Clara "Janie" Mercier, 74, Culbertson, MT

A Celebration of Life service was held Thursday Feb. 22, 2024 at 1 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, Sidney, MT, with Pastor Richard Evans officiating. A luncheon will followed the service for a time of fellowship. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home, Sidney, MT, is assisting the family. Remembrances, condolences, and pictures may be shared with the family at http://www.fulkersons.com.

Clara "Janie" Mercier, 74, peacefully passed away on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at the Sidney Health Center, Sidney, MT, surrounded by her loving family and friends.

There are so many things to say about Janie. She was born on May 5, 1949, in Sidney, MT, to Maria (Bender) and Fred Lowry. A nurse by trade, her heart shined with love and caring. Through all the tragedy she suffered, she truly lived life with an inner peace that most never know. She still loved life- loved living it. She loved her family most of all- her children being her greatest joy. If you didn't know them, Janie would damn sure make you feel as if you did. She wanted everyone to know how amazing she thought they were and just how very proud of them she was. They loved her back just as much.

Some of Janie's happiest times were spent in her little cabin at her son, Gary's, outside of Helena. She just loved being in nature and watching the animals. It was her "little piece of Heaven." And she watched over it and us with a devotion and protectiveness that was second to none. Much of her time in that cabin was spent with her great granddaughter, Aibinn, whom Janie loved with all of her heart. And Aibinn adored her "Mama G." You very often found them watching movies, coloring, and eating Cheetos or chips (it was their thing). They loved each other so much.

Gary often referred to his mom as "the Warden" because she would sit up on her deck and watch the happenings going on at the property. She missed absolutely nothing and reported back to Gary about all she had seen on the daily. He loved getting her updates. It was part of their schedule- him checking in with his mom. Sure, he wanted to know what was going on around the property, but more than that he wanted to make sure she was ok. He wanted to see how her day went. He wanted to talk to his mom. He loved her to his very core.

Chasta and her mom - oh boy- where do we start? Two peas in a pod are what they were. Same attitude, same toughness. Same caring, loving, protective heart. As close as sisters - they fought each other just as hard. They loved each other just as hard, too. Janie and Chasta talked all the time. Chasta always had her mom's back and often opened a can of "let me show you what's up"' when Chasta thought someone was treating her mom poorly. Chasta didn't mess around when it came to Janie- that was her mom and she loved her dearly. And Janie felt the same about Chasta. She was so proud of her and the life she made for herself. She was so proud of the mother that Chasta was to Janie's grandson, Shawn. And she was just as equally proud of the young man Shawn turned out to be.

Janie and her sister, Stacy, were the best of friends. Always there for each other, Janie knew that Stacy was her rock. She could go to her sister for anything. They could talk about anything. Janie would've been lost without Stacy. Their bond was one that could never be broken, you know- like crazy glue. Nor could it ever be duplicated. Janie loved her sister so much and was so grateful to Stacy for always being there, the best sister Janie could ever want.

Janie loved people and they loved her. The definition of "social butterfly," Janie never met someone who wasn't her friend. Her personality sucked you in and made you want to hang out- you just couldn't help yourself. By the time you left, you felt like family- because you were family. Those who knew her know exactly what I'm talking about. When you were around her, her sweet nature and her sweet smile were so welcoming- you knew that you were blessed just to know her. She was a force to be reckoned with though. A spitfire through and through, she fought fiercely for those she loved.

Sunshine, grace, dignity, and grit- that was Janie Mercier. We love her and we will miss her so very, very much.

Janie leaves behind her son, Gary Herbst, Jr. (Connie), Helena, MT; her daughter, Chasta Purvis (Brad), Culbertson, MT; sister, Stacy (Jim) Buckley, Culbertson, MT; grandson, Shawn Whitmarsh, Missoula, MT; great granddaughter, Aibinn Anderson Herbst, Helena, MT; nieces, Tammy Buckley, Lisa Buckley and Monica Waters; as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews- whom she loved all so dearly.

Janie is preceded in death by her son, Shawn Herbst; her daughter, Christal Herbst; her mother, Maria (Bender) Patch; her fathers, Orin Patch and Fred Lowry; her children's father, Gary Herbst, Sr .; Bruce Egan; and her loving husband, Monty Mercier. He had the truck gassed up and was waiting for her. She is also preceded in death by numerous friends and family members who are so happy to see her- especially her babies, Shawn and Chrissy.

 

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