Catherine Michunovich died on July 25, 2020, at home, with her family providing comfort and care.
Catherine was born in Butte on June 3, 1926, to her parents Katie and Marko Stanisich. She attended school in Butte and graduated from Butte High School. On July 21, 1946, she married John Michunovich, and they moved to Billings to begin a new life and raise their family. They have three children, Mary Ann, Marko and Mike. Catherine and John built a life together and dedicated themselves to their family, faith and community. Catherine worked for the Yellowstone County Treasurer’s office, and, in 1962, she was appointed to the Treasurer’s position to fill out a vacant term. In 1963, she was elected to be the County Treasurer. Being limited to one four-year term, she then ran for the Yellowstone County Auditor’s office in 1966. As reported in the Billings Gazette in 1972, she got more votes than anyone running for office in Yellowstone County, including John Melcher. She retired in 1986 after a long career of public service. She retired undefeated, as a female and a Democrat, in Yellowstone county!
Mom was active in her community. She always believed you should try to make things better and was always there to help someone out, feed them, or provide them a place to stay if they needed it. She was named to the Who’s Who of American Women and was active in many organizations and clubs in Billings. In the ’70s, she was president of the Billings Altrusa Club and the Intra-Service Committee on the Status of Women. She was vice president of the Key Stone Division of the Billings Women’s Club, as well a member of the Nile, White Shrine and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Upon retirement, she volunteered at the Billings Clinic. She also served on the Billings Clinic Foundation board until 2008 after 15 years of service. During that time, the Foundation grew from $3 million to $31 million in assets.
While Mom was proud of being a Serbian, Butte native, Democrat, American, and resident of Billings, she was proudest of her family. She was lovingly called “Baba,” which is Serbian for grandmother, by her family. She had the ability to hold the family together and make everyone she came in contact with feel special. She remembered everyone’s birthday and special occasion. She attended all the games her children and grandchildren played in, even if she didn’t understand the sport. We could do no wrong in her eyes. She and Dad loved family get-togethers, holidays, family meals and time on the Stillwater at the family cabin that she and Dad built together.
Catherine is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Sam, George, Tom, Don and Joe. She is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann (Doug) Jenkins, and her children Cathi (Tim) Whiting and their three children Hanna, Zac and Sam, Mitch (Amy) Chamberlain and their children Ashley and Lauren; her son, Marko (Zlata) and their children Ana (Aaron) Winterstern and Alexander; and her son, Mike (Laurie) and their children Katie and John. She is also survived by her sister, Natalie Drakulich.
We would like to thank Leita and Tiara from Synergy, and RiverStone Hospice for their help caring for Mom during the past two and a half weeks. Due to Covid-19, we will be having a family graveside funeral at Mountview Cemetery on July 29 at 2 p.m. We would ask that you remember Mom by being kind to someone and help someone in need.
If you so choose, the family would suggest memorials be made to the Billings Clinic Foundation, the Holy Trinity Serbian Church in Butte, or to the charity of one’s choice.