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Sally Cooper BerntsenSeptember 5, 1928 ~ November 4, 2017 (age 89)
Sally Cooper Berntsen, 89, of Great Falls, passed away surrounded by her family on Saturday, November 4, 2017 of natural causes. A Celebration of Life will be held for her Saturday evening, November 11, 5:00 pm at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2900 9th Ave. S, in Great Falls.
Sally was born in Great Falls on September 5, 1928 to Edger and Marjorie Cooper. She graduated from Great Falls High in 1946. While in high school, Sally became very active in music. After graduating, she attended the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan for four summers. Sally attended the University of Montana and received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Washington.
In April 1952 she married Dean W. Berntsen and together their lives would be blessed by having two children, Dean and Kristine. While in Seattle, Sally worked in radio and television at KOMO. When Dean and Sally later divorced, she returned to Great Falls and attended the College of Great Falls where she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education. She taught third grade at Collins School in the Smelter Community of Black Eagle, and Chief Joseph Elementary until she retired in 1990.
Sally enjoyed family, friends and travel as well as singing with the church and symphonic choirs. She was a coloratura soprano that could hit and be able to hold the high D long enough to make the neighbor’s dogs howl from two houses away and would cause her kids to jump on their bikes and ride away. They obviously did not appreciate her tremendous talent. She also performed opera in Michigan, Chicago, and Seattle.
Very active in the community, Sally served as docent at Paris Gibson Square, was a member of the CM Russell Museum as well as the Retired Teachers Association. She enjoyed spending her time with the Red Hats, the Out to Lunch Bunch, Tuesday Bunco, and the Friendship Force.
She is survived by her son, Dean (Teri) Berntsen; daughter, Kristine Berntsen; grandsons, Carl and Casey; granddaughter, Jacquelyn and husband Ben; great-grandson, Braedon, as well as many much-loved nieces and nephews.
Sally was proceeded in death by her siblings, Nancy, Buddy, David and Bob as well as great-grandson, Grayson.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cascade County Meals on Wheels, 1620 12th Ave N., Great Falls, Mt 59401.