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Connie McGuire Fetter

Connie McGUIRE Fetter, 68, passed away at home on December 28, 2023, following a long, courageous battle with the multiple complications of Hepititis C, a condition she fought since receiving a blood transfusion following the birth of her twin boys in 1986.

Connie, along with her twin sister, Candy, was born August 18, 1955, to Bernard and Beth (Richman) McGuire in Havre, Montana. She was raised in Harlem and graduated from Harlem High School.

On Aug 31, 1972, she married Ed Fetter, her high school sweetheart and lifelong partner in Harlem. They began their married life initially in Helena, but soon moved back to Harlem where they raised five boys. Needless to say, the antics and athletic activities of these sons kept her very busy, but Connie somehow managed to take on yet another goal. She enrolled for classes at Northern Montana College and received her bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1993.

These credentials allowed her to begin teaching, and she soon found herself in a classroom at Harlem. Connie enjoyed teaching but began to recognize the fact that several needs of her students were not being met, and she did not possess the credentials to help them. Connie therefore returned to school, obtained a degree in school counseling, and then returned to work in the Harlem School District where she became a staunch student advocate. She was very proud of her role as advocate for others. Connie was always quick to identify the needs of those around her, find a solution to that need and seek the appropriate venue to achieve that solution.

Connie took pleasure in her work at the school and reveled in the accomplishments of her husband and sons. Health issues, however, began to make her life ever more difficult, and Connie and Ed decided to find a warmer, dryer climate in hopes of alleviating those problems. They purchased a home in Arizona, where Connie stayed while Ed traveled back and forth to Montana to monitor their business.

Never one to remain idle for long, however, Connie found work with the Parker, Arizona schools on the Colorado River Reservation where she served as a counselor and parttime school principal.

Though the climate of Arizona may have been beneficial, the call of "home" was more salient and ultimately led to a decision to return to Montana where she remained.

Connie had many talents and interests. She took special joy in her family. She especially savored the time spent with family at Zortman where many special activities and celebrations were held. Those who knew Connie would remind us first of her heart of gold. She was a loyal friend, and she was always one of the first to offer help - be it for a friend or just a good cause. Again, her ability to identify a need and help resolve it drove her actions, and she was a valuable contributor to the projects and activities she undertook. Her community will miss her participation.

Connie is survived by Eddie Jay, her husband of 51 years, her sons Chad (Randi) of Lodgepole; Kevin (Melinda) of Chinook; Colby (Ashley) of Havre and twins Keenan "Beanie" (Cherlynn) of Harlem and Keaton "Bubba" of Dodson.

She is also survived by sisters Terry Gilbert of Laurel and Candy (John) Kalal of Zortman, brothers Gary "Jug" (Kathleen) of Harlem and Larry (Sue) of Malta, as well as her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Connie has been cremated; burial services are pending. A Celebration of Her Life is scheduled for June 1, 2024 at the Senior Center in Harlem.

I expect to pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do for my fellow being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

From a Quaker missionary