HARLEM-Rose Louise Stuart, 90 years young, passed away on Friday, February 23rd at Benefis Peace Hospice Great Falls.

She had fallen in her home on February 6th late evening, broke her right femur, and survived the Mercy Flight, operation and initial recovery, but her body was too frail. On February 16th she entered Peace Hospice to a beautiful room, smiled, ordered oatmeal and rested, but soon began her final journey to the God she loved and served all her life. Her son and extended family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of Peace Hospice for the care and comfort provided to her and making her final journey one of peace and minimal pain.

Rose was born on May 7th, 1927 in a small one room shack west of Dodson, to Catherine (Snell) and Irwin Burtch. She was the middle child. Rose’s youthful days were spent on the family ranch next to the Weigand Reservoir, enjoying horses, cattle, chickens, playing with her brother Boyd and sister Laura, and riding the horse drawn wagon to get water from a local spring. Rose was one of the last children to attend the Fort Belknap Boarding School before it closed, attended Harlem Grade School where she said Clarence Olson (Olson Ford) was the cutest boy in her 3rd grade class. She graduated from Chinook High School in 1946.

Rose moved to Havre, began working at Valley Motor where she met her future husband Bill Stuart. They married in 1951 and their son Douglas was born in 1952. They started farming in 1960 on the land she spent her youthful years. She moved to the farm with her son and mother the fall of 1964. Beginning with 248 acres of her mother’s land, Rose eventually controlled 30,000 acres in 1984. She faced the subsequent farm credit crises, extended drought, multi-million dollar restructure and business reversals with Grace and a quiet confidence. Not known to many is that while her son was often the face of the business, she was involved in every major decision.

At her 90th birthday party, a grand event of music, photos, prime rib and 100 friends and family, she asked her son to describe her life as one of grit, gumption and the Grace of God. Her son added, with humor, damn good lawyers. A life that began in poverty; obtained material wealth; returned to near poverty; and then rebuilt in new directions; was best summed up by herself in her last days; “I am prepared to die. I have served the Lord. It is God’s plan”.

Rose is survived by her son Douglas of Harlem; adopted son Rohit Saksena, NH; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill Stuart (2004); her parents Catherine and Irwin Burtch; her brother Boyd Burtch; her nephew Greg Ditmar; sister, Laura Ditmar Barrett.

Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 3, at the Harlem High School. Viewing will start at 10:00 A.M., before the services. Interment will be in the Harlem Cemetery. Condolences for the family maybe left at www.kirkwoodfuneralhome.com.



Guest Book


From: Linda Johnson

Douglas, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I never met her but I sure framed a lot of pictures of her.


From: Jim and Dee Shettel

We are sorry for your loss dear family. Know our thoughts are with you.


From: Leta and Swede Cole

Your Mom was a beautiful,graceful lady, she will be missed. Thank you Douglas for giving her loving care.

Rest in Paradise Rose.


From: Michaelyn Stuart

Rose was a special lady and one who will be remembered long after she passes. Even though I haven't seen Rose for many years she has always a year held a special place in my heart. Condolences from Michaelyn, Michael, Marie,


From: Kim Springer

I wanted to send my condolences to Rose's family and to Doug. Rose always made me smile when she came shopping with you, Doug, at Herbergers. She was always such a gracious lady and so sweet to visit with. Doug you were always so caring and at her elbow like gentleman and loving son. She was always so appreciative with a beautiful lipstick, just as true with Estee Lauder herself. I am so blessed to have known her.


From: Tammy Doney

Douglas , my deepest sympathy, I know you're mother was you're world and rightly so. I just want to share a story with you about the wonderful lady that i knew. I worked at Albertsons a few years back and Mrs. Stuart came in to buy a few things, as I was ringing up her purchases I complimented her on a necklace she was wearing. She told me it was made of magnetic beads, and that they were good for arthritis. I told her I had read somewhere about them and wondered if they worked, she took off her necklace and gave it to me. I told her I couldn't take it but she insisted. I was very touched by her generosity. She was truly a wonderful, kind person. May God comfort you and be with you.


From: Bill & Kathy Baker

We are thinking of you Doug . You can always be proud that you showed your beautiful mother so much love and saw to her every need. We miss the days at the deli with you and Rose, visiting as we discussed the days events. Some days more exciting than others. She will be remembered as a gracious and kind lady. We hope her memory brings you comfort.. With Sincere condolences. Bill & Kathy


From: Jim and Dee Shettel

We are sorry for your loss dear family. Know our thoughts are with you.


From: Mary Pyette

Hi Doug,
I was so sorry to hear about your mom. She graduated with my husband Willie. She was a wonderful lady.


From: Thomas Plumage

Had the privilege in meeting this lady back 2017 during Milk River Indian Days Pow Wow. During the planning of my late Uncle Benny Bear's Dance Special. Such a sweet and tender lady, in the Lord. Onward, to heaven Rose.


From: Georgette Shawl-Cole

I'm very sorry for your loss Doug, she was a kind soul, i remember you two always being together. Your mamma loved you. My prayers and deepest sympathy to you and you're family.


From: Cynthia Gone

To my relative, Doug & extended family on the Snell side. I share your grief & sorrow for Rose. She was always so kind & gentle. My prayers are with you at these hard times.


From: Gail Rader

So very sorry, Doug about your Mother. Know it is a huge tragedy for you. She was a lovely lady & know she will be missed. My best to you -- Gail Rader


From: Cindy Carrywater

Rose was a wonderful lady, she was kind to every one. I liked her laugh whenever I got to see her. She was good to me when I was high school and had a summer job at the hospital. God Bless you.


From: Robin Walker

My deepest condolences to you for you loss!! I'll miss seeing her smiling face and her wonderful cheer in life!! Some of the best times I've had was visiting with her!! Love and prayers go out to all who loved her!!


From: Will Luft

Doug- Sorry for your loss. I worked with Rose at IHS back in the early 70's. She was always a joy to visit with and a nice person. RIP






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