Shirley Lavonne (Amdam) McKean, 85, passed away peacefully at home with family on January 24, 2021. Shirley was born October 31, 1935 in Blackduck, Minnesota to Pete and Birdie Amdam, joining her 13-year-old sister Phyllis.
At 6 years old her family moved to the Flathead Valley in Montana. They eventually settled in Somers, where Shirley made lifelong friends, including her future husband Les McKean. She graduated from Flathead High School in Kalispell, completing school a semester early, and went to work at First National Bank in Kalispell. This experience led to a long career in banking.
Les and Shirley were married in 1955 at Eidsvold Lutheran in Somers. Soon after, they moved to Anaconda and then settled in Libby for over 30 years where they raised three daughters. After their girls were grown, they lived in several different places including Ketchikan, AK; Angel Island, Lakeside and Columbia Falls before returning to Libby. In each community, they were involved in their local Lutheran congregation, where Shirley led Bible Studies, taught Sunday School and held many leadership positions.
Shirley’s love of music inspired her involvement in several singing groups including church choirs, the Libby “Treasure Tones” and Sweet Adelines. She was highly creative, sewing and knitting coordinated outfits for her three daughters and their dolls. She made many quilts for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as sewing Scandinavian folk costumes for "royalty" of the Libby Nordic Fest over the years. Shirley's father immigrated from Norway, and the Sons of Norway Lodge in Somers and Libby were an important social group for the family. Shirley taught her family about their Norwegian heritage, baked many Norwegian goodies and learned rosemaling.
In her banking career at Lincoln Security and United National Bank of Libby, Shirley reached officer positions. She also held a variety of other jobs throughout her life, including Stanley Home Products representative, picking cones for the US Forest Service, and being site manager with her husband Les at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp.
Shirley was sustained by her deep faith and the love of her husband Les, of 65 years. She enjoyed working side by side with Les on many landscaping, remodeling and building projects; their favorite being the family log home on Bull Lake. Over the years they were known for hosting all sorts of potluck and picnic gatherings, which included volleyball, cards, swimming, skating with a lot of laughter and good food. Shirley shared her love and creativity with her family and friends, making holidays and milestones incredibly special. She also enjoyed traveling with family and friends, and went on many adventures including: hunting, fishing, camping, square dancing, cross country skiing, sightseeing, and exploring new places.
She is survived by her husband, Les McKean and her daughters, Sherry Ryan (Donald) of Tacoma, WA; Kathy McKean of Bonney Lake, WA; Karen Updike (Greg) of Ketchikan, AK; and her 6 grandchildren Bethany Johnson (Casey), Megan Kjelland (Juno), Lucas Updike (Lauren), Isaac Updike, Samuel Ryan (Meg) and Stephanie Parton (Alex); and great-grandchildren Sofie, Tage and Eliana. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Phyllis Duvall.
Shirley always looked for the best in people and situations. Her family and friends were so blessed to have her in their lives.
A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts can be sent to Christ Lutheran Church in Libby or Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
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