Lorene Schnackenberg passed away from natural causes on February 5, 2021 at 82 years of age. She was born in Kalispell on August 5, 1938, to Charles and Wynona (Webster) O’Neil, their first child. She lived all but 6 years of her life in Kalispell. She was blessed with wonderful parents and siblings.
She met Douglas Schnackenberg on a blind date in 1957. They were married on May 21, 1958 and celebrated their 54th anniversary prior to Doug’s passing in 2012. Shortly after being married, Doug was drafted into the Army and they moved to Seaside, CA while Doug was stationed at Fort Ord. A little over a year later, their daughter Kathleen was born at the Fort Ord Army hospital. Doug and Lorene moved back to Kalispell after Doug’s discharge, where son Henry was born in 1960.
She had many talents, but Lorene’s greatest gift was her simple kindness and unconditional love towards others. She used this gift to raise two incredibly happy and grateful children, there could be no better mother than Lorene. She saw the best in everyone and provided love and support to all she met. After her two children were grown and on their own, Lorene became a mother to many. She had a small farm at the end of 4th Street West with a few goats, chickens, and a garden. Many of the local neighborhood children spent their after-school hours helping Lorene and absorbing her love and attention. Often, by chance, she would meet up with her “kids” years later and they would thank her for giving them a safe and loving environment. Lorene was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, joining the church in the early 1960's. She volunteered for many years in the RSVP “Kitchen Band”, going to nursing homes around the valley and performing old-time songs that made the residents smile. She loved the company of her fellow band members and loved to visit with the elderly residents. If she could make someone else happy, she was happy. Young or old, rich or poor, she loved and trusted everyone she met. Her hugs were the best.
Lorene was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Wynona; younger brother, Arthur; and her husband Doug. She is survived by her two children, Kathy (Jim) Powrie and Henry (Valerie) Schnackenberg, who were fortunate to be by her side before her unexpected passing. She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Jenna Joy and Tricia, 4 great-grandchildren, and her siblings, Nancy Kostman, Charlene O’Neil, and John O’Neil.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Barbara Stewart. After Doug’s passing, Lorene’s best friend, Barbara, moved in with her. They looked out for each other and shared each other’s good company. Without Barbara, Lorene would have likely needed to leave her beloved Kalispell to be closer to her children.
In these difficult times, no service is planned. The family requests that memorials in Lorene’s honor be directed to the Flathead 4-H Foundation, Inc., Hospice care, or the charity of your choice.
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