Donna Marie Miller Weber
Donna Marie Miller Weber, age 85, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Our family can all attest to our Mom’s strength and strong will for all of what life had handed her.
Donna was born in Butte, Montana, and grew up in Elliston, graduating from Powell County High School. She married the love of her life, Ronald Weber, on March 10, 1956. Donna was a homemaker most of her life but enjoyed many hobbies. She was a worldly collector of many items, including a vast salt and pepper shaker collection which can be seen at the Deer Lodge museum. She loved reading as a way to learn, and she especially enjoyed crocheting and stamp collecting, but one of the last hobbies she had spent time doing was bobbin lace. She once flew to New York to attend a bobbin lace convention and remarked that for a portion of the flight, she chatted with and enjoyed the company of a little known musician, a young man named MC Hammer.
Donna loved family events more than anything and especially enjoyed the holidays. Many, many stories came from Christmas morning, as well as Thanksgiving in Elliston and dressing up for Halloweens as a witch or any number of costumes Donna usually put together herself. She made up her granddaughter Amber as Roger Rabbit for school one year. Mom also coached her daughter Julie in sewing many costumes for Annie, Eva and Claire.
Donna always spoke highly of several families in her life — She had stories of her own children, but also spoke of the friends her own kids brought over to play. She spoke of all the neighborhood kids that we grew up with like they were her own, the kids of the sixth ward were a wild bunch. During the years spent living in Elliston, Ron and Donna were thankful for the Carroll family and their four boys who endlessly helped with many chores.
Mom had some brief employment at the Helena State Nursery as a dibbler — the person who poked holes with their finger and dropped in seeds to grow the beautiful flowers they were known for — as well as selling corn on a corn truck for Kinsey Gardens.
Her favorite stories come from when she worked for the phone company (Ma Bell) as an operator at a switchboard. Like the shows on TV, she would talk to those on one end and connect them with their other party on the other end.
Dad and Mom enjoyed traveling and fishing in their later years. The different boats they had for lake fishing made for great fun with the grandkids, along with camping at White Earth and various other lakes.
Dad said that almost every time they fished, Mom would out-catch Dad no matter what they were using. As they slowed down some, going out and cooking over an open fire with their kids and grandkids gave them great pleasure. Mom and Dad enjoyed watching the grandkids play sports for Helena High and Capital High. Mom was always with Dad at the bowling alley and she had many close friends from those times.
Donna is preceded in death by her husband Ron; and her parents John and Gladys Miller. She is survived by her sister Mary Ann Fee; daughter Julie McKenna; grandchildren Annie Waples (Daniel Renfro), Eva Andrade (Juan) and Claire Waples (Tahisha); son John Weber with grandkids Tim Draper and Melissa Wilks (Brandon); son Ron Weber (Kari) with grandkids Amber Andersen and Adam Weber; and five great grandchildren.
Services will be held Saturday, September 18, at 2 p.m. at the Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home.
There will be a graveside service at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison on Tuesday, September 21, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Elliston Church, P.O. Box 57, Elliston. MT 59728. To offer a condolence or to share a story about Donna, please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com.
Russell Wayne Jennings
Russell Wayne Jennings passed away on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Russ was born in Deer Lodge, Montana, on September 29, 1936, to Ayres and Edna Jennings. After graduating from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree, Russ moved to Harlowton, Montana, to teach in the high school. While there he met Peggy Fuchs. They were married on December 3, 1960.
They moved to Missoula, Montana, where Russ completed his master’s degree. Russ was then awarded an assistant teaching position at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he also completed his PhD.
Russ worked in the human resource department at the Hanford nuclear plant in the state of Washington; the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, Arizona; and he taught classes at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Russ spent his retirement years in Gilbert, Arizona, close to his family.
Russ was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers (one an infant). He is survived by his daughter Janet Pattison (Graham), his son Bryce Jennings and his granddaughter Jessica Jennings.
Dixie Elnore Wohlers Henderson
Dixie Elnore Wohlers Henderson, age 83, passed away on August 19, 2021, surrounded by her children in Deer Lodge, Montana.
Dixie was born August 8, 1938, in Deer Lodge to Richard and Elnore Wohlers.
She is survived by her sons Mike Hotchkiss of Deer Lodge, Montana, Tom (Leona) Henderson of Hamilton, Montana and John Henderson of Deer Lodge, Montana; her daughter Zana (Kevin) Hogan of Gold Creek, Montana; her grandchildren Brittany Hotchkiss of Cut Bank, Montana, Stephanie (Rodney) Hunter of Deer Lodge, Montana, Shelby Jensen of Missoula, Montana and Riley Henderson of Dillon, Montana; and her one great granddaughter Lexi Stubs of Cut Bank, Montana. Dixie is also survived by her sister Judy Matti of Stevensville, Montana, brother William (Susan) Wohlers of Portland, Oregon, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents Richard and Elnore Wohlers, her first husband Richard Hotchkiss and her brother John Wohlers.
Dixie was raised on the family rancvh in Gold Creek, where she spent her time riding horses, fishing and working. She graduated from Powell County High School in 1956. She married Richard Hotchkiss in 1956 and was blessed with her son Mike. She later married Merril Henderson in 1960 and was blessed with Tom, John and Zana. She worked in the law offices of Joe McElwain and Scotty McCallmun, later working for Jim Masar. She then worked at Deer Lodge City Hall until her retirement.
Dixie was well known for her wealth of knowledge. She was a hard worker and was the family historian. She loved spending time with family, sewing and playing a good game of pinochle.
A celebration of life will be held September 17, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Rialto Community Theatre, with lunch to follow at the Elks Club.
Memorial donations may be made in Dixie’s name to the Rialto Community Theater, P.O. Box 874, Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
Alisha Llamas passed away Tuesday, August 31st, 2021, after a long battle with various medical issues.
She began her career as a CNA at Madison County nursing home in Ennis, Montana. She later relocated to Deer Lodge, Montana, with her four daughters. She worked as a CNA at the Deer Lodge Medical Center’s long-term care facility, spending many years there. She also worked at Beyond Home assisted living and at Aware Inc. Galen MT.
Alisha enjoyed every minute of caring for people and being able to provide the best care for every person she came across. She enjoyed spending her free time with family and friends, as well as taking trips to California to be with her family. She made many long-lasting memories and friendships along her journey through life.
She is preceded in death by her parents Isaac and Caroline Ramirez; her Aunt Babe; and her husband David Llamas.
