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Linda Kay Bristow, 74

| May 12, 2024 12:00 AM

Linda Kay (Taylor) Bristow, 74, passed away at her home in Kalispell, on Feb. 17, 2024. She was born June 1, 1949, in Whitefish, to W. Ray and Monty M. (Bucklin) Taylor. 

She spent her early years growing up in Whitefish and was baptized in the Methodist Church in her primary years of school. In 1958 her family moved to Kalispell. She attended school in Evergreen and Flathead County High School. 

Linda met her high school sweetheart Richard Joseph (Dick) Bristow. The couple married at Linda’s family home April 8, 1968. Dick was drafted into the U.S. Army. Linda and son Ricky joined him when he was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. Linda loved the army base life and was glad to meet and share meals with the German people in their apartment. Dick was sent to Vietnam, so Linda moved back to Montana.

Linda and Dick moved to Central Point, Oregon, to be partners in an Unfinished Furniture Manufacturing business. They were also their own shipping business, delivering furniture on the Pacific Coast from northern Washington to Southern California. In 1958, Linda’s mother acquired a carrier motor route with the Daily Inter Lake and after her mother retired, in 1983, she turned the route over to Linda. The motor route was Linda’s career until 2009.

Linda launched into a new life with Ralph Sletten. They were teenagers when their families joined together on camping trips. They built a home together in Kalispell, looking forward to a retirement in Quartzsite, Arizona.

In her retirement, she loved to travel and made trips to Bozeman to spend time with her son and grandsons, and many road trips with friends.

Linda and Ralph finally were officially “Snowbirds” in 2013. He spent his time mining. Linda joined in the life of a resident in an RV park, like she was killing snakes with a stick. She introduced the residents to weekly card classes, beading, sewing, and having dinners for the holidays.

She has entertained many friends when sharing her Grandma Daisy’s stories and her “tails” about Jigger D; her miniature Yorkie would almost convince you that maybe she does know what he is trying to share with her. 

Linda lived courageously for decades with MS and several heart procedures. She was president of her chapter Beta Sigma Phi and a member of Whitefish Women of the Moose and Presbyterian Women's Group.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard J. Bristow; and parents, W. Ray Taylor and mother, Monty M. (Bucklin) Taylor.

She is survived by lifetime partner, Ralph N. Sletten; two sons, Rick J. Bristow of Bozeman; foster son, Joshua Curtin of Kalispell; and four grandsons including, Taylor J. Bristow and great-grandson, Noah J. Bristow; gandsons, Tristen A. Bristow, Logon O. Bays, Gabriel W. Bahr; great-granddaughters, Arianna and Natalie; and great-grandson, Thorin Bahr of Bozeman. She was also survived by her sister, Monte Rae Ingraham of Whitefish; and brother, Gordon R. Taylor of Kalispell; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Her ashes will be interred at C.E. Conrad Cemetery in Kalispell. A celebration of life memorial will take place on May 18, at the Kalispell Eagles, 37 First St. West, Kalispell. Friends are encouraged to visit our website at www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.