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Mary Laura Wagoner Arney
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Birth: Apr. 30, 1915
Death: May 8, 2008
Garfield County
Montana, USA

Mary Laura (Wagoner) Arney, age 93, of Miles City formerly of Jordan, MT passed away at the Holy Rosary Extended Care on May 8, 2008.

Mary was born on April 30, 1915 in Presho, South Dakota, fourth child and oldest daughter of nine children to Arthur C. Wagoner and Dollie (Washburn) Wagoner. She was married on March 2, 1933 to Aura Earl Arney of New Underwood, South Dakota at the Presbyterian Manse in Rapid City. For their honeymoon they borrowed sister Ethel Arney's Model A Roadster and traveled to Alzada, Montana to sign homestead papers and view future home.

Aura and Mary's first year of marriage was spent living at Frank Arney's ranch. Their home was an 8 x 12 grain bin with an addition the same size.

In 1934, the homestead filing was complete and the couple and entourage trailed to Montana. Mary rode Babe. Husband Aura hitched four horses to a wagon, trailed a covered wagon and a buggy containing a chicken crate behind. They had one colt and 30 head of cattle; when the young calves got tired, they rode in the buggy with the chickens. The journey over the prairie to the new home-site lasted 13 days.

Their "new" house was a two-story built during the World War I. Neighbors pitched in and moved the house seven miles, across two creeks, and even stuccoed it for them. Mary was an excellent hostess and homemaker, well known for her cooking and baking skills. In 1941, when Faye was a baby, she hired out during lambing time to cook for the crew, baking bread in a sheep wagon stove. It was during that year that Mary and Aura embraced the church and became devoted Christians. Joyce was born and the young family became very active in the community church in Alzada.

In 1944 the couple sold the ranch and with their two small daughters moved near Newcastle, Wyoming to attend Bible School. During that year Mary's home was a small cabin on the school grounds. The following year they purchased a house trailer and lived in the married students trailer park while attending Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri. Mary sometimes made doughnuts and sold them to enhance their income.

After graduation in 1947, the family moved to Rapid City where son Lynn was born. They applied for their first pastorate, a small church in Fairburn, South Dakota. Mary's next home was in the back of the church and featured a red pump in the kitchen. After three years there and a brief stay in Rapid City, the couple accepted a call to the Jordan Assembly of God Church. Their first worship service in Jordan was on their 19th wedding anniversary, March 2, 1952.

Mary enjoyed making a home wherever she was. She soon had it shining clean and curtains at the windows. Guests were always welcome and mealtime was commonly shared with parishioners who were in town on business.

When health issues demanded a change in 1957, Mary and Aura left Jordan and resided in Olympia, Washington for some months. Then they pastored a rural church in the eastern part of the state. Mary soon knew the neighbors and entertained as usual. After Faye's high school graduation, the family left for Ekalaka, Montana where they served the Assembly of God church for ten months. Health problems required them to seek other employment. Near family in Colorado, they lived and worked until the Jordan church called them in 1963.

Back in familiar and much loved surroundings, Mary spent her days serving the church and community through her hospitable ways. Married children were a source of pride and grandchildren provided much enjoyment. In 1971, Mary and Aura moved to a country property that they continually improved. They had come full circle—beginning and ending as they chose on the wide prairie and under the blue sky of Montana.

By 1984 the country life seemed a bit remote and inconvenient for the ageing pair, and they decided to return to the town of Jordan where they lived comfortably among well-loved friends and neighbors. As more assistance became necessary, in 1999 they moved into Eagles Manor in Miles City where they enjoyed the companionship of many friends. Pastor Arney went to heaven in 2000, and now Mary has joined him.

Mary is best remembered as a competent homemaker and tireless church worker. Her gift of hospitality blessed those around her. Kindness, generosity, and a genuine interest in the welfare of her family, friends and caregivers mark her long life, and over the years they have rewarded her with many lasting friendships.

Mary is survived by her sisters; Fern Pendergraft, Garfield, Arkansas, and Iva Mae (Hallman) Hasty, Brunswick, Georgia, her children; Faye Lorraine (Sam) Highland, Joyce Marie (Chris) Chambers of Kelowna, British Columbia, and Lynn Leroy (Sylvia) Arney of Longmont, Colorado, grandchildren: Scott (Rachel) Abeyta, Edson, Alberta; Lori Abeyta (now deceased); Kyle Abeyta, Kelowna, British Columbia; Jeremy (Jo) Arney, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Lesley Arney, and Janel Arney of Denver area, Colorado and great grandchildren; Tyler and Travis Abeyta; Nichole, Heather and Shane Gallagher; Nicole and Tyler Rowan. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:00 am at the Assembly of God Church in Jordan, MT. Interment will follow in the family lot in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting:

Should friends desire memorials may be made to the charity of ones choice. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Jordan has been entrusted with the arrangements. 
Family links: 
  Aura Earl Arney (1910 - 2000)*
*Calculated relationship
Pioneer Cemetery
Garfield County
Montana, USA
Created by: Catherine Byron
Record added: Jul 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28258855
Mary Laura <i>Wagoner</i> Arney
Added by: Anonymous
Mary Laura <i>Wagoner</i> Arney
Cemetery Photo
Added by: judy cohen
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- Grave Maven
 Added: Jan. 26, 2014
Rest in peace.
- BrixtonWy
 Added: May. 13, 2008

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