Nina Jane (Sundquist) Coefield, 97, of Great Falls, Mont. died following a brief battle with pneumonia on January 4, 2022. Sharp and spunky to the end, Nina enjoyed crossword puzzles, good books, good jokes and low-stakes gambling, but her truest loves were the people around her. Hers was the gravitational pull that kept her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren together. She instilled in each of them commitment to family, love of learning, and relentless practicality and pragmatism. (Yes, we could have held her funeral in January, but the roads are better in May, and she'd prefer we all be safe for her life celebration.)
Nina was born in Great Falls to French and Swedish immigrants on November 29, 1924 as the youngest of four children. She lived most her life in Great Falls, where she played in the Great Falls High School marching band, married her high school sweetheart, and raised four children.
Nina married Tom Coefield on July 7, 1945 shortly after he returned from flying B-24 bombers for the United States Air Force in World War II. When his postwar stint repairing typewriters proved uninspiring, Tom joined the Montana Air National Guard. He was reactivated during the Korean War to bases around the country, and Nina moved the family to follow him. They lived in Valdosta, Ga. and Wrightwood, Calif. before returning to Great Falls in 1952.
When Tom retired in 1979, the couple began wintering in Apache Junction, Ariz., where they enjoyed the warm weather, and from whence they sent their grandchildren ugly Arizona-themed T-shirts. After 10 years, they grew tired of the travel and remained in Great Falls for every cold, snowy, windy winter thereafter.
Nina experienced and navigated changing times with pragmatism and adapted well to modern technology. She used her computer to play cards and keep in touch with her family and friends. Her emails, loving Facebook comments and eventual proficiency with Zoom helped lessen the distance between her home in Great Falls and her scattered descendants.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Croxford Funeral Home website.