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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Leona Elizabeth (Bares) Popiel

Leona Elizabeth (Bares) Popiel, age 102, of Glendive, passed away on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 in Billings. 

Visitation will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Silha Funeral Home in Glendive. A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Silha Funeral Home in Glendive. Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive with Father Francis Schreiber officiating. Rite of committal will follow in Dawson County Cemetery. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Leona was born on November 20, 1914, to Anthony H. and Anna (Schwinghammer) Bares in Golva, N.D. on the family farm. During her first and second high school years she lived with a family and worked for her room and board. During her third year she lived with a friend and rented an apartment. Her fourth year of high school, she got to drive a Model T Ford back and forth to school from the farm. She graduated high school from Golva. She wanted to go on to school in Dickinson, N.D. to become a teacher, but she was going with Joe and her Dad “wouldn’t pay for school if she was just going to get married.” 

She met Joe L. Popiel when she was 14 at a dance at St. Phillips, Mont. She and Joe were married on November 20, 1935 on Leona’s 21st birthday. They lived in Beach, N.D. and Wibaux for a short time, then moved to Golva. They farmed, hauled coal, delivered milk and eggs, and owned and ran Joe’s Food Market. Leona loved working in that store and carefully balanced the books. They provided credit and food during the difficult depression years. Oranges were very scarce during the depression and they made sure that every family had at least one on every Christmas Eve. They also opened the store after church on Sunday morning so the people who shopped in Beach could pick up what they forgot to buy. Later, Leona also worked at Dawson County High School for a number of years. 

Joe and Leona moved to Glendive and Leona lived in the home that Joe built until she was 90. She then moved to an apartment at Grandview Retirement Home and resided there until the age of 97, when she moved to Tendernest Assisted Living in Laurel/Billings, where she resided there until the time of her death. 

Leona sewed for her family; she made many of her children’s clothes and every one of her children and grandchildren have more than one of her homemade quilts. She also had a beautiful flower garden and a large vegetable garden, which she canned all of the produce. Leona was famous for her homemade buns and canned fruit, and people would often stop by to enjoy them for dessert. She loved to dance and loved to “Go.” She enjoyed several cruises and many trips. She was the family matriarch who kept her children coming “HOME.” 

Leona was a member of the Catholic Daughters, Court of St. Catherine, Altar Society and Women of the Moose. She was one of the original organizers of the Quilters at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe L. Popiel; oldest son, Donald L. Popiel; one great-granddaughter, Michelle Fasching; and one great-great-granddaughter Hannah Bishr.

Leona is survived by nine children, Carol (Mike) Fasching, Norman (Carolyn) Popiel, James L. Popiel, Joyce (Ben) Koffler, Annette (Dennis) Schwartz, Michael (Cheri) Popiel, Randy (Michelle) Popiel, Rita (Marvin) Nemitz, and Patty (Wayne) Meidinger; twenty-seven grandchildren; forty-seven great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren. 

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: www.silhafuneralhomes.com.

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