Lyola Rae Haller, 96

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Lyola (Lola) Rae Haller, 96, formerly of Helena, Montana passed away on October 5, 2018. Born in Glasgow, Montana on November 22, 1921, she was the second oldest of five children born to Myrtle and Oral McCleery. Lola grew up on a dry land farm and attended school in Glasgow. Growing up during the depression on a family farm with little money and without the convenience of modern-day electricity prepared Lola to work hard and help others less fortunate. She told many fascinating stories of growing up during the depression from heating rocks and placing them in bed at night for warmth to tying rope from the house to the barn to return safely home from the barn due to deep snow. Without electricity, Lola learned to become a wonderful cook using just a woodstove. One of her memorable jobs as a teenager was cooking three square meals daily for twenty-four hired hands during summer. Lola’s specialty was baking: cookies, cinnamon rolls, and pies. Her Montana-picked huckleberry pie with flaky crust was a family favorite.

After graduating from high school, Lola earned her teaching certificate at Western Montana College in Dillon, and then taught in a “one-room school house” in Armstead and Glasgow. Later, she taught in Missoula as well as East Helena, Montana.

While Lola was attending summer school at University of Montana in Missoula, Montana she met Frederick B. Haller, her husband-to-be. On Christmas Eve, 1942 they married in Nashville, Tennessee before he was sent off to war as a bombardier navigator in the Air Corps. After the war, they returned to Missoula where Fred received his Forestry Degree at the University of Montana and Lola taught first grade.

Lola and Fred spent their early years together living in remote forest ranger stations throughout Montana where once again Lola had no electricity and was back to cooking on a woodstove. A transfer to Colville, Washington with the Forest Service brought an end to the outdoor living and finally brought in the luxury of electricity.

Lola and Fred raised three children: two sons and a daughter. After living at several ranger stations in the northwest, the couple finally moved to Helena, Montana where Lola earned her bachelor’s degree from Carroll College, updated her teaching degree, and spent fifteen years teaching first grade in East Helena, Montana.

Lola retired from teaching to care for her husband with his failing health. Following his death in 1979, Lola found herself a widow and a retiree in her fifties. She chose to spend the rest of her life volunteering to help others. She became very involved in her church and passionate about its mission to create baby layettes for unwed mothers. (She spent weekends at garage sales to purchase layette Items.) She made many patchwork quilts which she donated to the Veterans and Intermountain Children’s Home. She spent ten years as a volunteer at Saint Peter’s Hospital in the gift shop. Then, as a volunteer grandparent at Smith Elementary School, Lola put her teaching experience to use helping first graders learn to read tutoring at the Adult Learning Center. She was a lifetime member of the Covenant United Methodist Church in Helena.

Lola was most proud of her three children: her son Frederick R. Haller, MD, a physician specializing in internal medicine in Kellogg, Idaho; her daughter Shelley R. Rowe, a speech therapist in Bismarck, North Dakota; and her son Robert L. Haller, an electrical engineer with a business administration degree who lives in Helena and worked for the Federal Reserve Bank before retiring.

Lola enjoyed writing poetry, gardening, knitting, quilting, cooking and baking, reading, traveling and spending time with her family. She travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Jerusalem, Mexico, Alaska, Holland, and China where she walked the Great Wall of China.

Lola is survived by her three children: Dr. Frederick R. Haller (Ann) of Pinehurst, Idaho; Shelley R. Rowe (Mike) of Bismarck, North Dakota; and Robert L. Haller (Sherri) of Helena, Montana; her seven grandchildren: Michael F. Haller, Lori Ann Shine, Allan M. Rowe, Amber M. Haman, Brandon L. Haller, Laura Lynn Haller, and Serena R. Haller; and eight great-grandchildren Kelly L. Haman, Leah Rae Haman, Christopher A. Rowe, Eve F. Rowe, Leah Nicole Shine, Allison Rae Shine, Matthew B. Haller, and Alexander M. Haller. Lola’s parents and her siblings: Leota, Naomi, James, and Gary preceded her in death.

The family sincerely thanks the staff at Cascadia Mountain Valley Long-term Care Center in Kellogg, Idaho who provided Lola with absolutely wonderful, loving care while she resided there.

Memorial Services will be held on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. PST (3:00 P.M. MST) at the Covenant United Methodist Church of Helena, Montana.

The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Covenant United Methodist Church, 2330 E. Broadway St., Helena, Montana 59601.

One may sign Lola’s online guest book at

SHOSHONE FUNERAL SERVICES & CREMATORY KELLOGG, IDAHO is entrusted with cremation services.

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