Hilda Arlene Brown, 94


By Tribune - Posted on 26 August 2009

        Hilda Arlene Brown, age 94, of Billings, died Monday, Aug 10, at her home. She was born April 17, 1915, in Mildred, Montana, the youngest of the five children born to James and Mary (Vodak) Blackburn.

She attended country schools near her parents’ home, including the Holman School in 1927 when her sister, Leafie was the teacher. The following year the three younger children, Richard, Shirley and Hilda along with their mother moved to Mildred and opened a restaurant where her children helped prepare and serve meals for the trainmen, salesmen and townspeople. Hilda was in the 6th grade at the time and she continued to attend school in Mildred until her graduation from high school in 1935 in a class of three students.
She married Paul K. Brown, April 29, 1939, at Glendive. Because of the lack of jobs in Mildred, the couple moved to California, where Paul worked in a refinery. Later they moved back to Montana and lived at Fairfield for two years and then back to Mildred for five years, when Paul found employment at the Milwaukee coal dock.
With the coming of the diesel locomotive, they moved to Billings in 1949, Paul started work at the Carter Oil Refinery, later the name was changed to Humble and finally the Exxon. He worked there for 24 years until his retirement. Hilda continued using the training she received as a child with a career serving in the banquet room of the Northern Hotel. 
Hilda was an avid gardener who was delighted to share the abundant yield with everyone, an excellent cook always anxious to prepare a meal for company, and she loved to feed and watch the birds that frequented her yard. She enjoyed hunting for moss agates with her sisters in eastern Montana and visiting with cousins in the north Moccasins, corresponding with family and friends and watching rodeos on television.
Survivors include a son, Phil Brown of Billings, daughter Judy Mohr of Wisdom, granddaughter Darcy (Doug) Lodge and great-grandson Joshua Estes, both of Lewiston, Idaho. Locally, she is survived by her nieces Karen (Ed) Solle and Donna (Wyman) Babby and nephews Donald (Judy) and Kurt (Judy) Ulrich. 
Hilda was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, April 25, 1993, her parents, one brother, Richard Blackburn, three sisters, Leafie Ulrich, Florence Ayers, and Shirley Snider, and son-in-law Pat Mohr.
As per Hilda’s request, no services were held. Smith Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements with interment at sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings. 
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