Cover photo for Evelyn M. Strong's Obituary
1927 Evelyn M. Strong 2024

Evelyn M. Strong

September 12, 1927 — February 19, 2024

Livingston

            Evelyn died February 19, 2024, at the age of 96 in Livingston, MT with family by her side. Ev was born September 12, 1927 in Livingston to Fred and Mathilda Shellenberg, the 3rd of five siblings. Her early life was spent on the five-acre tracts, back when people milked their own cows, butchered their own chickens and raised their own vegetables. Her family had some of the first electric appliances in Livingston as her father worked for Montana Power. She graduated from Park High School and went to Beauty School in Great Falls. She used that education to provide haircuts for family and friends well into her late 80s (which proved to be a bit risky and sometimes resulted in injury to the participant toward the end). On December 17th, 1947, Evelyn married the love of her life, H.Wesley Strong, sparking a bond that provided great joy and inspiration to all who witnessed their love for each other.  She and Wes owned and operated Livingston Marble and Granite Works. 

             Ev was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She was also an avid traveler and all trips were family centered. Her final excursion out of Livingston was a trek to Alaska to visit her grandson and his wife for Christmas, along with the rest of the family, in 2022; her only Christmas not spent in Livingston. Ev was an adventurer.   She visited China, Africa (visiting her son in Morocco in the 70s and going on a Safari in South Africa with her daughter when she was in her late 80s.), Europe (yeah she skied Zermot), the Caribbean, Central America, and many US states (Hawaii being a personal favorite).   She also enjoyed many long distance motor-home trips with Wes to Mexico and extensive forays to Las Vegas (from the Rat Pack days and Liberace to the Osmonds and Michael Jackson).  She rode her bike from Livingston to the Canadian border with her daughter and sister in 1970. 

            She enjoyed life in a way that is not encountered often and she did not want to miss out on anything. Gambling in Vegas, catching mackerel in Mexico at the age of 90, chasing great grandchildren around, backpacking to Crystal Caves up Mill Creek in her 80s in white tennis shoes, going to the Elks on Friday nights back in the day, dancing at the Melody, playing bridge for possibly a record number of years, or sharing a meal with family, always put a smile on her face. 

            She was an accomplished cook, baker, quilter, and anything sewing related among other things. Family was central to her and she made everyone feel special. She hosted the family Christmas Eve celebration for many years always making the staple oyster stew, along with a full meal and trays of her cookies. These celebrations were the highlight of the year for the family, which would often see four generations represented. She spent her life as a Christian going to church, teaching Sunday school, chaperoning youth groups, Builder’s Aid, whatever was needed and later on reading the Bible and Upper Room daily, usually discussing it with her son at 5 am over a cup of coffee, before the dog needed to go for a walk. 

            Something that happened often in her later years (let’s just say her 70s) was when people off of the street would think that her daughter Shonna was a sister and her son Greg was her husband, often to the chagrin of her children but Ev loved it, as did her grandchildren.  

            She lived through many historic events and technological changes but never owned a cellphone or computer. She didn’t have a need, or time for it because life provided more than enough stimulation to provoke thought and meaning. An era has ended with her passing but the memories will live on.  The year Evelyn was born Lindbergh flew a non-stop flight from New York City to Paris, Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael was the top song, and it was the first Academy Awards ceremony with Wings achieving best picture. A lot has changed since then and now. It is a rarity in life to have known someone this special and caring, a selfless person that was deeply respected by everyone. 

            Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband Wes of 58 years, her parents, son-in-law Rich Adams, siblings John, Anna, and Fred, and two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law; as well as a multitude of friends. She is survived by her children Greg and Shonna, brother Art, grandchildren Emily (Hank) of Livingston and Jake (Ashley) of Anchorage, great grandchildren Isabella and Weston Fabich, brother-in- law Don (Colleen), many nieces and nephews, good friends, and a loyal schnauzer named Pixie. 

            Please join us for a memorial service celebrating Evelyn on March 1st at 2 pm at Grace United Methodist Church. A reception will immediately follow the service at the church.  If you would like to make a contribution, please choose the charity you prefer. 



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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Grace United Methodist Church

302 S 9th St, Livingston, MT 59047

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Reception

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Grace United Methodist Church

302 S 9th St, Livingston, MT 59047

Immediately following the service

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