She is survived by her sister Patricia (Roberto) Cerda; daughters Silvia Llamas, Maria (Steven Vetter) Llamas, Carolina (Edgar) Salinas, Jessica (Wesley) Sinerius. She is also survived by grandchildren Jasmine Tallon; David and Victoria Llamas; Lisa and Katelyn Vetter; Emmanuel, Alejandro, Isaac and Sofia Salinas; and Jess Marie Sinerius, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Alisha will be missed by many and will forever be in our hearts. There will be a graveside service on Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, Montana.
Judith Mavis Ask
Judith Mavis Ask, passed away on Saturday, August 21st. Judy was born June 13, 1942 to Arthur and Gladys in Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa. The family moved to Montana in 1948 and eventually settled in Deer Lodge in 1952. Judy had a very close relationship with her sister Joan Cutler. She was Aunt to Joan’s four children: Loxie, Lonnie, Chuck, and Sandy Judy enjoyed many hobbies to include riding horses and motorcycles in her younger years. Judy loved animals and owned a pet grooming business for many years. Judy started working in Oct 1976 for the Registrars Bureau, of Motor Vehicles, retiring in Dec 2004.
Judy loved her nieces and nephews dearly, spending time with them during summer vacations in Kalispell, Mt. The summer activities included hiking, swimming, target shooting, fly fishing on the upper Flathead river and troll fishing on Flathead lake. Her sister and best friend Joan enjoyed traveling to Reno/Jackpot for weekend getaways to test their luck. They also enjoyed their traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner of Lutefisk and lefse bread – a taste not acquired by the rest of the family.
Judy is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Joan and nephew Lonnie. She is survived by her nieces Loxie and Sandy (Kirk) “Swede”), Chuck (Jonna), grandchildren (Josh, Lance, Lacie, Shane and Robyn) and many great nieces and nephews.
Judy was kind and gentle woman who always thought of others first – her passing has left a void in the lives of all who knew and loved her. She never missed a birthday or Christmas.
Per Judy’s request, no services are planned at this time – a celebration of her life will occur with close family and friends in the future.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Judith.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Judith and her family.
James I Waite
James I Waite passed away on August 23, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was born in Deadwood, ID on November 29, 1945, to Olga Marie Ivie Waite and Earl Nichols Waite Sr. He was the 5th of 7 children. James and his family lived in various cities in Idaho and Colorado growing up.
James attended numerous elementary schools across Idaho and Colorado. His high school years were mostly spent in Salmon. While in high school James worked with his father at Earl Waite and Sons performing various tasks for underground mining. This started his lifelong love of identifying different rocks and becoming an amateur geologist.
James was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for all his life, and he served a building mission when he was 19 years old in the Cottonwood area of Salt Lake City, UT. He served in various callings to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through his many years as a member. His temple service was one of his most joyous activities.
While still attending Salmon High School he met his beloved wife of 54 years, Miss Peggy Sue Corbett. They began dating while Peggy was in college at Ricks College in Rexburg, ID, and were married July 7, 1967. Together James and Peggy traveled the country working in mining for different companies, but always returning to Idaho. James also worked in excavating on the Teton Dam and other such underground pursuits. He loved to spend time hunting, fishing, and camping through the summers with his family. In 1985 James was badly injured in the Clayton Silver Mine and spent the next year recovering before attempting to return to mining in Butte, MT, but that accident ended his mining days.
In 1987 James and his family moved to Willard, UT where he worked on a cherry ranch, and they continued raising their family. And in 1989 they moved to Ogden, UT where he worked as a maintenance technician.
James continued to enjoy camping with his family and otherwise spending time with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed growing a garden and working in it with his wife. Together they would share the fruits of that garden with family, friends, and visitors. He was known to always have a loving word and candy for his grandchildren. The many visitors to his home were always welcome and knew they were valued. He had a love of playing games with his family and teaching them to others. James loved to teach others of his love of the Savior. He spent many an hour in the Temple. He never knew a stranger, as if he met one, they were soon a friend. He touched the lives of all around him.
In March of 2020 James and Peggy traveled to Deer Lodge, MT to assist their son and daughter-in-law with family business and were still there when the pandemic hit the United States and they decided to stay in Montana for safety at that time. While there he had a significant stroke, which made the stay in Montana a permanent one. In his last year of life, he enjoyed playing games with his grandchildren and teaching them all he could.
James was proceeded in death by his parents Earl and Olga Waite, his sisters Phyllis Mae Brazzell and Mickey Marie Waite and brother George Richard Waite, and his beloved son Burton LeRoy Waite.
He is survived by his wife Peggy Sue Waite, his children Susan Kay McCollor, James C Waite (Denise), Loren Gene Waite (Cindy), and Joseph Earl Waite, 16 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Survived also by his siblings Earl Waite Jr, Thomas Waite (Lisa), and Loretta Peck (Gary).
James is escorted by pallbearers James Waite, Loren Waite, Joseph Waite, Kobe Waite, Matthew Waite, Bronx Waite, Ross Waite, and Hudson Waite. Honorary pallbearers Earl Waite Jr, Thomas Waite, and Gary Peck to his final resting place. Services will be held on September 3, 2021, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 400 S Daisy St Salmon, ID. The viewing is at 10:00 am and the service is at 11:00 am with internment to follow. A luncheon is scheduled to follow internment at the church. The funeral service will also be available to stream on zoom. The zoom link will be available on the funeral home’s website www.jonesandcaseyfh.com. Memorials can be sent to Peggy Waite at 708 4st St Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
Timothy Matthew Tolon
Timothy Matthew Tolon, 69 passed away on August 20, 2021, in Clancy, MT due to complications from diabetes. Tim was born on July 21, 1952, in Deer Lodge, MT. Tim was the eldest child of seven, born to Lois (Potts) and Richard (Moose) Tolon.
Tim attended schools in Anaconda, MT, Livermore, CA, and Helena, MT. He graduated from high school in Helena, MT and went on to work for the State of Montana for 27 years. Diabetes forced his retirement, but he continued to live a productive and fulfilling life until recent years.
In Tim’s younger years, he enjoyed working with his uncle Frank Potts on the Helmville ranch and later with Todd and Eldon Voss, helping with work related projects in the Helmville area.
Tim was a faithful and devoted Catholic, attending Mass regularly. He occasionally met with the Helmville community church to celebrate with fellow townspeople amongst his many friendships.
