Dixie Hirsch Hargreaves
Dixie Hirsch Hargreaves, 77, of Helena, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
Dixie is survived by her husband Richard, her daughters Kelli Hargreaves and Traci (Jason) Orthman, the light of her life grandson Jack, sister Jackie (Chris) Zawada, brother Rick (Pam) Hirsch and her nieces and nephews. A celebration of Dixie’s life will be held on January 12, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 3580 North Benton Avenue, Helena, MT.
David Gazzara, 63, of Hamilton, passed away peacefully at his home on November 17, 2018. He was born David Anthony Gazzara to Joseph and Shirley Archey Gazzara on September 10, 1955 in Roaring Spring, Pa.
David was raised in Claysburg, Pa. where he received his education. Later in David’s life he became very interested in taxidermy and attended a taxidermy school. He became quite the artist and won many awards for his taxidermy work.
David will be remembered for his love of his family and the gentle nature that he carried. He will also be remembered for his sense of humor. He loved the outdoors and was a lifetime member of Trout Unlimited. David loved fly fishing and hunting where he was proud of the many trophies he had collected. He was also a big Penn State football fan.
David is survived by his wife Kathleen, son Nickolas (Molly) Gazzara and his brother William Gazzara. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Shirley Gazzara.
At David’s request, no formal services will be held. Please express your condolences with the family by visiting www.dalyleachchapel.com under the obituary section.
Wallace Leroy (Wally) Atkinson
Wallace Leroy (Wally) Atkinson,91, passed away Monday November 26, 2018 surrounded by his loving family.
He was born May 8, 1927 in Belt, to Wallace Stewart Atkinson and Wonita Munden Atkinson. Wally was raised in Deer Lodge until the age of 12 when the family moved to Shelby. He was an athlete at Shelby High School quarterbacking the football team, playing point guard for the basketball team and setting a Montana state high jump record in 1945. He graduated from Shelby High School in 1945.
His summers were spent with his grandmother Clara Munden in Deer Lodge where he worked for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroad fixing track. The workers were called “gandy dancers.”
He met Jeanette Rainville in Deer Lodge in 1943. He teasingly asked her to go to “The Gandy Dancers ball.” But being from a railroad family, Jeanette knew there was no such thing. However, they continued to date and were together from that time on.
In 1945 Wally enlisted in the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1949. He married Jeanette Rainville May 7, 1950, residing in Deer Lodge until 2013 when they moved to Hamilton. Together they had five children.
He taught his kids to love sports, outdoor activities and especially reading. He always said you can do anything if you can read about it. He was proof of that. He taught himself all the skills he would need and together with Jeanette he built his own house, doing all the carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and everything else to make a fabulous home for his family. Wally and Jeanette purchased 80 acres in the Sapphire mountains so their descendants could always own a piece of Montana. They of course built a cabin where the family spent many happy hours.
Wally worked for the railroad and as a truck driver, a correctional officer reaching the rank of lieutenant and as a certified watch maker, (another skill he taught himself.) After retiring, not content to be idle, he started driving school bus and soon became a maintenance man for the school. He and Jeanette also had a lawn service with 30 clients which they operated until they were in their 80s.
Wally was active in the Catholic church. Together with Jeanette and their friends Pat and Charlotte Healy, they started serving breakfast in the parish center after Sunday mass with proceeds going to the church. They hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wanted to come and provided a family atmosphere for many people. They served 250 to 300 meals and also sent out 70 boxed dinners. The dinner tradition started in 1984 and continued for many years.
Wally is survived by his wife of 68 years Jeanette and sister Rena Hyvonen. Children Carol Andersen (Kris Anderson), Cheryl Terry (Golden), Cleo Klepzig (Casey), Tim Atkinson (Morgan Taylor) and Janet Wimmer (Tom), 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by nieces Julia Marples (Chuck), Linda Bookout and nephew Ronald Hyvonen and their families.
“Well done Wally, a life well lived.” Funeral services will be announced at a later time with interment at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
Ronald Lee “CORK” Jennings
Ronald Lee “CORK” Jennings, 76, died peacefully on November 19, 2018 in Tualatin, Ore., his home for 38 years.
Cork was born in Deer Lodge to Ayres and Edna Jennings. He graduated from Powell County High School and later married Linda Gilbert in Deer Lodge in 1977.
