Local Obituaries

 

9-17-14 Issue:

No obituaries this week


9-10-14 Issue:

No obituaries this week


9-3-14 Issue:

Frances Starr Todd

Frances Starr Todd, a teacher and philanthropist, died at her home in Far Hills, New Jersey, on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Born May 28, 1941, to Louis and Abbey Starr, Fay graduated from Foxcroft School and Columbia University. An artist and opera devotee, she was committed to many community and cultural organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Lamington Presbyterian Church, the Lower East Side Girls Club, Poets and Writers, Harlem Academy, and the River and Plains Society in Fort Benton.

Support from the Starr Foundation helped establish the museums at the Old Fort in Fort Benton, including the Bourgeois House and the Starr Gallery of Western Art, which opened in 2012 and is named in honor of Fay Starr Todd’s family.

Friends will remember Fay as a strong advocate for the importance of learning, especially for young women returning to school for GED degrees. She was a patient but demanding teacher with a quick mind and definite opinions, but always ready to listen and try new approaches. Her passion for art and music was contagious, and she was more than generous in sharing those loves with others. This was exemplified in her hands-on support for causes she believed in, always focusing on making a difference in the lives of those she benefited. Fay’s dignity and strength were role models for all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.

She was predeceased by her husband, John R. Todd, and her brother, Dillwyn Starr, both in 1988. Mrs. Todd is survived by her daughter, Mary Ganzenmuller and her husband, Peter, of Oldwick, N.J.; her son, Christopher Bray Todd and his wife, Jesenia, of Peapack, N.J., and five grandchildren, Peter, John, Christopher, Jeffrey and Jaeden.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the New Jersey Audubon Society, the Lamington Presbyterian Church, or the Clarence Dillon Public Library.


8-27-14 Issue:

Maurien (Ledgerwood) Farmer

Maurien (Ledgerwood) Farmer, 93, of Fort Benton, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, of natural causes.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 26, at the United Methodist Church in Geraldine, Montana. Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Maurien was born on Dec. 28, 1920, to Elim community homesteaders Al and Mamie Ledgerwood. She joined a brother, Laurence. She graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1939 and continued her education Northern Montana College in Havre, graduating as a legal secretary in 1941. She worked for Jim Lynch, the Chouteau County attorney, at that time.

She married Bob Farmer of the Clear Lake community in 1945 and made their home there until his death in 1986. She bought a home and moved into Geraldine in the fall of 1986. She lived in Geraldine until moving to Sunrise Bluffs in November of 2012. Her final move was to Missouri River Medical Center in September of 2013.

Maurien had many hobbies – she was an accomplished seamstress, a great cook, and enjoyed wheat weaving, shopping, playing pinochle, and traveling. She traveled to Hawaii, and made two trips to Germany with Joan to visit Michelle, Justin, and the family.

She was a farm wife through and through, taking special enjoyment driving the truck during harvest. She enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest.

She is survived by her children Kay (Lennie) Duvall of Geraldine, Joan Farmer of Great Falls, and Bob Farmer of Geraldine; six grandchildren, Michelle (Justin) Mitchell of Raeford, North Carolina, Nicole (Lance) Johnson of Roy, Adam Duvall of Geraldine, Kyle and Tamara Farmer, both of Billings, and Cassie (Joe) Picchioni of Roundup; seven great-grandchildren, Danielle and Trent Mitchell, Irene and Sadie Johnson, Noah and Caleb Farmer, and Ciera Wilson.

Maurien was preceded in death by her husband Bob, her parents, and brother Laurence.


Norma Jean Sturgeon

On August 18th, Norma Jean Sturgeon entered into her eternal home in the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Born Oct. 31, 1929, in Great Falls, Mont., to Harold Samuel and Ethel Carrol Ray Colton, Jean was raised in the Fort Benton area. There she met and married Robert Hale Bishop. The couple moved back to Great Falls, where Jean cooked in various restaurants, while raising seven children. Jean later married Bob Sturgeon, who preceded her to heaven on March 30, 2011.

Jean fulfilled a dream to own and operate a restaurant in Whitehall, Mont., called the Jefferson House Supper Club. She later sold the restaurant and focused on other areas of creative giftings: She raised farm animals, grew lovely gardens, quilted, did needle work, and will always be remembered as the most fabulous cook. Jean loved to laugh and became known as a gift giver. This was the legacy she passed on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her seven children: Carroll Bishop of Guatemala; Christina (Charly) Torman of Farmington, Minn.; Rita (Mick) Farrell of Lisle, Ill.; Faye (Christopher) Lockwood of Mesa, Ariz.; Robert (Geneta) Bishop of Butte, Mont.; Wanda (Frank) Shields of Butte, Mont.; Richard (Kelly) Bishop of Polson, Mont.; 23 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great grandchildren, and her sister Ellen Evans.

Jean was a faithful supporter for many years to an orphanage in Guatemala, founded by her daughter Carroll. It is requested that any memorial contributions be made to the James Project of Latin America, the legal name for Shadow of His Wings Orphanage. Online donations can be made by going to shadowofhiswingsorphanage.org.


Rose T. Nagengast

Rose T. Nagengast, 103, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at Sunrise Bluffs Estates.

Funeral mass was held Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial followed at Riverside Cemetery. A luncheon at the church followed the burial.

Rose was born on June 22, 1911, in Viscount, Canada. Rose attended school in Roundup, Great Falls, and Wallace, Idaho; where she graduated from high school. She married George H. Nagengast in Fort Benton on Oct. 1, 1940. George died September 28, 1968.

From 1968 to 1981 Rose was a cook at St. Clare Hospital and later at Missouri River Medical Center. She was active in the VFW and sold poppies for many years. Rose worked at the Fort Benton Information Center for many years at its start. Her hobbies and interests were bowling, bowling scorekeeper, crocheting, gardening, and making her yearly fruitcakes.

Survivors include her daughters, Barbara (Greg) Reed of Tonasket, Wash., and Rose Marie Otey of Goleta, Calif.; grandsons, Christopher (Laura) Otey and Clayton Otey; many other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her husband; brothers, Steve Molnar, John Molnar, Jim Molnar, George Molnar, and Joe Yakiwich; sister Julia; parents, Steve Molnar and Rose Mattez; son-in-law Charles Otey, and many family members of the Nagengast family.

Memorials can be made to the Dedman Foundation, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, or the donor’s choice.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Betty Jo (Lemmon) Eldridge

Betty Jo (Lemmon) Eldridge went home to be with Jesus on Aug. 19, 2014.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at the Community Bible Church fellowship hall in Fort Benton, with lunch to follow.

Betty Jo was born May 7, 1932, to John and Emma Lemmon in Craig, Colorado. On May 19, 1950, Betty Jo married Marvin Eldridge, and together they raised four children, Marvia (Rick) Johnson, Keith (Loretta) Eldridge, Ronda (Bud) Childers, and Jeani (Martin) Shea.

During their 64 years of marriage, Marvin and Betty Jo ministered in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Along with being a pastor’s wife, Betty Jo had many ministries of her own.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Shirley Campbell and Mary Lou Resecker, and brother Willis Lemmon.

She is survived by her husband, Marvin, four children, 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Betty Jo was the personification of love. Her sweet personality, sense of humor and genuine love of others will be greatly missed by all who knew her.


Diana Lynn Hansen-Barnett

Diana Lynn Hansen-Barnett was laid to rest Thursday, August 7, 2014, at noon at Riverside Cemetery in Fort Benton.

Longtime resident of the Fort Benton area and Colville, Wash., she was preceded in death by her husband, Frank W. Barnett; father, Seymour H. Hansen; mother, Maisie M. Hansen; and sisters, Betty M. Allard (Eldon) and Beverly J. Caudell.

