Local Obituaries

 

2-25-15 Issue:

No obituaries this week


2-18-15 Issue:

Rose Wolf Albright Rowe

Rose Wolf Albright Rowe was the eighth child born to Martin and Carolina Wolf on February 10, 1913, and she passed away in Fort Benton on February 10, 2015, at the age of 102. Honoring her request, no services will be held.

Rose was born in Odessa, Canada. She came with her parents to Montana in 1913 when she was a few months old. She went to grade school in the Kevin, Russell and Shonkin schools in Montana. Rose went to high school at Saint Mary’s in Great Falls for two years, and then came to Fort Benton High School for two years and graduated in 1931.

Rose was a graduate of the Columbus Hospital of Nursing and the Carroll College of Nursing programs. She worked as a private nurse before going to work at Fort Harrison in Helena. Rose later moved to San Francisco, California, to work at the Veterans Hospital, where she became head surgical nurse. After retiring, she moved to Fort Benton in the early 1980s. She sometimes filled in at the Missouri River Medical Center. She was known to be meticulous in her work as a nurse. Rose didn’t learn to drive until after the death of her first husband, Bill Albright. She later married Frank Rowe, whom she outlived.

Rose loved to swim and was a regular at the Fort Benton pool up until her late 80s and early 90s. Gardening was Rose’s favorite hobby. She also enjoyed playing cards, and of course swimming.

Rose is survived by her daughter Carol (Gene) Ghio; one granddaughter, Nicole Ghio; and nieces and nephews.


2-11-15 Issue:

Marjorie Ethel Nagengast

Marjorie Ethel Nagengast, age 37, went to be with the angels on February 7, 2015. She passed away unexpectedly in Fort Benton with her parents by her side.

Marjorie was born July 10, 1977 in Fort Benton, Montana, to Linda and Charles Nagengast. She graduated from the Fort Benton High School in 1996 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Wyoming. Margie grew up on the family farm with her sisters and her brother in Fort Benton. It was “home.” Margie lived in Billings, and Sheridan, Wyoming after graduation. She moved back to Fort Benton last year so that she could be closer to her family.

Margie was a very talented jewelry designer and crafter; she especially enjoyed handcrafting rosaries. One of her proudest accomplishments was creating the Big Sky Montana Etsy group which now has over 450 members, on an internationally known online jewelry site called Etsy. She enjoyed sharing her talents with family and friends. She also loved working to help neglected or abandoned animals. Her dog Ruby was at her side when she passed onto heaven. Margie will always be remembered for her infectious giggle, sweet spirit, her kindness, her loyalty and her love for animals. She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

Margie loved her family and especially adored her two nieces, Elizabeth and Shelby and Godson Ricky. She is survived by her best friend and love of her life, Jonathan Frank, who unconditionally loved and cared for her through her many years of illness. Also her parents Charles and Linda, who most recently took over her care here in Fort Benton. Other survivors include sisters Julianna Stevens (Matt and Elizabeth), Kristine Oostermeyer (Tony and Shelby) and brother Jerome Nagengast (Misty Hanson). A special thank you to her dear friend Wendy who helped her persevere from day to day.

“I made a big move to Wyoming. I will always have my roots in Montana, a tumbleweed will always come home.” It is Margie’s wish to be laid to rest in Fort Benton.

Please join us in celebration of her life on Friday February 13, 2015 at “Margie’s Place” at 1010 10th Street (house next to her parents) from 4 to 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Fort Benton Memorial Ambulance Service in Margie’s memory. The family is so very grateful for the compassion and care they provided Margie.

“Good Bye My Little Angel.” You are forever in our hearts.


2-4-15 Issue:

Sarah Grace Courtnage

Sarah Grace Courtnage was born as an angel on January 26, 2015, at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. She was preceded in death by her brother Tevin James Courtnage, great grandfather Kenneth Courtnage and cousin Fletcher Courtnage McKinsey.

She will always be in the heart of her mother Amanda Jo Courtnage of Geraldine.

She is survived by her grandparents Bill and Kathy Courtnage of Geraldine; great grandmother Pat Harrington of Diamond Springs, California; great grandmother Iris Courtnage of Fort Benton; great grandparents Jack (Sally) Quigley of Fallon, Nevada; uncles Nick (Melissa) Courtnage of Metlakatla, Alaska; Brice (Victoria) Courtnage of San Clemente, California; great aunt Sandy Courtnage of Fort Benton; great uncles Dave (Sherry) Quigley of Helena; Mike (Sam) Quigley of Billings; Steve Quigley of Placerville, California; and numerous cousins.

Private graveside services will be at the Geraldine Cemetery. Benton Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


1-28-15 Issue:

John Kelly

John Kelly, 94, passed away peacefully in his sleep January 22, 2015, at the Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton. Rosary services will be Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at Fort Benton Catholic Church. A graveside service will be Thursday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery. The burial will be followed by a reception at the Club House.

John was a descendant of a pioneering Chouteau County family that emigrated in 1866 from Ireland to Canada, down the Ohio and up the Missouri River, to finally settle in the Fort Benton area. John “Johnny” was born March 20, 1920, the third child of Ed and Mary (Embleton) Kelly. He joined his older sisters, Maribeth and Anabel, and was followed two years later by his younger brother, William “Bill.” After attending grade school at the Buck Bridge country school north of Carter he started high school in Fort Benton and graduated with the class of 1938. Despite the latter days of the Great Depression he found employment in the underground coal mines of the Bear Paw Mountains, and to the surprise of no one he loved it! He earned the princely sum of $200 a month, with which he invested in 10 head of cattle and the Kelly family’s first car. His employment in the coal mines was cut short by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and he was given a 10-day notice to report for duty, which he proudly did on March 8, 1942. He and 99 other men were in the very first draft of Chouteau County men that was conducted at the start of WWII. He served 3 ½ years (with no furloughs) stationed in England in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in the fall of 1945.

After the war, Johnny and his brother, Bill, began ranching north of Fort Benton on the Teton River, where he made his home for the next 50 years. He married Eleanor Pimperton on October 25, 1952, in Fort Benton and had five children, Kay (Bailey), Tim, Eddy, and Con, all who live in Fort Benton, and Eileen (Coates) of Canby, Oregon.

John’s love of Hereford cattle was second to no one except other Hereford people. He was a member of the American Hereford Association and founding member of the Fort Benton Scales Association.

Johnny was a tough, hardworking, driven, and ambitious man with a work ethic second to none. Seemingly immune to cold weather and blistering heat, he enthusiastically tackled any task, whether it was riding a horse, fixing fence, stacking bales, or digging in the dirt. Johnny believed in working the ranch seven days a week, 365 days a year, which he faithfully executed until his late eighties. Anybody who ever worked alongside Johnny soon discovered that there was going to be a whole lot of sweat and absolutely no “messing around!”

