Thomas Lunceford June 28, 1926 - January 1, 2023
Thomas “Tom” Lunceford, 96, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather, uncle and brother left us to be with our Heavenly Father on Jan. 1, 2023. Thomas was born in Harlowton, Mont., on June 28, 1926, to Fredrick Lunceford and Christina (Ross) Lunceford; he was one of 12 children. When Tom was 16 years old, he moved to Deer Lodge, where he worked on several local ranches. After serving in the Army for two years, Tom again returned to Deer Lodge after being in Japan. That is when Tom met the love of his life, Betty June Romine during the summer of 1947 while Betty was working at The Trolley Car. The pair married on Oct. 23, 1949. From this union they welcomed their two children: son, Steven Lunceford and daughter, Karleen Lunceford. In 1958 Tom started working for the Montana Department of Transportation. Later, Tom was promoted to a Section Foreman for the MDT on MacDonald Pass. He retired as a Section Foreman in 1983. In 1984, Tom and Betty, along with the help of family and friends, built a home at Swan Lake, Mont., where the two of them thoroughly enjoyed their retirement. They both loved to square dance and travel together. Their travels eventually led them to become snowbirds. They loved the warm winters in Arizona enough to sell their home at Swan Lake, and they moved to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., permanently. They spent the winters soaking up the Arizona sun and would come back home to Montana in the summers to be with family and friends. Eventually though, as the saying goes, all roads lead back home. The two relocated back to Deer Lodge six years ago to be closer to family and friends. Tom was elegantly devoted to his wife Betty for 73 years. Tom’s family will always be grateful to him for the love, devotion, friendship and faith that he so easily and willingly shared with her and the rest of his family. No other man has set such an example for us to all live by than him. Tom is survived by his wife Betty June Lunceford; his son, Steven (Sissy) Lunceford; his daughter, Karleen Lunceford; his brother, Charles Lunceford; brother-in-law, Robert (Donnell) Romine; grandchildren, Krisi (Melvin) Nahrgang, Desiree (Clint) Van Blaricom, Katie (Tom) Burden, and Steven Lunceford Jr.; great grandchildren, Taylor Stone, Mikayla Stone, Brayden Stone, Rachel Van Blaricom, Isaac Van Blaricom, Tyler Burden, Trent Burden, Lexi Lunceford, Jade Lunceford, Kaylee Lunceford, Sydney Reich, Moriah Reich and Ryelee Nahrgang; and great great-grandson Desmond Stone, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family will have a private graveside service at a later date. We can shed tears that he is gone, or we can smile because he lived. We can close our eyes and pray that he’ll come back, or open our eyes and see all he’s left. Our hearts can be empty because we can’t see him, or our hearts can be full of the love that we shared. We can remember him only that he is gone, or we can cherish his memory and let it live on. To leave a condolence or share a memory of Tom, please visit axelsonfuneralhome.com.
Joyce O. (Kincannon) Sandquist November 28, 1927 - December 24, 2022
Joyce O. (Kincannon) Sandquist, 95, died Dec. 24, 2022. She was born on Nov. 28, 1927, to Alma and Millard Kincannon in Kickapoo Township, a remote agricultural community in North Dakota. She was the widow of Philip Sandquist. Joyce is survived by her sister, Jan Lewis (Ron); children, Kirk Sandquist (Cheryl), Ronda Sandquist (David Ladd), Kay Sandquist; grandchildren, Cec Johnson (Jennie), Tori Detrick (Kyle), Kaila Passey (Jacob), Amy Uribe, Heidi Richard (Ryan); great grandchildren, Damon Uribe, Gia & Gavin Johnson, Claire & Evelyn Detrick, Grace & Aubrey Richard and Julian Passey. She is also survived by sister-in-law Irene Kincannon, nieces, nephews and Norwegian Exchange Student, Frank Kalfoss (Mary). She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Phil; brothers Don Kincannon, Alan (Avis) Kincannon; parents Alma and Millard Kincannon; parents-in-law Myra and Arthur Sandquist; two nephews; and one niece. She was a mentor and an enthusiast for women’s education. Her passion for others to be educated extended beyond her own family. Joyce’s education started in a one room schoolhouse on the prairie in North Dakota. Later she boarded a room in Stanley, N.D., where she attended high school. After graduation, Joyce attended a six-month business program in Minneapolis. Adventurous Joyce then moved to Bozeman, Mont., to join her high school girlfriend where she started a job at First National Bank. Her duties included taking checks to First Security where she met Phil Sandquist. They married six months later and enjoyed 57 years of marriage. Joyce was deeply involved in the Bozeman community and loved to give back through community service. She volunteered with the Red Cross blood draws, Hope Lutheran Church, Museum of the Rockies and served as a board member with the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Foundation. She was a member of Chapter F PEO and feted as a 50 year member. Joyce and Phil were charter members of Riverside Country Club. Joyce made a run for the State Senate. She was a campaign fundraiser for Sen. Conrad Burns and was honored with “First Woman of the Year” for the Republican