Barbara Lois Perry Rumford, 100, passed away in the comfort of her home on Monday, May 11, 2020. Barbara was born on May 21, 1919, to Clifford and Olga (Thorson) Perry at the Deaconess Hospital on 6th Avenue North in Great Falls, Montana.
As a young child in Clancy, MT, Barbara had the opportunity to bestow President Warren Hardy’s wife a bouquet of flowers.
While in high school, Barbara worked as an usher at the Liberty Theater located on Central Avenue. Barbara graduated from Great Falls High School in the class of 1937.
After high school, Barbara attended Kinman Business College in Spokane, WA. In 1942, Barbara married Frank Stafford, a high school track star from Great Falls High School who later attended the University of Wisconsin on a track scholarship. Frank and Barbara had a daughter (Leslie Doris) in 1944 and while on a mission on September 12, 1944, the B-17 in which Frank served as a bombardier, was shot down over Germany and he perished.
After Frank’s passing, Barbara returned to Montana where she found employment with William R. Davis who owned an insurance agency, the Nash Auto dealership and a jewelry store.
Barbara married Clifford Rumford in 1948 and she later went to work for her father-in-law SC Rumford who owned the Great Falls Sporting Goods. Together with family members, Clifford and Barbara managed Great Falls Sporting Goods which was located on Central Avenue.
During their marriage, Clifford and Barbara enjoyed the Montana great outdoors. Barbara was not a novice at fly fishing and enjoyed bird hunting as well as big game hunting. Barbara twice crossed the Great Divide – once exiting at Essex and the next time at Hungry Horse.
Barbara and Clifford enjoyed downhill skiing at Showdown Ski Area (formerly Kings Hill) as well as exploring ski areas across the United States while on buying trips for the GFSG.
In 1983, Barbara and Clifford relocated to their property on the Missouri River outside of Cascade, MT.
During her career and retirement, Barbara was active in her community. She was a member of the Business Women’s Association for 25 years, Credit Breakfast Club for 25 years, a member of Zanta, the Order of the Eastern Star and American Women’s Dearborn Garden Club for 36 years. Barbara was also a member of the Cascade United Methodist Church.
Barbara’s daughter, Leslie, cared for her mother the past 11 years and they enjoyed gardening, bird watching and taking care of their property together.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Doris Skelton; first husband, Frank Stafford; second husband, Clifford Rumford; and niece, Sandi Antonich.
Barbara is survived by her daughter, Leslie Stafford; brother-in-law, George Stafford; niece, Nina Barfuss (Dell); nephew, Dewey Skelton (Rosana); niece, Nancy Bennani; and many nieces and nephews, including two great, great, great nieces.
Due to COVID-19, a funeral will not be held.
Donations can be sent in Barbara’s memory to the Dearborn Garden Club at P.O. Box 262, Cascade, MT 59421.
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