Havre Daily News - News you can use

Wherefore art thou Class of 1970?


Last updated 1/12/2015 at 10:48am

Courtesy photo

Martha Clancey O'Farrell, left, and Mary Clancey Mangold.

Twins are intriguing. My maternal grandmother was a twin, and mom had twin cousins. I have twin nieces (Kimberly Renee and Kelly Rae), whom I love dearly. Being the youngest child and four years behind my brother in school, I surely spent many lonely hours on the farm. How wonderful it would have been to have had a twin of my own. Twin: a playmate ... a confidant ... a sounding board ... a best friend. I'm jealous.

The Havre High School Class of 1970 was blessed to have five sets of twins: Gary and Tary Richardson, Marlene and Darlene Haugen, Daryl and Darla Smith, Mary and Martha Clancey, and Sharon and Sharlotte Dorcheus. The Richardsons and Haugens have been covered, and today I share the Clancey's - Mary and Martha.

In the fall of 1967, our junior year, the dynamics of Havre High School changed when Havre Central High School closed and those students joined us. I am sure that the transfer made the Central students very sad. But I will always be grateful for the opportunity it gave me to meet some very wonderful people.

I knew of the Clancey name because Murel Clancey, Mary and Martha's father, worked for Hill County Electric, and my mother would say, "We can always count on Murel Clancey to get things done."

Then mom would tell another Clancey story.

"When I was in high school in the '40s I walked home over the viaduct and the bridge. One time a man was following me too closely. He stopped whenever I stopped. He began following me when I started again. I was terrified. When I got to the Corner Bar (at the corner of 1st Street and 7th Avenue), I knew I couldn't go any further without help. I entered and to my relief, I saw Kenneth Clancey. I explained to him my fears to which he replied, "Don't you worry one bit. I will walk you home." And he did just that. I arrived home safe and have always been indebted to Kenneth Clancey."

So it was a pleasant surprise to meet Martha Clancey in journalism class. She soon introduced me to her twin sister Mary.Through the years both have become dear friends, especially Mary since I see her at the Montana Health Care Association conference. She is a social worker at the Fallon Medical Complex in Baker.

Mary Genevieve and Martha Ann were born Oct. 31, 1951, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Havre. Their mother, Katie, a patient of Dr. Lovell, for whatever reasons, went to see Dr. Whalen a few weeks before her due date. He commented about the possibility of her being pregnant with twins. He suggested that she check out that possibility with Dr. Lovell who responded that she was just big because this was her third pregnancy. As the delivery progressed, Dr. Lovell invited their father out for a drink after the delivery. Mary Genevieve arrived and as the doctor was preparing to leave, the nurses said there was another baby on the way. Twelve minutes after Mary, Martha Ann entered this world. Murel's comment to the good doctor was, "Maybe you should have Dr. Whalen check all your patients." It's not known if they went out for a drink after that comment or not.

Mary and Martha joined Mike and Sheila. A few years later Chris and Pat were born to complete the family.

What's the best and worst thing about being a twin?

Martha responded: "Not much to say about worst. Maybe the hardest part was being seen as an individual, rather than half a team."

Mary had a little bit different slant: "My twin is my closest friend, and we have always been very close. We had the typical fights/arguments that most siblings have. One not so good thing about being a twin was people always comparing us while we were growing up."

The twins attended summer kindergarten at Lincoln-McKinley then St. Jude's grades 1-8, Havre Central 9 and 10 and Havre High their junior and senior years. Most of the time they were not in the same classroom explains Martha.

"We were placed together in our first-grade classroom, but that didn't last long. Every time Mary was sad, I cried. Every time I cried, Mary cried. Must have been quite a scene. I don't think we had the same teacher again until high school."

Teachers that they remember are sisters Pauline, Ignatius, Joan, Lamberta (who scared Martha to death) and Rosalie, Mrs. Yeager, Mrs. Seamans, Mrs. Craig, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Hyke, Mrs. Granier, Mrs. Margris, Mr. Bell, Mr. Oke, Mrs. Peterson, Mr. Schmaing and Mr. Rorvig.

Friends remembered were: Kris Fuglevand, Margie DeRosa, Jeannie VanBuskirk, Colleen Woodwick, Ila Whaley, Marcia Friede and Linda Lietch.

What activities and interest did you have in high school?

Martha remembers: "French Club, Glee Club at Central, and French classes, all four years with Mrs. Peterson. I ended up majoring in French."

After graduation, Mary worked at the Fair Hotel during the summer. In the fall she attended Northern Montana College. After two years she transferred to Carroll College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work in 1974.

Mary married Wayne Mangold in August 1974. They lived in Great Falls the first year they were married and moved to Plevna, Montana, in August 1975, where Wayne had accepted a teaching position. Mary was a stay-at-home mom for their four kids until their youngest started kindergarten in 1988. She has been employed at Fallon Medical Complex in Baker, 13 miles from Plevna, as a social worker since August 1988. Their children are Matthew (deceased 1986); Kara, a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and Tim and his wife, Michelle. Tim is a physician assistant and Michelle is a pathologist in Iowa City, Iowa. They recently made Mary and Wayne grandparents with Charlotte Ellary (named after grandmothers Elizabeth and Mary). Their youngest son, Colin, is a teacher in Rolla, North Dakota.

Martha worked at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd after high school graduation. In the fall of 1970, she enrolled in Carroll College in Helena. She studied French in college and spent part of her junior year in Paris. She graduated with a double major in French and English and taught French and English at Whitehall High school for six years.

Martha married Mike O'Farrell in 1980, and they are the parents of three children, Kate, Patrick and Cailin. Her husband, Mike, worked for the forest service. They have lived in Whitehall, Fort Howe (remote station 25 miles south of Ashland) and Eureka, all in Montana, and are currently living in Bellevue, Idaho, where they have resided for 24 years. Their children are grown, graduated from college and on their way. This fall they became grandparents. Although Mike is retired, Martha works in a Dual Language Elementary School. Martha teaches computer skills K-5 students and takes care of tech support in her building. In the summer, she also works for the IT department.

Neither Mary nor Martha chose to share any words of wisdom. However, I believe I can speak for them and they would say something like this, "Never forget your roots, love God, love your family, do your very best to honor those that have gone on before you ... and always, always thank the Lord for the gift of being a twin."

(Ila McClenahan is the pastoral care and activity director for Northern Montana Health Care.)


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