Laura McKeon, a longtime resident of Malta, died of natural causes April 10, 2023 in Helena MT at the age of 101.
Laura was born in Miles City MT on November 11, 1921, the only child of Carl and Sophie (Kircheck) Svendson. She attended schools in Miles City MT, graduating in 1939 from Custer County High School. Laura worked at various businesses in Miles City before moving to Helena in 1943 for employment with the Federal Office of Price Administration. There, she met Willis M. McKeon of Anaconda MT. Laura would tell family how blessed she was to meet him on a blind date because it resulted in true love and 67 years together.
Laura married Willis in the Rectory of St. Helena Cathedral in Helena on November 27, 1946. They began their married lives together in Missoula MT where Willis attended Law School and Laura worked at Western Montana National Bank. After Willis’ graduation, they moved to Helena briefly before settling in Malta in May 1949. There, Laura and Willis raised six children. When Willis passed away in 2014, Laura remained in Malta until a September, 2022 move to assisted living in Helena.
Laura was a caring and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother. She always placed her family first, being supportive of all their activities. For both her and Willis, the family simply expanded when their children developed relationships of their own. Laura especially treasured those occasions when any member of this extended family stayed at the cabin she and Willis built on Nelson Reservoir. She loved visitors and their conversations often includes stories about her large family.
The family thanks those who took the time to visit and share stories with our mother. A special thank you goes to staff of the Hi Line Retirement Center of Malta and the BeeHive North Assisted Living of Helena for the compassion and care given to our mother.
Laura was preceded in death by her parents, husband Willis and grandson Joseph Michael McKeon. She is survived by her six children, Patricia “Pat” Stene (John) of Polson; John C. McKeon (Teresa “Terry”) of Malta; Barbara “Barb” Sunford (John) of Saco; James M. “Jim” McKeon (Sandy) of Helena; Maureen “Reene” Wasson of Malta and Gold Canyon AZ; Joanne “Jo” Lindon (Tom) of Missoula, and 17 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
A rosary followed by a vigil service will be held Friday, April 21, 6:00 pm at Wilderness Funeral Home in Malta. A funeral Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Saturday, April 22, 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Malta with burial at the Malta Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Mary’s Catholic Church; PO Box 70; Malta MT 59538-0070, or a charity of your choice. Funeral Arrangements are being handled by Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home of Helena and Wilderness Funeral Home of Malta.