Ruth was the first child born to Donald A. and Beulah H. Bundy, born in Billings, Mont., on April 1, 1929. She was later joined by two siblings, Geraldine and Donald H.
She grew up on Dryland out of Nibbe and Worden, attending elementary and secondary schools in Worden (now Huntley Project), graduating with class of 1946. She attended Eastern College (Billings) for 2 years – studying music education.
On April 26, 1948, she married John A. Lechner. They lived in Pompeys Pillar before moving to the ¬OK Ranch, east of Shawmut, Mont., where they raised four children: Jacqueline (Jackie) A. Klasna, Donald J.(Buster) Lechner, Carolyn J.(Kelly) Swenson, and Ronald J. Lechner (and LOTS of livestock!)
In 1969, they moved up to a ranch on the Yellowstone River, near Savage, Mont. When they gave up ranching, they moved to their dream home, south of Columbus where they remained and enjoyed time to travel a bit in their motor home until John’s death in 1980.
She later married Curly Weinfurter whose daughter, Charlotte, was embraced by her, though sadly she lost him only three years later.
Ruth was an accomplished seamstress, pianist (and piano instructor) and organist for any/all of the churches she attended over the last 65 years. Her musical ability has spread through the next two generations, resulting in many talented musicians. When leading and encouraging 4-H students, she also supervised the domestic department at the county fair in Harlowton.
She also loved going to community dances of all kinds, especially square dancing, and was involved in the Cursillo (weekend spiritual retreats). Ruth held various offices in the Shawmut Community Club, taught many women how to knit and was an extraordinary chauffeur for not only her kids’ events, but later transporting many elderly and disabled to and from their doctor appointments and on errands. Her last five years of life were spent in her apartment, graciously provided by daughter Jackie and husband in their home.
This classy lady passed into the arms of Jesus at 2:30 a.m. of March 3, 2018, due to complications from lung disease and Leukemia. She was preceded in death by parents, both husbands, her brother and one grandson.
She is survived by many friends and her children, Jackie and Jon Klasna (Gordon, Gerri and Becky), Buster and Vicky Lechner (Kathy and Donna), Kelly and John Swenson (Joe and Sadie), Ron and Laura Lechner (Amy, Jarom”Sophia”, Mark, Ben, Ammon, Maria, Michael, Melissa, Daniel, Samuel, Aaron, Katherine); stepdaughter Charlotte and Henry Dunwald (Dustin, Chad, Amanda), 25 grandchildren, 35.5 great-grand children, and one (the .5) great-great grands! She also is survived by her sister, Gerry Kimpton and the following nieces and nephews (and their children): Bob Kimpton, Brian Kimpton, John (Wendy) Kimpton, Treva (Fred) Lind and Donna (Patrick) Pender; as well as 32 nieces and nephews in the Lechner families their remaining parents: Beverly, Charles and Ruth, Kate, and Ted and Patty Lechner.
The funeral will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal at 110 N. 33rd St. in Billings on Saturday, March 10, at 11 a.m. Viewing of body will be at Smiths Funeral Home at 315 E. 3rd St. in Laurel, on Friday, March 9, 2018, from noon to 7 p.m.
Condolences may also be left at Smiths Facebook page: SmithfuneralchapelofLaurelandColumbus. The internment will be at Pleaseantview cemetery in Ballantine.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, can be sent to one of her favorite charities: AmaniCare for Africa (Tanzania)/Billings office at 100 North 27th Street, Suite 305, Billings MT 59101 (www.amanitrust.homestead.com) OR Laurel Health and ReHab (for diagnostic equipment)/ 820 3rd St W/Laurel, MT 59044