Monday, January 2, 2017

Coming full circle

Edd and Sarah at the OR coast June 2016


We are wedding planning. Our daughter, Sarah is engaged to be married to Edd. Edd is from the U.K., so our family connection is coming full circle. The Johnstones and Colemans came from U.K. We've had Edd and his father, Paul here for Christmas and have got on like old friends. Paul keeps saying "when you come to Cornwall....." So it looks like I might be going to Cornwall in the near future. Better get the passport updated. Now, if we could marry a kid off to someone from Sweden or Hong Kong, we'd be in business.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Growing a new branch on the family tree

Anna Gah Li
Our family grew in August. We welcomed our 3rd grandchild into the world. Miss Anna Gah Li W. born to our daughter Brittney and her partner Marcus. Her middle name is Chinese, in keeping with her Chinese Grandpa's ethnicity. She is perfect and healthy and absolutely charming. She's a good eater and sleeps through the night and is growing like the proverbial weed. We love her, just a little bit. Welcome to the family, Anna.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Things I need to write about

Anna Johnson and the mystery of the lost ashes
followed by Anna Johnson medical records and pending return home

Maria Bell and the book being written about the folks from her village in Finland
including her long lost siblings names


Thursday, February 18, 2016

‪#‎52questions‬, Week #3

1. What kind of work did your parents do (farmer, salesman, manager, seamstress, nurse, stay-at-home mom, professional, laborer, and so on)?
My dad worked for Con Agra for years. He was a feed and fertilizer salesman. He traveled many days per week and I remember when he passed his Million Mile mark. Before my parents married, my mom was a telephone operator. After marrying she was primarily a stay-at-home mom. She volunteered a lot. She was a Camp Fire leader, a CCD teacher, a pink lady at the hospital. I'm sure she volunteered for other organizations that I'm not remembering right now. When I was in High School she began working at the same Doctor's office I worked at after school. 

2. Have any of your family members died? If so, explain what they died from and what you remember of their death; the circumstances of their death?

My 14 year old son, Alex, died in 2014. I do remember every detail of his death but am not ready to share that information right now.

Monday, February 8, 2016

‪#‎52questions‬, Week #2

1. What memories do you have of your father (his name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on)?
well, I'll keep his name and birthdate private since he's still living. He was born in Great Falls, MT to Edward and Marie M. Dad is hardworking, rather quiet and serious but he tells you he loves you by fixing or building things for you. He loves to tease little kids by saying "Are you wearing clean underwear?" or "I'm going to put my stinky feet in your bed." He loved to sit in his chair and catch the little kids in the "trap" between his knees.
2.What memories do you have of your mother (her name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on)? Mom is also living. She was born in Great Falls MT to Carl and Ellen B. Mom is little and fierce. She stands a scant 4'8" but is a pretty tough cookie. I used to have to give her three kisses before I left for school or went out to play. She broke many a paddle on us kids and resorted to a 2x4 that she kept beside her place at the dinner table. We hid it on top of the standing freezer in the basement years ago. Not sure if she ever found it. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

52 questions in 52 weeks Week #1

I'm embarking on a new challenge.52 questions in 52 weeks to write my life story. I'm hosting this project on the FB page I run for a group of fellow genealogists, too. Should be fun. We're starting with 2 questions a week until we catch up on the calendar.