He is survived by wife Linda, daughter Jennifer, son Russell and his family, wife Jen and children Courtney, Hailey, Ashley, Hayden and Teagan. He is also survived by his brother, Russell, who lives in Arizona, numerous, nieces, and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Hap and Ayres, Jr.
Cork worked for the Milwaukee Railroad in Deer Lodge for many years before moving to Denver, Colo. with the US Government as a track inspector. He then moved to Oregon to work for Railco and later began his career as a Maintenance of Way Manager for TriMet Light Rail System. He loved the railroad!
A funeral was celebrated on November 30 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Oregon. A graveside celebration will take place later in Deer Lodge.
Death Notice: David Anthony Gazzara
David Anthony Gazzara, 63, of Hamilton, Montana passed away on November 17, 2018 at his home. Service details are being handled by Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel in Hamilton, Montana.
Scott Alan Ridley
Scott Alan Ridley, 51, of Missoula, passed away on Thursday November 15, 2018 at St. Patrick Hospital.
He was born on March 20, 1967, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, to Noel and Jan Ridley. Scott grew up in Missoula and Deer Lodge. After graduating from Powell County High School in 1985 Scott enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman and was a member of Delta Sigma Phi. In 1991 he served during Operation Desert Shield with the Military Police as a Staff Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1992. Scott was always outgoing and friendly to all he met. He excelled in every job he had. He loved people and every job he had was focused on people and always rose to management quickly. In 2007 he returned to live in Montana. Eventually Scott found his last career in management with Dominos. They were like family and he loved his job and career.
Scott loved his Seattle Seahawks immensely. In his free time, Scott collected coins and built an amazing license plate collection. He loved the outdoors and there was no road off limits to explore.
Survivors include his mother Jan Ridley of Deer Lodge; two brothers Keith of Helena; Matt and (Lisa) Ridley of Tigard, Ore.; his sister, Melinda and (Linn) Feliciano of Belgrade; and niece, Hannah Feliciano of Belgrade.
He was proceeded in death by his father Noel Ridley, his grandfather Haywood Frailey, and his grandparents Art and Florence Ridley.
Memorial Services will be held at a later date.
Cleo R. Seaman
Cleo R. Seaman, 94, of Missoula passed away Sunday, November 4, 2018 at home, in the company of loved ones. She was born January 14, 1924 in Deer Lodge to Hector E. Rainville and Margaret Sestrich Rainville.
Cleo was raised in Deer Lodge, attending St. Mary’s Academy and graduating from Powell County High School in 1942. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a Drum Majorette. After high school she worked for Duvall Wallace Hardware, Keystone Drug and Fountain and operated and managed Kenny’s Fountain for a number of years. She then worked for the Deer Lodge Bank. In 1958, she married Bob Seaman. They moved to Missoula and were divorced in 1961. In 1963-1964, Cleo was the executive secretary for the Montana Centennial train that traveled to the New York World’s Fair.
Returning from the World’s Fair she moved to Las Vegas renewing her friendship with George Cote. She and George had been friends since 1947 and remained together until his death in 2010. While in Las Vegas, Cleo worked for the Valley Bank of Nevada and the Freemont Hotel and Casino. Friends and family visited her in Las Vegas and Cleo always made sure they had a good time. In 1997, Cleo and George returned to Missoula to be closer to family and friends.
Cleo was a people person and never forgot anyone she met. She enjoyed sending (and receiving) greeting cards and going out to lunch. Although she didn’t have any children of her own, she was loved and cherished by many nieces and nephews.
Cleo is survived by a sister Jeanetta Atkinson and husband Wally of Hamilton and brother Thomas Rainville and wife Davis of Mukilteo, Wash.; many nieces and nephews Guy Rainville (CJ), Carol Andersen (Kris Anderson), Cheryl Terry (Golden), Cleo Klepzig (Casey), Tim Atkinson (Morgan Taylor), Janet Wimmer (Tom), Paula Meyer (Steve), Don Rainville (Betsy), John Rainville (Debbie), Jody Marshall, Maggie Snow, Ross Rainville (Diann), Rene’ Deering (Ken), Janne’ Joy, Janette Joy Hale and several cousins.
