Kay Skradski (Hanninen) Kay left us unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. We all believe that she was ready to join our Dad, Mike, in heaven. Our parents were married for 48 years and they were always an inspiration to us that "true love" exists in this day and age. Their relationship gave us a goal to try and achieve in our personal lives, to aspire to have a partner that we could be with for the rest of our lives. "Love is patient, Love is kind" truly represents our Mom. Kay was born in Ely, Minnesota on October 12, 1947 to Mildred and Wilbur Hanninen. Kay was the oldest of three girls, the "big sister" to Linda Lesar and Sandy Okstad. Their family was 100% Finnish, growing up they lived a life that embodied the Finnish traditions: the culture, food, and language of their ancestry. This was very important to her and her family and carried over to future generations. Kay went to school in Ely, Minnesota, and met our father while working at the local movie theater where they fell in love and eventually got married on July 15, 1967. Kay and Mike had three children; Jodi, Shana and Jamie and raised them first in Silver Bay, Minnesota and later then moved to Dillon, Montana. Raising children was their whole world and Kay was the quintessential Mom who always had fresh baked cookies waiting for her kids after school. She made sure we had a tasty meal for supper and we spent every night eating together as a family, because that was very important to her. We all remember different activities she enjoyed during our childhood. Cheering at our baseball, softball and basketball games, cross country skiing, sewing beautiful quilts, finding agates and picking blueberries on Lake Superior, and spending time at the cabin on Burntside Lake. She was a great cook, and she loved trying new recipes. Her cooking and baking led her to a job at Western Montana College as a baker. It was a hard job, but she loved it and all the people who worked there. After Kay retired, she was faced with the challenge of taking care of her husband with Parkinson's disease. She was our father's tireless caregiver for many years. This is an accomplishment that is very admirable because it was not easy. No matter how hard things were, she never complained, as years went by it became more and more difficult. Her only shortfall was never asking for help. She was a strong, tough, selfless, giving person to him and everyone else in her world. Kay was the glue that held our family together through great times as well as all the struggles. She loved all her grandchildren unconditionally. She enjoyed going to her grandchildren's special events in their lives whether it was sporting events, school programs, music recitals, and of course all the holidays and birthdays. She started the tradition of gingerbread cookies for Christmas and she baked us all cookies on the day she left us. Our mother welcomed everyone into her home no matter where she lived, she made it "Home", the comforting feeling you get when you are in the presence of loved ones. Kay is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Michael Joseph Skradski. She is survived by her children, Jodi Skradski Decker (Robert Decker), Shana Skradski (Andreas Scherer), and James Skradski (Wendy Allen). Her sisters, Linda Lesar and Sandra Okstad and many Hanninen relatives. Finally eight very special grandchildren: Justin, Jaymee, Nathan, Nariah, Quinton, Maya, Damon and Jaxton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Barrett Home Health and Hospice, Dillon Little League, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Thank you to all the caregivers involved in taking care of our mother. There will be a graveside service on Saturday, February 4th at 11 in the morning at the Dillon Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Buffalo for anyone that would like to attend. Please contact Jodi Skradski at 660-0488 for any questions.