In Memory

Doris Holtz (Meagher) - Class Of 1935

HELENA - Doris Holtz Meagher, 93, died of natural causes Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at an East Helena care facility.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of Retz Funeral Home of Helena. A memorial service is 3 p.m. April 30 at Hunters Pointe, 2801 Colonial Drive in Helena, followed by a luncheon. Graveside service is 10 a.m. May 2 at the Cut Bank Cemetery, also followed by a luncheon.

Doris was born July 18, 1917, to Fred and Sarah Idella Catherine (Hannon) Holtz in Sweet Grass. She was baptized in the Sunburst Methodist Church, attended school in Sunburst, and graduated from high school there in 1935. It was there she met her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Joe Meagher. They eloped and were secretly married March 2, 1935, in Milk River, Alberta, Canada, but did not announce it until after her graduation. They made beautiful music together for 62 years, both figuratively and literally; she played the piano and he played the drums.

Doris and Joe raised one daughter and three sons in the Sunburst and Cut Bank areas, and participated in many social and civic activities in both communities. Once they were empty nesters, they traveled extensively, golfed and snowmobiled while keeping pace with their family. Doris enjoyed working with her hands in arts and crafts, and sewing, and was an avid bridge player and a wonderful cook. She was the recipient of the Jaycees "Cut Bank Woman of the Year" in 1980. She and Joe shared the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce honor of "Outstanding Citizens of the Year" in 1984. During her later years, she resided in retirement homes in Shelby and Helena, before moving to an assisted living home just beyond East Helena in March 2010.

Doris is survived by daughter Marcia Gail Bragg of Missoula and oldest son Terrence "Terry" Meagher and his wife, Joyce, of Boulder City, Nev. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren, and 12 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Joe; all four of her brothers and sisters; her two youngest sons, Timothy and Thomas; and one granddaughter.

Instead of flowers, any contributions for Doris are requested to be sent in memory of her to Homes for Our Troops, 6 Main St., Taunton, MA 02780. They build specially adapted homes at no cost for our returning severely injured veterans.

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04/19/11 11:02 AM #1    

Joe White (1958)

I remember you, Doris--in a few words--as a Lady, a Friend, and just plain Fun!  I marveled that you were chosen to chaperone student trips, because you sometimes seemed more a source of mischief than us students.  Like the time the NTCHS band traveled to Eugene, Oregon; eighty-plus kids were cautioned repeatedly by a dozen chaperones, "Do not get off the train in Spokane."  Remember who missed the train?  The friends you visited for a little too long on the platform in Spokane had to race madly through the night to overtake the Empire Builder at a station farther west.  Later, on a trip to a Havre Music Festival, you took a load of girls in your '53 Caddy while Newt Buker hauled three of us guys in his '56 VW.  You sweet-talked Mr. Buker into switching cars on the return trip, and got  about a three-minute headstart while he settled up with the restaurant.  You never would reveal the VW's top speed, but it took Newt and a pedal-to-the-metal Caddy full of cheering boys a loooong time to catch that Bug!  We were amazed to find grownups could have fun, too.

After the Texas Company "Exodus" from Sunburst, we met infrequently, only a handful of times in the last decade, but you always greeted me as if I still lived just across town.  Doris, you have a rare talent for making each old friend feel at home by remembering occasions and circumstances that friend considers very special.   At every meeting, we relived "Sunburst's good old days," those NTCHS music memories, and me as a student-teacher to Tim and Tom, the "terrible trombone twosome."  I love to laugh with you.  I leave each visit with a happy heart. 

I remember at our 2004 reunion you told me, "I guess l'll never outlive that racing-the-Empire Builder story." No, Doris, you never will.  There are other stories, too.  You are--dear Lady, dear Friend--Legend.  'Til we meet again, Godspeed.     

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