Diana is survived by her brother, Donald Olson (Sarah); sons, Brian G. Hansen (Cara); Jason M. Hubbard, and Frank J. Barnett (Curin); granddaughter, Mattie L. Barnett; nieces, Caron Caudell and Susan Bronec (Steven); and numerous close family members and friends.

Diana was a faithful Christian, loving wife, devoted mother, sister and aunt. She performed many selfless acts to help those researching their family history. She was a generous neighbor, was involved in forestry, drove shuttle for senior citizens near Colville, Wash., and was a terrific “do it yourself” mechanic.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the veterans’ charity or hepatitis C research of your choice would be appreciated.


8-20-14 Issue:

Sydney B. Huseby

Sydney B. Huseby of Carter was born Jan. 8, 1956, in Springfield, Illinois. Of Norwegian descent, Syd had relatives in Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as Bergen and Oslo, Norway. He died unexpectedly while visiting his daughter’s family in Michigan on July 18, 2014.

Syd was a renowned real-time court reporter who worked in Atlanta, New Mexico, and Montana for the federal court system and on many cases across the country for his nephew’s court reporting firm. At the time of his death, he was employed with the Hon. Julie Macek in Great Falls.

Syd is survived by his partner and wife, Paula Northerner, daughters Ashley (Chris) O’Dell and Jessica Shivers; stepson Tom Wormack, sister Jennifer Hamm, brother Tom Huseby, former wife and mother of his daughters, Kim Huseby, and grandchildren Ethan, Hailey, Luca, Noah, Zane, and Ruby O’Dell and Alexis Shivers; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Stuart, and his grandson Zachary.

His many interests included camping, hammocks, bird watching, big game hunting, mechanical and computer work, and his lifelong passion for fishing.

A memorial celebration is planned at the Agricultural Center in Fort Benton at noon on Saturday, Aug. 30.


8-13-14 Issue:

No obituaries this week


8-6-14 Issue:

Ronald S. Jovanovich

Ronald S. Jovanovich, 67, a retired Fort Benton High School history teacher and former manager of Signal Point Golf Course, passed away Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Peace Hospice in Great Falls after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A celebration of Ron’s life was held on Monday, Aug. 4, at Signal Point Golf Course.

Ron was born April 1, 1947, the son of Vlado and Louise Jovanovich. He attended Billings Senior High and graduated from Montana State University. Ron married his wife Gerry in 1968, and they moved to Fort Benton to start his teaching career in January of 1970. Along with teaching and coaching, Ron contributed to the Fort Benton community for over a decade as a member of the Fort Benton city council as well as serving as mayor. Ron retired from teaching in 1998, but retained his job as athletic director until 2006. In 2004 he was hired as the manager of Signal Point Golf Course, retiring in the fall of 2013.

Ron was a dedicated man to all his professions, always doing a job better than was expected of him. His pride in himself and his work showed at every level and he was loved and respected by many.

Ron is survived by his wife Gerry of 46 years, son Michael (Ginger), granddaughters Taylor and Grace of Tulsa, Oklahoma; daughter Tina (Kate), granddaughters Sarah and Erin of Wells, Maine; sister Sharon (Elwood) Hahn of Billings, Montana; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Florence Dedman Animal Foundation and Shelter, Fort Benton, or Peace Hospice of Great Falls.


John Elliott

John L. Elliott, a Fort Benton native, died June 6, 2014, at the age of 99.

Born on Dec. 27, 1914, to the late Allen and Theresa Elliott, John graduated salutatorian and a member of the “C” club with the class of 1932 from Chouteau County High School. After working more than a year full time at the Pioneer Mercantile, he attained his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Montana. He was employed in Great Falls with Rocky Mountain Insurance Company until 1958 with a four-year leave to serve in the U.S. Army.

He was a member of the Elks Lodge #214, Jaycees, and served as the first president of the Montana Muscular Dystrophy Association. From 1958 until 2007, John resided in California, working until retirement for the Hartford Insurance Company. His last years were in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Survivors include a daughter, Judith Elly, granddaughters Diane Melrose and Marsha Lemke (Rick), great grandchildren Margaret and Alice Lemke and Joel and Austin Melrose, all of Wisconsin, and sister Alice Treat of Billings, Montana, as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Lease Elliott, sons John and Jere Elliott, and siblings Walter and Victor Elliott and Myrtle Anderson and Eva Carstensen.

Graveside services will be held at a future date in California.


7-30-14 Issue:

Effie Johnson

The journey of life for Effie Eleanor Austin Johnson ended on Friday, July 25, at Missouri River Medical Center.

The journey began on a ranch in Gilman, Montana, on Feb. 10, 1921, the first daughter of Elmer and Estella Austin. She joined two brothers, and later there was one more brother and four sisters that she helped take care of. Effie graduated from Great Falls High School in June 1940. Her journey then took her to a marriage to Walter N. Nicholson on April 8, 1941. A son, Howard N., was born on Nov. 10, 1941, followed by two daughters, Irene D., born May 17, 1943, and Jean M., born July 24, 1944. Walter ran the Loma Ferry and also worked at the Great Falls Smelter until his life ended on Jan. 6, 1948. Effie then married Wilbert Edward Johnson on Nov. 12, 1948. They later divorced on Sept. 23, 1958.

Effie’s journey had her as a cook and housekeeper at the Chouteau House Hotel and Café. She worked at the Grand Union Hotel as a housekeeper and had bus terminal duties. Effie worked as a cook at the Missouri River Medical Center from May 28, 1975, until retiring on Feb. 21, 2003, at the age of 82. Effie’s journey had her on a Fort Benton bowling team, where she enjoyed traveling with her team to state tournaments and other bowling events, along with the fun weekly sessions. Effie became a member of the Rebekah Lodge #105 on April 16, 1953, and served in all positions and was still a lifetime member. Effie was a member of the United Methodist Church.

Effie’s life journey was not always easy, but she always had a smile along with the “I can do” attitude through life, and her faith in God helped her through many difficult times.

She has been preceded in death by her husband, parents, three brothers, and one sister; her son, Howard; daughter, Irene; two granddaughters, Kimberley Jester and Brenda Beckler; special partner in life, Leroy Nulf; and many other important people who played a major role in her life’s journey.

Effie did have a special love for cats and could not turn away the many strays that found their way to her doorstep. This earned her the name in Fort Benton as the “Cat Lady.”

Effie enjoyed her seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and her great great grandchildren. She loved going for rides and enjoying the beautiful world she lived in. She enjoyed being a mother, homemaker, and friend to many. She knew she had the responsibility to work and support her family through the good years and rough years of her life.

She is survived by her daughter, Jean (Wayne) Beckler of Rapid City, South Dakota, and their son, Warren; grandchildren, Robert Jester and family of New York, Steven Jester of Norway, Becky Dostal and family of Great Falls, Lee Nicholson and family and Marcy Granner and family, both of Colorado; sisters, Florence Desilva of Washington, Hazel Houston and Dorothy West, both of Great Falls; and many nieces, nephews, and their families.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, July 29, at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls.

Memorial can be made to the Dedman Animal Shelter, Fort Benton United Methodist Church, Rebekah Lodge, Missouri River Medical Center, or the charity of choice.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Harriet Helen Ritland

Harriet Helen Ritland, affectionately known as “Grandma Het,” died at the Great Falls Peace Hospice House on July 27, 2014. A native of Chouteau County, she was 94 years old.

Viewing will be at Schnider Funeral Home on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, from 3 to 8 p.m. Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Fort Benton. Burial will follow at the Fort Benton Riverside Cemetery.

Harriet was born Nov. 4, 1919, in Geraldine, Montana, the fourth of five children, to Arthur Joseph and Hope Esther (Huntley) Farmer. She graduated from Geraldine High School. In 1941, she married Ted Ritland at the family’s ranch north of Geraldine.

