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)
Laura Marie Shafford
LAURA MARIE SHAFFORD, 87.
Laura passed away in Deer Lodge on August 24, 2020.
Laura was born in Anaconda on September 10, 1932 to Patsy D. Lorello and Gladys M. (Frazer) Lorello. The middle child and only girl of three children, Laura didn’t like school and dreamed of being a mommy. That was immediate on August 16, 1951 when she married Elwood Shafford who had two children. Over a 20 year period, Laura bore six boys.
Whether it be kids, mechanics, or butchering, she loved being a part of the clean-up crew. Laura enjoyed the family camping/fishing trips to the mountain lakes west of Deer Lodge. All were invited to the Italian family dinner nights. She was an integral part in raising many grandchildren. Later, she cleaned houses for elderly friends and faithfully cared for her mother and husband during Alzheimer’s. She always woke up in a good mood and looked for the good in everyone.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Richie and Howie, husband Elwood, sons Jerry, Jack, and John, stepson Billy and granddaughter Jodi. She is survived by her sons Jim, Joe, and Jed (Karrie) stepdaughter Susie (Marty) Mavrinac, nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. At Laura’s request, no services will be held. Memorials are donor’s choice.
Laura Marie Shafford
Laura Marie Shafford, 87.
This is written in the honor of my Mother, Laura Marie Shafford. She was born into this world September 10, 1932 and passed August 24, 2020 at the age of 87. She is the daughter of Pat and Gladys Lorello and the sister of Howard and Richard Lorello. Mom raised six boys. Mom was survived and preceded by many. She was one of the greatest ladies ever to walk the grounds of this Earth. And most importantly the greatest Mother anybody could ever have! A Mother that gave her undivided attention to every sibling. Every meal was a home cooked meal for the entire family and for any friend or neighbor who stopped by. She also chose the best and most honored man that most have ever known. Together they made the most out of life, in an era of time when most every innovative items were hitting the store shelves. Dad was a working man who worked for the Anaconda Company so most all of those items made it to our home. Making Mom’s life the most fulfilled and completed life a Mother could ever live. On my Dad’s days off we were definitely out camping somewhere in the mountains. On his working days Mom loaded the car with picnic baskets and off to the Columbia Gardens or Fairmont we went. When the Gardens closed I don’t think we missed a park or special event that the community had to offer. There was no rest for such a great Mother. She was for sure and most importantly our Mother, but she worked as well. She worked at the Galen hospital laundry for years, she worked house keeping at Fairmont Hot Springs. In her later years she cared for her Mother and then Dad who both suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. Mom in her latest years suffered from dementia. I cared for her and kept her in her home for as long as I possibly could. The most difficult decision I had ever made was to take her from her home and put her in a care facility. Just as hard was not to be able to honor her wish for her to die in her home in her own bed due to the fact I was not her power of attorney. But I know you are an understanding Mother and I hope the sun, the moon, and the stars take you to the best place ever! I LOVE YOU MOM AND I HOPE YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE INFINITE TAKES YOU TO A WONDERFUL PLACE!!!
With love, your son Joe
Gwendolyn Mary Cooper Allen
Gwendolyn Mary Cooper Allen Was born to Walter and Audrey Cooper On July 10, 1938. She was nine of 15 children. Gwen joined her family in Heaven on August 17, 2020. She was a long time resident of Powell County, she spent her early years in Emery and attended school in Deer Lodge. She married George Allen in 1955 and they had five girls.
Gwen had various jobs in Deer Lodge one of which was a cook at 4-B’s for 25 years. Her and George owned the local Army Navy store.
She loved all babies and pets. She loved jokes, water fights and fire crackers were her favorite pranks. She will always be remembered for her kind heart and loving spirit. Gwen knew no strangers and if you met her more than once you were part of the family.
She is survived by her four daughters: Sheila Fanning, Dixie (Rudy) Holmes, Dora (Terry) Vande Hoven and Donna (Jeff) Rucker. Her legacy includes nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband George Allen and her daughter Sharon, her mother and father, brothers and sisters, numerous nieces nephews and cousins.
