John Francis O’Malley, 82, died Sunday afternoon at the Northern Montana Care Center of natural causes.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date in the summer. John was born Feb. 2, 1926, in Detroit, Mich., to John and Beatrice (Connelly) O’Malley. As a young child, he moved with his family to Montana. He attended Dog Creek Elementary School and then Big Sandy High School. John enlisted into the United States Army, serving in World War II, and was honorably discharged in 1946. He married Jessie MacKay on Sept. 17, 1950, in Havre. He attended Montana State University-Northern in 1951 and received his degree in elementary education. He then went on to attend the University of Montana and obtained his master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He went to work at Ethridge Elementary School in 1951 for nine years and in 1960 worked at Kevin Elementary where he worked for six years as a principal and educator. In 1966 he went to work for FE Miley Elementary in Big Sandy as a principal and educator. He was a volunteer principal in 1999 for St. Jude Thaddeus School. John served on the department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Schools and received an award from the Big Sandy Board of Trustees for 36 years of education, and 21 years as principal of FE Miley School. John also took pride in the fact that all three of his children, as well two of his grandchildren, had chosen to become teachers. He was a member of the V.F.W., where he served as post commander, the Elks, the Eagles and the Holy Name Society where he served as president. He was preceded in death by his parents. John is survived by his wife, Jessie O’Malley of Havre.; daughters; Peggy (Bart) Fink of Havre and Patty (Ken) Rice of Burke, Va.; son, John Michael O’Malley of Laurel; brothers, Steve (Nora) O’Malley of Great Falls and Martin (Beatrice) Kane of Big Sandy; and six grandchildren, Melissa (Scott) Briggs of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ryan Fink of Ogden, Utah, Casey and Kelly O’Malley of Laurel, and Whitney and Alex Rice of Burke. Memorial contributions in John’s honor may be made to the Northern Montana Care Center, P.O. Box 1231, Havre, MT 59501. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.