Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Leoti June Waite

June 18, 1921 ~ December 27, 2017

Leoti June Waite passed away on December 27 in Bozeman, MT after a brief hospital stay, with her family by her side. Born in Helena, MT on June 18, 1921, she was daughter of Leoti and Roy Reinig, ranchers in the Wolf Creek area. Her family moved to Helena in 1926. Leoti June attended Helena schools and graduated from Helena High School in 1939. For two years she attended classes in railroad coaches following the 1936 earthquake that damaged the new high school building. She graduated from Polytechnic-Intermountain College (now Rocky Mountain College) in Billings, in 1943.

In October of 1943 she married Harold K. (Johnnie) Waite of Rushford, NY while he was stationed at Fort Harrison. When he was sent overseas she taught school and worked various office jobs. After his discharge from the Army they made their home in Helena. Her great joy was the adoption of their daughter Debra at age three months in 1953. Leoti worked for 30 years in the Office of the Montana Commission of Higher Education.

Debra’s family, husband Ron and three daughters Jessica, Jaclyn and Erica, enriched her life in ways immeasurable. She loved time spent with the family and was extremely proud of them all. Her kind spirit will be sorely missed. June and Johnnie enjoyed going south in their motor home in the winters after her retirement. Johnnie passed away in 1996 from Parkinson’s disease. She was a compassionate caregiver throughout his illness.

In 2010 she relocated to Bozeman moving into Aspen Pointe where she enjoyed the many activities available and being closer to Debra’s family. Later she moved down the hall to Birchwood assisted living where she received excellent care.

Leoti June was committed to serving her community and church She was proud to be a lifetime member of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, joining at the age of 10. She was faithful and involved: helping in the nursery, serving as financial secretary, active in United Methodist Women serving in many offices and a member of Church Women United. Upon her move to Bozeman, she attended the Bozeman United Methodist Church as long as she was able. She was a member of Eastern Star, served as a Camp Fire Girls leader, and on the board of the Rainbow Girls. Her faith was demonstrated daily in the devotion shown to family members, neighbors and her many friends.

She was a woman of many talents and passions. Her deep love for Montana was reflected in her unparalleled knowledge of Montana history and geography. She volunteered in the Photo Archives of the Montana Historical Society and attended their lectures and programs. Her varied interests included traditional wool rug hooking, sewing, crafts, reading, maintaining her beautiful flower beds, gardening, camping, swimming at the Broadwater Health Club, and family gatherings, particularly those at Ron and Debra’s cabin at Seeley Lake. She also attended many Elderhostel’s throughout the country and made trips with friends and family to the Holy Land, and many European countries.

Her daughter, Debra Waite; son-in-law, Ron Laferriere; and granddaughters, Jessica Leoti Laferriere of Columbia Falls, Jaclyn Simmone Laferriere of Billings, and Erica Jean Laferriere of Missoula survive her. Also surviving her in Montana are her brother, Ray Reinig of Helena; sister-in- law, Reda Mae Reinig of East Helena, and sister-in-law, Betty Acher of Whitefish. She was particularly close to her nieces and nephews who grew up in Helena: Karen Reinig, Mike Reinig (Connie), Jean Harman (Larry), Denise Magstad (Matt), Brad Coty, Mike Coty (Yufang), Alan Coty (Trinadee), Sharon Hamilton (Ivan), John Horton Junior (Vicki), and their families. She has many nieces, nephews and a sister-in-law in New York State and niece Susan Meiler of CO as well as cousins and other relatives. Her husband, Johnnie and her brothers Frank and Leonard Reinig preceded her in death.

A private family graveside service will be held on January 26 at 3:00 pm at Sunset Hills Cemetery. Her memorial service will take place at Aspen Pointe, 1201 Highland Blvd., Bozeman on January 27, at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Montana Historical Society: PO Box 201201 Helena, MT 59620, Friends of Montana PBS: PO Box 173345 Bozeman, MT 59717 or a charity of your choice in her honor.