Bernard K. Barton Sr.
Bernard K. Barton Sr. was born September 24, 1938 in the Old Murray Hospital in Butte to Lester and Alma (Raffath) Barton.
Bart attended school in Butte, Warm Springs, Anaconda, and graduated from Powell County High School in 1956. He joined the USMC reserve in 1955 and upon graduation joined the active duty Marines and was honorably discharged in 1961.
He married Mary K. Burton from Rennselaer, Ind. while in the service and from this union they had a daughter, Kim and sons Greg and Bernard K. Jr. Mary K. passed away in 1984.
After being discharged from the Marine Corp., he became a policeman for the City of Polson and then joined the Montana Highway Patrol in 1964. He was stationed in Broadus, Libby, and retired from the MHP in 1985. After retiring, he became a Deputy Sheriff for Powell County from 1985 to 1991. He finally retired after being the coordinator of Disaster and Emergency Services in 2013.
Bart was a certified EMT class coordinator, member of the Volunteer Ambulance, Webelo Scout leader, American Red Cross Disaster Instructor, 4-H leader and an alumni member of both 4-H & FFA. He put together the Powell County Search & Rescue and Junior 4 x 4.
In April of 1987 he married Marion Yaskulski and they celebrated 33 years of marriage this year. They were members of the Civil Air Patrol, Search and Rescue, and also instigated the Big Sky Draft Horse Expo in 1995. Together they both enjoyed traveling, camping, fishing, and visiting family.
Bart was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Alma; wife Mary K., son Bernard K. Jr., and infant son, Greg.
He is survived by his loving wife Marion; daughter Kim (Matt) Griffin of Prineville, Ore.; stepson, Jim (Alissa) Yaskulski of Great Falls; stepdaughter, Suzann (Chris) Smaldone of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; sister in law, Judie Burton of Merrimac, Wis.; nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his faithful dog Brodie.
Donations may be made to the Marine Corp. Toys for Tots, Rialto Theater, Big Sky Draft Horse Expo or the donor’s choice.
A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 11 a.m. in the Rialto Theater. Please bring a mask and practice social distancing.
Glen Donald Ellis
At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Monday August 10, 2020 Glen passed away peacefully with his family by his side at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula as a result of a long heroic fight with cancer. Glen was 79 years old. Glen was born in Deer Lodge on March 27, 1941 to Orbrie Stratton and Frances Grace Ellis.
Glen graduated Powell County High School in 1959 where he was involved in music, theatre and a class officer. He completed one year at Evangel College before transferring to Seattle Pacific College where he graduated in music education. He furthered his education at the University of Michigan and received a PhD in music. Any professional position he was in used his skills, abilities and love for education. His students loved and respected him tremendously because of his unwavering passion for music, teaching and encouraging his students to be the best they could be outside of the classroom as well as in the classroom. Later Glen went into real estate and used his gifts to help educate clients to lead them through the process of purchasing a house.
Glen was an avid reader almost always reading multiple books at once. It was not unusual to have stacks of books in various locations of the house waiting to be read. The joy of entering a bookstore could not be matched but much except maybe his love for coffee, really good coffee. He sought connection with all whom he came into contact with whether at the grocery store, getting gas or people he worked with. He was good at making you feel important, heard and understood. He possessed a quiet strength that could calm anyone. These traits that were put to good use when he volunteered for hospice. He could put patient and family members at ease and comforted them well. He would spend hours talking, reading, singing or just sitting with patients.
Leading the Deer Lodge Community Choir for the past several years, choral music was his favorite and he loved spending time searching for the perfect musical pieces for the choir to sing. This natural skill of gathering people together and teaching was a thread that ran through his entire life.
Glen is survived by his wife Dorothy Baldwin Ellis, daughters, Sherrill (Norm) Kraakmo, Karen (Ryan) Potteiger, Jill (Troy) Russell, grandchildren, Jordan Kraakmo, Sara Kraakmo, Christian Vander Weide, Madison Russell, Emma Russell, Harper Russell, sister Gwen Ellis and brother Ray Ellis.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Glen. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Glen and his family.
