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Maureen Magdalene Gallagher Theiler

| October 20, 2022 12:00 AM

Maureen Magdalene Gallagher Theiler, born April 19, 1938, in Wilkes Barre, Penn., passed away in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, Sept. 22, surrounded by loved ones.

Born to Edward and Genievieve (Beeman) Gallagher, Maureen joined older siblings Peggy, Joe, and Patricia at the family home on South Pennsylvania Ave. (younger sister Ginny arrived two years later). She spent her formative years and high school in Wilkes Barre, and by choice she later moved to Wisconsin to be with her sister, Patricia, who was expecting a child. Her stay included meeting her future spouse, Ray Theiler, whom she married in 1959, and they soon began raising family.

In 1961, Maureen (“Reenie”), Ray, and their two oldest children moved west to Lame Deer, Montana, where Ray had accepted a position with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a forester. In 1966, with a young and growing family, Maureen and Ray moved to Polson, where Ray transferred to the Flathead Agency of the BIA. There, they raised six children, and served the community until 2017 when Ray passed away after 58 years of marriage.

Maureen remained in Polson and Ronan until moving to Boise in 2021 to be closer to her children.

Maureen was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Polson. She dedicated an immense amount of time to the parish and the Diocese of Helena. She spent many years of selfless service in Polson’s soup kitchen, always putting others’ needs above her own, and gave tirelessly to the hospice service in the Polson and Ronan area, having led a care-giver program for the Council on Aging.

Having spent a few years serving as the Lake County Clerk of Court and working for Bishop Insurance Service in Polson, Maureen cultivated many life-long friendships and acquaintances. In her 60s, she “returned” to college, taking classes at the Salish Kootenai College where she enjoyed writing poetry and painting.

Maureen loved to bake, cook, and create her own recipes as much as she loved sharing her creations with others. She never met a bag of flour she could not convert into to numerous loaves of bread, a chunk of cheese that wasn’t perfect for mac n’ cheese, a pound of meat that wouldn’t make the best soup, or an assortment of olives that weren’t tasty on your fingertips!

After moving to Boise, Maureen continued to give of herself, sharing her stories, recipes, and humor with resident friends in her assisted living community. One of her greatest joys was spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who knew her as Mom, Nana, G’maw, and Nana Great.

Maureen’s friends describe her as generous, inspiring, classy, vivacious, resourceful, caring, sassy and a great conversationalist. She developed a flair for looking stylish, taking great pride in wearing colorful clothing, shoes, accessories, and makeup. Those who cared for her at the end of her life adored her and cherished their deeply personal conversations with her. She was a gem.

Survivors include children Mary Pat (Tony) Cheng of Bellevue, Wash.; Matthew (Tammy) Theiler of Idaho Falls; Kathleen (Chuck) Elliott of Eagle, Idaho; Betsy (Joel) Craswell of Puyallup, Wash.; Hugh (Kellie) Theiler of East Wenatchee, Wash.; and Sarah (David) Horten of Albuquerque, N.M.; 15 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, younger sister Ginny, numerous nieces and nephews, a large extended family and a host of good friends.

Maureen was preceded in death by her husband, Ray, her parents, and older siblings.

Maureen’s children would like to thank the teams at True Wood Assisted Living and FirstChoice Hospice in Boise who wonderfully cared for and openly shared fond stories of their interactions with her.

There will be a Celebration of Life at Krueger Funeral Home, Tomahawk, Wis., on Thursday, Oct. 27. Family visitation will begin at noon with the Memorial Service at 1 p.m., followed by interment next to Ray at Calvary Cemetery. Afterward join the family at Inshalla Country Club to celebrate Maureen.

We’d like to honor Mom’s flair for life by wearing brightly colored clothes to celebrate her - “the brighter the better!”

Please visit Krueger Family Funeral Home’s website for live streaming of Maureen’s Celebration of Life in Tomahawk (https://kruegerfamilyfuneral.com).

A Celebration of Life will also be held in Polson, where Maureen raised her family and served the community between 1965 and 2021, in Spring 2023. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Theiler/Oberlitner Scholarship managed by Polson Scholarship and Education Foundation, PO Box 741, Polson, MT 59860.

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Maureen Magdalene Gallagher Theiler

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