Edith E. Guza, 102
March 17, 1919 – September 19, 2021
Edith E Guza, 102, from Great Falls died on September 19, 2021. The Resurrection Mass was celebrated on September 24 at 3:00 pm in Our Lady of Lourdes and then buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Edith was born March 17, 1919 to Nicholas Edmond and Decorah Treasia Dolphay (the Americanization of the Dauphinais) who ran a homestead eleven miles north of Dodson, MT. She was the second of twelve children and the eldest daughter, and so she looked after her younger siblings and did the farm work from an early age. She grew up in a time and place of scarcity: nobody had much and nothing was wasted. Like most of the time, she learned to grow or do what she needed and share with others. She sewed, quilted, tattooed, and crocheted, and usually gave it away to family and friends. She laid out lush gardens and preserved the harvest for the winter. Her family and friends enjoyed her excellent cuisine, especially her pies. She continued to take care of needy family members from girlhood to adulthood, especially her disabled brother Danny, her son Richard after polio, her husband in the last years of his life with COPD.
After graduating from a one-room schoolhouse and Dodson HS, she moved to Great Falls and worked as a housekeeper and waitress at Tracy’s Diner. There she met a handsome man named Joe Guza, the son of Slovak immigrants who were mining coal in Stocket, MT. She then converted to Catholicism and married Joe on October 21, 1939 at St. Ann’s Cathedral. Edith and Joe welcomed their first son Richard in 1941, and she stayed home to raise their six children. Later, however, Edith worked again from economic hardship as a secretary at the Emerson School and then as an admissions assistant at Columbus Hospital. Her last job was as an accountant at Firestone.
Edith was a 70-year-old member of the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, was involved in the altar society, in the church district and as a Eucharistic preacher.
She was gifted with a keen mind and a keen curiosity about the world. She read a lot, especially historical novels, kept up to date on CNN and the GF Tribune, and traveled extensively in the United States, Hawaii, the cathedrals of Europe and the Vatican. She loved competitive board games and card games like Pinochle, Cribbage, Scrabble and Words with Friends. In her 90s she learned how to use a computer and made family history albums for her children. After moving to assisted living, she learned to play bridge and, at the age of 102, organized the pinochle games and kept the points.
On her 100th birthday, she was asked about the secret of her longevity. She said it was “acceptance of what is”. She had that, but could also take what was and make something unique out of it. Even in her last days, she retained and shared her sense of humor. We are grateful for what she has given us and to have her as an integral part of our lives. She was loved and is missing.
Edith leaves behind her six children: Richard and his wife Carmela and the children Helen and Edward; Joanne Guza and children Laura, Debrah, Dirk and Joanie; Bonnie Hocevar and the children Mathew, Michele, Christopher, Patrick, Jennifer, and Casey; Mike and his wife Shirley and children Liz, Raymond, Greg, Theresa and Cindy; John and his wife Donna and daughter Nichole; and William and his wife Jean and the children Sarah, Margaret and Nathan; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and a sister Lenore Pomeroy. Her beloved husband Joe in 2006 preceded her in death; ten siblings; and two great-grandchildren, Matthew and Zachary. Among the many friends who kept Mama company and support, we thank you, especially Jim Poletto, who bought and brought her meals in restaurants on Thursdays while she was in sheltered living and visiting the hospice.
Monuments can be dedicated to the peace hospice by the benefit or charity of your choice.
Published by The Montana Standard on September 30, 2021.