Sunday, August 14, 2022

Mary Margaret Rose Pfennig, 93

| May 25, 2022 4:10 PM

Mary Margaret Rose Pfennig was born Margaret M. Rothwell on Aug. 10, 1928, and went to be with the Lord May 4, 2022. Mary was born and raised in Gillette, Wyo., with her older sister, Ruth, and older brother, James.

The family lived on a 320-acre homestead, and farmed and raised cattle. Her father was a carpenter and farmer, and her mother was a housewife. Mary learned many carpentry skills from her father, Jim. She built lamps, fences, and even a garage, and once said she was more comfortable with a Skilsaw than a cooking utensil.

She could ride a horse like Fred Astaire could dance and loved her horse, Topsy, which she often rode to and from grade school in the country. Remembering Topsy always brought tears to Mary’s eyes. The school was on skids and was moved to be centrally located among the children who would be attending in a given year.

She enjoyed playing golf with her kids and having some laughs together on the links. She participated in the Wyoming Centennial Trail wagon ride in 1990 and other wagon train rides in Montana. In 1998, she learned to ride a bicycle. She submitted weekly input to the Stillwater News in Columbus regarding meals and activities at the Absarokee Senior Center and also ran a successful auto glass repair business in later years, doing all the glass repair herself.

Mary was a devoted Catholic who embraced her Christian faith and attended Mass faithfully. She volunteered countless hours for the churches in Billings, Absarokee and Columbus, and worked as a secretary at St. Pius X Church and St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings. She was actively involved in the Right-to-Life movement and volunteered with them as well.

Mary attended Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyo., and was a majorette whose abilities shined with a baton in her hand. She led the Gillette Fourth of July parade between her junior and senior years at the written request of the band master. She attended the University of Wyoming, then later left school to marry her college sweetheart, John Harold Rose (Jack), from Dayton, Wyo. Mary was a resourceful, practical woman who raised eight children from her first marriage. After Jack’s death, she married Allen Pfennig. She is survived by her children, Marilyn (Robert) Hunt, John (Susan) Rose Jr., Jacquelyne (Kevin) Hill, Patricia (Edward) Rose, Nathaniel (Charles) Rose, Mary (Bryan) Kirby, Kelly (Rich) Klein and Michael (Angie) Rose. Mary is also survived by her 15 grandchildren, Kristy Mitchell, Pamela Grissom, Jessica Dansby, Brandy Dobbins, Casey Rose, Kris Hill, Kristy Kerin, Kendra Kirby, Shay, Rae and Montgomery Klein; Amanda Winterberg, Savannah Salazar; and Abigail and Alexandra Rose. Mary also had four stepchildren from her second marriage.

She resided in Billings, Mont., much of her life, but moved to Absarokee, Mont., after Jack’s death. Mary eventually moved to Meadowlark Assisted Living in Columbus, Mont., after Al’s passing, and her final home was in Rockwood, Tenn., where she could live close to her daughter, Jacki. Mary was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Ruth Letzkus and brother James Rothwell.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, June 3, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Columbus, followed by a luncheon at the church and then inurnment at Rosebud Cemetery in Absarokee.

Recent Headlines