William Thomas Coates
William Thomas Coates, better known as Bill or Mr. Bill, passed away on the morning of November 18, 2019 at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City, Nev.
Bill was born February 9, 1923 in Deer Lodge to Thomas and Helga (Stay) Coates. He attended schools in Deer Lodge graduating from Powell County High School in 1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 during WW II. After leaving the Army at the end of WW 11, he returned home to Deer Lodge for a brief period of time. Bill reenlisted in the Army in 1946 making the Army and later the Air Force a career. He served in many locations including the United States, Western Pacific, Europe, Africa, and Canada. At the time of his retirement, he was the Base Operations Officer for the 4082nd Strategic Wing at Goose Air Force Base, Labrador. Since retiring from the military, Bill has lived in Montana, Texas, and Nevada.
Bill was life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 689 in Deer Lodge, a member of American Legion Post 10 in Deer Lodge, The Military Officers Association, and the Knights of Columbus in Las Vegas, Nev. Bill was preceded in death by Vada, his wife of 53 years, his son, James, his two daughters, Shirley and Mary, and his grandson, James Cusick. His parents, and his brother John and sister Helen also preceded him death. He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Goeppinger of Nevada, sister-in-law Nancy Coates of Bend, Ore.; daughter-in-law, Eileen Coates of Camby, Ore.; and two son-in-laws, Dwayne Hart of Deer Lodge, and Kenny of San Diego, Calif. He has nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Bill’s ashes will be buried next to his wife, Vada, at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Veterans Section, on a date yet to be determined in the spring of 2020.
William L. Mosier
The last grandson of Montana pioneers Andrew and Katie Christoffersen, William L. Mosier, passed away on December 29, 2019. He was Born to William and Emma Christoffersen Mosier June 6, 1920. At age 12, having lost his father, his mother moved the family to the ranch so she could keep house for her bachelor brothers. During high school Bill was active in FFA and enjoyed feeding and showing livestock. During that time he took a steer in a trailer he built himself to the Inland Stock Show in Salt Lake City. He and his steer took fifth place out of over one hundred entries. He graduated from PCHS in 1939, after which he moved to Seattle and worked as a carpenter. In 1941 he married Violet Schott. During WWII he served in the Air Force as a crew chief. During his service he was stationed in multiple places in the US and did a tour of duty in Okinawa. After discharge from the service, he returned to the Christoffersen Ranch and worked with his uncles until 1959, when he purchased the property. He continued to raise Hereford cattle and help his children with feeding and showing cattle through 4-H programs.
In 1981 he turned the operation over to his son. After this he and Vi began to travel, his first foray being an agricultural tour with Conrad Burns to Australia. Fall trips thereafter included China, Japan, Germany, Italy, Hawaii and the East coast.
He was proceeded in death by Violet (his wife of 73 years), his sister Maureen Scwartz, his daughter Darlene and her husband Larry Temanson; daughter Gwen and husband Randy Morrow; and granddaughter Kelly Mosier.
He is survived by son Bill and wife Terry; grandchildren Greg (Jolee) Mosier; granddaughter Sara (Chris Foster); granddaughter Debbie Temanson (Doug) Malone; granddaughters Natalie Morrow and Stephanie Morrow; grandson Kevin Morrow; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was a member of Elks and the First Christian Church. He moved to the Renaissance Center at age 98.
We would like to thank Powell County Medical Center and the Renaissance Center for their excellent care during his last days.
Services will be held at the Jewell Funeral Home on Friday, January 3, at 11 with internment following. A reception will follow at the First Presbyterian Church.
Larry Carl Tilley
On Wednesday, December 25, 2019 in Deer Lodge Larry Carl Tilley spent his first Christmas in heaven. Born 77 years ago to Loy and Dorothy Tilley in Osage, Okla., Larry led an adventurous life. He married Veva Gibson (Tilley). They had two children, Carla and James.
He served in the Airforce in 1960 to 1963. Larry was a dreamer with a generous heart. His grandchildren will miss golfing with him, especially driving the golf cart. He enjoyed telling his family stories about his life. He traveled around the country and played on an international volleyball team in the 1970s. In the 1980s the family settled in Deer Lodge.
