Mary Claire left us suddenly to join the angels on Dec. 21, 2008. It doesn't surprise us that she picked the first day of winter because she hated the fact that she couldn't walk or move around as she once could and it wiped out the golf season which she loved. She didn't play any more but was the best caddy her husband Patrick ever had.
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She was born Sept. 4, 1927, in Butte to Robert Homer Toole and Mary Agnes (Shields) Toole. She attended elementary and high school there, graduating from Girl's Central. She attended Webster College in St. Louis, Mo., and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. She worked as a teacher and librarian in Glasgow, Boulder and finally Butte High School.
Mary Claire is survived by her husband, Patrick of 41 years; her son, Sean Patrick and his companion Tom Tolliver of Sarasota Fla.; her daughters, Ann Murray and husband Barry Murray of Billings, Claire Lynn Pagan and husband Jake of Charlotte, N.C. The grandkids who were the special loves of her life are Clayton, Kayla and Joshua Murray of Billings and Jason and William Pagan of Charlotte.
Mary Claire was loved by all who knew her because of her gentle way and the quiet class she displayed without even trying. She was devoted to her family, her friends and community (especially her real and true friend, Sylvia Delaney) who was her companion on Pat's lengthy Saturday outings on the golf course. She was very active in the parishes she belonged to, St Thomas in Billings and formerly Resurrection Parish in Bozeman. Her youngsters were all raised in Bozeman, and she has special places in her heart for her friends there.
A Mass and celebration of her life was held on Friday, Dec. 26, for family and friends at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Billings. As St. Thomas and her faith were the foundation for her and the rock that her family stood on, we ask any memorials be made out to St. Thomas and sent in anticipation of a special mass for her intentions or in her name.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 30, 2008