Harlan “Buv” L. Clark
Harlan “Buv” L. Clark.
May 17, 1938- May 8, 2020.
Harlan passed over peacefully at his home in Elliston on May 8, 2020. His wife Joanne Johnson and family were at his side. He was born in Helena to Roy Clark and Helen Dixon-Clark. He was raised by his mom and the people of Elliston and was a third generation resident. He was one of the last old timers; hard worker, story teller, prankster, lover of life and happiest in the mountains. He laughed so hard tears would run down his face.
At the age of six, he was welcomed in the logging camps and his job was skidding logs with a work horse named Dolly. During his logging career he was a sawyer, skidder operator, and truck driver. Buv served in the US Army. Jobs included tunnel watchman for Burlington Northern, ranch hand, different types of mining and he loved to pan for gold in the creeks of Elliston. Buv helped a number of people who needed advice or a helping hand. His knowledge made it able for him to fix anything and he was a jack of all trades. In his retirement he loved to build decorative wagons which are now located throughout the western United States.
Buv is survived by his wife Joanne Johnson of Elliston, his four children: David (Mary Ellen) Clark of Helena, Cindy Moore of Pablo, Mathew (Cyndi) Johnson of Butte, and Heather (Tony) Weldon of Lake Charles, LA. He is also survived by his grandchildren Ryan Clark of Helena, Amanda of Missoula, and Kylie Quigley of Elliston; and numerous nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Uncle Jim Dixon, and his granddaughter Brandy Moore.
His best buddies were his granddaughter Kylie and his dog Kimmer.
Harlan will be greatly missed by the lives he touched. A celebration of life for family and friends will be announced later.
Debra Cooksey, a great friend and member of the Deer Lodge community, passed away on Tuesday, April 28.
On September 23, 1954, she was born Debra Roann Sommerville in Clarksburg, West Virginia to Thomas Eugene Sommersville and Mabel Marie Faulkner. She enjoyed her childhood with friends and a quality education in the public schools of Anmoore and Bridgeport, West Virginia. She enjoyed taking Sunday drives while listening to music. She loved animals, especially her cat Cricket.
Debra was a proud Christian and looked forward to being reunited with her husband. She did not want a funeral service, but donation could be made to the animal shelter of your choice.
She will be missed.
Argerula “Arge” Helen (Politis) Morgan
Argerula “Arge” Morgan passed away peacefully on Friday, April 24 at the age of 84 in Poulsbo, Wash. Arge was born on April 14, 1936 in Deer Lodge. She is survived by her loving family: her son, Patrick Sullivan (Tracy), her two grandchildren, Tiffany Perrin (Travis) and Christopher Sullivan (Andrea); and her great-grandchildren, Aloura, Taylor, Myah and Nikkolaos. She is the daughter of Michael J. Politis and Agnes (Miller) Politis. She is preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Phillip Wayne Morgan, in July 2011.
After graduating from Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, she moved to Seattle, Wash., where she focused her attention on raising her family and on her career. She worked as a Finance/Loan Officer at Avco Delta/Seaboard Finance Company, retiring after 32 years of dedicated service. After retiring, Arge and her husband moved back to Deer Lodge where they enjoyed the close knit community atmosphere.
Arge was an avid Seahawks and Mariners fan; she and her husband were one of the first Seahawks Season Ticket Holders, and although they had to give them up when they retired to Deer Lodge, she continued to root for her teams and passed on her love of sports, the Mariners and Seahawks, to her son and grandchildren. Arge had a strong desire to support her local community, volunteering at the Rialto Theatre in Deer Lodge, and supporting a Kitsap County animal rescue group after relocating to Silverdale to be closer to family. During her tenure on the board of directors of the Rialto Theatre, she also volunteered at the theatre’s concessions. Arge was sharp-witted, generous, enjoyed shopping and spoiling her great-grandchildren. She was a spirited conversationalist and treasured the time spent catching up with old friends from her hometown. She will truly be missed.
Her private graveside service will be held at Abbey View Memorial Park in Brier, Wash. on Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m. Cards and expressions of support may be mailed to 1073 Thorndyke Rd., Port Ludlow, Wash. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Rialto Theatre (www.deerlodgerialto.com) or to Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE) (www.nwkare.org). An online memorial can be seen at www.lewischapel.com.
Dorothy Lucille (Perkins) Stone
Dorothy Lucille (Perkins) Stone, 93. May 8, 1926 – April 22, 2020.
Dorothy was born and raised in Deer Lodge on May 8, 1926 to John E. and Elizabeth (Snell) Perkins. She grew up on the Perkins Ranch south of town with her three brothers and five sisters. Dorothy was very active on the ranch working just about everywhere she was needed.