He was preceded in death by his parents Loy and Dorothy, his four sisters Helen, Ellen, Loretta, Loy Dean, and Cris, and his son Larry. He is survived by his wife, Veva, his son James and wife Sarah Tilley, and daughter Carla Tilley (Warner) and husband Kenneth, and nine grandchildren. He has nieces and nephews and cousins scattered through the world.
A graveside service will be held at the Deer Lodge Cemetery on Saturday January 4th at 11:30 am.
Kristine A Ehlert
- Age 53, received her wings December 8, 2019. She passed quietly at her home with her precious dog, Fiona, by her side. When Kristine lost her son, Josh in February 2018 by an unfortunate accident, her spirit was shattered beyond repair and her health and heart paid a heavy price. Her daughter-in-law, Samantha, along with three amazing grandsons Maximus, Michael and Malachi, kept her going and brought her great joy, care and love. Her best friend, Leo Bueckers loved her and will miss her greatly. They were companions and friends who helped each other through many years. Even when she had nothing to spare, she found a way to help others in need. Kristine was a free spirit with a tremendous heart and touched many lives. Remember her love, beauty and her spirit. A celebration of life will be held in the spring.
Stanley Charles (Chuck) Sworder Jr.
Stanley Charles (Chuck) Sworder Jr., 90 of Deer Lodge, passed away on November 29, 2019.
Chuck was born on January 26, 1929 to Stanley and Alice Sworder at Pompey’s Pillar.
Chuck grew up in Livingston where he attended grade school. Chuck’s family then moved to Alberton where he graduated from High School.
Chuck enlisted in the Marines on March 23, 1948. Stationed in Ft.Campbell, San Diego, Calif. He was honorably discharged in March of 1952. “Once a Marine Always a Marine.”
Chuck married Audrey O’Bannon shortly after on January 25th, 1953. They had two children.
Chuck started working for the railroad when he was 16 in the summers. When he finished the Marines he continued working for the railroad which included The Northern Pacific, Burlington Northern and Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
Chuck was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Marysville and the American Legion.
The family moved to Avon in 1961 where they lived until Chuck’s retirement and then decided to make the move into Deer Lodge in 1986 to be closer to the grandchildren. Chuck and Audrey enjoyed being a big part of the bowling leagues. He enjoyed fishing in the small streams for brook trout onto deep sea fishing on the Washington coast for king salmon.
Chuck is proceeded in death by his wife Audrey of 55 years, grandson Tony Smith, brother Jim Sworder, sisters Alice Watt and Frances Arthur.
He is survived by his Boston Terrier and best friend which he called “The Dog,” son John Sworder (Lisa), daughter Jayne Smith (Norman “Doug”); two grandsons, Chuck Smith (Dawn), Steven Smith (Tara) and granddaughter Julia Smith-Freeman; seven great-grandchildren, Hunter Smith, Jaycee Wood; Chance, Brodey and Landon Freeman; Emma and Anna Smith, great-great-grandchildren Isabelle and Ray Bernhardt.
Private family services will be held in the spring. Memorials can be made to the local animal shelter or charity of your choice.
The family would like to thank Genesis Healthcare and Rehab for the wonderful care you gave him.
Gladys Geneva Reeves Knuchel
Mom was born September 14, 1928 to Richard Reeves and Susie Rosenberg Reeves in Crawford, Nebr., the youngest of six children. The family moved to Portland, Ore. where mom graduated from Portland Girls High School in 1946. Mom made her way back to Missoula where she met and married Harry Knuchel (the milkman) on April 3, 1948. And, then along came the milkman’s kids, six in eight years, Cheryl Knuchel, deceased, Diane (Mike) Grey of Deer Lodge, Karl (Laurie) Knuchel of Livingston, Tim Knuchel of Deer Lodge, Gary (Polly) Knuchel of Belgrade and Mark Knuchel of Deer Lodge.
They moved to Deer Lodge over Memorial Day weekend in 1959 where they proceeded to make a fun filled life following the trials and tribulations that their boys put them through. Mom loved following her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids as they played sports, danced or their academic achievements. Often times you could hear her calling out the referees when she didn’t quite agree with one of their calls and dad would tell her to be quiet. She was always our biggest fan and our biggest critic.
In her later years, she loved hearing stories about her family and she especially enjoyed hearing about how naughty they could be.
