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Mary Ruth Irwin

Died: Wed., Oct. 19, 2011

- Service details not available -

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STEVENSVILLE - Mary Ruth Irwin, 58, of Stevensville, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011,  from a hard-to-treat recurrent ovarian cancer.

She was born April 27, 1953, in Portland, Ore., to Charles Stanley Arthur and Yvonne (Luckey) Arthur. Her father passed away in early childhood, so the family made many moves from a little farm deep in Missouri to St. Louis and eventually back to Oregon. Her childhood was not easy, but she depended on her sisters and learned how to make friends easily. She married Jeff Jones in 1969; they later divorced but remained partners in raising their treasured son, Dayvid. With the help of family, she won a hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer from 1981-83. She was highly successful working in retail sales for many years. Her sales strategy was simply to chat with customers until they realized they really wanted to buy something.

In November 1988, she gave her heart and life to Jesus and truly became a new creation in Christ. In 1994, she returned to school and earned a degree in special education. She married Larry Irwin in 1998, who she said was easily the love of her life. They made their home in Montana's beautiful Bitterroot Valley, blended their families, and enjoyed life fully. They traveled frequently, including four times to Africa, where Larry hunted and she became involved in various humanitarian projects. In summer, she loved camping anywhere she could hear water splashing over rocks, fishing with her sweetheart, spending time with family and friends, and listening to bluegrass music.

She especially enjoyed her wonderful church family at Lone Rock Bible Church, and had many friends in the community, including many dear ones at the Bitterroot Valley Living Center, where she and her little terrier, "Jack", volunteered for several years. She felt privileged to be a part of the lives of many young people at Lone Rock, where she taught junior church. She also became familiar with local history, which she shared as a volunteer tour guide at Historic St. Mary's Mission, and served as a member of its board of directors. She also volunteered at the Stevensville grade school, and helped to direct "A Christmas Carol" with Mrs. Beer's third grade for several, "GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!" performances. Other school projects included recycling Christmas cards for the past eight years for the students to use. In addition, she volunteered with fundraising for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International.

Survivors include her beloved sisters, Carla Kepler (Skip), Sharon Doumitt (Chris), Yvonne Young (Keith), Donna Oliver (Ken), Darlene Girt (Tom) and brother Verne Miller. Her children include Dayvid Jones (Suela), Valerie Holton (Lee), James Irwin (Emily), and Loren Irwin (Melissa). She dearly loved her grandchildren, Chantelle Marechaux, Travis and Zachary Holton, Hailey Martin, and Truss and Alex Irwin. Nieces and nephews include Jody, Richard, and Katie Kepler, Heather and Jason Doumitt, Sierra Brandon (Robbie ), LaRai Arthur, Brian Oliver and Brittany Vago (Nick). She held special regard for Kaye Calvin and her family in Portland, and cousin Sue Magee and Aunt Mary Adams.

Funeral services are being arranged by Whitesitt Funeral Home, and graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Lone Pine Cemetery in Darby, with Mark Hofman officiating. A memorial service to celebrate her effervescent life will occur at Lone Rock Bible Church in Stevensville at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, with James Carlson officiating. The family suggests sending memorials to Lone Rock Bible Church or Historic St. Mary's Mission in Stevensville, or to missions such as Gospel for Asia or Christar.

Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/obituaries/article_8d096f3c-fd88-11e0-bb8e-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1bemRpjWy

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lois schreckendgust
   Posted Mon October 24, 2011
So sorry to hear about Mary. She was so nice to my Mom Isabell when she was at the living center. When Mom was on her death bed Mary and another lady sang IN The Garden by Mom's bedside. That was Mom's favorite hymn. Mary will be missed!

George and Becky Ice
   Posted Wed October 26, 2011
Larry, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. You picked a wonderful picture that captures Mary's warmth and love. I know how much you loved her through your concern and care over these last difficult months. I hope that you can find some peace as you move forward. God Bless You.

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