Thu, 02/23/2017 - 5:00am admin
Irene Watt, 88, passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, Feb. 19, 2017 in her apartment at the Sweetwater Retirement Community in Billings.
Irene was born in Egeland, N.D. on March 9, 1928 to Theophil and Magdalena Aman. The family moved to Montana in 1940, living at the Patton place at Dunmore. While she was working at a restaurant in Hardin, Irene met William Watt, Crow Agency Postmaster and a member of the Crow Tribe, and the couple married in 1952. She and Bill owned and operated the Crow Mercantile general store in Crow Agency until their retirement in 1989. Together, they raised three sons and put them through college.
Irene served as an election judge at Crow Agency, became involved in Democratic politics, and ran for Big Horn County Commissioner in the early 1970s. She supervised the 1980 census on the Crow Reservation, and was always a strong advocate for the Crow people. A highlight of her life was her trip to Cairo, Egypt in 1984 as a citizen ambassador with former President Carter’s Friendship Force, along with former Gov. Tom Judge’s mother Blanche.
After Bill passed away in 1993, she moved to Mesa, Ariz., where she enjoyed a much-deserved retirement with family and the many friends she made there. She moved back to Montana three years ago, where she enjoyed her new friends and the staff at Sweetwater.
Preceding her in death was her husband of 41 years Bill Watt; her brothers Ted, Elmer, Lloyd and Melvin Aman; and her sisters Frieda (Art) Benzel and Vivian (Robert) Schreiner.
Irene is survived by her sons William (Lora), James (Sheila) and Edward (Sally) Watt; her grandchildren Will (Danielle) and Cathryn Watt, Nick and Sarah Watt and Whitney (Brandon) Johnson; her great-grandchildren Aiden, Jax and Cora, Samuel and Benjamin, and Isabella and Alexandra; her brothers Norman (Isabel) and Vernon (Diane) Aman; sisters-in-law Betty, Frieda and Gloria Aman; and many Crow in-laws including Mervin White and Peggy White Wellknown Buffalo.
Services will be held at Bullis Funeral Chapel in Hardin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, with interment to follow at the Hardin Fairview Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Big Horn County Historical Society, 1163 3rd Street East, Hardin, MT 59034, or to a charity of your choice.
Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.