Tobea J. “Toby” (Walter) Kuiper, 83, of Great Falls, a retired clerk for Buttery Foods, passed away Tuesday, June 19, 2012 from natural causes at Peace Hospice.
Funeral service will be Friday, June 22, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Mausoleum with burial to follow at Highland Cemetery. O’Connor Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Tobea was born February 28, 1929, northwest of Freeman, SD, on the family farm, to Jacob and Sarah Walter. She rode by horse and buggy to Gross District School No. 54 located two miles east of the family farm. Her parents spoke German and would read Bible stories in German to their 11 children on Saturday nights in preparation for their Sunday school classes at the Salem Mennonite Brethren Church.
Since only German was spoken in the home, the older children taught the younger children to speak English, which was spoken at school. Eventually the church, too, changed to English making the lessons easier. The newspaper and a 32-volt operated radio kept them up-to-date and entertained the family until 110-volt electricity came around in 1949.
Tobea was united in marriage to Marvin “Hap” Kuiper in January 10, 1954 in Sioux Falls, SD. They remained happily married until Hap passed away May 14, 1987.
She worked as a clerk for Buttrey Foods for over twenty years. She enjoyed watching game shows and cooking. She was a member of the Great Falls Eagles Lodge # 14. Above everything else, Tobea loved spending time with her family and taking care of them. She always spoke of her grandchildren being the “light of her life!”
Tobea is survived by her sons, Randy Kuiper and Dennis (Shelley) Kuiper both of Great Falls; sisters, Emma Gross of Freeman, SD, Lydia Curwen of Highland, CA, and Phoebe Wagner of Menno, SD; grandchildren, Heidi (Ifeanyi) Kuiper-Chinwuba of Portland, OR, Michael Kuiper, Erin Kuiper, and Ben Kuiper all of Great Falls; and great-grandchildren, Kenadee Kuiper and Osinachi Chinwuba.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin “Hap” Kuiper; parents, Jacob and Sarah Walter; five brothers and two sisters.
Memorials are suggested to Benefis Peace Hospice of Montana, 2600 15th Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 59405.
Condolences can be left on-line at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com.