Johnny is survived by wife of 62 years, Eleanor; all his children; nine grandchildren, Nikki, Bryan, Leigh, and Molly Bailey, Tori Hankins, Kyle Kelly, Heidi Hansen, Lenise (Brian) Bennett, Mandie (TJ) Zumbusch, and six great grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials can be made to the Chouteau County Cancer Support Group or to the donor’s choice.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Horace J. (Buck) Raty

Horace J. (Buck) Raty passed away of natural causes on Jan. 14, 2015, at the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home in Chinook, Montana. Services were held at the L.D.S. church in Chinook on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Buck was born in Challis, Idaho, on July 10, 1925, to Horace and Olive Raty. He was raised in the Idaho Falls area and resided there until enlisting in the navy at the age of 16. He served his country during World War II, and was a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also served in the Korean conflict. After his time in the Navy, Buck moved to Square Butte, Montana, where his parents resided. He met and married his wife of 61 years, Emma D. Jones in Geraldine. Buck spent many years working construction until moving to Chinook in 1963 to buy the family farm from his in-laws Dick and Helen Henderson. Buck spent many years working for the irrigation company until his retirement in 1995. He then spent his time working the farm well into his 80’s.

Family was important to Buck and Dee. Together they raised seven children and he mentored his many grandchildren. He also loved to fly. He bought his first plane in 1953, and his second in 1984. He would find any excuse to take to the air, even using the plane to check his cows. Buck loved to spend his time experimenting with alternative energy and took a particular interest in hydrogen for gas. He even managed to convert the minivan to run on hydrogen.

Buck is preceded in death by his father, Horace S. Raty; mother, Olive Frandsen Raty; brothers Arthur, Harold, Bobby and Bill, his sisters Dorothy Edwards and Mabel Schiler, and his children Shawn and Clifford Joseph (Joe).

He is survived by his wife, Emma D.; children, Gail (James) Hoag, Payette, Idaho; Sallie (Aaron) Brown, Meridian, Idaho; Harold (Linda) Raty, Chinook, Montana; Keith (Colleen) Raty, Chinook; and Mark (Tamara) Raty, Billings, Montana; brother, Jack (Alice) Raty, Pahrump, Nevada; sister, Bonnie (Frank) Mayo, Square Butte; and 21 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces.

Memorial donations can be made to the Chinook AAU Wrestling Cub or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Condolences for the family may be left at www.edwardsfuneralhomemt.com


Beatrice Beverly (Faribanks) Manley

Beatrice Beverly (Fairbanks) Manley passed peacefully into her heavenly home January 23, 2015 with her son, Daryl, and daughter-in-law, Mary at her side. She was preceded in death by her husband, James; her parents, Frank and Henrietta Fairbanks; three brothers, Melvin, Charles and Doug; and a sister, Irena Smith.

Born April 11, 1927 in Fort Benton, Montana, she was raised in the Geraldine area and graduated from Geraldine High School in 1945. On May 10, 1947, she married James E. Manley in Fort Benton and began the nomadic life of a military family that led her to live in six states and Germany.

The family’s reassignment to Roswell, New Mexico in 1964 allowed Beatrice to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. Her determination and inner strength as a student, while continuing to be a mom, new grandmother, and part-time aide at Roswell Medical Center, resulted in her graduation as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1966. The family relocated to Cut Bank in 1966 following Jim’s retirement from the Air Force.

Despite a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis that year, with a prognosis of a five-year life expectancy, Bea was able to continue her dream. Nursing initially at the Cut Bank Hospital and later at the Libby Hospital and then the Convalescent Center for many years, she specialized in geriatric and convalescent nursing. Aside from nursing, her passions included reading and crosswords.

Survivors include her children Lynn (Ecuador), Doug (California), Milo (China), and Daryl (Wyoming); grandsons Michael and James (Oregon) and Lance (Wyoming); her sister, Delores Juedeman; sisters-in-law Beverly Fairbanks, Bernadine Fairbanks, and Faye Manley (all of Montana), and Marjorie Henderson (Florida).

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Missouri River Medical Center who gave Bea such loving care and attention that she frequently reported “they spoil me rotten here.”

A private family memorial is planned for a later date.


1-21-15 Issue:

Jean Marie Jones Kimble

Jean Marie Jones Kimble passed from this world on Jan. 5, 2015. She was born in Havre on May 20, 1921, to Evan Henry and Hannah Jones.

After growing up in Havre and Loma, she graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1939 and then met the love of her life, Roy Francis Kimble. They were wed on the cusp of World War II, Aug. 4, 1941, in Great Falls. Roy and Jean farmed near Virgelle and Big Sandy, and were thrilled with the arrival of children, John in 1943 and Carol in 1945. Children were the pride and joy of Jean’s life; she was more proud of this achievement than any other. In 1957 they were once again blessed with the arrival of daughter, Stacey. Shortly, thereafter, they moved from farm life to Augusta, where they ran the Mannix General Store until moving to Helena in 1963.

Jean worked for the Montana Legislature and, at the age of 46, started a college education at Carroll College in Helena. She obtained her degree with honors in elementary education from Carroll in 1970. Jean taught fourth grade at Jefferson Elementary and fifth grade at Smith Elementary in Helena before retiring in 1985. Retirement brought no rest to Jean and Roy. They moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, and spent several years touring the desert southwest for golfing whenever and wherever they had the chance. They returned to Montana in 1988, this time to Missoula. Jean was active in the DAR in Montana and enjoyed family history research.

Her final years were spent in Bozeman at the Bozeman Lodge where she made many new friends including her best friend, Cleo Lund. These two “true women of the Wild West” had more fun and went more places in the last year and a half than many people do in a lifetime. Her family is grateful to employees and friends at the Bozeman Lodge for the last year and a half of Jean’s wonderful life.

She is survived by children John (Anne), Carol (Bob) and Stacey; four grandchildren Stan, Dawn, Roy and Taylor; eight great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Jean was preceded in death by husband, Roy, in 2009 and grandson, Wesley, in 1998.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bozeman.

Remembrances may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 301 Edelweiss Drive, Ste 6, Bozeman, MT 59718, or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.


Ellen Sophie Long

Ellen Sophie Long, 93, passed from the world surrounded by her loving family at her home in Fort Benton on Jan.15, 2015, one month before her 94th birthday.

Funeral services will be Saturday, January 24, at 11 a.m. at Fort Benton United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery.

Ellen was born in Wolf Point on February 12, 1921, to John and Ester (Pederson) Kjelgaard, their third of seven children. She grew up on the family farm South of Oswego, Montana, and attended Highland School, graduating from Wolf Point High School in 1940. She received a teaching certificate from Northern Montana College in 1943 and taught in rural schools in McCone County.

She married Clifford V Long on March 2, 1945, and to this marriage five children were born. She worked as a homemaker and as a postal carrier and clerk. Later Cliff and Ellen owned and operated Long’s Pay N Save in Frazer, Montana.

Ellen was active in her church families in Frazer, Nashua, and Fort Benton. She was a member of American Legion Auxiliary, Rebecca’s and ALCW.

She is survived by children, Janice K Fisher (Richard), Laura Y Aschim (Terry), Calvin J Long (Pamela), and Clifford W “Wally” Long (Shawna); daughter in law Terri Long, 11 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. Ellen is survived by sisters Marie Vaughn and Ruth Miller, sister-in-law Shirley Kjelgaard, and many nieces and nephews.

She enjoyed family camping trips, playing games, and quilting with her daughters and giving the quilts to each family member.

She is now safe in Jesus’ arms as she joins her son, Larry, and husband, Cliff, as well as her parents and siblings.

Memorials can be made to the Golden Age Center (Meals on Wheels), or the Fort Benton and Geraldine Methodist Churches.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Gyme Scribner

With Angels as his guide, Gyme Scribner, 77, of Geraldine went to heaven to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, January 17, 2015. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2 p.m. in Geraldine at the Methodist Church. Military services will follow.

