In Memory of Elly Burton

Elly Burton


Eleanor R. Blize, known to many as Elly Burton; beloved Mom, Grandmother, friend, and much more, went into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, October 6, 2018 of complications from a brain tumor surrounded by her loving daughters, several grandchildren and long-time partner. Elly, as we all knew her, was born on June 18th, 1946 in Missoula at Northern Pacific Hospital and spent her formative years growing up on the family ranch outside of Stevensville on what is now part of the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge. She learned the Montana values of hard work growing up and was proficient doing chores, riding horses, and helping with the harvest. She attended and graduated from Florence High School in 1963. After graduating from high school Elly attended Modern Beauty School and embarked on what to her was much more than a profession, her true calling; being a cosmetologist. Her instructors and mentors who helped formulate and inspire her passion were Kathy and Don Atchison. It was during this time that she met a handsome young man, Gary Blize, to whom she was married in 1965. It was a true match with Gary also being a talented cosmetologist. Cosmetology became a lifestyle with her marrying into a family of Cosmetologists, with her father-in-law, Lu Burton Blize, and her mother-in-law Juanita Blize. The first of many popular and busy hair salons was opened by the couple in 1966, and thus began a lifetime of making people beautiful! Gary and Elly worked together and won many awards at regional hair shows. Soon after, Elly’s firstborn Angela Rae was born followed by Krista Shantelle and Brandette Kerie. The family resided on a small mini-ranch in the Florence area and stayed busy with horses and many pets. Elly and Gary divorced in 1979 with Elly and the children then moving to Missoula where Elly began a new adventure by opening her salon Elly Burton’s Classic Hair Co. on Reserve St. in a converted little white house. It quickly grew into a thriving business. Elly was a fixture both at the Salon and in Missoula, always driving a red or black sports car sporting her signature “Elly” license plates. Everyone knew when Elly was in the room, she was larger than life and always asking questions that made you feel that she really cared. And she did; her clients were all her best friends. She rejoiced with them, she cried with them; she lived their lives while making them feel needed, important, and loved; all while making them look great! Elly was an award winning, trend-setting, never tiring cosmetologist participating in classes and working with the best educators in the world all the way up to her passing. Of course she enamored them while taking classes and always stole the show when they were in town. To say she touched the lives of a lot of people is a huge understatement. Elly loved making people beautiful and feel special but even more so she loved working alongside two of her daughters. Elly met her partner and best friend of 20 years, Dave Lucas, in 1998. They truly cared for one another. Elly enjoyed many activities and never shied away from a challenge. Whether skiing, rafting, playing golf, or travelling; Elly bought the party. Everyone was guaranteed a great time and a hearty laugh. Elly enjoyed life and loved sharing her passion of life. Her travels included trips all over the world with her family and friends. Elly leaves behind countless friends too numerous to mention who she dearly loved but those most important to her were her family. Her parents, Aloysius Herman Rogmans and Lucile Wimett Rogmans as well as brother Charles Rogmans preceded her in death. She leaves behind three grieving daughters and their husbands; Angel Herring (John), Krista Kasun (Steve), and Brandy Stephens (Kenny). Also left behind is her partner and best friend Dave Lucas. Elly loved her grandchildren and great grandchild more than anyone could imagine. Danielle and Megan Herring, Broc Roberts and Stephen Kasun (Jessalynn), Haley Stephens, and Harper Kasun knew their Grandma/Nana well and knows she will be watching over them in heaven. She is survived by sisters and brother Marie Clifton, Kathy House, Rudolph Rogmans and Dee Carpenter. Elly loved her special “adopted grandchildren” Amanda Brook, and Ava and Liv Schwenk and also her three dear friends Woody Woodford, Mary Whipple and Revie Verhaeghe. Two months ago we began a journey towards the end of Elly’s earthly life. She suffered a seizure/stroke that, coupled with her existing brain tumor, hospitalized her and stole her ability to effectively communicate. As with anything she handled herself with grace and determination. She amazed the staff at Community Rehabilitation with her progress and while we had many setbacks she was still able to do one final haircut on her speech therapist, Robert, to whom she was so grateful for his belief in her. It turned out perfect! To all the wonderful nurses and doctors at St. Pats, Community Rehab, and The Village; and to the staff at Burtons Classic Hair Co. the family cannot thank you enough for your love. We will all miss our big bear hugs from Elly, she was one of a kind. No one gave hugs and loved like Elly. Services for Elly will be held at Missoula Alliance Church at 101 Foss Ct., Missoula, on Tuesday, October 16th, at 1:00 p.m. Immediately following will be a reception at the church. Elly requested honorary pallbearers be Grandsons Stephen Kasun and Broc Roberts, and “her boys” Jacob Byrne, Liam Lechner and Jack Lincoln. She will be with us in spirit always. A private family service will be held at the family ranch at a later time to spread her ashes. Later in the evening of the 16th will be a time to share your love for Elly at The Keep Restaurant at the top of Whitaker Dr. starting at 6:00. Bring your favorite stories and memories of Elly to this celebration of her life.