Betty Filcher, 88, of Deer Lodge, Mont., died Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. Services are pending.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is handling the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be paid at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
September 21, 1936 – February 21, 2021
It is difficult to put into mere words the life of one so loved and admired.
Glenna Dea Krueger Stucky, 84, was born on September 21, 1936 and was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church of Bozeman. She grew up on a farm in the Gallatin Valley with two younger sisters, Marilyn and Lenita, with their parents, Leonard and Ruby Krueger.
Her interests and talents were many. When Glenna was only twelve, she and her dad played for dances all over the Gallatin Valley—she playing piano, and her dad playing the drums. 4-H was a big part of her younger years and was where she met the love of her life, Earl Stucky.
They were married November 24, 1954. The young couple purchased the family ranch in Gateway and spent the next few years building their registered Angus cattle business, as well as raising their five children—Earline, Sharon, Calvin, Jill and Becky.
In 1966, Earl was offered the job as cow boss on the Flying D Ranch, and the family moved to Cherry Creek on the Madison. At the same time, the Stucky’s ran their own cow herd, with Glenna and the kids pitching in to help.
Glenna’s love of music was always present, intermingled with day-to-day ranch life. She taught piano, chorus, and served as choir director at Harrison High School for a time.
In 1976, the Stucky family moved to the Keiley Ranch at Finn, near Avon. Glenna enjoyed all the seasonal ranch work, from watching calves arrive in the spring, to branding, bucking hay with her buckrake in haying season, cooking for the crew, sorting replacement heifers in the fall round-up and shipping. She was such an integral part of the ranch operation, especially with the management and accounting bookwork.
Even though her life was filled with commitments of family and ranch life, she made time for other hobbies—she was an avid seamstress, knitted prolifically and beautifully, loved gardening and woodworking, and was the No. 1 fan at family sporting events. She simply made time for everyone.
Glenna loved her community of Avon and showed it with her involvement in the local Cattlewomen chapter, her dedication as a 4-H leader for nearly 40 years, and her faithful service as the president of the Avon Get-Together Club for many years. Glenna loved her life, saying, “There is never a day that goes by that I am not in awe about being able to be here. I’m so very thankful.”
Glenna loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, her family, community and wonderful country. She is preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Ruby Krueger, sister Marilyn Ransom, grandson, Roy Edsall, and infant great-granddaughter, Hattie McIntosh.
She is survived by a loving husband of nearly sixty-seven years, Earl Stucky. For the whole of their marriage, they were inseparable, always working as a team. She is also survived by her sister, Lenita Hough, and Glenna and Earl’s five children: Earline (Mick) Goettle, Sharon Edsall, Calvin (Renee) Stucky, Jill (Bill) McIntosh, and Becky (Larry) McLaughlin; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Glenna’s life will be held Monday, March 1 at 1 p.m. at the Avon Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to the Avon Get-Together Club, the Montana 4-H Foundation, or donor’s choice.
November 5, 1938 - February 12, 2021
Linda Ericson, 82
Linda Lou Ericson, 82, of Billings, MT passed away, unexpectedly from complications of pneumonia, February 12, 2021. Linda was born in Poplar, MT on November 5, 1938, the eldest child of Elna and Eric Lindquist.
She grew up in Poplar, graduated from Poplar High School, and attending nursing school in Kansas City, MO, where she earned her registered nurse certificate. After graduation, she met and married Harold Ericson. They had three children. They divorced later in life.
The family moved to Deer Lodge, MT in 1968, where Linda worked at Powell County Memorial Hospital for over 20 years as a RN. Her favorite part of her job was helping with the delivery and care of newborn babies. Even later in life many community members commented on the great care that Linda gave them. Linda moved to Billings, MT, in 1987, and worked at St Vincent and later Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch. She retired in 1991.
Linda was the world’s greatest thriftier, where there was a bargain, she could find it. She loved going to all the thrift stores in Billings weekly and was an impeccable dresser. She would send her great grandchildren name brand outfits, shoes, and toys. She also like to eat at the hospital cafeteria, walk the Rimrock Mall, attend Peace Lutheran Church and Billings Senior Citizens Center.
Linda is preceded in death by her son, Eric Ericson, and brother James Lindquist.
