William Dallas Foster, Jr.
William Dallas Foster, Jr. passed away on November 17, 2020 after a valiant fight with Leukemia.
He was born on October 16, 1934 in Deer Lodge to the late William and Florence Foster.
Bill married Meridene Ballinger on April 16, 1989.
He served for 31 years with the United States Air Force retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant.
Bill is survived by his wife Meridene, five children, Vicki (Kelly) Foster, Dianna (Ed) Holzinger, Dallas Foster, Jay (Kristen) Ballinger and David Ballinger; three sisters, Nancy Corneil, Mikell Periman and Patty Foster; brother David Foster; ten grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Todd Allen Nedbalek
Todd Allen Nedbalek, October 20, 1968 – November 15, 2020.
Todd Allen Nedbalek was born October 20, 1968 to Sharon Ann Huggins at Greeley, Colo. Soon after, she married Robert Joe Nedbalek, who adopted Todd in mid-1969.
Though he often described himself as understanding that he was a colicky baby, Todd was a healthy, curious and active child. He was a bright and eager student of things both educational and of life itself, most interested in science and nature. As a pre-teen, he was often heard to say that his life’s ambition was to both own and pilot the first commercial space craft to and from the planet Mars. Appointed to the United States Air Force Academy, many thought he might be headed to make that a reality, but his life went in other directions.
In August of 1991, Todd married the love of his life, Jenni Hillary, a union to which three children were born, Jenna, Nicholas and Maggie.
Todd loved the outdoors, and seemed always busy helping others with the tasks of life. But he was most passionate about food. Whenever someone called him a chef, he always countered by saying, “I’m a cook; I feed people.” He seemed most happy and at peace in the kitchen.
Todd passed away at home in Deer Lodge, on Sunday, November 15, 2020. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sharon, his Step-dad, Doug, and his brother, Mike. He is survived by his wife, Jenni, and his children, Jenna, Nick and Maggie “Moo,” his father, Rob and step-mom, “Mother Lori,” brothers Wade, Trebor, Glenn, David and Johnathan and sisters Chris, Tara and Danyelle, and many nieces and nephews, whom he cherished.
Todd returned to Montana, intent upon returning to the place he called home, in the Bull Mountains outside Roundup. He talked often of his memories of that place, on Harper’s Coulee; which always included his dog, Poacher, his pig, Guy, (who thought he was a dog,) and his chickens.
Paul, in Romans 6:4-5 said, “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Todd firmly believed that he was joined to Jesus Christ in his baptism and would be joined to him in resurrection.
Henry David Thoreau said “Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality.” A memorial service is planned in the spring, and his ashes will be spread in the place he called home.
Kim Arthur Pfaff
Kim Arthur Pfaff, our cherished husband, father, son, brother, and friend, passed from this world and onto his next adventure on November 12, 2020.
Kim was born on September 24, 1963 to Willie and Cleo Pfaff in Kellogg, Idaho. He is survived by his wife Jody; children Aaron Breshears, Amy Breshears, and Damon Pfaff; his grandchildren Alexander Espanol, Mimi Espanol, and Kayla Breshears; his mother Cleo Pfaff, and siblings Lynn Pfaff, Tony Pfaff, Todd Pfaff, Penny Poche, and Pam Nelson. He was preceded in death by his father Willie Pfaff and his in-laws, Frank and Norma Kearby.
Kim grew up in Kellogg, establishing himself amongst his siblings as the adventuresome one. The whole family loved to fish and camp together, and legend has it, fishing in the Kellogg Valley is now poor because of Kim and his brothers cleaning up the waters there. Symbolic of his character, Kim preferred to sleep under the stars instead of under the roof of a tent or camper so he could gaze at the sky and dream big dreams.
Moving to California in his early twenties, Kim set out to forge a life and future of his own. He worked in petroleum, gaining the respect and friendship of his colleagues, along with a reputation for being a compassionate, fair, and honorable man. He had a passion for renewable energy and a fascination with the science of powering a clean and sustainable world. While in California, he met and married Jody, gaining a son and daughter in Aaron and Amy. Damon, the youngest, soon followed.
Kim’s passions were many, including duck hunting, good food, and Ram’s football, but he was never happier than when he was fishing (or talking about fishing) or in the company of his family. And when he could get his family to go fishing with him, or listen to his stories of being on the water, Kim would be in want of nothing.
