Kathryn “Katie” Slater Fjeld peacefully went to the Lord on February 2, 2024. Born on May 9, 1930, in Ashland, Nebraska to William and Sophie Leddy, Kathryn was one of eight children. As she entered adulthood, she and her sister, Margaret, attended college together and received their teaching certifications. Kathryn taught in a small Bohemian community for two years.
She met Howard Slater at a dance and the two later married and have five children together. She and Howard left Nebraska and went to live in California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming before settling in Montana. Shortly after their arrival in Montana, Howard died in an auto accident in 1959. Kathryn relied on her Catholic faith to get her and her children through this difficult time. Through church friends, she was introduced to Giff Fjeld and they married in June of 1960. She and her children moved to the Fjeld Homestead on Hwy 200 near Fort Shaw, and Kathryn and Giff brought three more children into the world together.
Kathryn was self-taught in many of her endeavors, including becoming an excellent bread baker and recipe master. Outside of the kitchen, she sewed her family’s clothes, drove tractor, irrigated the fields, grew a vegetable garden, did yardwork, reupholstered furniture, tended to cattle, butchered chickens and geese, and milked cows. She was an active member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Fort Shaw for 40 years and became a member of St. Ann’s Cathedral Parish when she moved to Great Falls in 2000. She worked at a nursing home for four years then became the janitor at Simms High School where she worked for 18 years before retiring in 1991.
In her retirement, she embraced the nickname of Katie and maintained a zest for life and learning. She kept a busy social calendar filled with square dancing, yoga, book club, prayer meetings, frequent library visits, aerobics classes, community choir, sewing blankets for charity, and her favorite pastime of quilting. She sewed many quilts for her family and friends over the years and would often receive gifted fabrics that some would consider scraps, but Katie always had a way of making something beautiful out of nothing.
Katie is survived by her children, Chris (Nora) Slater of California, Jennifer Crees of Great Falls, MT, Sharlee (Ray) St. Onge of Fort Shaw, MT, Judy (Tim) Larson of Turtle Lake, ND, Frank Slater of Great Falls, MT, Giff (Kay) Fjeld of Hinsdale, MT, Rita Fjeld of Missoula, MT, and Tricia (Willy) Strong of Great Falls, MT; step-son, Carl Slater of Tazewell, TN; sister, Margaret McAndrew of Nebraska; as well as 21 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.
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