Iris Helen McCauley (October 11, 1940 - January 16, 2024)
Iris Helen McCauley, 83, passed away on January 16, 2024, in Lima, Montana. Iris was born in Kalispell, Montana on October 11, 1940, to Doyle and Helen Sampson. She spent some time as a very small child in Tacoma, Washington during WWII while her parents were supporting the war effort. Returning to Montana, the family bought a ranch outside of Kalispell, but she also attended school in the city while living with her grandparents. Later she attended school in Lewiston, Montana while her mother, Helen was attending nursing school. After graduating Flathead High School, she briefly attended Carroll College. Soon she left on an adventure to the West Coast, first in Seattle, and eventually San Francisco, to see big city plays. While in San Francisco, she married her first husband, Tom O'Hara, with whom she had four children. As time went on, she married Larry McCauley and became the mother of seven children.
Her love for the theater renewed in Montana when the family would attend performances at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. She also enjoyed singing in Sweet Adelines, and the family had fun supporting her by operating a popcorn machine at their fund-raisers at the Conrad Manson. As a long-time Avon lady, she built a profitable business where she could interact and visit with people, which was important to her. A lover of plants, birds, and pets, she would decorate her home inside and out, not just with plants but with all sorts of garden decor. A very important part of her life was her faith in God and her beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. She was a long-time generous member of The River church in Kalispell. Here she enjoyed many rich and rewarding friendships.
She is predeceased by her parents Doyle and Helen Sampson and her husband, Larry W. McCauley.
She is survived by seven children: Sharla McCauley, Sean McCauley, Angie (Dan) Mayer, Jill McCauley, Duane (Charity) McCauley, Heather (Brodie) McDonald and Teague (Jennifer) McCauley as well as 20 grandchildren and one great-grandson. She is also survived by her brother Andy Sampson of Columbia Falls and sister Jennifer McNeily of San Diego, California.
A private spreading of ashes ceremony is planned for the summer.