Kim was immensely proud of his grandchildren and would cherish every moment spent with them. He found a true pal in Alex, who shared his propensity for quiet reflection and insight. He and Mimi loved to eat together, competing every Christmas Eve for who could put down the most cracked crab. Kayla, the baby, had a tight hold on his heartstrings and could always get anything she wanted from her protective Poppa.
Kim was lionhearted and resolute in his fight, and in his honor, we ask that memorials be given to the American Cancer Society, the Powell County Medical Foundation, or the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation.
A service funeral service was held and Kim was laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Kim. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Kim and his family.
Tina Joy Reza-Sproul
Tina Joy Reza-Sproul passed away on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 surrounded by her loving family. Tina was born July 17, 1950 in Missoula, to Norma (Cooper) and Robert Hamilton. Tina grew up in Deer Lodge with her two younger sisters, Roxanna and Noreen and a half-brother named Jerod. After graduating high school in 1968, Tina married Keith M. Mitchell and had her son Michael S. Mitchell in 1969, then later her daughter Cynthia D. Mitchell in 1973. Later Tina remarried Mark S. Reza and moved to Texas where she completed her family with a daughter Rebecca M. Reza born in 1981. In 1999 Tina met her soulmate Mike O. Sproul who has two children, Jay Sproul and Jan Sproul. Tina and Mike resided in Wichita, Kansas where they built their life together. They enjoyed spending their weekends at their farm in Caldwell, Kansas where they later resided as their permanent home. Tina spent many years enjoying her 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren at the farm. You could easily find Tina exploring her artistic talents including making jewelry, gardening, sewing crafts, card making and scrapbooking. She loved traveling, hunting and being outdoors with her partner Mike and their grandchildren. Her service will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 11 a.m. at the Caldwell Community Center, 119 East 1st Avenue Caldwell, KS 67022. Memorials may be made in Tina’s name to the Sumner County Hospital Construction Fund.
Death Notice: Gene Richard Meredith
Gene Richard Meredith, 62, of Deer Lodge, Montana passed away on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020. Simple Cremation Montana has assisted the family. To view the tribute page or share remembrances, visit: www.SimpleCremationMT.com.
Jan Ridley passed away peacefully on November 19, 2020 with her loved ones surrounding her at Deer Lodge Medical Center, Deer Lodge. Jan was 73 years old. Jan was born on February 22, 1947 in Billings to Gerald and Rosalin Neeley. After her father’s death, she was raised by her step-father Woody Frailey and her mother. Jan grew up in Anaconda, the oldest of four children. She graduated in 1965.
After high school, she met the love of her life Noel Ridley and married on August 6, 1966 in Missoula. Soon after they had four children. Noel passed in 1985 and she proceeded to raise her four children on her own. Jan worked for Montana State Prison for 20 years doing payroll for the staff of the prison. She later worked for the Title and Registration office before retiring.
Jan was known to all to be one of the nicest people who always lent a helping hand to anyone and never asked for anything in return. Jan spent many years in bowling leagues, gardening, canning, crocheting, enjoying her books, and was an avid movie lover especially of John Wayne Westerns.
Jan was preceded in death by her husband Noel Ridley, her son Scott Ridley, and parents Woody Frailey, Gerald Neeley, and Rosalin Loesch. Jan is survived by her sons, Keith Ridley of Helena, Matt and Lisa Ridley of Tigard Ore., and daughter Melinda and Linn Feliciano of Three Forks, and one granddaughter Hannah Feliciano of Bozeman. Her brothers Blaine Neeley and Tim and Regina Frailey, and sister Hazel and Kyle Crouch. Jan is also survived by special friends John Johnson of Deer Lodge, and Wendy Allen of Cutbank.
The family would like to thank Deer Lodge Medical Center for their outstanding care of our mother during this time. We appreciate your kindness to our mother and to us.
Due to Covid restrictions Funeral Services will be in the spring 2021.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Jan. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Jan and her family.
Kim A. Pfaff
Kim A. Pfaff, age 57, of Deer Lodge, passed away on November 12, 2020. A Funeral Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Jewell Funeral Home. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Kim. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Kim and his family.
Brandon Scott Rowland
Brandon Scott Rowland, age 37, of Deer Lodge, passed away on November 12, 2020, of complications from sepsis.
He was born to Ruby Farabaugh and Barry Rowland on March 1, 1983, in Lynchburg, Virginia. His hometown was Garrett, Pennsylvania, and he graduated from Meyersdale Area High School, in Meyersdale, Pennsyvlania.
