Mary Jane (Ward) Roderick, 95

| November 2, 2020 7:05 AM

Mary passed away at her home in Helena on Oct. 27, 2020. She was 95 years old and lived a full life surrounded by family and friends. She was a strong woman and the rock of her family. The eldest daughter in a family of eight children, Mary learned the value of work hard, being creative with what she had and caring for those around her. Mary wed Frank Roderick in Denver while he was on a weekend pass from the U.S. Army. It was World War II, and she made the trip by train to and from Seattle, where she was working for the war effort. Frank preceded Mary in death after 72 years of marriage.

Mary and Frank raised three daughters, Mavis (Durado), Bonnie (Crawford) and Moraine (Byrne). Mary was the daughter of Avis Irvine and Robert C. Ward, founder of the sporting goods stores, Bob Ward & Sons, based in Missoula. After growing up in Missoula, Mary spent many years in St. Ignatius raising her family and later moved to Helena with Frank after they retired. Mary lived her life with a positive attitude and shared it with her family and friends. She was passionate about her quilting, which her family will enjoy for many years to come.

Mary instilled a sense of self-worth and purpose in each of her daughters, encouraging them to do their best and to care for others. She loved her family and was always ready with an encouraging word for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mary is survived by her brother, Jack Ward; three daughters; sons-in-law Dennis Crawford and Tim Byrne; grandchildren Jerry Johnson, Tonya (Randy) Meyers, Charlie Crawford (Chelsia Rice), Tara (Jordan) Lind, John Byrne (Ellen Salvador) and David Byrne; and great grandchildren Brauhn Roberts, Seth Johnson, Emery and Mayer Lind and Kaia Byrne.

A celebration of life for Mary will be held this summer at the family cabin on Ashley Lake for immediate family. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Hospital or Helena Food Share.