Sylvia (Strandberg) Fitzgerald Connick, a loving, beautiful soul, transitioned from this earthly life on Friday, September 8, four days after her 100th birthday. She was a third generation daughter of the “families of the Prickly Pear.”
Her parents, Nels and Violet Strandberg, named her for Silver City where they ranched and farmed in the 1920s and 1930s.
Sylvia married Marshal Fitzgerald in 1940 and together they raised two daughters, Sharon Valentine (of North Carolina), and Marilyn Fitzgerald (of California).
A career woman who loved both family and work, she was involved in the early transition to computers in the Montana Fish & Game and the Montana Department of Administration. She was particularly proud that she had the opportunity to train women in data processing to offer them a career.
Widowed at an early age, she later married Art Connick, a local businessman, and together they plunged into the world of politics when Art was elected to the Lewis and Clark Board of County Commissioners where he served until his death in 1977.
Sylvia was an active member of Josephine Hephner No. 89, Order of the Eastern Star serving as the Worthy Matron and Queen of Sapphira Temple No. 79, Daughters of the Nile.
She loved animals and enjoyed the beauty of nature. Her first love however was her beloved cat, “Little Kit”; her constant companion and defender.
Sylvia was considerate, generous of spirit, kind and accepting of everyone and she believed in “eating dessert first.”
She ingrained independence in her daughters having faced loss in her own life and stressed the importance of being able to support oneself.
Her daughters are grateful for the circle of loving support from caretakers, Charmaine Teigen and Bev Donaldson, her extensive Hardie/Strandberg family, friends, and neighbors who allowed her to remain in her own home and Chris Gabriel and Karen Calcaterra -- her nieces became her Montana daughters.
A woman who looked for the good and was an inspiration to those who loved her -- A Celebration of her Life and Legacy will be held at a later date. A remembrance Garden honoring her and the families of the Prickly Pear is planned.
Family and friends are invited to visit at her home on Alfalfa Road from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, September 16.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Sylvia are suggested to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604, or the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, c/o Algeria Shrine Temple, PO Box 4879, Helena, MT 59604 or to supporting a family member in need via the La Cotta Pay it Forward Account at the State Bank of Townsend, 400 Broadway St., Townsend, MT 59644. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Sylvia.