Kathleen “Kay” Pendergrass Jessop Monroe

Kathleen “Kay” Pendergrass Jessop Monroe, 81, of Cut Bank, Montana passed on January 30th, 2023 in Payette, Idaho after years-long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Kay was born on February 7th, 1941 in Cut Bank, Montana to Theophil “Dogie” Pendergrass and Rose Murphy Pendergrass - the youngest of four children. Kay grew up on their ranch on the Blackfeet reservation on Seville Flats near Cut Bank. She often shared memories of staying up late at the ranch reading by candlelight and watching when Cut Bank first installed power poles and the ranch was able to have electricity. Kay graduated from Cut Bank High School in 1959 and married her husband, Jackie Jessop on February 20th, 1960. They had four children, Jim, John, Julie, and Jack “Gunny”. Julie passed away in 1971. Jackie passed away in 1973.

Not one to back down from a challenge, Kay worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet while she raised her three boys and helped raise her three nephews. Kay worked at Winner Circle, trained racing horses for John Love, and started her own windshield rock chip repair business. She even put herself through college. Kay found her true passion as a teacher and Executive Director for the Glacier County Head Start program for early childhood education. For over 20 years Kay made a positive impact on the children in her community teaching pre-kindergarten children fine-motor skills, reading, writing, art, and other life skills in preparing hundreds of children for elementary school. Kay had such a positive impact on these youngsters that she remained friends and continued as a life coach counseling them into adulthood. Kay’s love for the children at Headstart shined through every day.

In 2000, Kay married John “Doughboy” Monroe and was happily married until his death in 2016.

Kay’s personality was larger than life. Quick-witted, she often had those around her laughing at her latest remarks. She embodied the phrase “never take yourself or life too seriously”. Never one to mince words, Kay’s honesty and frankness could not be matched. She had a huge heart, and easily loved and cared for those around her. She was a lover of dogs and an avid bird watcher. During good weather, Kay could often be found at her cabin in St. Mary’s visiting with friends or family.

Kay is preceded in death by her daughter, Julie Jessop, her husband Jackie Jessop, her sister Phyllis P. Egan, her parents Dogie and Rose, and her sister-in-law Alice Pendergrass. Kay is survived by her sons Jim Jessop, John Jessop (Suzie), and Jack “Gunny” Jessop; stepchildren Kelly Monroe, Rich Monroe, and Rhonda Monroe Fenner; grandchildren Kate Jessop (Jose Partida Corona), Jennifer Gage (Travis Gage), Jackie Jessop (Justin Camyn), Anthony Arbesu (Heather Arbesu), Colton Jessop, and Justin Jessop; great grandchildren Kayana Partida Corona, Kersh Partida Corona, Lily Gage, Claire Gage, Emmerich Gage, Jade Camyn, and Jackson Camyn; brother Gary Pendergrass; sister Bobbi Jessop; nephews Pat Pendergrass (Jeane), Mike Pendergrass (Elisa), Dan Pendergrass (Tana), Shaun Egan (Anne), Guy Meiwald (Heather), and KC Meiwald (Teresa); nieces Kathy Broere (Ross), Peggy Egan, and Marcy Gallup (Brian); and many more great nieces and nephews.

Kay often looked forward to summers when her grandchildren would come to visit. We have decided to hold that tradition for her memorial service as well. Services will be held on Saturday June 10th at 10am at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Cut Bank, MT. A luncheon will be held afterwards at a still to be determined location.

Services will be held on Saturday June 10th at 10am at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Cut Bank, MT. A luncheon will be held afterwards at a still to be determined location.