In memory of

Margaret A. Hayes, age 98 of Helena

January 7, 1920 – December 26, 2018

Margaret Ann Hayes passed away December 26, 2018 at the age of 98. Margaret was born January 7, 1920 on a farm near Park City, Montana.

The daughter of Mike and Susie Beslanowitch, Margaret was raised on a farm located between Park City and Laurel. She graduated from Eastern Montana Normal School in Billings with a degree in Education, and began her career teaching eighth grade in Truwin, a two-room rural school not far from where she grew up. She even taught her younger sister, Betty. Margaret spent the summer of 1941 in Detroit working in a war factory before returning to Montana to teach in Laurel, Roundup, and Miles City where she met and married Burwin Cecil Hayes on July 27, 1946.

Margaret and Burwin were life partners for 66 years. They began their life as a couple in Billings. They moved to Shelby in 1956 and then to Helena in 1957. Margaret spent those early years raising her three children – Sandy, Lee and Bruce. In 1961, she returned to teaching at the Good Shephard Home in Helena. She eventually taught in the Helena School District at Central, Ray Bjork, and Bryant.

Margaret loved to dance. You would often see Burwin and Margaret at the Elks Club, especially if there was a good polka playing. She also enjoyed crocheting, and made several beautiful afghan throws.

She is survived by daughter Sandy and husband Ron Casey of Helena, son Lee Hayes living in China, son Bruce and wife Trish Hayes of Whitehall; two granddaughters Kelly (Casey) Dilbeck and husband Dennis Dilbeck of Oregon City, Oregon; Kinsey Casey and husband Rick Siger of San Francisco; and great-grandchildren Alexis and Blake Dilbeck. She is also survived by her two sisters Betty Martin of Great Falls and Fran Huff of Laure, along with several nieces and nephews.

The family will hold a private service, and a celebration of Margaret’s life will be scheduled for the summer. We would like to thank all of the people who cared for our mom over the years, including a special thanks to Evelyn, Marie, and the staff of the Rosetta House.


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  1. Chuck Eatinger says

    I was blessed to have Mrs. Hayes for my 5th grade teacher at Ray Bjork school in 1973. She was by far my favorite teacher of all time. Mrs. Hayes made going to school so much fun. Her Daughter Mrs. Casey was also another teacher (art) of mine at Helena Junior High school in 1975 in 7th grade. You could see the awesome influence of Mrs Hayes within Mrs. Casey who also made school fun to attend. The world surely lost a great educator who will be dearly missed by all. Rest in peace Mrs. Hayes, and deepest condolences to your family.

  2. Jay and Shari says

    Bruce, Trish and the family of Margaret. So sorry to hear of her passing, but she is probably dancing with Burwin and having a good time.

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