Swan Songs - October 2009
Janey Jo O'Brien
Janey Jo (Gates) O’Brien, age 60, of Condon, Montana, departed this life on October 19, 2009 after a short and courageous battle with cancer.
Janey was born September 16, 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Colonel Albert E. Gates, Jr. and Vivian (Neal) Gates.
Being an Air Force Brat, she lived in numerous places in the United States, Germany, and spent 4 years in Spain where she attended middle school. She graduated from Bossier High School in Bossier City, Louisiana and received her BA in Accounting.
On June 27, 1982 she married John N. O’Brien and became the mother of his two sons from a previous marriage. She was a VISTA girl and also a true flower child.
After living in California, Utah, and Texas, Janey and the late John O’Brien accomplished their dream of moving to Montana in 1991 when they took over the lease and management of the Wilderness Bar.
Following the years of managing the Wildy, Janey taught Spanish at Swan Valley Elementary, tended bar at Liquid Louie’s, performed many jobs at The Hungry Bear, and did bookkeeping for various individuals and businesses.
Janey was a member in The Mad Hatters f/k/a Red Hat Society, the Swan Valley Tight Racks pool team, the Stitchin’ Bitches, the Lemon Drop Club, drama functions at the Hungry Bear starring in many productions, organizer of Halloween Parties and if there was any event going on she was most likely involved.
Janey was able to take the Mexican Cruise of her dreams with two of her best friends in February 2009. Janey made friends everywhere that she traveled and if Janey was your friend, she was also your family. She lived her life with enthusiasm and passion and was known as “Crazy Lady” as evidenced by her vanity license plate.
Janey is survived by her two sons John (Sandi) O‘Brien of Missoula and Justin (Karry) O‘Brien, of Missoula; grandchildren Tristan, Alex and Kelti; her brother Albert “Ned” (Ruby) Gates, III of San Antonio, TX; sister Guynell (Marshall) Pfitzer of Phoenix, AZ and several cousins, nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by her husband John N. O’Brien and her parents Albert and Vivian Gates and her brother Eric Gates.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held November 1, 2009 at 2 pm at The Hungry Bear in Condon, MT.
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