He loved playing video games, engaging in outdoor activities, riding four-wheelers, and collecting crystals and gemstones.
He is survived by his mother, Ruby Farabaugh and significant other, Ryan Maloney, of Deer Lodge; his father Barry Rowland of Altavista, Virginia; his step-dad, Thomas Farabaugh, of Deer Lodge; his brother and sister, Barry Rowland, Jr. and his wife, Angie, of Salisbury, Pennsylvania, and Amanda Rowland, of Cresson, Pennsylvania; his grandmother, Yvonne Rowland; his nephew, Andin; niece, Paisley; nieces, Natalie, Italia, and Evelyn; and numerous aunts and uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Ruby Williams; his grandfather, Robert Dudley Williams; and his grandfather, Alvis Rowland.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to American Heart Association.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Brandon. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Brandon and his family.
Leonard Weisbeck, 86, formerly of Opportunity/Anaconda, Montana, passed away Monday, November 9, 2020 in Livingston, Montana at the Diamond K Lodge. Leonard was born on February 4, 1934 in Lemmon, South Dakota the oldest child born to Francis and Alice (Johansson) Weisbeck. The family relocated to Montana while Leonard was still very young. They lived in the Bitterroot Valley and Leonard was a graduate of the Hamilton High School. He went on to attend Northern Montana College earning associate degree in nursing. Leonard worked many jobs including a sawmill, road construction, mining and finally nursing at the Warm Springs Prison as a nurse’s aide. He worked for the State of Montana in Warm Springs up until his retirement. Leonard was never a shy man and he was very eccentric and into various technical things. He did voice his opinion whether popular on not about wearing seat belts, politics, or the decline of the Ham-Radio operator. Yes! He was an impassioned Ham-Radio operator, his handle was N7SAF. He was intelligent, always tinkering with electronics, learning morse code, taking flying lessons, or teaching himself to play the guitar so he could play music with his child-hood friend Terrel Crane. Leonard had a passion for seeing old friends and always was excited for the Hamilton High School Reunions where according to his classmates he took lots of photographs and made home videos. His classmates presented him with a plaque “Mr. Class Reunion - Class of 1959” and he cherished his time seeing old friends. He had lived most his later life in the area of Opportunity/Anaconda and had moved to Livingston just a couple of years ago to be closer to his caregiver, nephew and friend, Scott Weisbeck. Our peace be with you Leonard. He is survived by his brother, Dean (Reva) Weisbeck; nieces and nephews, Marchel “Shelly” (Greg) Ray, Gay (Huey) Curry, Lyle (Elizabeth) Weisbeck, Scott (Nicole) Weisbeck and Marvin (Veronica) Weisbeck, along with his long-time friend, Terrel Crane. He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Alice (Johansson) Weisbeck and his brother, Donald Weisbeck. Services are currently being planned for Spring/Summer of 2021. For details please reach out to Scott at 406-333-1889 or email@example.com. Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements. To share condolences, please visit www.franzen-davis.com
Obituary for Paul Peterson, Deer Lodge Valley, Montana, 1931-2020.
With the help of his wife’s spirit, Paul Peterson passed from this earth on November 5, 2020.
Most likely his first question asked of God was “How did You create the universe?” His next could be “Who won the Presidential election?” An avid Trump supporter, Paul disliked socialism because he felt it stifled peoples’ creativity and inventiveness, plus led to a society’s decline and deterioration.
At an early age he sat on his dad’s lap in a rocking chair, eyeing the Montgomery Wards catalog. Especially purchasing honey bees and equipment. This fueled his desire to become an apiarist, fancy word for beekeeper. As an adult he did just this, changing from raising Hereford cattle and chickens to beekeeping for fifty years. He was innovative with this, using two queens in one hive, which requires diligence and time intensiveness.
He lived his entire life in the Deer Lodge Valley. As a self-sustaining minister, he performed numerous weddings and funeral services for people of various Christian faiths.
Rock hounding and mining was a favorite pastime of his and his wife, Bette. Explosives was especially fun for him.
Paul was soft hearted and generous; also a tough Swede and Irishman. Growing up during the Depression, he would recount stories of the men around the dinner table who spoke many languages and worked for just room and board on the farm.
