Rebecca Louise Shopay, an admired and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend passed away on July 13, 2023 in Dallas,Texas.
Rebecca was born on October 9th, 1945 to Winfred and Esther Newton in San Bernardino California. Rebecca is survived by her husband, David, two sons, Nathan (Leslie) of Seattle and Jonathan (Sarah) of Dallas, and four grandchildren Willa, Everett, Sloane and Cade. She was also close to her four younger siblings, Mary, Kathy, Fred, and Lawrence and their extended families. Rebecca‘s legacy will also live on through her meaningful friends in the Big Sky, Montana and Marco Island, Florida communities.
Rebecca grew up and attended high school in the Houston, Texas area then attended Stephen F Austin University where she earned her BA in biology. She was passionate about teaching and was an academic All-American. Rebecca married David Shopay in 1968. They made their way across the United States until they settled just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She had her first son in 1974 and then her second in 1981. After teaching junior high for several years, Rebecca opened up a fitness studio where she was also instructing classes. Rebecca moved to Miami, Florida, where she and David owned and operated a security guard business together until retiring in 2007 to Marco Island, Florida and Big Sky, Montana.
Rebecca was always eager to help her friends or family and loved to travel while experiencing new worldly adventures. She was known for her fierce desire to exercise and found the love of hiking and pickle ball later in life. A talented chef and piano player, Rebecca shared all these joys with the people she loved, especially her four grandchildren.
Rebecca’s passing is deeply felt by those she shared her life with. She is already deeply missed, but her spirit and voice will live on through the many lives she impacted.
The family will receive friends at Big Sky Chapel on August 5, 2023 at 1:30 PM
In Lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Rebecca‘s name to: Guadalupe Center 509 Hope Circle Immokalee, FL 34142 Www. Guadalupecenter.org
Sympathy cards can be sent to: David Shopay C/O Darius Larsen PO Box 161074 Big Sky, MT 59716
Wilma R. Flikkema 1930-2022
Wilma Ruth Cok, Sinnema, Flikkema passed away on Friday, April 22, 2022, to her Eternal home in Heaven. She loved her Lord and gave thanks to Him every day. She was born in Bozeman, MT to Henry and Trinia Cok on September 19,1930. She was the youngest of four, joining brothers, Steven, Jake and John. She attended Manhattan Christian School through the 10th grade, then spent a year at Grand Rapids Christian High School, returning home and graduating from Manhattan High School in 1949. She married Norman J Sinnema in 1951, they lived in Bozeman. After losing her mother from a heart attack just before her first child was born, they moved back to Churchill where she was a stay-at-home mom. They were blessed with five children, Shelley, Lee, Terry, Tami and Bonnie. Norman died at the age of 38 from a brain tumor which had caused blindness. She trusted in the Lord who gave her peace as she faced the reality of going back to work to support her family and send her five children to a Christian school. She started working as secretary at Manhattan Christian School, where the students became her lifelong friends. As miracles came her way, she knew the Lord was with her. One of the first was a visit from a gentleman who brought her a $100 bill as someone had done the same for him when his son had passed away. He said you don’t need to pay me back, pass it on to someone else when you are able. God blessed her and she was able to pass it on for 45 years. In 1973 she married Lloyd Flikkema, and children, Clary, Liz, Gary, Stan and Ted joined the family. Losing her son, Lee, from a heart attack at the age of 25 was her biggest heartache. She drew closer to the Lord, and used the experience to walk with others who were going through great pain. She sponsored a child and volunteered at the Big Sky Kids cancer camp for 25 years, making many new friends. She loved music and at age 16 she started playing the organ at her church and teaching piano. She was proud of the numerous piano students she had taught over the years. She enjoyed many hobbies including woodworking, stained glass and her favorite, oil painting. She and Lloyd enjoyed traveling to every state including Hawaii which was her favorite and even Europe. She celebrated her 90th birthday with family in Yellowstone National Park, her favorite place to visit since she was a child. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Steven; husbands, Norman, and Lloyd; and son, Lee. She loved people and had many friends, her closest being her brothers, Jake and John, and their wives, Nelle and Barb. The six of them enjoyed lunch together every Tuesday for years. She had an open-door policy entertaining newcomers to the church, school community, and the Churchill Retirement Home. Now she is worshiping her Lord in Heaven, Alleluia! Internment will take place at Churchill Cemetery at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 27, with a Celebration of Life to follow at Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in Churchill at 11:00 A.M. Memorials in Wilma Flikkema’s name can be made to Manhattan Christian School, 8000 Churchill Rd., Manhattan, MT 59741.
Joan Patten Stadler 1930-2020
URBANA - Joan Patten Stadler, of Urbana, Ohio, age 89, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on October 1, 2020. Born October 21, 1930 in Brussels, Belgium to Marc Theunissen Patten and Doris Miller Patten, she became an American citizen as a young girl. Joanie graduated from Kingswood School for Girls, Bradford Junior College, and Michigan State University. Joanie married Charles Stadler — they were high school sweethearts — on September 7, 1951, and they moved to the Stadler family farm when Charles was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. She had a great love for her family, her friends, her family ranch in Montana, the outdoors, and her garden. She was well-known for her cooking and hospitality, and her many passions included fly fishing, skiing, horseback riding, and volunteering in her community. Many Urbana Baby Boomers will remember her as a room mother, and she was active in the PTA, the Monday Afternoon Club, the Better Garden Club of Urbana (where she had served as President), the Little Garden Club of Columbus (Garden Club of America), Hospice (volunteer), Girl Scout leadership, and the formation of the Champaign Transit System. In 2007 her garden was entered into the Smithsonian Institution's Archive of the American Garden. She also served on the Columbus Opera Board. She was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and the Champaign Family YMCA. For several years she lectured on the cultivation and use of herbs. Joanie is survived by Charles, her husband of 69 years, and her children: Marc Stadler and his wife Shary, William Stadler and his wife Diane, and Karen Van Dusen and her husband Gordon. She is also survived by: her brothers Duncan Patten and his wife Eva, and Jonathan Patten and his wife Carol; her grandchildren Robert and Peter Van Dusen, Kara Cohen, and Ashly Sciara; and her brothers-in-law William R. Stadler, and James R. Stadler and his wife Elizabeth. Joanie was predeceased by her parents and her brother Michael Patten. A private family service is planned, with a celebration of her life at a later date.
Barbara Blesch passed away from complications during routine surgery.
Barbara was a very active, Lifetime Member and Lifetime Liaison of the Gallatin Canyon Women's Club. She was also an avid fisherperson and hiker, organizing and leading many summer hikes with the Big Sky Hikers group.
Barabara's wonderful spirit and good humor will be greatly missed.
An obituary is pending as are plans for a memorial gathering. Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara's son, David. Cards can be sent to him at:
David Blesch 3666 19th Street San Francisco, CA 94110