Mom loved animals and always had one or two or three dogs and a few cats.
After the kids were all in school, mom went to work at Coast to Coast Hardware and then for Castilio’s. But, she only worked during the school year because she could never find anyone willing to watch the little boys and she always wanted to be available for any of the kids’ activities. Later, she worked at Keystone and New to You. Mom always loved interacting with others and truly enjoyed all of her kids’ friends when they came over.
Mom has been a resident of Renaissance of Deer Lodge for the last three plus years and loved teasing everyone who worked or lived there. In these later years, whenever anyone asked how she was doing, the first question asked was “is she still feisty?” That would be a resounding yes as anyone involved with her would testify.
Mom passed away on November 15 after a struggle with dementia. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry in 1998 and her daughter, Cheryl in 2009. She is survived by five of her children, 11 grandchildren, Debi (Scott) Casagranda, Stacey (Lee) Clark, Arie (Heidi) Grey, Necia Knuchel, Megan (Matt) Ballinger, Shane (Kassidi) Knuchel, Jacquie Pischke, Skyler Knuchel, Delaney (Ty) Pocha, Kylie and Tyson Knuchel and 18 great-grandchildren, Kadeshia, Tristen, Ariel, Myleigh and Trae Clark, Macee, Jake and Brady Casagranda, Raeder, Saege, Tymber and Aece Grey, HayLeigh and Carter Pischke, Kia Pasulka, Millie Ballinger, Annaleigh Knuchel, and Kaine Pocha.
A memorial service will be held Monday, January 6, 2020.
Memorials can be made to the Shriners’ Hospital or Frontier Home Health and Hospice.
Rodney Wayne Berry
Rodney Wayne Berry passed away suddenly on November 6, 2019. Rod was born on June 26, 1963 in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1966 his family moved to Anaconda where he lived and went to school. Rod graduated from Anaconda High in 1981. After finishing high school, he went on to work various jobs in the Deer Lodge Valley, before finally settling in Deer Lodge where he worked as a mechanic, cook and landfill manager. Rod was a jack of all trades, however, he was best known for his excellent cooking skills. He loved to BBQ and cook for his many friends who always enjoyed the food he made. Rod had a big heart and was happy to volunteer his time during the holidays to make dinners for others in town that didn’t have a place to go. His other hobbies included playing practical jokes on anyone that crossed his path, hunting, fly fishing, making jerky and sausage and enjoying a drink with friends.
Rod is survived by his best friend and wife Cathy Curran, sister Tami (Gene) Stigen, nephews Gregory and Garrett Stigen, son Scott (Ashley) Berry, daughter Roni (Leland Goodman) Arnett, sons Jeremiah and Nicholas Maulding, grandchildren Logan, Kloee, and Makayla Maulding, Travon Arnett and Olivia Goodman, several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A celebration of life potluck will be held on November 30 at 2 p.m. at Bar H Saloon, please bring a dish if you are able and a funny story about Rod.
Terese Rachele DeLaney (Tessie)
Terese Rachele DeLaney (Tessie) died peacefully on November 4, 2019, surrounded by her family at her parents’ home in Annandale, Va., after a long and courageous struggle with breast cancer.
Tessie was born on September 8, 1973, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She lived her early years in Montana, and moved to Virginia in 1980. Tessie graduated in 1995 from James Madison University, and she moved to Colorado in 1998, where she would spend the rest of her life. She worked for many years as a primary school teacher in Virginia and Colorado, and she earned two Master’s Degrees in Education. She was an adventurous soul, who deeply loved the outdoors, especially the mountains in her beloved Colorado. Tessie was an experienced sky-diver, climber, and backpacker who could always be found on the trail with one of her yellow labs by her side. She had a wide and devoted circle of friends around the country, and the world, wherever her adventures took her. Those adventures grew to include her husband, Wayne Crill, and their son, Kaiden Crill, and the three of them spent many wonderful days hiking in the mountains together.
Tessie is survived by her son, Kaiden, and her husband, Wayne; her parents, Bill and Mary DeLaney (Sewell); her brother Steven DeLaney and his wife Allison, and their sons Joseph and Ben; and her sister Kathleen DeLaney Thomas and her husband Courtney Thomas, and their children CJ and Evan.