He lived the last 5 ½ years at The Ivy at Deer Lodge. His daughter and her husband thank this staff who took care of Paul, loved him, listened to him, and put up with his idiosyncrasies. Anyone so inclined may make a memorial contribution in Paul’s name to The Ivy at Deer Lodge, 1100 Texas Avenue, Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Paul. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Paul and his family.
Leighton Arthur “Lee” Jewell
Leighton Arthur “Lee” Jewell, 64, died Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at Deer Lodge Medical Center.
He was born March 6, 1956, in Butte, to Clayton and Marguerite Jewell, a birthday present to his mother.
The family moved to Deer Lodge in 1964. He was educated in Deer Lodge schools, graduating from PCHS in 1974.
Lee attended Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, graduating with a degree in Mortuary Science. He then joined the family business, Jewell Funeral Home, in Deer Lodge, with his father and brother-in-law.
Lee and Joy Hamilton were married May 19, 1979, and later divorced. Together they had three children: Stephanie, Stuart, and John. Lee was very active in the Deer Lodge Community. He was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 1810 in Deer Lodge, serving as funeral secretary for many years, a 4th Degree member of Thomas Francis Meagher Council #585 in Anaconda. Other involvements included the Rialto Theatre, Powell County Progress, Trustee of School District #1, and presently Chair of Deer Loge Medical Center. Lee was elected Powell County Coroner in the 2014 general election after serving as Deputy Coroner for 26 years.
Survivors include his daughter, Stephanie; grandsons, Oscar and Otto; son, Stuart (Erin); grandchildren, Tristan, Jerrika, Alex, Kaiden, and Emily; son, John; grandson, Jason; sister and brother-in-law, Cecilia “Cele” and John Pohle; nephew, Greg Pohle; and family in Billings.
In honor of Lee Jewell, memorials are suggested to the donor’s choice.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Lee. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Lee and his family.
Dorothy June Lyman
Dorothy June Lyman, third daughter born to Howard and June E. Lyman, died Friday, October 3, 2020. Dorothy was born in Great Falls on October 24, 1944. The family moved to the Ideal Creamery in the Deer Lodge area when Dorothy was small. All of her schooling took place in Deer Lodge.
Most of Dorothy’s adult life was spent in Portland, Ore. There, her longest job was as a secretary for an iron workers union.
In September 2019, ill with Parkinson’s and dementia, Dorothy moved to Thompson Falls. There she lived in a small assisted living home, with excellent care and love a part of each day. This is where she died.
Dorothy is survived by younger sister Ruth Lyman (Neil) Dana, one aunt and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A small family service has taken place at Hillcrest Cemetery. Dorothy’s ashes were buried in the family plot along with two sisters and one niece.
Becky Munden Brown
Becky passed away gracefully at home of natural causes with her soulmate Charlie by her side. She was a kind, talented, intelligent, beautiful person with an adventurous spirit.
Born January 22, 1953 in Deer Lodge to Dale and Dolores Munden, she lived most of her life in the Deer Lodge valley but also lived in Alaska and Wisconsin. She graduated from Powell County High School in 1971. Later she earned a degree in accounting from Montana Tech.
Becky loved the outdoors, whether it was riding her horses or taking a ride along the back roads with her dogs. She had a big heart and a soft spot for her four-footed friends. Her love of animals led to operating a cattle ranch doing everything from calving to cooking to managing the finances. She was creative and loved to work with her hands. Many family and friends are sure to have a piece of Becky’s knitting in their heirloom treasure chests. Becky was especially adept at knitting and felting: owning and managing a business (Montana Knit Wit) where she marketed and sold her creations world-wide and at bazaars and shows throughout western Montana. She also worked for nearly 20 years at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Clients were impressed with her caring nature and attention to detail in helping them with their event. Many a successful family reunion or business conference owed gratitude to Becky for her efforts. Her infectious giggle and joy in life was quick to draw you in. She enjoyed music and her boldness at belting out a song on karaoke night would astonish many considering her typically quiet nature!
Becky is preceded in death by her parents Dale and Dolores Munden. Survivors include her husband Charles Brown, her son Darryl (Amy) Barton of Deer Lodge, Lee Barton of Paradise, Lana Brown and Leon Brown both of Butte, Lyell Brown of North Dakota, her granddaughters Daley (Michael) Beck of Helena, Elizabeth and Sophia Barton of Deer Lodge and her beloved great-granddaughter Kennedi. Becky is also survived by her siblings Randy (Meg) Munden of Helena, Valerie (Jack) Hardy of Deer Lodge, Kevin (Kathy) Munden of Hawaii, and Maureen (Tom) Lantz of California as well as her great uncle Jim (Janie) Blodgett from Polson. She was blessed with many nephews, nieces, cousins, and many loving friends. A family service will be held at a later time.
