Janet Ada Bielen

Janet Ada Bielen, 89, of Great Falls and Fort Benton passed away peacefully at home of natural causes on Thursday, February 15, 2024. She was born December 24, 1934, in Zurich, Montana, later growing up in Shelby, Montana. She graduated from Shelby High school in 1953 and married her high school sweetheart, Ronald Bielen on February 6, 1954.

Both hard working Montanans, they raised four children in communities throughout Montana. Ron's work for Buttrey Foods as a meat department manager took them from one end of the state to the other. Janet always joked that they lived in a town only long enough for her to get unpacked and settled. In 1973, Ron retired from Buttery's, and they moved to Big Sandy where they opened their first grocery store, Ron's Food Center. In 1977, they bought another grocery store in Fort Benton and later downsized to L&R Meats. Janet ran the bakery at L&R where for years she made soup, sandwiches, and pastries for many community members. She was a special favorite with most of the kids in the school system as a sandwich and donut maker. Much to the chagrin of the community, Janet retired from the bakery in 1996. Mom and Dad had worked together for nearly 40 years. They made many special friends in the communities where they lived.

Janet's hobbies included golf, ceramics at Marilyn Lehman's studio, cross stitch and crafting with her neighbor Joyce Cassidy, and spoiling her grandchildren and great grandchildren. "Gigi" as she was known to the great grandchildren was usually as mischievous as the kids.

Janet was preceded in death by her loving husband of 66 years, Ronald L. Bielen in 2020; her mother, Helena Malek; father, Ray Mignault; brother, Robert Belcher; and sister, Marie Fanning. She is survived by her brother, Marvin (Carol) Belcher; her children, Lori (Robert) Henderson, Larry (Diane Ray), Diana (Allen) Unghire, and Donald (Karyn) Bielen; eight grandchildren; and 21 great grandchildren,

A joint memorial service will be held for Ron and Janet at Hilcrest Lawn Mausoleum, on Friday June 14 at 11:00 a.m. The final resting place will be at Valley View Cemetery in Shelby, Montana.

The family is requesting memorial contributions be sent to Fort Benton, City Improvement Association (CIA), Box 313, Fort Benton, MT 59442. In the memo please stipulate: Old Fort Benton Bridge in Memory of Ron and Janet Bielen.

Condolences may be shared online for the family at http://www.SchniderFuneralHome.com.