At the age of 17 she met and married Robert Stone of Anaconda, together they moved and lived just a little farther down Dempsey Creek from her mom and dad. Except for a brief stint working at the Galen Hospital, Dorothy stayed home and raised four children and worked their family farm until moving to Lost Creek in 1997.
Bob and Dorothy led very active lives camping all around Montana, snowmobiling to the Dempsey Lakes, looking after grandchildren, and visiting friends far and wide. Dorothy was a hardworking woman her entire life, tending garden, raising kids, and keeping her family together through WWII and many other difficult times. She was always one to open her home, whether it was for family, foster kids or anyone else in need. She enjoyed crocheting, reading, canning, ceramics and could often be found baking or taking on some other task. Never one to say no to a project whether it was painting her entire house well into her 80s or rearranging her furniture at the rest home, she found a way and was not shy about roping in anyone lucky enough to be around to help.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years Robert S. Stone Sr., brothers: Ernest, Clifford, and Jack Perkins, sisters: Grace Sullivan, Emma Tamcke, Mae Risch, Lois Stav, and June Wallace. She is survived by her four children: Robert (Ada) Stone, Tim (Cathy) Stone, Ken (Jan) Stone, and Jeanne Stone; 10 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.
Dorothy has been cremated. As per her wishes a celebration of life will be held later this summer at the Perkins Ranch in honor of her husband, sisters, and anyone else we have lost. Memorials in her memory may be made to the Anaconda Nursing Home. Details will be announced after life returns to a semblance of normal. Express condolences at www.wayrynen-richards.com.
William “Bill” Edward Townsley
William “Bill” Edward Townsley, 88, passed away at home at Big Sky Senior Living on Saturday, April 11, 2020 in Butte.
Bill was born to Ira and Edna Townsley in Cleveland, Ohio on July 10, 1931. They returned to Deer Lodge when he was six months old and that is where he spent his growing up years. He married Nina Baulch on December 2, 1954 in Butte. They have been married for 65 years.
Bill attended school in Deer Lodge, and graduated from Powell County High School. After high school he enlisted and served four years in the U.S. Navy. After returning to Deer Lodge, he worked as an electrician for the Milwaukee, Northern Pacific, and Burlington Northern Railroads, being employed in Deer Lodge and Livingston, and West Burlington, Iowa, retiring in 1992. He loved his family and enjoyed camping, the mountains, being outdoors, photography, bird hunting, and his pet dogs. It was a life well lived. He was retired for 27 years.
Bill is survived by his wife, Nina Townsley, two sons, Clifford (Pat) Townsley and Jeffery (Lili) Townsley, one daughter, Vickie (Greg) Garff. He is also survived by one brother, Robert (Raenell) Townsley, and brother-in-law, Ray Rugg. He has seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Barbra Rugg, and Betty Fiedler, also by a great-granddaughter, Faith Townsley.
The family would like to thank Frontier Home Health and Hospice for their care. A private family memorial will take place at a later date.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Bill.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Bill and his family.
Montana State Prison inmate Jerry Forsyth died on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, of an extended illness. He was 74 years old. This death was not related to COVID-19.
Mr. Forsyth was sentenced out of Flathead County in 1986 for the crime of Deliberate Homicide. Mr. Forsyth was sentenced to Montana State Prison for the term of 110 years. He was parole eligible in 2000 and had a discharge date of 2039.
Thomas Vernon Hunt
Thomas Vernon Hunt was born (1944) and raised in Deer Lodge, he passed away March 22, 2020.
He began his career as an Electrician for the Milwakee Railroad. He moved to Las Vegas, Nev. in 1972, where he married his wife of 47 years, Sheryl (Woodward) Hunt. He went on to work at Titanium Metals Corporation as an Electrician for 20 years before moving to assist in the construction of Boulder Station Casino and then on to a Facilities Manager at the Rio Hotel & Casino where he retired in 2007.
Thomas is survived by his wife Sheryl, daughter Shauna Kowalczik, son Shawn Hunt and three grandchildren. Services are pending.
Ernie Courtney Perrault, 81, of Deer Lodge, has passed away surrounded by loved ones on March 25, 2020 after a brave battle with cancer.
Ernie was born on September 7, 1938 to Narcisse (Ned) and Elizabeth Perrault in Everett, Wash. After graduating from Everett High, he chose a career in Air Craft machinist.
In 1960, he met Myra (Mickey) Upton and married her the same year. They had four sons, Randy, Noel, Kevin, and Jamie.
