HAMILTON — Pat McConnaha fell silent on earth and lifted her voice in heaven in songs of praise to her savior Christ Jesus, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Pat died of natural causes four days after her 89th birthday, surrounded by love, and was reunited with her husband of 65 years.
Her life was full of faith, love, family, adventure and joy. Pat was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin and friend.
Dorothy Patricia Kerns was born on March 17, 1929, to Clyde and Margaret Kerns of Anaconda. She was a true daughter of Ireland who reveled in her Celtic heritage. As far as she was concerned, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Butte was strictly for her.
She told stories of growing up in Anaconda full of memories including climbing the A hill, playing with cousins, getting in trouble with her two sisters, and fishing with her dad.
Pat graduated from Anaconda High School in 1947 and moved to Seattle to work. There she met the love of her life, Bill McConnaha, who was in Seattle on weekend leave from the Army.
The two quickly hit it off and were married in 1949.
After living in Bill’s hometown of Springfield, Ohio, for two years, they moved back to Anaconda. While Bill worked, Pat devoted herself to raising kids; Lynn, Donna, Neil, and Doug. Those years are full of priceless memories: everyone packed into an overloaded station wagon for vacations, Smelterman’s Day parades in Anaconda, fireworks and Columbia Gardens in Butte, and spending time with cousins.
Christmas was very important to the McConnaha household. Often, the tree went up right after Thanksgiving (only because we wouldn’t let her put it up in October).
The family moved to Butte in 1971 and while Bill drove for Intermountain Bus, Pat worked for Sears in uptown Butte.
After Bill’s retirement in 1989, Pat and Bill spent their time traveling to visit their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their many friends.
In 2000, one of Pat’s lifetime dreams came true and she wept tears of joy when she visited Ireland. In 2017, another of her dreams became reality when she had her first flying lesson and piloted a plane in Missoula.
Pat’s belief in Jesus as her Savior permeated her life and gave her strength as she walked with Him. She prayed daily for family and friends, was always ready to help someone in need, was inspired and motivated to teach Sunday school, direct the choir and plays, and lead vacation bible school.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Bill McConnaha, and her sister Peggy Fleming of Troy.
Pat is survived by four children, Lynn Bourne (Jim), Donna Sheehy (Ed), Neil McConnaha (Lori) and Doug McConnaha (Michelle); grandchildren, Jennifer, Scott, Kaylyn, Bryan, Kevin, Kelsey, Josh, Riley, Sean, Erin, Min, CJ; five great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, her sister Libby Wright, her cousins Beverly, Keith, and David Dyas, and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held later this summer in Butte. Pat's family is indebted to the loving care she received from Hospice for the past 1 1/2 years.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Partners in Home Care Hospice, 2687 Palmer Street, Missoula, MT 59808 or Operation Christmas Child.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Psalm 100