Mary passed away on June 1, 2023 surrounded by her loving family. A Celebration of Life will be held in her honor on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 1PM in the Faith Lutheran Church of Great Falls. There will be a reception at Faith following the service and a graveside to at Highland directly after.
Mary was born September 24, 1926 in Tampa, Florida to Tony and Rose Scaglione. She was raised in Tampa and loved the beaches and sunshine of her childhood. It was there that she met John Watne while he was stationed at MacDill, AFB in preparation for his service as a pilot in WWII. They married on November 20, 1944 in Tampa, FL before he left for Europe, and Mary lived in Great Falls, MT with his family while he was overseas. After the war, they lived in Florida again for several years before returning to Great Falls, MT. With her husband John, she owned and operated the Mary Watne Center where she sold Shaklee products including supplements, health bars, shakes, cosmetics and cleaning supplies. They were married 57 years until John’s death in April 2002. On May 29, 2004 she married Joseph A. Hocevar in Great Falls, MT. They were married 18 years until his death in February 2023. Mary resided in Great Falls until March of this year, when she moved to Billings, MT to be close to her daughter Chris, who cared for her in her final few months.
Mary was a devoted wife and loving mother to their four children, and was focused on raising their family. She enjoyed participating in their school’s PTA and was a very involved mother. In 1968, she began working as a part time teacher’s aide, and then also as Secretary of Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
The church was a huge part of Mary’s life. She was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church, was the president of the woman’s council, and the first woman to serve on the Church Building Committee, which constructed the new portion of Faith Lutheran in Great Falls. She also served as president of the Deaconess Hospital Guild. Mary loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and with her husband John was proud to raise her family in the Lutheran faith. Her favorite scripture was Psalm 23 – the Psalm of David, and her favorite prayer was The Lord’s Prayer.
When the children were young she liked to sew, have coffee with the neighborhood moms, and attend children’s activities and sports. She enjoyed serving at the church, attending Bible Study groups including BSF until her mid-eighties. She liked playing pinochle with friends and family. She kept a garden of flowers and vegetables for many years. She loved dancing at the Elk's and Eagles with husband John and later with husband Joe. Her passion was spending as much time with her beloved family as possible, and would often express how much her family meant to her.
Mary took great pride in being an immaculate housekeeper and was so proud of her lovely home. She loved to cook and to bake, and Mary’s Italian family spaghetti sauce, lasagna, chocolate cake with fudge frosting and Christmas cookies could not be topped. Her cooking was beloved by four generations of her family. She loved flowers, especially roses. Mary was a beautiful lady who could be feisty, but was always caring, forgiving, kind and compassionate. She loved to have fun and find joy, and she had the most amazing, infectious laugh.
Mary is survived by her sons, Ronald Watne and Richard Watne, both from Missoula, MT; her daughters, Carolyn (Jim) Carver of Malta, MT, and Christine (Michael) Stanish of Billings, MT; her step daughters, Judy Twedt of Great Falls, MT and Marcia Hocevar of Denver, CO; and her grand and great grandchildren, Casey (Shelley) Carver, of Manhattan, KS - Robby & Carys; Todd (Bobbie) Carver of Butte, MT - Payton, Addison & Haley; Stormy (Lichelle) Watne of Salt Lake City, UT- Emmett; Merilee Watne of Missoula, MT - Juniper & Cedar; Kim Watne of Mount Toursville, PA - Danae & Daven; Wally Watne of Missoula, MT - Kayle & Owen; Jonathan (Lauren) Stanish of New Fairfield, CT; Jordan Stanish of Billings, MT; Jenna (Shawn) Koble of Missoula, MT -Sierah & Wyatt; Alex (Mitchell) Umland of Missoula, MT.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rose and Tony Scaglione; her husband, John Watne; second husband, Joseph Hocevar; her brother, Tony (Nadine) Scaglione; her sister, Josie (Henry) Tipping; her daughter, Baby Watne; her niece, Lorine Tipping; and her step sons in law, Wayne Lucky and Bill Twedt.
In Lieu of flowers, please make your donation to the Faith Lutheran Church on 1300 Ferguson Drive, Great Falls, MT 59404.