Arlene E. Keller (Bailey), 86

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Arlene was born to Oran and Emma McCartney March 14, 1933 in Browning on the Montana Sheep Company Ranch. She passed away and into the loving arms of Jesus on July 3, 2019 at the Health Center in Kalispell.

Arlene lived in Great Falls before the family moved to Lakeside when she was a young child. She grew up in Lakeside and married Ben Bailey. They had 4 children together; Janis, Jim, Jon and Judy. They divorced in 1973. She later remarried Ray Miller briefly and then Alvin Keller.

Arlene worked at Alton Pearce Drug while she was in high school. She also worked at Mackin’s Floral and Greenhouse for many years. She later worked at The Outlaw Inn as a waitress for 7 years before moving on to the B&B Restaurant for another 7 years. She enjoyed working at The Evergreen Gas and Deli and talking to everyone that came in. Arlene worked for her daughter Janis and son-in-law Dale for 6 years at The Potting Shed before finally deciding to retire at the age of 78.

Arlene was the life of the party. She was sure to keep everyone laughing and guessing at what she might do next. The family learned early on at holiday gatherings never to say “Can you toss me a roll” or anything else while sitting within earshot of Arlene because she would do just that. Her family also never knew whether to expect a face full of whipped cream or soap suds when she got that twinkle in her eye, they just knew she was up to something. She loved to go dancing and was often seen at the Eagle’s doing just that. For many years she and Alvin would become snowbirds and migrate south to Nevada for the winter. She enjoyed working and playing in the casinos. She also had a life-long passion for flowers. Her yard had flowers planted in every space available. She also took great enjoyment in the Koi pond which she had in her back yard. She enjoyed taking a cruise with her friend Marilyn to the Bahamas or going to Hawaii to spend time with her friend Janie. She loved Elvis and was able to take a trip to Memphis with her daughter to tour Graceland, Sun Records and his airplane, The Lisa Marie. As long as she was able she was always on the go and full of energy. She loved her cats and at one point she had 6 of them. She loved to spend time with her family and grandchildren.

Arlene is survived by her daughter Janis and husband Dale; her son, Jim and his girlfriend Vicki Gunderson; her son, Jon and her daughter, Judy. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Jason Broeder and his wife Katie; Heather Knight and her husband John; Brooke Bailey, Ryan Bailey, and her grandson Brandon whom she helped to raise. She has 7 great-grandchildren: Hudson and Chase Broeder, Tiffany and Cody Libby, Laine and Gavin Hoye, and Benjamin Bailey. She is survived by her step-children, Leslie and Leland Keller and Jeanine Buettner and family as well as numerous nephews and nieces. In addition she leaves behind her furry family, Alley Cat and Spooki too.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Oran and Emma McCartney, her brother Gordy McCartney, and her 5 infant children lost at birth. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday July 9 at Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory. Friends are encouraged to visit our website at www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made c/o Kitty Mom’s Rescue Organization at 265 Aspen Loop, Kalispell, MT 59901.

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