Funeral services were held Aug. 6, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Choteau for Virginia Maria Luinstra, 89, of Choteau who died Aug. 1 at the Teton Nursing Home in Choteau.A Vigil service was held Aug. 5 at the church. Interment was held in the Choteau Cemetery under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home.
Virginia was born in Choteau on Sept. 29,1923, the daughter of Carl and Nellie Kochman.She was raised and educatedat Bynum.She graduated from Bynum Elementary and from Teton County High School in 1942.During World War II she helped on the family farm while her brother George was in the service.
In 1943, she moved to Seattle, Wash., where she was employed by Boeing Aircraft as a “Rosie the Riveter” on the B-17 bomber, working in the wing section.In 1944, she married Harry Luinstra at St. Joseph’s Church in Seattle. Harry was from Choteau and at the time in the U.S. Navy stationed at the Widbey Naval Air Station. They later moved to Oxnard, Calif., where Harry was stationed at Point Mugu.She was employed at Port Heneme Naval Base.Harry left for Saipan in the Marianna Islands in the Pacific in March of 1945 and Virginia moved back to Choteau and was employed by ASAA in Choteau.In 1946 she joined him on Saipan as a Naval dependent and was employed by the Com Naval Magazine. In 1947 Harry was discharged from the Navy and he and Virginia moved back to Choteau.
Harry became a partner in Luinstra Brothers Farms and they resided on the family farm until he and Virginia moved to a new home in Choteau in1953.Virginia became involved in the church auxiliary and served as president of the Catholic Ladies Auxiliary four times; was president of the Conrad Deanery and was the first woman president of the Parish Council.She taught CCD for a number of years and was also active in the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and attended conventions each year.
She began playing the organ at the Catholic Church in Bynum in her teens and then served as the organist at St. Joseph’s church in Choteau on and off for nearly 30 years.She was also the choir organizer for many occasions, including Easter and Christmas services and funerals.
Virginia was also a member of the Girl Scout organization for 26 years. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the VFW Auxiliary, having served as president.She was also involved with the Ladies Auxiliary of Teton Memorial Hospital, serving as president and served as co-manager of the Wheel of Life. Virginia served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Helena Home Health for ten years.
She loved animals, especially their cherished dachshunds and enjoyed golfing and bicycling. She and Harry spent many winters in Arizona in their retirement years and enjoyed dancing, shuffle-board, golf and other park activities.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother George, who died in 1996; and a sister Alice, who died in infancy.
She is survived by her husband, Harry; son, Jerome (Katie Pellett) of Choteau; and daughter, Carol (Clark) Myers of Longmont, Colo., and two grandchildren, Anne Luinstra of Great Falls and Jeremy Luinstra of Reno, Nev.
Memorials are suggested to the Teton Nursing Home or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, both in Choteau. Online condolences may be left at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com .