Agnes May Peters Schaefer, always called Dot by her family, was born in Conrad, Montana, on January 8, 1926. She was the fourth of six children of Charles and Anna Thies Peters. She grew up on a farm near Ledger, Montana, and attended Central School there until sixth grade. Her original home was built from two homestead shacks that her father pushed together and added rooms to over time. Her father retired in 1938, the family moved to Mountain Brook near Kalispell. She graduated from Flathead County High School in Kalispell in 1944 and attended Northern Montana College in Havre. She then taught in a rural school at Devon, near Chester. On March 29, 1947, she married Leo J. Schaefer, who had moved to Montana following his WWII service.
After farming for two years north of Cut Bank and having their first two children, Agnes and Leo moved to Rudyard, where he owned the Gambles store. They had eight children while they lived in Rudyard and moved to Livingston in 1964 where their youngest son was born. Leo owned the Western Auto store in Livingston where Agnes frequently worked, sometimes with a child in tow. She waited on customers, managed the ordering and balanced accounts.
Agnes and Leo Schaefer were active members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. They participated in the parish activities and served as officers in organizations such as the Altar Society and Knights of Columbus. They caused quite a stir in 1964 when they enrolled a record seven children in St. Mary’s School. Three were already in high school then.
After they closed the Western Auto store, Agnes started selling real estate and even ran for City Judge in 1983. Agnes volunteered wherever she felt a need. She worked at the Food Bank and drove for Meals on Wheels into her eighties. She would take her accordion to local nursing homes to play and sing Christmas carols to the residents. Music was important to Agnes. She learned to play the piano and accordion from her brother Bud. She never learned to read music but could play any song she heard on the radio. She continued to play the piano at age 97. Another interest was gardening. She had a garden in every place she lived and had inside plants as well.
Agnes is survived by Rose Mary Jones of Brunswick, GA, her children Jeffrey (Cindy) of Monroe, Washington, Kevin (Candice) of Brunswick, GA, Russell of Woodinville, WA, Jolene (Waco) O’Guin of Burbank, CA, Glenn (Christina) of Charlotte, NC and 10 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; Michel of Irvine, CA; Leona (Fran) Hovan of Helena, MT, their children, Taya of Helena, Eric (Molly) of Prosper, TX, Andrea (Chuck) Knight of Sioux City, IA and four grandchildren; Raymond (Alma) of Kingston, OK; Vincent of Livingston, his sons John (Brittney) and Jim (Cortnee) Stipp, and six grandchildren; Beverly (Gene DiRe) of Spokane, WA, their children Patrick and Lauren DiRe; Stanley (Gloria) of El Fuerte, Mexico, their children Marisol, Brenda, Luis, and Gerrado, and 9 grandchildren; Roman of Livingston; Neal (Daniela) of Denver, CO, their children Cassidy (Cash) McGuire, Maple Valley, WA and Jacob in Kent, WA, and one grandchild; Margo of Eugene, OR; Leo (Maria) of Portland, OR, and their son Nicholas.
Agnes’s life span extended from a time when her father used a horse and plow to till his fields and the earliest vehicles to the time she began to travel to other countries. Mike took her and Leo to Europe to follow his WWII service. She visited her grandmother’s original home in Ireland, kissed the Blarney Stone, and tried Guinness in an 800-year-old pub. A highlight of one trip was to visit the home in Ephesus where John was reputed to have taken Mary after the crucifixion. She even walked up to the pyramids in Egypt.
Some traveling that Agnes enjoyed most were numerous bus trips that she and her sisters Helen, Amelia, and Rose took throughout the US. As different as the sisters’ personalities were, they had a great time together. Her sisters and brothers all preceded her in death.
After Leo’s death, Agnes lived in her own apartment and managed her affairs until the age of 95. She has lived at the Caslen Assisted Living Center for the past two years. She died after a short illness on April 23, 2023.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1st, 2023, at Franzen Davis Funeral Home in Livingston followed by a rosary at 5:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Rite of Committal will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.franzen-davis.com.