Sally M. Gonion


(May 18, 2008)

Sally Marie Gonion, 76, died peacefully at her home in Powell, Sunday, May 18.

She was born in Wichita, Kans., in 1932 to Vincent and Lois Haberthier. They moved to Cody in the early 1940s, and she graduated from Cody High School in 1950.  She was an avid horseman and was the 1950 Miss Cody Stampede Rodeo Queen.

She marched with the Elks Band in 1951, and in 1952, eloped with friends to Billings, Mont., and married who she considered the most amazing man ever, Burl Gonion. They moved to Powell in 1956.

She worked as a telephone switchboard operator, aerobics instructor and as a secretary for St. Barbara’s Church and the Powell Senior Center.  Along with Rodeo Queen, she received The Artillery Order of Molly Pitcher award,  served as a foster parent, volunteered countless hours of work to the community and church and was the “awesomest mom.”  Painting, riding horses, outdoor adventures, making crafts and jewelry and photography were some of her favorite pastimes to share with family and friends.

Those left to cherish her memory are her best friend and beloved husband of 56 years, Burl; son, Chip (Theresa) Gonion, DesMoines, Wash,; daughters, Gay (Darrell) Cariveau, Greybull, Joy Gonion,  Cody, Sandi (Tom) Salvagni, Whitehall, Mont.,  and Anna (Bob) King, Powell; sister, Ann (Warren) Baker, Allyn, Wash.; brother, Stan (Dinah) Haberthier, North Glenn, Colo.; sisters-in-law, Shirley Goocher, Billings, Mont., Betty Gonnion, Cody; brother-in-law, George (Mary) Gonnion, Pillager, Minn.; nine grandchildren, Ilona, Kasey, Robby, Vinnie, Mikki, Tukker, Tyler, Wyatt, Kwinn and one great-granddaughter, Maddeson Blue Lin; life-long friends  Rosabelle, Ruth and Gail; many nephews, nieces, cousins and countless unforgettable friends. Sally was preceded in death by her son, Hap.

Vigil service and rosary will be held Thursday, May 22  at 7  p.m., and funeral services will be Friday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m., both at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Powell. Services will continue at the Crown Hill Cemetery immediately following.

Sally requested that memorial contributions be made in her memory to the Billings Clinic Foundation; Cancer Research Fund,  P.O. Box 31031, Billings, MT 59107. (406) 657-4670