Alumni Stories

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Virginia Stefonic Hand

Virginia Stefonic Hand

Class of 1956

HIGH SCHOOL YEARS - Virginia was in the FHA, and on the Beaver Editorial Staff as well as on the Annual Staff. She was also in the chorus.
FROM THE YEARBOOK - “I will my ability to stay out late to Earl Conklin (Virginia’s nephew) and Marcella Stwart (Earl’s girlfriend).”
FROM THE MAY 22, 1956 BEAVER - “Virginia Stefonic wills luck, success and happiness to all the underclassmen.”
CLASS OF 1956 REUNITED AFTER TWENTY YEARS - “Hair stylist for MGM.” (WELL - not quite - but keep reading.)
AFTER HIGH SCHOOL - Virginia married Horace Hand (from Argenta) in June 1956 right after high school. They went to Butte where Horace studied at the School of Mines for a while. They later moved to Argenta for three years where Horace worked in his Dad’s silver mine.
They moved to Dillon where Horace assayed for a while until they moved to Helena where he bought an assaying company, (Goodall Brothers).
Virginia divorced Horace in 1986 and went to school to be a cosmetologist at the age of 50. She worked as a waitress for a while, then with her daughter Tami started a cosmetology business “Shear Artistry”.
In 1982 Virginia was named the “First Lady of Rotary” when Horace was the District Governor, and Virginia recalls having to host a party of over 300 guests, as well as housing a couple of foreign diplomats for Rotary. She was also involved with the Chamber of Commerce in Helena. She belonged to the local Homemakers Club (adult FHA), as well as being involved with Boy Scouts and religious education.
Virginia is handicapped now with arthritis, and retired from the business a few years ago. Tami continues to run the business.
FAMILY - Kevin, her oldest, has one girl Jessica 23 who manages a restaurant, a boy Ace 17, in high school, and another boy Jeremy, also in high school. Kevin owns his own construction business in Helena. Both Ace and Jeremy work for Kevin.
Danial Died of a heart attack at the age of 38. His daughter Bonnie is a housewife. His son Drew works in a nursing home. OK - now get this! His daughter Brittney OPERATES RIDES FOR A TRAVELING CARNIVAL!
Pamela has two girls Jennifer 29 who is a nurse and Jackque 22 who works for the Town Pump. Pamela lives in Helena and works with older and disabled people.
Randy is married to Carrie and they live in Great Falls. Randy is a CPA and Carrie works for a half-way house for girls. Their children are William works for the State road department, Levi works in lumber, Cole is in high school, Breezy works for Starbucks, Dee is in college and is in the National Guard, Jessica is in middle school, and Rachel is in grade school.
Ronald is married to Connie and they live in Melton, WA. Ronald is a contractor. They have two sons Jason 12, and Ryan 10. Connie works as a secretary.
Tami is married to Russ Schleining. As mentioned, Tami now owns and operates “Shear Artistry”. Russ works for the Federal Government. They have daughters Elizabeth who works in construction and Sarah has a day care, and a son Josh works for a cement contractor.
Scott is Virginia’s foster son. He adopted them when he was in the fourth grade. Scott works for the bus service in Missoula. He has a daughter Brittany who is a housewife and a son Steven who works for Walmart.
Virginia has twenty-four grand children with a twenty-fifth on the way. She has twelve great-grandchildren, and ONE GREAT-GREAT grandson.
In addition to those mentioned above, Virginia has many many others who call her Mom or Grandma.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES - Currently she likes cooking (especially making noodles) and family activities. And now I think this is really nice. Every Sunday is dinner at grandma’s house. No invitations. Whoever shows up gets to eat. There is always anywhere from 12 to 24 at dinner. Before her arthritis got to be a problem, she liked fishing and traveling.
HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIES - Virginia moved to Dillon in her junior year. She came from an all-girls high school in Butte. Virginia advises that high school age kids should NEVER go to a segregated school. Moving to BCHS was the best thing that could have happened to her.
Virginia particularly liked Mrs. Christie, Mr. Bruer, and Mrs. McCollum. Her best friend was Loretta Tribble.

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