Alberta "Bertie" M. (Filiatreau) Arnorld ReichMarch 5, 1925 ~ July 9, 2017 (age 92)
Alberta M. “Bertie” (Filiatreau) Arnold Reich, 92, of Livingston, Montana passed away on Sunday, July 9th, 2017 with the love of her family at her side. A celebration of Bertie’s life will be held on Saturday, July 22nd, 2:00 P.M. at the Holbrook United Methodist Church (at the corner of South 5th St and West Lewis St). A reception will follow the service. Burial will be in the fall at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell, MT.
Bertie was born March 5th, 1925 in Eureka, MT, the youngest of 5 children born to Frances (Purdy) and Jerome Filiatreau. Even at the age of 17 she was independent and ready to see the world. She moved to the “big city” of Spokane WA. where she met her future husband V.R. Arnold. They were married February 24th, 1945. Arnold was discharged from the Navy at Port Hueneme, CA and began his career with Shell Oil Company and they started their marriage enjoying the opportunities the move gave them. They lived in Ventura, CA, - Casper, WY and back to Los Angeles where their daughter Deborah was born in 1953 and by 1955 they moved to New York City. Bertie enjoyed the REALLY big city where attending Broadway plays – especially musicals, and going to watch the NY Yankees was exciting to a young woman who grew up in Montana. During Deb’s childhood Bertie was a Girl Scout leader, was involved with her Methodist Church activities, and was an avid bridge player. She was a big Yankees fan until 1960 when Casey Stengel was fired as their manager – and she never forgave the Yankees. When Stengel returned to NY to manage the Mets two years later – she became a Mets fan.
By the mid-60’s the family moved to Houston, TX where they had opening day tickets to the Astrodome, but were transferred to Los Angeles before opening day. The move back to Los Angeles brought them home in many ways renewing friendships they had made decades earlier. And - they attended Dodgers games. In 1969 she completed courses to be a LPN - something she was very proud of achieving. After 25 years of marriage Arnold died in 1970 and the next year when she traveled to Montana to attend a family event she became reacquainted with George Reich of Livingston - a family friend she had known in her teens. They were married November 1971, and that marriage brought her back to Montana. They enjoyed snowmobiling and camping together. Even before retirement they traveled around the country - and after retirement they bought a home in Arizona and became “snowbirds”. Her years in California made her a little less tolerant of Montana winters and she and George loved the winters away. They were living in Kalispell when George passed away in 2005 after 34 years of marriage. Bertie moved back to Livingston to be closer to her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bertie proudly called herself a homemaker whose most important job was as a wife, mother and grandmother. Although working during her child-free years, she never went back to work full-time until Deb was a teenager. Bertie was an accomplished seamstress and her grandchildren especially looked forward to new pajamas and nightgowns at Christmas. She knew her family’s favorite foods, especially desserts, and loved preparing those for them. A family favorite passed down even to her great-grandchildren was a refrigerator cookie dessert that she had served at her bridge club many years earlier. Bertie loved bowling, ceramics, gardening - but most especially - traveling. She was a strong, determined, independent woman from the age of 17 moving away from Montana to her final days. The loss of an infant daughter and two husbands just made her more determined to remain strong. She will always be missed by those who knew and loved her.
Bertie is survived by her daughter, Deb (Ken) Brenna of Livingston, her granddaughters, Megan (Gary Barnhart) Brenna of Livingston, Kendra (Bill) Fox of Livingston, grandson, Christopher (Miami) Brenna of Missoula, granddaughter, Annie Brenna of Livingston, great-granddaughter, Brayton Holmes of Livingston and great-grandson, Gabriel Holmes, also of Livingston. Bertie also is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and an especially dear niece, Dolores (Jim) Reynolds of Eureka, MT.
She is preceded in death by her infant daughter, Terry Lee, her husband, V.R. Arnold, her husband, George Reich, her father, Jerome Filiatreau, her mother, Frances Filiatreau, her sisters, June Byers, Edith Douglas, and Joyce Fisher and her brother, Romie Filiatreau and an infant brother.
Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory.