Aug. 2, 1941-Oct. 3, 2020
Mariann Patricia Kopp Calnan was born to Nick and Katie Ehlis Kopp on their family farm, near New England, North Dakota, on August 2, 1941. She was big sister to brother, Nickie, and sister, Bernice (Verlanic). Before her brother and sister were born, the family moved to Anaconda and settled in the heart of Goosetown. Nick Kopp was a pipefitter at the smelter and Katie was a well-known cook at several restaurants in Anaconda. Mariann attended St. Peter’s Grade School, where she met her future husband, Joe Calnan, at a sledding party that marked the beginning of their 75-year friendship and 60-year love affair. Mariann attended Anaconda Central Catholic High School, where she and Joe graduated in 1959. Mariann and Joe maintained their relationship as Joe served a stint in the US Coast Guard in the early sixties and after his return to Anaconda.
Mariann married Joe on December 22, 1962, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, in Anaconda. Joe maintains he married Mariann for three reasons: first, he loved her; second, her mother was an outstanding cook; and third, she worked in a bank. In 1962, Mariann and Joe moved to Portland, Oregon, where Mariann again worked at a bank, supporting Joe as he attended and graduated college.
In Portland, their first son, Christopher, was born. They then moved to Seattle, where their only daughter, Ellen, was born. The family briefly lived in Anchorage, Alaska, and then returned to Seattle, where a second son, Joseph, was born. In 1969, Mariann and Joe moved back to Montana, settling near Clancy, and their final son, Patrick, was born soon after their move.
In late 1978, Mariann and Joe built and operated the Montana City Store and the Elkhorn Mountain Inn. Nearly everyone in North Jefferson County knew Mariann as the business became the unofficial “Corner Post” of the fast-growing area south of Helena. They retired after selling the businesses, nearly 30 years after the store was built. In 2013, they moved to a new home in Montana City.
In recent years, Mariann suffered a series of small strokes. After a number of hospital and rehabilitation admissions, Mariann entered an assisted care facility in Helena for rehabilitation and general medical care. The entire family is grateful to the staff of that facility for the safety and outstanding care provided to Mariann and all the other residents.
Mariann passed away of natural causes at the Cooney Center at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, with members of her family present to bid her goodbye. Her son, Joe, was holding her hand when her life ended peacefully.
Mariann is survived by her husband, Joe; their children, Chris of Houston, Texas, Joe and wife, Heidi of Frenchtown, Ellen, of Missoula, and Pat and wife, Nikole, of Clancy; their grandchildren, Tiernee Calnan Bray (Deven), Joey Calnan, Morgan Calnan, Kolter Calnan, and Avery Calnan; their first great-granddaughter, Maggie Bray; brother, Nickie Kopp (Carol); sister, Bernice Verlanic (Fred); numerous brothers and sisters-in-law; and seemingly countless nieces and nephews, who will miss their Auntie Mim.
Services will be at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Visitation will begin at 9:30 followed by funeral for a limited number of family and friends at 10:30. Graveside service will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Masks are mandatory for everyone over the age of 5.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lewis & Clark Humane Society, 2112 Custer Avenue, Helena, MT 59602.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Mariann’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
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