Althea Benedict Uhlig, a former resident of Hawthorne, passed away on Tuesday, March 1 at the Riverside Healthcare Center in Missoula, Mont. She was 87. Althea was born March 29, 1928, to Harry Albert Benedict and Gladys Althea Bright Benedict in Mason City, Iowa. She is survived by her son, Karl (Sharon) Uhlig of Missoula; daughter, Christine (Ed) Wilkerson of Cheyenne, Wyo.; granddaughter, Theresa (Jon) Robarge of Vancouver, Wash. and a sister, Sharon (Tony) Hughes of Hawthorne.
Althea’s mother, Gladys passed away when Althea was only one month old and when Althea was three years old, her father remarried to Eleanor Meredith Hemphill. Althea attended school in Mason City until her last two years in high school. In 1944, her sister and stepmother moved to Hawthorne to join her father who was assisting with the war effort. Althea graduated from Mineral County High School in 1945 and was valedictorian with honors and received two scholarships to University of Nevada in Reno.
In addition to attending high school, Althea got a job on the Navy Depot checking laundry in and out for personnel. She was also a USO hostess at the weekly dances.
Althea met her future husband, Ed Uhlig while she was a student at the University of Nevada-Reno where she received a full scholarship. Following a one-year separation while Ed pursued training with General Electric and Althea went to Boston, Mass. for a dietetic internship affiliated with several hospitals and attended classes at Simmons
College. She was certified and offered a job as head of a diabetic clinic at a local hospital. Throughout the year of constant communication the couple married in September 1950 in the Pittsfield, Mass. Episcopal Church. The addition of two children made their family complete a son, Karl and a daughter, Christine.
Ed and Althea spent their initial retirement years sailing, and on their 35th wedding anniversary they took their new 36-foot Trawler “Lady Belle” and sailed the ”Big-O” route from Maine down the East Coast, around Florida, through the Gulf, up the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes, east through Canada, the Hudson River to New York and back to Maine. Althea and Ed continued to sail for eight years, including spending trips to the Bahamas.
Following Ed’s death in 2010, Althea moved to Missoula to be closer to her family. She resided at The Springs Retirement Center.
A celebration of Althea’s life was held at The Springs in Missoula on Monday, March 7.