During World War II, she did clerical work in Fort Benton while Ted served overseas. Following the war, the couple farmed and ranched in Chouteau County.

Harriet was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Harriet was an excellent cook and generous with her hospitality. Drop-in guests were always welcome at her table. Her signature dishes included rolls, fried chicken and dill pickles. Harriet was active in the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the United Methodist Women. Harriet was an avid gardener, but crocheting was her favorite hobby. Her beautiful doilies, angels, snowflakes and afghans are treasured family heirlooms.

She is survived by her sister, Belle (Lee) Rusch of Billings; daughters Carol Ann Ritland of Fort Benton, Betty Jo (Darrell) Chauvet of Big Sandy, and Marilyn (Jim) Carlson of Great Falls; sons Jay (Phyllis) Ritland of Fort Benton and Kenneth (Jennie) Ritland of Loma; ten grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and two step great grandchildren. Additional survivors include two sisters-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Harriet was preceded in death by her husband, parents and three brothers.

Memorials may be sent to Peace Hospice House, 1101 26th St S, Great Falls, or a memorial of the donor’s choice.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.


7-2314 Issue:

No obituaries this week


7-16-14 Issue:

Elva. G. Gessaman

Elva G. (Whitehorn) Gessaman, 88, passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at her home at Buffalo Hill Terrace in Kalispell, Montana.

She was born March 27, 1926, to Chester Arthur Whitehorn and Georgia Fern (Hathaway) Whitehorn, at the family farm north of Great Falls, Montana. She grew up on that farm, which her parents had homesteaded in 1916. After attending local rural schools Elva graduated from Fort Benton High School. She then worked in Great Falls, primarily at the J.C. Penney store.

Elva married Donald K. Gessaman on Feb. 3, 1951, at the Whitehorn family farm, after which they took up residence on the Gessaman farm north of Fort Benton. There they raised grain, cattle, and four children.

In 1980, they “retired” from the farm at Fort Benton, leaving it in the hands of the next generation. They moved to Polson, Montana, bought an apple and cherry orchard there, and worked harder than ever. Spraying, watering, pruning and marketing their fruit occupied their time. They also made some of the best fresh apple juice you’ve ever tasted.

During their years in Polson, Elva was very involved with the Polson United Methodist Church and the Polson Senior Center. She also volunteered at the Polson Country Store. Her home-baked whole wheat bread was legendary, and in great demand at the local bake sales.

All her life, Elva was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. She was a loving sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. Her gentle spirit and happy smile will be missed by all who knew her.

Elva was preceded in death by her husband, Donald K. Gessaman; her brothers Chester Arthur Whitehorn, Jr., Wallace Whitehorn, and Stanley Whitehorn; and her sisters Bernice Skaw, Virginia Wiederhold and Clara Walker.

She is survived by her brother Wayne Whitehorn at the family farm; sister Iris Halvorson, Great Falls; sons Bill and wife Debbie Gessaman, Lake Stevens, Wash., and Mike and wife Deb Gessaman, Fort Benton; daughters Jeanne and husband Ted Turner, Kalispell, and Janet and husband Dave Haugen, Fort Benton; 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Monday morning, July 14, at the Polson United Methodist Church, Polson. Inurnment followed at the Lakeview Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Polson United Methodist Church or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.groganfuneralhome.com.


Joan M. Cameron (revised)

Joan Mercedes Cameron passed away on July 6, 2014, at Park Place Care Center, Great Falls, Montana, due to complications from heart failure and cancer, while her husband, Raymond, was holding her.

Joan was born on Dec. 23, 1931, near Union Mills, LaPorte County, Indiana, the oldest child of her parents, Oliver and D. “Elizabeth” (Carpenter) Mandeville. Joan grew up near La Porte City, Indiana. She lived much of her childhood with her paternal grandparents, Orpheus and Marie Mandeville.

Joan was the widow of Carl Simmons when she and Raymond B. Cameron married on Oct. 11, 2008, in Fort Benton, Montana, and they made their home in Fort Benton.

Joan performed many types of jobs over the years. She helped her grandparents on their farm, which mainly grew produce. They also sold their fresh fruit and produce at a small stand at their home. Most of Joan’s employment was working in food service as a waitress, cook and restaurant owner. She did sewing work on car upholstery and on drapes. In her later years Joan was a personal care attendant.

Joan enjoyed sports. She played pitcher position on her softball team and taught softball to children. Joan was an avid swimmer. Joan and Ray loved to dance, and would dance at home when they couldn’t go out. Joan was skilled in painting pictures, sewing machine embroidery, and gardening.

Joan attended the Community Bible Church in Fort Benton and briefly taught Sunday School to children there.

Joan is survived by her husband, Raymond, and her twin daughters, Peggy (Robert) Johnson and Barbara (Lloyd) Allard, and another daughter, Debra L. Harlow. Joan is also survived by her sister, Jean Van Arman, brothers Gayle (Sylvia) Mandeville and Daniel (Vicki) Mandeville, half-sister Ann Elise Jakobsen, aunt Vi Neff, and half-brother Duane “Bud” Brennen.

Public viewing was held at the Cutler Funeral Home in LaPorte, Indiana. Graveyard services were Friday, July 11, at Union Mills Cemetery, Indiana. Joan was laid to rest next to her paternal grandparents. There was a reception following the service at the Community Center in Kings Ford Heights, Indiana.


7-9-14 Issue:

Peter V. Magnuson

Peter V. Magnuson, 96, of Florence passed away at home in the presence of his family and his wife of 69 years on Monday, June 30, 2014.

Peter was born March 21, 1918 in Geraldine Montana to Lena and Harold Magnuson. He attended school at Geraldine, graduating in 1936. He then went to college for two years in Bellingham, Washington, and later enrolled in radio school in Texas.

He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940 at Fort Missoula Montana and soon made the rank of Corporal. During his military career Peter specialized in diesel mechanics, achieved marksman status, earned the American Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Service Medal.

Stationed first at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and later on Adak Island in the Aleutians, Peter witnessed the Japanese air attack on Dutch Harbor that occurred on June 4, 1942, six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

In 1944, Peter returned to Montana and married Joyce Knox on December 23, 1944. He was honorably discharged from military service in 1945. Shortly thereafter, the couple owned/operated a small dairy farm near Great Falls, Montana. During this time three daughters were born to them; Susan, Sandra, and Sara. Later the family moved to Geraldine where Peter was employed by the First National Bank of Geraldine. He and Joyce also established the well-known “Pete’s Photos” photography studio that they operated until Pete’s retirement in 1988; at which time they moved to Sheridan, Montana, then later to Florence to be near their family.

Among his many interests, Peter’s favorite hobbies were woodworking, photography, and sharing a good laugh; in his last years he enjoyed “texting.”

Peter was preceded in death by his parents Lena (Denny) Magnuson and Harold M. Magnuson, and is survived by his wife, Joyce (Knox) Magnuson; sister Mary (Magnuson) Gemmel of Helena, Montana; daughters Susan (Larry) Little of Geraldine, Sandra (Ted) Meinzen of Lolo, Montana, Sara (Vic) Sieglock of Havre, Montana; 12 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

The family appreciates the wonderful care and compassion he received from Aspen Hospice, his in-home caregivers and from Dr. Laura Shelton and the staff at the Florence Family Clinic.

Memorials should be sent to Aspen Hospice of Montana, 107 Bell Crossing West, Stevensville, MT 59870.


Kelsey Jean Morris

Kelsey Jean Morris, 30, of Fort Benton, Montana, passed away on July 6, 2014. Visitation will be Thursday, July 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Benton Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 11, 2014 at the First Christian Church in Fort Benton. Pastor Scott McNeely will be officiating. Burial will follow the funeral at Riverside Cemetery.

