Helen (Kalanick) Maxwell, 75, retired Big Sandy teacher, died Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, at Northern Montana Hospital of complications from a stroke.
Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday and funeral mass at 11 p.m. Thursday, both at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, with burial in Big Sandy Cemetery. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home. Helen is survived by her only son, Frank (Lis) Maxwell, of Big Sandy; brother Gene (Janice) Boyd of Sun River; two grandchildren, Kathleen and Michelle Maxwell; and numerous in-laws, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Thomas E. Maxwell, and her parents. Helen was born in Big Sandy on June 15, 1933, to Paul and Anna Kalanick and spent her childhood growing up in Big Sandy, where she graduated after an active high school career. She graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics, and later received a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Northern Montana College. She married Tom in 1956. In 1958 she began her 34-year-career at Big Sandy High School as home economics teacher and counselor. She received many honors and awards for her excellent teaching: Teacher of the Year by Seventeen Magazine and national cheerleading and FHA advisor awards. She was a regional manager for Youth for Understanding, where her family extended throughout the world with the addition of 14 exchange students who were fortunate to call her mother for a year. Paivii from Finland and Francine from Switzerland came back often to visit their “Mom”. Helen was so proud of her two granddaughters to whom she was a most beloved grandmother and will be greatly missed. She was an excellent friend to many; we will all miss her delicious cooking, thoughtful notes, and encouragement. Heaven has become a brighter place with you in it, Helen. Memorials may be made to a scholarship fund established in honor of Helen.