Private Graveside Rites for Mary Lee will be held at the Bonnievale Cemetery in Baker, Montana
Mary Lee, 89 of Baker passed away with family by her side at Fallon Medical Complex Longterm Care in Baker, MT on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.
Mary Lee Beardsley was born November 16, 1930 in Miles City, MT to John and Ella (Teats) Beardsley. Her childhood was spent on a farm/ranch near Ismay, MT. Every time she drove by her home place she talked about where she and Bonnie and Phyllis had ridden, hiked or climbed and often rode horseback to their little country school. Mary Lee worked the fields with a horse-drawn cultivator during WW II. Picked potato bugs off the potato plants by hand. Herded sheep. Raised chickens, pigs, and milked the cows while her mom and older sister Joanne did the chores in the house. Her father John almost died of appendicitis and she took over the farm work until he recovered with the help of their neighbors, mostly Leonard Leland.
Mary Lee loved riding race horses and was very good at it in her younger years. She and her Dad loved a big red thoroughbred and she won a lot of races with him at county fairs.
She attended Cottonwood Country School, Custer County High School where she played basketball and graduated in 1948 from CCHS. Mary Lee enjoyed her senior trip to Chicago and often told her family how much fun they had. She then attended Eastern Montana Teaching College in Billings and received her teaching degree. While teaching at a school that Bud’s brother Dut built for his three children Darold, Joyce, and Sharon, Mary Lee met Bud. She married Clyde Vernon (Bud) Brown October 14, 1951 in Miles City, MT. Together they moved to the Brown Ranch northeast of Baker where they ranched and raised three children, Kathy, John and Cindy. Mary Lee was a 4-H leader for many years and a proud member of Cowbelles and Ollie Homemakers. She loved to sew and made many beautiful heirloom quilts for her family for their special moments in life. Mary Lee loved to bake Christmas cookies and decorate them with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. At Easter she always liked to dye eggs with them.
Mary Lee was so proud of the fact that her kids and grandkids had all graduated from college. She really enjoyed watching the grandkids in basketball and track.
When Mary Lee wasn’t outside riding or gardening, she was inside cooking or baking. Red Velvet Cake was a specialty, along with the best chocolate chip cookies you ever tasted.
Bud and Mary Lee enjoyed riding horses and she was able to ride into her 70’s.
Survivors include, a daughter Kathy Ann (Wayne-deceased) Kurtz and sons Marc, Mike (Gina), Matt; a son, John Mac (Nikki) Brown and children Erin (Roy) Lutts and their children Ashlyn, Riley and Keara; Vern (Rachel) Brown, and their children Halle, Cadence, and Clyde, and Nicholas (Maria) Brown and their children Mason, Aubree, Miles, and Ava; a daughter, Cindy Lee (Tom) Kostrba, their son, Jarret (Val) Kostrba and their daughter, Daya, Chelsea (Kade) Embry and their children Ayla, Kash, and Marlee; The “Aunt Pile”—Joanne, Myrtle, Ellen (Nonie), Kathleen (Kay), and Karen (Butchie) and brother Jim and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bud, a brother, Pat, her son-in-law Wayne Kurtz, a granddaughter Theresa Ann Kostrba, and a great granddaughter, Ella Grace Brown.
She will be greatly missed by all of her family.