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1923 Anita 2023

Anita Ames

April 8, 1923 — March 14, 2023

Anita passed away peacefully on March 14, 2023 at the Madison Valley Medical Center Hospital with her daughters by her side. 

Anita was born April 8th, 1923 in Stanwood, Washington to Bror and Hulda Gustafson. Her folks immigrated to America from Sweden in the early 1900’s. Anita was fortunate to travel to Sweden in 1995, with her daughter Marie and granddaughter Danette and again in 2000 with her daughter Marie to see where her Mother and Father grew up. She also met many relatives and had a wonderful time.

In 1924, the Gustafson family moved to Montana. Anita and her two brothers went to a rural school through the 8th grade. Anita received her GED through the mail from American School of Chicago.

In 1945, Anita married Henry Gates in Columbus, MT. They had 3 children-David and twins, Marie and Mary. They moved to Cameron, MT in 1961.

Anita loved working on various ranches, where they lived; (McKnight Ranch 1957 to 1961, Carkeek Ranch 1961 to 1971 and Wellman Ranch 1971 to 1990). She always milked cows providing many families with milk and cream. She worked 20 years for Cyprus Talc Mine sorting talc and later as the janitor. She and Henry divorced in 1972.

On July 14, 1990, she married Ken Ames and lived in the Ennis Area for the remainder of her life. Ken and Anita drove to Alaska in a 1952 Dodge van to visit Ken’s daughter, Barbra and husband David. It was a great trip of salmon fishing and touring the beautiful state of Alaska. They also took many scenic trips to Idaho to visit Ken’s relatives. Ken passed away on October 26, 2000.

Anita joined the Senior Companion Program in 2002 and for 16 years helped many seniors in need. She loved helping people. She loved her family, friends and animals, and delighted in horseback riding, bowling, dancing, cards and games. Anita won the Senior Ladies State Championship Tournament in Dillon in 2003 qualifying her to participate in the WIBC Senior Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada in June of 2004. Marie, Mary, Barbara and David Garcia joined her and watched as she took 6th place. She continued playing scrabble at the hospital until shortly before she passed. Life to her was doing whatever was to be done around her. She planted gardens and canned vegetables, fruits, fish and wild game for winter meals.

She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Jeffers and sang in the choir many years. She was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Virginia City, MT. While in Columbus, she was a member of Eastern Star, American Lutheran Church, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group Leader and Girl Scout Leader.

Anita was preceded in death by parents Bror and Hulda Gustafson, son David Gates, brothers John and Joe Gustafson, husband Kenneth Ames, grandson Brad Gates, niece Jodee Gustafson, step-daughter Marilyn Barney (Lee Barney) and step grandson, Russ Barney.

Survivors include daughter-in- law Terry Gates of Ennis, and David’s children Carl (Lael) Parker of Billings, Mark Gates of Ennis, Janet Moen of Alder; daughter Marie Reinoehl of Enderln, ND and daughters Danette Gruba (Kurt) of Enderlin, ND and Kristy Wright (Jason) of Miles City; daughter Mary Oliver of Ennis and daughter Bobbie (Eli) Cuehlo of Manhattan and son, Brent (Mariah) Oliver of Ennis; step-daughter Barbra (David) Garcia of Homer AL, and sons Neil (Jeanie) Logan of West Valley, UT and Robert (Heather) Logan of Lehi, UT; and step-granddaughter Jennifer Barney of Sammamish, WA. Anita has 35 great-grandchildren and 11 great great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held to honor Anita on her 100th Birthday at 11 AM, April 8, 2023 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Jeffers, MT. 

A reception will follow. Anita’s wish is for no flowers, except one rose. 

Donations may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation, Bear Creek School or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anita Ames, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 8, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Trinity Episcopal Church

93 Jeffers Road, Ennis, MT 59729

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