Anna M. “Billy” Irish

Anna M. (Billy) Irish, 95, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away the morning of Dec. 20, 2017, at the Central Montana Medical Center. Services were held at St. Leo’s Church Dec. 29, while the burial will take place this spring.

Billy was born Jan. 26, 1922 in Lewistown, Montana, to Frank and Martha (Hruska) Matejcek. She graduated from Fergus High School in 1939. She continued her education at Normal School (now University of Great Falls), where she received her teaching certificate. She then returned home and taught at the Cottonwood Creek School for two years before marrying Alden E. Irish on March 1, 1942. For Billy, family was the highest priority so she lived and worked on their farm while raising her children. In 1960, she returned to her teaching position at Cottonwood Creek School. She was a wonderful, kind and dedicated teacher and impacted her students’ lives. The family moved to Marysville, Washington in 1968. Billy taught at Pinewood Elementary School until she and her husband retired and moved to Livingston, Montana in 1981. The two returned to the Lewistown countryside in 1987 where they resided for the remainder of their lives.

Billy was a devout Catholic, her faith serving as a guiding force throughout her life. She greatly enjoyed barn dances, and while attending them, met her husband Alden. Billy loved being a farmwife; she worked alongside her husband, nurtured her beautiful flower garden, and spent her free time sewing and crocheting. She spent much of her time outside; camping, working and enjoying nature. She loved cooking and used family recipes as means to share her Bohemian heritage. Her children and grandchildren fondly remember how she brought them together and cooked extravagant holiday dinners. Grandma Billy will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Billy is survived by sons Alden R. (Patricia) Irish of Lewistown, and William F. (Lynn) Irish of Bozeman, daughter Judith Wentworth of Lewistown; daughter-in-law Janet Rathbun Johnson Irish of Everett, Wash.; 12 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law Mary I. Lowe of Cashmere, Wash., and Ruth I. Smith of Lewistown.

She was preceded in death by her husband Alden E. Irish; son Theodore Irish, her parents and brother Albert E. Matejcek. 

Friends are asked to make memorials to the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

Written by daughter Judy Wentworth and great-granddaughter Abigail Wentworth.

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