Emma R. Reiss

December 8, 1921 ~ July 28, 2020 (age 98)


Emilia "Emma" Rose Reiss

Emilia "Emma" Rose Reiss 98, of Anaconda, passed away on July 28, 2020 at the Community Nursing Home of Anaconda where she resided for the past 6 years.

Emma, the eldest of 13 children was born on December 8, 1921 in Schefield, North Dakota to John and Rachael (Heidt) Paul. She grew up on "The" farm, as it was always referred to, in Schefield where she attended school. If she could have gone onto higher education, she would have pursued a career in nursing or nutrition, but instead became a cook's helper at a Dormitory in North Dakota. Growing up in a large family helped to develop an interest in cooking with everything being made from scratch, and, later in life, what a fantastic cook and baker she would become.

She married Frank Reiss on October 27, 1941 and moved to Anaconda in April 1947. To this union six children were born, Elaine, Darlene, Peggy, Lester, Kenneth and David. They resided in Anaconda and were married thirty years before Frank's passing in 1971.

Emma was a stay at home mom for many years. She was an extremely hard worker, taking in extra work while caring for her home and family. In the early 1960's she managed Town Pump for Tom Kennelly Sr. out of her home which was the original site of "Bills Drive Inn", Town Pump is still currently located on this same site where Emma lived so many years ago. In 1966 Emma went to work at Anaconda Head Start, the same year it opened in Anaconda. She started as a Cook's Aid and a year later she became Head Cook, a position she held for 26 years. Emma became known as "the cook" who made liver that tasted like steak. She always said, "the kids loved it and would ask for seconds." She created and prepared the menu and also did all the shopping for all the items needed for her menu. She was also known for her homemade baked goods, especially her cinnamon rolls, nut rolls, breads, pies, strudels, bean cake, German Potato Salad, and bread pudding.

Christmas was always an enjoyment at Emma's house with her many baked items, delicious dinners and of course Santa Clause followed by Christmas Mass. When Emma was a little girl she remembered Santa Claus giving her a pre-Christmas tease, saying "he would come a few days before Christmas and make a lot of noise so we would know he was there, then he would show certain gifts through the window. Emma said, "It was an awful way to build the suspense until Dec. 25th." Emma loved spending Christmas with her children and grandchildren.

Emma retired from Head Start on October 1, 1992. Gramma Reissy, as she was called by her many grandchildren, enjoyed her retirement years teaching her grandchildren how to cook and bake.
Reading, watching TV, especially Lawrence Welk, doing yard work, attending church and helping with the funeral luncheons, traveling and going out to lunch with her Head Start friends were among her many other enjoyments. Emma was a long-time member of Anaconda Catholic Community, attending mass every Sunday.

She lived independently until the age of 90 at which time she had a short stay at the nursing home and was then encouraged to move into New Horizons Assisted Living where she resided for two years and then returning back to the nursing home due to failing health. She accepted this and later called it home. She became known as "Grams" and Grandma by many of the staff and residents. The staff on Saturday duty would make sure she was back in her room by 6:00, so she could watch the Lawrence Welk show. Emma loved to watch the birds feeding outside her window and would bring it to CNA Scott's attention when the bird feeder was empty.

Emma was preceded in death by her Parents, Husband Frank, Son Kenneth, Sisters and their Spouses: Josephine (Luther) Dobson, Cecelia (Earl) King, Rosella (Bob) Harris and Albina Geerts. Brothers: Henry and James Paul, Sons-in-law, William Thomas Sr. and Bob Roberts and Daughter-in-law, Carol Reiss.

Survivors include her three Daughters, Elaine Thomas, Darlene Roberts, Peggy (Gary) Pearson all of Anaconda, Sons, Lester (LaGay) of Idaho and Dave of Anaconda. Daughter-in-law Nancy Reiss of Hamilton, Sisters: Martina Eckard of Billings, Agnes (John) Schmidtz of Woodland, Washington, Millie Tatum of Napa, California and brothers and their spouses: Robert (Beverly), Gene (Frances) and Ray (June) all of Longview, Washington. Sister-in-law Cathy Paul of Washington, Brother-in-law Fred Geerts of North Dakota, 12 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.

Emma was always smiling and was a generous, thoughtful, loving, caring and a patient person. Mom will be missed by many. We love you, miss you and will forever hold you in our hearts.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the service at the church.

Emma will be laid to rest next to her husband Frank at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the following: Anaconda Head Start, 317 West 4th street, Anaconda, MT 59711; Anaconda Nursing Home Caravan Project, 615 Main Street, Anaconda, MT or to the restoration project of Saint Peters Church at, Anaconda Catholic Community, 217 West Pennsylvania Ave., Anaconda, MT 59711.

Mass of Christian Burial

AUG 8. 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (MST)

Holy Family Catholic Church
217 W Pennsylvania AVe
Anaconda, MT 59711

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