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Evelyn DeLee Bates

July 1, 1953 ~ September 8, 2019 (age 66)

Evelyn (Evie) DeLee Bates-Keogh, 66, Hamilton native, passed away on September 8, 2019 of a brain tumor that was diagnosed in late June. Evelyn peacefully moved on while at Marcus Daly Hospice Services Center in Hamilton. She was born in Hamilton on July 1, 1953.

Evelyn was raised in Hamilton and graduated from HHS in 1971.  Shortly after her graduation she married Jerry E. Steele and 4 years later they were blessed with their daughter Shanna Steele-Herrick.  Evelyn later married Bill Nipps who would become “Dad # 2” to Shanna. On May 8, 1993 Evelyn married Larry Keogh who has been by her side ever since. 

Evelyn decided to pursue her education later in life.  She attended the University of Montana, studying for a degree in English. Stage III Breast cancer brought Ev’s formal education to an early stop in 1997.  However, she never gave up learning, and continued to try new things and would often step out of her comfort zone, whether it was talking to a panel of people about her experience overcoming breast cancer, or participating in her first rally with her daughter and family.  Firmly grounded in her moral beliefs, she stood up for what was important to her and shared her experience with others. 

Evelyn’s life would bring her to scattered places across Montana and Sheridan WY. When she returned nearer to home, she would pursue a career in the medical field, working at Community Medical Center and Marcus Daly Hospital with interim stops at Artcraft Printers, The Messenger, State of Montana, Bank Teller in Hamilton and eventually retiring in 2014. Working for a time as “the Church Lady” at Corvallis United Methodist Church, Evelyn continued to assist people and organizations. Retired and still active Evelyn spent much of her time with grandchildren and volunteering for causes that had taken her heart. Evelyn’s abilities to organize and execute an event were used for high school reunions, Breast Cancer’s Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Daly Mansion, Family Support Groups (US Army) and other “do good” organizations.

Evelyn had a very giving heart and enjoyed helping people she loved and cared about.  She was very involved with her grandchildren.  She had to wait a while for the grand kids to arrive, often pestering her daughter with “When are you going to give me grand kids?” She finally got her wish when Corey joined the family becoming her “favorite” (only) son-in-law.  Ev often would drive over to Tacoma, WA and later Billings to help out with the grandkids for a long weekend or a month at a time.  She was always greeted with the kids running to the front door yelling “grandma” and was smothered in hugs. 

Evelyn was an avid book worm and enjoyed flowers and gardening. The planning of and planting of her gardens continue to enhance the entrance to our home. Planning would start sometimes years in advance of placement of particular vines, bushes and trees. Seasonal changes of color were always factored into her choices of what would fit and where the plants would thrive.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Nellie and Dex Bates, her brother Charles “Mugs” Bates and sisters-in-law, Angela, Fran and Diane. She is survived by her husband Larry Keogh, daughter Shanna Herrick and her husband Corey, grandchildren Kael and Hanorah, brother Curtis Bates and wife Jeanne of San Jose CA.

Celebration of Life will take place at Daly Leach Chapel in Hamilton on Saturday September 14th, 2019 at 2 p.m.  A reception will follow the service. 

The family suggest that memorials be made to the Marcus Daly Hospice Endowment Fund, 1200 Westwood Dr.  Hamilton, MT 59840.

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