Tim was well known around Deer Lodge and Helmville, fondly, as his daily walks and his volunteer work at PAWHS Humane Society made him many friends. Tim’s smile and wave always gained a “Hello, Tim!”, from the locals. Tim was dedicated to the impounded and loved dogs at PAWHS, and it gave him great happiness walking them from the shelter around town… much to the dogs’ enjoyment!
Although Tim had a reading disability, his many kind acts and accomplishments came from his uncanny knack to match people with their needs. He was very worldly in his sense to spot and locate items, real estate rentals and sales, pets, vehicles, firewood, etc. for those who were looking for a match. He helped so many people with his keen awareness of what people were needing and took no time matching things up for so many.
Among his love for helping and tending to animals, going to rodeos to watch the horses, a checker champion, and collecting miscellaneous items for his enjoyment, Tim was, unbeknownst to him, a town treasure…A person who was always out to help others and give a smile and kind word or deed.
He proved that his limitations did not block him from many obstacles. He contributed to his community in so many ways, and that brought him happiness. Boundaries did not define Tim’s life. His heart did.
Tim is survived by his mother, Lois Tolon, Helmville, MT; brothers, Tom Tolon of Colorado Springs, CO, Dan Tolon of Bluffton, SC, and Mike (Lesley) Tolon of Helena, MT; sisters, Terese Penix of Omaha, NE, and Luanne Antila of Elliston, MT; nephews and nieces, Destine Tolon, Lisa (Max) Schneider, Eric (Heather) Tolon, Cory Tolon, Brett (Marlena) Tolon, Sean Tippin, Brandon (Emily) Antila, Bo Antila and many great nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Tim is preceded in death by his father, Richard (Moose) Tolon; brother, Ed Tolon; brother-in-law, Danny Antila; and nephew, Alec Tolon.
Sometimes angels are disguised as people with special needs to teach us how to be better people.
The Rosary will be prayed at 10:30 a.m. with a funeral Mass to be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 4th at the Saint Thomas Apostle Catholic Church, 108 Main St in Helmville, MT. Burial will follow the Mass at the Helmville Cemetery. A reception will follow the burial at the Helmville Community Center, MT Highway 271. Suggested donations made in loving memory of Tim in lieu of flowers: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Helmville, MT, Helmville Community Club, PAWHS Humane Society, Deer Lodge, MT, or donor’s choice. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Tim.
Barbara Regina Strong
Barbara Regina Strong passed from this world early on Monday August 16th, 2021; she passed peacefully at Stillwater Hospice in Billings, MT. Barb was born on October 14th, 1955 in Deer Lodge, MT to Edward and Inge Wysocki . She is survived by her son Daniel Wirth and wife Cheryl, son Aaron Wirth and fiancé Sarah, son Joel Wirth and wife Morgan, and daughter Gabrielle Strong and partner Emmanuel Lozano, granddaughters Katrina, Naudia and Nina, and one great-grandson. She also leaves behind her three siblings, brother Henry Wysocki, sister Inger Tognetti and sister Eva Curry.
Barb had a passion for life, she enjoyed gardening, hiking, cross country skiing, reading books of all kinds and the company of family and good friends. The annual “Sisters” weekend she spent with Inger and Eva was one of the things she looked forward to most.
Barb survived two bouts with cancer and throughout her battles her motto was “Keep on Truckin!” and she lived by that for long after her treatments were done, even when the road was a rough one. She is loved and missed by many and will be carried in our hearts for eternity.
Please join us in celebrating her life at Immaculate Conception Church in Deer Lodge, Friday September 10th, 2021 at 11am followed by the interment of the cremains at Hillcrest Cemetery. A luncheon will be served at St. Mary’s Center after.
Michele “Mickie” McQueary
Michele “Mickie” McQueary, age 72, of Deer Lodge, Montana, passed away on August 6, 2021. A celebration of her life will be held from 1-4 pm on Saturday, September 4, 2021, at the Elks Lodge, 230 Main St., Deer Lodge, MT 59722. Mickie will be laid to rest during a private burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Mickie. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Mickie and her family.
Death Notice for James Hansen
James “Jim” Hansen, 83, of Gold Creek, MT, died Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at the Community Hospital of Anaconda.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Jim’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Death Notice for Dale Filcher
Dale Filcher, 84, of Deer Lodge, MT, died Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the Community Nursing Home of Anaconda.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Dale’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Margaret (Margie) Jean McMahon
Margaret (Margie) Jean McMahon, a woman of quiet grace and with a beautiful servant’s heart, died on August 10, 2021, following five years of fighting with cancer. Margie was determined in this battle and kept her glorious smile and concern for others throughout the difficult days. Although her last months included many challenging bouts with pain and suffering, the most memorable times were the supportive visits and phone calls from family and friends. They brought incredible moments of joy and love, along with delicious treats and memorable conversations. Margie’s family will be forever grateful for everyone’s prayers, generosity and loving support.
Margie attended Helena Public Schools, graduating with honors from Helena High School in 1985. The former Bengal played volleyball and was a member of the 1984 AA Girls’ Basketball State Championship squad (which was inducted into the Helena Sports Hall of Fame in 2011). She was remembered by her classmates as a beautiful person inside and out with a smile on her face and a kind word on her lips.
After high school, Margie ventured to the Big Apple to work for a wonderful family, caring for their three young children. After a year, she returned to Montana, earning a business management degree at the U of M while living in the Alpha Phi house with many terrific gals, including her future sister-in-law Shannon Velk.
Margie started her business management career as a sales manager at Hennessy’s in Missoula, later transferring to their headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a buyer and then a corporate planner. The company relocated to Arkansas with Margie returning to Missoula with employment as a sales manager for Herberger’s.
Lastly, she moved to her parents’ Helena home in 2004 working another five years as a Clinique consultant at Dillard’s department store. In the summer of 2009, she resigned to look for a new opportunity, returning to college earning a certificate in nutrition and health promotion.
During the past 15 years, Margie selflessly shared her talents with those living at God’s Love or by volunteering in her community. She attended daily mass, mostly online since the beginning of the recent pandemic; yet was a dedicated St. Helena Cathedral parishioner receiving immense solace from the Sacraments. Having that beautiful servant’s heart helped her to live in peace and love of Jesus. Her one audience was the Lord! His grace helped to enlighten her mind and strengthen her will to do good.
