MISSOULA — Having embraced life for 24,265 days, she is now rejoicing with the angels ...
Free-spirited .... sensitive, peaceful, part Gandhi — part Tinker Bell, a natural leader, bright, spiritual, giving, philosophical, an activist for the lowly and for a thousand worthy causes — a reflective side, a self-proclaimed Christian mystic, possessing an intuitive nature ... hard to wrap your arms around this loving gift to humanity.
Known as Chris in her early years, Christy in later years, Christine Rae Dodson Kearney passed away on July 23 in St. Patrick Hospital.
Born in Missoula on Feb 13, 1954, she attended Franklin and Hellgate High. As a senior in 1972, Christy was selected to participate in the writing of the new Montana state constitution. Upon graduation, she attended both U of M and MSU pursuing degrees in music and political science.
Feeling most at home in Missoula, she spent most of her life in the Garden City. Gifted with the voice of an angel, Christy shared this talent at many weddings, funerals, etc .... Whether it was social justice, women rights, protecting the environment, or ending nuclear proliferation, Christy was so often center stage at many rallies, lifting spirits with songs she wrote that inspired and emulated the cause. With her talents and energy, she was often referred to as the Joan Baez of Missoula.
After attending college, Christy taught music at private schools and voice, piano and guitar lessons to many individuals. She motivated others to believe in themselves forming, for example, a choir of women who didn’t believe they could sing .... which led to their performance in the state capital rotunda.
Talented enough to reach for the stars with her amazing voice, what set her apart from others was how she presented a song to an audience. Each song had a meaning, purpose and soul, thus one had to be passionate with every syllable to fully give to the audience the spirit of the song. However for all she had to give the music world and having received many offers from musical agents from Europe to Nashville, to having U of M professors wishing to groom her for the Met, Christy had other plans (she didn’t wish to become famous).
Christy’s passion for music was superseded by her passion for knowledge and wisdom of scholars in many disciplines. Foremost of her passion was her love of God---- the prime reason to acquire knowledge was to share it with others; the main purpose of life was to love others, not oneself. In all these matters, Chris was gifted in engaging others in deep conversations meant to uplift or make one feel uncomfortable, asking, in either case for one to do some soul searching.
Christy impacted many lives. She was especially drawn to help children. Whether as a teacher, after school care attendant, or a Mary Poppins watching over the children of others, she was beloved by both parents and the children who were so fortunate to be swept into her magical sphere.
In her last two decades, Christy embraced other challenges. Never half- hearted about anything, she became a warrior against what many would call her perceived "ills of society" and the darker afflictions of the world. Having done her research, however, it was difficult to refute her stands and logic, always leaving one to contemplate on a deeper level the topic at hand. She railed against the addictions people had to electronic devices and violent video games, especially for children, the love of guns and violence in reality and within the movie industry, the harms and expansion of wireless technology, and the sensationalized news pumped out by all media outlets. Christy concerned herself with the afflictions of the homeless, and challenged many a soul who had abandoned their Christian values for something less compassionate. Self-titled a public citizen advocate, no fabric of society was untouchable to her. Choosing a life of community, Christy was a light, a seer, captivating to all she ran into in a day, often sparked by the synchronicity around us. Rather than labeling others, placing people in boxes, (a modern crime of society), Christy sought to accept the complexity of each human being with love and the dignity they deserved.
Over time, her compassion for the world and the suffering in it had presented a great burden on both body/psyche, both personally and collectively. It was with sadness to have her sweet soul depart from us; but what joy to send Christy to her heavenly home ....
Christy joins her mother Leta Lawrence Dodson and three brothers Dee Jay, Geoffry, and Patrick (Pete), her father Edward Dee Dodson, mother-in-law Louetta Kearney, brother-in-law Patrick Kearney and nephews and nieces Jeremiah, Ethan and Nicole in the arms of Jesus ....
She leaves her beloved husband Robert Kearney, married on March 17, 2001, sisters Marla Pronoveaux, Kimberly Teschke, Vickey Singleton, Robbie Woodall and Sheri Thompson, uncles Rick (Susan Alexander) Buls, Bruce (Diane) Lawrence, nieces and nephews Sarah, Holly, Goldie, Thomas, Andrea, Nichole, and Risa, and too many on the Kearney side to mention, the same for the numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law; cousins Junell Lawrence, Brian Lawrence, Lynn Joseph Hiller, to name a few.
A thousand thanks to the many family and friends that were by Christy’s side over the last four years as her health was challenged. So many gave so much .... we are thankful that she is finally released to her Lord above.
COVID-19 policies will be implemented throughout the funeral gatherings. Please join us if you are able but understand, because of COVID, we don’t wish anyone to feel uncomfortable. We plan to have a Celebration of Life for Christy at some later date. We will understand if your presence does not join us over the next few days.
Garden City Mortuary: July 30 to Aug 3 Viewing: Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday, 5 to 7 p.m. Rosary, vigil, shared reflections, Friday, 7 p.m.
Mass of Resurrection, Saturday morning 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis.
Burial, Monday, 10 a.m. at Florence-Carlton Cemetery
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.