The Funeral Mass for Tessie took place on Saturday, November 9, at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, Va. A Celebration of Life will be held for her in Colorado at Jester’s Theater in Longmont, Thursday, November 14 at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be considered for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless.
Jeannine Atkins went to be with our Heavenly Father on Sunday, October 27, 2019. She had fallen and was suffering from a broken hip around Labor Day. She fought a hard battle trying to get her life back to normal. She fell again and dislocated the same hip almost two months later. The pain was just too much. She passed with many of her family around her throughout her last two weeks of life
Jeannine was born as Syble Jeannine Montgomery on March 15, 1933 in Great Falls to Earle and Ruth Montgomery, but preferred to go by her middle name. She had two sisters, Earlene and Ann. She spent lots of time with her grandparents who lived in the oil fields. Her family also spent many days at their cabin in Essex. Jeannine graduated from Shelby High School in 1951. When she was just 18, she found the love of her life, Marvin Atkins. He had come to Shelby as a custom cutter, helping with the harvests. She followed him back to Missouri, where he proposed and the two were married at just 19 years old in Shelby. They moved back to Lawson, Mo. where they had a small farm. There they had three daughters: Debra, Bridgett and Janet. In 1964, they moved back to Montana to buy a farm from Jeannine’s dad, Earle. The farm was 10 miles north of Shelby. There they had a fourth daughter, Beverly.
Jeannine was a wonderful farm wife, but also worked a few different jobs in town. The longest position she held was that of head cook at the local schools. She worked there for 10 years. Jeannine was active in her church, teaching Sunday school and Acteens. She took groups of Acteen girls for conventions to Memphis, Tenn. and Birmingham, Ala. She shared her faith with many of these teenage girls.
Jeannine was a fantastic cook, preparing huge feasts at harvest time. She would bring the food out to the field, so the workers didn’t have to stop. She could drive trucks, unload them at the grain bins or drive them into the elevators in Shelby. There wasn’t much she couldn’t do for the farm. She had a horse named Willy, whom she loved to ride even in her later years. Jeannine grew huge gardens and canned most of her vegetables. She devoted her life to her girls, husband, and church.
When Marvin and Jeannine retired, they built a house in Arizona. They spent 14 years splitting winters down south and summers back up in Montana, enjoying the sun and loving life. They made a major decision to sell the farm in Shelby and move to Deer Lodge as their second house. Finally, in 2013, they sold the Arizona house and moved permanently to Deer Lodge. Marvin passed away in 2015 and Jeannine continued to live in her own house until the day she broke her hip. She kept busy with her yard, her house, and visiting her grand and great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed visiting her daughters and their families over the holidays. She liked playing games with her friends and going to church.
Jeannine will always be remembered as a loving and dedicated mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Jeannine was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Earlene, and her loving husband Marvin.
Jeannine is survived by her sister, Ann Pettit, four daughters: Debra Burgin (Pat) Meridian Idaho, Bridgett Oliver (Chuck) Meridian Idaho, Janet Christnacht (Tom) Deer Lodge, and Beverly Davis (David) Tucson, Ariz., grandchildren, Jessica Bartley (Jesse), Nicholas Corisis (Jamie), Cody Oliver (Sami), Jennie Horne (Tom), Suzy Berland (Brian), Ashley Johnson (Tony), Jesse Oliver, Michele Christnacht, Henry and Griffin Davis great-grandchildren, Landon Corisis, Maci Horne, Evie Berland, Hallie Horne, Beau and Jordy Oliver and baby girl Berland to be born soon.
Services for Jeannine will be held Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Deer Lodge. Luncheon will follow the service at the church. Burial will be at the Hillcrest Cemetery following.
Memorials can be made to First Baptist Church.
Michael James Fah
Michael James Fah, 50, of Deer Lodge, passed away Monday night October 21, 2019.
Mike was born in Missoula, on May 9, 1969 to John and Florence Fah. He attended school in Deer Lodge.
Mike worked for the Sun Mountain Lumber and most recently at the Montana State Prison as a Maintenance Technician for the last 2 years.
Mike was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was involved with the demolition derby for many years. He enjoyed the outdoors, camping and fishing with his family. Mike loved watching NASCAR and the MT Griz football.
