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Wilma Jean Engebretson

October 12, 1920 — January 20, 2024


Wilma Jean Engebretson (nee Hines) passed away at her Longview home Jan. 20, 2024, at the age of 103. She was surrounded by love, light, and family.  

“Jean” or “Sis”, as many called her, was born Oct. 12, 1920, in Stringtown, Ohio, to Robert Leslie Hines and Ruth Manila (Johnson) Hines. She was the second of their six children. Jean attended Branch Hill Elementary School and graduated from Loveland High in May 1938. She worked as a nanny and caregiver to family and friends in the area until January 1940 when she began nurse’s training at Christ Hospital. Jean completed training in January 1943 and continued to work there as an operating room nurse until June 1943.  

Jean joined the Army Nurse’s Corps (ANC) as a second lieutenant and was stationed for 14 months at Brun’s General Hospital in Santa Fe, N.M. She was transferred to the 168th General Hospital for overseas duty. Her unit sailed on the Queen Mary to join the war effort in France where she served as a captain working as an operating room nurse caring for U.S. soldiers and German P.O.W.s.  

While in France, she met her future husband, Albert Gordon Engebretson, a medic/clerk also serving in the 168th General Hospital. After seven years of correspondence and periodic visits he convinced her to marry him. “Al” and “Jeanie” were wed Dec. 7, 1950, during the middle of a snowstorm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

They had five children: William Gordon Engebretson, Barbara Ann Engebretson, Bobby Jay Engebretson, Albert Anton Engebretson, and Eric Ray Engebretson. In addition, she has 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren (with two more on the way).

She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert Engebretson; a daughter, Barbara Engebretson; three brothers, Bud Hines, Harvey Hines, and Robert Hines; and a sister, Ruth Alley.

Jean enjoyed documenting the family history through photos and letters and corresponded frequently with family and friends. She was an avid stamp collector, solved crossword puzzles, and read books on a variety of subjects. Al and Jean worked together on wood projects with Jean providing the final finish to each. She relished spending time with all her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, and bragging proudly about each of them.

Wilma Jean Engebretson was strong-willed, independent, frugal, and practical. Most of all, she was a loving, wise, warm-hearted pillar to all who knew her. She will be missed by many.

A viewing is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 29 at Steele Chapel. A funeral service will follow at 12:30 p.m. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. in Longview Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to The Yellowstone Boy’s and Girl’s Ranch, 1732 South 72nd St. West, Billings, MT 59106.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma Jean Engebretson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, January 29, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

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