Mary Irene Compton
Irene was born July 18, 1927, in Jordan to Mathew and Martha Leuschen, the sixth of 10 children, the first to be born in town after the family moved from the dugout on the prairie homestead. Irene’s childhood memories were of a vibrant family working hard and “making do.” Christmas gifts were an orange on each plate at the breakfast table.
The Leuschen children were raised to aim for college and a good job. Irene attended U of M for two years, aspiring to become an interpreter. Instead, in 1952, she married Leroy Tredway of Miles City. They had two children, daughter Toni, and son Kris. The couple also had two children stillborn. These tragedies impacted Irene all of her life.
In 1962, the Tredway family moved to Columbia Falls. Leroy worked at Anaconda Aluminum, and Irene at the U.S. Forest Service office as a secretary. Irene and Leroy divorced in 1970. Irene married Howard Compton of Kalispell in ‘72. They divorced 10 years later. She retired from the USFS in 1975.
Irene took great joy in her children, Kris Tredway of Columbia Falls, and Toni and Don Robinson of Columbia Falls, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren — Greg and Julie Robinson, with daughters Savannah, Emma, and Chrissy of Nevada; Dylan and Jeniffer Robinson, with daughter BreeLynn and son Sean of Idaho; and Katie and Grant Zeutenhorst, with daughters Claire and Stella of Idaho.
Irene enjoyed gardening, canning, and other home crafts. Her rolls and tea rings were the highlight of any holiday celebration. She especially loved fancy hats and had quite a collection that she wore to teas, weddings, out to dinner — any occasion would do. A beautiful woman even into her last years, Irene had a quietly elegant manner and was often described as “quite a lady.”
Irene loved the Lord and was a diligent student of the word of God. In her last years, she embraced spiritual renewal, eagerly seeking to deepen her relationship with God. She loved well, be it her God, her family, or her friends, and she gave selflessly.
She joined her family in heaven Nov. 2, 2017. We are happy for her that she is finally home, but she is greatly missed. Memorial celebration is 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Flathead Valley Cowboy Church. In honor of Irene, please wear your best hat.
Columbia Mortuary is caring for Irene’s family.