Written by The Herald-News
Verda Rosecellia Hoffarth Stewart, 89, died Oct. 19, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.
She was born Dec. 26, 1923, the second daughter of eight children to Martin and Agnes Torgerson on their farm near Dagmar. She grew up on the northern plains and lived through the Great Depression, an experience that was forever etched in her memory. She graduated from Medicine Lake High School in 1941 as valedictorian and received a college scholarship but did not continue on to college.
She met future husband Roy P. Hoffarth at a Saturday night dance. They were married in 1942 and farmed east of Raymond, later moving to Plentywood. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1945. She lived with his mother during that time and maintained a deep abiding love for her.
She and her family moved to Glasgow in 1962 after her husband’s death in 1961; she worked for the J.C. Penney Co. from 1962 through 1979 in the business office and as catalog supervisor. She transferred to the Pacific Beach, Calif., store as the catalog supervisor in 1979 and then to the Fashion Valley store where she worked until her retirement in 1983.
She appreciated the sunny climate of San Diego and, while she missed family and friends in Montana, she did not miss the cold and snowy winters. She loved to drive to Montana in the summers to visit and cherished the beauty of the Big Sky state.
She was an exceptional and avid dancer and danced ballroom as long as she was able. She was an accomplished seamstress and crafter. She loved to garden and had a prolific “green thumb.” She was always a storyteller and, several years ago, discovered she had a gift for writing and wrote a compilation of her life’s stories.
She was a member of the St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church, Santa Teresa Guild, American Legion Auxiliary #41 and Ladies Auxiliary VFW.
She was preceded in death by husband, Roy Hoffarth; baby boy Hoffarth; twin boys Hoffarth; brothers, Marvin, Maynard and Art Torgerson; and sisters, Verna Torgerson and Flora Mae Smith.
She is survived by her son, Garry Hoffarth of Fort Meyers, Fla.; daughters, Shannon Hoffarth of San Diego, Calif., Vernita Ares of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Jeanine Markle of Glasgow; numeous grandchildren; brother, Victor Torgerson; and sister, Violet Sorensen.
She was briefly married to Ray L. Thompson and, later, to James A. Stewart.
Her wishes were to be cremated and laid to rest at the Plentywood Memorial Cemetery in Plentywood with her husband, Roy. Date and time are pending. Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 10, at St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church.