  1. What is your full name? My name is Jennie Lyn   Explain why your parents gave you that name. My mom wanted to name me Heidi but Grandma Nell didn't like that name. I was named Jennie for my gt. grandma, Johanna "Jennie" Felt Borgreen. There was also mention of the Swedish Nightengale, Jennie Lind being an inspiration for my name.      
  2. When and where were you born? I was born in Kalispell MT on 28 Mar 1964. Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in.  I lived in several different places through my childhood. I have no memories of any homes until we moved into the blue house at 3005 7th Ave. South in Great Falls, MT after Mom and Dad (Gary Marxer) married. I was 4 when they married in the living room of that little house. My bedroom was upstairs when we first moved in but I moved to a basement bedroom after Carl was born. Lincoln Elementary School was about 3 blocks away, Lions Park was just a couple blocks too. It was a nice neighborhood with similar homes and families like ours. We had a big back yard and Mom's childhood playhouse (built by my grandpa, Carl Borgreen) sat in the back next to the dog kennel for my little dog, Sammy. Great Falls is a nice town with a small college and an air base. After Great Falls we moved to Belgrade MT when I was going into 3rd grade and lived on Custer Ave, which was a little dirt road. The doctor's office was across the road and the dentist had his practice in a mobile home next door. I shared a room with Ellen, upstairs, until Dad finished the basement and then my room was downstairs again. I had red shag carpet in my room. We moved to Lewistown when I was starting 8th grade. We lived at 121 Hawthorne Ave. My parents still live there today (Feb 2016). My room was on the main floor and had yellow shag carpet and one wall was papered with huge white, yellow and orange flowers. It had a built in desk and windows on three sides as this was an extension off the back of the house. I lived in this house until going to Great Falls to attend the Vo Tech after High School graduation. Lewistown is a charming little town of about 6000 people. Its located in the geographic center of Montana about an hour and a half from Great Falls. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Barbara (Stevens) Marxer obituary




















































July 29, 2015 12:00 am

MISSOULA – Barbara Lynn (Stevens) Marxer, 67, of Missoula, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 25, 2015, at home surrounded by her family after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
She was born on March 18, 1948, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Frederick J. and Dorothy A. Stevens. As a young girl, Barbara accompanied her Air Force family to seven different stations over 21 years, ending in Great Falls. She graduated in 1966 from Custer County High School in Miles City. She then went on to graduate with a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Montana State University in 1970. She was blessed to meet the love of her life, Neal Marxer, while attending MSU.
On June 13, 1970, she married Neal Marxer, of Missoula in Great Falls. The couple immediately moved to Missoula, where Neal was employed at the Frenchtown paper mill. Barbara worked in Missoula as a nurse until starting her family in 1973 with the birth of her first daughter, Noel. A second daughter, Joanna, soon followed in 1977. She remained devoted to her family as a stay at home mother, and was very active in Holy Family Catholic Church, Christian Women’s Club of Missoula, and the Cursillo Movement. Barbara earned her second bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in 1992, with a double major in social work and psychology.
After graduation, she joined the Missoula City-County Health Department and began her public health nursing career. At the health department, she advocated for underserved populations and retired in 2011. During this time, she also served as the parish nurse for Holy Family.
Barbara was blessed with her first granddaughter, Ryann Osterman, in 2005. Ryann’s brother Parker followed in 2007, and the family welcomed a second granddaughter, Lily Goodman, in 2010. She adored all her grandchildren with her entire heart, and spent her retirement caring for them and planning fun new activities each time they visited her. She also enjoyed creating a beautiful flower garden at her home, and scrapbooking.
Barbara and Neal joined St. Anthony Parish, and Barbara was instrumental in starting Family Promise of Missoula there, providing service to homeless families in Missoula. She had a generous heart, and a real spirit for helping those in need. During her career and volunteer work, she helped unwed and low-income mothers, HIV positive individuals, the poor and the homeless. She was an influential mentor, and inspired several women in their nursing careers including her sister Kim, her daughter Joanna, and several young mothers she met while working in public health.
Survivors include her husband, Neal of Missoula; daughter Noel (Darin) Osterman of Belt; daughter Joanna (Chuck) Goodman of Missoula; four sisters and their families, Kathy (John) Zeeck of Helena, Colleen Ryan of Phoenix, Lisa (Dean) Blomquist of Ryegate and Kim (Tom) Drynan of Vancouver, Washington, as well as her mother Dorothy A. Stevens of Vancouver; many nieces, nephews, cousins and three grandchildren.
A rosary vigil is scheduled at St. Anthony Catholic Church on Sunday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. in Missoula. A funeral Mass will follow on Monday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony. Burial will follow Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 11 a.m. in Great Falls at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Garden City Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The family sincerely thanks Hospice of Missoula for the loving care they provided during the months prior to her death.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Barbara’s name to: Hospice of Missoula, 800 Kensington Ave. No. 204, Missoula, MT 59801; Missoula Family Promise, PO Box 5882, Missoula, MT 59806.

Barbara Lynn (Stevens) Marxer obituary