Our hearts are broken, but our mom had a long life and has reunited with the love of her life, Henry R. Maki on February 13, 2022. Edna Croff Maki, 95, was born on September 12, 1926, the first child of Ilona (Gladys) Luoma Croff and James William Croff, Jr. in Belt, MT. She was joined later by brother, Don and sister, Joyce. She lived her entire life in the Geyser, Raynesford, Stanford, and the Belt area. Her early education started at the Lone Tree country school by Geyser, grade school years were completed by attending Geyser and Raynesford Schools. Her high school years were all at Belt Valley High graduating in 1946.
She went on to earn her teaching certificate and was assigned the Nelson School in the Highwood Mountains area. She was the jack of all trades besides teaching and living in the teacherage. Mom met Dad, the handsome cowboy back from WWII and ranching in the Highwoods through his younger brother, George at a dance in Belt. Dad would ride over the mountain or ski to see Mom at the school. The stars and moon aligned, and they married February 27, 1948, in Great Falls, followed by a lively dance at the Willow Bend School with locals providing the music.
By 1957, five of the six children were born, and they moved from the Highwoods to a ranch between Belt and Raynesford. Life on Otter Creek was chaotic with now six kids, cousins, and many, many friends visiting constantly. Mom continued to be the greatest mom and learned to choose her battles between the mud, animal hair, cow manure, breaks, and bruises. She was first cheerleader for her children and grandchildren’s academic and sports accomplishments. She was resilient through sons in the war, a dedicated caregiver to her son, death of family members, and still giving comfort and hope for some not as lucky. She had a soft heart and was notorious for bringing in strays, two and four legged.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.