Emilee "Em" DeKam

August 1, 1937 ~ July 29, 2022 (age 84)


Emilee Pasha DeKam passed away peacefully on July 29, 2022. The cause of death was a combination of Parkinson's disease and dementia. At the time of her death she was a resident of Touchmark, a senior living facility in Helena, Montana.

Emilee was born August 1, 1937 in Bozeman, Montana to parents John and Twilla (Williams) Pasha. She grew up on a farm southwest of Bozeman and attended Gallatin County High School and Montana State College in Bozeman. She started her career in education teaching Physical Education at Helena High School in 1959.

On July 3, 1963 she was married in Bozeman to Kenneth DeKam. A year later they moved to Alaska, where they both taught for three years before returning to Helena. Upon returning to Helena, Emilee taught at the Helena Junior High/Middle School until she retired in 1993.

Emilee is credited with starting the girls track and field program in the Helena School System. For several years she organized and was the meet director for the Helena Girls Invitational Track Meet, which one year was attended by up to 32 girls teams with over 400 athletes from across Montana. In 1985, the makeup of the Invitational Track Meet was expanded to include the boys, and the meet received the name "Lloyd Skor/Emilee DeKam Invitational". In 2007, she was inducted into the Helena Sports Hall of Fame.

Throughout her professional career Emilee was very active in the organization known as MAHPERD (Montana Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance). She held several offices in MAHPERD and worked on committees at the District and National level. For eleven years she served as Montana Coordinator for the Jump Rope for Heart program.

Emilee's interests included a wide range of outdoor activities including kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, hunting, and shooting. She especially enjoyed Black Powder Silhouette shooting with her husband. She and her husband relived their honeymoon canoeing trip many times by returning to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota.

Emilee was a member of the A O Pi sorority in college, a long time member of Chapter BK, P.E.O., for several years a member of the Helena Basket Weavers, and was a member of the First Lutheran Church.

Emilee especially enjoyed the time she and her husband were able to spend on the ranch of their friends the Martins near Two Dot. Camping on Big Elk Creek and being involved in ranch projects and family events there created a second family for her. The kids over there claimed her as Grandma.

Emilee was preceded in death by her parents, sister Mary Lou and brother-in-law Grant Woolley, and sister Dorothy and brother-in-law Dick Cochran.

She is survived by her husband Ken and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no funeral service at this time. A possible graveside service may be held at a later date. Interment will be in the Lennep cemetery.

Memorials may be sent "In memory of Emilee DeKam Chapter BK" to: P.E.O. International Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.

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