Cleo is also survived by George’s nieces and nephews and many special friends she considered part of her family.
Funeral services will be announced at a later time with interment at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com
Betty Lila Kuehn Brown
Betty Lila Kuehn Brown, 86, of Deer Lodge passed away on Friday, November 9, 2018 at St. Patrick Hospital due to complications from Viral Encephalitis.
She was born on February 29, 1932 in Poplar, to Gust and Helen Kuehn. As a young girl, Betty lived with her parents and 12 siblings on land they homesteaded near Fairfield. Betty graduated from Fairfield High School in 1950.
On April 20, 1952, she married Harry C. (Bush) Brown. He preceded her in death in 2013.
Betty was very active at St. John Lutheran Church, a member of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Woman’s Club, New to You and the Elks. She helped with the local Red Cross Blood Drive for over 20 years. Betty enjoyed quilting, her flower garden, playing Bunco and Pinochle. She volunteered at the school and the Community Thanksgiving Dinner for several years.
Betty was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. She also took great and loving care of her friends and her church family. She loved life and life loved her right back!
Survivors include her daughters, Cheryl (Kirk) Sandquist and Janice (Jody) Neubauer from Deer Lodge; her son Alan (Penny) Brown from Phoenix, Ore. Her grandchildren, Eric (Monica) Tavenner, Billings; Jason Tavenner, Helena; Wendy Lambert, Montague, Calif.; Heidi (Kenny) Kuehl, Medford, Ore.; Cody Neubauer, Deer Lodge and Cole (Cassie) Neubauer, Billings. Six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. She is survived by brothers Glen (Ann) Kuehn and Alvin Kuehn, and a sister Marion Riley. She is also survived by many special nieces, nephews and friends.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Gust and Helen Kuehn, husband, Bush; siblings Adena Palmerton, Hertha Hawthorne, Katie Loss, Ida Shatto, Doreen Francois, Ernie Kuehn, Jim Kuehn, Ervin Kuehn, and Raymond Kuehn.
Services will be held on Friday, November 16 at St. John Lutheran Church in Deer Lodge at 11 a.m. with Pastor Mitchell officiating. A luncheon will follow at the Lutheran Fellowship Hall.
Memorials in Betty’s name can be made to the Lutheran Church Beautification Project, Woman’s Club or an organization of donor’s choice.
Neil Gordon Ruttenbur
Neil Gordon Ruttenbur, May 16, 1941 - November 6, 2018.
“Sober, steadfast, quiet and true. This can be said of very few”
Neil Gordon Ruttenbur of Seeley Lake, age 77, died of complications from cancer on November 6, 2018 under the care of Hospice in Missoula.
Neil was born on May 16, 1941 in Deer Lodge, to parents Gordon and June Ruttenbur. After graduation from Powell County High School in 1959, he accepted a position as a driver for Meadow Gold Dairies where he worked for more than 36 years.
Neil married the sparky Sherry Ann Goodman in 1961 and was a devoted husband for 55 years before her unexpected passing in 2016. The couple has three children, each of whom proudly served in the military.
Neil was a deeply generous man of time and money, and he was actively involved in the community. He was a member of the Deer Lodge Elks Club for more than 30 years, the Deer Lodge Rotary Club from 1970-1980, a Cub Scout leader in Deer Lodge for eight years and a member of the Deer Lodge Snowmobile Club from 1978-1997.
Neil and Sherry built a home at Seeley Lake and moved there permanently in 1997. He was a member of the Seeley Lake Snowmobile Club from 1997-2010 and the Seeley Lake Lions Club from 1998-present.
Neil was a talented and gifted man who enjoyed fly-fishing and woodworking. He was a great contributor to his communities and a friend to all who he stayed in touch with throughout his life. He will be deeply missed by those who loved him and by everyone who knew him.
Neil is survived by his son Lee Alan Ruttenbur of Polson, and his daughter Kristie Lynn Ruttenbur of Missoula.
He is preceded in death by his wife Sherry Ann Ruttenbur, his brother Stephen Von Ruttenbur and sister Carol Jean Smith; his son Loran Albert Ruttenbur, DC1, USCG of Deer Lodge and his parents Gordon and June Ruttenbur of Deer Lodge.
