Celebrating the life of Marian Junette Moschelle
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Marian Junette Moschelle was born on June 25, 1919 to Anna Victoria Hedlund and Louis Larson on the family farm at Larson Lake in Laketown, Wisconsin and passed peacefully on June 25, 2023 after 104 years of a very fulfilling life. The family later moved to Atlas, Wisconsin on Long Lake after the death of her grandfather when the family farm was sold. One of her childhood memories was the trip to her father’s family (Klagstad) reunion in Manistique, Michigan, and being guests of honor as the Klagstads were founding fathers of the town in 1871. Her grandparents all immigrated from Norway and Sweden.
Marian attended High School in Frederic, Wisconsin and graduated in 1937. She moved to St. Paul where her sister lived and was a nanny. She married Roland J. Palm in 1938, in Atlas, where they owned a filling station and garage. They had 2 daughters, Sharon and Christy. She loved horses and Pekinese dogs and raised both. Her greatest joy was riding her Grand Champion black Morgan mare, “Mandie”, in the endurance cup races in St. Paul in the 1940’s. She was an accomplished equestrian.
She moved to Big Timber, Montana in 1947, and worked for Ray and Olive Frye in their restaurants and they became lifelong friends. Her Uncle and Aunt, Orlando and Anna Miller, ranched on the south Boulder and also owned a hardware store in Big Timber in the early days. She came to visit them in 1937 when she graduated from high school and always wanted to live near the Crazy Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. She met and married Clayton Van Moschelle in 1951. They had 2 children, Brent and Colette. They built and operated the Van Drive In Theater for many years much to the enjoyment of the community. They also gave dance lessons to the high school students at the Dugout with Mal Goosey playing the piano. Must have been a hoot! They loved to dance and were members of the Big Timber Dance Club. She also worked for Mac Clark at his plumbing and heating business with her dear friend, Jean Moore, who also was her Maid of Honor when she married and who was her roommate when she moved to Big Timber.
She was Deputy County/State Assessor for 23 years. Upon her retirement, she and her friend, Vicki Moulden, traveled to 22 countries together. They walked the Great Wall, rode desert horses and camels in Egypt, toured the Pyramids and Valley of the Kings, traveled through Greece, Italy, the Holy Land and Japan. They were members of the Friendship Force (she traveled to Scotland) and toured the Hidden City with the first group of tourists to enter China. There she met a young graduate student journalist from the New York Times and they corresponded for years. She traveled to Norway and Sweden to complete her family history started by her Great Uncle August Klagstad, who was a great artist of altar paintings in the family stave churches in those countries in the 1940’s and was also a Grand Master Mason.
The death of her sister at the young age of 25 from diabetes was devastating for her. She and her husband Roland cared for her niece, Myrna, until her brother-in-law remarried. The death of her husband, Van, who had a heart attack while hunting and the death of her son, Brent, were extremely dark times for her, while she was also battling cancer, of which she was a 50-year survivor.
She was President of the American Legion Auxiliary, President and last founding member of the Wil-It-Gro Garden Club and President of the Homeland Circle all for many years. She was a docent at the
Crazy Mountain Museum from its inception. She believed in community service and giving back to the community that she loved. She outlived her many friends; but had so many memories and good times at the Hospitality House with the Kitchen Band and enjoyed the daily jaunts to coffee at Cole Drug and the courthouse retirement luncheons. Never missed a Sunday at church – unless it was life or death! She was a member of the 1st Congregational Church of Big Timber for over 70 years. She loved spending time at Camp Mimanagish.
She is preceded in death by her husbands; R.J. Palm and Clayton Van Moschelle, her son Sherwood Brent Moschelle, her sister Ruby and her parents.
She is survived by her daughters; Sharon Palm Fox, Christy Palm Mosness and Colette Moschelle (John) Maus, her niece, Myrna Johnson Gerasta, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, 1 great-nephew, 3 great-great nieces and several cousins.
Even though she loved flowers, she requested memorials be sent to the Hospitality House where she spent many hours of enjoyment in her later years. Services will be private at a later time.
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West of Big Timber
Big Timber, MT 59011