In 2017, the McMahon family had a grand reunion! Margie listed some favorite things to do as walking, Pilates, reading and baking. Over the years, she also created several awesome scrapbooks, taught herself to crochet and was beginning to learn the piano. She loved lake activities, especially water skiing with her brothers and friends. Margie thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to see her four nephews and her niece during their various sporting events. Margie considered family dinners and holiday gatherings as a blessing. In the reunion photo memory book, these words help explain the meaning of family:
“Our family is a circle of strength. Founded on faith, joined in love, and kept by God. With every birth and with every union, the circle grows. Every sorrow faced together makes the circle stronger and every joy-filled moment spent together increases the love! After all, family isn’t an important thing, it is Everything.”
Margie asked for appreciation and special recognition to be given to all the dedicated and talented medical professionals who cared for her, especially those from Frontier Home Health and St. Peter’s Hospice, as well as Dr. Thomas Weiner.
During the past 11 years, Margie greatly missed her beloved brother, Michael Thomas McMahon and prayed daily for the repose of his soul; and the same for her cousins Joseph and Tony Appel, and David Zugel. Additionally, those special family members preceding Margie in death were her grandparents Patrick and Madge McMahon, and Anthony and Margaret Zugel; her aunts Jeanne Zugel and Tricia McMahon Mileweski; as well as uncles Larry and Jim Zugel, and Frank Mileweski.
Margie is survived by her loving parents, Gene and Peggy McMahon; brother Jim McMahon; sister Maureen McMahon-Mannix (Randy) and their sons Neil, Joe and Dan; her sister-in-law Shannon Velk McMahon and children, Kaitlin and Brian; along with many loving aunts, uncles and cousins who gave immense care and support during her illness. Her pallbearers will be Jim McMahon; Randy Mannix; Neil, Joe and Dan Mannix; and Brian McMahon.
To celebrate Margie’s life, there will be a vigil service on Tuesday, August 17, at 6 p.m. at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home in Helena. The Mass of Christian Burial held at St. Helena Cathedral at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, with burial immediately following at Resurrection Cemetery. The vigil service will also be available online. A reception will be held at the funeral home following the burial.
Special family friend and author Debbie Boyle leads us in prayer for Margie with this poem:
“Faithful servant, the sun sets low, your journey begins with miles to go. Lay down regrets, cast sorrows aside, reach to the heavens, arms open wide. Good servant, worthy believer, life begins anew! Godspeed. God Bless. Peace be with you.”
Suggested donations made in the loving memory of Margie in lieu of flowers: St. Helena Cathedral, St. Peter’s Hospice, God’s Love or donor’s choice. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Margie.
Ona Edwards Lake
Ona Edwards Lake was born on May 27, 1915, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, to A.I.F. and Carrie Nesley Edwards. She was raised in Broadus and Miles City, Montana; and in Snohomish, Washington. She graduated from Custer County High School in 1933.
On May 1, 1937, she married James J. “Dutch” Lake in Anaconda. She resided in Deer Lodge until she retired from the Milwaukee Railroad as the superintendent’s secretary in 1974 after 17 years of service. After retirement she moved to the Swan Valley to enjoy her second home. She enjoyed hiking with numerous valley friends and was an avid snowmobiler.
She was preceded in death by four brothers and one sister. Her husband James “Dutch” Lake passed on May 21, 1992.
Ona is survived by her son Michael and daughter-in-law Betty of Swan Valley; three grandsons; and numerous great and great-great grandchildren and much-loved nieces and nephews. There will be no services.
Michele “Mickie” Ann McQueary
Michele Ann McQueary, also known as “Mickie,” passed peacefully from this life in the early morning of August 6, 2021, at the family ranch. She was born to Michael and Bette Lacey on July 31, 1949, joining her brother Tim Lacey. They were later blessed by their younger sister Marianne.
In Mickie’s younger years, her devoted mother moved the family back to Deer Lodge where Bette became the loving wife of Gene Burt.
It was during this time that Mickie started to take a liking to a young man, Dan McQueary. Mickie and her friend Karen Beck would ride their horses to take Kool-Aid out to him in the hay field. No one else in the field got any attention but him. June 27, 1970, was the day she made that young man her husband during a ceremony at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Deer Lodge. They were later blessed with two boys, Troy in 1973 and Jeff in 1977.
Mickie always made every house an immaculate, warm and loving home for Dan and her boys, whether it was making do with the apartment above the Norge, raising the boys in the little house on Missouri or in the house at the ranch. She took pride in her yard, wherever that was, and always had lots of beautiful flowers. Meals would always be ready, even when everyone showed up at different times.
Invariably she was the one to get things handled. Whether it was finding a place for the newlyweds to live, planning family gatherings or handling the final wishes of loved ones, Mickie was the one to take the bull by the horns and get the task accomplished. When her Pierce Aunts (Mae, Eva, Helen and Margie) aged, she was there to handle any tasks necessary to aid in their wellbeing. Together with her sister, they also helped and cared for their mom and dad (Bette and Gene Burt) as they moved onto their golden years.
Mickie always had a job, even if it meant working at night to make sure she was home for the boys.
She retired in 2016 from 31 years of serving as the school business clerk (at both the high school and elementary levels) and was well respected for her knowledge and efficiency. Including the years working at the title and registration office, that gave her 34 years serving public interests.
Mickie is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Dan; her boys Troy (Rikki) and Jeff (Rikki); grandchildren Dace, Keaton, Kaylee, and Olivia; great-granddaughter Eastyn; sister Marianne (Mike) Saylor; and sister-in-law Laura (Bob) Rodriguez. Several nieces, nephews, in-laws, other extended family and close friends are also left behind.
A celebration of Mickie’s life will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021, at the Elks Lodge in Deer Lodge. Mickie will be laid to rest during a private burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in honor of Mickie be made to the Rialto Community Theatre or Powell County Senior Citizens. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Mickie.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Mickie and her family.
Ralph Alexander Lintz
Ralph Alexander Lintz, devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away peacefully on June 24, 2021, from natural causes.
Ralph was born on July 27, 1939, in Deer Lodge, Montana, to William and Mildred (Mootz) Lintz. His father was a locomotive engineer for the Milwaukee railroad and his mother was a homemaker and talented seamstress. Ralph was the oldest of four children and the Lintz household was a popular and lively gathering place in Deer Lodge.
Ralph graduated from Powell County High School in 1957. Throughout his childhood, he worked to earn money for his college education. During high school Ralph formed many enduring friendships, especially with the people he met while working at the local ice house loading ice onto refrigerator railcars (often at night, and right up until the morning school bell).
