Carlene Francis O’Connell passed away on Nov. 28, 2017, in St. George, Utah, at the Dixie Regional Medical Center. She died of acute respiratory failure after a three-year battle with lymphoma.
She was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Dec. 31, 1943. Her father and mother William and Elaine Lehmkuhl moved her to Billings, Montana, at the age of one. This is where her two sisters were born.
She was married on Nov. 12, 1960 to Larry O’Connell. She had four boys and helped out many other children who still call her mom.
She lived her life to the fullest believing in people and willing to give them a hand up (not a hand out), even if all she could offer was her smile or positive attitude. Her passions were her family and riding motorcycles.
She moved to the Bitterroot in 1985. Her and Larry lived up the East Fork and later moved to Victor. She was currently residing with her son in Corvallis. She went south during the winter because she didn’t like riding her Harley in the cold.
She was preceded in death by her father and husband. She is survived by her mother Elaine; her sisters and their spouses, Cheryl and Scott Marine, Wonda and John Cooper; her two oldest sons Terry (Ohcaca) a member of the Roaddogs I.R.O, Mark (Pig) a member of the Galloping Goose M.C.C. and his wife Kat all reside in Billings. Her son Rusty and his wife Barbara of Corvallis; youngest son Michael and wife Angela of Kalispell. She has 21 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren living from North Dakota to Washington. She always took time to travel and see them.
The family will have a celebration of life at the Victor School auditorium at 1 p.m., on December 16, 2017 to share stories and memories. Cake and ice cream will be served after. If you can’t make it “don’t worry”, as she would say, because her sons in Billings will be having a bike ride in the spring with the motorcycle clubs. Donations to assist Carlene’s family with expenses will be accepted at the celebration of life or at the Finishing Line Restaurant and Bar in Victor.