Feb. 8, 1950 - Oct. 20, 2019
Mona Jean Mayer (née Cuchine) of Helena passed away Sunday, October 20 after a brief illness. She was 69 years old.
Mona was born in Helena on February 8, 1950 to Merle Jean Cuchine (née Seaman) and Charles Walter “Charlie” Cuchine. With her parents and brothers Glen James Cuchine and Walter Edward Cuchine, Mona’s family lived first in Clancy and then East Helena. Mona attended East Helena Elementary School through 8th grade, graduating from Helena High School in June 1968.
Valentine’s Day 1970, George w. Mayer sent her a jungle-themed card with a tiger on the front, inscribed “To put it mildly, I like you wildly” and asked her on a date. She agreed, and they dated for 27 days before George proposed. They married on January 9, 1971.
In April 1971, they settled into their lifetime home on Knight Street on Helena’s west side. Their son Andrew Charles was born in May 1972, followed by daughter Betsy Jean Ann in October 1975.
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Mona’s career started at the state of Montana, followed by a stint with Montana Data, returning to the state 5 years later, and retiring in 1999. On retirement, Mona became “Chief Painter” for George’s woodworking business, and crocheted baby blankets and washcloths. They spent Saturdays at the Helena Farmer’s Market, selling their handicrafts.
December 1994 saw the arrival of her first grandson, Jessiah Lee Timothy Mayer, with second grandson Harrison Timothy Robert Francis following in March 2003. Mona adored her grandchildren: taking them to school daily, buying them far too much ice cream, and heaping them with love. After Betsy’s family relocated to Missoula, Mona and George would “just happen to stop by” several times a month to visit.
Mona visited son Andrew in Seattle, bringing her grandsons to the coast, and buying a series of beloved red VW Jettas. In 2012, Mona and George welcomed Harrison to live with them. She sat on the Helena Farmer’s Market board for 14 years and had a booth at the Market with George every Saturday for nearly 25 years. Andrew brought her souvenir bags everywhere from Madrid to Pittsburgh to Manila, and she loved using them to carry crochet supplies and projects.
Mona was preceded in death by beloved grandmothers Mary Elizabeth “Mame” Holloway and Marvel Beatrice Seaman; grandfather Glen B. Seaman and step-grandfathers Harry Mann and Hedley John “Hap” Holloway; parents Merle St. Claire and Charlie Cuchine; and daughter Betsy Francis. She is survived by her husband George of 48 years, her son Andrew, grandson Jessiah and his partner Jared Norwood, grandson Harrison, and her brothers Wally Cuchine and Glen Cuchine.
A celebration of her life will take place at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave in Helena. A reception will follow the service in the social hall of the funeral home. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Mona.