Ruth Margaret (McGovern) Fitzgerald

Born: Wed., Sep. 18, 1929
Died: Sat., Dec. 12, 2020


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Ruth Margaret McGovern Fitzgerald

Ruth Margaret McGovern Fitzgerald was born to John McGovern and Alma Walter McGovern on September 18, 1929.

Ruth was raised north of Browning on Lower Freezer Out Ridge. She attended school at the Squaw Flat Day school until the 5th grade, Ruth then went to live with her grandmother Minnie Walter for the winters so she could attend school at Napi school in Browning. Ruth graduated the 8th grade. 

Ruth worked their family ranch with her mom and dad. She may have lived in the country with miles to the next house but she had a life filled with family. Her Uncle John, Aunt Annie and Aunt Edna lived over the hill from their house. She spent time with her many cousins. Her dad said she could ride a horse at the age of 2. She had her own herd of cattle.

On April 3rd, 1947 she married the love of her life John “Elmer” Fitzgerald.  After marrying Elmer they moved to Greeley Colorado so Elmer could work for his uncle. Ruth would return to her ranch to help with haying and caring for cattle from time to time. While in Colorado she became pregnant with her only biological child. Ruth traveled from Colorado to Browning to give birth to her daughter. Zennith Fitzgerald joined the family on March 8th, 1948. Ruth and Zennie returned to Colorado to live for a few more years.

Ruth, Elmer and Zennie moved back to Montana and helped with her parent’s ranch. Elmer’s family came through and said there was work in California. Ruth, Elmer and Zennie packed up and moved to California. The lived in California for a few years. They moved back to Montana and made their home out north on Lower Freeze Out Ridge. 

When Zennie got older they moved to Browning so she could attend school. They lived in a small trailer behind Ruth’s parent’s house. They lived in that trailer until 1966 when they moved into the little white house behind the Gambles Hardware store.

In 1965 Carla joined their family. Ruth and Elmer’s house was always filled with kids, some were Ruth’s cousins and others; Volley Reed, Ken Peterson, Shimmers Cassidy, Herbie Fitzgerald, Crow Fitzgerald, Karen Arcand, Punk Haugen, Archie Fitzgerald and Beaver Arcand to name a few. They still had the ranch. In the summer months Ruth move back out north to help with haying and to care for the animals while Elmer was working construction. In 1967 Jaton joined the family.

Ruth worked for Vic Connelly at the corner grocery store from 1965 to 1969. In 1969 Ruth went to work for Helgensens gas station. She worked there for a while. In 1970 Ruth and Elmer moved from Browning to west of Browning to the old Morgan place. They thought it would be easier to have their cattle there in the winter. They lived there for a little over a year. During the time there Elmer broke his leg in a work accident and Ruth had to do all the chores, raise her family and work full time for Vista. She worked for Vista for quiet a few years.

In 1971 Ruth and Elmer bought their home in Starr School. Where she lived until her death. In 1981 Ruth and Elmer had another addition their family. Kevin “Ervin” Kicking Woman came to live with them. Their home was always open to those that needed a place to stay.

In August of 1988 Ruth lost the love of her life to Cancer. With Elmer gone the ranch had to be taken care of. Ruth continued to ranch and care for cattle and she did her own haying for many years.  During this time her grandson Lydell CalfLooking helped her with her cattle. It was only recently that she was not able to care for her cattle. Ruth continued to live in her home in Starr School.

The last couple of weeks Ruth was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. They took turns caring for her. Ruth took her last breath on December 12, 2020 at 11:40PM. Her daughter Jaton Bullshoe and Granddaughter Notaja Bear Medicine were with her.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents John and Alma McGovern, Husband Elmer Fitzgerald, Grandson Johndell Old Person and Brother-in-law Archie Fitzgerald

Ruth is survived by her children Zennie (Ed) Dubray, Carla (Bill) Potts, Jaton (Virgil) Bullshoe and Ervin (Joni) Kicking Woman, 14 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.

Ruth was loved greatly and will be missed very much.

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