark) Matovich of Grass Range, MT, Kim (Jim) DeArman Tulsa, OK; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

   Mary was preceded in death by her husband Carl in April of 2017, her parents, four siblings, two sons Daniel and Mark and grandson Christopher Birkeland.
     The family would like you to join in the celebration of Mary's life on Saturday February 10th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Grass Range United Methodist Church with committal to be in the Grass Range Cemetery. Cloyd funeral home is assisting the family.

     Friends are asked to make memorials to Hospice of Central Montana, Grass Range Ambulance, the Grass Range United Methodist Church or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary J. Pekkala, please visit our flower store.


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