Kelsey was born at the Deaconess Hospital in Great Falls, Montana on May 19, 1984 to Rick and Brenda Morris. Kelsey participated and excelled in dance from her early childhood all the way through her high school years. Kelsey had a free spirit that allowed for a very daring, humorous and quick witted personality. Kelsey incorporated a competitive relationship with her brother when growing up, where oftentimes they would sit and compete at Super Nintendo for hours. Another great memory of Kelsey growing up was her admiration for WWF (World Wrestling Federation). You could always count on her watching each new episode weekly and later reenacting it with her brother. Kelsey loved the summers. She swam for Fort Benton Swim Team for many years, placing at the State meet a couple of times. Her passion for swimming led to a summer job as a lifeguard at the public swimming pool.

Kelsey later graduated from Fort Benton High School in 2002. An extremely bright student, but not totally sure of what career path she wanted to pursue, she attended one year of studies at Washington State University. Kelsey found a great love for the country, enjoying the peacefulness, cooking, and caring for her animals, which never could have been done without the support of a very special loved one, Travis Kassmier.

Kelsey, you will be forever in our hearts.

Kelsey is preceded in death her grandfather, Donald Morris; grandmother, Beverely Allen; uncle, Brian Winden; cousin, Mark Allen, and great grandparents. Kelsey is survived by her parents, Rick and Brenda Morris; brother, Karson Morris; grandparents, Harold and Bernie Winden; grandparents, Lloyd and Deanna Allen and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorials may be made in Kelsey’s name to the Dedman Foundation in Fort Benton or to the memorial of your choice.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Dennis Russell Ulmen 

Dennis Russell Ulmen, 69, lifelong resident of Big Sandy, passed away at the Big Sandy Medical Center on the morning of June 23, 2014, after a long illness.

Dennis was the only child born to Ethel (Cooke) and Clem Ulmen on June 6, 1945. He was the apple of their eyes and a happy child. He spent much of his childhood with his McNeill, Ulmen, and Cooke cousins. Whether in the Bear Paws or on the prairie, Dennis liked to be where the action was.

Dennis graduated from Big Sandy High School in 1963. After high school, he went to work as a fuel man for Farmer’s Union Oil in Big Sandy. Dennis enjoyed delivering fuel to the local farmers and ranchers. Dennis owned his own truck and hauled throughout the 80s and 90s, and later worked for Ezzie’s of Havre. A truck accident in 1987 left him with a broken back and years of pain. He retired in 2005.

Dennis was married to Janice Jurenka in 1975. They divorced. He married Christine Wortman in 1980, helping raise her two sons, Kole and Lacy. They later divorced.

Dennis enjoyed coffee, antiques, nice vehicles, driving around and watching television. He especially enjoyed watching bull riding, and the National Finals Rodeo.

There will be a memorial service on Monday, July 14, at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Big Sandy, with burial of ashes in the Big Sandy Cemetery.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Joan M. Cameron

Joan Mercedes Cameron passed away on July 6, 2014 at Park Place Care Center in Great Falls, Montana, due to complications from heart failure and cancer, while her husband, Raymond, was holding her.

Joan was born near Union Mills on Dec. 23, 1931 near Union Mills in LaPorte County, Indiana, the oldest child of her parents, Oliver and Drucilla “Elizabeth” (Carpenter) Mandeville. Joan grew up near La Porte, Indiana. She lived much of her childhood with her paternal grandparents, Orpheus and Marie Mandeville.

Joan was the widow of Carl Simmons when she and Raymond B. Cameron married on Oct. 11, 2008 in Fort Benton, Montana and made their home in Fort Benton. Before coming to Montana, Joan had lived in Indiana, Florida, Texas and for a short while in Idaho.

Joan performed many types of jobs over the years. Most of her employment was working in food service as a waitress, cook and owner. She did sewing work on car upholstery and on curtains. In her later years, Joan was a personal care attendant.

Joan enjoyed sports. She played pitcher position on her softball team and taught softball to children. Joan was an avid swimmer. Joan was skilled in painting pictures, sewing machine embroidery, and gardening.

Joan is survived by her husband, Raymond B. Cameron; and her twin daughters, Peggy (Robert) Johnson and Barbara (Lloyd) Allard, and another daughter, Debra L. Harlow; stepsons Carl Simmons Jr. and Russell Simmons. Joan is also survived by her sister, Norma “Jean” Arman; brothers Gayle (Sylvia) Mandeville and half-sisters Ann Elise Jakobsen, and Vi Neff.

A public viewing is planned for Friday, July 11, 2014 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Cutler Funeral Home in La Porte. Afterward, graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m. at Union Mills Cemetery in Indiana. Joan will be laid to rest next to her paternal grandparents. There will be a reception following the service at the Community Center in Kings Ford Heights, Indiana.


Elva G. Gessaman (notice)

Elva G. Gessaman, age 88, of Kalispell passed away on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Buffalo Hill Terrace in Kalispell, Montana.

Memorial services for Elva will be held on Monday, July 14, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Polson. Inurnment will follow the services at Lake View Cemetery. A full obituary will follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory.


7-2-14 Issue:

Lorena Towner 

Lorena Regina (Bedard) Towner was born April 18, 1912, to French-Canadian parents, Henry and Aurise Bedard, in Frenchtown. She was the sixth of nine children and grew up in a French speaking home. Lorena attended school in Frenchtown and graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula. On a visit to Fort Benton, she met Sam Towner, the love of her life. On Sept. 4, 1933, Lorena and Sam were married and made Fort Benton their home to raise their family. Sam worked at the Pioneer Mercantile. Their life centered around family, friends, dinners, visits, and her church. Lorena was an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and was the organist for many years. She was an active member of St. Elizabeth’s Circle and was active in the woman’s club and supported all of their activities.

Lorena had many great memories of being the Chouteau County librarian for 26 years. She loved the people she came in contact with and did her best to encourage any young person who wanted to read. She was proud of and very committed to the community of Fort Benton. Lorena enjoyed gardening, crocheting, playing pinochle and other card games, puzzles and sports. She had a sweet tooth and there was always a candy dish for visitors and a bit of chocolate hidden away for herself.

Reaching a 100 years old was a milestone, and family and friends gathered to celebrate her life. She loved the party and took great pride in boasting she was 100. Lorena made the transition from this life to MORE life Friday, June 20, 2014, at Missouri River Medical Center. She was 102 when she died, and we celebrate a life well-lived and well-loved. Funeral mass was held Thursday, June 26, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial followed in Riverside Cemetery.

Survivors include daughter, Laurie Koski (Steven) of Bend, Oregon; sons, Doug Towner (Mary Lou) of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Gary Towner (Kathleen) of San Felipe, Baja, Mexico; grandchildren, Lynn Czup, Greg Towner, Amy Towner, Chris Towner, Zack Towner, Jacob Koski, and Jonah Koski; nine great grandchildren; and one great great grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 years, Sam Towner.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Choteau County Library. Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


Orval B. Thompson

Orval Bruce Thompson, 88, of Geraldine, passed away on June 20, 2014, at Peace Hospice in Great Falls of natural causes. At Bruce’s request there will only be a graveside service, which will be held at 1 p.m. July 12, 2014, at the Manchester Cemetery, between Vaughn and Great Falls. Cremation has taken place and arrangements are by Croxford Funeral Home. A community potluck to celebrate Bruce’s life will be held in Geraldine on July 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Vet’s Hall.

