In memory of

Dorothy Mary Kelly Quinn, age 87 of Helena

October 28, 1930 – April 28, 2018


Dorothy Mary Kelly Quinn passed away on April 28, 2018, with her loving husband Jim and her family at her side.

Dorothy was born on October 28, 1930, in Butte, to Esther and Maurice Kelly. She received her early education in Butte schools and graduated from Girls Central High School, in 1948. She worked in business positions, in Butte, before beginning her career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a stenographer, working in the Butte, Seattle and St. Louis Field Offices.  On August 28, 1954, Dorothy Kelly and James Quinn were united in marriage, at Sacred Heart Church, in Butte.  Following their marriage, the couple moved to St. Louis, where Jim completed his Dental Degree, at St. Louis University and Dorothy transferred to work in the St. Louis FBI Field Office.  After the birth of their first child, in St. Louis, Dorothy became a full-time homemaker, a vocation she cherished until her death.

The couple resided for two years, in San Diego, where Jim served his tour of duty with the U.S. Navy. Thereafter, they returned to Montana and chose Helena as their permanent home.  While raising their family, Dorothy was active in church and school organizations and volunteer activities.  For 30 years, she volunteered her musical skills playing the piano at the religious services for the nursing home residents at the St. John’s Hospital/Rocky Mountain Care Center.  She was happiest when her family was gathered around her table in celebration of holidays and birthdays.  The family also spent many happy years gathering at their Canyon Ferry cabin.  In retirement, Jim and Dorothy continued their love of traveling, exploring the backroads of Montana and beyond.  They especially enjoyed their trips to Ireland where they shared their heritage with Irish relatives, and also traveling to Alaska and the Southwest with Dorothy’s brother, Jim Kelly and wife Mae.

Dorothy was a devout Catholic all her life. Faith, family, and friends were very important to her.  She was grateful that she lived long enough to know, love and enjoy her 16 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  On August 28, 2017, Jim and Dorothy celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.

She is preceded in death by her parents Maurice and Esther Kelly, brother Jim Kelly, and sister, Betty Foy. Dorothy is survived by her sons:  Dennis (Joe) of Gig Harbor, Washington; Timothy (Barbara), Kelly (Becky), and Patrick (Kim) all of Helena; and Jim, Jr. (Brittany) of Butte.  Also surviving are her daughters:  Peggy (Roger) Newman, Columbia Falls; Katie (John) Walsh, Billings; Mary Ann Quinn and Carrie (Jeff) Key, both of Helena.  She is also survived by her sister Marjorie Keilman, East Helena, her beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren, and numerous nephews and nieces, including special niece Karen Rillahan.

A Time of Remembrance will be 6:00 p.m. Thursday, May 3rd at Retz Funeral Home, 315 East 6th Ave. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4th at SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, 120 W. Riggs St., East Helena, followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery.  A reception will follow the burial at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Dorothy’s name to Angel Fund, P.O. Box 7436, Helena, MT, 59604, or Hospice of St. Peter’s, 201 South California St, Helena, MT, 59601. Please visit below to offer condolences or share a memory of Dorothy.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Kathleen Broussard says:

    Quinn Family,
    We are so sorry about your mom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Keith, Kathleen, and Kory Broussard

  2. Meg and Mike Cech and family. says:

    Quinn family, Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your wonderful mother. She was a classic! I will always honor the times we spent together and how inclusive she was at every gathering. We will be thinking of you all during these difficult days. All our love. We are sorry to miss her funeral, but know that we will be there in spirit. Meg and Mike

  3. Janet Armstrong and family says:

    Carrie, Jeff and everyone,
    We are so sorry for your loss. I will miss seeing your Mom next door and at church. She was a wonderful lady and we are the better for knowing her, your father and all your family. Our deepest sympathy.
    Janet, John, William and Caroline

