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HELENA-On July 20, Elaine Mendel passed peacefully surrounded by her family.

    The family will receive friends at 5:00 P.M. on Monday, July 31st at the Kirkwood Memorial Chapel. A memorial service to celebrate Elaine’s life will be held at the Kirkwood Funeral Home in Malta, MT on Tuesday, August 1 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Little White Church in Malta (Box 459 Malta MT 59538), the Shriners Hospital for Children (911 W 5th Ave Spokane WA 99204) (or a charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences for the family may be left at

    Born to Lyman and Esther Parsons on August 13, 1931, she was raised in Harlowton Montana. She graduated from Eastern Montana College with a degree in Elementary Education teaching first in Lewistown and then in Helena. There she met the love of her life, Gene Mendel, when she was out bowling with friends. They married on December 28, 1954.

    After working for two years in Helena, the young couple moved to Malta in March of 1956. Elaine taught first grade in Malta and helped Gene with the book work for the county airport that he managed. In 1968 they moved to Great Falls, living and working for five years. Elaine and Gene returned to Malta in 1973 when they purchased the Maltana Motel. The motel was something Elaine took great pride in and she was proud of the reputation it had for cleanliness and being a quiet place to rest. It was also a place where she and Gene taught their daughters the finer points of being in business and excellent customer service.

    In 2004, Elaine and Gene sold the motel and began their retirement. In 2014 they decided to return to Helena where they had begun their life together. Moving into Touchmark they were warmly welcomed and soon felt very at home, making new friends as well as connecting with old ones. Elaine was a voracious reader, loved to knit and crochet, was an excellent cook, loved to attend athletic events that her daughters or grandchildren were involved in (and could be quite vocal), looked forward to the many thousands of hands of bridge she played and was very proud of her five daughters.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, Lyman and Esther, and her sister, Doris Weisner.

    Elaine is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Gene; her five daughters: Donna Hislop (Bob), Susan Davila, Alice Combs, Janet Tatarka (Paul) and Linda Krantz (Ken), ten grandchildren: Cali Hislop, Brady Hislop, James Patrick Graham, Emily Combs, Zachery Combs, Ethan Tatarka, Kathleen Tatarka, Matthew Krantz, Taelyr Krantz, Madison Krantz and two great grandchildren: Reece Graham and Kyndall Graham, her brother Jim Parsons and many nieces and nephews.

Guest Book

From: Debbie Demarais

My condolences to the Mended family. Mrs. Mendel was my first boss. I always enjoyed working for and with her. I was lucky to have someone who taught me the importance of hard work and how to do things maticilously. She always made me laugh telling me I was the only one who could make beds with her "left handed" Thank you Mrs. Mendel and rest peacefully.

From: Jim, Kristy and Nathaniel Fewer

My heart is with you and your family during this time. Much Love and Many heartfelt prayers your way.

From: Anne Boothe

I have many memories of Elaine - first of her catching me sneaking to the basement (and why did we think we needed to sneak?) and then as a very caring community member. Love to all. If you need anything this week, please let me know.

From: Donna Dyrdahl

What a wonderful lady. I enjoyed my visits with Elaine each time that I was back in Malta.

From: Jacki (McEwen) McCarvel

My deepest condolences to the entire Mendel family. Elaine was a special lady and will be missed by MANY. She has touched so many lives...I have many happy memories of being at the Mendel house, laughter, love & lotsa good food ! My thoughts and prayers are with you
~ Comfort NOW, Peace SOON and Memories FOREVER!

Yours in love, Jacki & the McCarvel boyz

From: Jodie Moran

I am so sorry for your loss, I remember your Mom well, one of the most amazing cooks Ive ever known!! all my thoughts and prayers are with you.

From: Linda Lilleboe

I am so sorry for your loss. I have such pleasant memories of the time she spent in Nevada with Gene. She was always so welcoming and shared stories of her family whom she was so proud.

From: Boyd & Esther Ruud

Our most sincere sympathy to all of Elaine's family.

From: Rod and Judy Siring

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family as you say goodbye to your Mother and Grandmother. Hold close to your hearts all the wonderful memories and know that she lives on in all of you. God bless.

From: Joanne Lindon

My sincere sympathy to the Mendel family. Elaine was like a second mother to me, being welcomed there whenever I wanted. My prayers are with you all.

From: Lorri Schafer (Coppedge)

Linda, Just heard of the passing of your mom. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure you enjoyed having her close the last few years. Praying for comfort for your family.


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