Monte Jean Mockel Broadwater, age 83, came into this world during a light snowstorm - and traveled to the end of her earthly journey on the wings of a lightning storm on June 6, 2019 at the Masonic Home of Montana, following a long battle with failing health.
Monte Jean was born in Townsend, Montana on February 25, 1936 to parents Albert Ernest Mockel of Toston and Esther Williams Mockel of Radersburg, Montana. As a young child, Monte Jean treasured time spent riding her horse and playing with her cousins near Radersburg. She later recalled how much she enjoyed the many family gatherings at the home of her Grandpa Williams when she was a young girl. She attended schools in Crow Creek Valley, Toston and Townsend.
On September 12, 1952, Monte Jean married Charles Lawrence (“Larry”) Broadwater. They honeymooned for a few days in Yellowstone National Park, then settled into Radersburg, Montana to begin their family while Larry worked on the ranch of her grandfather.
Monte Jean was a devoted wife and mother, and the aroma of freshly baked bread or biscuits frequently filled the air in her immaculate home. Her children found her easy to confide in, as did their friends, and she was often surrounded by them at the kitchen table after school, discussing the happenings of the day over a warm batch of cookies. She loved vegetable and flower gardening, could play the piano by ear, enjoyed drawing and painting, and was devoted to the daily crossword puzzles in the newspaper, which she completed in ink in her distinctive writing style. She was a member of the Broadwater County Cattle Women’s Association for many years and enjoyed the company of the other ranch wives involved.
Her family was of the utmost importance to Monte Jean, and she instilled her values in her children by demonstrating integrity, kindness, loyalty, manners, service to others, and impressed upon them that family is the most important thing in this world. A true lady of few words, she conveyed her sentiments clearly through a variety of facial expressions.
Monte Jean partnered with her husband to establish a business (Broadwater Enterprise) while simultaneously purchasing a ranch in Helena, Montana. The phrase “Behind every great man is a great woman” seemed to have been coined solely to describe the way she supported her husband. She kept the books and worked by his side to run the operations. After almost three decades, they retired from the business together and immediately started over again, building a ranch in Townsend, Montana from the ground up. Years later, they sold their ranch in Townsend and retired once again, moving back to Helena. Monte Jean and Larry were married for 64 years upon his passing in 2017.
Her friends remember her kind heart, love for animals, faith, sense of humor, generosity, and artistic talent. Monte Jean designed the stained-glass windows for the East Helena Methodist Church, and she was awarded “Best of Show” at the county fair for her charcoal sketch of two cows sharing a pasture. She artfully designed the front cover of the Townsend Methodist Church’s address and telephone directory, which is outdated now but still in use by many as a favorite.
Monte Jean is preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence (Larry) Broadwater, parents, Albert and Esther Mockel, her brother John (“Jack”) Mockel, sister Mary Theresa Mockel, brothers-in-law Larry Hillyer, James Strub, sisters-in-law Sharon Strub, Betty Grace, and son-in-law, Michael Gambill. She is survived by her sister Marian Hillyer of California, her brother Randolph (“Randy”) Mockel, sister-in-law Betty Mockel, and her children Kendall (Suzi), Richard, and Julie. Monte Jean is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to express gratitude to the Masonic Home of Montana administration and staff and to Frontier Home Health and Hospice for their end-of-life care for Monte Jean.
A family viewing will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11th at Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 212 Broadway in Townsend. A funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12th at the funeral home. Burial will follow the funeral service at Deep Creek Cemetery. If preferred, in lieu of flowers, donations in Monte Jean’s name may can be sent to the Lewis & Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604. Please visit www.stevensonwilke.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Monte Jean.