Funeral services will be held Thursday, Jan. 3rd at First Congregational Church in Mtn. Home at 10:30 a.m. Viewing for friends and family will be Wed, Jan 2nd, at Rost Funeral Home/McMurtrey Chapel in Mtn. Home from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Cremation will follow the services and a summer of 2008 burial will take place in the family plot in Great Falls, MT.
Dolly had knee replacement surgery on November 26th and a massive heart attack four days later. Her courage & tenacity over the next 30 days were testimony to her strong desire to live on for her family, but the odds were too great to overcome.
Dolly was born "Orel Montana Olson" to O.K. Olson & Jessie Phoebe Gilstad Olson of Box Elder, Montana, on April 17, 1918, on the very ¼ section of ground that her mother had raced on horseback to claim 2 years earlier. The homestead in her beloved state of Montana grew from 160 acres to 3,000 acres and remains in the family today. She was an only child but was blessed by 32 first cousins and the ability to get along with all of them. She had a huge love for animals and the ability to nurse any wounded creature back to health.
She had an enchanted childhood…a father with a wonderful sense of humor, and a mother who welcomed guests to their home with food to share even when times were tough. The drought of 1923 forced them to pack up two wagons and look for work in Canada, but they returned to the homestead 2 years later with only one trunk and $17.00. Things were no better up North.
O.K. Olson was one of the few who had not taken out bankruptcy when he left for Canada, so when he returned, the local grocer was willing to grubstake him for the summer. When the wheat crops came in, they were able to pay back everything as promised and bought the neighboring farm with its large barn and tiny 2-room house.
Dolly started school at age 8, and through the years she was able to skip a couple grades to graduate at the normal age of 18. Some winters they lived in the small town of Hingham 27 miles away where her father dug basements for $1.00 a day. Other winters were spent in Wisconsin to help her ailing Grandma Gilstad, and during 5th grade she lived with the teacher 9 miles away from the homestead. Her father walked 3 miles to borrow a sled from neighbors, and then he came the other 9 miles to get her for Christmas vacation. She said that was her best vacation ever, as her father wasn't able to get her back to school until mid March.
She graduated from Beauty School at 19. After having her own shop for a short while in Great Falls, she started commercial college. It was then that she met Frank Sherer in the local Safeway store where her parents stocked up on winter supplies. Two years later they were married on June 2nd, 1940, (Frank's 24th birthday).
They moved with Dolly's one-room trailer to Bozeman where Frank graduated from radio tech school with plans to join the Air Force. Back problems changed those plans, and he joined his father-in-law to work on the farm 90 miles north of Great Falls.
Throughout his life Frank and Dolly were successful entrepreneurs, from their own farm in Rudyard in 1947 to their to their clothing store in Fairfield, Montana, and then to the purchase of the Hub Clothiers in Mtn. Home in 1953 when it was just a tiny store next to the old Post Office on Main Street. In 1960 they took on the duties of farming once again in Box Elder, MT, with the death of Dolly's father, but they continued to grow and expand the store in Mountain Home. In 1964 they built their new store on N. 2nd E. and operated a successful clothing and shoe business in Mtn. Home with the help of their family and dedicated employees for 48 years.
Frank suffered a severe stroke in 1996, but with the help of loving care-givers, Dolly felt fortunate that she was able to bring him home to care for him during the last 8 years of his life until June 1, 2004, one day before their 64th Anniversary.
Dolly loved her life and the comradeship of the community in Mtn. Home. She created a network of telephone friends these past several years, when her knees made it more painful to get around, and she touched many lives with her daily calls of encouragement, her clever wit, and her many stories. She kept her sharp memory, her spunk, and her sense of humor to the end, and we know she is walking in heaven with Frank and without pain.
She is survived by, three children: Roger, of Box Elder, Mt, Suzanne (Mrs. Dewey) Roberts, of Mountain Home, Sallie (Mrs. Joseph) Thibodeaux, of Palm City, FL; her brother-in-law, Frederick (& Anna) Sherer of Great falls, MT seven grandchildren: Brady (& Tisha) Roberts, Tyler Roberts, Dillon Roberts & Jessica Sherer all of Boise, Kristin Sherer of California; Melissa & Ryan Thibodeaux of Florida; and three great-grandchildren: Lee Shaw, Emi Roberts, & Branden Jenkins all of Boise. She is preceded in death by her mother and father and by her husband, Frank.
Donations can be made to the Mtn. Home BPOE Elks Lodge #2276 (325 S. 3rd W. -- Mtn. Home, Id 83647) where Dolly was a charter member of the Elkettes, and efforts are underway to rebuild the lodge that recently burned.