Laurence Thomas Hansen
Laurence Thomas Hansen, 87, of Avon, died August 18, 2020 at home following a long illness. He was born January 25, 1933 at the family home near Gold Creek, the second son of Laurence H. and Marie Gertrude (Lingenfelter) Hansen.
Larry grew up in the Gold Creek/Drummond area. He worked for various ranchers in the area until he was drafted in March 1953. Larry served with the Army’s 3rd Division in Korea Sept. 1953 – Jan. 1955 and was honorably discharged. Upon returning home, he worked for Vin Lowery and Albert Beck in the Deer Lodge Valley. He enjoyed riding bareback broncs and bowling. In the late 1950s Larry worked weekends for rodeo livestock contractor Oral Zumwalt and often told stories about his famous broncs.
In May 1960, Larry became a wrangler at Mammoth in Yellowstone National Park. During the summer of 1964 he met Patrecia Thomae who worked in reservations at Mammoth. After a whirlwind courtship, they married September 19, 1964, and would have celebrated their 56th anniversary this year.
They made their home in Deer Lodge and Larry worked at the Montana Phosphate/Cominco American mine near Garrison, but he continued to help ranchers on weekends. In April 1965, they moved to Avon to manage a ranch for Soren Beck. They were blessed with children Yvonne and John.
September 1973, the family moved into Avon and Larry returned to the phosphate mine where he worked until it closed in Dec. 1993 and he retired. He loved working with horses and cattle and continued to help ranching friends until 2009 when health issues forced him to quit.
Larry was a quiet, honest, hardworking man with a wonderful sense of humor who enjoyed people. He loved his wife and children and adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He encouraged them in work, 4-H, sports, and other activities. One of his favorite past-times was fishing with them.
In 1958 he provided horses for and participated as a cavalry soldier in the Deer Lodge historic pageant “Gold is in the Grass.” During the late 1990s he drove a team of mules on several trips for the Overland Cruises wagon train, volunteered at Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS demonstrating haying with horses, and helped with the Big Sky Draft Horse Expo for 10 years. He served as vice president and president of the Avon Community Club, and helped with the Avon Flea Market and BBQ. Larry willingly helped anyone who asked.
Larry is survived by his wife, Pat, daughter Yvonne Hanson (Duane), Deer Lodge; son John (Katy), Three Forks; grandchildren Crystal Gomez (Chris), Amanda Enger, Liz Enger, JT, Zane and Carey Hansen, six great-grandchildren; his brother, James Hansen of Gold Creek, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Nels and Chuck, and sister, Emma.
Special thanks to Avon EMTs Jeff Janke and Heather Quigley, Compassus Hospice staff Whitney, Jayme, Sarah, Mikayla, Jessica, Karrie, Chaplain Steve, and members of the Avon community who have been a special blessing to us.
At Larry’s request, there will be no funeral service. Visitation at Jewell Funeral Home in Deer Lodge will be 5-7 p.m. Friday, August 28. A graveside service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, August 29 at the Avon Cemetery. Pall Bearers are JT Hansen, Zane Hansen, Duane Hanson, Jeff Janke, Jim Bignell and John Bignell.
A reception will follow at the Avon Community Hall. Memorials may be sent to the Avon Ambulance, Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS Foundation or organization of your choice.
Dorothy Elaine Scribner Wozny
Dorothy Elaine Scribner Wozny passed away Aug 18, 2020 surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Fred and Mary Scribner on Aug 4, 1934 in Bashaw Township, Wis.
After graduating from high school, she moved to Minneapolis to become a telephone operator but then met Airman Donald Wozny. They married and moved to Texas where Donald was stationed. After several moves the family settled in Deer Lodge. Dorothy loved to bowl and was an avid reader. She always had a garden and looked forward to the day she could pick out petunias. Later in life she picked up a paintbrush and discovered a love of painting with oils.
