In memory of

Grace M. Tempel, age 97 of Helena formerly of Great Falls

November 27, 1917 – December 17, 2014

Grace Martha Tempel, 97, of Helena, passed away on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, of natural causes.

Grace was born November 27, 1917, to Martin and Lena Gavle in Winnett, Montana, where she completed grade school in a one-room schoolhouse near the family farm.  After completing high school in Winnett, she attended Billings Business College, graduating with a secretarial degree in 1935.  She worked for the J.I. Case Company as a stenographer for five years.

She married Paul Joseph Tempel on December 27, 1941, in Great Falls, Montana.  They raised their family there and saw them all grow up, leave and start their own families.  Paul died in 1992 and Grace continued to live in the family home in Great Falls until she was no longer able to live alone.  In June, 2008, she moved to Helena to live with her son Tom.  When a greater level of care became necessary, she moved to Rosetta Assisted Living in Helena where she lived until her recent death.

Grace enjoyed doing crafts, including crocheting knitting, needlework, word searches, and crossword puzzles, as well as giving her children lessons in how to lose gracefully in cribbage. Grace and Paul spent many hours making rosaries for the missions, completing upwards of 25,000 of them. She was a member of Our Lady’s Rosary Makers and Our Living Rosary.  She also knitted hundreds of baby caps in her spare time, donating them to Great Falls hospitals for the newborn.

Grace is survived by her children:  Joseph Martin of Avondale, AZ; Edna Martha Price of Bozeman; John Clifford of Mesa, AZ; Frank William of Ephrata, WA; Paulette Marie Halvorson of Bozeman; and Thomas Wayne of Helena.  She was preceded in death by her husband Paul Joseph Tempel; daughter Janet Elizabeth Mansikka; stepdaughter Nancy Riggs; her parents, Martin and Lena Gavle and a brother George.  Upon Nancy’s death, Paul and Grace adopted Nancy’s two boys, Steven and Michael Riggs.  Grace is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A viewing and visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m., Friday, December 26th, at St. Mary’s Catholic Community Church, 1700 Missoula Ave, Helena, with Rosary led by family at 5:30 and vigil at 6:00 p.m.  A funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 27th at St. Mary’s Catholic Community Church with a reception immediately following at the Helena East Valley Fire Department, 2694 Valley Dr., Helena. Grace will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband at 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 29th at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 2101 26th St. South, Great Falls, MT 59405. Please visit to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Grace.



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  1. Patricia Teigen McNamee says

    Grace was my second cousin, since her father and my father (Bard Teigen) were cousins. Unfortunately, I lost track of your family after my parents died. Please accept my sincere condolences.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Patricia Teigen McNamee

  2. Lois Ball Petersen says

    Condolences to the Temple family. Your mother was such a kind lady and put up with her “rowdy” neighbors. God Bless.

  3. Laurie House says

    Thank you for letting us care for Grace and for becoming part of our Rosetta family.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Laurie House

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