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Theo Alice (Perry) Beley

March 23, 1929 October 28, 2018
Theo Alice (Perry) Beley
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Obituary for Theo Alice (Perry) Beley
Theo Alice (Perry) Beley was born on March 23, 1929 in Bancroft, South Dakota, the eldest of three children to George and Celia (Tyrell) Perry. She passed away at the age of 89 at the Missouri River Medical Center on October 28, 2018.

Theo attend all twelve grades of school in Bancroft. Upon graduation, she attended normal college at Dakota State University in Madison, the first in her family to graduate from college in 1949. This teaching career led her to one-room school houses in rural South Dakota before she moved to Harlowton, Montana in 1955 to teach first grade. She met Ward “Jim” Beley, an Allis Chalmers dealer, in Harlowton and never looked back. They were married December 27, 1956 and to this family were born, Susan, Rochelle, and Ward.

Theo celebrated her life in Harlowton by singing in the Federated Church choir, the Harlowton Kiwanis (Minstrel) Show, for funerals, style shows, birthday celebrations, Montana Senate gatherings, community cantatas and parties but mostly with her Kindergarteners and first graders and her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Theo served as choir and cantata director at the Federated Church, Federated General Aid president, served in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Auxiliaries, Harlowton Women’s Club, Jawbone Players, Harlowton Golf Course Women’s President and Jawbone Creek Ladies’ President, and Harlowton Chamber 4th of July Parade Chair for many years.

Theo’s teaching legacy is evident when people remember her and “look her up” upon coming to town, when they place their sugar eggs on their desk at Easter, or when they smell “ditto” fluid because her upstairs held that scent from the private Kindergarten housed there from 1957 to 1974. In the fall of 1974, when Kindergarten moved into public education, Theo moved in with it. In 1982, she became the first grade teacher and remained until retirement.

Theo is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jim, her sister, Dianne Pickering and grandson-in-law, Dwight Davis. She is survived by her children, Susan and Rochelle of Harlowton and Ward (Kris) Beley of Surprise, Arizona, her granddaughters Brianne Davis of Harlowton, Tessa Beley of Billings and honorary granddaughter, Amy Collins of Houston, Texas, great grandchildren, Sivad, Kenyan and Azaria Davis, her brother, Tom (Irene) Perry of Tucson, Arizona and many, many nieces and nephews and cousins.

A service for Theo will be held at the Federated Church on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm, with inurnment following at the Harlowton Cemetery. Friends and family are then asked to gather for a lunch and story-telling at the Vet’s Club/American Legion in Harlowton. The family asks that memorials be made to the Federated Church, the Harlowton Vet’s Club and Legion or the Harlowton Library after-school program. Stenberg Funeral Home of Big Timber is in charge of arrangements.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 11/17/2018 2:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 11/17/2018 3:00:00 PM
Federated Church

15 1st Street NW
Harlowton, MT 59036

Inurnment to follow at the Harlowton Cemetery

Federated Church
15 1st Street NW Harlowton 59036 MT
United States

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