In memory of

Lois M. Coffey, age 89, of Helena

September 20, 1924 – August 9, 2014

Lois Marie O’Connell Coffey passed away peacefully of natural causes the evening of August 9, 2014 at Aspen Gardens in Helena.

Mom was born on September 20, 1924 to Richard and Mary (Johns) O’Connell at St. John’s Hospital here in Helena. She would have turned 90 this September.

Mom grew up in Marysville, MT. After her father died, she and her brother, Howard moved with her mother to her grandmother’s house on Broadway Street in Helena.

She attended St. Helena School and graduated from Cathedral High in 1942.

In high school mom sang in a little group with her two good friends Marge and Charleen. They even made a record. Mom was an usher at the Marlow. She cherished all the memories of such a unique and beautiful theater.

In 1946 a priest from Carroll College set her and Michael Coffey up on a blind date, they were married 2 years later. Mom worked at the Internal Revenue and Board of Health. After dad graduated from Carroll they moved to Forest Grove, OR where dad attended Optometry school. Dad graduated in 1954 and they moved to Bonners Ferry, ID before opening his practice in Helena.

Mom was a homemaker, a great cook, she made the best pasties and we still haven’t duplicated her recipe for spareribs.

Mom was a lifelong member of the Cathedral of St. Helena. She was in a home demonstration group and always played in a couple different bridge clubs. She was an active walker and participated in many Governors’ Cup and Race for the Cure. She had many cousins and lifelong friends in town. They were always on the go.

Dad passed away in 1994 and a couple of years later, mom met Jack Lowney. They spent many wonderful years traveling and enjoying each other’s company. We love you Jack!

About 8 years ago mom developed Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Aspen Gardens has been her home since. We are so grateful to Amy, Sherrie, Kathy and all the staff. They always treated mom like family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Michael, brother Howard and infant son. Mom is survived by daughters Colleen and Betsy of Helena, sons James (Kathy) of Great Falls, Richard (Amber) of Helena. She was a loving grandmother to Jade, Page, James, Michelle, Matthew, Faith, Kayla, Cody, Matthew, Tanner, Hanna, Oktavia, River and Alyna, along with 9 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mom had an infectious personality and was loved by all who knew her.

Visitation will begin at noon Wednesday, August 13th, at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Ave, Helena, Montana, 59601. The family will begin receiving friends at 5 p.m. with a vigil service to be held at 6 p.m., at Retz Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Thursday, August 14th, at the Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 N. Ewing St., Helena. A reception will immediately follow the Mass, at the Cathedral of St. Helena, in the Brondel Center. Cremation will follow the Mass. Burial will be at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at a later date.

Memorials in Lois’s name may be made to the Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 N. Ewing St., Helena, Montana, 59601, to Aspen Gardens, 13 Bumblebee Ct., Helena, Montana, 59601 or to donor’s choice. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Lois.


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

  1. Linda Grady says

    Betsy, Colleen, Ritchie, and Jimmy,
    I wish you all peace and happiness as you work your way through the days of putting your mom’s illness and stress behind you, and move forward with your lives. It’s good to know she is finally at peace and back with Mike, Mamie, Grandma Grady, and the rest of her family. I’m unable to attend the funeral but my thoughts are with you all. I remember the warm welcome I always got when I came to your house and the big living room, dining room and staircase. Probably doesn’t look at big now but it will always be for me. Take care.
    Linda Grady

  2. Sara Margie Graveley and Kaila Knigge says

    Betsy , Colleen and family,
    Your mom was a treasure to us. She was so generous and made us feel like part of your family. We loved living in that little yellow house on Davis in front of her home. So many times I have wanted to move back to Helena to re-live that time.. see her smile, sit in her kitchen just to chat, or laugh at the day . I will always remember those years and feel grateful to have known her . I hope the coming days you will find strength and comfort in each other.

  3. Mike and Mary Root & Family says

    Coffey family and friends we are so sorry to hear about your loss. We are thinking about you all during this difficult time. We’re so happy that Lois will be greeted by Mike, family and friends. And also by the Guardian Angels who will keep them all safe until you meet again.
    The Root’s

  4. John & Pat Rickman says

    All of our memories of Lois are good ones. She was fun to be around and tease when ever the opportunity presented itself. Our last time together was dinner in Palm Springs and we had a wonderful time reminiscing about the time spent with all the family at 4th of July picnics, Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner’s and time’s when Howard and family would be in Helena for a visit.She was full of life.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God Bless!

  5. Judy Battershell says

    Colleen and family. I worked at Waterford (Touchmark) when Lois was there..She made so many memories for me to remember and smile. She was one of a kind–Bless her heart !! May God bless each of you during this time.

  6. Jim and family,
    My sincerest codolences for your loss. May your hearts and souls find peace and comfort. God bless you all.
    Jades mom, Tara~

  7. Kelli Kaufman says

    Colleen and family,
    I had the pleasure of getting to visit with your Mom when she lived at Aspen Gardens with my Mom. She was a great lady and I know my Mom so enjoyed her friendship and company. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you during this difficult time. Kelli

  8. Wanda White says

    Betsy and family–She is finally where she would want to be–No more wanting. I remember her so much from my years at St. Pete’s and her in the Helena Community. Never will be one just like her–so full of life and making sure it was her way! But always with a sly smile at the end of the encounter. Love each other and sending love and prayers.

  9. Kathe and Milton Crum says

    In 2007, when we moved into Touchmark (then Waterford), breakfast conversations with Lois were a delight. Mental confusion could not dampen her good humor and repartee. We missed her when she had to move away.

  10. Patricia Forte' says

    Colleen, Rich, Jim, and Betsy,

    I loved your Mom….so many great memories living on 8th Ave. Blessings to all of you.

    Love ,Patti (Sheets) Forte’

  11. Bob Sheets says

    Jim,Rich,Betsy & Colleen,
    Wanted you to know I’m thinking about you and I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the funeral. I would have enjoyed seeing everyone and talking about old times. Lots of great memories living on 8th avenue in Helena with you Coffey’s for neighbors. Your Mom was such an interesting full of life never a dull moment cool on top of it mom. I’ll never forget all the times hanging out with you guys in your kitchen talking to your mom about anything and everything while she was cooking something up. I think she knew everything going on in town before anyone else did. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for her and she will now be in her new special place. I’ll be thinking about all of you and may peace and comfort come over you. Hope to see you back in Montana soon! Bob

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