Posted 10/25/17 (Wed)
Evelyn “Evie” Anita Renbarger Bruins, 88, died peacefully of natural causes on Oct. 5, 2017, surrounded by family. She was buried in the Moiese Valley, in western Montana.
Evie was born on Sept. 6, 1929, to Guy and Ella (Degerness) Renbarger on their farm in the Banks area north of Watford City, N.D., close to the Missouri River. She graduated in a class of 29 from Watford City High School in June 1947.
Herbert “Herb” W. Bruins (USMC WWII Combat Veteran) and Evie were married at the Garden Valley Lutheran Church on Sept. 20, 1947. After a honeymoon to Yellowstone Park, the happy couple moved to the newly-purchased Bruins homestead farm where their two daughters, Deborah in 1948 and Denalie in 1951, were born. Always the adventurers, they sold the farm in 1955 and bought a ranch near Hot Springs, Mont. Son Randy was born in 1955. Eventually, they returned to Watford City in 1957, and as partners, started up and operated Herb’s Boating Center. They later diversified into selling motorcycles, snowmobiles and other recreational items, as well as mobile homes, to make their business an all season success. Along with other boating enthusiasts, they developed the McKenzie Marina near Mandaree, N.D. Their last child Jason was born in 1962. All their North Dakota businesses were sold around 1981.
In 1982, Herb and Evie retired to the mountains near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Evie lived her passions! She always had a beautiful yard of flowers, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees, and enjoyed other outdoor activities like fishing, camping, and boating. But it was in the first years living in North Idaho where a new and strong passion developed for Evie in helping families in crisis with domestic violence, along with fighting for women’s rights. For 15½ years, Evie volunteered countless hours every week. Herb died in 2000. They had been married 53 years.
In 2009, Evie chose to leave her beloved North Idaho home to move to Missoula, Mont., to be closer to her children. She continued her progressive political activism, yard beautification projects, and watching her favorite sports teams like the UM Grizzlies.
Evie was preceded in death by husband Herb; parents Guy and Ella; brothers Byron, Orville, and Dean Renbarger; and sister Beatrice Adele Ytterdahl; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, along with five nieces and nephews.
Survivors include her four children, Deborah Tomas of Moiese, Mont., Denalie Bruins (Wayne Burnham) of Missoula, Mont., Randy Bruins of Moiese, Mont., and Jason Bruins of Colorado Springs, Colo. Four grandchildren, Christann (Dave) Schmid, David Aaron Rolfson, Sarah Evelyn Rolfson Marco (Mike), and Tasha Bruins; five great-grandchildren, Kayla Schmid Hatfield (Keith), Nicole Schmid, Daniel Schmid, Brandon Schmid and Jacoby Marco. Also, sister-in-law Gen Bruins of Arnegard, N.D., and 31 nieces and nephews.
At Evie’s request, no funeral service is planned. Memorials may be sent to Blue Mountain Clinic, 610 N. California St., Missoula, MT 59802.