Eva L. Mader, 90, went to be with her Lord and Savior in Glory on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, at Campbell County Memorial Hospital.
She was born the youngest of five on Dec. 6, 1930, to Ira B. and Graphia M. (Mewhirter) Wilson on Duck Creek, Wyoming, on her Dad’s ranch. She grew up there and attended high school in Gillette, Wyoming. After graduating in three years, she attended summer college in Spearfish, South Dakota, to obtain her teaching permit.
In the fall of 1948, at the age of 17, she began her teaching career at the Heald School (east of Weston), where she taught for one year. Her kids there called her “a princess” since she followed an elderly teacher. She was snowed in at the school that first year for several weeks (the winter of 1949). Her brother-in-law Gene Warlow hired a plane to fly out and check on her and also her folks at their ranch. He buzzed the school and dropped a loaf of homemade bread to her that was still hot and she said many times, “nothing ever tasted so good!"
Bob Mader and Eva were married on June 4, 1949. This ended the necessity of opening and closing 22 gates each way every time he went to see her. They moved to the Gilstrap place north of Gillette (now owned by Scotts) where she taught at the Butte School and Bob worked for Lynn Tarver. In the spring of 1950 they leased the Keuhne place north of Rozet. The John Nolan place on Little Powder overlapping the Montana/Wyoming state line was a place that Bob had always liked. This ranch became their home in the fall of 1950. Bob and Eva raised their family there, and Mom lived on the ranch more than 71 years.
Mom drove bus for as long as any of us kids could remember, from the time she took Justin to school in 1957 until she retired in 2008 at the age of 78 for health reasons. She truly loved all her kids and often told stories about them. She always said the school bus driver was the most well informed person in the community, and that she hauled the only irreplaceable possessions her neighbors had.
She was the best Mom, wife, homemaker, and bus driver ever. She was known in the community as an outstanding cook. She followed in her mother’s footsteps because she was embarrassed if anyone stopped by and she did not have homemade cookies ready.
Mom was a real giver and often gave away things she really treasured. She willingly sacrificed for her family all her years, and even went without wearing her diamond wedding ring for seven years because the cost of having the prongs repaired ($7) “would pay for 1/2 an acre of land.”
She was loved by everyone who knew her for her always loving, giving, optimistic and stabilizing ways. She was a solid spiritual influence in the lives of many.
What most people don’t realize is how hard she worked along with Dad to raise seven kids without many of the modern conveniences we now know. Each of us kids are so grateful for, and aware of, her back breaking work and sacrifices. Even when she could not do much for herself, she often would ask, “What can I do to help you?” or “What could I have ready for supper?” She was never heard complaining, but was always grateful for all she had, especially for indoor plumbing, hot water and electricity.
Eva was preceded in death by her parents, Ira and Graphia Wilson; in-laws, John and Arzell Mader; husband Robert; siblings, Viola, Gertrude, Jessie, Duglas; and several nephews.
She is survived by children, Justin (Janet) Mader of Gillette, Wyoming, Arnie (Denise) Mader of Biddle, Montana, Craig (Debbie) Mader of Stephenville, Texas, Foreman Mader of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Marilyn Mader of Lame Deer, Montana, Rebecca Mader of Weston, Wyoming, and Lody (Lance) Mader Dye of Camdenton, Missouri; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; as well as many nephews and nieces. In addition, she is survived by special friend, Alice Remley; and caregiver, Ada Miller.
Funeral services begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at Little Powder School in Weston, Wyoming. Graveside service and Interment at Bowers Creek Cemetery in Biddle, Montana immediately after, with pitch-in meal to follow at the school.
Memorials in honor of Mom suggested to Little Powder School PTO scholarship fund or Biddle Hall Heritage Center. Please write the check to your charity of choice and mail to: Mader Memorial, P.O. Box 301, Biddle, MT 59314.
This paid obituary was provided by family.