Louise Ann "Lou” Malia Mengon passed away Friday, August 14, 2015, in the place that held her heart, Butte, Montana.
Lou was born to John and Isabella (Doran) Malia on October 15, 1938, in Butte. She attended St. Ann’s Grade School and Butte High School. She was very proud to be a cheerleader for the Bulldogs. After graduation, she went to work as an operator for the telephone company. In 1957, Lou married her high school sweetheart, Edward Mengon, and from that union, she had two sons, Patrick and Michael. Her boys were her pride and joy.
Later, she worked at St. Ann’s School and South Central Junior High as a classroom aide and a volleyball coach. Her coaching was a major source of pride for her and she remembered the name and face of every girl on her teams. . .and whether or not they could serve.
Lou eventually went to work for Human Resources for the Diner’s Club where she was the Meals on Wheels delivery person for the elderly. This job suited Lou well. It required a daily stop at each person’s house and a fair amount of conversation and care, and anyone who knew Lou, knew she loved to "visit”.
In 1982, Mike and Pat were replaced by the arrival of her only grandchild, Krystin. Lou played an integral part in Krystin’s life making sure she experienced everything—dance classes, horse riding, RV trips, jet skis, basketball, and volleyball. Like her grandmother, Krystin was a Bulldog, and Lou was her #1 fan. The two shared a special bond, never going more than a day without talking or spending time with one another.
Krystin’s reign came to an abrupt end with the arrival of Lou’s two great-grandsons, Tocher and Miner Lee. They became the center of Lou’s life and she spoiled them relentlessly. She faithfully attended all of their activities and bragged about them to anyone who would listen.
Though Lou was a Butte High fan first and foremost, she also supported Butte Central and Montana Tech athletics because, as she put it, she "loved watching Butte kids play". She was active in the Butte-E-Babes Red Hat Lady group, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and her YMCA Yoga Group. Through these activities, she formed many treasured friendships.
Lou loved holidays and celebrated them to the fullest extent. Her favorite was St. Patrick’s Day, which she extended to an entire week. She hosted parties at her house with Blarney Stones and Irish coffee, followed the bagpipers around, and attended any Irish-related event she could manage to fit in her schedule.
Lou truly epitomized what it means to be “Butte Tough". In her teen years, Lou survived an almost fatal bout with spinal meningitis and later developed rheumatoid Though this disease was debilitating and painful, Lou never let it slow her down. She was still of fixture at every sporting event, festival, or happening around the town.
She will be missed by the community of her Butte for her unwavering support, but her family will miss her for so much more. She loved many, but held her family closest to her heart. Lou, keep smiling down on us with your Irish eyes.
"A Golden Heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, he only takes the best."
Preceding Lou in death are her parents, John and Isabella; husband, Ed Mengon; brothers, Jack, Dan "Unk", and Donald Malia; sister, Jean (Malia) Stodden; in-laws, Bob Chouinard, Ned Laird, and Chet Stodden; and nephew, Dan McCall.
Lou is survived and will be greatly missed by her sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Kristina Mengon and Pat and Susan Mengon, all of Butte; her granddaughter, Krystin (Kelly) Lee and her two “little pups", Tocher and Miner Lee, also all of Butte. Also surviving are brother, Joey (Edith) Malia, and sisters, Mary Laird and Rose Chouinard, all of Billings; and sister-in-law, Norma Malia Daly, of Butte. In addition, she is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and each and every one held a special place in her heart.
Cremation has taken place. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 22nd at St. Ann’s Church with the funeral immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials in honor of Lou be made to Our Lady of the Rockies or a charity of the donor’s choice.