Linda is survived by her sister Jean Marie Martin of Great Falls, daughters, Margo Ericson of Clarkston, WA, Valorie (Doug) Smith of Deer Lodge, grandchildren, Adrian Ericson of Glen Rose, TX, Courtni Hart of Deer Lodge, great grandchildren, Emmalyn, Alayna, and Josiah Hart.
The Michellotti-Sawyer Funeral Home is entrusted with Linda’s funeral arrangements and services will be conducted at a future time.
Mabelle Marie Thompson
February, 25, 1938 - January 28, 2021
Mabelle Marie Thompson gained her wings and went home to be with her heavenly Father on January 28, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mabelle was born on February 25, 1938 in Livingston, Montana, to Leaola and Virgil Muir. She was the oldest of three kids and was raised along with her brother Donald and sister Deloris. The family moved to Bozeman in 1949 and in 1954 Mabelle moved to Twin Bridges where she graduated from high school in 1956. Following graduation, her adventurous spirit led her to Billings, where she landed a job at the airport restaurant. Her numerous trips to visit relatives in Deer Lodge sparked her love for the valley, and she moved there soon after securing a job at the local Safeway. She had a blind date with Bill Thompson, Jr. in 1957, fell instantly in love, and married him a short time later. They were married for 37 years and together enjoyed camping, bowling, golfing, snowmobiling, and contributing to the community while raising their six children. She sadly lost her other half in 1994, and their once-in-a-lifetime type of love could never be replicated.
Mabelle was a gifted artist and enjoyed creating in all types of mediums. She studied pottery for three years through the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. She was always working on some sort of art project - paintings, sculptures, mosaics and more - and often donated pieces to fundraisers, raffles, and other causes. Her art can be found in many places in the community, just look for her signature “MA-“ inside a bell-shape marking. She loved helping area ranchers with their cattle (and giving the seasoned cowhands a run for their money) and was an avid snowmobiler and ATVer well into her 70s. She prided herself on the strawberries and asparagus she lovingly tended every summer in her garden. She helped start the Deer Lodge Art Club and served as president and secretary, she was a regular attendee of Sculpture Group in Drummond, was a member of the Elks Women’s Club, helped start the Back Country Horsemen, and spent 16 years helping decorate trees for the Museum’s Festival of Trees. In her later years she spent time assisting children with art and reading.
If you asked her, she would tell you that her family was her life’s greatest accomplishment. She often reflected on how lucky she was to raise each of her children and how much joy they brought her. Her favorite thing to do was spend time with her grandkids - teaching about Mother Nature, exploring the mountains, and looking for huckleberries, morel mushrooms, wildflowers, yarrow, and historical artifacts. There were many special memories made at the cabin at Rock Creek Lake. She was a competitive game player (and particularly enjoyed when she was winning). She had many special horses and dogs throughout her life, and was especially thankful for her furry companion, Benji, who was trustfully by her side until the end.
Though Mabelle’s strong will and love for the outdoors never faded, her body began to fail her. Her health slowly deteriorated making it more difficult for her to get out and about. If you stopped by for a visit, you would likely catch her reading a book, watching a game show, or finding comfort in God’s word. She was so grateful for the many people who stopped to spend time with her or called to visit.
Mabelle was an incredible matriarch and her family was blessed by her steady presence and iron-willed influence.
She is survived by many loving family members: Her brother, Don (Pat) Muir and family of Abilene, TX; her children, Donna (Ed) McCarthy of Deer Lodge, Colleen (Neil) Owens of Deer Lodge, Maureen (Bob) Heimbaugh of Dayton, WY, Mona (Pedro) Robles of The Villages, FL, John (Sheila) Thompson of Deer Lodge, and Joel (Debbie) Thompson of Missoula; her grandchildren, Brad (Jasmine) Woodward of Mobile, AL, Amy (Doug) Loughry of Jackson, WY, Eric Woodward of Butte, Haley and Koby Owens of Deer Lodge, Hayes (Melissa) Heimbaugh of Denver, CO, Holly (Aaron) Roesler of Deer Lodge, Libby Heimbaugh of Dayton, WY, and Margaret and Aidan Thompson of Deer Lodge; her great-grandchildren, Peyton, Nyah, and Kylee Woodward, Bryna and Calindi Loughry, Kinsley and Grayson Roesler, and Leighton Heimbaugh; her in-laws, Jack Thompson of Deer Lodge and Dorothy Ann (Steve) O’Hare of Albany, OR; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends.
