Tribute: Julie Halverson

She left us Feb. 9, 2019. Her family plans Julie’s Memorial Service for July 11—date TBA.

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Announcement posted 7/10/19

Julie joined the Yellowstone County Master Gardener program in 2000, and was a true force to be reckoned with, especially when it came to getting volunteers for her pet project ZooMontana and the Geranium festival. She called herself the “pushy old broad” as she “eagle eye” challenged Master Gardeners to sign up to help at the various stations of the Geranium Festival…and she did get the volunteers! It was a rare week through these years that she didn’t show up to the Zoo and work on flower garden care…and this she did all the way up through last fall.

School stories were a big part of her story telling history as her students and friends knew. In 1987 she was honored with a Golden Apple Award in School District 2 (Billings). Even after a full career teaching kindergarten, Julie shared her teaching skills through the Care After School programs and also worked to maintain the MetraPark Gardens. Julie holds the record for MG volunteer hours, an unbelievable 2500 Volunteer hours in her 18 years. And this was through just one of her many club affiliations such as Delta Kappa Gamma, Early Literacy, Global Grannies, and the Garden Club.

“She was one of the most energetic, ambitious and positive folks I’ve ever known. She always had a smile and a very special way of getting you to volunteer for a project. I will remember her for not letting anything stop her, breast cancer or strokes and her deep sparkling eyes. She inspired many a gardener both aspiring young ones and us “more mature” ones”

Master Gardener Merita Murdock

“Most days Julie and her husband had lunch at the Muzzle Loader Cafe and when several old Master Gardeners habitually showed up on Friday for lunch there was always a chat or wave. She never forgot us. She would drive her car to lunch and her husband always sat in the backseat. He might have been thinking of his safety.

“Julie was an expert on herbs. One year MSU did not provide an instructor for the M/G class. The Billings MGs had to teach the class themselves. Julie brought her years of teaching skills to help save the day. She was an expert on herbs. She taught a class on herbs which the students really liked. She was always available to provide advice to learning MGs. In a similar manner, she often gave away plants she had grown in her garden and her emphasis seemed to be angled toward English Garden style.”

Master Gardener Corry Mordeaux

“What a blessing it was to know Julie. Julie’s enthusiasm and wealth of gardening information made being around her such a pleasure. She enriched the lives of many of us Master Gardeners in countless ways.”

Master Gardener Elaine Allard

“I knew Julie through the geranium fest and I worked with the group at the Zoo a couple years. I especially liked her nickname that she seemed to actually enjoy having ‘the pushy old broad’. But she always got things done- with a bright smile.”

Master Gardener Sheri Kisch

Julie will be missed by so many.

Submitted by Amy Grandpre

UPDATE

 

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Julie’s Tree

In honor of Julie Halverson, Master Gardeners would like to plant a memorial tree in a Billings city park. If you wish to donate to this cause, please make your check payable to City of Billings. Once all funds are collected for the tree and plaque, we will submit the checks to the city to make the purchase. Checks can be mailed to Merita Murdock, 649 Brookwood Dr., Billings, MT 59101-7050. Please mark on the memo area “Julie’s Tree”.

If you have additional questions, feel free to call Merita at 690-3754 or Corry Mordeaux at 545-7166.

Update:

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have secured enough funds to purchase a memorial tree and plaque for Julie Halverson.

The family has decided the tree will be placed in Lillis Park and we plan to have a dedication sometime during early July when the family will be gathered in the Billings area.

I will pass along the final plans when they are arranged.

Thank you,

Merita Murdock