Marilyn R. (Dougherty) St. Pierre, age 97, passed away on January 23, 2021 in her home, surrounded by her loving sister Charlene Hagan, nieces Janice and Marilyn, and her close friend Marilou Verlanic. The devoted care of her family allowed her to remain in her home, in keeping with her wishes. Marilyn died as she lived, quietly, prayerfully, and surrounded with love.
Born on October 9th, 1923, in Minneapolis to parents Frank J. and Regina (Wolters) Richied, Marilyn’s family included her older sister Virginia Celestine, and younger sister Charlene Faith.
Marilyn’s early life was spent in North Dakota and on a two small farms in Minnesota during the Great Depression, and she took away a practicality from her early years on those farms. The family later moved near Portland Oregon, where Marilyn graduated from Gresham High School, where she earned a 4 year academic scholarship pin.
Marilyn was a natural athlete and lettered with the Girls Athletic Association. She valued health and nutrition and pursued exercising her entire life. She also took an interest in the arts after attending a production of Madame Butterfly with her 8th grade teacher and classmates which sparked a life long love of music. Marilyn later took a job as an usher at the Portland Civic Auditorium, where she enjoyed national and international plays and concerts. Later, she attended as many Anaconda Community Concerts as she was able.
After High school, Marilyn held several secretarial positions during wartime, including a position at the Draft Board. She then applied and was accepted as a student in the Radiology Department at University of Oregon Medical School were she became a registered Xray technician. She moved on to work at Providence Hospital in the Radiology Department, and earned her 15 year pin. At Providence she made several good friends with whom she fondly recounted adventures of camping and canoeing. She also enjoyed the experience of hiking up Mt. Hood with friends and family during her time in Oregon.
Marilyn loved to travel, and very often ventured solo on her trips. She visited Europe several times, the first time traveling solitary by ship on the Italian Andrea Doria to visit her sister Virginia, who’s secretary job with the Army brought her to Germany after WWII. The second time she traveled solo again to Germany to attend Virginia’s wedding to Col. Edward Murray, in Heidelberg. Marilyn traveled a third time to Europe with her sister Charlene, to visit her niece Mary Ellen, studying in Florence Italy. Marilyn also ventured solitary to Mexico, as well as Alaska.
It was while Marilyn was visiting her sister Charlene, in Anaconda, during the birth of her niece Katie, that she met her first husband Leo Dougherty. Leo was an Anaconda native and genuine gentleman, who worked as an accountant with the Anaconda Company. He was immediately taken with Marilyn, and after pursuing her in a long-distance and extended courtship, they married in Anaconda at St. Joseph’s Church, Nov. 18, 1961.
Leo and Marilyn, settled right away into their Ogden Street home, where she made their home a welcoming place inside and out. She was an excellent cook, and she loved her garden space, and soon put in a rose garden with a handmade fountain. Her personal style was expressed gracefully in decorating their home.
Soon after their marriage, Marilyn took a position at St. Ann’s Hospital in Anaconda where she worked alongside her brother-in-law, Dr. Harold Hagan in the Radiology Department. For decades she watched the technology in her field grow - adjusting from hand-developing her X-ray films to automated developers, CAT scans, MRI technology, and beyond.
Leo was extremely supportive of Marilyn’s creativity and her work ethic. She joined the Garden Club and took a very active part in all aspects of the club, holding the position of president twice and keeping a slide history for many many years. The club was a perfect outlet for her artistry. She also made Christmas ornaments which were stunning, and she was known for her exquisite replicas of Faberge-style eggs, working with actual eggs which were truly works of precision, delicacy and artfulness.
Marilyn also retained her playfulness and sense of humor, fashioning plywood lawn decorations for Saint Patrick’s day for her Irish neighbors, the McCarthy family. Every year she and her sister would plan and secretly stage a new surprise in her neighbor’s front yard at night until the yard was brimming full - something which the children looked forward to every year.
In keeping with her love of exercise, she took up bike riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling with her best buddy (and hair-dresser) Sylvia Smith over many years. As the years passed, she still continued to be very active and continued her quest for health with ‘strong women’ exercise classes, as well as water aerobics at Fairmont with her sister Charlene, where both sisters continued swimming well into their mid- 90’s. Marilyn devoted herself to exercising her body even to her last months of life.
Marilyn’s love of beauty and community was particularly expressed in her care of the gardens and parks throughout Anaconda, starting with the Kennedy Commons soon after she settled into the town. As a Garden Club project, she planted, watered, pruned, fertilized, and weeded the Commons where in time she helped transform the mostly barren square block of dirt into the beautiful flowering and tree-filled park we enjoy today. She was happy to be present that day the city picked and moved the ‘Christmas’ evergreen tree to the middle of the The Commons, which took all day, and required heavy equipment, during inclement weather. But Marilyn remained, and recounted afterwards that a rainbow appeared over the town’s new centerpiece tree, with the Presbyterian church beyond.
Marilyn also helped develop Friendship Park along with her husband Leo, and other Garden Club members. They rescued and scrubbed salvaged brick from the Red Sands dump and re-purposed them to create beautiful walkways and walls at Friendship park. Marilyn’s volunteering projects found her many life long friends along the way, and she treasured those relationships! Marilyn was recognized by the Montana Federation of Garden Clubs in 2011, on the 50th anniversary of The establishment of the Anaconda Garden Club, for her extraordinary contributions in every garden club project for those nearly 50 years.
