Alberta ‘Bertie’ (Filiatreau) Arnold Reich

Alberta M. “Bertie” (Filiatreau) Arnold Reich, 92, of Livingston passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2017 with the love of her family at her side. A celebration of Bertie’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at the Holbrook United Methodist Church at the corner of South Fifth and West Lewis streets. A reception will follow the service. Burial will be in the fall at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell.

Bertie was born March 5, 1925 in Eureka, the youngest of 5 children born to Frances (Purdy) and Jerome Filiatreau.  Even at the age of 17 she was independent and ready to see the world. She moved to the “big city” of Spokane, Washington, where she met her future husband, V.R. Arnold.  They were married Feb. 24, 1945. Arnold was discharged from the Navy at Port Hueneme, California and began his career with Shell Oil Company, and they started their marriage enjoying the opportunities the move gave them. They lived in Ventura, California then Casper, Wyoming and back to Los Angeles, where their daughter Deborah was born in 1953, and by 1955 they moved to New York City. Bertie enjoyed the really big city where attending Broadway plays — especially musicals — and going to watch the NY Yankees was exciting to a young woman who grew up in Montana. During Deb’s childhood, Bertie was a Girl Scout leader, was involved with her Methodist Church activities, and was an avid bridge player. She was a big Yankees fan until 1960 when Casey Stengel was fired as their manager, and she never forgave the Yankees. When Stengel returned to New York to manage the Mets two years later, she became a Mets fan.

By the mid-1960s, the family moved to Houston, where they had opening-day tickets to the Astrodome, but were transferred to Los Angeles before opening day. The move back to Los Angeles brought them home in many ways, renewing friendships they had made decades earlier. And they attended Dodgers games. In 1969, she completed courses to be a LPN, something she was very proud of achieving. After 25 years of marriage, Arnold died in 1970, and the next year when she traveled to Montana to attend a family event she became reacquainted with George Reich of Livingston, a family friend she had known in her teens. They were married November 1971, and that marriage brought her back to Montana. They enjoyed snowmobiling and camping together.  Even before retirement they traveled around the country,  and after retirement they bought a home in Arizona and became “snowbirds.” Her years in California made her a little less tolerant of Montana winters and she and George loved the winters away. They were living in Kalispell when George passed away in 2005 after 34 years of marriage. Bertie moved back to Livingston to be closer to her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bertie proudly called herself a homemaker whose most important job was as a wife, mother and grandmother.  Although working during her child-free years, she never went back to work full time until Deb was a teenager. Bertie was an accomplished seamstress, and her grandchildren especially looked forward to new pajamas and nightgowns at Christmas. She knew her family’s favorite foods, especially desserts, and loved preparing those for them. A family favorite passed down even to her great-grandchildren was a refrigerator cookie dessert that she had served at her bridge club many years earlier. Bertie loved bowling, ceramics, gardening but most especially traveling. She was a strong, determined, independent woman from the age of 17 moving away from Montana to her final days. The loss of an infant daughter and two husbands just made her more determined to remain strong. She will always be missed by those who knew and loved her.

Bertie is survived by her daughter Deb (Ken) Brenna of Livingston; her granddaughters Megan (Gary Barnhart) Brenna of Livingston and Kendra (Bill) Fox of Livingston; grandson Christopher (Miami) Brenna of Missoula; granddaughter Annie Brenna of Livingston; great-granddaughter Brayton Holmes of Livingston; and great-grandson Gabriel Holmes, also of Livingston. Bertie is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and an especially dear niece, Dolores (Jim) Reynolds, of Eureka.

She is preceded in death by her infant daughter, Terry Lee; her husband, V.R. Arnold; her husband, George Reich; her father, Jerome Filiatreau; her mother, Frances Filiatreau; her sisters, June Byers, Edith Douglas and Joyce Fisher; her brother, Romie Filiatreau; and an infant brother.

Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be shared at www.Franzen-Davis.com.
 

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