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Margaret Frances McLean Copenhaver 1919-2017

Swan Song


November 16, 2017

Margaret Frances McLean Copenhaver 1919-2017

OVANDO - On Nov. 8 at the beautiful age of 98, Margaret Frances McLean Copenhaver peacefully passed away at home surrounded by family.

Margaret, daughter of William McLean and Mayme Superneau McLean, was born Aug. 2, 1919 in Granite, Mont. She attended school in Phillipsburg until she was a freshman in high school. Her family then moved to Missoula where she graduated from Missoula County High School. After high school, she worked at The Mercantile in Missoula until the Second World War broke out. She then went to Seattle where she worked for the Navy for the duration of the war.

Margaret enjoyed skiing, hiking and mountain climbing with the Mountaineers. They used to ride the train up to Blanchard Flats (Clearwater) and hike up the "hill" that is now on the game range and ski down. After doing this all afternoon, they rode the train back to Missoula.

She met Howard, the love of her life, at a dance in Helmville in 1939. Howard joined the Navy in 1940 and was off to the Pacific theater. They married March 15, 1944.

After the war, they came to the ranch in Ovando. They, I cannot mention Mom or Dad by themselves as they were a team, outfitted and ranched for almost 60 years. Margaret was absolutely devoted to her husband and family. Her sense of duty was foremost in everything that she did. I don't believe that there was ever anything put off until tomorrow that could be done today.

For 75 years Margaret was a huge part of the community. Whether it was square dancing, pinochle parties or dinners and auctions to raise money for various causes, she was there. One of Margaret's favorite treats was ice cream and any kid that stopped at her house after school or basketball was treated to a frozen treat. There is not a time that she did not have some type of frozen deliciousness waiting.

She was preceded in death by her husband Howard and grandson Peter.

She is survived by her son Steve (Donna) Copenhaver; daughter Sue (John) Lapka; grandchildren Todd (Amber) Copenhaver, Rich Copenhaver, Beth Copenhaver, David (Cara) Copenhaver, Andrea (Steve) Lynch, Patricia (Jimmy) Watson, Sarah (Mike) Melnick, Tim (Mary) Lapka, Chris Lapka, Bridget Lapka, Rory (Jessica) Lapka, Anthony (Melissa) Lapka, Sr. Emmanuel (Ruth), Rebecca Lapka, Ben (Nadia) Lapka, Brian Lapka and Daniel Lapka, along with 49 great-grandchildren.

Requiem mass will be Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ovando Gym. Burial will be in Ovando Cemetery. A lunch will follow at the Ovando Gym hosted by the Sew and So Club, after which will be a time to share the wonderful memories of her life.

Rosary will be said Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Ovando Gym. Memorials may be sent to the Sew and So Club, ICO Karalee Slaght, Ovando, MT 59854.


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