Leona JoAnn Nyland passed away, at home, in the early morning on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Born May 17, 1943, in Helena, Montana, to Joseph and Doris Traynor, she was 73.
Leona lived her entire life in Helena, attended local schools, and graduated from Helena High School in 1961. She met her husband, Eugene “Gene” Nyland, in high school and together they raised their three children – a son, Dennis, and twin daughters, Cheryl and Cary. She worked for the Civil Service/Office of Personnel Management, the VA Hospital, and ultimately retired from the IRS.
Leona, known as “Punkie” by those close to her, and “Granny” by her grandchildren, is already so very missed. She touched many and was loved dearly. Throughout her life, she always thought of others first, and never worried about herself. Her children, and later, her grandchildren were the light of her life. She enjoyed spending time with her family and dear friends, whether it was a birthday, a holiday, or just a summer gathering. She enjoyed sitting and talking about the current events or the many stories of growing up with her family. She enjoyed reading and she would never turn down the chance to play and always enjoyed a good game of cribbage or pinochle. And she’d play Farkle with the grandkids for hours.
She’s gone home to be with her Lord now, leaving an unspeakable void in the lives of those who knew and loved her. While our hearts are heavy, we are comforted knowing that one day we will see her again.
Leona was preceded in death by her parents Joseph (1983) and Doris (1983) Traynor, her brother Jimmie “Jim” Traynor (1998), and her sister Margaret “Margie” Traynor (1945). She is survived by Gene Nyland, her husband of 53 years, her son Dennis (Tari) Nyland of Helena, Montana, daughters Cheryl (Brad) Ricker of Helena, Montana, and Cary Nyland of Helena, Montana, her grandchildren Jamison (Ashley) Nyland of Auburn, Washington, Aimee Nyland of Arnsberg, NRW, Germany, Mikaela Nyland of Maui, Hawaii, Michael (Allie) Mallard of Havelock, North Carolina, Douglas (Brittany) Mallard of Helena, Montana, Cary Chamberlain of Missoula, Montana, CodiAnne Bring, Colton Ricker, and Jake Ricker of Helena, Montana, and her four great-grandchildren Jordan, Alyssa, and Jaxon Nyland (Jamison) and Caidence Mallard (Michael). She is also survived by her siblings Ray Traynor (Terry Traynor, Robin Wilkowski, Schelley Zuekle, Jennifer Traynor, and Adam Traynor), Aggie Hamilton (Melvin – Justin Hamilton, Nicole Hamilton, and Misty Hamilton), and Darlene Butler (Robert – Keith Butler and Brianne Stone), all of Helena, Montana and her sister-in-law, Beth Taylor (Jim – Marci Purvis, Corey Williams, James Traynor, and Joe Traynor) of Spokane, Washington, and several great nieces and nephews. Leona also leaves behind many loved and special friends.
Viewing will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 25 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. A memorial service celebrating Leona’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26th at Helena’s First Assembly of God Church, 2210 Dodge Ave. Graveside services will follow the memorial service at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall of the church. In lieu of flowers memorials in Leona's name are suggested to Lewis and Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604, or Helena First Assembly of God, 2210 Dodge Avenue, Helena, MT 59601 Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Leona.