Mike was preceded in death by his mother Florence Fah, mother-in-law June Wallace, grandparents, uncles Mikky and Jimmy, aunts Linda and Judy.
Mike is survived by his wife Joann, his dad John Sr., brother John Jr., sister Julie and her husband Eddy, niece Bryce, nephews Richard (Breanna) and Dustin, step-sons Russell Ring (Kim) and Kalvin Sharette, son Dale Gustafson (Mallory) and his grandchildren, Kylee, Madison, Allison and three extra special little girls, Zenadaya, Zion, Zayna, Zelina and brother and sister-in-laws (Laurie and Steve, Don and Roxana, Janie and Sam, and Arvie and numerous nieces and nephews). Aunts Shirley, Lil, and Loretta Rae and extended family.
The celebration of life will be Saturday, November 9 at the Elks Lodge in Deer Lodge from 1-4 p.m. We will be having a potluck, if you would like to bring a casserole, salad or something else; it would be greatly appreciated.
Charliene L. Staffanson “Memom”
Charliene L. Staffanson “Memom”, 79, of Deer Lodge passed away October 22, 2019.
Charliene was born to Joyce and Victor Wright July 16, 1940. She was raised in Missoula and attended school there. She completed nurses training at St. Patrick’s School of Nursing. While in Nurses training at Warm Springs State Hospital she met Dale Staffanson. They were later married and moved from Anaconda to Deer Lodge where they purchased The Deer Lodge Drug “The Corner Drug”.
She was involved in many civic activities throughout her life in Deer Lodge, she liked to golf, ski and especially play bridge with her lifetime bridge partner Jaunita. In retirement she shared her cooking skills by providing catering services for many events.
She was preceded in death by Dale and her parents.
She is survived by children Clifford and Donna Staffanson, Maddy and Riley all of Ganesvoort, N.Y., and Susan and Joie Kramer, Tucker (Austyn) and Hunter all of Deer Lodge. A brother Charles (Jane) Wright of Spokane, Wash. and sister Sharon (Wayne) Heckeroth of Corvallis.
Services will be at the Presbyterian Church on November 13, 2019 at 11 a.m., with lunch to follow at the Church Hall.
Eugene Lee Hurlbert
October 7, 2019, Eugene Lee Hurlbert passed away. Born November 10, 1928 in Deer Lodge, the second of seven children born to Marion and Ferol (Cookie) Halverson Hurlbert.
Gene spent his early years in Deer Lodge, then in the Flathead Valley where they worked a dairy farm. When his dad started working for the railroad they moved to Lester, Wash. Here, Gene quit school and began working for the railroad.
A move to Forsyth would bring a devastating change to the family’s life with the sudden death of their father. The family retreated back to Deer Lodge where they were separated to live with other families. At that time, Gene entered the military. A member of the 45th Calvary, he was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone serving there as a Scout. He was also a member of the Rifle Team and Honor Guard. Upon his discharge, he returned to Deer Lodge and met his wife-to-be Delores Stoppler.
They were married in Deer Lodge in 1951 and moved back to Forsyth where Gene worked again for the Northern Pacific RR. Their two sons were born there, Eugene Leon and Donald Edward.
When the steam engines were decommissioned and an injury to Gene’s youngest son headed him west again where a stop in Deer Lodge to visit turned into a lifelong stay. He found work at the Anaconda Smelter and built his home on Oregon Street, not far from the remains of the house where he was born.
When the smelter shut down, Gene found work in his own welding shop, the lumber and mining industries. A near fatal mining accident set him on the path to operating boilers for the Powell County and Galen Hospitals. After his retirement, Gene owned and ran his own septic pumping business until health issues forced him to again retire at age 90.
Gene was active in the Boy Scouts and Powell County Search and Rescue for many years. Eastern Star and the Masonic Lodge played a large part in his and Delores’s lives. He was a member of The Order of Eastern Star, Floral Chapter #14 and held numerous local and state offices. He was awarded a 50 Years of Service citation for his work in the Masonic Grand Lodge. His participation ebbed away after the death of Delores, his wife of 66 years in 2015.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Delores, son Donald, half-brother Ervin, brothers Marion and Albert, sisters Dorothy (Tony) Manicke and Pauline Donna. He is survived by his son Leon (Susie), sisters Edna Brackney, Patricia Chevallier, and Peggy (Gary) Cloninger, daughter-in-law Barb Watanabe Hurlbert, grandchildren Chris (Sue) Hurlbert, Ben (Danielle) Hurlbert, and Jennifer Ciconte, great-grandchildren Giovanni, Matthew, Brianna, Jerika, Terra, and Lindsey and numerous nieces and nephews. A special thank you to Barb, Sherry, Dodie, Diane, and Andy for their time caring for dad.
