Joan Jean ‘Nana’ LaGaly Kersich passed away on Sunday Oct. 7, 2018 leaving this world in the same way, and in the same place, as she entered it on Jan. 9, 1933 – surrounded by family at St. Vincent Hospital, Billings.
Joan was a student of the Billings Catholic school system, graduating in 1951. She proudly and frequently continued to support the Catholic school system through much of her adult life.
Joan’s love of theater bloomed with her first job at the Fox Theatre in downtown Billings and she enjoyed sharing that love with her children and grandchildren as often as she could. The smile on her face when watching any live production, or listening to its soundtrack, is forever etched in everyone’s memory. Her final 9-5 job was as an oil & gas lease analyst for Balcron, but her favorite ‘job’ was the role she claimed in retirement – Chief Supervisor of all tasks going on around her. She would matter-of-factly tell you how to do what you were supposed to be doing.
Her greatest blessings came from her marriage to A.T. Kersich. Children: Kathy (Anthony) Sommerfeld of Red Lodge; Patti (Rusty) Gilbert of Hood River, OR; and Tim (Catrina) Kersich of Salem, OR. Grandchildren: Christine Sommerfeld, Rhame ND; Stephen Sommerfeld, Seattle WA; Kimberly (Tyson) Bednarz, Billings; Ryley Gilbert, Corvallis OR and Lucas Gilbert, Hood River OR. She was looking forward to the birth of her first great-grandchild, baby Bednarz due in Dec. 2018.
Joan enjoyed gardening, sewing, reading, travel, entertaining, playing cards & board games, cooking, picnics, watching Jeopardy, Miller time, & hearing about your day (unless you called during Jeopardy). Her joy with these tasks was heightened when she was able to do the things she loved for and with her family and closest friends. She used her many talents to support those around her with their projects & passions. Everyone knew they could count on her.
Joan was greeted in heaven by her parents Carl & Ella LaGaly, her siblings and close friends. She will be missed here by her family and friends.
She insisted that even after she was gone she wanted to keep things as simple as she lived her life, requesting that she be cremated & no public memorial service to take place. If you wish to honor her spirit with a memorial in her name the projects she cared deeply about include: The Baby Shower Project at St. Agnes Catholic Church, and BareTooth Cupboards – both in Red Lodge, Montana; or your local volunteer fire department.
‘Say not in grief she is no more but live in thankfulness that she was – Mom.’ We are so grateful for all of the lessons you taught us and the kind of humans you shaped us to be. You may be physically gone, but you will never be forgotten.