In memory of

Sarah M. Power, age 62 of Helena

March 10, 1956 – December 21, 2018

Sarah M. Power died unexpectedly at her home on December 21, 2018.   She was age 62 and a lifelong Helena resident.

Sarah was born March 10, 1956 to Ann McCabe and Thomas Charles Power II, the fifth of six children.  She attended Bishop Gilmore Catholic School and Helena public schools, graduating from Helena High School in 1974.

Sarah attended Gonzaga University for two years then transferred to Merrimack College in Andover, MA where she graduated summa cum laude in 1978.  She went on to graduate from University of Santa Clara Law School in 1981. Sarah started practicing law at the Montana Attorney General’s Office where she argued before the Montana Supreme Court under the student practice rule before even passing the State Bar.  In 1983 she settled in at Gough, Shanahan, Johnson & Waterman where she practiced law until her retirement.  Sarah was a defense specialist who served as president of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers.  She knew her way around a courtroom and, for a time, had the distinction of having won the largest plaintiff verdict in Lewis & Clark County.  Sarah was also a member of the First Judicial District and American Bar Associations and the State Bar of Montana.

In addition to her legal practice, Sarah made significant contributions to the Helena community with her involvement in Big Brothers and Sisters of Montana as a participant and board member. She served two terms as a member of the Carroll College Board of Trustees. She was a lifelong member of St. Helena Cathedral.

Sarah was a natural athlete from an early age, playing softball, downhill skiing and in high school played four years on the basketball team and also excelling in the field events of shotput and discus.  She went on to play basketball in college, first at Gonzaga and then at Merrimack.  After college she took up golf and continued to play recreational softball for many years with her softball team of lifelong friends winning the state championship in 1995.

Sarah was a quick wit, intelligent and loved words and language.  She was generous with her time, compassionate, and had many loyal friends. Her favorite gifts were books as she was a voracious reader.

She enjoyed summers at the family cabin on Placid Lake and golfing trips with friends.  Sarah adopted Mack, the lanky Labrador who she loved and cared for with all her heart.

Her Irish roots were a source of pride along with being a native Montanan.  She was the family historian with her amazing memory and love of Montana history.  She enjoyed many trips and travelled with family and friends to Ireland, Great Britain, Japan, SE Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.

Sarah is survived by her siblings, Mary Pat (Hollis) Power, Tom (Lonna) Power, Meg (Barry) Caparoso, Shauna (Tucker) Miller, Ann (John) Scherner, nieces and nephews Ben, Michael, Kara, Andrea, Colleen, Keith, Kellie, Brian and Molly, stepmother Elaine Power and her children, Karen (Alan Davis) Cooper, Jerry Cooper, Mac (Neal Ann) Cooper and their families.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Ave. in Helena. A vigil will follow the family receive friends in the Retz chapel. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 3rd at the Cathedral of St. Helena, 530 N. Ewing Street. A graveside service will follow the Mass at Resurrection Cemetery.  Please join the family for a reception at the Montana Club, 24 W 6th Ave, Helena.

Memorials in Sarah’s name may be made to the Thomas C. Power and Ann McCabe Power Endowed Scholarship Fund at Carroll College, the Sarah E. Power Scholarship Fund at Carroll College, or The River and Plains Society in Fort Benton (P. O. Box 262, Fort Benton, MT  59442).

Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Sarah.


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

  1. Lorry Parriman says

    My husband and I went to high school with Sarah. We were in track together and had a lot of great times over the years. She was a kind, smart and generous person. She will be missed. Our thoughts are with the family.

  2. John E. Andrew says

    Sarah from her earliest days set the highest standards for whatever her passion was culminating in her career path of law. A great friend to everyone, her diligence to all the things she strived to accomplish for our community will determine her lasting legacy.

  3. Audrey Blomquist says

    Sarah was a great legal mentor to me when I worked with her at Gough Shanahan Johnson and Waterman. Her friendship and guidance during that time was invaluable. She was a kind and caring friend. Thank you Sarah for your friendship, may you rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  4. Keven Seaver says

    Sending love and prayers to the remaining Power clan. She will be missed by all.

  5. Jean & Tom Nelson says

    Our heartfelt condolences to the Power family.
    May you find comfort in the knowledge of the love and prayers being sent your way.

  6. Beth Gonzales says

    May Blessings of Peace be with the Power Family!

    Beth Gonzales, Friend of Mary Pat’s

  7. Maria T. McDevitt says

    Our condolences and prayers go out to the Power family for their sudden loss.

    Love Maria and Ed Mc Devitt

  8. Patti Marshall says

    Sarah was a great friend and teammate in basketball, track and our years of softball together. I have wonderful memories of softball trips together and the fun Power punch parties on Harrison! She was also the most serious Trivial Pursuit player I ever met! Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Sarah will be greatly missed.

