Lifelong Choteau resident and devoted Bulldogs fan M. Ethelee LaBaugh, 77, died peacefully on March 24, 2021, from complications of a stroke at a long-term care facility in Great Falls with her loving husband of 60 years holding her hand.
She was born on Aug. 4, 1943, to Eldon Baker and Afton (Caufield) Scott in Choteau and grew up with her brothers Joseph, Charles, Jimmy and sister Evelyn.
Ethelee attended Choteau Elementary and Choteau High School. She met the love of her life, Donald LaBaugh of Dutton, at a Halloween dance at the Moose Hall in Choteau in 1959. They were married on Nov. 26, 1960, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Choteau, the first couple to be married in the newly constructed chapel. They were later sealed for time and all eternity in the Cardston, Alberta, LDS Temple in 1970. Don and Ethelee celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary (60 years) last November.
The most important part of Ethelee's life was her family. She loved being a mom to her four wonderful children: Kay Lee (Jeffrey) Gallagher of Park City, Shawn Roy (Angie Forrest) LaBaugh of Billings, Scott Donald LaBaugh (deceased) and Jack (Amy Larsgard) LaBaugh of Rexburg, Idaho.
She found joy in her nine grandchildren: Jackson (Elena) LaBaugh, Bennett LaBaugh, Landon LaBaugh, Heather (Kyle) Joppa, Jessica (Joel) Blum, Amanda (Anthony) Wombolt, Lucinda Feddes and Orrin Feddes; and great-grandchildren: Isabella, Talan, Lucas, Owen, Violette, Zane, Sawyer and Austin and was eagerly looking forward to welcoming her ninth and 10th great-grandchildren as twins later this summer.
She enjoyed attending her children's and grandchildren's extracurricular events and sharing their accomplishments with her friends. Ethelee loved the Fourth of July and celebrating it with her family every summer.
Ethelee was a hard worker and found great joy in cleaning her home. She worked as a cook in several of Choteau's restaurants and at the Skyline Lodge. She also worked as a teacher's aide at Choteau Elementary and loved spending time every day on the playground supervising recess.
She and Don were the managers of the Roxy Theatre for a time and owners of D&E Photo. Ethelee took great delight in helping Don as he photographed CHS Bulldog athletic events, proms, winter formals, plays, high school senior portraits, weddings and class reunions.
She loved Little League baseball and served as a member of and president of the Choteau Baseball Commission for nearly a decade. She was influential in bringing large baseball tournaments to Choteau including some prominent Canadian Little League teams. She also oversaw several major improvements and renovations to the baseball complex.
Ethelee was the number one fan of the CHS Bulldogs and enthusiastically attended their games all over Montana. She was a member of the Choteau Booster Club and greatly enjoyed working at the Choteau Classic wrestling tournament and other basketball and volleyball tournaments throughout the years.
She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she regularly volunteered her many talents and served in
several leadership positions including Primary president (children's organization), and the Relief Society (women's organization). She was also the ward librarian for more than two decades. She took special care and delight in serving the widows, those who were going through medical challenges or listening to someone who just needed a friend.
Ethelee loved her friends, especially her best and life-long friend, Nancy (Groot) Stott. They grew up together on the south side of Choteau and have been inseparable all their lives. She also loved LaDora Stenson, Kathly Hadley, Sandie Hodgskiss, and Susan and Luigi Yannotti who were caring and supportive through the final days of her life.
She also loved her friends at the Outpost Deli and looked forward to waking up every morning to have a Pepsi and to catch up on the latest Choteau news.
She is survived by her husband; her four children; her nine grandchildren; her eight great-grandchildren; her sister, Evelyn Roberts; her brothers, Charles Scott and Jimmy Scott; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son, Scott Donald; her sister-in-law, Jo Ann Scott; and her brother, Joseph Scott.
Her funeral service will be held on March 30 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Choteau. Burial was in the Choteau Cemetery under the direction of the Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home.
Ethelee loved the Choteau Girl Scout Mini Park across the street from her home and considered it "her park." She watched over it for every day for decades and loved watching children sliding down the slide, swinging and
exploring the tunnel and families enjoying time together of the Fourth of July.
As an expression of sympathy, the family has created the "Ethelee LaBaugh Mini Park Fund." Donations may be mailed to the fund in care of the City
of Choteau, P.O. Box 619, Choteau, MT 59422.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Millie "Ethelee" LaBaugh, please visit our floral store.