Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


Maryann O'Connor
Maryann O'Connor


Maryann O'Connor

May 25, 1946 - May 03, 2017

Maryann (Burns) O’Connor, 70, passed away after a hard fought battle with breast cancer on May 3, 2017.

Maryann was born in Glasgow, Montana on May 25, 1946 to Donald (Bing) Burns and Anne (Ihnat) Burns. She grew up and attended elementary school in Fort Peck, Montana. She attended high school in Nashua, Montana and graduated in 1964. It was in high school that she met her soul mate and love of her life, Michael O’Connor.

After high school graduation, Maryann attended Eastern Montana College in Billings, Montana and graduated in May of 1968 with a degree in elementary education. During college, Maryann made many life-long friends. In recent years, she enjoyed an annual summer gathering of her friends (the BBB’s).

On June 29, 1968, Mike O’Connor and Maryann were married in Glasgow, Montana. Maryann taught second grade in Glasgow before moving to Havre in 1969 where she taught 3rd grade at Saint Jude’s Catholic School. In May of 1971, they welcomed their daughter, Kristi. In 1972, the family would move to Great Falls for one year before relocating to Fort Benton, where Mike was promoted to town manager for the Montana Power Company. Fort Benton would be the place they would call home. In April 1975, their son Brent was born. Maryann continued to be a full-time mom and substitute teacher at Fort Benton Elementary. In 1982, Maryann returned to full time teaching and enjoyed her 4th grade classroom until her retirement in May 2008.

Maryann lived by the motto “One day at a time.” This motto served her well as she navigated through the many ups and downs of life. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in January of 2008. Her strong will, positive energy and the support of her family, friends and the community of Fort Benton helped her to outlive the odds of her diagnosis.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Michael; brother Donald (Joan); daughter Kristi (Dwynn); son Brent (Lauren); 6 grandchildren; sisters and brothers-in law; and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

Maryann was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Anne Burns; 2 brothers, Daniel and Thomas; and her in-laws, Loren (Larry) and Helen (Miller) O’Connor.

She touched the hearts of many. Through the years, she developed many life-long friendships. Their love and support was evident over the last few months as her health rapidly declined. She will be remembered for her amazingly positive attitude and strength, her love of family, friends and animals, her compassion for children and of course for her favorite color, blue.

A funeral liturgy will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1223 16th St followed by a gathering of family and friends at the Montana Agricultural Museum, 1205 20th St, both in Fort Benton.

In lieu of flowers, Maryann would be pleased with a donation to the Chouteau County Cancer Support Group or the Deadman Animal Shelter and Foundation.

Public Guest Book

May 14th
Stacie Wellman
To the O'Connor family - Very sorry to hear of Mrs. O'Connor's passing. She fought a very tough battle & was a very strong women! She touched the lives of so many people. She will be missed by many.


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