Donations can be made in Neil’s honor to the Seeley Lake Lions Club, PO Box 215, Seeley Lake, MT 59868.
Anna Louise (Yoes) Vaughn
Anna Louise (Yoes) Vaughn, went to go be with our Lord Jesus Christ, October 16, 2018.
She was born April 15, 1942. She was the second of five children born to Elsie and Charly Yoes, of Spur, Texas.
She completed high school at Lubbock High and married her childhood sweetheart Ronald Vaughn, Sr. in 1962. Ron and Anna were together 56 1/2 years. They had two children, Ron Jr. and Tina, both of Deer Lodge. Tina preceded her mother in death in 2016. Together they had two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jonathan.
She is survived by one brother and two sisters, Charles Yoes of Carrollton, Texas; Lois Hampton of Las Vegas, Nev.; and Lisa of Stockton, Calif. Susan, her youngest sister, preceded her in death.
Anna was a hard working, loving wife and mother who always lent a helping hand to those in need. One of her favorite traits was to laugh at herself and share joy with those around her. She loved to cook and was very artistic. She often said that “Jesus Christ was and is the faith of God.”
Funeral services were held on October 22, 2018, graveside at Hillcrest Cemetery, Deer Lodge.
Death notice: Cleo R. Seaman
Cleo R. Seaman, 94 of Missoula passed away November 4 at the Village Senior Residence in Missoula.
Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.
Joyce Marie née Pascoe (Funk) Leonard
Joyce Marie née Pascoe (Funk) Leonard passed away of natural causes on October 12, 2018, in Milwaukie, Ore., at the age of 92. Born in Deer Lodge on March 8, 1925, she was the daughter of Roy and Merle Pascoe. Joyce graduated from Powell County High School and attended the University of Montana. She and her first husband, Wilbur Funk raised their family in Montana, Minnesota and Oregon.
Joyce imbued her own children with an uncommon musical sensitivity and shared her love of music with children’s choirs for decades. She taught elementary school music in Montana and was a special education instructor in the Portland Public Schools.
While living with her second husband, Daniel Leonard in Milwaukie, Ore., Joyce, well into her 80s, continued to teach piano and harp lessons to children.
Joyce was named after James Joyce, the great Irish novelist, with whom she had genetic ties. During her childhood in Deer Lodge, she was a four-year pen pal with a British woman named Princess Elizabeth – now Queen Elizabeth.
Joyce is survived by her children: Gary Funk, Florence; Nancy Wilson and Eric Funk, both of Bozeman; and Melody Funk, Eastsound, Wash. Joyce had 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. No memorial services are scheduled. Her ashes will be interred next to Daniel Leonard at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Ore.
Because of you, we sing!
Marlin Dale Gilman
Marlin Dale Gilman, September 13, 1937 - October 4, 2018.
Marlin was born September 13, 1937 in Drummond to Violet Brander and Pal Beebe. Violet later married Vernon (Red) Gilman who became an important part of Marlin’s life. Marlin attended grade school at the Phosphate Mine School and graduated from Powell County High School in 1956. He attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah from fall 1956 – until spring of 1958 then went to Montana State University from fall 1958 to spring 1959 where he started dating Donna Nelson.
Marlin was employed as an accountant for Utah Construction at the Phosphate Mine in Garrison, after he graduated high school and then went back to Utah Construction after attending MSU Bozeman.
Marlin and Donna married on January 30, 1960 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Dillon. Their relationship flourished on love and laughter. They raised three beautiful daughters, Shelle Enyeart, Janell Van Diest, and De Dee Johnson. Marlin and Donna also were a huge part of raising Jim Evans, Jackie Manley, Chuck Gilman and Tammie Clawson (deceased), they feel loved as their children and the Gilman girls’ siblings.
Marlin and Donna started a small herd of black angus cattle. They became full time ranchers when Marlin’s position with Utah Construction was to be relocated to Afghanistan or Iran. The ranch became their lifestyle and an excellent way to raise a family. He became well known around the Montana communities for his quality registered bulls and replacement heifers.
Marlin was also known for his honesty and integrity; he was always a kind, gentle and caring man and he was an amazing hard worker and a man with a heart of gold. He has always been an angel in disguise with a side of rebellion. He thought about others before himself. He helped those in need any time of day or night. He would pick up hitchhikers and give people the last few dollars in his pocket.
