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Sylvia Fern Plummer
October 23, 1931 ~ December 20, 2022 (age 91) 91 Years Old
After a lifetime surrounded by loved ones, Sylvia Fern Plummer passed peacefully into heaven on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022, handheld by her daughter, Kim, and granddaughter, Amy. Her passing came exactly one year after her husband, Chuck Plummer. Her family takes comfort, imagining them greeting each other with a youthful, “Well hello, Mrs. Nice” & ”Hello, Mr. Nice,” and a lively two-step dance. Sylvia was born in Ronan, Montana on October 23, 1931 to Richard Mitchell and Ellen Keller. The oldest of seven, Sylvia grew up enjoying the Montana outdoors, working hard, and helping care for her siblings: Jim, Anne, Janet, Larry, Donald, and Lonnie, often entertained by the pranks of her youngest three brothers. Throughout her childhood, she lived in Independence, Oregon and Ronan, Choteau, and Polson, Montana. She played basketball in high school, as well as ran track and field, telling her family stories about training in Polson by running back and forth across the bridge at the south end of Flathead Lake. At some point, the family moved to Stevensville, Montana, where she graduated from Stevensville High School in 1949. As a teenager, she worked at a bowling alley setting up pins and had her own paper route. After high school, she worked at a diner called Smileys, where she would meet the love of her life. In 1949, Sylvia met Charles Eugene Plummer, who would frequent the diner on his lunch breaks from the butcher shop across the street. According to Chuck, Sylvia was “prettier than a palomino in the moonlight.” Married on May 28, 1950, at a little church in Stevensville, Chuck and Sylvia began their 71-year marriage, marked by love, loss, hard work, and adventure. In July 1951 their firstborn, William “Bill” Russell was born in Missoula. The young family moved briefly to Helena, then to Kalispell, where their second child, Patricia “Patty” Ann was born in July 1953. After moving to Bozeman, their third child, Sylvia “Kim” was born in December 1959. In 1960 the growing family made their final move back to Kalispell, where Chuck and Sylvia purchased 40 acres of land along Church Slough, fed by the Flathead River, for their 10-year anniversary. Their fourth child, Wesley “Wes” Greg was born in April 1962. Sylvia was a dedicated wife and mother, maintaining the family home and teaching her children to enjoy all of life. When Kim and Wes were in elementary school, she worked at Sykes Diner in town. Falling closely behind their incredible marriage, raising four children, and traveling the world, Chuck and Sylvia’s most notable achievement was opening Lower Valley Meat Processing in 1974 out of their three-car garage. What has grown into a premier meat processing facility, Chuck would always boast that Sylvia was the main reason behind its success. She was an incredibly hard worker, tougher than most, and had the sass to match. Family was the most important to her; often saying that as long as she had her family and her health, that she had everything she needed. It should be noted that Sylvia was a woman of many talents. She was a gifted seamstress and baker. Her and Chuck maintained a large garden and orchard, as well as raised bees for honey. They enjoyed cooking and canning together. They were talented dancers and loved traveling, visiting all 50 states and 19 countries. Their favorite pastimes, camping and fishing, took them all over Montana, Alaska, and beyond, often with grandchildren in tow. Sylvia loved playing cards, reading, and crafting. She took every opportunity to teach her grandchildren and great-grandchildren something new. She will be deeply missed, though her family delights in knowing her and Chuck are reunited, and will celebrate her incredible life with a “snort,” as she called them (whiskey and Squirt). Her cinnamon rolls on opening duck hunting day and ham and split pea soup will also be missed—family or guest, no one ever went hungry or uncared for at her table. Growing up without much, and working hard for everything she had, she embodied grit, resiliency, and compassion. She was truly incredible. Sylvia is preceded in death by her honey, Charles Plummer; parents, Richard and Ellen Mitchell; brothers, Jim and Larry Mitchell; sister Anne Mainwaring; brothers-in-law, George Mainwaring and Glen Derrickson, sisters-in-law, Virginia Mitchell and Joyce Plummer; and children, Bill Plummer and Patty Perry. She is survived by her siblings, Janet (Marion) Huston, Donald (Ruby) Mitchell, and Lonnie Mitchell; brother-in-law, Ted Plummer; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Mitchell and Gail Derrickson; daughter, Kim (Joe) Lavadure; son, Wes (Sue) Plummer; grandson, Jeremy (Janell) Plummer and their kids, Sam, Ione, and Sadie; granddaughter, Amy (Eric) Gardner and their kids, Walter, Charlie, Norman, Stanley, and Clyde; grandson, Grant (Jaima) Hughes; and granddaughter, Patty Hughes. The Plummer family would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support they have received. The funeral will be held this Thursday, December 29th, at 10am at Kalispell Elks Club, 1820 US Highway 93 S. As she was a friend to all, we invite you to celebrate her life with us!