Gyme Scribner was born on April 27, 1937 to Marion and Jack Scribner at the hospital in Fort Benton, Montana. His childhood was spent on the Scribner Ranch, the land that he loved. Here he developed a lifelong passion for airplanes and flying. He met his wife Carol Burns while at Montana State College in Bozeman. They were married in Geraldine on November, 25, 1956. To this marriage three children were born; Gyme Ray Jr. (Robyn) of Geraldine, Brigette (Russell) Clark of Geraldine, and Becky (Charley) Jennaway of Melstone, Montana.

Gyme spent time in the military and was extremely proud of his years served in Germany. He was the oldest man in his unit at the age of 26. Gyme farmed and ranched his whole life, loved the land and loved the life. Gyme loved his town and the people in it. He was a founding member on the Central Montana Rail board, served on the Equity Co-op board of directors, served on the Methodist Church board, was a member of the American Legion, and a 54-year member of the Masonic Pilgrim Lodge #102.

One of Gyme’s greatest sources of pride and pleasure were his grandchildren. He so enjoyed going to their activities and loved watching them grow. His grandchildren are Ryan (Amber) Clark and children Carter, Caden and Jaxton of Worland, Wyoming; Rory (Megan) Clark of Bakersfield, California; Rachel Clark of Great Falls, Montana; Beth (Aaron) Jones and son Bram of Geraldine, Shay Scribner of Missoula, Tory Scribner of Bozeman, and Jack Jennaway of Billings.

Gyme is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Marian, his brother Lennie, sister-in-law Patricia (Hardy) Scribner, and nephew Dirk Scribner.

Gyme is survived by his wife Carol, his three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandsons, and nieces Pamela Scribner and Lynn (Bryan) Ratacliff.

The family wishes to extend their love and gratitude to Missouri River Medical Center and the awesome staff for their love and care of Dad/Grandpa. We all received such love and care at Missouri River Medical Center. If you wish to make a memorial, please consider a contribution to the Chouteau County Hospital Foundation.


1-14-15 Issue:

Thelma J. Fultz

Thelma Jean Fultz, 88, of Fort Benton, passed away January 12, 2015.

Graveside Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 17, at Riverside Cemetery. Reception to follow at 2 p.m. at the Montana Agricultural Center, Fort Benton. Benton Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Thelma Jean Nelson was born in Wagin, Western Australia to George and Selina Nelson on May 10, 1926. She met her husband, Waden Coy Fultz, Jr., while he was serving in the US Navy and was stationed in Australia. As a “War Bride” she rode the bridal train across Australia and then boarded a ship with 300 other war brides for a three-week journey to the United States. Thelma was a homemaker and wonderful mother and grandmother. Her warm and friendly personality extended to her work at Scheffi’s Landmark Cafe and as a school cook for Fort Benton Schools.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, George and Selina Nelson; husband, Waden Coy Fultz, Jr.; son Robert Coy Fultz; two sisters Aileen Rapanick and Joyce Morgan; and a great grandson, Trey VanSickle.

Thelma is survived by her sister Elaine Guy of Australia; brother Geoff (Vi) Nelson of Australia; sons George (Lorrie) Fultz of Great Falls and Ted (Donita) Fultz of Fort Benton; daughters Lorraine Fultz of Fort Benton, Lynn (Roger) Cook of Fort Benton, and Lana (Bob) Claassen of Fort Benton, and daughter-in-law Linda Fultz of Roberts.

Thelma was extremely proud of her grandchildren: Angela (Paul) Nordstrom and children Parker and Alyson of Nashville, Tennessee; Christie Fultz of Chicago, Illinois; Stephanie Fultz and daughter Jayden of Nashville, Tennessee; Donelle (Mike) Kuntz and children Taylor and Tia of Great Falls; Joe Fultz and children Kohlten, Kayden, and Keyona of Butte; Sheila (Shane) Miller and son Bruco of Ramah, Colorado; Jamie Freeman and daughter Kamryn of Great Falls; Jessica (Craig) VanSickle and children, Mariah, Cael, Kylah, Mikaylah, and Cade of Kuna, Idaho; Eddie (Rheanna) Fultz of Salina, Kansas; Ernie Fultz of Fort Benton; Sharla Cook and son Bodie of Missoula; Shan Cook of Fort Benton; Shilo Cook of Billings; Trace Claassen of Fort Benton, Chance Claassen of Fort Benton, and Kinsey Claassen of Fort Benton.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the Missouri River Medical Center and their amazing staff for the love and support for “Miss Thelma.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Chouteau County Hospital Foundation or to the Fort Benton Fireworks Fund.


Mary Belle Hanberg

Mary Belle Hanberg, 92, passed away on Thursday, December 25, 2014, of natural causes at the Big Sandy Medical Center. Cremation has taken place, and a burial will be held at a later date. Mary’s family has requested that memorial donations be made in her name to the Big Sandy Library Fund, to the Dedman Foundation in Fort Benton, or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Please visit Mary’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for her family at www.hollandbonine.com.

Mary was born on August 16, 1922, in Havre to Earl and Grace (Smith) Booth. She spent her early childhood years in Havre, moving to the Bear Paws with her family in about 1930. Mary graduated from Box Elder High School in 1938, and married Laurence Craft. The couple’s union was blessed with two children, and they later divorced. Mary attended Northern Montana College, receiving a teaching certificate, and taught in the Bear Paws and at Guildford schools. In 1946, she married Lloyd Hanberg, and their union was blessed with one child. The couple made their home in Box Elder, and, beginning in 1951, Mary drove school bus until 1960, when her medical condition required her to retire. Lloyd passed away in 1963, and Mary remained in their home until 2005, when she entered the Big Sandy Medical Center.

Mary loved flower gardening, crocheting, reading and watching TV, especially Minute To Win It.

She is preceded in death by her husband Lloyd Hanberg; her sister Earline Haakensen; and her parents Earl and Grace Booth.

Mary is survived by her son Jerome (Rosanne) Hanberg of Camrose, Alberta, Canada; her daughters Anitra (Kenny) Willson of Neihart and Twila (Leon) Cline of Big Sandy; her 11 grandchildren; her several great-grandchildren; her many great-great-grandchildren; her nephew Fred Haakensen of Plainview, Texas; and her niece Ruda Marshall of Helena.


1-7-15 Issue:

No obituaries this week


12-31-14 Issue:

Roger Spencer Smith

Roger Spencer Smith, who oversaw intellectual property rights for IBM at a time when “Big Blue” was the preeminent technology company in the world, passed away while at home on Wednesday, December 10, 2014. He was 84.

Roger was born in Butte, Montana on October 10, 1930, in the midst of the Great Depression. He was the second of four children born to Lois (nee Spencer) and Burtt Russell Smith, then an accountant for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Roger’s maternal grandfather was a liberal, nationally syndicated political cartoonist descended from Quakers; his paternal grandfather was an ultraconservative, teetotaling Methodist carpenter descended from Loyalists in the Revolutionary War. The two strains combined in Roger to form a man of even temperament - conservative but tolerant, strong in his convictions but sensitive to the feelings of others, careful with his money but generous to those he loved.

