Edna Ruth Carter peacefully died in her sleep on January 30th, 2021, at her beloved home at Ashley Lake, Montana. She is survived by multiple children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Edna was born on May 28, 1930, in Kalispell, Montana. She was the second daughter of Raymond L. Sykes and Ruth Iola (Kramer) Sykes and grew up in the home in which she was born. She attended St. Matthews Catholic School, and then graduated from Flathead High School in 1949.
Edna was baptized in 1955. Her faith was important to her, and her knowledge of God’s love, forgiveness, and promises were strengthened by her daily reading of God’s Holy Word; having read the Bible in its entirety each year for the past two decades. Her deep faith was highly evident, and it allowed her to be fearless in the face of death. She was secure in the knowledge that, while the lake was her special place, her final home would be in the presence of Jesus.
Edna married Henry George Tomfohr in 1950, and her daughter Ruth Adela was born in Helena, Montana. They moved to Moses Lake, Washington, in 1951, where her son Donald Frank was born. After ten years in Moses Lake, she divorced Henry in 1961 and moved back to Kalispell.
After running the steam press at Masonized Dry Cleaning for a few years, she took a leap of faith by applying for a checker position at Buttrey Food Store. At the time, checker positions required abilities in which Edna lacked confidence. However, being a person of great perseverance with a desire to provide better lives for her children, she gained the skills necessary to complete a career of 32 years at Buttrey’s, and retired in 1995.
In 1967, Edna married Leonal “Ron” Carter. She built a rich heritage of hospitality by welcoming stepchildren and a foster child. She helped Ron establish a small horse ranch that bred championship Appaloosa horses. Ron Carter died on January 11, 2013.
Edna was a great seamstress, enjoyed crocheting, singing, making fruit leather, and making people laugh. For several years, her friends and family loved to receive the handmade greeting cards into which Edna put many hours and lots of love. She was known for opening her heart to people of all ages. Many young co-workers, friends, and church parishioners came to regard her as a mother of sorts, several affectionately calling her “mom”.
At 83 years old, Edna fulfilled her lifelong dream of designing her very own house, had it built at Ashley Lake in November 2013, and moved into it with her daughter, Ruth. Being able to look out over the lake every day brought her great joy. Ruth and Don feel blessed that they were all together for the final three weeks of their mom’s life.
In keeping with her faith, Edna’s favorite verse, 1 Peter 5:10-11, reminds us “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
A private memorial service was held for immediate family on February 4, 2021 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Kalispell and is available for viewing on YouTube. A public graveside interment of the ashes will be held in early July. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the general fund at Trinity Lutheran Church or to The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army:
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