Death Notice: Rebecca Brown
Rebecca Munden Brown, 67, of Deer Lodge, died on Sunday, September 27, 2020 in her home in Opportunity, of natural causes.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Rebecca’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Gene R. Burt
Gene R. Burt, lifelong Powell County resident and rancher, passed from this life September 14, 2020.
Born May 20, 1926, Gene attended area schools before joining the Navy at age 17 to fight in WWII. After his discharge, Gene worked for the Forest Service leading a pack train to stock fish in high mountain lakes. He then worked as a ranch hand for an area rancher before building his own ranch from the ground up with nothing but spit and grit.
He was married to Bette for 53 years before her death in 2011. The couple was the epitome of American hard work, determination and sacrifice, building ranches in the Avon and Deer Lodge valleys.
Gene was the last of four brothers, Clayton, Everett and Russell Burt.
His son, Tim Lacy, also preceded him in death.
Gene is survived by daughters Mickie (Dan) McQueary and Marianne (Mike) Saylor, both of Deer Lodge, and daughter-in-law Laura Rodriquez (Bob) of Billings. Eight grandchildren include Troy and Jeff McQueary of Deer Lodge, and Megan Francisco of Butte, Aaron Lacey of Oklahoma, Jon and Brian Lacey and Marlena Lanini all of Billings, and Shanna Lewis of Livingston. He was also blessed with 15 great-grandchildren.
As was Gene’s request, no services will be held. We will remember a useful and rewarding life; a cowboy’s dream come true.
Betty Shirley Van Etten Lewis
Monday, September 7 after a morning filled with blueberry pancakes and baseball, Betty Shirley Van Etten Lewis took her last earthly breath. Her warm, soft, silly, brave, song filled, and loving heart quieted and she made her journey to her heavenly home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Betty was born November 16, 1925 in an upstate New York winter into a joyful large family of meager means. She graduated from Corning High right before WWII ended, married Ronald Lewis and braved a move far away from all she knew to the southern Arizona desert, and then again 20 years later to Western Montana. Her career of nearly 50 years in executive administration spanned corporations, public schools and government. She sang all the time, took piano lessons at 80, co-authored a book at 94, and not only survived, but thrived through several health challenges. Her best work beyond her vocation was raising four children and actively grandparenting her six grands and eight greats.
She was taken from her Montana home three and a half years ago by a fluke accident which left her living in the care of her daughters Denise and Donna in their respective states. She came home to Montana in June.
We know her heavenly welcome included those who journeyed before her: her parents Omar and Marguerite Van Etten, husband Ron, son John Joseph, sisters Wanda, and Pauline, brothers Bobby, Billy and Scoop, friends Gloria, Carol, Bill and Gail. She is survived by her children Denise and Carl Premschak, Daniel and Claire Lewis, David and Deborah Lewis, and Donna and Bill Jones; her grandchildren Hunter, Mylisa and Jesse, Evan and Bre, Lillie, Emily and Joe, and Dylan; and her great-grandchildren Charlotte, Erik, Lisette, CJ, Lyla, Kole, Skyler and Kadyn; her sisters Marguerite Hill, Norma Wilson, Helen (Vern) Madison, Alicia Lewis and numerous nieces and nephews.
Betty was laid to rest at a family gathering at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge on September 12, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Anaconda Pintler Hospice or one close to your heart, and bowl a line, knit for someone, or sing your favorite song. All we ask of you, is forever to remember her as loving you.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Betty. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Betty and her family.
Darlene Yvonne Mahagin
Darlene Yvonne Mahagin, of Deer Lodge, has passed away.
She is laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery—in the plot closest to the access road of the Masonic Hill there. Her gravestone is adjacent to those of her parents—Raymond Hale, and Emma Louise Hale—both longtime Deer Lodge residents.
