Vicki Lynn Duvernay (1943 - 2013)

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Vicki Lynn Tracy grew up in Glendale, California, graduating from Holy Family High School (Class of '61), where she was Student Body President. (And, she'd be quick to point out, a varsity athlete in basketball and volleyball.) While there, she met Jude Anthony Duvernay. He was two years older, but she gave him a chance. They married on February 9, 1963. It was raining.
That was the beginning of the adventure. Vicki & Tony had their first five children – Laura, Jeff, Jennie, Nicole, and Aimee – in California. In 1976, they moved to Alaska, where Tony was ordained a deacon in 1979. And because it was Juneau, it was probably raining when Stephen was born in 1981. The family moved to Helena in 1983, where, backed by the credo of "shared responsibility," Vicki earned her degree in religious education from Carroll College. When she walked across the stage at the PE Center in May 1986, Tony and Laura were with her – each of them in a black gown, and gold and purple tassel.
Vicki put this education to good use, first serving in pastoral care and bereavement at St. Mary Catholic Community in Helena. In 1988, they moved to Chico, California. There, she served as director of religious education at Our Divine Savior. After Tony and Vicki returned to Montana, in 1999, she worked for the Diocese of Helena for several years. All along the way, she volunteered her time to minister for the Catholic Church, and was responsible for much of the back-end work for several businesses established by Tony and his partners.
But this is just a catalog of events, and Vicki means much more. She is, of course, OJ and Dolly's daughter: red hair and blue eyes and freckles and curls. She was devoted to her big sister Nancy, providing care and support through her long battle with breast cancer. For her children, she was wise, feisty, passionate, selfless, giving, and courageous. And friends of her children (and grandchildren) always found a warm home, a full plate, and a fair dose of unsolicited parenting. She taught us all the enduring value of hospitality. These things carry on.
In short, Vicki is a sparkling example. Of joy and compassion. Of endurance, humility, and generosity. Of grace. Of what can happen if, when faced with adventure, a girl is willing to squeeze the hand of the boy she loves, look him in the eye, and say: "Let's go."
We see you in Tony's constant love, in raucous dinner-table laughter, the joyous echo of a family song, in the soft purple and sharp red of an evening Montana sky, and the formidable, comforting flow of the river.
And we'll never stop looking.
Good night. I love you forever and ever.

* * *

Vicki was preceded in death by her beloved father OJ Tracy and sister Nancy Murray.
She is survived by husband of 50 years, Tony; mother Dolly Tracy; her six children, Laura (Craig) Trapp, Jeff (Irene) Duvernay, Jennie Duvernay, Nicole Duvernay, Aimee (Greg) Monck, and Steve Duvernay; ten grandchildren (Emily, Nick, Travis, Kaitlyn, Gabrielle, Bayli, Matthew, Noelle, Tyson, & Quentin Maximus); one great grandchild (Josephine), plus another on the way; her brother-in-law Jim V. Murray, nephew Jim A. Murray, and great nieces Addie and Cate.
A Vigil service is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 15th at Saint Mary Catholic Community. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. Monday, December 16th at Saint Mary Catholic Community. Rite of Committal will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. A funeral reception will be held in the social center of the church immediately following the burial. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Vicki asks that donations be directed to the De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana. Gifts can be made via PayPal through the school's website,, or sent directly to De La Salle Blackfeet School, PO Box 1489, Browning, MT 59417-1489. Please visit to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Vicki.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Jan. 7, 2014
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