Dorothy is survived by her sister Eleanor; daughters Monnie (Mike) Fay, Barbara Wozny, Sandra (Eddie) Hesson, Susan Becker and son Scott (Debbie) Wozny; she will be missed by 11 grandkids and numerous great-grandkids. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Vern, Cecil, and Fred Jr; sister Carol; husband Donald; grandson Joshua and an infant granddaughter.
The family would like to thank Frontier Hospice for their care and support. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Kohrs Library kohrslibrarymt.org. A memorial will be held at a later date.
Death Notice for David Korang
David Korang, 70, of Anaconda, died Monday, August 3, 2020 at his residence. Services will be held at a later date. Please send memorial cards to 210 Howe St., Anaconda, MT 59711.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Dave’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
It is with great sadness that the family of Bea Marshall announces her passing on July 15, 2020 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Helena.
Bea was born on August 11, 1937 in Missoula to the late Milton Marshall and Faye Olsen. She went on to raise nine children in her beloved Deer Lodge, where she would live for the remainder of her life.
We honor her incredible work ethic. At times Bea held down three jobs in order to support her family. She instilled the value of hard work in all of her children through her example. Bea was a renowned cook and loved to bake. She made the best cinnamon rolls in town! One of Bea’s greatest fulfillments was serving as a cook at the Powell County Senior Center before entering retirement. Bea was an avid crocheter, and despite her ailing health she recently gifted each of her grandchildren with a crocheted afghan that will be forever treasured. Bea will be missed by many, especially her cherished children, whom she was always willing to help.
Bea was predeceased by her parents, her brother Fred Marshall, her daughter Jackie Campbell, her son Steven Campbell, and dear friend Angie Menicucci. She is survived by children and spouses Debbie Jackson, Denise Jackson, Janice (Tom) Hayes, Kevin Campbell, Terri Cooper, Tim (Milly) Cooper, and Dusty (Heather) Cooper, and her sisters Punkie Downard and Edie Strout.
Bea will also be fondly remembered by her 25 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A special thanks to Dirk Malmberg for his friendship.
The family wishes memorial contributions be made to Powell County Senior Center, Deer Lodge.
A celebration of Bea’s life will be held at a later date.
Richard (Ricky) Ellrott
Richard Ellrott of Elliston, passed away at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena on Wednesday July 22, 2020. He was born on November 27, 1946 in San Diego, Calif.
Ricky was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Beryl Ellrott; his brother, Ken Ellrott; and his sister Beverly Young of Elliston. He is survived by his brother-in-law, Gary Young of Elliston, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins who all fondly referred to him has Uncle Ricky.
Richard (Ricky) was a faithful, simple, easy going and loving man; friendly and outgoing to everyone he met. An example for everyone – he was never judgmental or critical of others. He lived an honest and pure life and will be missed by all who knew him.
Cleo Strickland was reunited with her father on July 7, 2020. She was born on November 8, 1931 in Killdeer, N.D. and was 88 years old when she died of natural causes. She was surrounded by family at the time of her death.
Cleo was raised in Grassy Butte, N.D. then moved to Sidney with her parents Carl and Verna Neckels in 1948. She had completed two years of high school by correspondence at that time and she graduated from Sidney High School in 1950. She attended St. Patrick Hospital Nursing School in Missoula where she earned her nursing degree in 1954. Cleo’s nursing career spanned nearly four decades. At the culmination of her career, she was the Director of Nursing at Galen State Hospital. She led the nursing staff through multiple changes and turbulent times as the director, with many changes and employee strikes. During her tenure the hospital transitioned from a primary care hospital, to a tuberculosis ward, to a drug and alcohol treatment center. Cleo was known for her witty sense of humor, exceptional work ethic, and compassionate care and leadership for all she served. She retired in 1993 when the hospital closed.
