Florence Marie Arzy Young of Decker, MT joined the heavenlies on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, at 90 years of age. Florence was born January 1, 1931 in Sheridan, WY to Mary (Selig) Arzy and Joseph Arzy. She grew up with 5 brothers and 3 sisters on a farm outside Sheridan. Florence gained her determined grit during the 1930s drought and depression. She could drive a team of horses to harrow a field at the age of 11.
Florence was a devoted wife to John A. Young for 59 years; together they raised 3 children, Fabienne, Kenny and Gayle. Florence was a steadfast ranch wife. She would run to town for parts during haying and harvest season, grew a large garden with volumes of yummy strawberries, helped John feed the cattle in the winter, did night watch check during heifer calving and pulled many a stuck pickup out of mud holes or snowbanks. Florence enjoyed Spring the most; especially meadow lark song, first buttercups, Johnny jump up blossoms and her favorite, Shooting Stars. She took great care and pride in her large lawn – John maintained the fence to keep cattle and horses out of the luscious green. However, the deer and antelope were not deterred. Meals were served precisely at 7, noon and 6 pm. She is fondly remembered for “the best pancakes in the world” by her grandchildren, John’s favorite Sunday fried chicken dinners, delicious pork chops and abundant branding feasts.
Florence took her citizenship very seriously. She loved jury duty, being an Election Judge, serving on the state boards of Farm Bureau and Mountain West Insurance. She was appointed by the County Commissioners to serve on the County Development Council. She spent years as 4-H Leader and clothing judge, Lodge Grass High School Board, school bus driver, Cow Belles, offices in MT Dowsing groups. She loved reading palms, finding water for people, teaching them the tricks of dowsing and turned those talents to also finding lost people and items for law enforcement. Florence was an expert in ensuring Roberts Rules of Order were followed precisely during all meetings she attended. She drafted several petitions to sustain rancher and landowner rights. Her favorite project was rescuing the Decker bar, getting it moved to its new location/foundation near the Tongue River Reservoir. She obtained available state funding through coal mining grants to acquire land and monies for renovations and improvements to provide Decker with a functional Community Center. It is now used as a school and for local elections and gatherings.
Florence enjoyed playing Bingo. She made many treasured friends on bus rides to Deadwood and local Bingo games, enjoying the companionship at The Hub in Sheridan. Florence had a warm heart. She cherished a strong connection to family, friends, community and country. She fussed over John ensuring his shirts and jeans were crisply pressed, work clothes patched and hair barbered. She welcomed visitors making sure everyone was well fed and enjoyed sharing their stories.
Florence held a high standard of performance for herself, her family and associates whether she was driving school bus, judging 4-H clothing (a purple ribbon meant perfection) playing table games, attending board meetings or in conversation. Her own perfection was evident in her delicate hand sewing. Her family understood the motto “Don’t mess with Flo”. She was an amazing musician, able to play piano, organ, accordion, guitar, banjo and harmonica, all songs learned by ear as she did not read music.
The Arzy sisters, Nellie, Albena, Francis and Florence would embark on frequent road trips viewing the wonders found in California, Texas, Oregon, Montana and Wyoming. Great laughter, competition and little arguments were the foundation of their sisterhood. During her life, Florence was proud to have visited 47 states (including Alaska and Hawaii) Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.
Florence is survived by her 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, her brother, George Arzy, and sister, Francis Meich, nieces and nephews, many friends and neighbors. Due to COVID-19 Canadian travel restrictions, a memorial will be held this summer at the Decker Community Center. Although the family will miss Mom’s strong presence, they know John met her to dance across heaven in peace and joy.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.