Zella Mae was born Oct. 27, 1939 to Cora and Leonard Tucker in Mobridge, South Dakota. She had three sisters; Helen, JoAnne and Dixie; along with three brothers; John, Marvin and Charles.
After high school she moved to Montana where she met Cody Udenberg. They married on June 26, 1959. They had five children together; Jeffery Duane, Susan Marie, Molly Theresa, John Cody and Christina Jo.
They moved to Belfry, Montana, in 1967. Zella drove school bus, worked at the Country House Cafe, even drove sugar beet trucks over the years living there. She loved watching her children in sports and always encouraged them in music and learning new things.
Zella and Cody divorced in 1971. In 1980 the move was made to Big Timber, Montana, where she had the Grand Café and later worked at Fryes Café. She also drove school bus part time there. In 1983 she met Gary Joe Baltz. They were married on Sept. 8, 1984. Gary’s children Stacey and Timothy became part of her family, loving them as her own. In 1986 they moved to Paradise, Montana, where she reopened Rails Café. Over the years there were many friendships born over a cup of coffee, a crossword puzzle, playing a hand of cards or having a meal. After she retired her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren. They all loved to go “up the hill” to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a day, or a week. She loved the full house of love and laughter.
Surrounded by her family she set off on her journey with God on Aug. 9, 2017.
She is survived by two of her sisters, Joanne Mussleman and Helen Sulzle; husband, Gary Joe; children, Jeffery, Susan, (Steve), Molly, John, Christina, (Trevor), Stacey and Timothy; extended family, Roger Hancock, Mike McComas, Sherry Gossett, Matt Hosking and Stormie Douglas; 18 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
“When the Golden Sun is setting and on earth no more we trod/May our names in gold be written in the autograph of God.”
A private family service has been held. In lieu of flowers donations can be made for pet spay and neutering or a favorite literacy program.
Please send condolence cards to “The family of Zella Baltz” P.O. Box 1192, Plains, MT 59859.