Cover photo for Jeanette Kay Thayer's Obituary
Jeanette Kay Thayer Profile Photo
1937 Jeanette 2022

Jeanette Kay Thayer

October 15, 1937 — June 22, 2022

Jeanette ‘Kay’ Thayer, age 84, of Bozeman passed away peacefully on June 22, 2022, after a brief battle with cancer. She was with her oldest son, Russ, and the caring staff of Bozeman Deaconess at the time of her passing. Kay was born in Bozeman on October 15, 1937, the middle child to Bill and Rae Jenkins. She was a third generation Gallatin Valley native and always said that she got to see some of the best times here in the Valley. Kay attended Gallatin High School (Go Hawks) and graduated in 1955. She met her husband, Dick, shortly after, and the two were married in her parent’s living room on January 14, 1958. After Dick graduated from Montana State College, the two moved to Renton, Washington, where both their sons, Russ and Ted, were born.

Kay had many passions in her life. She was an outdoor enthusiast who never passed up on an opportunity for adventure. From an early age, she developed a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature and all it had to offer. Whether she was hiking, camping, rafting, snowmobiling, or skiing, she was in her element when she was surrounded by God’s beautiful creation. From the mid 1970’s into the 1980’s, she was known around Canyon Ferry for water skiing on a single red ski better than most people on two skis. She downhill skied for the better part of 40 years, and even after tearing her ACL in her early 70’s, she didn’t let that keep her from going up to the mountains. Kay loved watching sports, especially when her kids and grandkids were playing. She was a fixture at sporting events across Bozeman for decades, and she loved cheering on her Hawks and Bobcats. She was a Hawks Booster for many years, and was loved by everyone at the Bozeman Bucks games (certain umpires excluded).

Kay started working at American Simmental in 1971 and was a beloved employee there for 31 years - she was the Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees. In her role, she traveled the world and made many life-long friends.


Kay was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother (Buck), and sister (Jan).  Kay is survived by her sons, Russ (Teri) and Ted (Dalyce), grandchildren, Tawni (Justin) Jetter, Nikki (Todd) McGraw, Mack (Jenna) Thayer, and Joel Thayer (Kylee Koch), along with four great grandchildren.

Our family would like to extend their gratitude to the following people: the doctors, nurses, and aides at BHDH for their wonderful care, her dinner/lunch crew, all of her sports-watching friends, Dody, all of her friends that checked in with her daily, and Audrey for being there with her when she needed it most.

A celebration of Kay’s life will be held July 16 at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center from 4 to 8 p.m. with a small program at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston, Montana. Condolences & Memories may be shared with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeanette Kay Thayer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 16, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Gallatin Gateway Community Center

145 Mill Street, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730

A small program will be held at 5PM.

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