After retiring in 1994, Ernie and Mickey moved to Deer Lodge. Ernie spent his time rock hounding, camping, and enjoying family time. He was a history buff and everyone who knew him loved his humor and personality.
Ernie was predeceased by his son Jamie Perrault. He is survived by daughter in-law Liana Perrault, son Randy and his wife Patricia, son Noel and his wife Heidi, and son Kevin and his wife Tammy; nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
A celebration of life memorial will be planned for when the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Patrick Henry Williams
Patrick Henry Williams, 74, March 17, 1946 - March 28, 2020.
Pat went to be with the Lord on march 28, 2020. He was born in Allen, S.D. to Ralph and Cora Williams. Pat was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, and three sisters. Pat is survived by his wife Linda, married 54 years. Pat and Linda had four children, Jon, Tresa, Stacy and Chad; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Robert John Polish
Robert John Polish, July 5, 1942- March 23, 2020.
Robert Polish passed away peacefully at home in Porterville, Calif. with his wife Laura by his side. Robert was born on July 5, 1942 to Rudolph Henry Polish and Estella Ball Polish in Dillon. He was raised on the family ranch in Glen and attended a small one room school in Glen through the eighth grade. He graduated from Beaverhead County High School in 1960, and briefly attended the University of Montana before returning to the family ranch. He married Caroline Maree Nelson on January 4, 1964 and moved to Eagle, Colorado that same year. They later divorced.
Robert and his father Rudy moved to Deer Lodge in 1966 and purchased the Deer Lodge Bank and Trust later renamed Peoples Bank of Deer Lodge. They operated the bank in Deer Lodge together until his father’s death in 1979. The bank was sold in 1984. During his years in Deer Lodge, he was instrumental in the growth and development of the small town he loved so much, and was honored to be named the Outstanding Young Man of Montana in the mid 1970’s.
He married Laura Robb on July 8,1989 and she was faithfully by his side until he died.
Following his career in banking, hotel construction and ownership took Robert to various locations in Montana, Idaho, and finally Porterville, Calif. where he retired in 2006.
Robert grew deep roots and loved the land of Montana by tending it on the family’s cattle ranch from the time he could walk. Ranching never left his blood. He later owned a small working cattle ranch in Deer Lodge, with his dad, while owning the bank. Robert found great satisfaction in caring for animals. He was also passionate about flying and was inspired by his father and uncle at a very young age. He spent countless hours not only flying, but attending airshows, sitting at the end of an airstrip, and looking at flying publications endlessly.
Anyone that knew and loved Robert also knows that he always had a grand idea, an invention, or a big dream. He was willing to share it with you for hours and could inspire the smallest thinker to dream bigger. Both of his daughters received their entrepreneurial spirits from their dad.
He was proceeded in death by his father, mother and half sister, Alice (Sunny) Dower.
His legacy lives on through the countless people that loved him, knew him, and were inspired by him. His wife Laura Polish of Porterville, Calif., his daughter Nancy Polish of Seagrove, Fla., daughter Emily (Steve) Sims of Pensacola Beach, Fla., his stepsons Steve Robb of Porterville, Calif., and Mike Robb of Great Falls, grandson William Charles Brock, II (Charlie), Caroline Addison (Addie) Sims, Shelby Robb, Jeremy Robb, John Robb, and Jared Robb, and numerous great-grandchildren.
His remains will be put to rest in a place dear to his heart, Montana, at a time in the future.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you make a donation Landmark Christian Center 2380 W. Olive Ave., Porterville, CA 93257 or online at www.engage.suran.com/lccptv
Peter Joseph Thomas
My father, Pete Thomas, was a complicated man. He was many things to many people and not always good at expressing his emotions. He made decisions and did things that sometimes left people wondering or hurt. He was also a good man, a loving and sentimental man, and my greatest supporter. Let me introduce you to the Pete I knew:
Peter Joseph Thomas was born in Deer Lodge, to Joseph Stanley Thomas and Shirley Mae Martin on August 5th, 1952. When we would pass the old hospital on St. Marys, he would point out to me the room where he was born, despite it being boarded up for my entire life. This is only one of the many ways he showed and instilled in me a pride for being from this community. He loved Deer Lodge.
Pete also loved his family - all of it. He was the fourth of five siblings, and although not always perfect, his relationships with all his siblings held a special place in his heart. To his siblings I say, some of your relationships with my father fared better than others over the years, but please never doubt that he loved you and wished you happiness. He held many fond memories about your lives together. I know because he told me.
