HAMILTON - Margaret “Miggs” Lubke, mighty matriarch and friend to all, made a gentle exit with her beloved siblings, children and family gathered around her on Sunday May 30th. Toes tapping to an Irish lullaby to the very end - not a doubt a joyous Kayleigh awaited her on the other side with Bill and her Mom and Dad as happy to see her as she was them.
Margaret Mary Walsh was born June 29th, 1934, in Anaconda Montana. The first of five children to Henry I. Walsh and Margaret (Tracy) Walsh. She grew up in the family’s ancestral palace at 711 Birch Street. Miggsie was baptized at St. Peters Church and attended St. Peters elementary school. She graduated in 1952 from the inaugural class at Anaconda Central High School, where she carried her enthusiasm in the drum and bugle corps and the Girls Athletic Club (GAC).
She spent her younger years working at the Woolworth’s Dime Store, where young smitten William J. “Billy” Lubke would come and swoon over her. She also worked at the Rocky Mountain Brewing Company and the family “Bonanza Freeze” until she married Bill on October 20th, 1956 at St. Peters’s Catholic Church in Anaconda.
They welcomed five children into the family, Tony, Rick, Sue, Debbie and Mike. Together, she and Bill set a lifelong example of faithfulness and devotion to their family, the Catholic Church and the Trinity. Just this Mother’s Day she was able to attend church and receive communion.
They may have moved their family to Hamilton in 1964, but Anaconda was always in her heart and just up the road from wherever she was.
Her true vocation for over 30 years was as secretary - and truly one of the pillars, of St. Francis Catholic Parish in Hamilton. Miggs and her cherished friend, Sister Margaret Hogan were the dependable, familiar and friendly faces that the community knew and loved.
As a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and a washboard carrying member of the Irish Washerwomen group, her Irish heritage and love of good times was always apparent. Memories of Irish drinking songs being sang around the table will be cherished by family and friends forever. A steadfast friend, she was devoted to her besties at the Friday lunch club, Wednesday morning prayer group, weekly bridge club, bowling and even a square dance on occasion.
The O’Lubke home at 523 West Main was known to many as St. Patrick’s Day Party Central. Her front yard adorned in shamrocks, back porch filled with green beer kegs, squatty bodies running amuck down main street, and an abundance of Irish music via the Jeannies (Wroble and Hoerner). To this day you will find the O’Lubke Clan every fair parade with grand babies in arms soaking in the community spirit. Erin Go Braugh!
Miggs’s greatest legacy was her family. Each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren made her proud — whether it was one of the babies’ first steps or graduating from college – she was always with smiles and pride for their for every milestone.
The struggle of aging took a grand toll on both she and Bill’s bodies. She was a devout caretaker for him- traversing to Missoula for dialysis and seeing to his every need. In 2010, her own stroke devastated her body, and Bill’s heart. He passed in 2011. Over the next 10 years, aging continued to deal insults to her physical self. Despite the severity of every challenge, aging did not, however, have the power to shake her faith and love for the sacraments and her devotion to her family. Her greatest heartache was not being able to be both with her husband and parents, and her earth side family at the same time.
On Saturday morning, after another brain bleed and fall, she woke up and told us to "get me a halo”. Her heart was nearing finish, and in true Miggs fashion, she gathered all the family together again for a final profession of faith and love, and grand Irish song.
Miggs joined in Heaven her mother and father; husband, Bill; daughter in-law, Jean Lubke; and grandchildren, Tyler and Kelsey Lubke.
She is survived by sons, Tony (Joni) Lubke, Rick (Lori) Lubke and Mike (Tracy) Lubke; daughters, Sue (Bret) Allen and Debbie (Tim) Stulc. Numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren are left with warm hearts and smiles.
Miggs is also survived by her beloved brothers Tracy “Buddy” (Marlene) Walsh; Henry Pat “Hank” (Patty) Walsh, and Sisters, Ellen “Sis” (Don) Tocher, and Lenore (Milo) Manning; and numerous other relatives and special friends.
Miggs and her family were grateful for those who aided in her quest for more time with family and friends. We especially want to thank St. Patrick Hospital, the Village Senior Residence, Arron Care Home, Beehive Homes, and all other caretakers that provided her care and comfort throughout her life.
Life came full circle, and after holding and raising so many babies, grand babies and great grand babies, her family was blessed with the opportunity to pay back all the love she had given through the years. She spent her final years being cared for in her home on Main with her kids as caregivers, and at The Hamilton Assisted Living, being cared for by granddaughters Erika and Mindi, who will miss her bossy ways and smirky sass. Special thanks to the caregivers at the Hamilton, whose patience and support when we as family weren’t able to, was the greatest gift possible. We shall forever be grateful for Lou Garman, Hospice nurse extraordinaire, with Frontier Hospice, who allowed Miggs one last hoorah.
Visitation will be hosted by the family at Daly Leach Chapel on Friday, June 4th, with viewing from 4 to 6 p.m., rosary at 6 p.m. and vigil at 7 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated Saturday, June 5th, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church in Hamilton. Rev. James “Jim” Connor will officiate, with burial to follow at the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. All are welcome to reminisce following interment at a reception at the St. Francis Parish Life Center.
Above all, Miggs showed us that unconditional love, dedication and humor can overcome all of life’s challenges. In memory of Miggs, please take time to make a loved one smile with a small gesture of kindness. Memorials can be made to St. Francis Church in the name of Bill and Miggs Lubke (ATTN: Lubke Family Memorial), The Hamilton Assisted Living or Frontier Hospice. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.
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