Bruce was born in Oroville, Washington, to Charles S. and Gladys Shepherd Thompson on June 17, 1926. He grew up and graduated from high school in Dutton, Montana. He married Genevieve (Jenny) Dickson on April 9, 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. He attended the University of Montana. Bruce worked as an assistant manager at Safeway Stores in Chinook and Choteau. From 1956 until 1992 he owned and operated Thompson’s General Store in Geraldine.

Bruce was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He served in the Naval Reserve in the Merchant Marines, U.S. Air Force, and the Montana Air National Guard. Bruce was involved in the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, Geraldine Volunteer Fire Department, Little League baseball, Montana American Legion Boys State and was clerk of the Geraldine School Board for many years. He was an active participant in almost all Geraldine community projects.

Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Gladys Thompson, sisters Joyce and Mary Thompson, and brother, Patrick Thompson.

He is survived by his wife, Jenny; daughters Connie (Sherwin) Smith of Choteau, Caro (Steve) Knecht of Helena and Janice Thompson of Great Falls; brothers Les Thompson of Geraldine and David Thompson of Ephrata, Washington; sister Heather (John) Balock of Melstone; grandchildren Danielle (Jay) Mooney of Kalispell, Brent (Trisha) Smith of Winnett, Sara (Beau) Decker of Sheridan, Kurt (Amy) Knecht of Helena; great-grandchildren Kori and Cyan Mooney, McKenzie and Keaghan Smith, Gunnar, Brody, and Kennedy Decker.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bruce’s honor can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. The family wishes to extend their sincere thank you to Montana Peace Hospice for the care given Bruce.


Mike D. Knecht

Mike D. Knecht, 63, of Great Falls, passed away June 26, 2014, at his residence in Great Falls after a courageous battle with cancer. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, July 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Knecht residence, 1601 22nd Ave S, Great Falls, Montana.

Mike was born Oct. 20, 1950, in Fargo, North Dakota, to Edwin William Knecht and Lois Enga Grindberg. In 1968, he graduated from Fort Benton High School. He later received a bachelor’s degree in business from the College of Great Falls. For 25 years Mike was an auditor for the State of Montana overseeing Workers Compensation and the Department of Transportation. He also worked part-time at ProBuild in Great Falls. Mike enjoyed NASCAR races, fishing and camping, working with wood, old cars, and traveling.

Mike is survived by his loving wife Jeanne and faithful companion Izzy Lou; sisters, Mary Beth (Lanny) Campell of Helena, Billie (Gordon) Peterson of Great Falls; brothers, Steve (Caro) Knecht of Helena, Tom (Doreen) Knecht of Harrison, Idaho; sisters-in-law, Carliene Baier, Corinne (Jerry) Gates, Lori Nelson, Bobbie Sue (John) Talmage, Lynn (Tony) Lutke; brothers-in-law, Dave (Robyn) Baker, Russell Baker, Ross McBurney; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Edwin “Bill” and Lois Knecht; brothers-in-law, Lee Nelson, Ray Baier and Gary Starke.

The family has asked that memorial donations be made to: Sletten Cancer Center, 1117 29th St S, Great Falls, MT, 59405.


Inez Bramlette (notice)  

A memorial service for Inez Bramlette will be held at the United Methodist Church in Fort Benton at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 15. Burial will follow in the cemetery in Fort Benton.


6-25-14 Issue:

Lorena Towner (notice)  

Vigil services for Lorena Towner will be Wednesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. at Benton Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be Thursday, June 26, at 10 a.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 or PO Box 1326, Fort Benton, MT 59442.


6-18-14 Issue:

Richard Allen “Dick Brown  

Richard Allen “Dick” Brown, age 92, passed away May 14, 2014.

Dick was born in Wichita, Kansas in July 27, 1921. His parents were Rev. Daniel W. Brown and Edith (McEldowney) Brown. He married Agnes Jenkinson, his childhood sweetheart on July 19, 1942, in Fort Benton, Montana. They were married 56 years; she preceded him in death.

Dick spent time during WWII in the European theater and was in Germany when the war ended. He served in the Ozark Division, Headquarters Co., 102nd Infantry Division. After the war, he graduated from Montana State University in civil engineering. He worked for Armco in Helena, Montana, later moving to Spokane. Dick retired from H. Halvorson Construction Company in Spokane after 30 years.

Dick gladly served the church body utilizing his gifts in prayer groups, choir, solos, as well as serving on building and architectural committees. He served wherever he was needed.

Dick’s greatest joy was found in song. He participated in church and barbershop quartets, and the El Katif Shrine Chanters choir. He is remembered for his rich baritone voice harmonizing in song fests with family. He enjoyed fishing and teaching his grandchildren to drive the 7 ½ fishing boat. The family is grateful for the legacy and memories of Loon Lake.

Dick is survived by a sister, Alice Swindell in Springfield, Oregon; sons, Bruce Brown (Lee) of Chula Vista, California; Daniel (Jean) Brown of Vashon Island, and daughter, Barbara (Jay) Monti of Olympia. He has three grandchildren Damian Alhadeff, Seattle; Joshua Monti, Olympia; and Jaime (Monti) McKissick, Oklahoma; and seven great-grandchildren including, Nicholas, Jax, Josie, Landen, Barrette, Sparrow, and Ridge. Dick married Loretta Fruin Bergdahl March Brown in 1999. They enjoyed dining out and fly fishing together at Twin Lakes. Her children are Bruce, Jim and Rich Bergdahl. He is also survived by his beloved dog Andy. He was preceded in death by a brother, Darrel Brown of Spokane.

A family graveside service will be held in Spokane. The family requests donations be made to the Shriner’s Hospital of Spokane or your favorite charity.


Scott A. Peterson

The children of Scott A. Peterson will be holding a memorial service on Friday, June 27, 2014, at 11 a.m. on Fort Benton’s old bridge.

Scott A. Peterson was born on Nov. 18, 1960, to Ross and Phyllis (Frieling) Peterson. Scott passed away on Feb. 3, 2013.


Marshall Lloyd Fisher 

Marshall Lloyd Fisher, 93, WWII US Army Air Force veteran with the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and a longtime farmer and rancher, passed away Thursday, June 12, 2014, at Missouri River Medical Center.

Funeral services were held Monday, June 16, at Community Bible Church. Burial with military honors followed at Riverside Cemetery.

Marshall was a member of the Chouteau County Sheriff’s Posse for 20 years and after retiring from ranching/farming in the mid 70’s he moved to Fort Benton and continued working as a Montana State Stock Inspector for 20 years as well as assisting with the Choteau County Fairgrounds. Marshall enjoyed traveling and attended several reunions with former members of his flight crew from WWII. He also enjoyed watching WWF wrestling, riding horses, cowboy polo, and hunting.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Winifred (Winnie) Fisher; parents, Albert and Eva (Warehime) Fisher; and three sisters, Hazel Ward, Gertrude Swears, and Dehlia Gibson; stepdaughter, Margaret Ann Potter and stepson, Doug Taylor.

Survivors include grandchildren, Rick Allison, Gary Allison, Douglas Taylor, Debbie Powell Taylor, Donna Rutherford, and Denise Taylor; and many nieces and nephews, as well as many longtime friends.


Darrell W. Teter  

Darrell W. Teter, 92, of Fort Benton, passed away in Lewiston, Idaho, on June 7, 2014, while visiting family.

Darrell was a WWII Navy veteran. He and his wife retired and moved to Square Butte in 1999 from Mesa, Ariz. They moved to Sunrise Bluffs from Square Butte in 2011. He is survived by five children – three daughters, Sharron (Bill) Gough, of Post Falls, Idaho; Delores (John) Bishop of Great Falls, Mont.; and Mardelle (George) Casteel of Grangeville, Idaho; and two sons, Wayne (Bette) Teter of Spokane, Wash., and Gilbert of Great Falls, Mont.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Maxine, in 2012.