  4. Susan Kelly says:

    Dear Quinn family,
    I will always remember Dot and Jim driving their RV to Albuquerque for our wedding in 1989. Dot cooked hundreds of her wonderful shepherd pie pasties and warmed them up in the RV at our reception in the mountains. Such a wonderful lady. I feel blessed to have known her and to be connected to the Quinn family. With the recent passing of Mae and now Dot, we are all feeling the loss of these amazing Kelly women.
    Lots of love from New Mexico,
    Susan Kelly

  5. Donna and David Link says:

    Jim and family: My heart is heavy at the loss of Dorothy and I feel grateful that mom and I were able to visit with her before she was called to be with God. She was such a gentle spirit who was a shining light to everyone she met and her love of family and friends was a testimonial to her faith in the Father. I have always adored her and felt so privileged to have known her, as well as the wonderful family you all are.
    I have always kept you close to my heart as you were such great friends with my parents. Mom and dad adored all of you…speaking highly of this fabulous family who truly loved and honored each other. In knowing Dorothy, she always reminded me of our Mother Mary as she humility and compassion was an integral part of who she was.
    I pray that your wounds of loss be blessed with Christ’s healing love.

  6. Brenda McLellan says:

    Condolences and blessings to the entire Quinn family. We were neighbors on Choteau Street and our boys played together. My son, Steve Richer, sends his condolences especially to Patrick and to the whole Quinn family. Dorothy’s was a life well-lived in service and love to family, God, and community.

  7. Michael Ward says:

    Love and prayers to the Quinn family. I was blessed to grow up next door the Quinn family. What a wonderful family. RIP Dorothy.

  8. Jack Quinn says:

    Aunt Dorothy always had a welcoming smile when we visited along with the best hospitality. Will enjoy and treasure the times our family visit. Top of the class lady! I’m sure all who got to know her will miss her. Sorry for your loss. R.i.P.

  9. Jack and Karen Quinn says:

    She was a wonderful lady. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Our prayers and thoughts go to the family in sorrowful times such as this. Keeping you in our prayers. Love Jack and Karen Quinn

  10. Tom and Debbie Erving says:

    To all the Quinn’s, your mom was such a beautiful person and raised the best kids. You are all so fortunate to be able to carry on the close family ties your mom instilled in each and every one of you. We have been lucky to know your family and especially your dad and mom. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Tom and Debbie Erving ( We are in N. Carolina enjoying our newest grandson)

  11. Joe Kelly says:

    It’s been five days since Dots passing and knowing the right thing to do would be to fly down to Helena but, that isn’t feasible so I figured I would write something here to show the admiration and respect I have for my aunt and my own mother Mae. The passing of both these women leave a huge void in our lives, they both set a standard of how a true human being should function. How to work hard, live life, be an honest person and love one another. I must try even harder to live up to their standards. God bless love Joe.

  12. Toni Ward Hirose says:

    Sincere sympathy to Jim and the beautiful Quinn family. How fortunate we were to be neighbors and friends . May you find peace and comfort in fond memories and lasting love. Dorothy was truly a treasure.

  13. Bob and Teresa Cole says:

    To Dennis and all of the Quinn family, so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. Every time we return to Helena, I think of all the FUN we had growing up there and the memories of our strong, caring, watchful, TOLERANT mom’s! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  14. Donna Coman says:

    Tim & Barb,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Please accept my sympathy. Remembering & sharing the memories is a great comfort.
    Donna Coman

  15. The Burgess Family says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful lady your Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Greatgrandmother and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

  16. The Burgess Family says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful lady, Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

  17. Brenda and Mike Strekall says:

    Thinking of you all with love… and holding very special memories of a gracious and faith-filled woman!
    Recalling our college days, Peggy, when visiting your home felt like becoming a member of your family…..your mom “mothered” us all with her love and hospitality.
    Heaven is lovlier with her there!
    But we will all miss her.

  18. Debbie (Card) Morrison says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I had missed this information as I was dealing with my own mother’s health issues. I hope you can find peace and comfort in the memories you have of her.
    My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Debbie Card

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