Celebrating the life of V. Jane "Tootsie" Bartow
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Tootsie Bartow died peacefully the way she wanted, in her own home, on May 5, 2023.
Tootsie was born in Shelby, Montana on July 24, 1931, to Hazel and Tom Steen. Tom and Hazel, along with Tootsie at the age of two, moved to the Steen homestead in Roundup, Montana, where later a sister, Joan Ann, was born.
The girls grew up among grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts, just below what is known as Laundry Hill. The family was creative, resourceful, and unique. Tom eventually became the Sheriff of Musselshell County. He was known for rarely carrying a firearm.
Tootsie attended both grade school and high school in Roundup. After graduation, she went to work in the community she loved.
On March 15, 1955, Tootsie gave birth to her only child, Debbie. Tootsie took on the responsibility of raising the child alone. In July 1956, she met Gerald “Stub” Bartow. They married on October 13, 1956, and he soon legally adopted Debbie as his own. Stub and Tootsie were married 39 years until his untimely death in 1995.
Tootsie was a true leader. She was always ready to help support the people of Musselshell County. She could be difficult, stubborn, and opinionated, but she was also loyal, dependable, and very hard working. She was President of the Chamber of Commerce for many years, participated in several bowling teams, worked alongside Stub at Bartow Welding. She supervised youth, free of charge, for Justice Court. When Black Lung was finally recognized as a work hazard, Stub and Tootsie trained for and set up a medical oxygen business at Bartow Welding to help the affected coal miners.
In 1989, she became the President of the Cattle Drive of Musselshell County. Reporters referred to her as a “Feisty Spark Plug” on the Drive. Law Enforcement often sent people to her who were looking for lost relatives. She seemed to know every family in Musselshell County and usually could direct them to their relatives. She supported the new grade school. Her final major contribution in 1994, Tootsie, Stub, and two other people created the War Memorial, which is at the end of Main Street. Tootsie and her daughter, Debbie, researched those names which appear on the Monument. The Memorial was paid for by a few donations, and financial payment of the four creators. No Public Money, State, County, or City Funds were used. In short, as one official said, “If you need something done, get a hold of Tootsie”.
She loved and supported girls’ volleyball, loved helping people, talking socially with friends and newcomers to town. She was a very friendly, happy, and well-intended individual.
She is survived by her only daughter, Debbie (Stephen) Moses of Roundup, Montana, her grandchildren, Darrel Hannum of Havre, Dawn Hurd of Billings. She leaves behind five great-grandchildren: Marshall, Emily and Laney Hannum and Garick and Tristan Hurd. Her younger sister, Joan Ann Mihalovich of Augusta, Montana.
She will be forever known in Roundup as “McMouse” in her little red car that was seen everywhere in the county, for she dearly loved Mickey Mouse, and had a large collection.
To plant a tree in memory of V. Jane "Tootsie" Bartow, visit the Tribute Store.
903 Main St.
Roundup, MT 59072
17059 US Highway 12 East
Roundup, MT 59072