Betty June Matt-Marquart, 92, of St. Ignatius, MT., passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at home surrounded by family. She was born April 12, 1930, in Stevensville, MT., to Eli and Rosanna Matt. As a young girl at the age of 3, Betty relocated with her family to the Jocko located in Arlee, MT. making the journey in a buckboard wagon. The family lived in the Jocko for many years until moving to St. Ignatius, MT. where she attended the Ursuline Catholic Boarding School. When Betty was a teenager, the family was relocated to the Seattle area where she attended high school.
Betty was a proud member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and loved sharing her culture and living experiences growing up on the reservation, many of which she passed on to her family.
Betty long dreamt of becoming a fashion designer and often plied her talents for her family, creating beautifully tailored clothing. Her creativity and artistry extended to her incredible sketch work and painting; these artistic talents she passed on to her children and grandchildren bringing a smile to her face watching them develop these skills in their own creative ways. Betty held onto her artistic passions even when reality required her attention focused elsewhere. True to her nature, when the working world came calling, Betty answered with pride and spirit. She became a meat wrapper and meat cutter where she honed her skills and was an expert with a blade.
At the age of 17 she met her first husband, Samuel Colacurcio, with whom she had two daughters: Denise Lorraine Colacurcio-Goodale and Cheryl Jean Colacurcio. Though this marriage did not last, the two remained and shared a lifelong friendship filled with love and respect for one another. Betty later went on to marry John L. McQuade, with whom she had three children: John Martin McQuade; Mark Lewis McQuade (deceased); and Stacey Lynn McQuade-Eger. Shortly after the birth of Stacey, Betty and John went their separate ways and Betty embarked upon raising her children as a single parent. She was a stern and loving parent, who knew the importance of teaching her children about hard work and perseverance. Betty encouraged her children to pursue their dreams while remaining grounded in the process. Her devotion to family was clear and her loyalty was unyielding. Betty’s family was her greatest joy!
In 1979 she married Clark Marquart with whom she shared 34 years. Their life together was a quiet life of companionship and spending quality time with family.
Betty enjoyed gardening and shared this love with her daughters Denice and Cheryl, watching the Mariners while on the phone with her son John “Duffy” comparing thoughts on plays and players, watching her westerns (Gunsmoke, The Virginian, and Cheyenne) with whomever would watch with her, attending Tribal Council meetings, and going to pow-wows. She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren compete in their respective sports activities and had a great appreciation for music and a love for swing dancing. When Betty went to spend summer and fall months with her daughter Stacey, she traveled the Reining horse show circuit often becoming the ex-officio coach in the stands. Betty became known as the biggest fan of her son-in-law Randy and bonus grandson Chris’ band, attending shows sitting front and center whenever possible.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents Eli and Rosanna; her siblings Andrew Matt, Bernice Matt-Tallant, Don E. Matt, and Sandra Matt-Stevens; her infant son Mark; husband Clark; son-in-law George Goodale; infant grandson Matthias Clark Espinosa; and several nephews and nieces.
Survivors include her children Denice Colacurcio-Goodale; Cheryl Colacurcio; John “Duffy” (Cora) McQuade; Stacey (Randy) McQuade-Eger; grandchildren Tera (Mike) Esslinger; Jennifer (Trevor) Larson; Jamie (Nick) De La Cruz; David (Ashley) Goodale; Marcus (Erika) McQuade; Rachel (Sonny) Vernon; Jordan (Fayza) Espinosa; Sarah McQuade; Tylar (Jackie) Espinosa; Westyn (Lauren) Kiehn; Hannah (Davin) Kiehn-Sorrell; Chris (Lisa) Eger; and Mason Eger; 17 great grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; Sister-in-law Rosalie Matt; and numerous nieces, nephews, and close cousins.
All are invited to join the family for a Celebration of Life to be held Friday, September 2, 2022, at the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center 4705 W Marginal Way SW Seattle, WA 98106 beginning at 2:00 p.m.