Holly ended her 24 years snubbing the distraction of three bouts of breast cancer on March 2 at her home surrounded by her family. She began her eternal journey as she lived among us, with class, strength and an appropriate amount of irreverent humor.
Holly was proud of her background of having spent her formative years growing up in East Helena, moving to the big city (Helena) , attending Helena Catholic Central High School and graduating from Carroll College. She followed up with a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Montana to enhance her love and efficiency of all that is political. She was a loyal fan and supporter (academically and athletically) of both great institutions.
Holly worked for a Governor and three U.S. Senators over a 33 year period. Her 25 years with Senator Baucus were especially rewarding in terms of relationships on the job and with groups and individuals throughout the state. She was content to work behind the scenes without personal recognition to assist people throughout the state of Montana to navigate the bureaucracy or otherwise secure appropriate acknowledgement and services from their government.
There was never a question where Holly stood politically. However, the fact that her best friends were of various and diverse political persuasions is a testament to her balance and wisdom.
Holly participated tirelessly in numerous groups and causes in Helena. Of all her efforts and accomplishments she was most proud and loved being involved with the Kay McKenna Youth Program established to honor her good friend, the former Mayor of Helena. She was especially focused on assisting in providing summer parks and recreation experiences for Helena kids, recently including lunches for participants . The program has been operating in the Helena community for several years. Holly specifically expressed a desire that memorials be directed to this great cause with a “way to go, Helena” expression of appreciation for past support. Please consider a financial contribution to what Holly called “a foundation for our kids.”
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Having avoided personal recognition throughout her life, Holly would be more comfortable not listing the several honor and awards she received for her tireless efforts in the community. However, she was especially proud of being named the YWCA Woman of the Year in Helena in 2014.
Holly is survived by her three brothers Rick (Cindy), Rod (Susan) and Brad (Carla). She had six nieces and nephews whom she loved, a large group of great nieces and nephews and her faithful dog Beau.
Holly lived her life as an example and to support and foster the recognitions of the value and strength of women in our society. She loved the message for women on the old poster of Rosie the Riveter- “We can do it.”. She felt it appropriate that all her pall bearers be women.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and Chester, and special friend Joe Wilson.
Holly was so appreciative of Doctor Tom Weiner, the nurses and great staff at St. Peter’s oncology center.
Holly’s funeral will be held at St. Helena’s Cathedral on Friday at noon. A reception will follow immediately at the Carroll College PE Center.
A private interment will follow in her beloved East Helena.