Timothy John Meloy died at home on Friday, November 20, five months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was born in Helena on February 5, 1945, to Harriett Cruttenden Meloy and Peter G. Meloy, the second of five kids. He graduated from Helena High School with the class of 1963, attended college at UC Riverside, interned for Senator Lee Metcalf in Washington D.C., and earned his J.D. from the University of Montana. No matter where Tim was, Helena was always home.
Tim was an attorney for the State of Montana for 30 years, first at the Department of Professional and Occupational Licensing and, later, at the Department of Agriculture. He was a committed member of many conservation organizations, co-founded the Elkhorn Citizens' Organization in 1982, and served on the board of the Jerry Metcalf Foundation from 1999 to the present.
Family love and fun were Tim's priorities—always. He met his partner, Kay Satre, in 1977. He put his career on hold to accompany her to graduate school in Massachusetts, two separate times. He was that kind of partner. They shared 43 years of love, friendship, and mutual support. They talked, played, and laughed a lot together.
They also raised three children: Liam, Rena, and Aven Satre Meloy. The kids' years of growing up were filled with front-yard baseball and football, bed-time guitar songs, wintertime skiing, skating, and hotspring trips, and summertime camping, hiking, and floating adventures. Tim's favorite place was in the Elkhorn Mountains. Every summer the family (plus extended family and friends) spent a couple of weeks camping there—in the same place where Tim's dad and mom brought their kids, starting in the early 1950s. Tim also organized the (nearly) annual Smith River float with the extended Meloy clan plus friends. When the kids became interested in sports—baseball, soccer, hockey, tennis—he delighted in his supporting roles as coach, cheerleader, and chauffeur. He was a proud fan of their theatre, dance, and school performances, too.
Tim loved to spend time with his extended family—he visited his parents, who lived just across the street, nearly every day; he stayed in close touch with his siblings, his in-laws, and his nieces and nephews. He was also one of those people who took time to learn about the lives of his favorite cashiers at Safeway, receptionists at clinics, and the fellow walkers he met doing laps at Centennial Park. He was on a first-name basis with all his medical caregivers. Especially in the past few years, he received amazing care from Jessica Bailey, Sue Larson, Gwen Pincomb, Rob LeClare, and the dialysis and hospice teams at St. Peter's.
Everyone who knew Tim will agree that he was a character. His fashion sense was, well, uniquely Tim. A fluorescent construction vest was his favorite article of clothing because it had enough pockets for all his things. He had a million hats and ties. His sacred rituals included blueberry muffins on Tuesday mornings, a half moon at the No Sweat on Thursdays, and two fingers of Jamison with peanuts every Friday evening. Tim relished jokes and he could extend a shaggy dog story longer than anyone. His friends knew him as flirtatious, funny, and someone who always took his own sweet time—no wonder Molasses was one of his many nicknames. Tim was occasionally crusty, often irreverent, and forever a died-in-the-wool Democrat.
Tim was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Harriett. Kay and their three children--Liam (Claire Schmidt), Rena (Ryan Kenny), and Aven—and granddaughter Lila all live in Helena at this time. His four siblings and their spouses are Michael (Jan VanRiper), Steve (Kathy), Kerry (Joe Massucco), and Mark. His in-laws are Emelia Satre, Jon Satre (Paulette Etchart), and Beth Satre. Tim has many nieces and nephews who have always been dear to him: Joe Massucco Jr., Maile Meloy (Ian Maxtone-Graham), Colin Meloy (Carson Ellis), Leah Meloy (Patrick Lowney), Jamie Wright (Jason Wright), Sara Meloy (Dan Oldenburg), Bailey Meloy, Erik Satre (Liz Engellener), Aron Satre (Jaclyn Rubbo), and Brooke Satre.
A gathering to celebrate Tim's life will be scheduled at a later date. If you wish to make a donation in Tim's memory, please contribute to your favorite Montana conservation organization.