Mary (Szillat) Finnerty entered into this world on June 24th 1948. Her parent’s, Elmer and Johanna (Heidema) Szillat proudly raised Mary as well with three boys, Ernie, Kenney, and Rich. The family was instilled to serve a life full of faith, family, and love.
After graduating from Senior High School, Mary completed her bachelor’s degree in education and traveled to rural communities throughout Colorado, Montana and Wyoming to spread the love of knowledge. She met and fell in love with a Navy solider from Pennsylvania, James (Jim) Finnerty. On February 29th 1976, Jim and Mary said I do and they celebrated 42 years together. For many years, Mary was a bookkeeper for an oil company and for Aspen Townhomes in Red Lodge, MT, and for many other adventures.
Although Mary was burdened with physical issues, after the removal of a tumor in her neck early in life, her determination and persistence to continue with the joys of life lead her to many beautiful moments.
Mary’s passions were many, including her faith and family, reading thousands of books on her Kindle, games, puzzles, traveling, photography, nature and the love of baseball. Baseball was not just a spectator event, for Mary she knew the ins and outs and the projections of each player and recorded numerous years for the Billings Mustangs. Jim and Mary served countless years to their faith and traveled to rural communities, including Birney, MT. Mary dedicated herself to her faith and spread God’s love through educating children in Sunday school, junior youth programs, and through music. With these connections, Mary was loved by many and accepted the beauty in her relationships with all whom she encountered.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Elmer E. Szillat, Johanna (Heidema) Szillat, father in-law James W. Finnerty, mother in-law Elizabeth (Isabell) Finnerty, two brothers Kenneth G. Szillat and Richard E. Szillat, sister in-laws Shirley (Finnerty) Mix and Ada Marie Finnerty, brother in-law Dick Finnerty and three unborn children, Melissa, Rachel and Naomi.
Mary is survived by her husband, James (Jim) Finnerty, brother Ernie (Jackie) Szillat, sister in-laws Redd Szillat and Suzie Szillat, nieces and nephews, including Ben (Kinsey) Szillat, Jaclyn (James) Tirone, Jeanna (Damon) Blumhagen, Joe (Miriam) Szillat, Lisa (Trevor) Haefke, Matt (Holly) Szillat, Paul (Laci) Szillat, great nieces and nephews, including Bennett, Caden, Carter, Devin, Elijah, Emma, Kennedy, Libby, Mason, Paige and Quinn. Also, numerous nieces and nephews in the Finnerty family as well with a special love for Adrianna (Frank) Wageman and her life-long dear friend Jan (late Ray) Hoefle.
Aunt Mary, we as nieces and nephews want to say thank you for supporting and showing us how to stand by your family and have faith in any of life’s circumstances or events. Thank you for being there for our birthdays, concerts, sporting events and caring for our children. We love you!
In the last chapter of Mary’s life, she was no longer in pain and her suffering was no more with the talents of family and friends surrounding her. The family thanks all that contributed to Mary’s life and great appreciation and gratitude for the angels of healthcare providers through Riverstone Hospice, with your talents and gifts you helped our dear Mary be comfortable and at ease at the end of her journey.
A memorial service honoring Mary’s life is scheduled for Wednesday June 13th 2018 at 6:30 PM. The location is at the New Apostolic Church located at 500 15th St W, Billings, MT 59102.