The family moved to Spokane, Washington in 1934, where his father found work at the Federal Land Bank. Roger left Spokane to study electrical engineering at Montana State College in Bozeman, Montana, where he joined the fraternity Sigma Chi, made fast friends and generally had a good time – the dean of the engineering school famously rang him late one morning to get him out of bed.

While in Bozeman, he met his first wife, Patricia Ann (Stewart) Smith, the daughter of Morris B. Stewart, who homesteaded north of Carter, Montana, founding the Stewart Ranch. The couple were married at the old Methodist Church in Fort Benton in 1952 and moved back to Spokane the following year, where Roger finished his undergraduate studies at Gonzaga University. He graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and went on to Gonzaga Law School where he finished his J.D. in 1958. Roger joined IBM after law school and moved his young family to Poughkeepsie, New York, starting a career in which he moved around the country with the company until his retirement in 1994 as Assistant General Counsel in charge of worldwide patent operations.

Roger’s first marriage ended in divorce and he married his second wife, G. Angelika (Strobl) Smith, in 1989.

After IBM, Roger became a member of the law firm Morgan and Finnegan in New York City for five years. He was a member of the New York, Washington and Colorado bars. He was active in the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association, serving as president of each organization from 1993-1994 and 1996-1997, respectively. In retirement, he remained active in the profession, acting as an expert witness in many high-profile intellectual property cases.

He is survived by Angelika, his wife and soul mate of 29 years, a step-son, Peer, three sons from his first marriage, Todd, Craig and Mark, one brother, Jerry, and a sister, Linda. He delighted in the seven grandchildren he leaves behind: Sarah, Pierce, Sky, True, Anja, Nadia and Johanna.

A celebration of Roger’s life will be held on February 6th from 4 to 8 pm at the University Park Country Club in University Park, Florida. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Kathy Sue (Allen) Gallagher

Kathy Sue (Allen) Gallagher, 59, of Las Vegas, Nevada, formerly of Fort Benton, died December 19, 2014 of cancer.

Kathy was born January 10, 1955, in Fort Benton, Montana, to Lloyd and Beverlee (Bramlette) Allen. She graduated from FBHS in 1973. She attended Northwest Christian College for a semester. She later graduated from Dental Tech School.

Kathy had two children, Eric Holleran and Candace Friesen.

On November 17, 1990, Kathy married the love of her life, Bob Gallagher. Kathy worked for Northern School Supply and then for Verizon. In 2003 they moved to Las Vegas. Kathy worked there with Verizon for a time and then for Hallmark Cards until her death.

Kathy is survived by her husband Bob of Las Vegas; son Eric and daughter Candace of Las Vegas; son Michael Gallagher of West Virginia; son Jeremy (Kory) Gallagher of Kalispell; daughter Jennifer (Jon) Stratton of Havre, parents Lloyd and Deanna Allen of Dayton, Montana, brothers Rick (Brenda) Morris, Kem (Gail) Allen, and Terry (Roxie) Allen, all of Fort Benton; sisters Caroline (Jim) Taylor of Great Falls, Anita (Rick) Nowaski of Lakeside, Montana, and Kristin Allen of Havre, 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

She was proceeded in death by her mother Beverlee, nephew Mark Allen, niece Kelsey Morris and grandparents.

Cremation has taken place and burial of ashes will be in May in Fort Benton, Montana.


Ellen Ames Bronec

Ellen Ames Bronec passed away December 20, 2014, at the age of 91 at the Missouri River Medical Center of natural causes. She was born March 3, 1923.

She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Francis E. Bronec. They were married June 29, 1946, in Fort Benton. Ellen was preceded in death by three sons, Joseph, Paul and Vince. She is survived by her children: Marie (Dave), Chuck (Jeanne), Larry (Fran), Bob (Becky), Bernice, Dorothy (Bernie), Ed (Susan), Pat (Margie), Claude (Nita), and Alan (Nicki). Ellen also has 26 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.

Ellen’s faith sustained her throughout her life. It was not always an easy life, but she had the will and faith in God that things would work out.

Both of her parents came to this area to homestead. Then they met and got married. She told stories of looking for cow chips for fuel to heat their farm house. The depression years were not fun when you did not have money to even buy new shoelaces. She is from a line of “can do” people. They figure out with hard work how to make the impossible possible. The homestead farm just recently celebrated 100 years of being owned by the same family.

She loved to work outside. She had a huge garden, and best of all, she loved her John Deere tractor. She took it with good humor when in the spring she got it stuck and her sons teased her. Cooking, on the other hand, she was not crazy about.

Ellen spent many years researching the family tree before it was so easy with ancestry.com. She taught herself to use a computer to record all of her material. She and her cousin Margaret traveled many states to find the clues for the family history.

A vigil was held Monday, December 22, at 7 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception church in Fort Benton. The funeral mass was Tuesday, December 23, at 1 p.m. at St Margaret’s parish in Geraldine.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.


Ilene LaVonne Gummer

Ilene LaVonne Morrow Gummer, of Billings, passed away peacefully on Dec. 24, 2014 at the age of 65. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Jay Gummer (68 years old). They celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary last July. She is also survived by her children, grandchild, and siblings: Thomas Brock Gummer (son) of Boise, Idaho; Beth Famiglietti Gummer (daughter-in-law); Krystie Gummer Nelson (daughter) of Billings, Montana; Ryan Nelson (son-in -law); Tanner Thomas Nelson (grandson); Bonnie Jo Cook (sister) of Fort Benton; Mike Morrow (brother) of Belgrade; and Janice Pedersen (sister) of Bainbridge Island, Wash. Ilene was preceded in death by her mother (Dee Morrow) and father (Ken Morrow) both of Fort Benton.

Ilene was born in Fort Benton on May 30, 1949. She graduated from Eastern Montana College (EMC) in Billings, in 1971, with a Bachelor of Science in Education.

Ilene was married to Thomas Jay Gummer (of Chester, Montana) in July, 1972. They were married in Fort Benton. Tom and Ilene renewed their wedding vows during their 25 anniversary in front of family and many close friends. Ilene was a librarian and teacher in Chester for nearly 15 years. Ilene worked at the Hutterite colonies as a rural librarian for many years. She also worked as a clerk at Westhill Pharmacy in Chester, and other businesses in Chester and Billings.

Ilene was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She loved her family immensely. She always enjoyed being around her grandson Tanner; they shared a special bond.

Ilene was actively involved in the United Methodist Church in Chester. Ilene and family were on the Gummer farm in Chester for 26 years. Ilene enjoyed gardening, cooking and baking, particularly during the Holidays; sewing for her family, music, photography, framing/scrapbooking photos, and capturing memories through the written word and the camera at every possible opportunity. Ilene also enjoyed attending her kids sporting events and hosting gatherings for her kids and all their friends.

Visitation was held from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29, at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings. Funeral services for Ilene were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, at Cremation and Funeral Gallery. Interment followed at Mountview Cemetery in Billings (1704 Central Avenue). A reception followed the burial at the Cremation and Funeral Gallery.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Ilene was so very vibrant and loving. She will be missed but never forgotten.


Marvin Eldridge

Rev. Marvin Eldridge of Fort Benton graduated from this life on December 13, 2014. He has joined his wife, Betty Jo, in the presence of Jesus.

Marvin was born September 13, 1932, in Arlee, Montana, to Bert and Nettie Eldridge. He grew up on the family farm and loved playing sports.

