Bennett, Stella Mae

Stella Mae Bennett departed this world on Friday, November 3, 2017 for the Summerland. Her royal old soul has flown on.

Born Sept. 21, 1938 to Nora Jacobson and Albert Gebhart, Stella was raised on a ranch in Pendroy, Montana. There she grew up with her sister Suzie and an assortment of wild animals and birds that her family adopted and released. Stella often rode her bike to school with her pet crow perched on the handlebars.

As a teenager, Stella rose to local fame as a speedboat racer. She attended Eastern Montana College and the Yellowstone School of Broadcasting.

She had the knack of bumping into famous people. She rode a motorcycle with Evel Knievel, met Lucille Ball while clamming on a California beach, and hung out in a bar with Charley Pride. Stella told these stories with a twinkle in her eye. She always said: “I have lived a rich and interesting life.”

Stella was a deeply spiritual person who gave so much of herself to her friends, family and community. Her passions were the study of Tarot and esoteric knowledge. She began reading the cards as a small child and continued to study the tarot for 75 years. Stella created and published her own tarot deck and book, “The Star That Never Walks Around,” using imagery from her Native American roots.

Stella opened her Helena shop Tarotstar in 2004 and it became a gathering place for people in the community to explore their spiritual paths.

She met and married her soul mate Norman Bennett in April of 1995 and he walked by her side as she continued her spiritual work and studies. Together Norm and Stella welcomed their grandson Zach into their home and raised him as their son. Family was very important to Stella and she enjoyed having her daughters, Mary and Bobby Jo, living nearby.

Stella was the Wise Woman, the Spiritual Elder whose door and heart were always open to those in need. She “Walked the Talk” and her wisdom and gentle spirit will be greatly missed.

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She is survived by her husband Norm Bennett; her children Ben Harvie, Mary Routon, Cole Toren, Tammy Toren and Bobby Jo Blair; her nephews Jim and Bill Campbell; and many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of Stella’s life in the spring of 2018.

Merry meet and merry part til we merry meet again.

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