Barbara Jean Scott VanAlstine Schow passed away on Super Bowl Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, peacefully and knowing she was loved throughout her lifetime by her family, past and present.
She spent the last of her years in Anoka, Minn., closest to the loving care of her youngest daughter, Luci Lynn and granddaughter Cinnamon Huyck-Kelley.
BJ, as we called her a lot when it wasn’t Mom, was born in Lubbock, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1933, to Elsie Scott. She had a brother Jimmy. Her dad worked for Halliburton, an oil and gas well company, and they followed the work of that business, where she was raised all over central USA, from Texas to Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska to Montana where she met Bill VanAlstine, her first husband, in high school.
After they were married and started raising five children from Roundup and Billings then back to Cut Bank, Mont., BJ was a master at motherhood. She learned many valuable and useful traits from her mother including sewing, cooking, creating Christmas and Easter decorations like none others to be found. Super cool handmade stockings to decorated Easter eggs complete with a tree! Dinners and pies and bread and kitchen candies, (Oh! the caramels and divinity and pickled beets) always having something for her family and their friends to share, eating and loving it.
Living out on the farm north of town was a tough life as BJ was a city girl, through and through. She hated the muddy roads, but got us kids to the school bus in the worst of weather, sometimes driving a ‘57 Chevy Nomad or a ‘65 Pontiac two door convertible or a fuel truck when it was real nasty outside. She cooked harvest meals for the thrashing crews and did what she could to make ends meet. Mom took us kids on some cool summertime vacations to visit her parents, driving 80 mph!
BJ and Bill later divorced and Mom married Mark Schow from Cardston, Alberta. They made their loving home at Lake Blaine (and referred to Kalispell as FUN CITY) plus they had a small apartment in Canada. She loved the mountains and the lake, boating and having a dock where folks could enjoy the warm waters of Lake Blaine. Mark taught Mom snow skiing as she enjoyed retirement, even though they both worked odd jobs, including Mark at Sportsman’s Ski Haus while mom managed Lake Blaine Resort. Ah, that roller rink was a cool hangout, as kids we visited it as a family as well while camping there or at our lot in Coram.
Mark passed in January 2003. BJ lived at the lake for a while, by herself, before moving into Kalispell, a condo she bought. She was a city girl again, living the dream serving samples at COSTCO and feeding the masses!
BJ was a social butterfly, driving her HONDA CRV all over town, summer and winter. She was as reliable as ever, and her house was always clean and fresh. Some of her favorite times were having familiar faces stop by and chat for a bit! (Thank you to all of you whom showed Mom so much love.)
Barb had back surgery in Kalispell in April 2014; continued to have back trouble afterwards and she then moved to Anoka in May 2014. Luci and she drove the Honda CRV from Kalispell to Anoka, stopping a few times on the road trip, including twice by the Montana Highway Patrol. The CRV never was pulled over until that trip! Barb was beside herself!
After her back surgery in April, Mom wasn’t able to walk without falling and this resulted in three broken ribs which needed invasive surgery. The second and third surgeries took their toll on the body. Mom’s mind was all there for the longest time. Her body got tired. It no longer worked at all. There was no more walking or standing or doing anything without assistance. Life as she knew it changed 100%. Thankfully Mom did not have any major illnesses or disease.
At one point in recent years she had been diagnosed with early stage dementia which never really progressed until her body could take no more and she lost all strength to eat, drink, and communicate in the past six weeks.
Barb is survived by all five children, Vickie, Duff, Wendy, Scott, and Luci.
Barb wished to be cremated and have her cremains in Glacier Park and Lake Blaine. Barb requested to not have any type of service or memorial or celebration. Therefore, Luci and her siblings will grant Barb’s wishes in private.