Alan Leroy Carter

Alan “Al” Leroy Carter of Power, Montana, passed away suddenly on May 28, 2014, while looking at wheat fields on the farm where he worked.

Alan was born Aug 6, 1960, in Yuba City, Calif., to Leroy and Carol Carter. He attended Live Oak High School. Alan began work as a beekeeper with Big Sky Honey, which brought him to Montana in 1979. Alan lived in Chouteau County, where he enjoyed farming. He tried his hand at his own logging business before moving to Great Falls in 1986. He was a caregiver to friend Andy Kruger, which took him to many extravagant places like Hong Kong and Hawaii, where a tragic accident involving his friend landed him in jail for a year. Upon release he returned to Montana - “God’s Country,” as he called it. He worked as a bouncer at the Loading Zone, then retreated to Corvallis, Oregon. In about a year, he returned to Montana, where he resumed work as manager of the Playground/Loading Zone and also continued farming west of Power. In 2002, Alan was hired by Scattered Acres Farms, Inc., as farm foreman, where he lived, worked and became a part of the Vick family. He enjoyed the peaceful countryside where he lived and the variety of projects that he was able to do and oversee on the farm. There truly was nobody better or more full of pride at what they did than “Big Al.”

Alan is proceeded in death by his mother, Carol Carter; his father, Leroy Carter; and his stepmother, Patricia Carter.

He is survived by his three sisters, Lisa Sanders of Sacramento, Kathy Jimenez of Las Vegas, and Amy Schleigh of Sutter, Calif., along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and many more friends and loved ones.

A memorial service will take place on Wednesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center in Power, Montana, with a reception to follow.


Bobbie A. Stevenson 

Bobbie A. Stevenson, 70, passed away June 15, 2014, in Great Falls.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at the Fort Benton Agricultural Center. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O’Connor Funeral Home.

Bobbie was born February 20, 1944, in Fort Benton. He is survived by his wife, two sons, grandchildren, brother, two sisters, and several special friends.

Donations are suggested to the Disabled Veterans of America, National Headquarters, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH, 45250-0301.


6-11-14 Issue:

Terry LeRoy Marcussen  

Terry L. Marcussen, age 76, passed away June 3, 2014, from cancer. At his request there will be no services.

He was born March 11, 1938, in Great Falls, Montana, the second child of Roy and Sadie (Long) Marcussen. He was raised in Carter and graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1956. He enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting, carpentry, welding, gardening and cooking, and even won a local chili cook-off. He built a boat in the early 60’s he enjoyed with his family on the Missouri River and Tiber Dam Reservoir. He farmed with his dad for many years. He worked for GTA in Carter, and then was manager at Loma and Hinsdale, Montana. He worked a short time with father-in-law John L. Davison at the D & K Tire service station. He then worked as foreman for many years at Gysler, Melroe and Renn manufacturing. He also co-owned M & M painting.

He married Roberta Jean Davison on June 22, 1956. They would have been married 58 years. He is survived by his son, Robin (Denise) Marcussen, Fort Benton; daughters, Roxie (Ted) Lewis, Great Falls, Richele (Alan) Serfoss, Vaughn, and RaeLynn Bullach, Gillette, Wyoming; grandchildren, Joshua (Cassie) Marcussen, Jodi (Brandon) Knoles, Joseph Cartwright, Bryan (Erin) Cartwright, Nicole (Brock) Barnick, Jennifer Fief, Krystal (Scott) Baysinger and Kylie Bullach; great-grandchildren Celene, Chloee, Camie, Braydon ,Joshua, Jacobi, Aliyah, Bryce, Daerious, Christian, Bentley, Noah, Tanner, Corbin, Gracie and Barnick baby on the way. Also a favorite pet “Sparkie.” He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Lauretta Reynolds, an infant daughter, and beloved pets, Polly, Elizabeth, Tippy, Charlie and Chance.

Arrangements are by cremation by Benton Funeral home. Condolences may be sent to www.misermortuaries.com. Upon his request his ashes will spread by his immediate family at a later date. The family has requested memorials be made to Peace Hospice of Fort Benton, Chouteau County Cancer Support Group and the Dedman Foundation.


James “Jim” Robert Knedler 

James “Jim” Robert Knedler passed away June 3, 2014, in Fort Benton.

Jim was born October 13, 1925 to Harry and Hattie Knedler. In 1944, he graduated from Geraldine High School, then enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in the Pacific during WWII and served in many locations.

After the war, Jim returned to Geraldine and married Marcella Makich of Square Butte. He farmed north of Geraldine with his father and brother.

Jim and Marcella were active in the community. In their earlier years they were part of a dance band that played at the country dancehalls. Jim played the trumpet and Marcella was the piano player. Later in his life, Jim became famous for playing “Taps” at countless military funerals.

Jim was an avid pilot with his own piper cub airplane. He became a member of Flying Farmers of America. He downsized his airplanes and enjoyed the hobby of flying model planes. Jim and Marc pursued their love of history, attending auctions and many Montana historical sites.

Jim is survived by Marcella, his spouse of 67 years; son, Robert, of Geraldine; daughter, Brenda Freeman of Great Falls; grandchildren Brennan and Hayley Freeman; brother-in-law Max Makich and wife, Kathy, and their daughters. Nieces, Nancy Steel, Susan and Peggy Knedler and many friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Lee (Bud) and Ann (Manley) Knedler.

Services were held Friday, June 6, at Benton Funeral Home, followed by burial with military honors at the Geraldine Cemetery.

Memorials to charity of choice.

Condolences can be made to www.misermortuaries.com.


6-4-14 Issue:

Mary Ann Conn  

Mary Ann Conn, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and good friend, left us peacefully May 27, 2014. In those early hours, she joined her beloved “Charlie” and two daughters, Billie and Lynda.

Mary Ann was born on Oct. 31, 1924, in Neihart, Montana, to Charles and Mary Mattson Maki. She and her soul mate met while she was in high school at Neihart. They married on May 8, 1943, and shared their life for 70 plus years. Their union produced three girls, Betty - 1944, Billie - 1947, and Lynda - 1948.

They bought the homestead from Charles’ dad, Sam Conn, and remained there, farming together, raising wheat, oats, barley, and their three girls and their horses. Mary Ann loved her life on the farm; cooking, baking and caring for her family.

When a farm accident happened hooking up some machinery, and she lost a third of her left hand ring finger, at the emergency room, people didn’t know who they felt sorriest for, Momma, whose finger was cut off, or Daddy, who did the deed to his Honey. She was also feeling sorry for him.

Mary Ann was one special lady, always caring for someone who didn’t have a lot, making dinners for them or baking something for her friends. She always wore a smile on her face. She was a good woman with a huge heart, caring for her family and friends.

She was very much a part of her children’s lives. She was a Girl Scout leader, and was involved in 4-H. Many times she filled the car with classmates of her girls, taking them to football games or basketball games, or to Loma to roller skate. She enjoyed being involved with the children’s activities, and she joined in the roller skating. UPS never minded delivering to the family farm; there was always a treat for them - cinnamon rolls, fudge, chocolate cake, etc.

The First Christian Church played a huge role in her life. Living the Word of God, her favorite verse was “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” in addition to “The Lord’s Prayer,” a source of comfort with the loss of her two precious girls.

She is survived by her daughter, Betty McIntosh (BJ), a special brother Dudley (97), his love, Edna; two grandchildren, Lauri and Jennifer, and two very special great-grandchildren, Kayla and Hayden.

Mary Ann is preceded in death by her husband, her beloved Charlie; daughters Billie Burke (60) and Lynda Habel (59); and her loving parents, Charles and Mary Maki; four brothers, Ben, Ray, Byrd and Eddie; and one sister, Bernice McPherson.

