In memory of

Margaret “Peg” Schaeffer, age 96, of Helena

September 4, 1917 – March 2, 2014

Margaret “Peg” Schaeffer age 96 of Helena, passed away March 2, 2014. Peggy was born September 4, 1917 to Edward and Agnes Ellsworth of Helmville Montana.

As a young person she loved her family, her friends, her Catholic Faith, her dogs and the community where she lived.

Peggy graduated from Columbus School of Nursing, a registered Nurse in 1939. In 1942 during World War II she enlisted in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant.  She was stationed at the U. S. Army Air Base in Reno Nevada.  It was here that she met and married Jim Schaeffer Sr.

After the war, the family returned to Helmville where she was a wife, mother and a source of help to her father in his business.

The family moved to Helena in 1960, where she continued her career as a nurse at Fort Harrison VA Hospital.  After her retirement from Fort Harrison, she continued to work part time at St. Peters Hospital in Helena.

Whether family member or friend of Peggy’s, she was a mighty fortress for you.

Peggy is survived by her son, James Schaeffer Jr. and wife Barbara; grandsons, James Schaeffer III (wife Tami) and Steve Schaeffer Sr.; step-daughters Jill Keating and Marie Flemming; niece Darlene Mannix of Helmville; great-grandsons Steven Schaeffer Jr.,  Brayden Schaeffer and granddaughter Ellie Schaeffer. She is preceded in death by her Husband James Schaeffer Sr. her parents Ed and Agnes Ellsworth, sisters Anna Spieker, Irene (Peaches) Raymand,  Frances Ellsworth and brother Ed (Bus) Ellsworth Jr.

A Funeral Mass will be 12:10 p.m. Thursday, March 6th at Saint Mary Catholic Community, 1700 Missoula Avenue.  Immediately following the Mass will be a reception in the fellowship hall in the church.  Burial will take place at a later date. Memorial may be sent to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455 Helena, MT 59604. Please visit  to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Peg.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Allison Sever says

    Jim, Barb and Jill
    I am so sorry to hear about Peg. I know that you were such a huge part of her life and she is now resting, but will be with you forever.

  2. Teresa Hooper says

    Jim and Barb, Sorry to here about Peg. You guys were so good to her and she was so lucky to have you care for her. Your both going to heaven you know. Jim you know it is always harder for those who remain. Peace and love to Peg and her family.

  3. Carl and Marie Engstedt says

    Jamie, Barb and Jill,
    Carl and I are so sorry for your loss. We hope it brings you comfort to know that we deeply care and share in your sorrow with the loss of Peggy. We felt very blessed to have her as a neighbor for all these years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Janice Tangen (Vandeventer) says

    Jamie and Family,

    Peg and my mother, Audrey Vandeventer, lived a couple blocks from each other on the same street in Helena on Choteau. They worked together for years as nurses out at Fort Harrison. Not only were they work friends but also friends outside of work.
    Peg used to call my Mother “Van” and my Mother would call her “Peg”.
    They had a special friendship for sure.
    My condolences to you and your families.

  5. Jerry L. Schilling says

    Jamie and Family,

    So sorry to hear about Peggy. Our condolences from the Schilling Clan
    Being next door neighbors for so many years was a true blessing and knowing both Jimmy and Peggy was wonderful experience. She was so nice and I/we will always have many fond memories of her.

  6. Casey Keating says

    Dear Schaeffer Family:
    I am so sorry for the loss of Peggy, a woman that made a deep impression on me. I admired that she was ahead of her time when it came to independence, education, serving her country, and dedicating her life to her family and God. What I remember most is that she was fun to be around. There are lots of memories where we all shared a good-hearted laugh with Peggy. And that’s how I’ll remember her, smiling. It was good to know ya Peg! I’ll keep you in my heart, memories, and prayers.

  7. Jim and Family:
    I’m always sorry to hear of the loss of one from that “greatest” generation, and especially one who impresses me as a strong woman who served our country. She sounds like someone I would have enjoyed knowing. I can only echo the sentiments of those who wrote before me, and wish that you all as her family and friends find comfort in your memories of her life well-lived.

Add your thoughts and memories.