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Eileen Ann Cavanaugh

Eileen Ann Cavanaugh Story of Emigrant, Montana passed away peacefully at home on Monday, March 25, 2024. She was 87 years old.

Born to Francis J. Cavanaugh and Anna Ryder on May 17, 1937, in Philadelphia. She was the youngest of eight in an Irish Catholic family. Only one sibling, Jean Sawyer, is still living at 98. She attended Little Flower Catholic High School without incident until that one time she skipped school to dance live on American Bandstand and would have gotten away clean were it not for wearing her school uniform on TV.

When visiting her sister in Southern California, Eileen met her husband, Peter Story, while he was at the Naval Academy. After a long-distance courtship, she said yes to his proposal as she stepped off the train in Bozeman, Montana. They were married on June 14, 1958. Far from the East Coast, she would raise a family of five, learn the ranching way of life, and become a requisite member of the Paradise Valley community.

Her smooth voice was heard on KYBS where she did stints as a DJ. She also loved acting and took on many classic roles through the years, most notably in A Streetcar Named Desire and Twelfth Night. She was an active member of Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Emigrant and volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Montana Republican Women. Eileen spent 20 years as a senator’s wife, crisscrossing the state alongside Senator Pete Story, and was always a strategic advisor on re-election campaigns.

Well-read in all things fiction, non-fiction, culture, and politics, she was unbeatable at Jeopardy. Eileen was also the family historian for both the Story and Cavanaugh families and maintained a 60-year log of the happenings and visitors on the Story Ranch. She loved playing bridge and celebrating birthdays with her many friends in the valley.

Eileen is survived by her sons Robert Story (Colleen) Story, Michael Story, Nelson Story (Belinda), all of Emigrant, and her daughter Roseann Polly Story-Lebl (Michal Lebl) of the Czech Republic. Her grandchildren Thomas Story (Zoe), Fiona Story, Thomas Story (Adriane), Adam Story, Alexandria (Ali) Ferguson and Elizabeth (Betsy) Story, and seven great-granddaughters, Kateyn, Colette, Tabitha, Gemma, Olivia, Audrey, Ottilila. Along with many close nieces and nephews across the US who will miss her dearly.

She is preceded in death by her parents Ann and Francis Cavanaugh, her husband, Pete Story (d. 2006) her son, Thomas Ryder Story (d.1975). Her siblings, Nan Quinn, Kathy Hellings, Agnes Siefert, Richard Cavanaugh, Don Cavanaugh, and Francis Cavanaugh

Services for Eileen Story will be on Saturday, April 13th at St. John’s Episcopal Church starting at 3 pm. A celebration of life will follow at the Emigrant Hall at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, any donations can be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church.


Please visit Franzen-Davis Funeral Home website to leave your favorite memories and offer words of sympathy at


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