Marlin was never afraid of anything. He was a daredevil and enjoyed every second of it. His rebellious side shined through when he jumped snowmobiles, rode horseback alongside cliffs, and when he was accused of cheating at cards. He mastered horsemanship, stewardship, and was an awesome cattle-man. He was able to train any horse that he ever wanted to.
Both, Marlin and Donna had a passion for league bowling at Ken-Mar Lanes, now called Victory Lanes in Deer Lodge. They made so many friends and won many plaques and trophies over the 52 years of competing.
Marlin was on the Garrison Community Rural Garbage Board, Powell County Planning Board, Powell County Weed Board, FHA Loan Committee, Farm Service Committee, Garrison Elementary School Board for 17 years and was also a volunteer for the Garrison Fire Department.
Marlin has always shown so much support and love for his family. He was fortunate enough to have several siblings, one full brother Leland Gilman (deceased), and several half brothers and sisters including Bud Beebe (deceased), Norman Beebe (deceased), Don Beebe (deceased), Lila Lee Beebe (deceased), Willa May Beebe (deceased), Lillian Loomis, and Wilma Becker. His immediate family, Donna Gilman, Shelle (Jim) Enyeart, Janell (Damon) Van Diest, De Dee Johnson, Jim Evans, Jackie Manley, Chuck Gilman and Danny Gilman. Grandchildren Eric Enyeart, Kelsey Enyeart, Tyler Shepherd, Trenton Shepherd and Rye Lee Van Diest. He is also loved by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Everyone that knew him, knew how great of a man Marlin was.
A celebration of life for Marlin Dale Gilman will be held on October 11, 2018 at noon at the Elks Lodge in Deer Lodge. A luncheon will follow the ceremony.
In lieu of flowers please send memorials to the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department or charity of your choice.
Patti J. Lee Stoos
Patti J. Lee Stoos, retired Special Ed/Title I teacher and antiques dealer, died on September 5, 2018, at the Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton. Her graveside service was Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Geraldine Cemetery. Benton Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.
Born on June 21, 1942 to Ida Fram Lee and Elmer A. Lee in Seattle, Wash., Pattie moved with her parents to Deer Lodge, she graduated from Powell County High School in 1960.
Upon graduation she moved to Dillon, where she attended Western Montana College, graduating in 1964 with a BS degree in Elementary Education.
She taught grade school in Hamilton and Great Falls. In 1976 she completed graduate credits at Northern Montana College and taught in Geraldine, Special Ed/Title I.
In May of 1991, Patti chose “early retirement” but continued to substitute teach through 2001.
Due to poor health, Patti became a resident of Missouri River Medical Center from 2007 until the time of her death.
In her lifetime, Patti chose to laugh often and have fun with family and friends. She loved antiques and antique shows and went “junking” with many lifelong friends. Her business “Patti Cakes” took her statewide with many treasured items bought and sold.
This loyal friend and fun loving teacher always looked at life through the eyes of a child. Indeed, she was one of a kind.
Michael T. Relig
Michael T. Relig, 52, passed away Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. He was born in Dearborn, Mich.
Michael was a great person who gave to many different charities to help against bullying and helping pit bulls, his favorite dog.
His pastimes were watching wrestling, working on model cars and spending time with Jennifer and Jada Sparks, his fiance and her daughter. Mike loved to draw and had a passion for music of all kinds.
Mike moved to Deer Lodge about four years ago from Michigan and he fell in love with Montana.
Michael joins his father Nick in death. He is survived by mom Donna, brother Ken, sister Kathy, sons Mikey, Mitchel and Mathew; and grandkids Bradley and Addlyn.
Henry Joseph (Joe) Hukill
Henry Joseph (Joe) Hukill, 70, passed away Sunday, September 16, 2018 in Lewistown of natural causes. He was born in Deer Lodge on October 14, 1947 to Henry John and Kathryn (Dye) Hukill. Joe grew up in Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School in 1968. He enlisted with the United States Air Force, serving his country as the officer in charge of helicopter maintenance and turn-around and jet loading and turn-around in Viet Nam and Thailand. Upon returning from Viet Nam, the Air Force deployed him to Alaska for his final tour. Joe earned an honorable discharge and worked for Bell Helicopter when he returned from the service. Throughout Joe focused his interests and skill sets in mechanical engineering, obtaining certifications in both Automotive and Diesel Tractor operation and maintenance in Colorado.
