March 25th, 2020
Death Notice: Raymond J. Gangl
Raymond J. Gangl, 55, of Deer Lodge passed away at St. Patrick Hospital on March 12, 2020. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
Elizabeth Jane (Betty) Newlon Hoffmann
Longtime Deer Lodge resident, Elizabeth Jane (Betty) Newlon Hoffmann, died on March 11, 2020 in Bozeman at the age of 96.
Betty was born in Long Beach, Calif. on September 18, 1923. After the death of her father, Milo Newlon, she moved to Deer Lodge at the age of three with her mother, Anne, and brother, Jack.
A proud descendent of Montana pioneer N.J. Bielenberg, she raised a fourth generation in the Deer Lodge Valley.
Betty earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Montana State Normal College (later University of Montana--Dillon), then taught in several school districts in Montana and at the Montana State Vocational School for Girls in Helena.
While working in Helena as Senate Bill Clerk for the Montana State Legislature, Betty met and married John Lawrence (Larry) Hoffmann and later gave birth to Anne and John. In 1953, she, Larry, and their children moved to Deer Lodge.
Once the children were older, Betty resumed teaching and taught music in the Deer Lodge school system. She expressed her passion for choral music by founding and directing the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club Chorus, and directing the First Presbyterian Church Choir.
Later, and until her retirement, Betty coordinated and taught graduate courses for teachers across the US and Canada with Education Through Music.
As an active member of the community, Betty served on boards and committees, including the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club, the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation, St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival, the Powell County Hospital Auxiliary, and Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers.
Betty is survived by son John Hoffmann (Deer Lodge); daughter Anne Hoffmann Johnson, grandchildren Beth Johnson and Keir (Lena) Johnson, and great-granddaughter, Isla Johnson, all of Bozeman; and nephews, nieces, and dear friends in Montana and beyond.
Her parents, husband, brother and sister-in-law (Jack and Pearl Newlon), and son-in-law, Kirk Johnson, preceded her in death.
Betty enlivened any gathering with her enthusiasm, optimism, and her sense of good humor. She approached all situations with integrity. These qualities created enduring friendships with people of all ages.
Memorials in her name may be made to the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club or First Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge.
March 18th, 2020
Jeanne R. Senecal
Jeanne R. Senecal, age 61 of Avon. November 10, 1958 – March 7, 2020.
Jeanne Ritchey Senecal, age 61 of Avon, entered the gates of Heaven on Saturday, March 7, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Her battle with cancer lasted three years. She fought bravely each day, and was thankful for the moments God gave her to spend with her four beautiful grandchildren, children, and husband.
Jeanne was born in Bismarck, N.D., on November 10, 1958, to Bill and Arla Ritchey three minutes after her twin sister, Julie. In 1962, her family moved to Helena, where she graduated from Helena High School. On September 6, 1980, Jeanne married Dan Senecal of Avon. Dan and Jeanne ranched full time in Avon for 18 years. During this time they were blessed with two wonderful children: Cortney and Joshua. Dan and Jeanne raised their children to love God, work hard, and show kindness.
Dan and Jeanne built their dream home on Bluebird Hill outside of Avon after leaving the ranching business, and in 2000, they began a productive career in real estate. Their home was a safe-haven for many and Jeanne was known to show incredible hospitality to anyone who walked through her doors. Throughout their 40 years of marriage, Dan and Jeanne always worked side-by-side. Their strengths in different areas made them a successful and strong team in all their endeavors.
During the last few years of life, Jeanne devoted as much time as possible to her family. She treasured her moments with her grandchildren and was honored to be the mother of her two children.
Jeanne’s strong faith, loving family, Big Sky Broker family, and supportive friends helped her through this difficult journey. Each day Jeanne prayed for healing, but through it all she praised God and trusted Him no matter what happened. Her friends will remember her for her grace, kindness, hospitality, and sweet spirit. She fought so courageously because she loved those around her so much.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her father, Bill Ritchey, and infant son, Zachery Senecal.
She is survived by her husband, Dan Senecal, of Avon; daughter, Cortney Senecal, grandchildren, Abigail (13) and Jonathan (10) of Helena; son and daughter-in-law, Joshua and Sarah Senecal, grandchildren, Tel (7) and Rylie (3) of Ronan; mother, Arla Ritchey, sister, Julie Bailey, brother, Rodney Ritchey, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, sister-in-laws, and brother-in-laws that dearly loved her.
Honorary pallbearers are Tel Senecal, Jonathan Charlton, Gabe Nistler, Ed Stephens, Tom Senecal, Austin Senecal, John Alfson, and Scott Bailey.
A memorial service honoring Jeanne’s life will be held March 14 at 11 a.m. at Helena First Assembly of God, 2210 Dodge Street, Helena, MT, with a reception to follow. All friends and family are welcome to attend the memorial ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please make all memorial contributions to Options Clinic of Helena and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
March 11th, 2020
Death Notice: Don Tamcke
Don Tamcke, 82 died Sunday 3-8-20 in Hamilton. Funeral Service for Don Tamcke will be this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Jewell Funeral Home
Catherine Ellen Owens
On Monday, March 2, 2020, Catherine Ellen Chussler Owens, 91, passed away at home from heart conditions. She was born July 15, 1928 in Jamaica, South Long Island, N.Y., to Margaret (O’Neill) and Joseph Walter Chussler. Her older sister Peggy, brother John, and younger sister Theresa were all deceased before 1989.
In 1940 the family moved to Elizabeth, N.J., where she graduated from Blessed Sacrament grade school, and from Battin high school in 1945.
After receiving a full-tuition scholarship from Rider College (now University) in Trenton, N.J. she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Journalism and a minor in business. By attending college all year she graduated in August, 1948 when she was 20. Besides being editor of the college weekly, Rider News, she worked at Goldberg’s Department Store in the credit department her entire time in college.
