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Lois Elaine Nemes (Hansen)


August 7, 2019

Longtime resident of the Hi-Line, Lois Elaine Nemes (Hansen), 91, passed away peacefully July 29, 2019.

Mrs. Nemes was born November 7, 1927 at Deaconess Hospital in Havre, Montana, to B. Irene and Elmer F. Hansen, founding members of the Havre community. She attended school at Sunnyside Elementary, Devlin Middle-School, old Havre Junior High, and the old Havre High. After graduating in 1945, she spent two years studying at Northern Montana College before attending Montana State University Bozeman graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Secretarial Science. From there Lois had a unique opportunity to aid in the rebuilding of a youth center in Italy through the Havre Methodist Church and so, with her desire to travel and her curiosity about the world, she ventured to Italy to make a difference. And a difference she made. Upon her return to the states, she took a position as an elementary school teacher in Kremlin, Montana. She also later taught in Alaska before settling in Great Falls, Montana, where she married the love of her life, an amazing Hungarian by the name of Joseph A. Nemes, on September 28, 1957.

The two were dynamic in their love for each other and their love for adventure. Skiing, boating, hiking, swimming, biking, culture, music, and travel were but of a few of the things they enjoyed throughout their lives. Lois and Joseph moved to Harlem, Montana, where they welcomed twin boys before moving to Oregon, where their daughters were born. They returned to live in Harlem, Montana, where they remained active members of the community for over 50 years. Lois worked in education, took time off to raise her family, worked as a secretary for the Blaine County Activities, and retired in 1992, just before she took on the new full-time job of grandmother in 1996.

While living in Harlem, she supported the endeavors of her husband and children, taking a special role in both the Harlem Birthday Club and later The Strong People Club. Many friends could attest to her calm temperament and ability to listen over a cup of tea in her kitchen.

In retirement, she loved staying busy by traveling with Joseph and the family, attending community concerts in Havre, baby-sitting her grandchildren, and ensuring the comfort of all her guests. She was an unparalleled host and enjoyed the company of many dear friends. She was always supportive and present.

Lois’s family wrote, “Lois possessed a deep affection for her family, and demonstrated both resilience and patience all through the course of her life by being compassionate towards all people and knowing the critical importance of listening to what others had to say. She inspired everyone to care more and love harder, which, as one of her many beautiful characteristics, resonated with everyone she met and knew throughout her life.”

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Little Rockies Retirement Home/ Harlem Senior Center as well as the Care & Comfort Home of Havre. While she was living in these facilities, she truly felt at home.

She is survived by her brother, Alan, her children, and her eight grandchildren. She is also survived by an amazing and supportive network of in laws, extended family, and friends. Her children include twin sons, Joseph of Chinook and Anthony (Angela) of Viroqua, Wisconsin; two daughters, Polly Weichel (Patrick) of Lewistown and Frances Hodgson (James) of Chinook; and her grandchildren, Keaton, Matthew, Nora, Elizabeth, Cormac, Garrett, Anika, and Elaina. She is proceeded in death by her parents, her brother, Don, and her husband, Joseph.

She made the world a better place by valuing compassion over all other virtues. She will be greatly missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing her. To honor Lois’s request, there will be no service and the family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Harlem Senior Center or the Intermountain Children’s Home in Helena.

Harlem Senior Center,116 Main Street South

Harlem, MT 59526

Intermountain Children’s Home, 3240

Dredge Drive,Helena, MT 59602



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