She is preceded in death by the love of her life, Bill, parents Leaola and Virgil, sister Deloris Flahave, sister-in-law Betty (Joe) Brand, and brother-in-law Jim Thompson.
Mabelle’s celebration of life and memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made in her memory to the Deer Lodge Art Club (C/O Megan Thompson – 912 Missouri Ave., Deer Lodge), Kohrs Memorial Library (501 Missouri Ave., Deer Lodge), Rialto Theater (P.O. Box 874, Deer Lodge), or Friends of Hospice (1940 Dewey Blvd., Butte).
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Mabelle.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Mabelle and her family.
A.J. (Fred) Donich Jr.
January 22, 1941 - January 27, 2021
A.J. (Fred) Donich Jr, 80, died from COVID-19 on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Bozeman.
Fred was born to Alfred J. and Kathryn Stergar Donich, Jan. 22, 1941, in Anaconda. He grew up on the family ranch in the Deer Lodge Valley. A 4-H Club member, his heifers were regular blue-ribbon winners at the Fair.
He graduated from Powell County High School in 1958 after four years on the honor roll. That fall, he entered University of Montana, and was an honor student all four years, graduating with high honors in Economics. Later, he was proud to be a graduate of University of Virginia Law School where he earned a place on the school’s law review.
Upon graduation, he was chosen to be a clerk for Judge Samuel Whittaker on the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. Judge Whittaker passed his season football tickets to the Washington Football Team on to Fred. It was a great gift to a young man from Montana.
Shaw, Pittman, Potts, Trowbridge and Madden, a corporate law firm in the nation’s capital, hired Fred following his clerkship. He would become a partner at the firm.
Fred enjoyed many things about Washington. Great restaurants, art galleries, the cherry blossoms and tulips, and the international trade part of his law practice. But the photographs on his wall were of Montana and its mountains. Ultimately the pull of the mountains won and he returned to Deer Lodge.
After a few years at the bank there, he moved to Madison Valley Bank in Ennis. He remained in Ennis for the next 36 years. His attachment to the town was strong enough that when he went to work at D.A. Davidson in Butte for 25 years; he remained in Ennis despite the long drive.
At the age of 40, Fred took up mountain climbing and became a passionate enthusiast. His first dream was to summit the Grand Teton, which he ended up doing several times. Eventually he summited, among many others, all the Tetons, and The Liberty Ridge of Mt. Rainier, where he and his climbing partners were trapped for two days in a blizzard.
When he retired from DADCo in 2007, he served three years on the Ennis Hospital Board. One summer, he managed The Depot Art Gallery, where he enjoyed getting to know some of the artists whose work he’d always liked. His house and his family members’ homes are full of artwork from those artists.
All three of his children attended school in Ennis and graduated from that high school. They all inherited his love of the mountains.
Fred’s happiest days were when one or more of his children joined him on the rocks. When his daughter married Andy Willett, Andy also joined the family climbing circle. Eventually, even his New York granddaughter, Story Donich, visited Montana to climb rocks.
In 2017 Fred moved to Bozeman because of health issues, but his heart remained in Ennis. He missed it every day until the end of his life.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Catherine “Kitty” Donich; his former wife, PJ Shaw Wright; children, Albee (Andy) Willett, A.J. Donich III, and John Marshall (Andrea Colvin) Donich; three grandchildren, Brooke Willett, Hudson Willett, and Story Em Donich; sisters, Carol Ann McGillis of Deer Lodge and Kathy (Jeff) Lantz of Virginia; sister-in-law, Susan G Lee of Tampa, Fla.; and brother-in-law Jeremy Kinross Wright of Missoula. He was predeceased by his sister, Marikae Kinross Wright, and brother-in-law, Joseph Patrick McGillis.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation at alexlowe.org.
A celebration of his life will be held this summer in Ennis.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Jacob Brent Simpson
JACOB BRENT SIMPSON, 24. OCTOBER 14, 1996 – JANUARY 26, 2021.
