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Lora "Babe" Lynn Demaray

February 16, 1934 July 5, 2019
Lora "Babe" Lynn Demaray
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Obituary for Lora "Babe" Lynn Demaray

Lora “Babe” Demaray was born on February 16, 1934 in Lame Deer, Montana. She was an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Lora went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5th after living with Alzheimer’s for almost 10 years. Lora is survived by her husband of 64 years, Richard “Dick” Demaray who was her constant companion, caretaker and champion for all of those years. Babe & Dick raised 6 kids together, Richard and Terri Demaray of Colstrip, MT; Jon and Mary Ann Demaray of Colstrip, MT; Dan and Kris Demaray of Billings, MT; Ron and Peggy Demaray of Phoenix, AZ; Robin and Lynda Demaray of Billings, MT; and, Laurie (Demaray) and Roger Bruckner of Billings, MT. They have 24 grandkids and 26 great-grandkids so far. She was preceded in death by her older brother Robert “Jr” Livingston, her younger brother Philip Livingston and her two younger sisters Bonnie Pipe and Ruthie Davies. She has too many nieces, nephews, and cousins to mention but she loved them all.


Lora’s parents, Robert and Gail (Bolson) Livingston ran a sawmill in Lame Deer where she attended grade school. While in the eighth grade, the sawmill was converted to a portable mill and moved to the hills around Ashland, MT. There were no school busses to High Schools in Ashland or Broadus in the late 1940’s and early 50’s so she did not attend High School. Lora was later able to attend bible school at Freeman, SD; the Bible Standards Institute in Eugene Oregon, and later Montana Institute of the Bible in Billings.

In 1954, while working as a waitress at the Billings Depot, she met Dick Demaray and they were married in Busby, MT. They raised six children, five boys and one girl, together. In the mid-1960’s the Northern Cheyenne Tribe issued a $1,000 per capita payment. It was like a dream come true. Lora had wanted to go back to school so she asked the Tribe to send her check directly to Eastern Montana College. Her Bible School degrees did not transfer so she took her G.E.D. and began classes in the fall of 1965. She loved education and the pursuit of knowledge.

She attended classes mostly in the evenings when her husband was home to care for the kids and would study late at night after everyone had gone to bed. The children were 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 at the time but she managed to do what she had to; not for just one quarter, but for 5 full years! She graduated with Honors, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1970 and moved back to Lame Deer to work for the Tribe in the Follow-Through Program for four years during which time she helped several people on the reservation to acquire college degrees. Due to illness in the family, she moved back to Billings and took a job at EMC in the Career Opportunity Program (COP), helping Native American men and women work toward their own degrees in Education.

When the COP program ended, she seized upon an opportunity to continue her education and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at Montana State University; all while driving back and forth to Bozeman for classes two and sometimes three days a week. She continued and took additional classes toward her Doctorate, but during her final Semester she received a call from Dull Knife College in Lame Deer asking her if she would serve as an Administrator at the College. Since her education had been largely funded by the Tribe, she felt obligated to take the job and never finished her PHD due to not finishing her dissertation. She worked at Dull Knife for three years as the Dean of Student Services where she continued to encourage students to continue their education.

Babe and Dick moved to Havre, MT in 1990 due to a relocation on Dick’s job. They returned to Billings in 1996 with much anticipation regarding what might lie ahead. In 2001 Dick and Babe purchased a very large pile of logs to start building their “retirement home.” With a massive amount of labor from Dick and his “boys,” they finished their log home in 2005 and finally moved into their forever-home. Babe and Dick enjoyed their new home, their children, grand-children, and even great-grand-children coming and going all the time. They hosted numerous birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and family reunions at “the Ranch.” Sheep, horses, cows, chickens and four-wheelers were a common sight, and everyone was always welcomed with open arms.
In 2012 Babe was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her last years were bittersweet, filled with visits and travel; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; hugs and tears. Dick watched over his wife with a fierce love uncommon to his age. Babe died in her sleep with him by her side.
Babe loved people and she loved God and was an example to us all. One day we will see more of the influence she had on her Tribe, her family and her friends. Until then we will carry on in the ways she taught us.
A Memorial Service will be held at the FEFC Church at 401 Custer in Billings, MT at 10:30 on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
In lieu of sending flowers, the family is setting up a memorial fund for Babe. Please make any donations by sending money to the family at 8003 Blue Creek Road, Billings, MT 59101


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