Obituary: Mary Elizabeth Costigan Kerins

Mary Kerins.png
Posted at 2:23 PM, Jan 11, 2024

Mary Elizabeth Costigan Kerins died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, January 6th, 2024.

Mary was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, in 1926. She had one younger brother, Edward. As a child, she enjoyed spending her summers visiting family in Newfoundland and Marblehead, MA.

She met her husband, Frank Kerins, at a bible study group where she noticed him because he was smoking more cigarettes than anyone she had ever seen. After their courtship, they married in Brooklyn. They were stationed in various states as Frank completed his military duty; their first child was born in West Virginia. Eventually they relocated to the suburbs of Denver and the family grew to seven children. In Colorado they had a large social circle of 12 families within their parish with over 50 kids when they would gather at the park for parties.

Mary was a devoted mother and wife displaying great fortitude taking the entire family on trips throughout the country. In 1969, the family moved to Joliet, Illinois for four years. Then in 1974, Mary, Frank and four sons moved to their forever home in Helena, Montana. As the boys grew into adulthood, Mary returned to school and received her Medical Records Degree from Carroll College. She spent many productive years working for St. Peter’s Hospital.

Mary and Frank were avid travelers. In addition to their exploration of the United States, they traveled worldwide. Some of their favorite journeys were to visit children and grandchildren. Between travels they contributed to the community with church involvement and as Lewis and Clark County election judges. They spent 20 years wintering in Arizona and visiting Mary’s brother and his family.

Mary enjoyed monthly book lunches with her friends, doing puzzles, and afternoon tea. She was very devoted to her faith. One of her greatest joys was her children, grandchildren and many great grandchildren. She enjoyed traveling the state to watch her grandkids’ sports games, concerts, and other activities.

We will miss her dearly, but we know she is content to be in heaven with her husband.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Edward Costigan and Helen Malone and her brother Edward Costigan. She is survived by her children Mary Ellen (James) Hayes, John (Ewa) Kerins, Donna (Joe) Zelinski, Edward (Peggy) Kerins, Francis Kerins, Joseph Kerins, James Kerins (Shannon), her grandchildren Lisa, Paulanne, Megan, Kari, Kirsten, Donna, Jaymes, Mark, Emily, Peter, Michael, Jill, Beth, Hallie, Alec, Brenna, Tess, Emma, Christopher, Devon, Conner, Anna, her great grandchildren Daveon, Holly, Lydia, Jocelyn, Rory, Ben, Elijah, Eleanor, Ian, Walter, Eleanor, Sawyer, Jhett, Summit, Lark, Chase, Blair, and Maisa.

The vigil will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at St. Mary Catholic Community at 1700 Missoula Ave, Helena, MT. A Funeral Mass will be held at Noon on Friday, January 12, 2024 also at St. Mary Catholic Community. In the Bay Ridge tradition, a processional will follow the mass reception past Mary and Frank’s house at 809 Madison Ave. on the way to interment at Fort Harrison Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in our mother's memory to the Kerins Scholarship at Carroll College. On-line donations to their scholarship can be made by going to this link: or you can mail your check to the Carroll College Advancement Office, 1601 N Benton Ave, Helena, MT 59625. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Mary.