Beverly jean (Sainsbury) Hamel

Born: Thu., May 4, 1933
Died: Wed., May 15, 2013


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., May 17, 2013
Location: Foster Funeral Home & Crematory

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., May 18, 2013
Location: St. Ignatius Ward Latter Day Saints

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Beverly Jean Sainsbury Hamel

On Wednesday May 15th, Beverly Jean Hamel peacefully passed to the arms of her Heavenly Father after several years of deteriorating health; she was 80.
Beverly was born in Rexburg, Idaho on May 4th, 1933, the same day the famed white buffalo bull calf, Big Medicine, was born on the National Bison Range – something she was always took special pride in.
Beverly grew up during the Great Depression, her parents Willard and Edna Sainsbury moved the family from Idaho to Oregon and then to Washington in search of work.  Her 5th birthday was spent on a ship, her family moving again; they spent a short time in Juneau, Alaska then went onto Anchorage where the family settled and prospered, deciding only to leave Alaska to avoid the growing military tensions during World War II.
They then moved the Mission Valley where they purchased a small farm near McDonald Lake and her life as a Montanan began.  Her childhood days were spent working on the farm, going to school and traipsing back and forth to McDonald Lake, her favorite place. She was a tom-boy and the Mission Valley was her playground.
She graduated from Mission High School in 1948, and then attended nursing school at Montana State University where she became a Registered Nurse and later a Certified Nurse Anesthetist.  Though she loved doing anesthesiology most of her distinguished 45 year medical career was spent as an Operating Room nurse.  Bev was considered an outstanding health care provider and worked at half dozen hospitals during her career, eventually retiring from Community Hospital in Missoula in the early 1990’s.
She married Jim Grosscurth on October 26, 1952 at the Methodist Church in St. Ignatius, and gave birth to her first son, John, a year later.  He, his wife Terri, her mother Anna and step daughter Elizabeth live in Denver, Colorado.  Her second son, James was born in February 1956; he and his wife Ronna and stepson C.J, live in Boise, Idaho.  She has one grandson, Blaine, who was born in 1976 in Polson and now lives with his wife Katrina in Whitefish.
Over the years the family lived in Henderson, Nevada, Little Rock, Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Las Vegas, Nevada before a divorce in 1985.  
Four years later she married Jerry Hamel from Dixon and returned to Montana where she happily spent the rest of her life.
Beverly loved Montana, the Flathead Reservation and the people of western Montana.  She was an active member of the St. Ignatius Ward of the LDS church, an accomplished genealogist and researcher.  She wrote two historical research books documenting the genealogical records of the people and service men and women of Lake and lower Sanders County.
She served on the Flathead Joint Board of Control for many years and after retiring spent most of her days enjoying her life with Jerry on their ranch in Dixon.  Their lives together flourished and she became close friends with Jerry’s daughter, Traci Vaile who lives in Babb, Montana with her husband Gus and son Ty.  She also has a step daughter, K.J. who has one son, Suede; they live in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
She is survived by two sisters, Donna Webb, from Vacaville, California, Pat Swartzlander, from Henderson, Nevada, and by one brother, Sam Sainsbury of North Las Vegas, Nevada. She will also be missed by her nieces and nephews, Jeffery, Darren and Katie; Cindy, Sandy and Bill.
Beverly loved living in Dixon and using her medical skills caring for livestock and her many cats.  She loved the Indian people and never lost her fascination of the Indian culture, she was openly accepted by the Indian people and was very proud of that.
Hers was a curious mind, always interested in learning and writing about life in the Mission Valley, she grew to become recognized among the most knowledgeable of local historians.  
Beverly was a loving, caring, generous wife, mother, sister and friend; she was a good, productive and honest woman whose high standards always reflected the best of Montana and the LDS church she loved so much.  
Private viewings will be held Friday afternoon at the Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius.  Her funeral will be held the LDS church in St. Ignatius on Saturday May 18th, 2013 at 11:00 AM; she will be buried following a short graveside at the St. Ignatius Cemetery.  A luncheon will be held afterward at the church.  
All are welcome.
Beverly Hamel was a fine Montanan and she will be missed by many.

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Michelle Little Boy
   Posted Sun May 19, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with the Family. I knew Beverly when she was on the Flathead Joint Board because i work for the Flathead Irrigation Project. She was a very nice, friendly and helpful person.

Anita Matt
   Posted Tue May 28, 2013
Jerry and family I am so sorry for your loss. I only talked with Bev on the phone but she always seemed so nice, May God surround you with his loving arms today and always.

jessie Poncin
   Posted Fri July 11, 2014
Oh Dear. It's been over a year now, but, my sister and I just found out about Beverly's passing. We feel so bad. We corresponded for quite awhile. She was married at one time to our cousin James Grosscurth. She told us she was writing some historical books and would send it to us. I want to send our thoughts and prayers to Jerry and his family. She was a gutsy woman. If there is anyway I could buy her 2 books I would love to have them. Bless you!

Nancy Ginder
   Posted Fri July 11, 2014
We were so shocked to find that Beverly passed away over a year ago. She was married to my cousin James Grosscurth at one time and we came to know Bev through him. We were in contact with her through the internet and phone. She wrote about her father-in-law(James' Father) and her mother-in-law. Did so much research on them and had sent us some of her findings. We are so saddened to hear of her passing, and want you all to know you have our sincerest sympathies. Bev was a great gal.

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