Grace Ida Houghton “Amazing Grace”, 89, passed away gracefully on September 19th, 2021 at her home in Great Falls, MT. Cremation has been entrusted to Croxford Funeral Home and a private family celebration will take place on a later date.
Born on March 10th, 1932, Grace was one of the six children born to Ben and Caroline (Hess) Kolstad. Delivered by her father, as were all the siblings on their homestead near Tampico, MT.
Grace attended school at the Billingsley school until it was closed. She had fond memories of saluting the flag everyday and said, “We really respected our flag and country back then.” After the Billingsley school closed Grace stayed at her teacher’s house, she cleaned the house and did her studies until she was prepared to test for high school. Grace recollected that she was probably the naughtiest kid in school because they never could figure out who painted the doorknobs; She didn’t know why she and her dog Jack did it either. She always felt like the “teacher’s pet” regarding art class, she was a very artistic and gifted student. Grace loved that she could do anything she wanted in art class and still get straight A’s. Grace went on to attend Glasgow High School but decided not to finish her studies as employment was more important in those days.
Grace worked at the Theater, prior to the building burning down and the Tasty Freeze while she also worked on the Homestead. During this time, Grace practiced taxidermy and as a joke, she created the “Jackalope”. She used antelope antlers, elongated the snout (to appear more like an antelope) and a jack rabbit hide with ears and all. While she was employed at the Ebert’s Curio Shop, she gave them the jackalope to display, which caused quite a stir amongst the sportsmen. She always called the “Jackalopes” that came along after her original piece, “Deerjacks”, due to having deer antlers and a rabbit face.
Grace married Frank Rogers in 1958 and the couple moved to Great Falls, MT; where she would spend the rest of her days. Grace and Frank had five children together; Charles, Nels, Tami, Tina and Jimmy. She always continued working, sometimes working multiple jobs at once; taxidermy from home, ironing and house cleaning while Frank was on the road. Even though she worked a lot, Grace always had time to help friends in need. She was always present with homemade meals when friends and family needed rest or fellowship.
Frank and Grace later divorced, and Grace did remarry one more time; having her sixth child Ida Lee. She brought up all her children being an example of strength and perseverance. She was also an example of dignified humility. Family was everything to Grace and she loved her children to no end. Even after her early retirement due to disability, she still gave her all. She pulled tabs for the Ronald McDonald house and donated thousands upon thousands of tabs for community service.
She was loved by all that were blessed to see her playful smile. Hearts broke across the world the day she passed. Grace touched many lives and her memories will live on and continue to bring forth smiles.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Bennie, Johnny and George Kolstad; who have been awaiting her arrival on the other side.
She is survived by her children; Charles (Suzanne) Rogers, Nels (Rochelle) Houghton, Tami (David) Vaughan, Tina Rogers, Jim (Krystina) Kolstad and Ida Houghton, along with her 19 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her two sisters Betty Halden and Sylvia Thomas.