Pete was also fiercely proud of his parents. His mother has an unshakable faith which he envied, and Stan was, “the greatest man I’ve ever known”. He credited them for helping him raise two wonderful daughters, whom he also loved fiercely. If anyone needs any WSU Cougar memorabilia, we now have plenty to share.
Closely entwined with his family, Pete also loved the outdoors. He spent ample time at Rock Creek Lake in his youth, where his family had a cabin. He was also an avid hunter and while he enjoyed his personal time outdoors, he enjoyed sharing it with others more. Through the years, these times included countless hikes, hunting camps, and trips with his father, siblings, nephews, nieces, daughters, friends, and more. He was grateful for every moment and every person who shared them with him. These were his happiest times and no matter where life took him, his heart was never far from these experiences and the mountains surrounding this valley.
Pete graduated from Powell County High School in 1971, although sometimes I’m not sure how from the stories he told me. He then enrolled in college in Dillon, but his enrollment was cut short when he was drafted into the US Army as one of the last Vietnam-era draftees from Montana.
As conflict in Vietnam ended soon after, dad found himself stationed in Germany with the 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead). Although only an SP4, he served as a squad leader, a position requiring an NCO two grades higher. This service garnered him a Certificate of Achievement which goes on to state, “SP4 Thomas’ distinctive leadership and aggressiveness was one of the success factors distinguishing his squad from others.” My dad harbored both great humility and great pride in his military years.
After his discharge from the military in 1978, Pete returned home to Deer Lodge. He joined his father, Stan, and brother, Leonard, in a local plumbing business which thrived into the 90s. Afterwards, he and Leonard continued to work together, traveling to neighboring cities and states to build hotels and homes with their crew.
When I reflect back on my father, he is so closely tied to his work that it is nearly impossible for me to separate the two. Dad was proud of what he did, despite the toll it took on his body. It was honest work where he got to help people and create things. He would point out hotels to me that he built and reminisce on the many places his work took him. He was also deeply proud of the time he spent working with his father and brother in their businesses. Despite their many ups-and-downs, Leonard and my dad specifically shared a bond that knows no comparison. It’s something we can all stand to learn from.
Dad met and married my mother, Keri Zana Hill, in the early 80s and formally adopted Keri’s daughter, Amber, as his own. I came along in the late 80’s. The many photo albums on dad’s shelf have helped me to see that despite the turmoil of recent years, my father loved Amber and I with great depth. I know firsthand what it feels like to be loved unconditionally because of my father.
In the end, none of us make the right decisions all the time. However, at his core, my dad was a good man, a beloved son, a steadfast brother, and a dedicated father. For me, and I hope for others, he left a legacy that reflects this. He instilled in me a strong sense of right and wrong, a desire to live a life of adventure, and a dedication to my work and family. Despite everything, my sincerest wish is that when people think of my dad, they also remember these things.
Though time and trials can change us, weather us, and break us down, it is our core that defines us. My dad’s core, despite being stubborn beyond comparison, was also deeply sentimental, loving, and strong. In watching him battle cancer, I am sure that if my grandfather was the best man to have ever lived, my father was the toughest, and although sometimes hard to love, he will be harder for me to live without.
My dad’s final years were ones of chronic illness and frustration with his body and the limitations it put upon him. He passed away in a moment of peace in the early morning hours of March 21st. I am glad that he is now limitless.
He was preceded in death by his father, Stan, and his brother, Steve. My aunt Georgia, Steve’s wife, imagines them together now and “turning Heaven on their heels”. I hope she’s right. He is survived by his mother, Shirley, brothers, Larry (Marcia) and Leonard, sister Teresa, and daughters Amber and Samantha.
No services will be held, in accordance with his wishes. A marker and possible small interment will occur at Hillcrest Cemetery, next to “the greatest man to have ever lived”. The majority of my father’s ashes will be returned to the mountains he loved to rest there forever.
If you’re looking to make a donation or memorialize his life, donations may be made to the local Elks (Lodge 1737). When we’re allowed to again, you might also consider grabbing a rum and coke from your local watering hole (that’s Bacardi silver rum, and most importantly no lime). Finally, take a listen to The Dance by Garth Brooks (or better yet, grab a dance partner for it), call up that person you think you burned bridges with and fix it, tell those that you love that you love them, and take pride in where you are from. That’s what I’ll remember about my dad.
Death Notice: Raymond J. Gangl
Raymond J. Gangl, 55, of Deer Lodge passed away at St. Patrick Hospital on March 12, 2020. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
Elizabeth Jane (Betty) Newlon Hoffmann
Longtime Deer Lodge resident, Elizabeth Jane (Betty) Newlon Hoffmann, died on March 11, 2020 in Bozeman at the age of 96.