Darlene is survived by her brother, David Hale, and sister-in-law Pat, from Ennis, brother Larry Hale, and sister-in law Rosemary from Phoenix, Ariz., nephews Mike and John and nieces Susan and Julie, from the Larry Hale family, sister Margaret Hale from Portland, Ore., son Mark Mahagin from Kennewick, Wash., son Tim Mahagin of Vera Cruz Mexico, and son Dennis Mahagin, of Deer Lodge. She also leaves behind a brother-in-law, Mark Dahl, from Butte, nephews Matt Summerfield of Dallas, Tex., David Hukill from Manchester, N.H., and Lance Hukill, of Denver. Also left behind is a daughter-in-law, Sabrina, from Caracas, Venezuela, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Joseph, of Caracas.
Darlene Mahagin was a graduate of Butte High School, where she was the head majorette in the marching band. She worked for a time at the FBI in Denver, before marrying Donald Mahagin, of Butte—who passed away in 1995.
The couple raised three sons in Kennewick, Wash. Darlene then went back to college, and earned a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Washington University. Darlene was a gifted pianist, and sang in the renowned national group, Sweet Adelines. She also taught English as a Second Language to students at Eastern Washington University. A truly kind and caring human being, Darlene will be missed by those who were fortunate enough to know her, and to love her.
Claire (Burgess, Forsman) Woodward
Claire (Burgess, Forsman) Woodward, 83, passed away peacefully at her home on September 6, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimers.
Claire was born in Dillon, on February 19, 1937 to Clarence and Meryl Burgess. Oldest of four, the family moved to Anaconda when she was young, where she would graduate from Anaconda High School in 1955. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Forsman, in June 1955. They settled in Anaconda and raised their five children in the same 3rd St. neighborhood. A stay at home mom until the youngest started school, she then joined her husband as a school bus driver. A job she enjoyed for nearly 20 years.
Claire and Robert’s marriage ended and in 1979 she started a new chapter in her life when she met and married Alan Woodward. They would eventually settle in Seeley Lake and purchase a mechanic repair shop. In 2000 they would retire to Deer Lodge, spending winters in warmer climates and the summers camping.
Claire was preceded in death by her parents, nephews Billy and Jason Pickett and granddaughter Teddi Forsman. She is survived by her husband, Alan Woodward, her siblings; brother Jack Burgess of Billings, sister Marilou (Wye) Bisch of Anaconda, sister Barb (Pat) Mulcahy of Butte. Her five children; Bill (Nancy) Forsman of Deer Lodge, Debbie (Gary) Grubaugh of Helena, Vicki (K.C.) Koss of Vancouver, Wash., Steve Forsman of Helena, and Richard (Angie) Forsman of Deer Lodge. She was also blessed to have many beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Due to covid-19 there won’t be any services at this time, we will notify if services are scheduled at a later date.
Wilma Jean Greany (Coughlin)
Wilma Jean Greany (Coughlin) passed away at the age of 91 on September 10th, 2020 in Bozeman, surrounded by her loving family.
Billie, as she was called by family and friends, was born in Deer Lodge on August 29, 1929 to William and Hazel (Meade) Coughlin. She was raised in Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School in 1947. Billie attended Western Montana College in Dillon earning a teaching certificate and upon graduation she taught first grade in Thompson Falls.
On November 24, 1949 Billie married Paul Greany in a Thanksgiving morning ceremony in Helmville. In 1950, the couple moved to Deer Lodge where Paul was employed at the phosphate mine and Billie worked at the Registrar’s Office; in 1951 they moved to Drummond, where Paul became a jobber for the Continental Oil Company. Billie was a housewife and mother to four children when she and Paul purchased Miller’s Dry Goods in 1959. Initially located in the Drummond Hotel, they moved the business, Greany’s Dry Goods and Western Wear, west of town and it was coined, “The Biggest Little Store in Montana”. Billie sold everything from fabric and thread to shoes, boots, jeans and western hats. The store was opened six days a week from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. with Billie at the helm, always dressed to the nines!
In 1981, when Billie was 52, she and Paul purchased the former Anthony’s building in Deer Lodge, opening a second store, which Billie operated until she retired in October 2013 at the age of 84.
Billie and Paul raised their four children in Drummond, supporting the many activities of each including football, basketball, track, music lessons, and 4-H.
Throughout her life, Billie epitomized the pioneer spirit of her family, who came to Montana by covered wagon in the 1850’s. She was an entrepreneur and accomplished business woman who ran a successful business for over 54 years, always greeting her customers with a smile and twinkling Irish eyes. She had wonderful business acumen and knowledge of her products; she could size up a customer and make recommendations in a flash.
