Dec. 12, 1953-Feb. 13, 2020
Elaine O’Leary passed away peacefully at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula on February 13, 2020, after her battle with cancer.
Elaine was born on December 12, 1953, in Forsyth, Montana, to Ethel and Joe Williams of Hysham, Montana. She completed grade school and graduated from Hysham in 1972. She was waitressing at the Double E restaurant in Hysham after High School, where she met her husband Paul O’ Leary, as he was working in the area building bridges over Sarpy Creek. They were married May 5, 1973, in Hysham, Montana. After the Sarpy project was complete, she and Paul traveled throughout Montana for other bridge projects. Along the way Elaine always found employment in a business office or with a government agency.
From 1977 to 2008, Elaine settled with Paul in Stevensville, Montana, and bought a ranch. Elaine worked at the Job Service as an employment specialist, and took it upon herself to earn a Master’s in Employment Services through IAPES while she worked there. She also worked side by side with Paul building a new home on the ranch, and as well as fixing fence, making hay, feeding, caring, and AI-ing cattle. She also did the books for Tri-Square Construction, a company that Paul was a partner in. While she lived in Stevensville, she also developed her faith in the Catholic Church by first becoming baptized, and eventually becoming very active in the Montana Council of Catholic Women.
In 2007 Elaine retired from the Job Service after 30 years. In 2008, she and Paul moved to Gold Creek, Montana, where they built their home and partnered in the mining operation, Montana Gray Rock. Elaine was a bookkeeper for this LLC. Also, during this time Elaine enjoyed following her many interests. She was an avid quilter and a member of the Triple Creek Quilt Guild. Through their marriage Paul and Elaine enjoyed trail riding together with friends. They were active members of the St. Mary’s Saddle Club in Stevensville.
Elaine was taught the sport of shooting by her Dad and was an accomplished marksman. She won a number of awards in sanctioned shooting competitions in her youth. This skill led to her becoming an avid hunter in adulthood. Elaine also enjoyed snowmobiling, spending many weekends sledding with family and friends on the snowmobile trails and backcountry of Southwest Montana. She especially enjoyed family outings at the cabin at Princeton, whether it be picnics, hunting, snowmobiling, or any type of gathering. She enjoyed playing many musical instruments including saxophone, guitar, mandolin, piano and fiddle. She enjoyed playing fiddle with the Montana Old Time Fiddlers, and especially enjoyed playing fiddle with her father Joe Williams.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Ethel Williams; and her brother, Larry Williams. She is survived by her husband, Paul O’ Leary; and sisters, Karen Van Hale and Gail Heikel; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She expresses her thanks to the doctors and medical staffs at St. Patrick’s Hospital and the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake for her care. She also would want to thank her friends and relatives in the Gold Creek and Stevensville communities for their love and support.
A Vigil will be held at Saint Mary’s Mission in Gold Creek, Montana, on Friday, February 28 at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 29, at Saint Mary’s Mission in Gold Creek. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the service.
A luncheon will be held following the mass at the Gold Creek Christian Fellowship.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice in honor of Elaine.
Visit here for location of St. Mary’s Mission: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Saint+Mary+Missionfirstname.lastname@example.org,-112.9294943,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x7077de39233f31ca!8m2!3d46.5813189!4d-112.9294943
Visit here for location of Gold Creek Christian Fellowship: https://www.pilgrimministry.org/churches/gold-creek-christian-fellowship