Dec. 25, 1933 – Feb. 11, 2013
Jessica Mary Wenstrom, 79, died at New Horizons Care Center in Lovell on Feb. 11, 2013. She resided in Deaver and Lovell since 2006.
She was born on Christmas Day in 1933, in Sidney, Mont., the first of 10 children of Jose “Jim” Santiago and Sarah Hernandez (Luna) Angel. She had fond memories of helping her mother cook for the field hands and of helping raise her younger siblings. She was very proud of her Mexican heritage and of having a grandfather who rode with Pancho Villa.
She attended nursing school in Chicago and spent more than a decade working at the hospital in Sidney. Jessica met the love of her life at church in 1961, though it took five years for him to convince her to marry him. On Jan. 5, 1966, Jessica married Donald Wenstrom, Sr., in Sidney. She became a second mother to Donald’s 8-year-old son Donny. In 1968, they adopted their second son, James Henry Wenstrom. For several years, Jessica and Donald took in foster children, loving and caring for them as their own.
After marrying Donald, they lived in Miles City, where Jessica worked as the resident nurse at the Pine Hills School for Boys. They later moved to Livingston and then Gardiner, where they raised their sons. Jessie started the restaurant “El Sombrero” in Gardiner while her husband was deputy sheriff. She became famous for her hot salsa and delicious food. Her husband would come in his uniform, gun on his belt, to help her in the restaurant for the lunch rush.
Later, after moving into Yellowstone Park, she worked as the head of housekeeping at Mammoth Hot Springs. After their boys left home, they lived in Billings, Deaver and Hayden Lake, Idaho, moving to be near their sons and grandchildren.
Jessica was a great cook, storyteller and a wonderful friend. She adored her grandchildren and was always so proud of her two sons. She took great pride in her siblings and all their families, and became a favorite aunt to many. She was called “Grandma” by those closest to her because of her loving heart. She was adored at New Horizons Care Center by many who worked there.
Jessica was preceded in death by her parents, a younger sister Lucy Angel and her beloved husband Donald. She is survived by two sons, Donald Jr. (Rose) of Deaver, and Jim of Spirit Lake, Idaho; five grandchildren; five brothers, Phillip Angel, David Angel, Tom (Cindy) Angel, all of Billings, Tony (Angie) Angel of San Antonio, Texas, and Martin Angel of Hutchinson, Kan.; three sisters, Josie (Clair) Jensen of Branson, Mo., Margaret Stukel of Kemmerer and Connie Angel of Sidney. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Karen Angel and Carol Angel, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at the Cowley LDS Church at 1 p.m., with viewing at noon. Interment will be at Deaver Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at the LDS Church in Cowley.
Haskell Funeral Home is in care of the funeral arrangements. Those who wish can make donations to New Horizons Care Center in Lovell.