One Nation, Under God

Thelma Jean Stubblefield Bjorklund (November 2, 1938 - April 30, 2023)

Thelma Jean Stubblefield Bjorklund passed away from natural causes on April 30, 2023. She was 84 years old. Born in Malta, MT on November 2, 1938, to Everett and Millie Stubblefield, she was raised on the family farm near Loring, MT, and later moved into Malta for school. Thelma graduated from Malta High School in 1955. At the age of 16, she attended the University of Montana, graduating in 1959 with a degree in Social Work and a Minor in Music. While in Missoula she met her husband of nearly 64 years, Gary Bjorklund. Married life led them to live in San Diego, Malta, Hysham, and finally Cut Bank, MT in 1966 as Gary pursued his law enforcement career.

Thelma was a devoted law enforcement wife and cherished that title. Standing with Gary throughout his career at the prison, on the Montana Highway Patrol, and as Glacier County Sheriff brought her so much joy. She would always welcome new officers to stay in their home as their young careers began.

Thelma was a member of PEO for over 50 years, including the position of State President. She was also a member of OES and Presbyterian Church where she delighted listeners with her soprano voice in the choir. Thelma held various jobs in Cut Bank including substitute teaching and various office jobs. Upon Gary's retirement in 1996, they decided to pursue one of their lifelong dreams together, the casino business. In 1997 Gary and Thelma re-opened the old Eagles Club under the name of BJ's Casino & Lounge. It was here that she designated herself the "Coffee Queen" as she loved to serve coffee each morning to patrons and visit for the first hour of business each day. She continued this until they sold the business in 2008 to her grandson Josh and his father.

Together, Thelma and Gary were life-long Montana Grizzlies football season ticket holders and attended the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for over 20 years. Although they looked forward to the NFR each year, the Circuit Finals in Pocatello was a close second as they got to see many of the local contestants that they devotedly supported throughout their careers. She was always the first to open their house to anyone including wrestlers, Up With People actors, or Missoula Children's Theatre actors. She also adopted many, many Cut Bank Wolves and Lady Wolves players as "her own". She loved her Cut Bank sports and opened her house to many team meals and get-togethers. Her favorite weekend of the year, however, came the first weekend in June. Thelma and Gary were very instrumental in the building of the Montana Hope Project Reunion in Essex. Each year you could find them cooking burgers and donating their time to their favorite organization.

Thelma was pure joy to all those whom she touched. She loved family vacations and get-togethers. Along with those vacations came great stories such as the trip to Disneyland one summer with no air conditioning!

Thelma was a devoted Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, which provided her with years of pure enjoyment. She took the time to be great at those titles and she took them very seriously. She didn't just limit it to family either. Countless children claimed "Grandma Thelma" as their own.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Audrey Ulrich and Barbara Cowan, and son-in-law Roger Askelson. She is survived by her children Laurie Bjorklund of Helena, Lisa Askelson of Cut Bank, and Brian (Heather) Bjorklund of Scotts Valley, CA. She is also survived by 13 Grandchildren of whom thought she hung the moon and 14 great-grandchildren that shared those same sentiments. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. One of her greatest attributes was that she taught her children to be kind, caring, loving, and giving. This legacy has continued to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

At Thelma's request, there will be no services at this time.


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