Our beloved son and brother, Jacob Brent Simpson, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at his apartment in Midwest City, Oklahoma. While his life ended much too soon, Jacob’s impact on his family, friends, and the world in general will be felt forever.
Jacob was born October 14, 1996 to Rodney and Laura Simpson in Livingston. He was a happy, inquisitive, creative, and logical little boy who took on the role of big brother when his sister, Kaitlyn Anna was born in 1999. His love and protection for his sister were never-ending and fierce. From his earliest days of learning at Debbie’s daycare to his grade school years in Livingston, Dodson, and Geraldine, Jacob was passionate about science in all its many levels and forms. For many years his greatest worry was “what kind of scientist should I be?” and it seemed the answer to this question constantly evolved as his experiences and knowledge of the world grew and motivated him to seek out understanding of subjects beyond his years. Jacob was also born with a natural gift of athleticism and a healthy dose of competitiveness that served him well as he played basketball in grandma’s basement with his sister and cousins, played summer league baseball, or ran cross county with the older kids. He proudly wore the green and white of the Dodson Coyotes and the orange and black of the Geraldine Tigers.
In 2010, Jacob and our family made a final move to Deer Lodge, where Jacob completed his high school education at Powell County High School, graduating as salutatorian of the Class of 2015. It was here that Jacob found his passion and gift for mathematics and continued his athletic pursuits. He was a proud Warden and wore the blue and gold all four years in three sports – football (wide receiver/defensive back), basketball (forward) and track (330 hurdles/pole vault). He excelled on the playing fields, earning many honors and awards, and more importantly to him earning the respect of his teammates, coaches, and fellow competitors for his intense drive and commitment to excellence.
Upon graduation, Jacob attended Montana Tech in Butte from 2015 to 2019 where he truly found his academic home, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Sciences. His freshman year of college he was a member of the Oredigger Basketball team as a redshirt. During his sophomore year, he was selected by the national program SMART Scholars for a full ride scholarship and contract to work for the Department of Defense upon graduation. He began a research project with his professor and mentor, Dr. Atish Mitra, that afforded him the opportunity to present his work at a mathematical symposium at Gonzaga University his senior year.
Jacob’s SMART Scholar contract took him to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, where he worked since 2019 as a member of the 38th Division of Cyber Security and the 557th Software and Engineering Squadron as a member of an elite Machine Learning team working on the B1-Bomber series with top security clearances. Here he met and worked with talented civilian Airmen. He enjoyed becoming an Oklahoman, drinking sweet tea and exploring the big city, but he never forgot his Montana roots and always longed to be closer to his family and friends where the seasons actually changed.
Jacob was a young man of many self-taught eclectic talents. He was an avid reader and musician, teaching himself to play the violin and electric guitar; a connoisseur of chess; a comic book collector; a student of physics and logic; a passionate basketball fan; and a self-driven thinker and athlete who enjoyed pushing himself and competing. But most of all, Jacob’s quiet ways always connected with his true friends and forged bonds that brought him great joy and friendships with people of all ages.
Jacob is survived and loved by his parents, Rodney and Laura Simpson of Deer Lodge; his sister and best friend Kate of Boise, Idaho; paternal grandparents Bob and Avis Simpson of Lewistown; maternal grandparents Paul and Judy Alisch of Chinook, Uncle Randy (Carol) Simpson and cousins Robbie and Ryan of Bozeman; Aunt Stephanie Simpson of Lewistown; Uncle Russell (Tina) Alisch and cousins Ayden, Carter, Callen, and Avie of Chinook; Uncle Todd (Lori) Alisch and cousins Evan, Marin, and Jasper of Havre; Aunt Kristen (Ben) Moore and cousins Emma and Patrick of Baker; Aunt Jackie (Casey) Schreiner and cousins Clara and Tyson of Park City; numerous other extended family and so many dear friends that have earned the title of family.
Final arrangements are being handled by Creel Funeral Home of Lewistown and Ford Funeral Service of Midwest City, Oklahoma. Cremation will take place in Oklahoma and we will plan a memorial service to honor Jacob and celebrate his life at a future date. We request that any memorials be made to the Montana Tech Math Department for a scholarship in Jacob’s name.