On May 19, 1950, Marvin married Betty Jo Lemmon. Their union produced four children, Marvia (Rick) Johnson of Fort Benton, Keith (Loretta) Eldridge of Havre, Ronda (Bud) Childers of Midland, Texas, and Jeani (Martin) Shea of Somers.

The Lord called Marvin and Betty Jo into the ministry and they pastored churches in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The early years of ministry were with the Assemblies of God, and the later years were with the United Methodist Church.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Nettie Eldridge; brothers, Bill, George, Pete, Dunk, Eugene, John, Thomas, Roy and Earl; sisters, Mabel, Rene and Marge; and his beloved wife Betty Jo.

He is survived by his four children, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and brother Norman (Bunk) Eldridge.

A celebration of life service will be Saturday, January 3, at 11 a.m. in the Community Bible Church Fellowship Hall in Fort Benton.

The family has requested that all attendees wear sports attire.


12-24-14 Issue:

Marvin Eldridge (partial)

Marvin Eldridge, 82, died Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 of natural causes. He was born Sept. 13, 1932.

A service has been planned for Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at noon at the Community Bible Center in Fort Benton. A full obituary will follow in next week’s River Press.


12-17-14 Issue:

Gary Johnson


12-10-14 Issue:

Betty Roark

Betty was born on the family farm close to Virgelle, Montana, to Floyd and Lila Boice Terry, the eighth of 11 children. She attended a country school through the eighth grade, and then boarded in Fort Benton to graduate from high school in 1946. She married Leonard Roark in Fort Benton on June 29, 1946.

She is survived by her husband Leonard and her six children: Fay (Ken) Tomayer of Galata, MT, Terry (Paul) Walston of Meridian, ID, Jack (Susan) Roark of Kalispell, MT, Frank (Betsy) Roark of Boca Raton, FL, and DeeAnn (Tom) Coffman and Chuck (Shanee) Roark both of Great Falls, MT. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

She worked as a bookkeeper for many years and through the years they traveled through most of the states, Canada, Mexico, and England. After retirement, they spent several winters in Arizona. In 2012, Betty and Leonard moved from Sunburst, Montana, to Meridian, Idaho, near their daughter, Terry.

Betty passed away in Meridian on December 3, 2014, with her family by her side. Burial and memorial services will be held at a later date in Montana.


Gary Johnson

Gary Warren Johnson, 76, peacefully passed away on December 4, 2014, at Missouri River Medical  Center after a long battle with cancer. He was born on June 8, 1938 in Salida, Colorado.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Byron and Pauline Johnson. Gary is survived by his five children, Tami, Jim, Debbi, Cindy, and Dean; his 18 grandchildren; his two brothers Ed and Bill, and many good friends. 

Gary served his country in the U.S. Navy for four years from 1955-1959. He lived in Salinas, California from 1969 – 1974, and then brought his family to Loma, Montana.  He worked as a mechanic and owned and operated Johnson’s Repair in Loma. He later moved to Geraldine in 1995, where he resided. Gary loved his dog, Freckles, camping, fishing and hunting. He will be granted his last wish of camping with his friends in June.

Gary was always there to lend a hand and asked nothing in return. He was a fun, witty, never know what is up his sleeve kind of guy. He will be missed by many.

His children want to extend a heartfelt thank you to his friends that were there when we could not be.

Memorial services will be held in June at the Geraldine Cemetery with full military honors.

A celebration of life will be held at Rusty’s. We will have more information about the service closer to June.

Cremation was taken care of by Benton Funeral Home.


Mariam Homquist

Mariam Ella Holmquist, 92, of Doland, South Dakota  passed away Thursday, December 4, 2014, at Community Memorial Hospital in Redfield.

Her funeral will be Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at Thelen Funeral Home in Redfield.  Burial will be in the Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery near Doland.

Visitation will be Friday, from 5-7:00 p.m. at Thelen Funeral Home.  www.thelenfuneralhome.com

Mariam was born August 20, 1922, to Edward and Ella (Fearber) Newhall at Fort Benton, Montana.  She grew up on their homestead ranch north of Loma, Montana. She graduated from Fort Benton High School, then received her associate’s degree at Wessington Springs College and her bachelor’s degree at Seattle Pacific College.

She married Burton Holmquist on June 27, 1945. Seven children were born to them, four girls and three boys. They lived 14 years on the Newhall Ranch. In 1963 they moved to Tulare, South Dakota.

After Burton’s death Mariam moved to Redfield. There she worked for many years as a volunteer at the Tri County Good Samaritan Center. She enjoyed reading biographies and doing word puzzles. A founding member of the Redfield Baptist Church, she taught Sunday School classes.

Mariam lived a quiet, prayerful and godly life as a witness for Christ. She prayed faithfully for others. Her desire was that all the members of her family would know and love God.

Her most important role was that of a loving homemaker for her husband, children and grandchildren which gave her much joy. She will be remembered as a beloved mother and grandmother, and a dear friend.

Mariam is survived by her children, Mary (Gary) Stutte, Ralph (Elaine) Holmquist, Ruth (Dale) Waterman, Margaret (Darch) Clampitt, John (Deanna) Holmquist, Jim Holmquist, Jane Fernandez; twenty one grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

She has been preceded in death by her husband Burton Holmquist and grandson Keith Waterman.

“A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise . . .“ Proverbs 31: 30-31 NIV


12-3-14 Issue:

Robert Cartwright

Robert Cartwright, 86, of Geraldine, Montana, passed away at Peace Hospice November 25, 2014, following a stay at the Grandview Cottage. Services for Bob will be held Saturday, December 6, at 11 a.m. at the Geraldine United Methodist Church, with burial to follow at the Geraldine Cemetery.

Robert Bertrand Cartwright was the third son born to Ernest and Willadean (Nulf) Cartwright March 11, 1928. Bob attended school in Geraldine. During his senior year he quit school and joined the Army, promising Grandma Sarah he would return to finish school. Bob graduated from high school in 1949.

Bob married Henrietta Ludtke March 18, 1950. To this union a daughter, Marlene, and two sons, Rodney and Benny, were born.

Bob attended barber school in Spokane and cut hair as a pastime. Together Bob and Henrietta ran Cartwright Flying Service, Custom Cutting, and were in partnership with Buster Ness in the ADI anhydrous application business. During several winters Bob and Henrietta ran Cliff’s Bar. Bob was also a substitute mail carrier, filling in for his Grandpa Nulf and Fred Brandel. In 1966 they purchased the Lee Cartwright place and continued farming and ranching until it was sold in 1980.

Bob was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Elks, and Moose Lodge, and a member of the Geraldine Methodist Church.

Henrietta passed away in 1984. Bob became reacquainted with longtime family friend Rhoene Manley. They had many happy years of travel and family events together.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Henrietta; parents, Ernest Cartwright and Willadean Talvi; brother, Raymond; sister, Ramona (Joyce) Harvey; and step brother, Bob Lasher.

Bob is survived by daughter, Marlene (Richard) Protsman; sons, Rodney and Benny, all of Geraldine; grandchildren, Toni (Jason) Huffard; Kari (Steve) Thurston, Joe Cartwright and Bryan (Erin) Cartwright; great grandchildren, Stephen, Mikayla and Mackenzie Thurston, Dylan and Cole Hufford, Aliyah, Bryce, and Daerious Cartwright; brother, Wayne (Dorla) Cartwright; sister, Nadean (Winton) Rollins; half brother, Vic Talvi; step sisters, Lucille Wethern, Shirley Pitcher, and Montana Damon; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials are suggested to the Geraldine United Methodist Church or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Condolences to the family may be shared at: www.croxfordfuneralhome.com.