Like many of his friends, Ralph paid his own way through college and, in 1962, he graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a B.A. in Education. Ralph could often be found studying at a local diner, where he washed dishes and was sometimes paid in free meals. After college, with a 1-A draft status, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School. He served as a personnel officer in Mississippi, Texas and Turkey with the rank of first lieutenant. Always looking for a place to play golf, he built a small course at the base in Samsun, Turkey. After discharge from the USAF, Ralph returned to the University of Montana and earned a master’s in business administration in 1967.
Having first met in Deer Lodge in 1959 and, following an eight-year, long-distance, off-and-on courtship, Ralph married Dorothea (Dot) in 1968. Together they moved to Seattle, where Ralph began work at Boeing as a marketing analyst in their commercial airplane division. In 1970, Ralph and Dot settled in Kitsap County and Ralph started work at what would become Great Northwest Bank in Bremerton. Hired into the marketing department, Ralph’s role grew as he became director of marketing and branch operations, executive vice president, president, chief operating officer and board member. He retired in 1992.
Ralph stayed busy outside of work and was active in the community throughout his life. A Bremerton Rotary member for 34 years, he served as club secretary and could often be found hosting the hospitality table. He also volunteered for the United Way Loaned Executive program and was on the Kitsap YMCA Board. Ralph served on the board of Harrison Hospital and its foundation for 36 years, including a term as president. These philanthropic efforts were rewarded in 1996 when he was named a community hero by Olympic organizers and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its relay route through East Bremerton. Ralph and Dot were also honored with the Kitsap Community Foundation’s Spirit of Philanthropy award in 2016. Ralph was a devoted father who spent many weekends coaching girls’ soccer, boys’ basketball, or umpiring in boys’ baseball. Ralph was an avid golfer and spent many mornings before and after his retirement on the course at Kitsap Golf and Country Club. He played league basketball at the Kitsap YMCA as often as he could. At home, he spent many hours working in the garden and sitting on the deck watching passing ferries, Navy ships, submarines and countless sunsets.
Ralph became famous for his monthly “Good Morning” emails and his Facebook posts of his garden. Ralph loved being a grandpa, especially when it came to holding the grandkids while they napped, reading to them and playing outside. Luckily, he gladly tolerated their endless pranks.
Ralph is survived by his wife Dorothea; son Charles (Carrie); daughter Ellen Dempsey (Sean); and grandchildren Rylie, Jacob, Daniel, Lauren and Colin. He is also survived by his sister Suzanne Ives and brothers Bill Lintz (Judy) and Dave Lintz (Stacy). His extended family includes sister-in-law Margaret Striebel, brother-in-law Jim Striebel (Bonnie), Joan Lintz (Terry, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A celebration of life will be held at Kitsap Golf and Country Club in Bremerton on Sunday, August 15, 2021, from 1-4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, the St. Michael Medical Center Foundation (Nursing Education) or the University of Montana Foundation (College of Business).
Timothy Allen Olsen
Timothy Allen Olsen went home to his Lord and Savior on July 28, 2021. He was born on September 15, 1951. He was dearly loved by his parents Robert and Joyce Olsen. In 1957 his younger brother Joe joined the family. Tim was the fifth generation to live on the family ranch where he spent his life working alongside his family passing on many lessons of life in the Lord to those he loved. God blessed him with his lifelong love Janet. They shared 51 years of wonderful memories serving the Lord and watching their family grow, praying always 3 John 1:4
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Although Tim was born in 1951, his true birth came in 1978 when he gave his heart and life to his Savior Jesus Christ. In 1983 he was licensed into the ministry. He loved the Lord and let Christ’s love influence him and those around him. He joyfully served the Lord and spread the gospel during his years of teaching and preaching, from Montana to California and Las Vegas. Tim loved his church family, and at the time of his passing, he was serving on the pastoral staff alongside his son Shane and good friend Howard Neckels at First Baptist Church in Deer Lodge.
Tim is greatly loved and he is survived by his wife Janet; his son Shane; his daughter-in-law Lisa; his grandchildren Robert, Ryan and wife Abby; and great-grandson Carter, as well as his daughter Tanya and granddaughter Isabel.
Tim was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Joyce Olsen, brother Joseph Olsen and his nephew Carrie J. Olsen.
A celebration of Tim’s life was held on Tuesday — Thank you for celebrating a life well lived. He was laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Tim. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Tim and his family.
Mary Alice Bice
Mary Alice Bice, formally of Deer Lodge, Montana, passed away surrounded by family on July 21, 2021, at St. Luke’s hospital in Meridian, Idaho.
Mary Alice was born in Butte, Montana, to Verna (Arnold) and Charles Vincent on May 9, 1936, the third of four children. Mary was raised in Virginia City and then Anaconda, Montana, graduating from Anaconda High School in 1954. On December 28, 1955, she married John Shaul; they had three children together, Rick, Al and Leianne. Mary and John later divorced in 1965. In 1969, Mary Alice moved to Deer Lodge and married Robert Bice; together they had one child, Mark. Mary Alice and Robert were later divorced in 1973. Mary Alice continued living in Deer Lodge until 1991, when she moved to Warm Springs to be closer to work. Mary Alice then moved to Idaho to be closer to all of her children in 1996.
Throughout the years, Mary Alice worked many jobs to provide for her family. She was a waitress, bartender (Broken Arrow), hotel clerk (Deer Lodge Hotel), worked at the Montana State Alcoholics Hospital at Galen and then finished 20 years working for the state as a nurse’s aide at Warm Springs, Montana. After moving to Idaho, she worked until retirement at MCMS (computer chip manufacturing).
Mary Alice enjoyed spending time with friends and family. She bowled on leagues and traveled around Montana with her best friends Audie, Lee, Judy and Connie. After retirement, she remained close friends with several co-workers through the years. Mary Alice also found a new special companion, Jim Garland of Emmett, Idaho. They spent most weekends in Donnelly, Idaho, at his cabin on the lake. They also traveled to Texas and throughout Idaho and Montana. They were extremely close and she was very saddened at his death in 2013. Mary Alice also had several hobbies she really enjoyed, including reading and crocheting blankets for everyone. Her blankets were lovingly made for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and as donations to several community fundraisers. Mary Alice could always be found watching tennis, the Olympics, wrestling, her favorite baseball team the Atlanta Braves and western movies. One of her favorite joys in life was spoiling her two little dogs Bobi and Buddy.
Mary Alice’s greatest accomplishments in recent years were surviving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, being in full remission and being very proud that she never contracted COVID-19.
