Margaret Frances McLean Copenhaver
On November 8, 2017, at the beautiful age of 98, Margaret Frances McLean Copenhaver peacefully passed away at home surrounded by family. Margaret, daughter of William McLean and Mayme Superneau McLean, was born on August 2, 1919 in Granite. She attended school in Phillipsburg until she was a freshman in high school. Her family then moved to Missoula where she graduated from Missoula County High School. After high school, she worked at The Mercantile in Missoula until the Second World War broke out. She then went to Seattle where she worked for the Navy for the duration of the war.
Margaret enjoyed skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing with the Mountaineers. They used to ride the train up to Blanchard Flats (Clearwater) and hike up the “hill” that is now on the game range and ski down. After doing this all afternoon, they rode the train back to Missoula.
She met Howard, the love of her life, at a dance in Helmville in 1939. Howard joined the Navy in 1940 and was off to the Pacific theater. They married on March 15, 1944. After the war, they came to the ranch in Ovando. They, I cannot mention mom or dad by themselves as they were a team, outfitted and ranched for almost 60 years. Margaret was absolutely devoted to her husband and family. Her sense of duty was foremost in everything that she did. I don’t believe that there was ever anything put off until tomorrow that could be done today.
For 75 years Margaret was a huge part of the community. Whether it was square dancing, pinochle parties, or dinners and auctions to raise money for various causes, she was there. One of Margaret’s favorite treats was ice cream and any kid that stopped at her house after school or basketball was treated to a frozen treat. There is not a time that she did not have some type of frozen deliciousness waiting.
She was preceded in death by her husband Howard and grandson Peter. She is survived by her son Steve (Donna) Copenhaver and daughter Sue (John) Lapka; grandchildren Todd (Amber) Copenhaver, Rich Copenhaver, Beth Copenhaver, David (Cara) Copenhaver, Andrea (Steve) Lynch, Patricia (Jimmy) Watson, Sarah (Mike) Melnick, Tim (Mary) Lapka, Chris Lapka, Bridget Lapka, Rory (Jessica) Lapka, Anthony (Melissa) Lapka, Sr. Emmanuel (Ruth), Rebecca Lapka, Ben (Nadia) Lapka, Brian Lapka, and Daniel Lapka, along with 49 great-grandchildren.
Requiem mass will be November 18, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the Ovando Gym, Ovando. Burial will be in Ovando Cemetery. A lunch will follow at the Ovando Gym hosted by the Sew and So Club, after which will be a time to share the wonderful memories of her life. Rosary will be said Friday, November 17, at 7 p.m. in the Ovando Gym. Memorials may be sent to the Sew and So Club, c/o Karalee Slaght, Ovando, MT 59854.
Jean McKee passed away Friday, October 27 at the age of 85. Jean was born May 31, 1932 to Johnathan and Velma (Earhart) Loeffler in Conrad. She was the second to the youngest child of 10 children. She had many hard years working on the farm and attending school at the same time.
After high school, mom went on to be a Nurses Aid working in many hospitals throughout her career. She met dad (Francis McKee) as a patient at the Teton Memorial Hospital, in Choteau. They were married June 18, 1954 in Conrad, and was married 28 years when dad passed away.
In 1966 we moved to Deer Lodge, where she worked at Powell County Memorial Hospital until her retirement in 1997 with 31 years of service. Mom loved nursing and she was good at it.
Mom’s other joy was following all of the Powell County Warden sports, (boys and girls), where one year she made the Warden fan of the year award.
Preceding her in death were Francis McKee (husband), Elaine McKee-Bernard (daughter), Johnathan and Velma Loeffler (parents), George and Sarah McKee (father and mother in-law) and nine siblings. Living children Margie (Glenn) Phillips, Omaha, Nebr. and Daniel (Sheila) McKee Deer Lodge. Grandchildren, Jalene Bernard, Lyndsay and Jodi Phillips, Ashley (Brian) Phillips-Gonzales, Emmanuel and Mychael McKee and step-grandaughter Shekina Hill. Great-grandchildren Devin, Dustin, Jenna, Camdon, Kendelle, Divina and Ava. Numerous nieces and nephews.
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