Longtime Butte Historian, author, broadcaster, coach, mentor and volunteer, Patrick J. Kearney passed away Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Butte.
He was born on May 24, 1955, the son of Martin and Louetta (Pene) Kearney. Pat attended St. Patrick’s grade school and graduated from Butte Central High School with the Class of 1973.
While in high school, Pat was a runner on two consecutive state cross country championship teams, a passion he continued throughout his life. Following high school Pat attended Montana State University in Bozeman, earning his degree in Film and Television. After brief stops in Great Falls and Billings, Pat moved back to Butte and became the News Director at KXLF TV, logging thousands of miles covering regional and national stories and his beloved Butte sports team. After leaving KXLF, Pat became an Ad Executive with numerous cable companies most recently Charter Communications.
Pat’s passion for Butte was second to none. He wrote several books about Butte History covering everything from Butte’s neighborhoods, Our Lady of the Rockies, The Columbia Gardens, Butte’s Catholic Churches, the Butte Central – Butte High football games, the Cat – Griz/Griz - Cat football game, and most recently just finishing his latest book on the Berkeley Pit. He devoted many hours on many community events such as Evel Knievel Days, The Blarney Stone Run, and assisted on several projects with the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Pat represented everything good about Butte, his legacy will never be forgotten. He was the long time play-by-play broadcaster for all the Butte Central football and basketball games. His enthusiasm and excitement calling the games made those unable to attend feel as if they were on the field or courtside watching the games in person; not to mention his countless stats and history of the game which enhanced and added to his commentary. If ever you needed to know something about Butte’s history or a players stats and accomplishments, Pat was the go to man.
Pat was instrumental in forming the Butte Sports Hall of Fame, which according to one long time Butte coach Sonny Holland, “Butte has without a doubt the finest sports hall of fame in the country.” Pat’s attention to detail and ability to keep events moving made the biennial Hall of Fame induction ceremony, an event enjoyed by all. Pat was also instrumental in keeping the city’s annual Veterans Day race going, in fact it is the longest running road events in the state, and to his credit he was still running in the event. This year would have been his 31st year. Pat was the cross country coach at Butte Central for many years, a job he truly loved, and also coached Babe Ruth Baseball teams. No matter the event or organization, if ever asked, Pat was always one of the first to volunteer to help make each event more special than could have been anticipated.
Pat was preceded in death by his father Marty Kearney, niece Nicole Kearney, cousins Danette O’Gara-Staudinger, David Meier, and numerous aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his mother Louetta Kearney, brothers and sisters-in-laws, Martin and May Sun of Culver City, Calif., Bob and Christie of Crescent City, Calif., Tim and Mike of Butte, Bill and Anita of Helena, Linda and Joe Schroeder of Benton City, Wash.; nieces and nephews, Meagan and Ryan (Ashleigh) Kearney, Simon Avila, Natasha (Patrick) Kursh, Jacob Kearney, Danielle (Mike) Giacomino, Trish Kearney, Brandon and Brendon Skolkolich, Michaela and Bailey Schroeder; aunts and uncles Sharon and Lyle Metz, Raynetta and Larry Duncan, cousins throughout the United States; O’Gara’s, Kearney’s, Aspholm’s, Metz’s, Meier’s, Frank Kearney and his extended family of Galway Ireland, his second family the Scott’s in San Diego, Calif., close friends Chuck Richards and family, Tim Norbeck and family all of Butte, his very special friend “The Big Shot” Paul Cote, and countless cherished friends too numerous to mention.
Relatives and friends may call Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church for visitations. Parish Rosary services will be recited at 6 p.m. Liturgy of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 20, at St. Ann’s Church. Entombment will follow in Holy Cross Mausoleum. Memorials are suggested to the Nicole Marie Kearney (NMK) Foundation, the Butte Sports Hall of Fame, Butte Central Catholic Education or to a charity of donor’s choice.
Express condolences at www.mtstandard.com/obit.