Mary Alice was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Verna Vincent of Anaconda, Montana; brother James “Jim” Vincent of Anaconda, Montana; sister Andrea Vincent Fraser of Missoula, Montana; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Mary Alice is survived by her brother David (Helen) Vincent of Spokane, Washington; her sons Rick (Charlene) Shaul of Elliston, Montana, Al (Diane) Shaul of Meridian, Idaho, and Mark (Shannon) Bice of Boise, Idaho; her daughter Leianne Hintz (Gib) of Meridian, Idaho; grandchildren John (Heather) Shaul of Nampa, Idaho, Jessie (Melanie) Shaul of Emmett, Idaho, Nichole (Dre) Percell of Nampa, Idaho, Josh (Alyssa) Shaul of Helena, Montana, Aiden Bice and Saoirse Bice of Boise ID; great-grandchildren Nakayia, Amirrah, Talayna and Kezeric Percell of Nampa, Idaho, William Shaul of Nampa, Idaho: and numerous cousins and friends.
Cremation will be handled by the Cremation Society of Idaho. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, September 4, 2021, with a time and location in Idaho to be determined. In Mary Alice’s honor, please consider donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the American Cancer Society.
Steven Michael Wood (Woody)
Steven Michael Wood (Woody) passed away July 15th, 2021, at his home in Garrison, Montana.
Steve was born September 17, 1959, to mother Judith Wood in Helena, Montana. He grew up and attended schools in Deer Lodge, Montana, until enlisting in the United States Army and then being stationed in Germany. Later he returned to civilian life in Deer Lodge, Montana, working several jobs in the area to support his family.
Fishing and hunting with his son Jake were a couple of his favorite pastimes.
Steve was a very generous man and often invited his family up for a Sunday dinner and a hand at chess, cribbage or pinochle. But watch out, he was good at pouncing his opponent, fast pegging in cribbage or out beating his opponent at chess.
For the last few years, he stepped in to help his mother run the Garrison Mercantile.
He is survived by his two sons, Jake (Amy) Wood and Mike Campbell, and his grandchildren Zachary, Alexa, and Emerson. Additionally, he is mourned by his mother, Judith Wood; sisters Rhonda (Red) Amdahl, Teresa (Dennis) Pomeroy and Michele (Carrie) Pomeroy; many nieces and nephews; and great nieces and nephews. Steve was preceded in death by his (Lori Wood) daughter Corrine and sister Renee’ Pomeroy Ayers.
He will be sorely missed by his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Steve’s honor to NAMI.org.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date for friends and family.
Marjorie (Margie) Shanley Jensen
On July 20, 2021, Margie Jensen peacefully passed away from natural causes. Margie reached her goal of living 90 glorious years on earth. She was ready to join our Heavenly Father and her beloved husband Bob Jensen, who had passed in 2004.
Margie was born June 29, 1931, in Deer Lodge, Montana, to Paul and Eva Shanley. She attended school in Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School. Margie married the love of her life, Bob Jensen, on Valentine’s Day 1951 at the Deer Lodge First Presbyterian Church.
Margie made Deer Lodge her home until October 2017, when she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she lived with her daughter Lynda Jensen and son-in-law Bob Medeiros. In May 2021, Margie moved to Denver, Colorado. She was cared for by her son Mike Jensen (Denver) during the final months of her life. Her grandchildren Brock Jensen, Dane Jensen (Darci Smerchek) and Lisa Davidson; and her great grandchildren Haddie Jensen and Reggie Jensen all live in the Denver area.
Margie was a dedicated, loving wife, mother and daughter, and a loyal friend to many. She was humble, appreciative and kind, and lived her life with grace and good humor. She had a special love for animals.
We all enjoyed Margie’s great sense of humor, contagious laugh and zest for life. She enjoyed playing bridge, painting, reading and simply chatting with friends over coffee. During her years in Deer Lodge, Margie worked at several different places including the telephone company, the post office, Powell County and Crystal’s clothing store. She had a great sense of fashion.
Margie’s ashes will return home and be placed next to her husband’s at the Deer Lodge cemetery at some date in the near future.
Charlotte Fern Reighard
Our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away July 4, 2021, at Elkhorn Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Clancy, Montana. Fern was born April 24, 1931, in Butte, Montana, the daughter of Alice (John Crary) and Vivian Davis. Her father died in a mining accident when she was just a little girl. She had two sisters, Georgia (Don) Briggeman and JoAnn (Sam) Whitcomb. Fern graduated in 1950 from Powell County High School and worked for Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph until she married Louis “Dale” Reighard on May 26, 1951. She then went to work cooking for the Milwaukee bridge and building crew, traveling throughout Montana wherever Dale was working. When the family started to expand, Fern and Dale made their permanent home in Deer Lodge, with Dale traveling with the railroad, only coming home on the weekends. Fern was a devoted homemaker to seven children and numerous foster children. In her later years, after the kids started school, she went to work at Powell County Memorial Hospital, first in the kitchen then in the laundry, retiring in the late 1980’s.
Preceding her in death were Fern’s parents; her husband and soulmate Dale; two sons, Kim and Tracy; and sisters Georgia and JoAnn and brother-in-law Sam.
Survivors include four sons and one daughter, Mark (Kari) Reighard of Deer Lodge, Amy (George) Irwin of Fernley, Nevada, John (Connie) Reighard of Helena, Chris (Pam) Reighard of Deer Lodge, and Eric (KaRena) Reighard of Helena. Fern had nine grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren, with another due any day now. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Don Briggeman and many cherished cousins, nieces, nephews and foster children.
A graveside service will be held on August 7 at 2 p.m. at Hillcrest Cemetery, West Milwaukee Avenue, Deer Lodge. A BBQ will follow at the home of Mark and Kari Reighard, 826 College Ave. in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Charlotte.
Funeral Notice - Nancy Kenny
A celebration of life for Nancy Kenny will be held at the Racetrack Valley Fire Hall/Community Center on Saturday, July 24, 2021, from 1 to 3 p.m. Food and refreshments will be served.
Nancy J. Kenny, 76, of Deer Lodge, Montana, died on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center in Deer Lodge.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral and Cremation Service is entrusted with Nancy’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Funeral Notice - Barry Kennedy
Barry Kennedy, age 74, of Deer Lodge, passed away on March 20, 2021. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Barry. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Barry and his family.
Paul Joseph Ployhar
Paul Joseph Ployhar, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Melstone, Montana, on June 30, 2021, following a six-month battle with esophageal cancer.