  9. Sara was one of life’s constants: friendly, kind, whip smart and a joy to be around. One of the special Helena kids who always remembered everyone and honored her roots. Gone too soon, she will be missed. My heart goes out to her family.

  10. Reene Hamer Milam says

    I am saddened by the loss of my friend Sarah. We shared our friendship in track, softball, and golf. She always made me laugh! I admired her wit, her ability to be a leader, her sincerity, and her compassion. My thoughts and prayers are with the Power family. Rest in peace Sarah.

  11. Lisbeth Stump says

    Sarah and I went to school together from first grade through high school! I was lucky to spend fun times at her house in Helena. Sarah was so smart, and an athlete who inspired us.
    My condolences to her family.
    Lisbeth Fechter Stump

  12. Beth Kerttula says

    Sarah was, along with Theresa Stetson Burke, my Law School roommate. We had an incredible experience, with great friends (including many of our professors). We had a terrific intramural sports team and won the Basketball Championship one year – and finished 2nd in IM Flag Football. Sarah was smart, funny, and of course an excellent athlete. She was friends with everyone, and we stayed friends even though she was in MT, Theresa was in California and I am in Alaska. I was heartbroken to hear of her death and send my love to her family and friends in MT. She left too young.

  13. Yo, Powers all… Have rooms to share at my house. Please know you are welcome! Love to each of you from each of us! Ach, Sarah, gone too soon!

  14. Sarah Power was always a class act. We were often opposing counsel, but never ever did I have a reason to doubt her veracity. The world today needs many more people like her . She will be missed. Tom Keegan

  15. Peggy Quinn Newman says

    To all Sarah’s family, I am so sorry you have to walk this path. Sarah left us too soon. We
    were friends all through grade school through high school. We shared walks to/from Bishop Gilmore, high school track and countless classes together. She was so intelligent, had a great sense of humor and was a leader in all she did. We shared so many fun times together. Sarah did good things during her short stay on earth. Love you Sarah. Hugs to her family.

  16. I will be forever grateful for having Sarah as one of my first ever role models. I first met Sarah when she umpired our junior league softball team. I was fortunate to work with her later as a fellow umpire .. in between games she and Casey Chilton Molloy taught me how to drive a stick shift (thank goodness for city vehicles:)) she later became a softball teammate and made everything fun!
    I also watched Sarah and her teammates on the first basketball team at HHS … They led the way for young women to be able to play sports at a whole different level and Sarah’s leadership skills were obvious then and continued on through all her endeavors..
    Sarah was a class act as a friend, a teammate and as a professional.. she will be missed.
    Prayers and Peace to the whole Power family.
    Thank you sharing her
    Sue Moore
    Class of 78 HHS

  17. Matt Diette says

    My condolences to the Power family on your loss of Sarah. Many memories of the Power family growing up together in the neighborhood of the old upper westside of Helena.

  18. Oliver Goe says

    Sarah and i went to law school together at Santa Clara:. I think she was about the first person from Montana i ever met. She was a great classmate, Used to joke about why anyone would live in Montana, cold winters, dangerous moose etc. . Five years later when Chris (my wife and another law school classmate who also happened to be from Montana) decided to move to Montana. I called Sarah looking for a job. She put me in touch with Judy Browning and shortly thereafter we moved to Helena to join Browning Kaleczyc Berry and Hoven. My condolences to the Power family. Sarah will be greatly missed.

  19. Celia Triggs Honohan says

    Sarah was my college roommate at Gonzaga University. I was so far from my home in New Jersey and she was my lifeline. She was my rock keeping me from academic catastrophe by reading and editing my papers. She indulged me by watching every Broadway musical that came on TV, listening to me sing songs from West Side Story at 3 in the morning, putting up with my messy side of the room that infiltrated her neatness. Sarah was my biggest fan and I will forever be grateful. She was a wonderful host at the Power homes in both Helena and the lake. We had great visits in NYC and she loved my husband, Jim, and my girls. Always modest, always willing to be backstage, always there for me and all her friends. Sarah loved her parents so much and talked of them often so I pray she is with them now and at peace. God Bless the Powers Family,

  20. Rebecca Watson says

    I was so sad to learn of Sarah’s passing. Too soon to lose her. I worked with Sarah at Gough Shanahan from 1995-2002. She welcomed me, checked me out at the first case I argued in MT ( she liked the fact that like her I covered my trial notes with a blank page of my legal pad) and impressed me with her intelligence and generosity to the Boys and Girls Club. My condolences to her family and friends in Montana.

  21. William MacBride says

    I am very saddened to recently learn of Sarah’s passing. Sarah was a quick wit and a very accomplished attorney. I was proud to call her friend and law partner. Both Nancy and I express our sincerest condolences to Sarah’s family.

  22. Sally Johnson says

    Sarah was a wonderful person, bright, warm, fun and always ready to do more than her share. Although I haven’t seen her for years, my thoughts are with her family and friends.

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