Christine (Chris) Ann Wethern passed peacefully from this earth at her home in Clancy, MT, on July 23, 2019, at the age of 65, after valiantly fighting pancreatic cancer for more than a year.
Born a cheesehead in Green Bay, WI, Chris remained in the midwest long enough to earn a B.S. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, before moving to her adopted home state of Montana as a VISTA volunteer in 1976. Chris later earned a law degree from the University of Montana and a Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. She worked as the staff attorney for the Montana Supreme Court for over 30 years, where she earned the respect of justices and lawyers alike and helped shape the jurisprudence of Montana’s highest court. An avid pet enthusiast, cross-country skier, and pianist, Chris was most at home tending her garden in the mountains outside of Clancy. She often shocked family members with her adventurous spirit by attending an all-Black college as an exchange student, taking up long-distance mountain biking in her 60s, travelling to Africa to meet her grandson, carving a bear from a stump in her first time using a chainsaw, and many other adventures.
Chris is survived by her adoring husband of 40 years, Leo Smetana; and by sons Aron Smetana (and wife Carrie) of Petaluma, CA; Andy Smetana (and wife Sherri) of Austin, TX; and Sam Smetana of Helena, MT. She is also survived by her mother, Dorothy Wethern of Eden Prairie, MN; her brothers Mark Wethern of Burnsville, MN, and Mike Wethern (and wife Elizabeth) of Mandeville, LA; her nieces Lauren Olsen of Lake Charles, LA, and Meredith Wethern of Baton Rouge, LA (LSU); by her perfect-in-every-way grandchildren Sadie, Emma, Lily, Sophie, and Henry; and by a remarkable community of beloved friends and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Chris’ name to the Lewis & Clark County Humane Society at https://lchsmontana.org/donate. A celebration of her life will take place from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home in the social hall, 3750 N. Montana Ave. in Helena. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Chris.