Paul was born the third of nine children to Joseph E. and Mary J. (Baburek) Ployhar at the family farm in Coffee Creek, MT on April 25, 1932. Paul graduated from St. Leo’s Catholic High School in Lewistown, MT in 1950. After graduation, he relocated with the family to a ranch in Potomac, MT.
In 1952, Paul was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the 32nd Infantry Regiment in the Korean War. Although Paul was very quiet about his time in active service, we know that he had specialized training in radio communications and completed his duty with honors. Upon returning from Korea, he formed Ployhar Logging with his brother Stephen, who was also a Korean War Veteran. They operated their logging business throughout Montana for the next 42 years.
Paul married the love of his life, Nancy Ellen Gendrow, in Bonner, MT on May 4, 1957. They were blessed with five children whom they raised in Deer Lodge. Work opportunities led Paul to Eastern Montana in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. After Nancy’s untimely death in 1994, he relocated to Melstone full time.
Paul had a strong faith and was very active in the local Catholic parish. A gifted musician, Paul enjoyed playing the guitar and mandolin at jam sessions and family gatherings, instilling in his children an appreciation of music. In retirement, Paul enjoyed fishing, wood cutting and gardening; he could often be found tending the community garden or delivering firewood to friends and neighbors.
Always a hard worker, and especially mechanically inclined, he was known as the town Fix-It Man (or Melstone MacGyver!). Paul continued to cut firewood, operate his chain saws and help others until just before his death. Paul remained quick-witted, sharp as a tack and tough as nails to the very end.
Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Nancy; his parents Joseph and Mary Ployhar; and siblings Charlie, Martin, Stephen, Rosalie Froehlich, Annie O’Neill and Mary Anne Abbot.
Paul is survived by two siblings, Albert (Peggy) Ployhar of Spokane Valley, WA, and Josephine Labbe of Turah, MT; children Marie Ployhar of Deer Lodge, Madonna (Kirk) Mader of Orovada, NV, Loretta (Ron) Sweigard of Cle Elum, WA, Annette (Sean) Galahan of Deer Lodge, and Anthony (Shelley) Ployhar of Delaware, OH; grandchildren Jessica Scharf, Austin (Kelly) Scharf, Quinn (Chase) Briggs, Kade Mader, Danielle Sweigard, Sami Sweigard, Joey Meagher, Connor Meagher, Julian Ployhar, Tristan Ployhar and Farryn Ployhar; and nine great grandchildren.
Paul’s Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Melstone, MT, on July 21, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. (Rosary will be at 11:00 am), followed by a luncheon at the Melstone Community Center.
Paul’s graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, MT, on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. followed by a luncheon at The Broken Arrow.
Memorials can be made to the Melstone EMT/fire service, Melstone Community Pool or Melstone Community Center.
Eva Marie Pierce
Deer Lodge resident Eva Marie Pierce passed away Saturday, July 10, at her residence surrounded by loving family. She was 49.
Eva was born to Ernest and Evelyn Pierce on July 17, 1971, and was welcomed into a large family of siblings. Throughout her life she maintained a strength of spirit that dominated her attitude and kept her in control of her adventures. Not always being dealt the best of hands, she maximized her place at the table with sheer strength and determination that was admired by anyone who knew her.
Eva loved to draw, fish and collect rocks. She could always be seen scrubbing her rocks clean, with a pencil in her hand drawing something or immortalizing her drawings by etching them onto wood.
Eva had two sons, Christopher Pierce and Cody Grantham. She also had a daughter, Jessica Pierce, who preceded her in death. Eva was also preceded in death by brothers Ernest Jr., Blaine, Evan and Cliff.
Eva is survived by her sisters Elizabeth Stone, Tina Pierce, Irma Morrel, Delia Pierce and Rosa Pierce; brothers Joseph, Karl and Pat; along with several nieces and nephews, cousins and her granddaughter Abigail Rose Grantham. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Service has been privileged to care for Eva and her family.
Funeral Notice: Barry Kennedy
Barry Kennedy, age 74, of Deer Lodge, passed away on March 20, 2021. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence, or to share a memory of Barry. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Barry and his family.
Charles “Chuck” Bernard Campbell
One of Montana’s best, Chuck Campbell passed away at home in Polson on June 17, 2021, succumbing to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was a wonderful human who left us too soon.
Chuck was born on New Year’s Eve 1967 in Post, Texas, the third son of Bud and Barbara Campbell. His family moved to Deer Lodge, Montana, in 1971, where he grew up alongside his brothers, John and Steve. He played football and basketball for the Wardens.
Chuck went to the University of Montana, where he made lifelong friendships through the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and served on the UM Grizzly Cheer Squad. Growing up in a house of public servants, he earned a B.A. in Political Science and spent several years working for U.S. representatives, including Montana Senator Conrad Burns. He was a stalwart Republican and excelled at bringing people together to build community and solve problems.
Chuck had a long career in sales and marketing, working in technology, communications and special projects. He lived in Seattle, Las Vegas and Williston, but the mountains and lakes of Western Montana drew him back home time and time again.
He married Brandy Bravard in 2001, and they had two sons, Cole (2002) and Chase (2006). Chuck loved his sons more than life and enjoyed every moment he had with them. Later in life he discovered he also had a daughter, Joelle Brown, whom he reconnected with in 2016.
At a college reunion in 2010 Chuck reconnected with Pam Aker, and they were married on Valentine’s Day in 2015. Chuck loved living on Skidoo Lane with Pam and her family. He was a member of the Finley Point Fire Department, where he served as president of the board and was named the 2018 Fireman of the Year.
Chuck was a vibrant, intelligent, funny and courageous man, who battled a crippling disease with strength and grace. He leaves behind his wife Pam, sons, and brothers, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.
A celebration of life will take place at Flathead Lake later this summer. Cards and memories can be sent to his family at 32413 Skidoo Lane, Polson, MT 59860.
There will also be a celebration of life/graveside vigil that will take place in Deer Lodge on Saturday 8/21. Time and place are still to be determined. For more information, please contact Steve at 406.491.3908.
Betty Lou (Glassey) Thompson
Betty Lou Thompson passed away from natural causes on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Deer Lodge, Montana. Cremation has taken place. Betty Lou Glassey was born in Darby, Montana, on October 26, 1928, to Edward and Phyllis (Powe) Glassey. Her sister Wanda was born the next October.
