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Eulela May Wortman

January 12, 1931 January 10, 2019
Eulela May Wortman
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Obituary for Eulela May Wortman

Our Mother is with her Cowboy at last, having passed away 2 days before her 88th birthday on January 10, 2019. Eulela May Ness Wortman, known as Lela or Gramma to all, was born January 12, 1931 to Gordon Ness and Annie Gilmore Ness in Dodson, Montana. The granddaughter of hardy Danish and Norwegian immigrants, she had a tough constitution and a strong, determined will. Lela went to school in Landusky until the 3rd grade and then she and her sisters moved with their mother and grandparents to the homestead in the Badlands near Bullwacker Coulee. She finished the 8th grade at the Cabbage Patch School. After 8th grade, Lela moved to Bremerton, Washington with her father. Lela finished her freshman year at Bremerton High School and then returned to Chinook where she graduated from high school. In November of 1947 our Mom married the love of her life, Dick Wortman. Together they had four daughters. Our Dad passed away in February of 2013.

Mom spent her entire life working beside Dad on the family ranch. She was his strength and coconspirator. Together they were a force to reckon with. They enjoyed music and were a picture of beauty and grace when dancing together. As a young couple in the south Bear Paw community, they organized a baseball team, belonged to the 4-H group and helped establish the Cow Island Trail School. Making sure her daughters got a good education was a central goal in Mom's life. When her girls started school in Big Sandy, she worked for the Big Sandy School District for many years and was often a chaperone on FHA and Speech Club trips.

Later in life she and Dick made several pack trips to the mountains with their horses and mules. They enjoyed picnics, baseball and rodeo and made several trips to the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas. Snowmobiling was another adventure they shared and especially loved trips into Yellowstone Park in winter. They enjoyed life. Mom was an intelligent and well-read, adventurous individual. She was always up for a travel adventure and often accompanied one of her daughters to anywhere. Like any good Norwegian, she loved to tell her stories and was the family master at whist. Her sprite-like presence will be missed in our family.

Mom is survived by her daughters, Christine (Chuck) Engren, Glenna (Jim) Wortman-Obie, Gayla (Jim) Oehmcke, and Tracy Wortman, her grandchildren, Kole (Holly) Engle, Lacy (Sheena) Wortman, Chandra (Andrew) Obie Linn, and Barry (Dawn) Obie; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Josie Hart and Mary Swarthout; many beloved nieces and nephews; and her faithful dog, Lulu.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the FFA Chapter at Big Sandy High School or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Cremation has taken place; a memorial service will be at the American Lutheran Church in Chinook, MT on Tuesday, January 15th, at 11:00 a.m. Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Please share memories and condolences at

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Previous Events





11:00 AM 1/15/2019 11:00:00 AM
American Lutheran Church

537 Ohio St.
Chinook, MT 59523

in Chinook, MT

American Lutheran Church
537 Ohio St. Chinook 59523 MT
United States

Memorial Contribution

FFA Chapter of Big Sandy High School

398 1st ave.
Big Sandy, MT 59520

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