Services will be June 4, 2014, at the First Christian Church in Fort Benton at 2 p.m. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in a duplex urn, special for her and Daddy.

Donations may be made to the donor’s choice. Then do a random act of kindness in her memory.

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


Alan Leroy Carter 

Alan Leroy Carter, 53, of Power, Montana, died May 28, 2014, of a heart attack. Benton Funeral Home is in charge of cremation, and a memorial service is being planned in Power, Montana, for later this month. A full obituary will be printed when a date is determined.

If you have a photo of Alan you would like to share, please send it via Facebook to Amilee Downey Vick.


5-28-14 Issue:

Donald Howard Linabary   

Donald Howard Linabary of Belgrade, Montana, 62, passed away on May 18, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer.

“Don” was born in Casper, Wyoming on June 1, 1951, as the first child to Donald Howard Linabary Sr. and Shirley Joyce Miller Linabary. As a young child, Don’s family moved to Great Falls, Montana, where he attended school and graduated from CMR High school in 1969. A Vietnam era veteran, Don first enlisted in the Army Reserves while he was in high school. Upon his graduation Don enlisted for active duty with United States Army, where he was stationed in Nurnberg, Germany. After completing his service with an honorable discharge, Don lived in Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Spokane, Wash.; and Craigmont, Idaho; where he met his life partner Ramona Annette Johnson, and married Feb. 23, 1980. After the birth of their first child, Alicia, in 1981, the young family relocated to Don’s hometown of Great Falls. In 1983, they had their second child, Adam. During their years in Great Falls, Don worked in the grocery business as a produce manager. From 1986-1989, Don partnered with his wife as owner operator of a childcare facility. 1990 their family moved to Geraldine, Montana, until 1991.

For the next decade, the Linabary family lived in Fort Benton. Don worked for six years with Sykes’ Price Rite Food Farm as their produce manager. Don left the grocery store to establish a family operated building maintenance and home painting business. During this time, Don and Ramona added to their family through the adoption of two small boys, Gabriel and Samuel, from Sierra Leone, West Africa. In late 2001, Don accepted an opportunity in Bozeman and throughout the Galatian Valley to utilize his skills and love of building. It was a great joy for him to have his son, Adam, work with him.

In 2006, Don and Ramona hosted two children, Angelica and James, from Colombia, South America, through the “Summer of Hope Program” sponsored by Sacred Portion Children’s Outreach of Bozeman. As a result of their experience with the summer program and the love that developed for these children they decided to pursue adoption and brought them home in 2007. Don’s ability to love other people’s children made it easy for him to answer the call of adding four beautiful children into his family through adoption. He never hesitated when the opportunities were presented. He also took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren, who were very precious to him as well.

During Don’s lifetime he has had a great love for music, playing guitar and drums. In the later years he developed amazing skill with his guitar and was active in participating and leading his church worship team. Ramona and their children shared in this love through their involvement as well; his kids are following his example today actively in ministry in their family’s church, Saving Grace Christian Fellowship in Belgrade.

Don’s greatest passion was for his Savior Jesus Christ, who he met and started a relationship with at a very young age. He wanted to make certain that those he loved knew his Savior and would be joining him soon, and his love for people grew abundantly the further he got into his cancer journey. He made many new friends along with the old friends who have given so much support to him and his family during this difficult journey. Many people say that his smile illuminated a room when he walked in, even to the end. He has left an impact on many lives, and this will continue for a long time coming. This passage of scripture fit Don’s life mission: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” - Philippians 3:14.

Besides Don’s love for music, he enjoyed car restoration; his latest project was a 1966 Ford Falcon he occupied himself with in his last year until he could not any longer. He always had to be busy. He loved to fish and to go hunting and with his kids. He was a very good cook; just two months prior to leaving, he gave lessons to his kids to make some favorite recipes.

He was amazing working with his hands; artistic and good at designing. His skills ranged from making any little part to repair a small kitchen appliance, to building beautiful wood pieces. The week before he passed away he worked in his garage all week to finish a cabinet. He never liked anything left unfinished. Two weeks prior, he spoke and presented his two sons, Gabriel and Samuel, their home school high school diplomas, and the next day played hand drums with his sons and friends in his church worship team that he had organized. He held on to be able to do what was very important to him, even making the needed phone calls to express his love and say his goodbyes. Though we will miss his love and strong spirit so very much, we look forward to the day that we will all be rejoined with him.

Don was preceded in death by his father, Donald Howard Linabary Sr., of Craigmont, Idaho. Those family members still looking forward to seeing Don are his mother, Shirley Joyce Linabary of Fort Benton, Montana; wife, Ramona Linabary of Belgrade, Montana; children, Adam Linabary (Brianna) of Grangeville, Idaho; Alicia Caine (Gordon) of Wilcox, Penn.; and Gabriel Linabary, Angelica Linabary, Samuel Linabary, and James Linabary, all of Belgrade, Montana. Other survivors include sisters, Cheryl Koch of San Antonio, Texas; Sue Rowe of Atlanta, Georgia; Renee Perdue of Pallyup, Wash.; brothers, Jeff Linabary of Great Falls, Montana, and Terry Linabary of Craigmont, Idaho. Don’s grandchildren are Isaiah, Hudson, Emmaus, Bella, (Idaho); and Jordon, Trinity, Joshua, Allie, Caleb, Bradley (Penn.).

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, May 25, at Grace Bible Church at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be given online at http://journeyweb.net/give/, leave in comment “Linabary Family,” or write checks to Journey Church, 1794 E Baxter Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718 rather than in memo, with a separate note attached indicate “Linabary Family.”

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


Eva Nita Rowe   

Eva Nita Rowe went to her heavenly home on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Kalispell, Montana.

She was born Eva Nita Rupp on Jan. 25, 1926, in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, to John and Jessie Rupp. She was the youngest of three, joining brothers Ernie and Russell. The family moved to Carter, Montana, when she was three years old. Eva attended elementary school in Carter and went on to attend high school in Fort Benton, Montana. She married Donald Knudson in 1946 and they lived in California while Don was serving in the Army during WWII. After his discharge, they moved back to the Knudson family wheat farm at Shonkin, Montana.

After working numerous jobs in the medical and clerical fields, she was finally able to pursue her life’s dream to be a nurse. She went back to school at the Great Falls Vo-Tech and received her LPN license at age 49. Her first nursing position was at the VA Hospital in Helena. Then she worked at many of the nursing homes in the Kalispell area – North Valley Extended Care, Flathead County Nursing Home, Brendan House and Heritage Place. She had a heart for caring for others, and found her special niche in caring for the elderly, which she enjoyed until her retirement in 1988.

In a recent year, when asked what her favorite things were, Eva said: “the song of a meadowlark, visiting with my friends and family, sharing a cup of tea with a friend or family, watching and singing along with the Gaithers, lilac hunting – and the smell of the lilacs, looking at my clean house after cleaning it, and CATS!”

Next to nursing, Eva enjoyed most of all spending time with her family. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Jessie Rupp, brothers Ernie and Russ and daughter Donna Arganbright.

Those left to remember her with love and great gratitude are her daughters Diane Moore, husband Jim in Ulm, Montana; Doreen Miller, husband Dave in Kalispell, Montana; and Kay Barstad, in Billings, Montana; her beloved grandchildren Jason Moore of Ulm; Jennie Webb, husband Jimmy Joe, children Jimmy and Levi of Condon, Montana; Darin Arganbright, wife Anna, children Taylor, Donna, Johanna and Isaac of Fort Benton, Montana; Kevin Arganbright, wife Kerry, children Jake, Landis and Eli of Carter, Montana; Ben Miller, wife Darcy, children Wyle and Fitz of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin; and Alissa Christensen of Billings, Montana; numerous nieces and nephews, and her current resident kitty Annibell.

