Mary Ann Cowan Nepil
March 22, 2023
On March 1, 2023, Mary Ann Cowan Nepil joined her loving husband, Jerry J. Nepil, in the presence of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Mary Ann, always known as Ann, was born Sadie Catherine to Jack and Anna Kifer on September 15th, 1926. When she was about 18 months old, she became ill with Spinal Meningitis. Her mother caught pneumonia and later died, but before her death she asked her husband to take Sadie (Ann) to Big Sandy, MT to Glen and Blanche Cowan, a teacher and rancher, to see if they would raise her. The Cowans agreed to keep Sadie and changed her name to Mary Ann. The Cowan's also changed her birthday September 15th to September 29th, which was Blanche's birthday and the couple's anniversary. Ann's birth father never signed the adoption papers as he had always hoped she would return to him. Ann had a wonderful life with the Cowan's; she had her own horse named Skeezix, and was always well dressed and much loved. She graduated from Big Sandy High School in 1944 and married Jerry J Nepil on September 29, 1944.
Jerry and Ann were married 68 years and blessed with four children: daughter Jeri Ann (Jan) on November 16, 1945; son Glen Franklin on November 13, 1947; daughter Blanche Elaine on March 21, 1949; and son Clifford Jay on February 13, 1954. Jerry and Ann farmed and ranched southeast of Big Sandy at Hopp and the Green Place, which they purchased later, retiring when they sold the farm to their sons. The couple then moved to Havre where they lived several years, relocated to Great Falls where they celebrated their 50th anniversary, moved to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and then back to Great Falls where they stayed until March of 2001.
Jerry and Ann enjoyed playing Bridge and both earned the title of Gold Life Masters. They also enjoyed traveling, and went to Hawaii and Mexico with friends to play bridge and vacation. For their 50th wedding anniversary, Jerry and Ann treated their children and their spouses to a trip to Hawaii. For several years they enjoyed traveling in their RV and wintering in Las Vegas. Ann and Jerry both developed macular degeneration and in 2001 they moved to Miles City, MT to live with their daughter Jan and her husband Jack Nesbit. Jerry passed away on December 13, 2012, and Ann moved along with Jan and Jack to Henderson, NV, in October of 2018. Jack passed away on November 14, 2018, and Ann remained with her daughter Jan in Henderson until her passing. Ann received Hospice care in her last years and was dearly loved by all of the hospice staff; they all called her "grandma" and made a point of visiting in her last hours.
Ann dearly loved all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. They were the light of her life. Ann is survived by her daughter Jan, granddaughter Annette Nesbit Gorton (John) and great-grandsons Matthew, Michael and Mitchell (Charleigh Bradley); grandson Jerry Nesbit (Brenda) and great-grandsons Blake, Jayce, Noah Dagley, and Stephen Dagley; Daughter-in-law Karen Reinertson (Norm), granddaughter Kimberly Nepil Brown (Marcus) and great-grandchildren Jacob, Joshua, Victoria, James, Jonathan, and Jackson, granddaughter Karli Nepil Phillips (Victor), great-grandchildren Victor Glen (Erika), Chase (Callie) and their children Westlyn and Saylor, great-granddaughter Dusti and her daughter Evelyn Cordova, Kodi-Jo, Sonny, Danni, Piper, Ryat, and Yanci, granddaughter Kristi Nepil Oliver (Justin) and great-grandchildren Kara, Brenna, Makenna, Levi, and Elia; daughter Blanche Dunn (Bryan), granddaughters Sara Robertson Murphy (Tracy), great-grandchildren Kayla Murphy (Jesse Brannon), and their daughter Isabelle, Sydney Dickinson (Braden Stremcha), Cody Murphy, and Riley Dickinson, granddaughter Jenny Robertson Reeves (Cory), and great-grandchildren Sayde (Beau Larson) and their daughter Aurora, Hannah, Zaiden and Zander; and son Clifford (Michelle), grandson Jesse and great-grandsons Curtis and Riet, and grandson Jared.
Ann was preceded in death by her natural parents, Anna and Jack Kifer, her adoptive parents, Glen and Blanche Cowan, biological brothers Fred and Glen Kifer, husband Jerry, son Glen Nepil, and sons-in-law Dell Saeman and Jack Nesbit. Ann's brother Glen Kifer is buried on Normandy Beach in France.
Visitation will be held on Friday, March 17, 2023 with the family receiving friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at Grace Bible Church in Miles City. Interment will follow in the family plot of the Custer County Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: http://www.stevensonandsons.com.