In Loving Memory of Suzanne (Sue) Blakeslee Girdler.
Suzanne peacefully ascended into heaven on November 20th, 2023, surrounded by her loving husband and sons. She was a woman of unwavering faith, a devoted prayer warrior, and a steadfast lover of her Lord Jesus Christ.
Suzanne was not just a remarkable wife and mother but embodied a beautiful, loving spirit that touched the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her. Born on January 1, 1935, in the enchanting town of Livingston, Montana, Suzanne was a third generation Montanan whose roots were firmly planted in the shadow of Emigrant Peak. Her childhood unfolded on the family sheep ranch, in a home constructed by her father, Donald Blakeslee, using logs he pulled down from Six Mile Creek with the strength of horses.
In June of 1953, shortly after graduating from high school, Suzanne married her soulmate, James E. Girdler, at the Emigrant Episcopal Church. Together, they embarked on a journey that took them to ranches in Washington and Colorado before returning to Livingston, Montana, where their family began to grow.
Ranching life was hard but it was the life that they had always known. In the midst of a bitterly cold winter on Bozeman Hill, Suzanne and Jim welcomed their first child, Linda Sue, in February of 1955. In November 1956 they were working in Paradise Valley on another Ranch when Donal Ray joined the family. In pursuit of a more stable future, Jim joined the Montana Highway Patrol, marking the beginning of a new path for the Girdler family.
Over the twenty years that Jim served on the MHP, the family lived in various places. They started in Billings where their third child, Richard James, was born then on to Townsend and finally Lewistown where Jim retired. After retirement, they returned to Paradise Valley, where Jim and Sue built a new home on a piece of the old Blakeslee ranch. For many years their little log home was a hub of activity where weekly team roping events, riding clinics, and joyful gatherings became a regular occurrence.
To pursue a dream of having their own ranch, they sold their log home on Six Mile and moved to a ranch on the Musselshell River where they raise Corrientes for eight years before returning once more to Emigrant peak where Suzanne would spend the remainder of her years. Kind, gracious, and loving, she was a blessing to all who knew her. While Suzanne will be greatly missed, her warm smile, which graced this world for nearly 89 years, will forever be etched in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
Suzanne is survived by her devoted husband, James E. Girdler, her sons, Donald and Richard, her daughter-in-law Evelyn Carlson Girdler, four grand grandchildren and five great-grand grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Linda Sue, who departed on August 11, 2018. As we mourn the loss of Suzanne, we are profoundly thankful for the love, wisdom, and grace Suzanne shared with us. All who knew her would attest that her place in heaven is undeniably secure, and her memory will continue to be a source of comfort and inspiration for generations to come.
There are no services planned at this time.
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