A service by Eastern Star and the Masons will be held on October 24 at 11 a.m. at the Broken Arrow with a luncheon to follow. A graveside serve with military honors will be conducted at the Hillcrest Cemetery after the luncheon at 2 p.m.
Barbara McOmber, 84.
Barbara McOmber passed away peacefully on November 3, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. A nearly life-long resident of Deer Lodge, Barbara was born in Drummond on July 17, 1934 to Arthur and Lorna Periman. Her childhood was spent working on the family cattle ranch.
After moving to Deer Lodge, Barbara spent more than 30 years working first as the city treasurer and then as the city clerk. Those who knew Barbara best would tell you she was a perfectionist in all that she did. Whether it was at work or with a sewing needle in hand, everything she did was a masterpiece. Barbara always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Barbara was preceded in death by her daughter, Shirley Murinko (April 2018); her parents, and her brothers, Robert and Lawrence.
Barbara will always be remembered as a loving and dedicated mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Barbara is survived by her son-in-law John Murinko, grandsons, Shawn (Rebecca) Murinko and Eric (Bonnie) Murinko as well as her great-grandchildren, Heather, Grace, Justin, Clara Joy, Brooke, and numerous close friends.
Memorials may be made to the Rialto Theatre, Deer Lodge in Barbara’s name.
Teresa Ann (Hysong) Walters
Teresa Ann (Hysong) Walters was called home on October 14, 2019. Teresa was born July 25, 1959 in Tacoma, Wash. to Robert Hysong, Jr. and Sandra (Moe Guldemzopf). She graduated from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma at the age of 17.
Teresa and Allen met January, 1976 and were married September 10, 1977 in Bremerton, Wash. While she worked many jobs, none were more important to her than raising children. She always had words of encouragement or a swift kick-whichever she felt you needed. Her love was always tender, but stern in her beliefs. She, not only raised two daughters, but numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Teresa is a beloved daughter, wife, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother. She has touched so many lives and will be greatly missed by all. A wise and kind woman. Teresa had a generous and giving heart and will always be a true example of unconditional love and understanding. She always had a hug and advice, even if you didn’t know you needed it. Teresa was a treasure to have in our lives that brought beauty and grace to our hearts. She had a way of seeing the other side of things and explaining it to open other’s eyes and minds.
Teresa was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Joe and Mae Tinker; paternal grandparents, Robert and Florence Hysong, Sr.; father, Robert Hysong, Jr., and nephew Jesse Walters. Teresa is survived by her loving, soulmate, Allen; her parents Sandra (Moe) Guldenzopf; her sister Bobbie (Roger); three brothers-in-law, Ted (Kerry) Walters, Harold (Cheryl) Walters, Dan (Molly) Walters; two daughters, Jennifer (Chad) Williams, Brandian Leistman; six grandchildren, Tiffany (Ernesto) Bautista, Tyler, Troy, and Taylor Mooney, Chandler (Kylee) Yount, Cierra Reap; seven great-grandchildren, Lago, Aliyah, Mikaela and Pablo Bautista, Kaylee Cole, Madelynn Woodard and Athena Reap; seven nephews, three nieces, six great-nephews and four great-nieces.
Charles Edward Beck
Charles Edward Beck, 1925-2019.