Betty was born in Long Beach, Calif. on September 18, 1923. After the death of her father, Milo Newlon, she moved to Deer Lodge at the age of three with her mother, Anne, and brother, Jack.
A proud descendent of Montana pioneer N.J. Bielenberg, she raised a fourth generation in the Deer Lodge Valley.
Betty earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Montana State Normal College (later University of Montana--Dillon), then taught in several school districts in Montana and at the Montana State Vocational School for Girls in Helena.
While working in Helena as Senate Bill Clerk for the Montana State Legislature, Betty met and married John Lawrence (Larry) Hoffmann and later gave birth to Anne and John. In 1953, she, Larry, and their children moved to Deer Lodge.
Once the children were older, Betty resumed teaching and taught music in the Deer Lodge school system. She expressed her passion for choral music by founding and directing the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club Chorus, and directing the First Presbyterian Church Choir.
Later, and until her retirement, Betty coordinated and taught graduate courses for teachers across the US and Canada with Education Through Music.
As an active member of the community, Betty served on boards and committees, including the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club, the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation, St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival, the Powell County Hospital Auxiliary, and Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers.
Betty is survived by son John Hoffmann (Deer Lodge); daughter Anne Hoffmann Johnson, grandchildren Beth Johnson and Keir (Lena) Johnson, and great-granddaughter, Isla Johnson, all of Bozeman; and nephews, nieces, and dear friends in Montana and beyond.
Her parents, husband, brother and sister-in-law (Jack and Pearl Newlon), and son-in-law, Kirk Johnson, preceded her in death.
Betty enlivened any gathering with her enthusiasm, optimism, and her sense of good humor. She approached all situations with integrity. These qualities created enduring friendships with people of all ages.
Memorials in her name may be made to the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club or First Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge.
Jeanne R. Senecal
Jeanne R. Senecal, age 61 of Avon. November 10, 1958 – March 7, 2020.
Jeanne Ritchey Senecal, age 61 of Avon, entered the gates of Heaven on Saturday, March 7, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Her battle with cancer lasted three years. She fought bravely each day, and was thankful for the moments God gave her to spend with her four beautiful grandchildren, children, and husband.
Jeanne was born in Bismarck, N.D., on November 10, 1958, to Bill and Arla Ritchey three minutes after her twin sister, Julie. In 1962, her family moved to Helena, where she graduated from Helena High School. On September 6, 1980, Jeanne married Dan Senecal of Avon. Dan and Jeanne ranched full time in Avon for 18 years. During this time they were blessed with two wonderful children: Cortney and Joshua. Dan and Jeanne raised their children to love God, work hard, and show kindness.
Dan and Jeanne built their dream home on Bluebird Hill outside of Avon after leaving the ranching business, and in 2000, they began a productive career in real estate. Their home was a safe-haven for many and Jeanne was known to show incredible hospitality to anyone who walked through her doors. Throughout their 40 years of marriage, Dan and Jeanne always worked side-by-side. Their strengths in different areas made them a successful and strong team in all their endeavors.
During the last few years of life, Jeanne devoted as much time as possible to her family. She treasured her moments with her grandchildren and was honored to be the mother of her two children.
Jeanne’s strong faith, loving family, Big Sky Broker family, and supportive friends helped her through this difficult journey. Each day Jeanne prayed for healing, but through it all she praised God and trusted Him no matter what happened. Her friends will remember her for her grace, kindness, hospitality, and sweet spirit. She fought so courageously because she loved those around her so much.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her father, Bill Ritchey, and infant son, Zachery Senecal.
She is survived by her husband, Dan Senecal, of Avon; daughter, Cortney Senecal, grandchildren, Abigail (13) and Jonathan (10) of Helena; son and daughter-in-law, Joshua and Sarah Senecal, grandchildren, Tel (7) and Rylie (3) of Ronan; mother, Arla Ritchey, sister, Julie Bailey, brother, Rodney Ritchey, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, sister-in-laws, and brother-in-laws that dearly loved her.
Honorary pallbearers are Tel Senecal, Jonathan Charlton, Gabe Nistler, Ed Stephens, Tom Senecal, Austin Senecal, John Alfson, and Scott Bailey.
A memorial service honoring Jeanne’s life will be held March 14 at 11 a.m. at Helena First Assembly of God, 2210 Dodge Street, Helena, MT, with a reception to follow. All friends and family are welcome to attend the memorial ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please make all memorial contributions to Options Clinic of Helena and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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