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Obituary: Kelly Ann Kivlin

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kelly-kivlin-headshotKelly Ann Kivlin was born on Aug. 22, 1962 to Lois and Bob Kivlin in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and she was the youngest of five girls growing up in the Dells. Kelly attended college in Madison, Wisconsin, and lived in Chicago, San Diego, Florida and Maine before fulfilling her childhood dream to live in Montana. She was preceded in death by both her mother and father.

Kelly loved and cared for all people and found complete joy in taking care of her many dogs and beloved horses. She had an insatiable appetite for horseback riding in the mountains and exploring any and all lakes and streams while riding her beautiful horse Donald. Kelly also loved kayaking the Madison River and could often be seen paddling with her dog Elio proudly riding the bow.

She worked at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky for many years and was most recently the general manager of the McAllister Inn Steakhouse, delighting guests with her warm smile and glowing personality. Kelly was loved by all that were lucky enough to know her and always left a lasting impression with her optimism and enthusiastic joy of living each day to the fullest. She loved nature, horses, dogs and helping others. She was a fantastic teacher of life, unwavering in her beliefs of love, kindness and unselfishness.

Kelly was always willing to help find a stray animal a way home or provide one if necessary. Her friends were the most important part of her day and we will all miss her magical smile and uplifting laughter. She often said, “Be the person that you want to be” and she led by example. She was taken from us way to soon, as we need people like Kelly in this world. She is survived by her husband Keith Altimus, as well as her sisters Cheryl, Jill and Jody, and nephew Alan.

A celebration of Kelly’s life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. in Jeffers, Montana, at the Jumping Horse Ranch Show Barn. All that knew Kelly are cordially invited to attend. We ask memorials in Kelly’s name be made to the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter in Bozeman, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and Herding Dogs of Wyoming. Rest in peace sweet Kelly, we miss you.

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