Joe’s heart was forever at home in Montana and he was happy to return to Missoula. He is remembered by his friends and family for the loving care he provided for his parents, for his generous spirit and for his compassion and eagerness to help others. Joe stayed in constant contact with friends and family, primarily to ensure that everyone was in good health. To some extent, Joe was the conduit between our geographically disparate family and our Montana friends. Joe was a gentle man and he was a man who would give the shirt off his back without hesitation. He brought his gifts of love and laughter to all who knew him. His sense of humor always earned him points. He liked to joke with friends, and he delighted in devising tricks that brought smiles all around, as well as entertainment for his young nephews.
Joe is survived by his brother, John Dye Hukill of Lothian, Md.; his sister, Carol Rives of Salem, Ore.; several nieces and nephews who are scattered across the country.
Joe was buried on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 11 in Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge with Mount Powell and all its splendor in the foreground. A memorial service for friends and family will be scheduled in June 2019. The Cloyd Funeral Home of Lewistown is assisting the family.
Friends who wish to honor Joe’s memory, the family would suggest a donation to your Humane Society, being ever mindful of Joe’s well-loved and pampered kitties and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home, PO Box 595 Lewistown, MT 59457. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.
Lawrence W. “Larry” Keele
Lawrence W. “Larry” Keele passed away peacefully on September 19, surrounded by family after a long battle with multiple health issues.
Larry was born in Salmon, Idaho on January 20, 1943 to Leroy and Linnie Keele. Larry was the second of four children, joining sister Riva. Sister Rosie and brother Rod would come later.
After high school Larry joined the Navy and was always proud of his status as a veteran.
Larry’s first marriage was blessed with three daughters; Pam, Becky, and Kathy. They also adopted three kids; LD, Peggy, and Janita. Some of the kids’ earliest memories are of riding in a log-truck with their dad and going camping and hunting for sapphires and garnets on the Skalkaho.
In 1981 Larry married Toni Mattila. It was also the second marriage for Toni and she came with four kids of her own; Dale, Tana, Bambi, and Penni. Larry welcomed the step-children with open arms and always treated them like his own.
Larry spent 33 years as a truck driver, from log trucks to long-haul over-the-road hauling.
From childhood on, Larry was an avid hunter and fisherman. Some of his biggest joys were taking friends and family on his boat for fishing outings and weekends spent at the hunting cabin. Larry was always up for a game of cribbage (or 20) and his skills were feared far and wide. There were few things worse than being left in the “stink-hole” by Larry.
Larry liked a cold beer, a fat steak, a tall whiskey, and a good read. He had a great sense of humor and infectious smile. He was a man of great faith. He was a proud and loving grandfather, never letting his grandkids leave without one of his famous bear-hugs.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents Leroy and Linnie, sisters Riva and Rosie, and daughter Peggy. He is survived by his wife Toni, brother Rod (Shirley), children Pam Carlson, Becky Snyder (Bob Bierhaus), Kathy (Mark) Peterson, LD Keele, Janita (Doyle) Van Heeder, Dale Mattila, Tana (John) Bignell, Bambi Mattila, and Penni (Joe) Gray, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be Wednesday, September 26 at 11 at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Helena.
Mary Jean Price
Mary Jean Price entered Heaven’s Gate on September 10, 2018. Jeannie, as everyone fondly called her, was born in the Garrison Valley June 11, 1929. She helped on the ranch herding sheep with her brother Conrad Martinz. She married Kenneth Price on May 20, 1950 and they raised four daughters on the ranch in Finn.
She was a remarkable cook whose recipes will be a treasure to her family and friends. No one left her home hungry. She loved quilting, picking huckleberries, painting and most of all playing with her grandchildren. She would spend hours playing with them, reading to them, cooking for them. She will be missed by all that knew and loved her.
She was preceded in death by Kenny. Survivors include brother Cony Martinz, daughters Colleen Holt, Sandy Ackerman, Lynn Smith and Joey Webb plus 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Any donations can be directed to Hospice as they were wonderful to her in her time of need. As per Jean’s instructions the family will have a Celebration of her life next spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Leonard A. Benjamin
Leonard A. Benjamin (80) died of natural causes on September 11, 2018 at his home outside Dillon. His ceremony will be a private memorial at his beloved family cabin in the mountains above Lima.
