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Kathleen H. Schweitzer 83, of Helena

by The Western News
| September 2, 2011 12:30 PM

Kathleen (Kay) Helen Schweitzer of

Helena, Mont., died from an accident on Aug. 21, 2011, at the age

of 83.

Schweitzer was born on Sept. 24, 1927,

on a farm near Box Elder, Mont., the fourth of five children to

Michael and Hannah McKernan.

She is the mother of Gov. Brian


Michael and Hannah moved to America

from Ireland in the early 1900s. In addition to Kay, their children

were Michael McKernan, deceased; Mary Brady, deceased; Nora Nelson

and Patricia Warhank.

In 1946, Kay married Adam Schweitzer in

a double wedding with her sister Patricia, who married Adam’s good

friend Raymond Warhank.

Patty and Kay met the young men at a

post-World War II dance on the Hi-Line. After their marriage, Kay

and Adam managed the Schweitzer family farm near Gildford, Mont.,

before moving to Geyser, Mont., in 1954. Kay played an active part

in managing the family farm, especially since the 1970s.

Kay is survived by her sisters Nora

Nelson from Havre and Pat Warhank from Rudyard; her children Darwin

(Sharon), Ore.; Warren (Ingela), Calif.; Mike (Jolyn), Billings,

Mont.; Brian (Nancy) Helena, Mont.; Walter (Cindy), Helena, Mont.;

and Mary, Ohio; 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She

is preceded in death by her husband, Adam, two siblings and one


A rosary is planned for 6 p.m. on Aug.

31, 2011, at the Retz Funeral Home in Helena.

A funeral will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 at

the Cathedral of St. Helena in Helena, Mont. She will be buried

next to her husband at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1 in Highland Cemetery,