Billie was an avid and accomplished bowler and participated in league play for over 30 years; she enjoyed playing bridge, had a beautiful soprano voice, sang in the church choir and played the piano and organ. She did the daily crossword puzzle and rarely missed her favorite program, “Wheel of Fortune.”
No matter the weather or the road conditions, she was Paul’s best friend and biggest fan, traveling with him as he pursued his winter sport of chariot racing in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. “Paul ’n Billie” were said together as one name, reflecting their inseparability. She was always there to lend her support and encouragement and to enjoy the fun and friendship of their many supporters.
Billie was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Paul, brother, Jim Coughlin and sister, Arlyne Paisley.
She is survived by her children, Patrick (Kathy), Augusta; Dannette (Sameer) Merchant, Morristown, N.J.; JD (Deb), Bozeman; Paula (Grant) Savage, Farmington, N.M.; 13 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 at St. Thomas Parish in Helmville, MT. Interment will follow at the Helmville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the Helmville Cemetery, PO Box 90, Helmville, MT 59843 or the charity of your choice.
Alec M. Tolon
On September 3, 2020 the world lost a beautiful soul. Alec M. Tolon lost his life in a tragic automobile accident.
Alec, born June 4, 1995, was the youngest of five siblings, Trever Denny (Sidney Hodgson), Brett Tolon (Marlena Tolon), Christopher Ball (Cecilia Spoon), and Marina Ball. He and his brothers and sister loved each other fiercely. Alec seemed to form a different special bond with each of them and with everyone whose lives he touched.
Anyone who met Alec remembered him; he was just that kind of person. Alec was passionate about many things; he loved gaming and spent a lot of time on-line with his friends. Alec just finished building his own computer and was very proud of his work. Alec was working on getting an education in computer programming. Alec loved the outdoors and he enjoyed being in the mountains and shooting his guns.
Alec was blessed to have a very large family; he is survived by his grandparents Lois Tolon, Fred and Bernice Verlanic, his parents Dan Tolon, Kam Verlanic and David Ball. His four remaining siblings and nieces and nephews whom he loved deeply, Alaiya, Bentley, Braydon and Addilyn, Jacob and Adam. They will miss his unconditional love and guidance as they grow. He will be deeply missed by his lifelong friend Tony Bosch and his very large extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins who will also think of him often and fondly.
We are all so thankful to everyone who has reached out to us in this horrible tragic time. We are deeply saddened that we will never get to see what Alec could’ve done with his life and for this world. We will forever miss him.
Services will be announced at a later date. The family will be hosting a get-together September 20 at 2 p.m.
Death Notice: Margaret (Marge) Sowa
Funeral Services for Margaret (Marge) Sowa will be held Saturday, September 26, 2020 at St. Thomas Church in Helmville. Rosary at 10:40 a.m. with Mass at 11 a.m. Burial following the service at Helmville Cemetery. Lunch at Helmville Community Hall.
Samuel Jennings Chappelow
Samuel Jennings Chappelow, 88, passed away on August 3, 2020. Sam was born on June 4, 1932 in Independence, Mo., to Edwin and Eva Chappelow.
He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1951. In November of 1952, he was drafted by the Army and was stationed in Austria.
He attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, graduating with an Associate degree in 1959.
It was at Graceland where he met the love of his life, Marilyn Eliason. Sam married Marilyn on December 28, 1958, two children were born to this union: Keith and Joylyn.
In 1954, he became an ordained Deacon, he later became a priest, then a pastor at Deer Lodge, and became an elder in the Community of Christ. Sam continued his education at the College of Eastern Montana from 1960-1962. He was a lumber grader for 12 years and then copper smelter for six years.
In 1984, Sam, Marilyn and Joylyn moved to Independence, Mo., making it their final home. He had a passion for making ceramics, adult coloring and reading good books. Sam was known to everyone in the community as a very sweet, loving man who loved hugs and his dogs.
He is survived by his two children Keith (Karen) and Joylyn Chappelow; four grandchildren, Michael (Aimee), Brent (Josh), Elizabeth (Cameron) Kulhanek and John; two great-grandchildren; adopted daughter Donna; and many loved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Marilyn Chappelow; siblings Edwin Chappelow, Ester Friend, and Mary Dyer; and parents Edwin and Eva Chappelow.
Due to Covid-19 limitations, a memorial service will be held at a later time. In his honor, contributions to the East Independence Community of Christ Church would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.speakschapel.com (Arrangements: Speaks Suburban Chapel (816) 373-3600)
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