Cleo was very proud to have been the Director of Nursing at Galen, but was more proud of her kids and grandkids. She never missed an activity that they participated in, from little guy wrestling to college football and basketball. She loved hosting family gatherings, holiday dinners, and late night breakfasts at the ranch. In the Deer Lodge Valley, Cleo had the reputation of being the person that anyone could call if and when they needed help. Cleo also enjoyed her flowers. She and Bob planted and cared for dozens of flower baskets annually! At their Arizona home (Bob and Cleo were snowbirds) she kept Bob and his buddies, Reggie and Fred, stocked up with fresh baked goods daily; that is when she wasn’t busy with her slightly overweight (nearly 35 pound) cat, Kibbles.
During her later years, Cleo suffered from dementia, yet still maintained her sense of humor. The staff at the Renaissance Care Center and the nurses with Barrett Home Healthcare repeatedly reported that Cleo was one of their “all time” favorite residents/patients.
On October 25, 1954, Cleo married Bob Strickland from Deer Lodge. Together they had five children. Cleo was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Verna Neckels, her husband JR “Bob” Strickland, and her son Robert Keith Strickland. She is survived by her brothers Cecil (Eva) Neckels, John (Carolyn) Neckels, and Howard (Jarita) Neckels; her children, Lynnette (Fred) Sorenson, John Strickland, Debi (Russ) Richardson,and Carla (Wade) Anderson; her grandchildren, Lacey Green-Fields, Lynsey Green, Shaun Strickland, Keith Strickland, Alicia Eckman, Karl Richardson, James Richardson, Winston Anderson, and Cord Anderson. She is also survived by her nine great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, her late husband’s extended Strickland family and many nieces and nephews.
A private memorial service for the immediate family will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge on August 8 at 1 p.m. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff at the Renaissance Care Center in Dillon, the nurses at Barrett Home Healthcare, and Dr. Megan Evans at Dillon Community Health. In lieu of flowers, memorials are encouraged to support students pursuing nursing education in Montana.
Claudette Jessie Wolff
Claudette Jessie Wolff was born in Deer Lodge on July 5, 1946, joining two brothers and a sister. The family would add another brother and two sisters. Our parents were Frank and Medora Wolff. Dad worked for the railroad and mom was the city librarian and a cosmetologist, often working from home, and sometimes employed at a shop downtown. Claudette attended Deer Lodge public schools, graduating from Powell County High School in 1964. In 1957, Claudette saw a movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. The movie so inspired her, that she felt a lifelong call to go to China, as a missionary, a teacher, or at the very least, a visitor. Because our parents wanted her to stay close to home and go to a school in state, she was determined, as always, to prove her own independence. She decided to attend Marian College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She was able to convince them further by reminding them that our older sister lived there. It was easy to go back and forth on the Milwaukee Railroad, since our dad was an engineer and we had a family pass. Later, she transferred to Minot, N.D., attending Minot State University, and completed her Bachelor Degree in secondary education at Western Montana College in Dillon. (Later U of M affiliated.) She earned her Masters Degree by attending schools in several other locations. She taught English and French. She had teaching jobs in West Yellowstone, Port Angeles, Wash., and Bloomfield, N.M. She often had a summer job. She worked in various locations in Yellowstone Park, on a sheep ranch in Dillon, and on an elk ranch in Hardin.
In 1985 she was accepted to a program to teach English as a second language in China and her lifelong hope became a reality. She lived in China for two years, forming enduring friendships with many of her students. She came back in 1987 and continued to teach in New Mexico. In 1999 she applied to adopt a child, returned again to China and came home with a daughter. Beautiful four year old FuChai joined our family just in time to be a flower girl in her new cousin’s wedding. You never saw such bewilderment in any child’s face as hers on that day! She was experiencing this strange new mom, huge new family, new language, new home, new customs, and a wedding celebration! She had no idea what she was in for. Our family has always been one of diversity. From religion to politics to talent to heritage, we cover the spectrum. Through it all, so far at least, we have learned to build bridges instead of walls. Thanks in part to Claudette and her insistent opinions and her habit of making the least predictable or popular, of choices.