Leo and Marilyn were also quietly generous to their families, their community, and beyond. Leo’s humble discretion was understood and respected by those most close to him.
After 32 years of marriage, on March 15th, 1993, Marilyn’s husband Leo died. Theirs was a relationship of great respect and quiet admiration. Marilyn carried on, and busied herself by continuing her community gardening and also spending more time with Charlene’s family, where she was always welcomed. Marilyn, Charlene and “Doc” Hagan took several trips together - a cruise through the Panama Canal, as well as a trip of a lifetime to Ireland, with nephew Chris Hagan, who chaperoned the 3 mature travelers. They were joined by Dr. Bill and Jean Callaghan for the much anticipated adventure.
Marilyn met her second husband, Frank St. Pierre, during a community awards dinner. They both shared a love of community volunteering. Afterwards they worked together on the Garden Club sponsored Washoe Park Begonia House Restoration Project where Frank belonged to the volunteer group ‘Grumpy Old Men’, which worked jointly with the Garden Club. In between projects Frank and Marilyn married, February 10th, 2004, at Holy Family Church in Anaconda. Frank and Marilyn continued to work together on several projects, notably the Giant Copper Super Slide in old ‘Goosetown’ Anaconda, and also the Short Stack viewing park, in East Anaconda.
Frank and Marilyn loved to travel, and they visited Frank’s native home in Canada twice. They also visited his family in Oregon and Washington. Marilyn and Frank made it to Hawaii for a warm Christmas on Oahu, and later to California to visit Marilyn’s sister Virginia.
Marilyn and Frank both shared a love of Christmas, and it was a particular delight for Marilyn to see the town continue the display of Frank's engineering handiwork with the motorized Christmas Extravaganza at the Old Bus Barn Fields, which he built alongside his (deceased) second wife, Millie (Otto). Marilyn was supportive and proud of Frank’s construction skills which he volunteered to the Anaconda community, and also his Canadian military service, for which he was highly decorated.
In 2005, Marilyn and Frank established a scholarship program for Anaconda High School students in memory of Marilyn’s first husband, Leo Dougherty, and with the scholarship named for all three persons. The Leo Dougherty, and Frank and Marilyn St. Pierre St. Pierre Scholarship is awarded annually to two deserving students, each in the amount of $10,000. The scholarship will go on in perpetuity.
Marilyn and Frank loved animals, and Marilyn greatly approved of the Pintler Pets no-kill shelter, where she adopted a few cats for herself. The St. Pierre couple could appreciate the devotion of the crew at the shelter to rescue our local animals, and tried to help them with their cause. And not to forget the hardships of people and their families, Marilyn took a great interest in the Butte Rescue Mission, which was very dear to Marilyn’s heart and sensibilities.
After 9 years of marriage, Frank St. Pierre died January 16th, 2013, and it was another big loss for Marilyn, but she carried on as she always did, with quiet dignity. She kept busy within her community, she let friends and family surround her, and she always got out into the fresh air and sunshine where found weeds to pull.
Marilyn was a generous woman with her time, efforts, and her entire being, and she believed she was a very blessed woman. She leaves a legacy of service and giving. Marilyn will surely be much missed by her family, friends, the Anaconda citizens, and beyond.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Regina Richied, her sister Virginia Murray Ushman, Colonel Edward Murray, Bill Ushman, her husband Leo Dougherty, her husband Frank St. Pierre, and brother-in -law, Dr. Harold Hagan. She loved each of them dearly.
Marilyn is survived by her sister Charlene Hagan of Anaconda, and nieces and nephews - Mary Ellen (Rick) Randall of Helena MT; Jim Hagan of Portland OR; Dr. Dan (Rose) Hagan of Reading MA; Katie (Ralph) Vesel of Alberton MT; David (Susan) Hagan of Coralville IA: Janice Hagan-Delaney of Anaconda; Marilyn (Al) Hagan-Smith of Helena MT; Pat (Beth) Hagan of East Glacier MT; and Chris (Dawn) Hagan of Deer Lodge MT.
Marilyn is also survived by her grand nephews and nieces Kait Husmann (Markus and daughter Rowan) and Ben Smith; Emma and Leo Hagan; Jennifer and Daniel Hagan; Hanna Delaney; Patrick, Liam, Katie and Sean Hagan; Alye and Amy Fjyell-Hagan and Brendan Hagan; and Desi Killgore and Kevin Vesel.
Marilyn is survived by Frank’s family of 5 St. Pierre children, with noted exceptions - Ken, Nancy (deceased), Paula (deceased), Neil, and Mark; also Frank’s two step-daughters, Sharon Nelson (Don), Linda McGillen (Paul); and Franks many grandchildren with whom Marilyn was greatly delighted to become acquainted, and with special fondness for the Mertzen Family.
A Celebration Of Life service will be held this summer at Washoe Park Pavilion, July 29th, at 2 o’clock. It is hoped that the Anaconda community will come join in celebrating the life of Marilyn St. Pierre.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be considered toward Pintler Pets, (80 Silver St. Anaconda MT., 59711), The Butte Rescue Mission (610 E Platinum St. Butte MT 59701), or donor’s choice.
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