Deanna Marie Ihla Hermes, 79, of Polson MT, formerly of Williston ND, passed away after a long battle with cancer on May 30th, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born July 18th, 1940 in Souris, ND to Albert and Olga (Magnuson) Ihla. She was raised on the farm near Souris where she attended country schools and graduated from Souris High School. On the farm she learned the value of hard work and was very proud of her Norwegian heritage. She attended Minot State University where she obtained her teaching degree and found her love for education and sports.
She moved to Williston ND in 1962 where she taught girls Physical Education and was the Cheerleader Advisor. Later she taught Title I Reading at Rickard Elementary. While in Williston, Deanna found the love of her life, Dean Hermes. They were married April 15th, 1967 in San Antonio, TX before Dean left for one year of service in Vietnam. Upon his return, they settled in Williston and continued teaching for the next 36 years. After retiring from teaching in 2000, they moved to their property on Flathead Lake, Montana.
In her retirement, Deanna was very active in the Polson Reads Program, volunteering her time, talent and love for reading. She enjoyed dressing up as Mother Goose and reading to children all over Northwest Montana. She was active in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and was a long-time member of the Council of Catholic Women.
Deanna was very outgoing and cherished her morning coffee with her “coffee ladies” at the Hallmark in Polson. Her fun-loving nature allowed her to make friends wherever she went. Dean and Deanna enjoyed traveling, especially to meet with her sisters and brother and their spouses. She was an avid sports fan, always following her beloved Minnesota Vikings, Montana Griz and Williston Coyotes. As a coach’s wife, she would often educate others on the nuances of the game. She loved spending time with her family and bragging about her grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents Albert and Olga and her beloved husband Dean.
She is survived by son Chris (Josie) of Troy MT and daughter Allyson (Joey) Diehl of Libby MT; grandchildren Mazzy, Marcus, Ricki, Paxton and Addyson; sisters Doreen (Al) Bosonetto of Lavonia MI, Dayne (Tom) Yancey of Frazer Park CA, brother Dean Ihla of Bismark ND and beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services to be held on Friday, June 5th at 11:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson MT. Friends and family may gather at Deanna’s lake house in Polson following the service.
She will be interred beside her husband Dean at the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery in Missoula MT at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Cheerful Heart, P.O. Box 688 Polson, MT 59860 or Williston Coyote Foundation, P.O. Box 1407 Williston, ND 58802.
SKOL Vikings! Go Griz! All out for Williston!