MISSOULA — Mary Jean (MJ) Maclay was born on Dec. 31, 1926, at the Thornton Memorial Hospital to Holmes and Ruth Maclay of Missoula. She always knew there would be a big party and celebration on her birthday every year! She died on Sunday, June 2 at the Springs Retirement Community in Missoula. MJ was raised on the family ranch between Lolo and Florence and educated at the Florence-Carlton Elementary School, Missoula County High School and graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition in 1949. She completed her residency in Detroit and became a licensed registered dietitian in Montana.
She married Lloyd Theodore (Ted) Delaney on May 23, 1950 and settled in Missoula. MJ and Ted raised their two children, worked at their family business “Delaney’s Bureau of Printing,” traveled and cultivated many friendships during the 35 years they were married.
After battling cancer for several months, Ted died in 1985 and on Dec. 31, 1986 MJ married Dallas “Bill” Beaman. Bill was a career forester with the US Forest Service. Bill and MJ enjoyed close to 15 years of marriage. They spent many winters at their second home in Green Valley, Arizona, and traveled the world. They visited friends in New Zealand, explored Australia, Tasmania and many other destinations. After his battle with cancer Bill passed away in 2000.
MJ was a survivor, an astute business woman and many of us thought, a woman before her time. MJ was a creative woman who enjoyed procuring art, making art, quilting, and collecting friends. She was a superb cook. She was a tremendous lady, always ready to jump into any situation and help out, lend a compassionate ear, and call a spade a spade. MJ was an integral part of a wholly unique group of women and couples, what a legacy she, Ted and Bill left. Her affiliations included Kappa Alpha Theta, Chapter AM PEO, Hippy Mothers and As You like It amongst others. She made friends where ever she went and was an active member of the Episcopal Holy Spirit Parish in Missoula. She will be missed by many.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ruth and Holmes Maclay, husbands Ted Delaney and Bill Beaman, brother Bruce Maclay, and close cousin Virginia Moose.
MJ is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Ted (Kate) Delaney, daughter and son-in-law Anne Delaney and Brad Flaherty, grandchildren Brian (Brandy) Delaney, Beth (Jeff) Kohn, Emily (Mike) Haas, and Aaron (Courtney) Ranf, and four great-grandchildren, Karsen and Maxwell Haas and Holland and William Ranf.
Her funeral will be held on Thursday June 13, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Holy Spirit Parish at 130 S 6th St E, Missoula MT 59801. A reception will follow in the church hall. MJ’s family would like to thank the staff at the Springs for their professional and compassionate care over the many years she resided there.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial contribution to the Ted Delaney Award for Writing Excellence at the University of Montana Foundation at 950 Author Ave., Missoula MT 59801, or the Holy Spirit Parish or a charity of your choice. Condolences can be left for the family at gardencityfh.com.