On May 21, 1941 in Conrad, MT, Frank and Elsie Krattiger welcomes their fourth child and only girl, Arla, to their family. The Krattigers lived and raised their children in Valier, MT. When Arla was a young child, her father passed away and the task of raising the children was left up to her mother. However, with three older brothers, it was like having three dads for her. Can you imagine? Having three dads watching every move you made! But what a great feeling thar must have been to know they always had your back. A blessing and a pain at the same time.
Shortly after graduating high school, Arla married Theodore (Ted) Thompson on September 28, 1959. They lived in Valier for a short time, then moved to Great Falls. In 1962, they started their family and would eventually have three children. Arla worked hard at raising her children and working outside the home. While living in Great Falls, she began working at the Barrel Café as a waitress with her mother, who was the cook there. Around 1967, they moved to Galata, MT. There, she worked delivering mail on a rural route for 11 years and drove school bus as well. No matter the weather conditions, she was determined to deliver your mail and your children safely. In addition to this, she would occasionally work at the general store. As if that wasn’t enough, she would grow a big garden every year and spend many hours canning and getting ready for winter. In 1980, they moved to Belt, MT, where they would eventually open their own business. There, Arla did the books and worked at the front desk until they sold the business. She drove the senior citizens bus as well, and eventually went on to work at the Great Falls Public Library in 1996. There, she drove the book mobile and worked in the library until she retired in 2006 to take care of her husband, who was fighting cancer.
Her passions were gardening, reading, and cooking. Reading and cooking were probably the most favorite of the three. She was always on the hunt for a new book to read or cookbook to try a new recipe. Working at the library gave her the opportunity to read and collect many, many, many books and cookbooks – we’re still finding boxes of books she had stored. When she could no longer read, she would watch every cooking show she could and the ones she couldn’t, she recorded, even though she really couldn’t cook due to her health. It was just something she loved.
Arla loved her family dearly. She had a big heart and a generous soul. She was always there for you no matter what you needed. If you needed a shoulder to cry on, vent, or just wanted someone to talk to, she was always there and would help any way she could.
Arla went on to live with her heavenly Father December 12, 2021, with family by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband Ted, of 50 years, her father, mother, stepfather Melvin Steen, and her brother Ron. She is survived by brothers Bob and Larry (Cheryl) Krattiger, children LeAnne Hansen (Jerry), Fred Thompson (Suzie), Charlotte Carpenter (Estrada), 6 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and adopted in spirit daughter Patty Doty, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She will be forever moved and missed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arla Marie Thompson, please visit our floral store.