Elaine Ruth Montgomery, 84, of Baxter, passed away Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Newton Healthcare surrounded by her loving family. A private family burial service will begin at 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa.
Elaine was born in Oskaloosa Nov. 23, 1936, to John and Mamie (Van Gorp) Bittner. She grew up in Oskaloosa and graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1954. She married the love of her life Melvin Montgomery April 8, 1956, at the First Christian Church in Oskaloosa. The couple farmed together later moving to Haverhill then rural Baxter to farm. They moved into the town of Baxter in the 1960s and remained here until 2020 when they moved to Newton HealthCare Center.
Elaine worked alongside her husband on the farm for many years and then helped out at the Baxter Sale Barn Country Side restaurant, Baxter Nursing Home as the activity director until retirement. She then became the Baxter City Librarian. Over her lifetime, she was very active. She was a 4-H leader, 4-H superintendent at the county fair and community where she loved to help with the community Thanksgiving Dinners and taking community members to appointments and events of the clubs she was involved in. She would help with events donating her time or contributing in any way that was helpful. Over her lifetime she was a member of the CB Club, Square Dancing Club, Garden Club,and Quilt Club.
Her church was very important to her. She was always very active in her church communities as well. She taught Sunday school and was a youth leader in the churches she attended over her lifetime. She was also a singer in the Good Gospel singers and traveled singing at various churches, nursing homes and fairs.
In her spare time, she loved traveling with her husband Melvin, often taking along friends, socializing and going out to eat with friends, cross-stitching, embroidering, quilting, sewing, painting ceramics, crafting and gardening. Most important was spending time with her family.
Those left to cherish her loving memory are her husband, Melvin Montgomery of Newton; daughters, Christie (Mark) Milligan of Baxter and Marsha (Rick) Strickland of Baxter; grandchildren, Ashley (Brent) Jensen, Brandon (Megan) Milligan, Kristi (Scott) Padgett, Kip (Tiffany) Strickland, Travis (Alicia) Schmidt and Troy (Angela) Schmidt; 17 great-grandchildren; sister, Edna (Steve) Upchurch of South Carolina; brothers-in-law, Robert (Diane) Montgomery of Colorado and Richard (Sue) Montgomery of Arizona; many nieces; and many nephews.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family for a future memorial in the community in her honor.
Fredregill Funeral & CremationCare has been entrusted with the cremation care of Elaine and her family.