Barb Kenison

Please keep the family of Barb Kenison in your thoughts and prayers. Barb passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2020.Barb is the wife of legendary Maroon Football Coach Swede Kenison. Barb was an amazing supporter of Butte Central Schools and worked hard throughout the years on many BC fundraising projects. Aug. 27, 1936 – Nov. 28, 2020Saturday Nov. 28, our sweet mother Barbara Jean Kenison left us for a special place in heaven. Barbara was born on Aug. 27, 1936, in Dillon, MT to Kathryn (Rebish) and Martin Markovich. She was the youngest of six children but somehow assumed the role of caretaker to all. She attended school in Dillon where she met the love of her life, Ron (Swede) Kenison. Mom earned a degree in Elementary Education from Western Montana College. And, on June 2nd, 1956, she married Ron (Swede) Kenison, and put her education degree to the test raising their 8 children. There was never a dull moment in the Kenison household, the door was always open, and our mother welcomed all with open arms. She made sure everyone was fed, had dry warm clothes, and felt as if they were a part of our home. Her kind and caring heart was an inspiration for all. A few years after moving to Butte, her mother was stricken with arthritis and without hesitation, mom converted a back room into a bedroom and moved her mother up to Butte where she could care for her until her death. When her kids got older, Barb went to work in real estate but soon found herself working side by side with Swede. They were rarely apart, traveling the state together while working for Herff-Jones. After Swede was named Frontier Conference Commissioner, he needed his lifelong assistant by his side. We all knew who was running the show, and in 2005, when dad died unexpectedly, the Frontier Conference appointed mom interim commissioner, interim lasted the entire year. Because of her dedication to the Frontier Conference, in 2008, mom was awarded the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame Administrative Service Award. In 2011, Kent Paulson, the Frontier Conference Commissioner, awarded mom the first “Swede Kenison” Memorial award for her long-term dedication to the Frontier Conference. As many educators do, Barb and Swede spent their life volunteering, giving to the community, and helping others. Raising funds for Butte Central was a favorite social past time. In 1998, when the Grasshopper Valley Volunteer Fire Department was formed, Barb and Swede helped this special group of volunteers. They worked tirelessly to build a Fire Department, write grants and raise funds to buy fire trucks, ambulances and equipment, and train and educate their EMT’s. Mom spent countless volunteer hours with the Fire Department. When the Stodden Park Pool closed in 2006, mom was recruited by Fran Doran to raise funds to build a water park. They created the “Friends of Stodden” non-profit, and for over 10 years worked to make the dream of a water park for the children of Butte come true. Barb was preceded in death by her son, William John; husband, Ron (Swede) Kenison; sisters, Ann Malesich, Kay Spolar, Mary Petritz and Marg Stosich; brother, Martin Markovich; sister-in-laws, Lorraine Markovich, Kenette Smith; brothers-in-law, John Malesich, George Spolar, Peter (Peachy) Petritz and Tony Stosich, John ‘Jack’ Kenison, William ‘BJ’ Smith; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.Barb is survived by her daughters, Terri (Phil) Jones and Kathy Kenison; sons Rick Kenison, Marty (Holly) Kenison, Eric (Jeanni) Kenison, Ron (Susie) Kenison, Mike (Polly) Kenison; grandchildren, Cody (Ashleigh) Kenison, Caleb (Chelsea) Kenison, Jake (Tara) Cox, Brian Cox, Jared Jones, Sarah (Aaron) Green, Casey (Jamie) Kenison, Kayla (Casey) Dee, Paige (Tyler) Sorensen, Joe Kenison, Katie (Chris) Gilbreaith, Kevin Cox, Ty (Lexie) Kenison, Cooper Kenison, Nicholia Kenison, Garret Kenison, Sierra Kenison; great-grandchildren, Cameron Cox, Avery Cox, Alivia Cox, Cayson Cox, Azlyn Cox, Aria Cox, Kain Cox, Kenasyn Dee, Callaway Dee, Colt Kenison, Clayton Kenison, Clara Kenison, Ruby Kenison, Marlow Kenison, Bodree Sorensen, Wes Sorensen, Kaysen Lefler, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Janelle and the staff at Beehive Homes of Butte, with a special shout out to Luchy, who treated mom like her own grandmother. Also, Senior Solutions, Sheena, Abbey and the entire crew who helped with mom; Mary Ann Scheppek, her Senior Companion. Donations may be made to the Butte Central Education Foundation, 9 South Idaho, Butte, MT 59701; Butte Special Olympics, 845 Wyoming Street, Butte, MT 59701; Butte Emergency Food Bank, 1019 E. Second Street, Butte, MT; Beehive Homes of Butte, 2930 Elm St, Butte, MT 59701; or the charity of your choice. We invite friends of the family to join us virtually for the service at the link below or in person.Butte Catholic Community North – YouTube safety protocols will be required for people choosing to attend in person. The Rosary will be held on Thursday December 3rd at 6:00 PM with visitation starting at 5:00 PM at the Immaculate Conception Church. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 AM Friday December 4th at the Immaculate Conception Church. Interment will follow at 2:00 PM at the Mountain View Cemetery in Dillon, MT. We plan on a celebration of life around her birthday in August, when we will roll out the barrel and have a pig roast!We love you mom, watch over and guide us until we meet again in heaven.

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