Stories of their lives

Missoula business makes video
records for people to cherish

Slowly, Alzheimer’s has taken a hold
on Jane Baker’s mind.

Where once a beautiful, active
woman stood now sits an
83-year-old woman barely
recognizing her daughter’s voice and

By TARA DOWD of the Missoulian

Jane and her daughter, Libby Baker,
have lived with the slow progression
of Alzheimer’s for 21 years. Now in
the later stages of the disease, Libby
and her friends Rae Horan and Terry
Jimmerson are paying tribute to a
woman they admired and loved by
creating a video full of pictures,
memorabilia and Jane’s favorite song.

"It’s a perfect way to tell someone’s life story," Libby Baker said.

And it seemed a perfect idea for a business to Horan and Jimmerson.

Now, the new business, Storyteller Video is looking to expand into an office and working to make a
name in Missoula. Storyteller Video also offers video obituaries, which Horan and Jimmerson
trademarked as videObits.

Storyteller Video helps customers with the selection of material and allows them to mold it to bring a
story alive on video. The edited final product is done by Horan, 53, and Jimmerson, 60.

In the case of the video obituaries, one crucial goal is to have the final product ready for a funeral,
wake or memorial service. Horan and Jimmerson will stay up all night to get the job done.

"The time just flies by," Horan said.

The time it took for the tribute to Jane Baker wasn’t important to Horan and Jimmerson.

"It’s a good thing to remember your mother before she disappears," Horan said of Libby Baker. "She
took great comfort from the two tributes."

The hardest part about her mother’s Alzheimer’s is losing what used to be, Baker said.

"It’s pretty tough to watch, especially since she was so active as a young woman and an adult,"
Baker said.

But with Storyteller Video, Baker and her family won’t soon forget what Jane was like when her mind
was strong.

"It’s a perfect way to tell someone’s life story," Baker said. "The art form of a video is more concise."

Horan and Jimmerson, who have been married for 22 years, have been interested in telling peoples’
stories for a long time but only recently has that interest manifested itself as Storyteller Video.

Horan has acted and directed in plays around Missoula. She also had a long stint on Montana Public
Radio hosting "Listeners Bookstall" and has directed a 10-part radio drama. She recently produced
an audio version of "K. Ross Toole’s Montana" and some full-length videos on artists from Montana.

"I have been telling stories from the beginning of my own story," Horan said.

Jimmerson’s experience has not been much different. He is a photographer and he has worked on
documentaries, public-service productions and music videos. He has won awards for three of his
video pieces, including a piece on Missoula’s Poverello Center.

"We’ve been documenting stories for a long time," Jimmerson said.

Horan and Jimmerson believe other businesses like Storyteller Video are emerging nationwide.

"It seemed natural," Horan said. "It’s happening all over the country, I guess."

While their business kicks off and slowly gets started, Jimmerson continues his work at St. Anthony
Parish as a pastoral associate and music director. Horan is writing a play. Despite keeping busy
they are ready to make their new business a success.

"When you’re doing a life story it causes people to remember things they haven’t remembered in
years or have never remembered before," Horan said. "It’s a real enlivening experience."

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