Charles Edward Beck (Charlie) left this world on the morning of October 6 at the age of 93. Mount Powell loomed at his back as it had for 60 plus years as he farmed and ranched in the Deer Lodge Valley. Charlie was born to Peter L. and Margaret (O’Keefe) Beck on November 20, 1925. His birth occurred at a midwifery on the north end of Second Street in Deer Lodge. In later years he was joined by three sisters, Marge (Shandy), Rita (Morgan), and Helen (Hallingstad). Only Marge survives. Charles was the apple of his mother’s eye. She called him Little Charlie and the name stuck for life. Whenever Charlie misbehaved the sisters remarked “Not our little Charlie.” Charlie received his primary education at a couple of one room schoolhouses, first being Bradley Tech near the family homestead at Beck Hill and later at Finn. He talked of walking to school and skiing when conditions allowed. At the tender age of 10, he was already responsible for tending the family sheep camps in the hills around Avon and Helmville. Later the family moved to Deer Lodge and lived on California Avenue. He worked at the Deer Lodge Creamery as a young man until graduating from Powell County High School at the age of 17. World War II was well underway, but despite his wishes to participate Charlie was granted an agricultural deferment. After high school he and best friends Emmett O’Keefe and Sam Beck worked construction, building highways and learning to be scraper hands.
In 1948 Charles married Rhea Farnsworth and they moved to his parents’ ranch at Helmville, the Spring Creek Ranch. They worked hard, building a new home on the ranch and welcoming their first child Diana (Warner). They had been snowed in all winter, so when delivery date drew close Charles hauled Rhea to Helmville on a horse drawn sleigh. Prior to the arrival of the next child (Pete) they managed to purchase a ranch in the Deer Lodge Valley and moved to the family ranch. Diana and Pete were joined by Charlie’s half-sister Barbara when her parents passed away, and later by younger brother Doug. Rhea passed away in 1982. Charles was known as an excellent farmer and rancher. His proudest achievement in agriculture was growing certified seed potatoes with his two sons in Deer Lodge and marketing them across the Pacific Northwest and into Canada. He was known for having some of the biggest calves in the county when marketing time rolled around.
In 1983 Charles married Karla Sherlock, and they created a beautiful home on Center Street in Deer Lodge. They had many wonderful years together until Karla passed in 2005. The couple wintered in Mesa, Arizona and enjoyed having a respite from the harsh Montana winter. One of Charlie’s final hopes was to return to Arizona for this upcoming winter. He remembered all too well feeding cows with a pitchfork from a horse drawn wagon or sleigh.
He is survived by his children Diana (John) Warner, Pete, and Doug, and half-sister Barbara (Jim) Weis. There are numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Celebration of his life was held on Saturday, October 12 at First Baptist Church, 127 Sam Beck Road, Deer Lodge, MT. Viewing was at 10 am, service was at 11 am. Luncheon followed at the Broken Arrow Lounge, Main Street Deer Lodge.
Laurel Elaine Penner (Denton)
Laurel Elaine Penner (Denton), 58, came into this world March 23, 1961 the youngest of five children to Ralph and Ruth Denton. She grew up in Deer Lodge along with her four brothers. She graduated from Powell County High School at the top of her class in 1979. Laurel met Larry Penner early in life and together they started a family and had many life adventures along the way.
Laurel was a very smart, talented lady who loved life. She was always a ray of sunshine, had the biggest heart and always happy to help anyone but she was never afraid to stand her ground. She had the best laugh and sense of humor. She could make you laugh when you least expected it! She loved having fun and was always willing to try new things. When life presented challenges she would always say “It’s okay” and press on.
She loved being a part of all the special moments with her family, friends from being outside in the country with her horse (Spice), in the mountains with her family having picnics, picking huckleberries, roasting marshmallows, shopping trips, going to drive in movies or hanging out at an after work get together, but most of all were the cherished moments with her grandchildren. She loved being there for her grandkids, didn’t matter what she was doing she always made sure to be there for them, cheering them on in the stands, a member of the PIT crew, having movie nights, traveling to Texas and art projects. As the best grandmother ever, she left behind many precious memories for her grandchildren to carry with them.
Laurel could always be found participating in fundraisers anyway she could. She always was the “go to gal” and popular with the kiddos from selling candy bars, cookies, raffle tickets and popcorn. Her favorite one was the local Missoula radio stations “KyssMass” for kids, she looked forward to that event every year. She was always supportive of her friends and family, no matter what!
