September 18, 1924 ~ February 8, 2022 (age 97)


Mary Anna Smith Ellingson passed on to eternal life with our Lord on February 8, 2022 at the age of 97. She was born September 18, 1924 near Kimball, South Dakota on the farm which her grandfather had homesteaded in 1880.  She was one of six children born to Joseph and Anna Smith.  She grew up on the farm in a four room farm house until she went away to business school in nearby Mitchell, South Dakota.  She then worked at the Agricultural Adjustment Agency in Chamberlain, SD and later as an assistant for the local dentist.


She met John Ellingson while he was working at J C Penney’s in Chamberlain and they married in 1946.  The two were inseparable.  In 1954 Mary, John, and their son, Dennis, moved to Kalispell where John became the clothing department manager of Gambles.  They welcomed a new adopted daughter, Teresa, in 1955 and moved to Eureka to take over ownership of the Eureka Commercial.  Marcia, their second adopted daughter, joined the family in 1959.


Mary was an extremely involved member of the Eureka community along with her husband John.  She was a Cub Scout den mother, 4H leader, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, and member of the Eureka Garden Club, Friends of the Library, and Historical Village to mention a few.  A very devout, religious person, she was active in the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church parish, volunteering in the upkeep of the gardens, pot lucks, blood drives, religious education teacher and Altar Society.


She is preceded in death by the love of her life, husband John, her daughters, Teresa and Marcia, her brothers, Joseph, John and Owen, and her sisters Margaret and Marcella. She is survived by her son Dennis (Mary), 9 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.


A private graveside service will be held Tuesday February 15 with a Memorial Service at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church to be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Eureka.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances made in Mary and John’s name to the Tobacco Valley Board of History, PO Box 1452, Eureka, MT 59917 or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at


Our sincere gratitude goes out to the staff at Mountain View Manor for their limitless loving care for the past four years. You made her final time here on earth comfortable and peaceful.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
July 13, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

Eureka, MT 59917

Private Interment

Tobacco Valley Cemetery

Eureka, Montana 59917

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