Mary P. Syskowski


MENDOTA – Mary Patricia (Sahinen) Syskowski, 98, of Mendota, died April 17, 2023.

In accordance with Patricia's wishes, cremation rites have been accorded, and her ashes will be interred with her husband’s at the Montana State Veteran's Cemetery, Fort William Henry Harrison, in Helena, Mont., with a private service at a future date.

She was born in Butte, Montana on November 11, 1924. She lived in the mining town of Pony, Mont., the earliest years of her life and moved to Helena in 1934 with her parents, the late George and Catharine (Kneedler) Sahinen. She attended the Pony Elementary School, St. Helena Elementary School, Cathedral High School. Carroll College and New London, Connecticut Junior College.

After his return from serving in WWII, Mary Pat married Stanley Syskowski on Feb. 23, 1946, at St. Helena Cathedral in Helena, Mont. They moved briefly to New London, Conn., but returned to Montana in 1947. He preceded her in death in 1983.

She lived in Helena until 1986, when she moved to Sublette, and she moved to Mendota in 2012.

Patricia is survived by her three children, James Syskowski of Mesa, Ariz., Susan (Paul) Henkel of Sublette, and Jane (Joe) Chase of Gresham, Ore.; her grandchildren, Rachel (Andrew) Tarr of Amboy, Sarah Gehant of Mendota, Cammie (Matt) Henkel of Byron, Ben (Nicole) Chase of Gresham, Ore., Tim Chase of Newport, Ore., and Michelle Chase of Portland, Ore.. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Kaitlin, Nicholas and Lauren Tarr, Ashton, Claire and Mara Henkel, Abigail Gehant and Paul, Elizabeth, David and Andrew Chase, as well as numerous beloved nieces, nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Catharine and George Sahinen; two brothers, James and Rick Sahinen, and two grandchildren, Catharine and Matthew Henkel.

Active in Democratic Party politics, Mary worked on many presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. She was an Administrative Assistant at several sessions of the Montana Legislature, and worked for the Secretary of State, Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Instruction over more than 30 years. For six years, from 1969-1975, she was Executive Secretary of the Montana Catholic Conference and a licensed lobbyist during the Montana Constitutional Convention in 1970 and 1974 session of legislature.

Mary held various offices in the League of Women Voters, the Montana Association of Churches, Montana Right to Life Association, the St. Helena Cathedral Parish Council and the Democratic Women's Club, also serving as editor of several newsletters. She was an enthusiastic member of the Helena Duplicate Bridge Club and a half-hearted member of the Bill Roberts Golf Club. She was a member of many bridge clubs and rarely passed up a chance to join a game. She was an avid reader, and a favorite outing was trips to the library.

The family extends their deepest gratitude to her special friend and caregiver, Lois Schwemlein of Mendota, Heritage Health of Mendota, and OSF Hospice of Ottawa, for their competent and compassionate care of our GG.

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