Aileen Maryan (Cooper) Hess, 91, passed peacefully Tuesday afternoon, February 15, 2011 at Friendship Villa.
Aileen was born on June 20, 1919 in the front room of the family’s farm house, 10 miles north of Richey, Montana. She was the fourth of five children born to Leda Ray Cooper and Robertie M. Cooper. Aileen’s father died when she was seven months old. Aileen’s mother and her young family remained on the family farm for four years before moving to Sidney to be closer to Aileen’s grandparents. Aileen often shared stories of her childhood saying that she and her siblings were very happy; never thinking they were poor or deprived in any way.
Aileen met the love of her life, John W. (Johnnie) Hess in Sidney. Johnnie was in Sidney working for the Holly Sugar plant. They married on September 24, 1939. In February 1940, they moved to the Hess family homestead 18 miles north of Fallon. Sons David, Dick and Tim were born in Glendive, while Aileen and Johnnie lived on the homestead.
In the winter of 1951, Aileen and Johnnie moved a farm house across the Yellowstone River and on to the irrigated farm they had purchased in Fallon. Ken, LeAnn and Tom joined the family after their move to “town”. The six children attended grade school in Fallon and high school in Terry.
Aileen and Johnnie worked hard; however, whenever they could, they loved to travel. They loved to fish, visit family and friends, and relax. On July 4, 1977, Johnnie passed away at the age of 63. Aileen moved to Miles City in 1996, where she spent the remainder of her life.
Aileen was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish, a 4-H “booster”, Fallon Homemakers, local Card Clubs, Singles Club, Senior Citizens and St Vincent de Paul among many other interests. She loved to dance, read and crochet. Many newlyweds, graduates and new babies were the recipients of Aileen’s crochet covered hangers.
Aileen will be dearly missed by sons, daughters-in-law and son-in-law: David (Diedree), Dick (Lola), Tim (Karen), Ken (Vicki), Tom (Darlene) Hess and Gary Meidinger, 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. She will also be missed by her precious sister, Berta Peterson, and many cherished family and friends in states throughout the country.
The surviving family is comforted to know that Aileen has been reunited with her husband, Johnnie Hess; daughter LeAnn Meidinger; grandson, Michael Hess; and her siblings Ray Cooper, Etta Delamore and Don Cooper in addition to her many friends and family who have gone before.
Visitation was held on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. A Vigil Service was held on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, February 21, 2011 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Miles City. Rite of Committal followed at the Prairie County Cemetery in Terry. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Memorial contributions can be made to Holy Rosary Hospice, American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.