February 27, 2020
Grace Chema, 83, of Whitepine, Montana, passed away surrounded by her family on February 16, 2020.
Grace was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she married her husband of 63 years, Frank Chema, then served proudly beside him as a military wife for over 24 years.
Grace is survived by her husband Frank, daughter Becki Weidner (Curt) of Missoula, son Greg Chema (Shelly) of Missoula, daughter Laura Bloom of Missoula and daughter Cynthia Syrjala (Tim) of Whitepine; eight grandchildren, Jennifer Coleman (Dan), Nicole Swofford (Tim), Scott Chema, Daniel Weidner, Christopher Chema (Tiffany), Nicholas Brouillard (Court), Kari Eberline (Jason), David Syrjala and eight great-grandchildren. Grace was predeceased by grandson Matthew Hungerford.
Grace's first priority was her husband and children while also finding time to make a huge impact as a volunteer in multiple aspects of her well lived life. Whether she was helping at her children's school in the capacity of room mother or school carnival coordinator, volunteering as a Sunday school teacher or the Religious Education Coordinator, she used her wide range of skills and creativity to impact others in a positive way. Grace also loved her volunteer work for the Girl Scouts as leader, camp director, trainer and much more, which after 14 years transitioned into a professional Girl Scout trainer position for the western Montana area. Other notable community achievements include chairing events like the Montana Bicentennial Celebration at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Trout Creek Huckleberry Festival for several years. In "retirement" she served on the board of the Whitepine Community Church for over 30 years as secretary/treasurer and historian.
Grace's legacy will live on in her family and others she served with, taught and trained. There will be a private family service at a later date.