Yvonne Marie Hanson McCarthy was born on January 17, 1959, in Seattle, Washington, to Rodney and Lita Hanson and passed away on February 18, 2022, after fighting a Covid/broken heart battle.
Yvonne was preceded in death by her father, Rodney Hanson, in 2013, her mother, Lita Hanson, in 2019. Yvonne McCarthy is survived by her daughter Annie Poole (spouse Jim Poole, daughters Rylan and Kaylan) of Great Falls, son Jeffrey McCarthy (spouse Melissa McCarthy, daughter Baylee, and sons Isaiah and Treysen) of Dickinson, TX, daughter Carrie Driver (spouse TSGT Timothy Driver II, daughter, Isabelle, and son, John Thomas, due June 30, 2022) stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, daughter Kellie Clough (spouse Shawn Clough, son Bridger, and daughters Allaina and Cadence) of Three Forks, and son Ryan McCarthy (daughters Kimber and Oakley) of Three Forks.
When she was 14 years old, Yvonne’s father, Rodney, was a customs agent stationed in Butte, Montana. She attended Butte High school, where she met her high-school sweetheart John McCarthy. Yvonne and John began dating in September of 1974 and married in April of 1977. Yvonne attended her high school graduation as a married woman. Yvonne and John had a humble beginning living in a trailer park, completely free to create their own life and story, and what a life they created together. Yvonne always said she “just wanted to be a mommy.” Five viable, all-natural births later, she was one hell of a mommy! She lived her life for God, her husband, and her children.
John and Yvonne moved to Great Falls in 1982, shortly after the birth of their second child. During this time, she took her oldest to Sunday school at St. John’s Lutheran Church. It was here she met many life-long friends. Both Yvonne and John had a tremendous spiritual awakening and began walking with their Lord and Savior in 1983. Life dramatically changed for the couple as they radically sold out to the service of Jesus Christ.
John and Yvonne answered the calling on their lives. They spent a brief time attending Lay Ministry Training Center in North Heights, Minnesota, pursuing ministry opportunities. After a year in Minnesota, they moved to Columbus, Ohio, working in inner-city street ministry. Yvonne welcomed their third daughter. Returning to Great Falls in 1986, the zealous couple continued their passion for ministering to the less fortunate. They opened a coffeehouse-style church, the New Life Center, downtown Great Falls. They hosted Bible studies, led children’s ministries, and provided Christian music and picnics at the parks. During this time, within 16 months, Yvonne gave birth to her fourth and fifth children.
In 1990, John and Yvonne became involved with Marriage Ministries. They began their ministry to marriages and families, teaching and leading 13-week marriage courses. Amid these courses, John became convicted that they needed to go on the mission field, and in 1991 they began preparing to go to Guatemala! A large yellow school bus was loaded and caravanned down the 3400-mile trek from Great Falls, Mexico, and Guatemala. Yvonne and John’s passion to disciple, lead, and train indigent people were incredible; Yvonne quickly learned to communicate and teach in Spanish. The adventure and time spent were epic! The family hiked the mountains, evangelized, built churches, ministered to the orphans, provided humanitarian relief, and befriended so many. Yvonne was a living example teaching her children to serve the Lord. While in Guatemala, because the funds were limited, the couple began raising chickens, selling the meat and even started a fried chicken stand named “POLLO MAC.” By creating an opportunity for the family, they also blessed those who worked with them.
The family returned to Great Falls in December of 1996. Yvonne entered the workforce trying her hand as a bilingual mortgage customer service representative, a health insurance agent, and an early childhood care provider. In 2004, the couple was again driven to conduct marriage groups and discipleship with numerous Bible study groups and fellowships.
In October of 2004, Yvonne encouraged John to begin his own construction company, McCarthy Construction Inc, and relocate to Townsend, Montana. Yvonne worked in the office, and once again, the couple created a successful business. During this time, the family grew as her children married and began to have grandchildren! Once again, John and Yvonne saw the ministry opportunities and founded In Christ Ministries. Yvonne was involved in jail ministry, marriage/family groups, and spoiling her grandbabies. With a daughter stationed at a military base in Germany, Yvonne and John launched international mission trip opportunities. In 2013, both John and Yvonne started studying Hebrew names and were invited to participate in a Passover Feast, setting them on a new course of beliefs. In 2014, the couple again felt called to leave for the mission field and travel to South Africa. The transition and logistics were challenging, but they persevered until Yvonne’s health issues brought them back home to Great Falls in 2016. She underwent a series of joint replacements starting with her knees, hips, and back.
In 2017, Yvonne and John moved to Bozeman, where John joined their youngest son working at Williams Plumbing. Being empty nesters with an 8-to-5, Monday-Friday career, the couple finally had time to enjoy life with leisure activities. They bought a side-by-side and a camper and traveled the trails of Montana and South Dakota. They were sent on a company-paid trip to Cabo, Mexico. And just as Yvonne and John were living up a different kind of life, John received an undetected, stage 4, metastasized cancer diagnosis at the end of June 2020. Clinging to each other, the couple stayed strong and positive as he fought for his life. On September 26, 2020, Yvonne laid him to rest, under a tree at the Churchill Cemetery, in a pine box her sons made, the love of her life.
Completely and utterly heartbroken, Yvonne tried her hardest to adjust to a new life. She found some solace in studying deeper into the things of Yahuah. She spent time rewriting and performing scripture songs, uploading the songs to YouTube to replay to herself as she slept. Every morning, she put on a brave face as her youngest and his daughters lived with her. She kept herself busy with gardening and camping with the Clough family during the summer. She loved playing Farkle and various other games, along with shopping trips with Kellie. After a shoulder replacement a few weeks before her 63rd birthday on January 17, 2020, she started feeling like she was coming down with a cold. While her death is labeled as Covid, Yvonne passed from a broken heart. She was reunited with her love on February 18th at 1:40 in the afternoon. So ends the love story of epic proportions! All five of her children were there to send her on her way back to Dad with tearful love. We all said Dad was a “Mountain of a Man” and now we know it took a “Mountain of a Woman” to live with him! She rode shotgun for 43 years with her best friend. In the past year and five months, she learned she did not enjoy being the sole driver. While they both passed away too young, we know Yvonne heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (As did John.) Yvonne’s dimpled smile, infectious laugh, optimistic view, and zealous life will be forever etched in the lives and hearts of hundreds.
We love you, Mom.