11-26-14 Issue:

Russell Lee Danreuther

Russell Lee Danreuther, 60, of Big Sandy, died Wednesday, November 19 at home, surrounded by his loving family, after a hard fought battle with melanoma cancer.

A celebration of his FULL THROTTLE, NO REGRETS LIFE will be held at the Big Sandy High School gymnasium November 29 at 1 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to wear red.

Rusty was born July 3, 1954, in Fort Benton, Montana to Charles and Janet Danreuther. He was raised on the family farm and attended Midway Country School until the fourth grade. He finished his schooling in Big Sandy, graduating in 1973. While in high school years he was active in football, basketball, track and choir; including Sandy 16 and Men’s Quartet. Rusty was an accomplished athlete; having a highly competitive, yet extremely humble nature. Rusty married his high school sweetheart Nona Bitz on September 9, 1973. After attending college for a year they started farming northwest of Big Sandy and remained there for the next 41 years. They were blessed with two children, Joshua and Kristin.

Rusty loved life and people, and truly lived it to the fullest. He gave love and kindness throughout his life to everyone around him. Rusty shared his many talents by helping anyone in need, and encouraged young people to sing and play instruments. Rusty enjoyed farming, but God and his family was above all.

His many hobbies included flying his Super Cub, motorcycles, fast cars, snowmobiles, hunting, guns, Cowboy action shooting, fishing, canoeing, waterskiing, snow skiing, bowling, watching sporting events (especially track), photography, music, and the list goes on.

Rusty started playing the bass and singing at the Church of God in 1975, and never looked back - weddings, funerals, leading worship music, wedding dances, homecoming programs, county fairs and playing in six different bands, plus announcing at sports events around the area. Playing music and singing were always a constant in his life, and he touched the hearts of many through his music.

Rusty always had a smile and time for everyone, and his fun loving nature will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and community. Thank God for a guy like Rusty, as we all have been blessed to have had him in our lives.

Rusty is survived by his loving wife Nona, mother Janet Danreuther, children Joshua Danreuther, Kristin (Brandon) Gasvoda, and grandchildren, Shelby, Bailey, Rusty, Amy, and Mattie Gasvoda; siblings, Dan (Sparky) Danreuther, Rachel (Alan) Weaver, Keith (Patti Jo) Danreuther, Carol (Dennis) Bahnmiller, and Calvin (Michelle) Danreuther, and many wonderful nieces, and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father Charles Danreuther. Memorials may be made to Big Sandy Medical Center, Chouteau County Hospice, Chouteau County Cancer Support Group, Big Sandy High School, or one’s choice.

We close with his favorite verse- “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is in me, bless His holy name.” - Psalm 103:1


Verna Sullivan

Verna C. (Drewiske) Sullivan, 93, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 23, 2014, with her family by her side. A vigil of her family by her side took turns around the clock.

Visitation will be Sunday, November 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Benton Funeral Home.

Rosary services will be held Sunday, November 30, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1223 16th Street, Fort Benton, at 7 p.m. Funeral mass will be held Monday, December 1, at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery. A luncheon at the church will follow the burial.

Verna was born December 13, 1920, to John and Cecelia (Kaiver) Drewiske in Great Falls. She married James W. Sullivan on April 26, 1940. To them were born seven children, four girls and three boys. She was very active in the Fort Benton community. She was a member of the Catholic Church, and the Senior Citizen Center, and was a volunteer and member of many clubs. Verna loved being an Avon Lady for 45 years. She loved dancing and playing any kind of cards. She would play cards at “the drop of a hat.”

Survivors include her daughters, Connie (Ben) Ellington of Great Falls, JoAnn (Harley) Doyle of Vaughn, Kathy (Arvid) Galbavy of Missoula, and Julie (Ike) Cook of Fort Benton; son, Mark Sullivan of Fort Benton; daughters-in-law, Carol Sullivan of West Richland, Wash., and Deenie Sullivan of Great Falls; brother-in-law, Lyle McKeever of Loma; 19 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and five great great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband; sons, Jim Jr. and Ron; parents; brothers, John and Tony; and sisters, Jeannie, Tess, and Mary.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Fort Benton Memorial Ambulance or the donor’s choice.

Condolences can be made at www.misermortuaries.com.


Linda Bolzey

Word was received here of the death of Linda Bolzey of Rathdrum, Idaho, on Nov. 16 from cancer. Linda was the oldest daughter of John Ehnes and the late Harriette Ray. She graduated from high school in Simms, Montana.

She is survived by her husband Jack Bolzey of Rathdrum, four children, Angie, Amy, Dustin and Tony, numerous grandchildren and a great grandchild, sister Mary, Loretta and Jeannie, aunts Barbara Hankins of Fort Benton, Betty Bowman of Highwood, Marge Walker of Great Falls, Mariette Moore of Anchorage, uncles Don Lehman, Don, Vic, and Ray Ehnes of Great Falls, and many cousins.

Before Linda got sick, she was a bus driver for the Rathdrum school district.

She would have been 64 years old on Nov. 21. Linda will be sadly missed by her family and friends.


11-19-14 Issue:

Emily Ann Baldik Brown

Emily Ann Baldik Brown was born February 27, 1919 to Frank and Mary Petr Baldik at Iliad, Montana. She passed away on November 3, 2014 at the age of 95. Emily was the last remaining member of that generation of the Baldik family.

Emily had a very long life and saw many changes throughout those years. She loved riding horseback with her brothers and rode to the Iliad school in all kinds of weather. Emily graduated from eighth grade at the Iliad School. She was quite independent and self-sufficient. The first car she owned was a 1947 Olds two-door sloped back sedanette.

Emily married Clyde Webster June 11, 1932. Clyde was a professor at University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana. They divorced in 1936 and Emily moved with her son, Clyde, to Havre, Montana.

Emily worked hard all her life, beginning as a child with chores at home, then working for neighbors for room and board, and later, the Deaconess Hospital for five years, the Great Northern Railroad for 13 years, and finally as a ranch wife.

Emily talked with pride of the years she worked at the Deaconess Hospital in Havre and later the Great Northern Railroad. She mentioned many times the kindness everyone showed her during her many years of employment. Emily worked at the Deaconess Hospital from 1936 to 1941. She had a great deal of respect and admiration for Dr. Houtz at the Deaconess. She spoke of how wonderful Dr. Houtz was, for his having saved her legs after they became frozen in a snow storm while travelling with her brother Frank. Emily worked on the Great Northern Railroad as a depot agent from 1942 to 1955, transferring from Coffee Creek to Vaughn to Moccasin and finally to Big Sandy.

Emily married Walter L. Brown on June 1, 1955. They were married 45 years before Walter passed away in May 2000. Emily continued to work at the railroad for a few months after their marriage, then began the full-time job of being a ranch wife out Southeast at Eskay, Montana. Emily always had a big garden with many trees, flowers and vegetables. She raised chickens to provide eggs and the occasional chicken and dumplings for the family. Mom loved animals. She even had a few angora goats for a while, but that ended abruptly one day when the billy with big horns cornered her for hours in the yard, until Dad came home from the field and rescued her. That was the end of the goat raising! Emily had geese, too, and certain cows, dogs and cats that were her favorites.