A family graveside service will be held on Friday, May 30, at the Riverside Cemetery in Fort Benton, and a memorial service will be held at the Ulm Bible Church on Saturday, May 31, at 11 a.m.


Ronald L. “Sam” Watson  

Ronald L. “Sam” Watson, 65, passed away at Benefis Healthcare on Monday, May 12, 2014. The cause was complications from severe pancreatitis. Cremation has taken place with burial to follow in Fort Benton cemetery in June.

Born March 13, 1949, in Fort Benton, he grew up on the family ranch near Virgille. He graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1967, where he was a Longhorn standout on the football team. He attended one year at the College of Great Falls before deciding to enlist in the Marines to serve four years in Vietnam. Later he studied theatre and sociology at the University of Montana in Missoula. As a chef he worked at the Heritage Inn, Scheffi’s and Cub’s Den. Before retirement, he worked at NEW in Great Falls for 11 years. In retirement, he enjoyed his garden, time spent with his family, and taking care of animals. Throughout his life he was known as an artist, animal lover, and all-around kind and gentle man. He is dearly missed.

Survivors include his daughter Jayme Klehfoth (Alex), ex-wife Susan Settera, brothers Ken Watson (Judy), John Watson (Lorraine), Gordon Watson (Joann) and sister Leona Moura. He is preceded in death by his parents Leon and Ione Watson, brother-in-law Ken Moura and his constant cat companion, Jerry Garcia.

Memorials contributions are suggested to the Great Falls Animal Foundation.


Isabel Theresa Streit

Isabel Theresa Streit passed away May 26, 2014, at Cambridge Court in Great Falls.

Isabel was preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 years, George Streit.

A memorial service will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Benton Friday, May 30, at 10 a.m., with Bishop Michael Warfel presiding. There will then be a graveside service, followed by a reception at the church.

Isabel Nagengast was born on Sept. 8, 1921, and grew up on the family farm east of Fort Benton. Isabel graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1940 and then entered into nursing school at the Columbus Hospital in Great Falls to become an RN. She enlisted and became a first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps as a nurse, serving during World War II in France and England from 1943 to 1947.

Isabel married George Streit in 1947. They farmed east of Fort Benton until retiring in 2008.

Isabel and George are survived by four sons, Leonard (Brenda) Streit of Chester, Joseph (Joanne) Streit of Fort Benton, Tom (Guyla) Streit of Great Falls, and Steven (Edna) Streit of Saco; two daughters, Mary (James) Kassmier of Fort Benton and Terry Streit of Butte; sisters Barbara Reed and Rose Marie Otey; stepmother Rose Nagengast of Fort Benton; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Isabel was preceded in death by her husband, George; and her father and mother, Geoge Nagengast and Josephine Bogner Nagengast.


5-21-14 Issue:

Norma (Jones) Jackson   

As the first lilacs of spring began to bloom, Norma (Jones) Jackson, 92, passed away peacefully in Missoula on May 17, 2014, surrounded by her loving family. Visitation will be open to the public on Wednesday, May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Croxford Funeral Home. Her funeral service will be held Thursday, May 22, at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, with burial to follow at Highland Cemetery.

The granddaughter of an Irish immigrant homesteader and a lifelong resident of north central Montana, she was born in Great Falls on Nov. 29, 1921, to Gladys (Seney) and D. Walter Jones.

Her father’s work as a Great Northern telegrapher and depot agent took the family to Fort Shaw, Loma and Carter, where she first met the love of her life, Norman. She was in the fifth grade and he was in sixth. Following graduation from Fort Benton High School in 1939, Norma attended Great Falls Commercial College and was employed in the offices of the Boy Scout Council and Sears.

Upon the completion of Norman’s 18 month tour of duty as a P-38 fighter pilot in North Africa and Italy in World War II, they were married on July 9, 1944. Following his discharge from the service, they returned to Carter and farmed for the next 56 years. Norma was always busy with activities such as the Teton Bench Hobby Club, the Carter Neighborhood Club, Eastern Star and the Rainbow Advisory Board, and being a 4-H leader and election judge. She spent countless hours crocheting afghans for family members. She enjoyed cooking, calligraphy, travel, dancing and bowling with the Dust Bowlers at Benton Lanes. She especially treasured being a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, homemaker and good friend to many. Norma lit up a room with her smile. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a positive disposition, a spring in her step and a song in her heart. Everybody who knew her loved her dearly.

She is survived by her four children Julie Jackson of Missoula, Kathie Hein of Reardan, Washington, Ed Jackson of Bozeman and Rick (Julie) Jackson of Bozeman; granddaughters Tiffany (Ryan) Clouse of Reardan, Washington, Natalie (Joe) McGrath of Clear Lake, Iowa, and Ellie Jackson of Bozeman; great grandchildren Connor and Parker Clouse and Lindy McGrath; and several nieces and nephews.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Norman, her brother Bud Jones and her son-in-law Doug Hein.

Memorials may be made in her name to Hospice of Missoula, 800 Kensington, Suite 204, Missoula, MT 59801.


Phyllis Tanner Dickson

Phyllis Tanner Dickson (1929-2014) died peacefully at her beloved Four Sisters Ranch on May 14th. We are grateful for the wonderful life she had but will miss her deeply.

Phyllis leaves behind her husband, Jim, daughter, Nicole, son, Scott, her sisters, Doris, Mitzi, Connie and their families as well as many dear friends.

She had a zest for life that we will carry in our hearts.

“If you’re feeling fancy free, come wander the hills with me/Look at cliffs and clouds with quiet eyes, watch the eagles soar ‘neath the bright blue skies/This my dear is our rendezvous, and I want to spend it all with you.”


Michelle Hajenga

Michelle Hajenga, 48, of Fort Benton, passed away Tuesday, May 13, 2014, of natural causes.

She was born to William Goyke and Jeannette “Brandi” Collins on September 10, 1965, in St. Paul, Minn. Michelle graduated from Stanford High School and later went on to earn her LPN nursing degree from the University of Montana Great Falls.

Michelle loved caring for people and devoted her life to doing just that. She left an impression on every life she touched. She always had a place and kind moment for any and all strays that wandered into her path.

Michelle’s memory will be carried on by her son, Wally Hajenga (Kayla Sanders) of Lewistown and the three grandchildren Wally and Laura Hammond blessed Michelle with; Braxton, Karley, and Pyper, all of Lewistown; her daughter, Marie Hajenga of Butte; her mother, Jeannette “Brandi” Collins of Laurel; her sisters, Cheryl McDowell and her children Aaron, Jamie (Clinton Stark), and Corina of Sacramento, Calif.; and Kellie Mikkola (Mel) and their children Brandon and Blake, of Great Falls, Montana.

Michelle will also be remembered by countless friends who knew her for the love and compassion that she exhibited every day.

Memorial services have already taken place and burial will follow at a later date.


5-14-14 Issue:

Justin Matthew Fatz

Justin Matthew Fatz, 43, of Missoula, passed away Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Justin was born in Great Falls and received his formal education at Carter Elementary, Fort Benton Junior High and C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls. In 1993, he attended the Cornish College of Arts in Seattle. His love of acting took him to Los Angeles, Minnesota, North Dakota, Hawaii, Senora, California, and Missoula. Along the way, he was a waiter, maitre d’, bartender, casino attendant ... to supplement his one true love, acting!

Justin is survived by his mother, Jane Buxengard of Missoula; sister, Laura Buxengard and her son Jude of Bozeman; along with Uncle Lyle Fatz and Aunt Dorothy von Hultum, and family members.

A Catholic Mass and celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 19, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. There will be other celebrations in June and July.

Justin was a great fan of Facebook. You can visit his page at Justin Fatz Monkey Club to receive updates.