Joan (Leach) Van Kuiken 83 of Lewistown died Saturday afternoon, September 21, 2019 in the Central Montana Medical Center of natural causes. She was born October 3, 1935 in Lewistown the daughter of Joseph P. and Agnes E. (Smail) Leach. Joan was raised north of Coffee Creek on the bench along with her twin brothers Gene and Gale. She attended her first year of school with her brothers and other kids on the bench at White Arrow Country School west of the home place. She then attended school in Denton graduating in 1953. On August 16, 953 she was united in marriage to Jack Van Kuiken in Stanford, MT. They lived on a ranch near the Twin Sisters at Buffalo, MT until 1954 when they began operating the ranch at Denton. They lived and ranched there until their retirement in 1993 when they moved to a place just outside of Lewistown. They made their home there until she lost her black hatted cowboy in 2005. She continued living there until moving into Lewistown in 2015. In 2017 she moved into the Eagles Manor, where she enjoyed not having to cook and was able to play many hot games of pinochle with new friends. As her health failed her, she moved to the Central Montana Nursing & Rehab where she resided until her death.

Through the years’ she was an animal lover whether it was warming up chilled calves or lambs in the porch on the ranch or her beloved Schnauzers. In addition to her animals she raised a big garden to feed 4 kids and anyone who happened to stop by at mealtime, she also sewed clothes for her kids and grandkids.

She had many hobbies through the years and liked to keep busy doing crafts and making jewelry.

Joan is survived by her children Bonnie (Bob) Ostertag of Stanford, MT, Dale (Corinne) Van Kuiken of Bozeman, MT, Dauna (Pete) Samson of Stanford, MT and Darvin (Susan) Van Kuiken of Laurel, MT; 10 grandchildren Kristi Mauws, Jessica McNeff, Jay Van Kuiken, Joni Nicholls, Justin Samson, Tyler Bragg, Shelby Van Kuiken, Stevie Van Kuiken, Shania Van Kuiken and Koltar Van Kuiken; 11 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death her parents, twin brothers Gene and Gale, sisters-in-law Ann Leach and Alice Worrall.

Funeral Services for Joan (Leach) Van Kuiken will be Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Stanford Calvary Community Church with committal to follow in the Stanford Cemetery.  Visitation will be Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Cloyd Chapel.  The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Fergus County Council on Aging Meals on Wheels, the Lewistown Fire & Rescue First Responder Program or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

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