Emily was an excellent cook and no one ever left the table hungry! It seems she was always cooking or cleaning up and starting the next meal. During the summer whenever we were working out riding or farming, she brought hot meals to us. Very few times did we ever have to eat cold sandwiches!

Over the years, there were so many things that Emily enjoyed. One was walking around looking for arrowheads. I don’t think she found many, but enjoyed looking for them.

Emily loved participating and volunteering at the Chouteau County Fair. She always had baked goods, flower arrangements and vegetable entries and donated her time at the 4-H booth and the Rebekah bingo booth.

Emily was a very loyal member of the Methodist Church of Big Sandy. She enjoyed participating in sunrise services at Easter, potlucks and the many functions associated with the Methodist Church. She cherished the friendships of the members there.

Emily loved to be in involved in the community. She sold poppies for the VFW Buddy Poppy program and delivered CowBelle beef certificates to grade school kids each year. She was a long time member of the VFW, NorthCentral Montana CowBelles (President in 1979), Historical Society, Hopp-Iliad Extension Club and the Rebekahs.

Emily was creative. In 1964, she had a great time dressing the whole family up for the Montana centennial celebration. Dad grew a beard and Mom did such a great job dressing us in Civil war-era clothing that we won the first place award. One time she dressed up for Halloween as an old colored women and no one recognized her, not even Dad.

Emily spent the last five years (since March 12, 2009) of her life residing at the Big Sandy Medical Center. The staff’s kind, loving and expert care resulted in Mom’s final years being pleasant, worry-free and safe.

She was preceded in death by both parents, her stepfather, George Fry, brothers Frank and George Baldik , half-sister, Martha and husband, Walter.

She is survived by her children, Clyde Webster (Dianna), Leta Clark (Mac),William Brown (Renita), grandchildren Sheila Duncan, Pam West, Marcia Webster-Davis, Brenda Webster, Shawn Webster, Jeff Herzog, Brianna Clark, Ian Clark, Megan Brown, Chelsea Brown, Weston Brown, great grandchildren Suzie, Samantha, Karin, Sheena, Sterling and great-great grandchildren Lyndee, Trygvee, Charlee, Grace and George.

Services will be at the Big Sandy United Methodist Church, November 8, 2014 at 2 p.m. Donations may be sent to the Walter L. Brown Memorial Fund or the charity of your choice. Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements. Please visit Emily’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for her family at www.hollandbonine.com.


11-12-14 Issue:

Lorene A. Stranahan

Lorene Alice Stranahan of Fort Benton, Montana, died at the age of 91 of COPD, November 1, 2014 at Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton. Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fort Benton, on Friday November 14, 2014 at 1 p.m.

Lorene was born September 13, 1923, at St. Clare Hospital in Fort Benton to Clinton G. and Marie Schultz Stranahan. She grew up on the Stranahan ranch on the Teton River until 1938, when the family moved to the River Ranch on the Missouri. She attended Fort Benton Schools and in 1941 graduated from Fort Benton High School, then attended Montana State College at Bozeman from 1941 to 1943, at which time she was married to Arthur C. Parsons Jr. of Helena, who was at that time serving in the U.S. Army.

To this union four children were born, Michael, Judith, Jeanne and Carol. Lorene and Art divorced in 1971. Judith died of cancer November 1, 2007.

At the close of WWII Art finished his degree in electrical engineering, was then employed by General Electric and the family moved to Schenectady New York. In 1955 the company relocated them to California, where Art was employed in the San Francisco office and the family lived in San Rafael, the children growing up there.

In 1957 Lorene resumed her education, attending the College of Marin in Kentfield and the University of California in Berkeley, from which she graduated in 1964 with a degree in microbiology. After an internship in medical technology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco, she received her certificate and licenses and was employed at UCSF until her retirement in 1984. She then purchased a home in Fort Benton and returned to be near her parents.

She was a life member of both Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and the Order of Eastern Star, where she served two terms as Worth Matron in Bethany Chapter #42 in Fort Benton. Many years of service for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls earned her the Grand Cross of Colors. A lifelong Democrat, she served in various capacities in the state and local party organizations; she also played trumpet in the Fort Benton Community Band for a number of years.

She was an avid reader, writer and crossword-puzzler, calling herself a ‘wordsmith’ and claiming the study and use of words as her passion.

She is survived by her children, Michael C. Parsons of Auburn, California, Jeanne McKevitt (David) of Sheridan, Oregon, Carol Blanchard (Bob) of Fort Benton and son-in-law Jeffrey Struthers of Orcas Island, Washington; grandchildren, Geoffrey Blanchard (Rose Goldhahn) of Shonkin, Dan Blanchard (DarCi Hooper) of Fort Benton, Elizabeth Perez (Tomas) of Minnesota and Melinda McKevitt of Sheridan, Oregon; and two great grandsons, Sebastian and Gabriel Perez of Minnesota.

She was preceded in death by her daughter Judith Struthers, her sister Anne Shaw, her ex-husband Art, her parents and several cousins.

Lorene was a faithful supporter of the Dedman Animal Shelter and the Chouteau County Food Bank. Memorials may be made to those organizations or a charity of the donor’s choice.


Ross L. “Jack” Smith

Ross L. “Jack” Smith, 78, of Geraldine passed away Sunday, November 9, 2014 in Fort Benton.

A memorial service will be held Friday, November 14, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Geraldine United Methodist Church. Arrangements have been entrusted to O’Connor Funeral Home.

Jack was born on January 12, 1936, to William Alfred and Ida Amy Durst Smith in Bridge Creek Township, Wisconsin. He grew up on a small farm near Augusta, Wisconsin. He married Shirley N. Warner on June 5, 1954 in Wabasha, Minnesota. In 1958, Jack and Shirley and their two daughters moved from Wisconsin to Havre, Montana. The family grew with the addition of a boy and a girl. Jack worked in the dairy business and ranching throughout his life, completing his career at the Meissner ranch in Square Butte. While at the Square Butte ranch, Jack became a deputy brand inspector and served in that capacity until 2010. He retired from ranch work in 1999.

He was a true cowboy and loved the land, livestock and especially his family. Jack and Shirley moved to Geraldine after retiring from ranching. Jack served on the town council of Geraldine and then as mayor from 2009 until he resigned due to failing health in 2013. In addition to being a very hands-on mayor and involved in many city projects, Jack was active in the Geraldine Senior Citizens and was honored as senior of the year in 2009. He attended the Community Methodist Church and served on the administrative board and the board of trustees.

Jack is survived by Shirley, his wife of 60 years; daughters Nita Grendal of Topeka, Kansas, Melodie Karlson of Copenhagen, Denmark, Sherri Diemert (James) of Helena, Montana; son J. Ben Smith (Kathy) of Great Falls; grandchildren Jeff Zeiler (Janell) of Kansas, Safra Martinussen (Mikkel) of Denmark, Lindsay Sykes (Josh) of Pennsylvania, Tyler Smith (Kelly) of New York, Josh Herman of Rudyard, Trace Herman of Sidney, Carly Lilley (Samuel) of Arizona, and Joelle Herman of Helena; step-grandchildren Lauren Midkiff (Jon), Lindsay Musselwhite (Tony) and Jordan Diemert, all of Washington; eight great-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by grandchildren of the heart: Colton and Jordan Swanson; and Makae, Coya, Cassie and Kylynn Nack.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings (six brothers and two sisters) and an infant son, Jon Benton Smith.

