94, of Noxon
Othelia Magdalena Schanzenbach Weare passed away in Kalispell on June 16, 2017 when her adventurous heart finally gave out at the age of 94.
Othelia, who everyone knew as “Toots”, was born in Akaska, South Dakota to Christian and Beatrice on May 22, 1923.
At the age of 12, Othelia lost her mother and had to take over the raising of her younger siblings. After raising of her siblings, Othelia felt unable to go back to finish her education and at 18, had an opportunity to visit Montana with friends and decided to head west.
After being in Montana a short time, she met her forever love, Richard Francis Weare, and the two began their 66 year marriage in 1944. Together, they added Richard, or “Mickey”, Karen and Cheryl to the two sons Richard had, Lannie and Michael Ulrick. Toots and Richard had 21 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
In 1967, Othelia fulfilled her husband’s lifelong dream of moving to Alaska and so began another adventure. Othelia accomplished so many things in her 94 years that she considered writing a book. She would have called it “Akaska to Alaska.” We are sure would have been a # 1 best seller.
She and Richard moved to Alaska in 1967 and ran two successful auto body shops. Then, in 1972, Othelia opened the first ever health spa in Palmer, Alaska, way before it’s time. Othelia also decided to learn to fly and did her solo flight in 1975.
In 1984 Othelia retired from the Alaska Pioneer Home where she worked and became head housekeeper. When starting at the Alaska Pioneer Home, Toots was told she couldn’t apply for the managerial position without a high school diploma. So, without saying a word, she went to night school and got her GED. When she again applied for the position she was told she needed that diploma so she simply replied “go look on your desk” and the rest was history.
After retirement from the Alaska Pioneer Home, she and Richard moved again to Glennallen, Alaska, where they opened another successful auto body shop.
At the age of 71, Richard and Othelia again decided on another adventure and went to homestead in Central Alaska. They lived “off the grid” before “off the grid” was popular and enjoyed every bit that life.
After the passing of her beloved husband, Othelia once again, at the age of 89, moved back to Noxon where it all began with her son and daughter-in-law to the cabin her son built for her and enjoyed her days.
Othelia was the best mother and grandmother to her grandchildren. From her famous sourdough pancakes that have been passed down to four generations to her ultimate holiday piñatas that she learned how to make by looking in a magazine and just doing it, she showed so much love in everything she did. Her piñatas became a yearly tradition that her grandchildren will never forget.
Words cannot paint a bright enough picture of this woman who was selfless, patient, kind, strong, graceful, and the most determined woman this family has known. She will be imprinted on all of our hearts forever and never forgotten. We know that she is already in Heaven, cooking up a batch of sourdoughs for everyone.
Services were held at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 25, 2017, at the Noxon Cemetery in Noxon. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg & Nelson Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.