Marjorie Tavegia Zupan


(May 11, 2010)

Marjorie Tavegia Zupan, 87, died May 11, 2010, in Powell.

Marjorie was born Dec. 2, 1922, to Otis and Florence (Schneider) Teegarden at the family homestead near Upton. She was the eldest of 8 children.

She graduated from Upton High School in 1940 and, having completed the “normal” training during her senior year in high school, taught in a country school the following year. After the family moved to Montana in 1942, Marge taught school in Luther, Hogan and Roberts in Carbon County, then in Belgrade, Montana. She ended her teaching career in Powell.

She attended summer school for many years at Eastern Montana College in Billings, earning a bachelor’s eegree in elementary education in 1962 and later a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii.

She married Thomas Victor Tavegia in 1943 and two sons were born that union: Thomas Merle Tavegia in 1943 and Larry Jack Tavegia in 1945. The marriage ended in divorce in 1948.

In 1971, Marge married Mark Zupan and they enjoyed their retirement years together, whether making their own applesauce and famous cabbage rolls (sarmas), taking cruises or traveling to Florida and Hawaii.

She took a special trip to Europe with her sisters and aunt, and she was interested in many things and every person she met. Marge made friends everywhere she went, and she had a long list of people across the globe that she corresponded with and visited whenever possible.

She had learned to play the guitar and violin as a young child, and that love of music stayed with her throughout her life. After her eyesight failed, she renewed her musical interest, including singing and playing with the “Travelers,” a senior citizen band, up to the week before she died.

After retiring, she became more active in pursuing her interest in art and developed her painting skills to a high degree.

Marge dealt with many obstacles throughout her life as she dealt with raising children, losing her vision and watching Parkinson's disease strip Mark of his independence. Being a long-term caregiver was difficult, but Margie never complained. She possessed incredible strength and fortitude, yet she maintained a sweetness of spirit and grace.

She is survived by her husband, Mark, of Powell; her son Larry Tavegia (Julie) of Pinedale; grandchildren Michele Reiser of Townsend, Mont., Tanya Martin of Green River, Christy Tavegia of Pinedale, Misty Collinsworth of Collbran, Colo., Lacey Tavegia of Pinedale; eight great-grandchildren; sister Dorothy Gustafson of Boise, Idaho; and brothers Bob Teegarden of Billings, Jack Teegarden of Boise, and Tom Teegarden, of Laurel, Mont.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her son Thomas Merle Tavegia; sisters Francis Betty Hill and Mary Jane Fletcher; and brother Donald Otis Teegarden.

A rosary will be held Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at St Barbara's Catholic Church. Funeral services will be Friday, May 14 at 1 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home.  There will be a public viewing prior to the services from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Memorial donations to the Parkinson's Fundation, Books for the Blind, St Barbara's Church or the charity of one’s choice would be appreciated.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, and online condolences may be left for the family at