Nancy L. Matthews McCaffree, 83, died peacefully surrounded by her family on March 31, 2019. She was born September 29, 1935, to John Norman and Lucille (Gummow) Matthews.
Nancy was a strong, passionate, charitable, resilient, graceful, adventure-seeking mother to all.
Nancy felt blessed for her extensive Matthews & Gummow clan in the Helena-Marysville-Townsend area. She treasured the memories of the many family gatherings from the 4th of July picnics at Remini (her Father’s birthday), picnics at the fairgrounds, to the Christmas celebrations at Gramma Gummow’s.
She was a 3rd generation graduate of Helena High School in 1953. She assisted in the planning of many reunions, recently celebrating the 65th reunion.
After high school, Nancy worked with the veterans at Fort Harrison. She later worked for Forest Anderson’s law office, the Attorney General’s Office, and then the Governor’s Office. She continued to serve in the Governor’s Office under Tom Judge and Ted Schwinden. Under the Schwinden administration, she had the privilege of Directing the original VISTA program for the State of Montana. The VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program was a vision of President Kennedy as a domestic version of the International Peace Corps and incorporated by President Johnson’s War on Poverty and signed as part of the Economic Opportunity Act.
In 1980, Nancy embarked on a new adventure and moved to eastern Montana opening a small travel agency in Forsyth. Needing a new hobby to go along with the new business, she taught herself the art of stained glass. She created and donated the large rosebud stained glass above the main entrance of the Rosebud County Courthouse. Nancy also refurbished several windows for churches in Forsyth and Marysville.
Nancy set out for another adventure following the footsteps of public service behind her grandfather, who sat on the Montana Supreme Court and her father, who was Lewis & Clark County Assessor. She was the first woman elected to the Montana Public Service Commission and brought patience, peace, wisdom and a sense of humor, but was always mindful to support those whom she represented.
Nancy’s faith has always been prominent in her life. She blessed her community with her time, gifts of baking, sewing, and knack for inspiring others to join her in completing her conceptual charitable ideas.
She is survived by the love of her life, Ed McCaffree; children, Rachael Raue, Matthew Raue (Jodi), Christopher Raue (Lori), Anthony Raue (Jackie), Victoria Kincy (Albert), Peggy Basset (Dick) & her family; sister, Norma Moore (Dale); brother, John A. Matthews II (Barbara); grandchildren Nikolas Sirs, Nicole Kirstine, Arianna Sirs, Crystal Boonstoppel, Jade Torgerson, Kaira Sirs, Marni Dauner, Zachary Raue, Larisa Ramirez, Dylan Raue, Caleb Kincy, Sarah Kincy, Tyler Raue, Zoey Raue; 18 great-grandchildren.
Celebration of her life is Tuesday, April 9th at 12:30 p.m. at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in East Helena, Montana, followed by internment at Resurrection Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Good Sam or Food Share.