Memorial donations are suggested to the Geraldine Senior Center or the Geraldine United Methodist Church.


Bob Danbrook

Bob Danbrook, 70, formerly of Geraldine, died of natural causes on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Bob was born June 1, 1944, in Shelby to Stanley and Lillian Danbrook. As a youth, he participated in rodeos. He won the Montana State High School Championship in bull riding. Later he qualified twice for the High School National Finals in bull riding and saddle bronc. As an Army veteran, he received his Honorable Discharge at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Bob worked for the Civil Service in Colorado, the State Highway Department, and attended Arapaho Junior College at Littleton, Colorado. He was married to Gail Silcott and their home was in Franktown, Colorado.

Before retiring, Bob returned to Montana and worked on the family farm in Geraldine. He worked several years as a security guard for the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls.

Survivors include his brother, Floyd (Helen) and nephews, Troy and Lloyd (Jolene), all of Geraldine; great nephews, Zac, Chais, and Jake; and great nieces, Bailey and Kylie.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

No services are planned as per Bob’s request.


11-5-14 Issue:

Joe Bramlette

Joe Bramlette, 48, died from injuries received in an automobile accident Oct. 20, 2014, near Belt.

Services were Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fort Benton, with graveside services at Riverside Cemetery. A lunch was served at the Club House afterwards. Benton Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Joe was born May 6, 1966, to Denny Bramlette and Joei Bramlette Peters. He was raised by Joei and Scottie Peters. He graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1984. His early years were spent at the race track, where he learned to chew – and never quit. Joe participated in wrestling, football, skipping classes and partying.

After high school he followed custom harvesting and worked as a farm hand and in construction. He worked in North Dakota oil fields and soon purchased his truck. He was a bull hauler and loved it.

He loved children, mainly because he never grew up. His pride was Tori and the Bummy kids.

He was preceded in death by father Denny, mother Joei, and sister DeNette. He is survived by Scottie Peters, and Pat; brother DJ, and Kami; sister Pete, and Jerry; sister Bonnie, and Ron; Uncle Jim, Uncle John, Aunt Sandy, Niece Tori Jo; best friend Dean and Chandee and kids; Debi Bramlette, Bob Lasher, and all the little kids he ever met.

Memorial contributions can go to the Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home, PO Box 1061, Great Falls, MT 59403, in Joe’s name.


Lorene A. Stranahan

Lorene Alice Stranahan of Fort Benton died at the age of 91 on November 1, 2014, at the Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton. Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Friday, November 14, at 1 p.m. There will be a full obituary in next week’s paper.


10-29-14 Issue:

Robert “Bob” Place

Robert “Bob” Place, 87, of Great Falls, passed away on Monday, October 20, 2014, from natural causes at Benefis Grandview of Great Falls.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, October 25, at 3 p.m. at O’Connor Memorial Chapel. Arrangements are entrusted to O’Connor Funeral Home.

Robert was born August 22, 1927, in New England, North Dakota, and was raised in the Amadon, North Dakota area. He went to high school in Bowman until he quit and joined the Navy at 17 years of age. After returning from the war he went to New York and worked as a foreman for the Ridin High Dude Ranch.

In 1947 he was checking out the Lewistown, Montana, area and was told about the PN Ranch. He returned with his granddad, A.M. Scoville, and purchased it in 1948. Bob went to auctioneering school in 1962. He used his auctioneering to run a business, support nonprofit organization events, entertain all the grandchildren, and anyone who would listen to him. Auctioneering was his singing.

He was an area manager for the Conklin Company and used their product to roof for many years. He loved direct sales, leather work, and everything to do with horses. Most of all, he loved being a cowboy!

Bob married Gene Harrison (his Genie Marie) December 17, 1950, in Columbus, Montana, and they were married 64 years. Six children were born to them: Randy, Terry, Pamela, Gail, Julie, and Matthew. He has 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

To share condolences with the family, please visit OConnorFuneralHome.com.


Robert Lewis Vernon

Robert Lewis Vernon, 87, of Highwood, passed away on Monday, October 27, 2014.

A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, at the Bar S Supper Club. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Schnider Funeral Home.

Robert was born on August 17, 1927, in Great Falls, Montana to Mildred (Lawson) and James Vernon, Sr. He loved his country and entered the U.S. Navy in May of 1945, serving during WWII, Korea and Vietnam wars. He was an aviation machinist mate and Master Chief Petty Officer. Robert was stationed mainly in the Miramar, California, naval station until his retirement in 1975 after 30 years of service. After retirement he became a part-time farmer on a very small scale.

Robert married Rena Katherine Turner in February of 1961. In 1975, the family moved to Highwood, Montana. Rena passed away in October 2003.

Robert’s mechanical skills enabled him to fix anything. He was a junk collector and jack of all trades and a master of none. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post 1087.

Robert is survived by his son, Stacy (Terri) Vernon of Highwood; brother Jack (Carol) Vernon of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and two grandchildren, Ryan J. and Reece L. Vernon.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Rena; sister Alice Vernon; and brother, James Vernon.


10-22-14 Issue:

Harlan Hacker

Harlan Hacker, 83, of Fort Benton, passed away Thursday, October 16, 2014, at Missouri River Medical Center.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 22, at 2 p.m. at Community Bible Church. Burial with military honors will follow in Riverside Cemetery.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Joe Bramlette

Funeral mass for Joe Bramlette, of Loma, will be Saturday, October 25, at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fort Benton.

A full obituary will be in next week’s edition. Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


10-15-14 Issue:

No obituaries this week


10-8-14 Issue:

Paul Leonard Trevithick

Paul Leonard Trevithick, 58, of Ham Lake, Minnesota, returned to his heavenly home on October 1, 2014, following a sudden illness.

Paul was born May 5, 1956, to James and Alice Trevithick, formerly of Geraldine. He chose to live for God as a child and continued faithfully until his passing.

On January 20, 1978, Paul married Melody Kay Newhouse from Cache, Oklahoma. Together they raised three children in Montana, Colorado and Idaho. Paul and Melody then relocated to Minnesota, where they resided until his passing.

Paul was a mechanic for many years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University-Bozeman in 1996. Paul then achieved his master’s degree and most recently worked in the medical industry until his passing. He was an excellent problem solver who enjoyed the challenge of difficult projects at work and around the home. He especially enjoyed his grandchildren.

Paul is survived by his wife Melody, and children; Amanda, Sedric (Char) and Damon; his beloved grandchildren: Levi, Emily, Merryn and Corbin; his parents James and Alice; his siblings, Marie (Dale), Anita, Mary (Paul), Joyce, Ken (Beke), and Lola. He is also survived by twelve nieces and nephews, many aunts, uncles, cousins and a multitude of friends.

He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.

Funeral services will be held at the Gateway Center (1710 National Avenue) in Helena, Montana on Friday, October 10, at 10:30 am. Burial and a potluck luncheon will immediately follow the services. The Anderson Wilke Stevenson Funeral Home (3750 N Montana) will be handling arrangements.