Doris Ida Mooney Neu

Doris Ida Mooney Neu died Jan. 3 at her home in Missoula.She was 95.

Vigil service was held on Jan. 5 at Blessed Trinity Catholic Community, l475 Eaton St., and funeral mass on Jan. 6. Interment will take place at an undetermined time at the family plot in Philipsburg overlooking the Flint Creek Valley. Garden City Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Doris was born May 15, 1918 in Conrad, the first of four children to Earl Edwin and Mary Almira (Sanders) Mooney, pioneer homesteaders on a small farm near the community of Manson. She graduated from Conrad High School in 1936 and worked at the Federal Land Bank office and Pondera County Abstract Company before enrolling in the fall of 1937 at Montana State University in Missoula.

After working the next summer at Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, she returned to school for two more semesters and was inducted into Alpha Phi Sorority.The following summer, she went to work for the U.S. Post Office.In the summer of l942, she met Clyde Joseph Neu, who worked at Fort Missoula for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.They married on Sept. 1, l943 in the garden of her landlord’s home on East Beckwith Ave., and honeymooned at Echo Lake Lodge south of Philipsburg.

In the spring of l944, Clyde was transferred to the War Assets Procurement Division of the U.S Treasury Department and they moved to Butte where sons Clyde and James were born.During World War II, she joined the American Women Voluntary Service Organization and passed needed items to soldiers coming through Butte on troop trains.

They moved to Clyde’s native Philipsburg in the summer of l947 where he opened a War Surplus store and son David was born. Soon the War Surplus store gave way to a men’s clothing business followed by Neu’s the Family Store, a full men’s and women’s department store which operated from 1958 to l962 during the waning days of the town’s mining industry.In Philipsburg, as Doris liked to say, her children “were raised by the entire community.”

In the fall of 1965, they moved to Helena with David where she took a job with the State Advertising Department while Clyde worked as Assistant Secretary of State.From 1967 to l969, Doris worked in the office of Montana Democratic Central Committee and as personal secretary for Congressman Arnold Olson in his office in Helena.She returned to state government as a research librarian of the Department of Intergovernmental Relations and the Department of Community Affairs where she retired in l983.

Having raised her children in the Catholic faith of her husband, Doris was baptized and confirmed into the Church in l979 by Father Kevin O’Neil, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Community. Their marriage was blessed in a joyous celebration in December of that year.

After retirement, she and Clyde continued to enjoy summer visits by her grandchildren and traveled widely to wherever her son Jim, a career Air Force Officer, and his wife CathE, were stationed, including New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.After Clyde died in January of l993, her penchant for travel continued, including trips to Great Britain, Boston, California, and shorter trips to Canada and the Northwest.

Doris loved the outdoors and visited Big Sky every Christmas and summer with her dog, Shongo, and enjoyed many leisurely hours with her children and grandchildren. In l998 at the age of 80, she learned to cross-country ski on the Big Sky Golf Course.

In May of 2007, she left her home in Helena, her beloved St. Mary’s parish and her work as a volunteer archivist for the Friends of the State Historical Society, and moved to Missoula to be nearer her family.Not long after settling into Grizzly Peak Independent Retirement Residence, Doris began reading in the “Reading and Listening” reading group and continued her interest in Montana History. She remained an avid reader until a few months before her passing and enjoyed the numerous activities provided by the staff, particularly the “style shows” which hearkened back to the time she modeled clothes as a young college girl at a dress shop in Missoula.

Doris is survived by her sister, Georgia, and husband Ted Garnett of Conrad; sister JoAnne Swenson of Kalispell; sons, Clyde Neu of Missoula, James Neu of San Pedro, Calif., and their wives, Judi (White) Neu and CathE (Curnow) Neu, and son David of Missoula; grandchildren, James C. Neu, Park City, Utah and Jessica Neu Akciz, Altadena, Calif., and their spouses, Jeana (Campbell) Neu and Sinan Akciz; step grandsons Mark Joyner of Joplin, Miss., Jim Joyner of Silverton, Ore., and Tim Joyner of Hamilton and their wives, Amy (Radonich) Joyner and Jennifer (Avery) Joyner; great-grandsons, Liam Neu, Ethan Neu and Kurt Akciz; step great-grandchildren, Alannah Erskine, Hanna Joyner Hackney (spouse Nate), Katelyn, Hope, Lauren, Jackson, Avery, and Mark Joyner, and step great-great-grandson, Jack Hackney.

She was preceded in death by her husband Clyde in l993, and brother James William Mooney in 2007.

The family is very grateful to the care team of Rocky Mountain Hospice and Liz Houston of Missoula Elder Care and her staff who gave much comfort to Doris and her family, caregiver Barbara Larson who assisted early on, and the wonderful staff and residents of Grizzly Peak for their kindness to Mother during her years in Missoula.

The family is establishing a memorial scholarship in the name of Doris Neu to be awarded annually through the University of Montana to a student selected by Alpha Phi Sorority.  Donations may be made to the Doris Neu Memorial Fund through the family.