M. Kay Stearns Mickelson, 78, of Billings, Mont., passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. She suffered from the debilitating disease Alzheimer's.
Kay was born on Feb. 19, 1933, to LeBeauv J. (Kostenko) and George B. Stearns in Minot.
She attended Minot elementary, junior high and high school, graduating from Minot Model in 1951. She graduated from the University of Minot with an elementary education associate's degree in 1953 and then taught in Washburn. While attending college, she met Lloyd Mickelson of Kenmare. Kay and Lloyd were married in Minot on Aug. 21, 1955.
She and Lloyd began their new life by teaching in Scobey and Circle, Mont. After her children were born, she substituted in Billings and was a resource person at the Holy Rosary Catholic School.
In addition, as a cancer survivor, she was a volunteer at the Women's Prison, counseling with inmates who had or were recovering from cancer. She was also a volunteer at Parmly Billings Library.
Kay will be remembered as an accomplished quilter, making beautiful quilts for family and friends, including quilting a number of baby quilts for her great-grandchildren who would be born before and after her death. She was an influence in getting her daughter interested in quilting as well. Daughter Kimberlee has gone on to become a professional quilter and machine quilt pattern designer.
Kay and Lloyd travelled the world. She visited all of the states and all of the continents with the exception of Antarctica. She and Lloyd set a goal of visiting all the U.S. national parks. They visited 37 out of the 58 possible. She and Lloyd owned Mr. Mic's Travel World.
Kay was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, G. B. Stearns and Harold Kostenko.
She is survived by: her husband, Lloyd; daughter, Kimberlee (David) Diamond, of Columbia, Mo.; sons, Marshal (Kim Roney) of Butte, Mont., and Jason, of Billings, Mont.; grandchildren, Ryan Mickelson, of Bend, Ore., Laura and Maggie Mickelson, of Butte, Kadee (Steve) Thompson and Chloe Diamond, of Columbia, Mo.; great-grandchildren, Lucee Kay Thompson and Aubree Grace (to be born in April), of Columbia; sister, Laureva (Cliff) Slavsky, of Portland, Ore.; brother, Marshall (Leona) Stearns, of Trotwood, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Katherine Kostenko, of Minot, Cheryl Stearns, of Trenton, Fla., and Marilyn Erickson, of Grand Island, Neb.; along with other extended family.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at 10 a.m., in Grace United Methodist Church, 1935 Ave. B, in Billings.
Memorials can be made to the Rimrock Opera Company, P.O. Box 11, Billings, MT 59101; Parmly Billings Library Foundation, 510 N. Broadway, Billings, MT 59102; or ZooMontana, 2100 S. Shiloh Rd., Billings, MT 59106.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to Riverstone Hospice, especially to Rose, Stacey, Karen and Sherry, for their gentle and caring acts to the end of life.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Condolences may be sent to the family through "Our Families" at (www.cfgbillings.com).