She moved to Big Timber to be near to her two sisters in December, 2019. She was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer one month later. She said at the time, and this is the hallmark of her faith, “I am in God’s hands.” She had many friends and would have given any of them, or a stranger in need, her last cent. She was very strong and her decision to fight the disease that claimed her was typically unselfish. The fact that we lost one of our brothers to cancer when he was very young led to her determination. She believed that her experimental treatment would contribute to the research that would benefit other cancer patients. She died on May 17, 2020.
She is in God’s hands.
Claudette was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Medora (Backhaus) Wolff, brothers, Robert, Richard, and Thomas Wolff, sister, Sally Anne (Wolff) Giebel, and sister-in-law, Patricia (Burton) Wolff. She is survived by her daughter, Jessie FuChai (Wolff) Mead, son-in-law, Michael “Mick” Mead, sisters, Michele Wolff, Lianna (Wolff) Karlin, brothers-in-law, Rolland Karlin and Norbert Giebel, and sister-in-law, Nancy (Monroe) Wolff. She is survived by a large extended family including many cousins and 29 nieces and nephews. The family asks that those wishing to give memorials choose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Her funeral service will be held at St. Mark Episcopal Church, Big Timber on Saturday, August 1 at 10:30 a.m. with internment on Sunday, August 2 at 3 p.m. at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, the Reverend Bryan Beveridge, rector, officiating.
(Social distancing will be observed and face masks encouraged.)
Lucille “Onna” Scharf
Lucille “Onna” Scharf passed away in Deer Lodge on July 13, 2020, surrounded by her family. At mom’s request cremation has taken place.
Mom was born in Anaconda on September 1, 1927, the second of three children to Jay and Mary (Krizan) Janosko. She received her early education in Anaconda, graduating with honors from Anaconda High School in 1945. Mom then attended and graduated with honors from St. James School of Nursing, Butte, in 1948. In 1950 mom married George Alvin Scharf. She and dad made their home in Deer Lodge.
Following graduation from nursing school, mom did part-time nursing and also performed special duty nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Deer Lodge for a short period of time. Because she enjoyed psychiatric nursing, mom began working at the Montana State Hospital - Warm Springs as a staff nurse, then head nurse, and finally as an afternoon supervisor for the next 31 years, retiring in 1989. While employed at Warm Springs she was an active member of the Montana Nurses’ Association, serving as the president, on the Board of Directors, and various nursing committees.
Following her retirement, mom enjoyed volunteering at the Powell County Senior Center. Positions she held at the Senior Center were president, vice president, secretary, board member and meal delivery person. Mom was so proud of her years spent as a volunteer instructor for the “55 Safe Driving Program” in Deer Lodge. At one time she was the longest serving volunteer in the Montana program.
One of mom’s other proudest accomplishments was the fact she learned to fly an airplane before she could drive an automobile. Mom soloed at Felt’s Field, Spokane, Wash. in 1947.
Mom was an avid sock knitter, enjoyed cooking Sunday and holiday meals for her family and friends, along with making candy, baking, traveling, playing BINGO and time spent with family and friends.
Mom was especially proud and grateful for her beloved family, friends and her faith.
Preceding mom in death was her dear husband, mother and father, sister Lillian (Poodie) Fredstrom, brother Jack Janosko, her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She is survived by her daughter Karla, sons Ed and Bill (Melissa), grandchildren Tony (Kelli), Andy (Melissa), Ryan (Kira), and Dana, great-grandchildren Kase, Cayden, Keegan, Sydnie, Maxwell, Mason, Easton, Camden (scheduled to arrive August 3), and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Scharf family would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful care mom received over the last two and one-half years while she was a resident of the Renaissance Senior Care facility, the doctors and staff of the Deer Lodge Medical Center, Frontier Hospice and Father Fleming. Our special thanks also goes out to her extended family and many friends, including Suzette Pentland and Buddy Jones, along with her beloved “Louie’s Bakery gang.”
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested for the Powell County Senior Center, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Rialto Theatre, or the donors’ choice.
A celebration of life memorial will be planned when the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Gordon Callant (Age 61) - Born in Deer Lodge on April 8, 1959 and died July 10, 2020.
