MALTA- Bessie Mae Waters, at 102 was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2018 with her family and friends at her side. Everyone was with her in spirit. She passed away at the Hi-Line Care Center in Malta, MT. She was born on September 8, 1916 in Pea Ridge, AR the daughter of Floyd Richard and Bessie May (Shores) Blevins.

She attended schools in Arkansas, Nebraska and Montana. The family arrived in Montana in 1927. Upon arriving in Montana, the family settled in the Sun Prairie Community south of Malta. She attended schools in Sun Prairie riding on a horse until the 8th grade, with her brothers on the horse with her. She then went into Malta and lived with several families through her high school years, graduating in 1935. She met William S. “Bill” Waters and they were married on June 29, 1935 in Glasgow, MT. They welcomed three daughters, Wilma, Beverly and Sheila. They settled on the family homestead, (his father homesteaded there in 1913) where they farmed with his parents.

They moved to Alberton, MT where they lived for several years before relocating to Zortman and then to Malta, where they lived their remaining years. They enjoyed being involved in the lives of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She attended many of their activities, graduations and weddings.

She was the family historian and relayed many stories of our ancestors.

Bessie Mae was very active in The Little White Church and had been a member since she was in high school. She was a longtime Sunday School Teacher. She was also a lifetime member of the Order of Eastern Star and was a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution.

After 61 years of marriage, Bill preceded her in death on her 80th birthday. She was very proud of the fact that she was able to remain in her home, maintain the family farm and remain active her whole life through.

She is preceded in death by her husband William S. Waters, her grandson Kirk W. Wilson, her parents and her siblings, Davis Blevins, Gladys Stratton and Homer and John Blevins (twins) as well as many dear friends.

She is survived by her three daughters, Wilma and Jerry Cleaver of Belton, TX; Beverly and Richard Wilson of Kalispell, MT and Sheila and Dennis Nybo of Richland, WA; 7 grandchildren, Mark Cleaver, Scott Wilson, Mike Wilson, Dan Wilson, Jill Harris, Tod Nybo and Tonia Kostorowski; 10 great- grandchildren, Kyle and Zach Nybo and Madison Salazar, Jayci Purvis, Callie Givens, Liv Wilson, Erin King, Warren Cleaver, Samantha Person and Kaitlin, Ben and Maeghan Kostorowski and one great-great-grandson Anderson Givens as well as numerous nieces, nephews and many lifelong friends.

There will be a visitation for Bessie Mae on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Kirkwood Funeral Home in Malta. The Funeral service will be on Friday, December 28, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Malta Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Little White Church or to the Phillips County Historical Society. Condolences for the family maybe left at

Guest Book

From: Donna Dyrdahl

My deepest sympathy. Bessie Mae was such a neat lady and I always looked forward to her Christmas letters. Her penmanship was beautiful. God Bless!

From: Sharon A Kindle

Bessie Mae,
You had a wonderful full life, made so many friends in your lifetime.
Bless your families as they come to celebrate your life.

From: Cathy Lane

Beverly and Dick, Thinking of you during this time. After talking to you while you were caroling in the neighborhood last week, you expressed that your Mom was nearing death at that time. She lived a long and productive life, but that doesn't take away the pain of losing her. The memories will remain and will be a blessing to you. I remember the time you rode to Malta with me Beverly, and stayed in your Mom's home. She was so gracious and a joy to spend a little time with. My prayers are with you. Cathy Lane



From: Lana M Fortin

I am sorry to have missed Bessie Mae's funeral. She is
One of the great people that I was privileged to know and love.
Hugs and prayers to you and yours.

From: Gaelen Curtis

I bid a fond farewell to my dearest Bessie Mae. She has been such an important woman in my life in Malta & The Order of Eastern Star since 1972. I will miss being able to talk to her on the phone since I’ve moved away. She was my “guide-on” in Eastern Star life & now into the next “phase” of life’s final journey.
My sincere sympathies to the family. My heart goes out to you over your loss. God Bless.

From: Peggy Pings

Bev, Dick and Families,
We were saddened to hear the news about Bessie Mae death. I wished we could have been there but we were in Idaho at the time.
What a wonderful life she had, I can remember as a child the many trips to Malta with my parents to see your Mom and Dad. Listening to them reminisce about their younger years. As the years passed your mom was the only one remaining. I loved to visit with her and listen to her stories of younger years. What a great lady she was! I wished I had been able to spend more time with her. With sincere sympathy to her family. Vince & Peggy Pings

From: Marsha Brandl Held

I lived in Malta many years ago and have such wonderful memories of stopping by Bessie Mae's house to visit you, Sheila. Your mom was such a warm person and always made me feel welcome. I still think of you and remember fun times at school and at your home. My deepest condolences to you and Dennis.

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