Eileen Frances Holland

Eileen Frances Holland, 84, was born on June 27, 1932, to Pearl Gunnels Kekich and Jack Kekich in Sheridan, Wyo. Eileen graduated from Sheridan High School in 1950 and married Amos E. Helvey shortly thereafter. One child, Carol Jean Helvey, was produced from this union. Eileen and Amos divorced in 1956.

Eileen was hired as secretary to the U.S. Senator from Wyoming in 1956 and moved to Washington, D.C. Eileen was interviewed and hired to be a secretary at the White House in 1957 but was so homesick for Wyoming she forfeited the job and returned home.

Eileen began working for the BLM in Lewistown in 1958 where she met rancher Swend Holland. Swend wined and dined Eileen until a job transfer moved her to Billings. In 1960, Swend proposed marriage to Eileen and they were married May 27, 1960, at the Methodist Church in downtown Billings. Swend moved Eileen and Carol to the family ranch located between Lewistown and Grass Range, Mont. They ran sheep and subsequently turned the operation to raising cattle. In 1962, the little family was blessed with the birth of Beverly Kim Holland, and in 1964 Swend Holland was born, becoming Swend Holland, III.

In 1969, the Hollands purchased land at Canyon Ferry. Eileen loved spending the summers water-skiing, beaching and cooking large meals at the lake.

Eileen was known by all friends and neighbors for her wonderful cooking and hospitality. She was a beautiful seamstress and designed and created many of her children’s clothes.

Eileen studied interior design at Arizona State University after she and Swend purchased a home in Arizona in 1973. Her taste was exquisite, and her homes were beautiful.

Eileen and Swend sold the Holland Ranch in 1989, and both felt a huge void from that departure. Over the years they had owned a number of homes in the southwest, each reflecting Eileen’s talent for hospitality and elegance. Upon returning to Lewistown in 1989, they purchased a condo in Fountain Terrace whereupon Eileen continued to play bridge and golf several times a week. She was a champion and winner of both bridge and golftournaments.

Swend passed away in 2011 and Eileen went to New Mexico to spend time with her sister, Betty Turk. Missing her children, Eileen returned to Lewistown and eventually purchased a condo in the Esplanade. By 2014, Eileen decided it was time to allow others to provide some of life’s necessary services for her and she moved into The Villa. After several health issues she settled in and resided at Shepherd’s Way until the time of her passing, March 18, 2017.

Eileen is survived by her children: Carol J. Helvey-Woolsey, Kim Miller (Tom), Swend Holland (Alexandra); her grandchildren, Shane M. McDonnell, Jake C. Woolsey, Jessica Miller (Osvaldo Vargas), Crystine Miller (Canon Leurkens), Whitney Brady (Paul); and five great-grandchildren.

The family has chosen to have a celebration of life for Eileen in August of 2017. Donations may be made to the Lewistown Arts and Entertainment District and the CMMC Emergency Room through the Central Montana Foundation.

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Eileen’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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