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Dorothy Loudermilk

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Dorothy Loudermilk Obituary

When asked what she wanted in her obituary, Dorothy Louise Johns Loudermilk answered, “She came. She left.” But there is so much more to say about the youngest of ten kids, raised on a farm beneath the Mission Mountains in St. Ignatius, Montana. Dorothy, or Grandma Dot as she was so lovingly called, wasn’t supposed to live longer than a few days. And on March 28, she proved the doctors of 1942 wrong, going on to her next journey after 29,811 days on Earth. It was still short. Grandma Dot defied medical odds from the beginning, which made the latest medical news about her failing heart hard to believe. It was a big heart that she used to the fullest, never missing an opportunity to spread love, laughter and kindness. She recently said she thought her last purpose in life was to be nice to people, and that was evident through the friends she made everywhere she went. Dorothy had a way of maintaining relationships that made everyone feel close to her, which often included phone calls of great length. She remained in close touch with endless relatives and had a special relationship with each of her grandkids. From news to music to faith, she found ways to engage in and strengthen each bond individually. One of her granddaughter’s described Dorothy as resilient. “She raised five children in a house with one bathroom, and is now surrounded by a line of grandchildren who will never forget how she smiled and sang through life.” She survived countless surgeries, cancer, polio and other illnesses along with immense heartbreak over the loss of both her daughter and husband to cancer. Dorothy’s resiliency became a gift she used to help others navigate hardships. She was always the voice of reason who could help counsel just about anyone through a difficult day. She could warmly comfort while also acknowledging life’s unfair realities. If that didn’t work, she would try to spread laughter with her sharp wit or a practical joke, including targeting the staff at Prestige Assisted Living with water guns or hiding behind doors to scare them. Dorothy held many jobs throughout her life, but she was most passionate about her work with the Council on Aging. Dorothy will be remembered for many things, including her long standing faith and as a fixture at the Bigfork Christian Church piano for decades. She loved to drive the backroads of Montana, usually with her foot a little heavy on the gas–easy to spot with GRMADOT on her license plate. She was an avid fan of Bigfork sports, often traveling to cheer on the team. She was known for her prized dahlias she grew lovingly with her late husband, our Papa Bill. Her family hoarded her delicious treats of fudge, banana bread and fresh raspberry jam, which was unmatched. Even if it was late, you could always count on a birthday card with her signature handwriting that usually extended to all available white space. It’s hard to believe we won’t get one of those tinfoil wrapped treats again or another envelope with that recognizable scrolling cursive in our mailboxes. Grandma Dot, thank you for using every last beat of your heart to love us. Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband, Bill Loudermilk and daughter, Lisa Lewis (Daryl) along with siblings Walter Johns, Virginia Wegner, Wanda Smalley, Wilhma Delaney and Willie Johns and parents William and Bertha Bull Johns. She is survived by four children, Shaunda ZeVan, Monty Loudermilk, Andy Loudermilk (Terri), Cory Loudermilk (Kelly), 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great grandchildren. She also leaves behind her special friend, Dale, and three surviving siblings– Lavonne Larson, Harold Johns (Elinor) and Leland Johns. Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for the family, who would like to offer special thanks to Prestige Assisted Living and Logan Health Hospice. A memorial service will be held April 20 at 11 a.m. at Bigfork Christian Church..













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Memorial Service
April 20, 2024

11:00 AM
Bigfork Christian Church
110 Shawnee Drive
Bigfork, MT 59911
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