After a short unexpected illness, surrounded by her family, Heaven called their angel home on the rainy afternoon of August 15, 2019. She leaves behind three children whom she was very proud of and loved to tell stories about. Melissa (Jerry) Kelly, Heidi (Brant) Pierson, Russell (Alejandra) Penner each of whom carry a part of her with them. Her five grandchildren whom she adored more than anything; Skyla and Ilyana, Tyler, Axel and Olivia, who all made precious memories with her. Her brothers Jeff (Lori) Denton, Ron Denton, and Mike Denton. Her partner in life Larry Penner. Several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She reunited in death with her parents Ralph and Ruth. Cruising through the pearly gates in a corvette with her brother Barry welcomed with open arms by numerous other family members. She left a lasting mark on all those she met and is deeply missed. Her spirit will forever be a part of everyone she loved.
Death Notice: Donald Joseph Pocha
Donald Joseph Pocha, 80, of Helmville passed away October 10, 2019. The memorial service will be Friday October 25 11am at the Helmville Community Center. Luncheon to follow.
Marjorie Ruth Casey
Marjorie Ruth Casey, age 91, peacefully passed on September 25, 2019, while with family in Yuma, Ariz. She was born in Long Beach, Calif. on September 20, 1928, to George Fred and Ethel (Bayliss) Casey.
In addition to being a wonderful mother, grandmother and friend, her achievements include being in the first graduating class at Sonoma State University, obtaining a B.A. degree in Political Science. Armed with a sheepskin, she then taught third grade classes at Randall Pepper Elementary School in Fontana, Calif. Later she obtained a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Development, in a program that combined the University of California at Riverside and Pepperdine University. Her career in education included launching a ‘pilot’ reading program, she introduced the program in a film distributed to classrooms across the Country. Marjorie retired in 1988 from her Administrative position with the Fontana School District in California.
She loved traveling with family. One of several highlights included her and sister Ethel May as they reconnected at their ancestor’s hometown in Ireland. A travel surprise came in 1981 while visiting daughter Patty in Virginia. Both were invited to the White House and also received a staff invitation into the President’s Oval Office. Another highlight was traveling by motorhome with her granddaughter Erin. They set out from their home in Alaska determined to shop every mall in Canada, then into America (the Lower 48).
Marjorie always referred to Sun Vista Resort in Yuma as her second home and was known to her many friends as ‘KC’ or ‘Margie.’ While in her hometown of Deer Lodge, she loved the long visits and hours of great conversation with grandson Douglas, the afternoons with ‘the girls’ at Lil’s and the Elks Lodge. Back at Sun Vista, KC always enjoyed the Pokeno parties she would host for her friends and then surprising them at each holiday often with bobble-head Santas, or beads at Mardi Gras, Easter baskets, candy filled hearts and American flags on Independence Day.
Marjorie is survived by her sister Ethel (Al) Jenness of Coarsegold, Calif., daughter Susie (Scott) Iden of Wickenburg, Ariz., daughter Patty (Dennis “Buzz”) Rome of Deer Lodge, grandson Douglas Rome of Deer Lodge, and granddaughter Erin (Wess) Benson and great-grandson James of Helena, eight nieces and two nephews. Marjorie’s passing was preceded by her sister June Austin, brother George Fred Casey, Jr., son Franklin Perry Walker, son Dana William Walker, and grandson Jeffrey Dale Arnold.
Marjorie’s wishes were for cremation and to have her ashes spread at sea near her birthplace at Long Beach. She wanted to have it known there would be a time when she would float forever on the tides or perhaps be lifted and blown over the land carried by the trade winds.
A portion of her ashes will also be interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Calif., with a private graveside service and marker to commemorate her life.
A spring time celebration of life memorial service is planned when her friends arrive back in Yuma, having an opportunity to say farewell and remember so many great times with their devoted friend KC. Marjorie was proud of her Irish heritage . . . Slán agus beannacht leat.
Death Notice: Charles E. Beck
Charles E. Beck, 93 of Deer Lodge, died Sunday, October 6. Services to be held at First Baptist Church at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 12. Luncheon at Broken Arrow following burial.
Montana State Prison inmate Joseph Foley died on October 1, 2019 at Community Hospital in Missoula due to on ongoing medical condition. Mr. Foley was 62 years old.
Mr. Foley was sentenced out of Ravalli County in 2018 for the crime of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Mr. Foley was sentenced to 5 years with 3 years and 11 months suspended. Mr. Foley was parole eligible as of March 2019
To submit an obituary, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 406-846-2424.