One Nation, Under God

Lois Jean Goodheart (April 27, 1928 - May 11, 2024)

Lois J. (Baker) Goodheart (96) was born in Great Falls, MT on April 27, 1928, to Charles and Clara (Matter) Baker. During the Great Depression, the family moved and settled in Savoy, MT and finally in Harlem, MT. Lois attended the Savoy grade school and subsequently graduated from Harlem High School in 1946.

Lois married B.J. (Swede) Goodheart on August 10, 1946, at the St. Thomas Catholic Church in Harlem, MT. Swede recalled in a 2001 interview, that he didn't feel as though he had a chance with the lovely young Lois Baker that worked at the grocery store, but his buddies dared him to ask, he did, and so it was. Swede and Lois moved to Malta in 1952 and there they built their life of work, service, and family.

Swede and Lois owned Malta Dry Cleaners, Swede worked the railroad, and Lois was a bookkeeper for the St. Mary's Catholic Church. Lois established her career at Mountain Bell Telephone Service as an operator, a plant clerk, and retired in 1983 as a service representative. In retirement, Swede and Lois worked in Yellowstone National Park during the summers as camp managers.

Lois was a card shark, each of her grandchildren were well versed in cribbage at a young age, and if one forgot to count a point, she would take it. Lois enjoyed her bridge club, the people in it, and she routinely topped the leader boards. She played well into her 90's.

Lois was a life-long presence in the St. Mary's Catholic Church, her house was situated in such a way that she could see the church from her kitchen and living room, and she had an ever-present knowledge of all the comings and goings. She was an excellent cook, and routinely hosted clergy, friends, and family for dinner. Her support of the church and the St. Mary's school spanned several decades, and her service was immeasurable.

Lois was high energy and premised her life around faith, family, resilience, and hard work. She maintained her own yard and garden, again, well into her 90's. Lois was quick-witted and held nothing back. Her immense wisdom and understanding were felt by all who had the pleasure to be connected to her. She had a musical spirit, played a bit, and enjoyed the music of Warren Taylor at the retirement center.

On Saturday morning, May 11, 2024, a joyous reunion occurred in heaven. There she met her husband Swede and her three brothers Fred Baker, Chuck Baker, and Warren "Bum" Baker. She was reunited with her parents Charley and Clara, and her son-in-law Kevin Salsbery, her in-laws, and her many lifelong friends, as she was among the last to make the journey.

Lois is survived by her four children, Dennis (Kathy) Goodheart of Boise, ID, Dianne Salsbery of Malta, Doug (Lori) Goodheart of Laurel, and Dawn Jones of Great Falls. Lois had 12 grandchildren, Meghan (Scott) Bailey, Katy (Brandon) Sears, Dannette (Jeff) Ross, Dennis (Karen) Salsbery, Nathan (Krissy) Salsbery, Ryan (Janessa) Salsbery, Joanna (Alan) Carlson, CJ (Natalie) Goodheart, Garrick (Karlie) Goodheart, Erin Jones (Kyle Kenik), Morgan Jones (Dan McKay), and Parker Jones. Lois has 26 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She was also survived by several nieces and nephews, and in-laws.

There will be a wake at the Wilderness Mortuary in Malta, MT Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 6:30 pm. Funeral mass will take place at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Malta, MT May 17, 2024, at 10 am, followed by the burial at the Malta cemetery. Following the burial, there will be a luncheon at the St. Mary's Church basement.

Donations can be made to the dishwasher fund at St. Mary's Alter Society.


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