The family moved to Wisdom, Montana, where Betty Lou attended grade school for seven years. She graduated from Beaverhead County High School in 1946. She met Oliver (Smokey) Thompson in high school in 1945 at a roller-skating rink in Dillon and they were married on May 8, 1948, in Wisdom. Two daughters, Diane Kay and Linda Lee, were born in Dillon.
Betty Lou worked at the Dillon Tribune newspaper and for two years in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at the Beaverhead County Courthouse during their early years in Dillon. When Smokey was hired by the Montana Power Company, the family transferred to Butte in 1953, and moved to Deer Lodge in October 1959; Betty Lou has resided there since.
In Deer Lodge, Betty Lou worked as Deputy County Assessor in the Assessor’s Office at the Powell County Courthouse and retired on January 1, 1988. She bowled on the Ken-Mar Lanes team for many years with wonderful friends. Betty Lou was active in the First Presbyterian Church and enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge and pinochle. She and Smokey took several tours around the United States, one trip to Ireland, plus several cruises.
Betty Lou was a dedicated wife — taking care of Smokey for at least 11 years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — as well as a mother, grandmother and friend. She would take Thanksgiving dinner to several friends and when asked why, she said she hoped someone would help her when she needed it. Her sense of humor was infectious and her laugh was so joyful. Her legion of friends was a testament to how well she was liked and loved.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Smokey; her mother and father; her sister; mother- and father-in-law Alma and Edmund Thompson; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Survivors include daughters Diane of Missoula, and Linda Lee (George) Hucke of Fallon, NV; grandson Wade (Cathy) Hucke of Dillon; granddaughter Wende Hook (Ozzie Henke) of Fallon, NV; great-grandsons Derrick Hucke of Havre and Donovan Hucke of Miles City; great-granddaughters Ali Pokrandt of Alabama, and Camryn Hook of Fallon, NV, and brother in-law Bill Brown of Hamilton.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Betty Lou’s name to the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Milwaukee Avenue, Deer Lodge, MT 59722; the Deer Lodge Elks Club, PO Box 777, Deer Lodge, MT 59722; or Friends of Hospice, 1940 Dewey Blvd., Butte, MT 59701.
The family gives a very special thank you for the love, care and excellent help that was given by the staff of the Renaissance Senior Care. The Renaissance was her home where she thrived these last four years. Thanks also goes to the Deer Lodge Medical Center Hospital for the health care and kindness she was given during her two-month COVID-19 recovery.
Sheila Keirnes - March 11, 1947 - May 5, 2021
Sheila Keirnes was born to Guy & Helen (Wood) Keirnes in Missoula, MT, on March 11, 1947. Sheila was warmly welcomed by two big brothers, Bill & Gary and numerous cousins. Sheila was a beautiful, bright light addition to the family. Sheila lived with her family in Hall, MT. Helen loved to dress Sheila up in frilly dresses and entered her in many beautiful baby contests and later in pageants. Sheila won first place in two of the beauty pageants. She attended grade school in Hall. Sheila was a very headstrong, stubborn, outdoorsy girl and spent her childhood sledding, swimming, boating, bicycling, roller-skating, ice skating, horseback riding and dancing with her brothers and the Hunt and Olsson children in Hall. Later, Sheila and her family moved to Richland, WA where she attended high school.
Sheila met Homer Blackburn in Richland. Homer and Sheila got married and moved back to Granite County, where they resided at the Stone house. From this marriage, Sheila was blessed with three boys: Wayne, Daren and Shawn.
In the early 1970s, Sheila and Helen went in as partners and bought the Turf Bar in Drummond. After the Turf closed in 1986, Sheila worked various jobs including bartending, cooking & waiting tables in a local restaurant. In the late 1990s Sheila went to work for Helen at Stockman’s Bar in Hall after her mom broke her hip. Sheila eventually took over the bar due to her mother’s declining health issues. Sheila loved Stockman’s. She loved to visit with her customers, getting to know all the new ones, each of them by name. She loved watching the school children play outside at recess from the bar window.
She loved to visit with the school children when they came over for a Roy Rogers or Shirley Temple. They gave her such delight. Sheila supported all the many activities the Hall school children participated in. Sheila also liked to watch the dog agility competitions at the Hall school. Sheila was an avid horsewoman. She spent many years riding out for several local ranchers helping gather and move cows with her horses. Sheila loved to read and kept up on all the news.
Sheila had a passion for all animals. Throughout her life, she had lots of pets including a unique monkey named Margie, a donkey named Elwood (that ended up in a delightful article in the Missoulian newspaper), several horses, several precious dogs - including her most recent dog, her beloved Gypsy - along with many cats as her furry friends. Any stray animal always found a place in her heart and home.
Sheila had lots of friends and strategically placed a few good friends in her life. Since she has passed, we have found each one of us had a specific purpose that she leaned on us for. Her family had the assurance she was being looked after by good friends.
Although she was extremely private about her personal life, Sheila was a cancer survivor. She encountered many injustices through her life’s path, but with a forgiving heart, she and her spirit persevered. Sheila dared to be her own person and make a difference in the world. Sheila was a compassionate, kind and loving soul. Her grandson Ben stated that there were not enough words to honestly describe her. She would do anything she could for anyone, unless you got on her bad side! And if you did, she would let you know how she felt. At times, Sheila could be a bit of a rebel!! We were blessed to have had her in our lives.
Sheila is proceeded in death by her parents, ns Wayne Blackburn, Daren Blackburn, Shawn Blackburn and brother Bill Powell.
Sheila is survived by her brother Gary (Sandy) Powell, niece Sarah Powell, daughter-in-law Martha Blackburn, grandsons Inez (Amber) Blackburn, Shawn (Adriana) Blackburn, grandson Benjamin (Leah) Schechtman, granddaughter Brandi (Stephan) Seamons, great-grandchildren Jon, Alina, Caden, Nevaeh, Forrest, Sadi, and Mattis, dear cousin Sandy Opp and her many close friends. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday July 3, 2021, at Stockman’s Bar in Hall at 5pm, potluck dinner.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Bitterroot Humane Association, 262 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, MT 59840 or to an animal rescue of your choice.
Summer Johnson - September17, 1999 - October 1, 2020
Summer was born in Belcourt, ND and was a proud member of Turtle Mountain Tribe.
After struggling with the death of her sister, Summer passed away in the early hours of October on the anniversary of her sister’s death.
Summer loved music and playing guitar. She loved animals, and helping people when she could.
She is survived by her mother Wanda VanGilder.
To submit an obituary, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 406-846-2424.