Mary "Grandma Mary" McCarthy passed away peacefully at St. Peter's Hospital on Nov. 4, 2009, surrounded by her loving family.
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Mary A. McCarthy was born in Anaconda on July 2, 1921. She was the youngest of nine children, born to Joseph and Barbara Sladich.
Raised in Anaconda, she graduated from St. Peter's High School and continued her education at the College of Great Falls Business School.
She married John J. "Anaconda Jack" McCarthy on Aug. 21, 1943. In 1946 they moved to Helena, where she worked a short time for the state of Montana. After raising her children, she worked for the Diocese of St. Helena (1975-1985).
She was fortunate to have remained in the home she so dearly loved for 64 years. It was a home filled with family and friends, and a revolving front door for kids from 1 to 92. She was known by many as "Grandma Mary" because of her energy and the love she so freely gave to all who knew her. She didn't miss a beat and she had one speed - "pedal to the metal." This is what was so wonderful about her. "Grandma Mary" made you want to live life to the fullest each and every day. Get your face washed, get dressed, get out the door and be sure the hairdo is perfect. That was Grandma Mary. We learned many lessons in life as we watched her unselfishly care for others.
Mary considered her greatest accomplishment in life to be raising her six children: Marianne (Bob) Patnode, Yakima, Wash.; Dr. Mike (Vicki) McCarthy, Billings; Patrick (Kathy) McCarthy, Yakima, Wash.; Kathy "Pete" (John) Hedge, Billings; Maureen "Mo" (Loren) Oelkers; grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
The grandchildren who loved and admired her will be the pallbearers: Darci, Kevin, Shane, Doug, Kara, Alyssa, Chris, T.J., Erin, Seth, Josh, Ashley, Jake and Michael.
Mary's passions in life were her family, church and being a sports fan of Cathedral High, Helena High, U of M, Notre Dame and Carroll College. Helena has lost one of its most avid sports fans. Some of the memorable events include attending a Notre Dame game in South Bend with her sons and grandsons, attending several national championship football games when her grandson played for the Griz and three Carroll football championships. You knew it was game day at Carroll when this petite, white-haired lady, decked out in purple and gold, was seen running up the stadium stairs to her view from the 50-yard line or sitting in her seat behind the team at the PE center.
Grandma Mary had several special places in Helena: her pew at the Cathedral, her chair at the hair salon, her treadmill at St. Peter's Rehab and her seat at Carroll. Now her special place is in heaven as the "Saints Go Marching In."
A vigil service will be held at St. Helena's Cathedral at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24. Funeral mass will be held at the cathedral at noon on Nov. 25 and burial at Resurrection Cemetery will follow the mass.
Memorials may be sent to St. Peter's Hospital Foundation for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Retz Funeral Home.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 15, 2009