He is survived by Joye Benjamin, Dillon; children; daughter, Bonny L. (Benjamin) Peterson, Eureka; son, Vince L. Benjamin, Seward, Alaska; his sister, Victoria; and grandchildren, Virginia Cope, Clinton Kolschefsky and Cassandra (Benjamin) Kougl, Eureka; Wade Benjamin, Michael Benjamin, Seward, Alaska; and four great-grandchildren.
Leonard was born in Shelby, to Dr. Leonard M. Benjamin and Anthony (Striedenger) Benjamin on April 8, 1938. His early years were dictated by his father’s medical school training. This took him through Missoula, Minneapolis, Denver, Butte and finally Deer Lodge in 1946.
Leonard was “Lenny” throughout his school years in Deer Lodge. Lenny spent a lot of time with his beloved grandfather, Harry Benjamin, in Shelby and on the farm at Oilmont, north of Shelby. After high school graduation in 1956 he attended the University of Montana for a brief period making the “dean’s list” as he would say. The “dean’s list” where you drink beer and don’t go to school until they invite you to leave college that is. Leonard was in the Army National Guard at the time and upon taking the deans advice to leave the U of M, joined the Army.
He put in two years in the Army, much of it in Fort Knox, Ky. On his way to Fort Knox, at 19 years old, in an old Buick he drove through Chicago. Upon stopping at a stop sign a man with a knife jumped in the passenger’s side of the car demanding he get out so he could steal the car. At the same time, Lenny and the thief looked down at the seat at dad’s 38 revolver. The thief’s eyes got really big and out he went, exiting the same door he entered. Lenny never said a word, but did lean over and lock the passenger’s side door.
Upon returning to Montana, Lenny spent the early 1960s mining, ranching, trucking and driving school bus from the Jackson ranch, where he worked in Jackson, to Dillon, where he attended college. This is where he met the one and only love of his life, Joye Van Gilder. Leonard and Joye were married in 1961 and soon had two children. Lenny was now “Leonard” and his first teaching job was in Browning. After four “interesting” years in Browning he enrolled in graduate school back at the U of M. This time, he made the correct “dean’s list” while completing his Master’s degree in School Administration. Leonard took the superintendent of school’s position in Geyser, in the summer of 1971. Leonard got out of the school business and went back to his true love of ranching in Stanford in 1975. He took pride in teaching his children his passion of hunting and fishing in the Judith Basin of Montana. All the while, instilling the work ethic that Montana ranch kids seem to learn. After his children finished high school in Stanford, Leonard and Joye moved back to the favored Dillon area in 1982 where he ranched and drove semi-truck.
Living out a lifetime bucket list, he followed his son to Alaska in 1993. While in Alaska, he lived in Nome, Valdez, Dillingham and Seward. Leonard enjoyed the outdoors of Alaska as much as Montana. Hunting and fishing with his two children was a priority in Alaska.
Finally retiring from Southwest School District in Dillingham, Alaska he moved to Seward, Alaska in the year 2000 to help his son build a business. Leonard’s dry humor and gentle nature made him a man of many friends in Seward. Leonard had his “spot” at his son’s restaurant in Seward. The locals knew his spot and looked for him when they entered. He loved to talk at the restaurant. It was fun to watch. Leonard loved kids, dogs, and tolerated the rest of us. He would walk the restaurant floor nearly every evening with free candy suckers for the kids.
The last 10 years of his life were spent outside of Dillon in a small house that he built. Much of his time was dedicated to gopher control, the gophers won that battle. Leonard also gardened, and spent time at the family cabin outside of Lima. Joye was with Leonard till the end, talking with him and helping him with his needs. He was very grateful of Joye’s kindness. Leonard passed away with dignity in his home outside of Dillon, just as he wanted to.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Harry Benjamin and Darrell Benjamin of Deer Lodge.
Memorials are suggested in the form of hugs or a phone call to your family and friends as that is what Leonard would have wanted.
To submit an obituary, please email email@example.com or call us at 406-846-2424.