HARDIN — Mary Bernadette entered this world on Jan. 29, 1923, the only daughter of George Ambrose and Kathryn Edith Feeley of Sanders. She was named after her aunts, Mary Feeley of Butte, Mary Elizabeth McCormick of Hysham and Sister Mary Baptista Conway, OSB of Missouri.
Father M.J. Trigorhy SSE baptized her six days later at St. Joseph's Church in Hysham, with Mr. and Mrs. Peter Schmalz as godparents. Again in Hysham on June 21, 1937, Bishop Edwin Vincent O'Hara confirmed her, taking the name Theresa. Fr. Anthony J. Walsh, Lawrence Feeley and Ann Rose Ponessa witnessed her vows of matrimony with Joseph Russell Ponessa on Aug. 2, 1947, at Immaculate Conception in Forsyth. The couple resided in Big Horn for 35 years and in Custer for 24 years. In 1986, they were able to meet Joe's Italian relatives and celebrated Easter in Rome. Mary spent her last four years in Hardin and from there left this world at 2 a.m. on April 10, 2011, the fifth Sunday of Lent.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers (George Vincent, Robert, Francis Joseph, Lawrence) and husband of 59 years.
She is survived by three children (Joseph, Russell and Jackie), eight grandchildren (Amy, Royce, Alaina, Ryan, Reed, Travis, Angie, Angela), eight great-grandchildren (Devyn, Rachel, Emma, Rayna, Ashton, Reagan, Danica, Oliver) and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Vigil services will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Bullis Funeral Chapel. Her son, Father Joseph Ponessa, will join longtime pastor Father Fabian Fehring, OFM. Cap, in the Mass of Christian Burial in Hardin, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, with interment in the Custer Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. The casket will be open at the funeral home only. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Big Horn Hospital Foundation, 17 N. Miles, Hardin, MT 59034.