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1941 Evelyn 2021

Evelyn (Conlin) Richardson

March 17, 1941 — January 22, 2021

Evelyn Conlin Richardson, at 79, of Billings, passed on Jan 22, 2021 due to Covid related complications - Graveside service will be held on Saturday, August 21 beginning at 11:00A.M. Please meet at the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home to go in formal procession to Chico cemetery by 9:45 A.M. The world became a brighter place on March 17, 1941 when Evelyn Carol Conlin was born in (Chico) Livingston Montana to Ruth Melin-Conlin and John Arthur Conlin. She was the youngest of three girls and adored her two big sisters - Peggy and Annette. The family lived in a small cabin during their early years before moving down to the main ranch house of the Conlin family sheep ranch near Emigrant, Montana. Evie spent her childhood working beside her family on the ranch, running through the hills and riding horses on various exciting adventures with her sisters. Evie's favorite season was Spring with the arrival of the baby animals on the ranch. The foals with their long legs were a sight that she enjoyed her entire life. She attended school in the one room schoolhouse in Old Chico where her father and other family members had also attended. Evie loved school! Her future dreams included becoming a teacher and being surrounded by children, helping them learn in a patient and loving way. Evie loved growing up in the Paradise Valley surrounded by her extended family and enjoyed their numerous get-togethers for branding, shearing and weddings. As a child she was kicked in the back of the head by a horse and on a separate occasion she had an eye poked out by a low hanging tree branch in the yard. Both events were quite scary for the family, but Evie seemed to recover and move on with the same grace and cheerful spirit she possessed throughout life. "Hardly any trouble a'tall", she would say as she faced life's obstacles. In her early 20's she and her sister Annette were in a serious car accident near Emigrant and (both were) Evelyn was almost killed. She survived with 17 broken bones and was hospitalized for three long months. It was during this time our father (Frank) seized his opportunity to win her heart. He saw that she was a captive audience, and he was unrelenting with his attention and visits. As she healed, he would put her on the back of his motorcycle and take her (crutches and all) on adventures through the Paradise Valley. Frank was 7 years her senior and had been in the Navy, was working for the Railroad at the time, taught Judo and volunteered as a rescue diver. How could she possibly resist? Evie was a devoted Christian and was unsure of his commitment to Christ, so Frank offered to allow her to read the journals he kept in his twenties. She read them and discovered he prayed before each mission while in the military and had a deep faith in the Lord. She saw that he was indeed the complete package and agreed to marry him. The couple lived in a one room log cabin for the first few years while Frank completed his teaching degree at MSU. Once he graduated, they moved to Wasco California for his first teaching job where they welcomed their son, Mark. It soon became apparent that the teaching life was not for Frank, so the family moved to San Diego for him to continue his lifelong career in the Navy. Evie was able to stay at home with their growing family which now included two daughters: Laurie and Lisa. Evie had always dreamt of being a wife and mother and she loved her family unconditionally and without measure. She supported, protected and parented her children much of the time alone as Frank was often away on missions or deployments with his job as a Navy SEAL. Each summer the family traveled back to Montana to visit family, allowing her children to forge strong bonds with their three first cousins (Kenny, Lynette and Julie). As her children began to leave home, the family was finally able to move back to her beloved Montana. Evie was a lover of children, family, the elderly and animals. She volunteered for various organizations, but most often for elderly friends and neighbors. Evie loved to be outdoors and had a way of making any chore more fun. She would laugh, joke or sing to pass the time and you found yourself enjoying even the most tedious endeavor. She enjoyed strong black coffee, her morning bible study and big breakfasts with lots of carbohydrates and blueberries! She had a routine that included coffee on the porch swing while skyping with her best friend of over 50 years, Louise. That routine continued as Evelyn recovered on the ventilator, leaving Louise to do most of the talking - but their fellowship carried them both through some very hard times as did their endless faith in God. Evie spent the last decade of her life caring for her husband as the effects of Agent Orange induced dementia caused him to fail. This tiny woman cared for herself, her husband, (her mother Ruth) and their large house and yard with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Thankfully she was surrounded by friends and family such as her cousin Kathy who swept her away for "girls" weekends' from time to time to ensure she had a break. Evie had a smile and spirit that lit up the room and a laugh so big you wondered how it came from such a tiny person. We often commented that the only woman strong and loving enough to have been married to our father, was Mom. She was sunshine and energy, a mighty mouse as some liked to call her. We loved being greeted by hugs and received even more hugs whenever we left her - even when we planned to see her again the same day! She made friends easily and was happy to help others. She enjoyed being surrounded by friends and family, and had a way of making you feel precious. Evie and Frank were often seen at Faith Chapel where they were members for 35 years, at their grandchildren's sporting and school events (Go Skyview!), enjoying and working at their camper on the mountain on the family ranch near Chico Hot Springs where she grew up, or spending time together in their large yard in Billings. This woman with a heart of gold will live on a little in each of those who loved her. We will strive to be more like her, to love more like her and to live each day seeing the good in ourselves and others - She loved you all, and would be so upset that she has left such a hole in each of our lives. She would tell us that this too shall pass. That this is a day the Lord hath made and we shall rejoice and be glad in it! She would remind us to spend time with those you love, not to sweat the small stuff, eat chocolate whenever possible and why walk when you can skip!! Last, but not least, she would remind us to laugh - it's good for the soul. Special thanks to Billings Clinic ICU, Advanced Care Hospital and to Hailey and Colin at Franzen Davis funeral home in Livingston. A celebration of Mom and Dads lives will be planned for summer 2021 - If you are so moved, we would like for you to write some of your favorite memories with our parents to be compiled into a book for the family. Our parents were amazing people, and we know they had special connections with many people we may not know of. We would enjoy seeing them through your eyes. Please mail your memories to Laurie Brenden 505 Clark Avenue Billings Mt 59101, or email to lauriebrenden@gmail.com. Mom will be laid to rest with her beloved husband in Chico cemetery, with a view of her mountain and the beautiful place she grew up.Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents John Arthur and Ruth Conlin, her sister Annette Geer and her husband of 57 years Robert Franklin Richardson. She is survived by her three children: Mark Richardson (Sabrina), Laurie Brenden (Chris Mattingly) and Lisa Richardson. Her grandchildren: Christopher Richardson, Adam Richardson, Kylinn Brenden, Jerran Brenden and Jessica Hayes (D'Vaughn), great-grandchildren Annistyn and D'Andre Hayes. Nieces, Kenny, Linen and Julie.Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements
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