- Your Town
Callie Marie Birther DeVries
Callie DeVries, our darling daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece and friend left us on June 2, 2013 to meet her Heavenly Father and join her husband for a long awaited dance following an extended fight with cancer. Callie was born in Berkeley, Calif., on Sept. 2, 1945 to Jernell “Jay” Victor and Marie Bither. She was raised in Walnut Creek where she helped her Dad work on the ranch and her Mom in the orchard. Her love for horses started before she could walk and as a young girl she was on horseback as often as possible, even skipping school to go riding.
She attended Clayton Valley High in Concord and maintained many of those friendships. As a young girl, Callie also had a love for skating. She started with roller skates until her Uncle Jack bought her a pair of ice skates. She took lessons at a local ice rink. Her coach would often take her to Berkeley to skate on the week ends which was really a treat when Peggy Fleming was training there. Her love of horses drew her to Montana where she decided to plant her roots. She started showing horses, earning many awards and ribbons for her showmanship. Even when she rode on the cows, you could see her perfect form shining through. She met Gary DeVries in 1984 when he told her that she had a “nice mane” and asked her to dance. She was smitten with the way he glided her across the dance floor and they were married on April 5, 1986. They started their life together in Molt where they built a house, a barn and a life full of dreams. At that time, they spent many of their days off in the mountains camping and fly-fishing. In 1993 they moved to Bridger to a place where the “river runs through it”, so they could fish anytime they wanted to, which was maybe twice. They shared their dreams and their love for the ranch life. She attended her 35th High School Reunion with her husband, Gary, in 1998. They enjoyed their time so much that many of those friends came to visit them at their ranch here in Montana.
They loved the rare times they were able to see their longtime friend, Bruce Hauser and his band, Sawmill Creek. They volunteered many years for the Bridger Youth Rodeo and supported Jonnie Jonckowski and Angel Horses in their efforts to rescue horses. Callie took great pride and joy in her stewardship of the land and animals that God placed in her care. She had met many friends in the surrounding communities and neighboring ranches. Even after losing her husband and best friend, she managed to carry on those dreams. Callie is preceded in death by her husband Gary, both of her parents Jay and Marie Bither.
She is survived by her children Chad (Linda) Caldwell, Greg Caldwell, Callie (Tony) Kenyon, her husband’s parents Bruce and Lillian DeVries; her brother Jernell (Linda) Bither, her sisters-in law Shelley (John) Wold and Tracey (Jim) Schreiner; her grandchildren Tyler, Alexia and Shayna Caldwell, Tylene and Kalee Moore and her little "Biscuit," Tristan Kenyon; and the many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Callie also leaves behind many friends she has gathered from her childhood and ranching. Callie will be missed by all members of "The Crew" and their families: The Loynings, McDowells, Olsens, Pfiefers, Knightons, Petersons, Kafkas, Baumanns, Halls, Murrays, and her childhood friend Cordia Dominguez. We will miss you cowgirl!!! Memorial donations can be made to either to the Bridger Youth Rodeo, attn: Monica McDowell, PO Box 481, Bridger, MT 59014 or to Angel Horses, PO Box 20797, Billings, MT 59104. A memorial service to honor and remember Callie DeVries was held at 11 a.m. Monday June 10, 2013, at the Bridger Civic Center. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel, memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com.