Gordon passed away peacefully from pancreatic cancer in his home. His sister, Janice Callant, and Skyler Knuchel, who was like a son to him, were by his side. Refusing any conventional treatment for his cancer; Gordy died as he lived-fiercely proud and independent.
While raised in Deer Lodge and graduated in 1977 from Powell County High, Gordy also lived in Alabama, Alaska, California, Washington, and Wyoming. Gordon loved to travel and see the world. He traveled to many countries including Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, and Switzerland. Gordy also enjoyed his career driving a semi-truck throughout North America, and proudly visited every state within the United States of America.
Gordy was loved deeply by all those that knew him. He was known for being “The Keeper of Secrets” because he was a man of few words. Gordy rarely, if ever, said a negative word about anyone. He cared deeply for his friends, and loved his family dearly.
He is survived by his siblings Donna Callant, Richard Callant, Grant Callant, and Janice Callant. Gordy will be reunited in Heaven with his parents, Joe and Wilma, and Yogi, his beloved German Shepherd. We picture them now in a fantastic reunion.
Gordy’s family would like to recognize Montana State Prison where he worked for the last six years. The support they provided through this challenging time was incredible. Many of his colleagues donated their vacation and sick time so he could keep his health benefits, making it possible for him to continue on hospice. We are deeply grateful to all of those who supported him. God bless all of you.
Catholic Mass will be held on Saturday July 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark Street, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. (Due to COVID 19, only 50 people will be allowed in the church at one time.)
The same day, Memorial Party to follow after Mass at 1 p.m., at the home of Doug (Charlie) Beck: 1268 Greenhouse Road, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 PLEASE RSVP by 7/16/20 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret (Marge) Sowa
Margaret (Marge) Sowa died July 3, 2020. She was born in Deer Lodge on June 21, 1926 to Walter and Marie (Wales) Coughlin. She grew up in Helmville, attended grade school there and at St. Mary’s in Deer Lodge. She graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula and attended the University of Great Falls.
She married Daniel F. Sowa of Great Falls on June 23, 1945 at St. Joseph’ s Church in Seattle, Wash. She was a member of St. Patrick’s Parish in Shieldsville, Minn., the Legion of Mary, the Fatima Prayer Group, and Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers.
Survivors are Margaret (Peg) Kleven and son-in-law Tom, Mark Sowa, Tim Sowa and daughter-in-law Cindy, Ann Naas and son-in-law David, seven grandchildren, John (Jody) Sowa, Eric (Sue) Kleven, Alice (Duane) Rhodes, Matt (Melinda) Kleven, Jason Fortunato, Daniel Sowa, and Elizabeth Sowa, as well as eight great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Gerry Coughlin, sisters Marilyn Hansen and Myrna Coughlin, all of Deer Lodge. Burial will be in Helmville in the fall. Memorials should be sent to your favorite charity.
Gregory “Tinker” Tangen
Gregory “Tinker” Tangen, 67, joined his beloved parents and younger brother on March 22, 2020. He is survived by his older brother; son, daughter and their spouses; and four grandchildren.
Greg moved with his family from North Dakota to Deer Lodge when he was a teenager. Best known as “Tinker” or “Tink,” because he was always tinkering with something, Greg enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating high school. He proudly served for 20 years, retiring as chief warrant officer two (CW2).
After his retirement, Greg lived in Washington state for a number of years before returning to Deer Lodge. He is fondly remembered for his love of country music, playing the guitar, good barbecue, animals and working on cars.
Greg’s ashes will be laid to rest during a private graveside service July 30, Hillcrest Cemetery, Deer Lodge. Those who knew Greg are invited to celebrate his life at 1 p.m., July 30, Corner Bar, 404 Main St., Deer Lodge.
Donations can be made to Partnership for Animal Welfare Humane Society (PAWHS) Deer Lodge, 226 Vigilante Dr.
To submit an obituary, please email email@example.com or call us at 406-846-2424.