Party. She loved spending quality time with her family and friends, and loved traveling. Joyce was welcoming, strong, positive, smart and a very classy lady with a fun sense of humor, who enjoyed playing pranks on dear friends and having a good laugh. She liked family ski outings to Bear Canyon and Bridger Bowl and later cross country skiing near Bozeman. She walked with a group frequently along Sourdough Creek and Pete’s Hill. With Phil, she spent a lot of time at the family cabin on Canyon Ferry Lake and in their later years they wintered in Kauai. After Phil’s passing in 2006, Joyce spent her winters in Arizona. She was an incredible entertainer and cook. Her passions were cooking, baking and entertaining. Joyce’s signature recipes were: orange rolls, Lefse and rullepulsa; and these recipes have been passed down to her kids and grandkids, whom made these treats for the holidays! She loved a party and celebrated her 95th birthday in November with family, friends and caregivers. A celebration of Joyce’s full and impactful life will be at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 27, at Riverside Country Club. Donations can be made in recognition of Joyce Sandquist to: Gallatin Valley Land Trust Online @ GVLT.org or by check to P.O. Box 7021, Bozeman, MT 59771; to PEO Continuing Education or a charity of your choice.
Willa Rose (Jackie) Wood April 24, 1923 - December 28, 2022
Willa Rose (Jackie) Wood,99, of Deer Lodge, died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 28, 2022. Jackie was born on April 24, 1923 in Dupuyer,Mont., to John and Mary Salois. She was oneof 14 children born to John and Mary, and was the last surviving at the time of her death. ShemarriedKennethWoodonSept.23, 1940,in Valier, Mont., andthey had three sons, Ken, Robert and Terry.They lived in Garrison, Mont.,for most of their marriage and raised their boys. Jackie loved tocookand hostthe holidayget-togethersfor the whole family. Many happy memories were made at these gatherings. She enjoyed bowling in her younger years, and she served on the PowellCounty Election Board for almost four decades. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; son, Terry; and grandson, Lance, as well as her parents and all of her siblings. She is survived by her sons Ken (Linda) and Robert of Deer Lodge; granddaughters Paula, Dawn, Julie and Jackie; grandsons Randy, Wes and Curtis; and great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. A Graveside service will be held April 22, 2023 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge to honor her 100th birthday. A celebration of life will follow at the Elks in Deer Lodge. Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice. Please visit www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Willa. Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home has been privileged to care for Willa and her family.
George Albert Erath October 24, 1940- December 20, 2022
CWO3 Retired, George Albert Erath, US Army, 82, of Fayetteville, Tenn., died Dec. 20, 2022, at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tenn. He was born on October 25, 1940, in Billings to the late R. Dewey and Nellie Christina Wagner Erath. George retired from the US Army after an honored career that spanned over 20 years. His service carried him to both Vietnam and Germany, and finally to Redstone Arsenal. Not one to brag on himself, his actions spoke for him. He maintained an excellent service record and took pride in his duties. George was also very well respected by his subordinates, and many were mentored by him throughout his career. He even went back to Frankfurt, Germany, in the 1980s, where he was in charge of an upgrade in facilities, and assisted in design and missile systems. While in the Army George also obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Maryland. He went on after retirement to work as an engineer with Boeing in Quality Control with NASA’s Space Station. George also loved his family, and he loved nature. His favorite way of showing that love was working together with his family on the farm and passing on his leadership and guidance while sharing the joy of the land. George thrived outside on his tree farm and planted over 16,000 hardwood trees there. He was also the Treasurer of the Elk Valley Foresters Association. George was an accomplished pianist and a true “Renaissance Man” who shared himself with those around him. His wish would surely be that of his fellow soldiers when he left their ranks to return to Germany, “May the sun fall ever on your shoulders.” Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Marlies Radug Erath; son, Robert Lee (Shannon) Erath; daughter, Natalya “Tascha” (Ronald) Osgood; grandchildren, Savanna Leigh Erath, Amanda Lynn Erath, Augustus James (Sarah Catherine) Osgood, and Abrahm George Osgood; brother, Robert William “Bob” (Elaine) Erath. In addition to his parents, George was preceded in death by his brother, Philip Dewey Erath. Funeral service for George was held Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, at Higgins Funeral Home with the Rev. Tommy Vann officiating. Burial followed in Lincoln Cemetery. Higgins Funeral Home is honored to serve George’s family. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial Processing, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.