After graduation she worked on a weekly newspaper in Union, N.J., and answered an ad for a reporter for a weekly newspaper that didn’t say where. The ad was for the Silver State Post in Deer Lodge, where her new life began on May 23, 1949. In 1950 she met a new Deer Lodge pharmacist, Frank Owens. He was persistent and they were married December 30, 1950 in Elizabeth, N.J., and then returned to Deer Lodge. Frank passed away September 10, 2011, after almost 61 years of marriage.
In 1954 they purchased the Clinic Rexall Drug, where she was the bookkeeper and in charge of merchandise, window dressing, sink cleaning, ads, etc. They built their new store building on Main Street in the fall of 1970. Jack and Gloria Andersen bought the store from them in 1988.
The three Owens sons are Stephen of Deer Lodge, Richard in Anchorage, Alaska, and Neil and Colleen (Thompson) Owens of Deer Lodge. Dr. Haley Anne Owens and Koby W. Owens are her very special grandchildren, and other children special to her are Margaret and Aidan Thompson. Other survivors include her only sister-in-law, Anne Chussler of Brick, N.J., one niece and two nephews in New Jersey, and three nieces and two nephews in California and Washington.
Catherine was chairman and the first woman member of the Powell County High School Board of Trustees, a 70-plus year member of the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club, served as president of the Catholic Ladies Guild, was a Eucharistic minister in church, long-time PEO member, and was an active volunteer for the Powell County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, William K. Kohrs Memorial Library, Rialto Theatre, and many other civic activities. She enjoyed playing bridge, entertaining, traveling, reading, jigsaw puzzles and following local sports, and was mentally sharp up to the last day. She especially treasured the time she was able to spend at “The Cabin” up in the Swan Valley.
Parish vigil was at 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the church. Funeral Mass was at Immaculate Conception Church, 605 Clark St. in Deer Lodge on Saturday March 7, followed by burial at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Memorials would be appreciated by Immaculate Conception Church, P.O. Box 786 in Deer Lodge, Rialto Community Theatre, Box 874, Deer Lodge, Kohrs Memorial Library, 500 Missouri Ave, the Powell County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 834, or your personal choice.
Patrick Charles Rogers
Patrick Charles Rogers passed away on February 19, 2020 in Yuma, Ariz., at the age of 76. He was born in Kalispell to Charles and Angela Rogers. He graduated from Flathead County High School. He then attended Western Montana College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. While in college he married Ann Shea and upon graduation their paths took them to Idaho, Oregon and then back to Montana pursuing teaching, coaching, and refereeing opportunities. During that time, they raised three children, Uri, Tyd and Adi. After getting his masters degree in education, the family settled in Deer Lodge in 1979 where he became principal of E.F. DuVall Junior High School. He was also in charge of the lunch program and special ed at SD#1. In 1985 he met Dalice Cook and they married adding Brian and Shawn to the family. After retiring in 2001, he decided to drive school bus for SD#1 and also Powell County High School activities until 2008. Then he and Dalice enjoyed being snowbirds in Arizona, where he joined the Moose and the Eagles. He was also a member of the DL Rotary for several years. Pat enjoyed billiards, everything Griz, golf and spending time with many of his Deer Lodge friends, and dancing, especially the twist. A very special place for him was the family cabin near Flathead Lake, where he spent his teenage summers helping his grandpa build rock walls, a dock and helped build the cabin. Pat is preceded in death by his parents Charles Rogers and Angela Elwood, his brother James and stepson Shawn Cook. He is survived by Dalice, his wife of 33 years, children Uri (Kerry) Rogers, Tyd (Trang) Rogers, Adi (Ryan) Roundy, Brian (Michelle) Cook, grandchildren Nicole, Tal, Tayt, Trent, Tia, Jordan, Noah, Violet, Faith, brother Brian Rogers and stepmother Mamie Rogers and several cousins. The family would like to thank the staff at Copper Place for their care and support and also Acacia Hospice of Yuma, Ariz. Pat was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Pat’s request was to have a small family gathering planned for this summer at one of his favorite places. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the RialtoTheatre or the Kohrs Library in Deer Lodge or donor’s choice.
Cherie Lynnae Senecal Schroth
It is with heavy hearts we announce the death of Cherie Senecal Schroth. She passed away March 6, 2020, at home, surrounded by her husband and children, after a hard fought battle with cancer.
Cherie was born on April 1, 1964 to John and Margaret Senecal. She was raised on the family ranch near Avon. She attended grade school in Avon and graduated from Powell County High School in 1982.
Following graduation, she attended the Helena Vo-Tech. Cherie worked in Helena for Galusha and Higgins, State Farm Insurance and Alta Gold.
It was at a Helmville Labor Day rodeo that Cherie met her future husband Randy Schroth. They were married in 1989 living in Helena and began their family which would consist of four sons. Randy worked for Dick Anderson Construction during which time their family spent three summers living in Glacier National Park. Randy and Cherie worked with a pack string of mules and horses packing supplies to the Sperry Chalet which was being remodeled. This proved to be a most memorable experience for their family.
In 1996, they moved to Buffalo Gap, S.D., back to the Schroth family ranch. Cherie loved the ranch life and working alongside her husband and four sons raising cattle and horses. She was the boys’ biggest fan as they participated in the sport of rodeo. She was always so proud of them. She worked as a meter reader for Black Hills Power and most recently a rural mail carrier until she was no longer able due to her illness.
Cherie is survived by her parents, John and Margaret Senecal; her brother Johnny Jay and wife Maria, her sister Jodi and husband Bruce Thomas; her husband Randy Schroth and sons Tyrel (Bobbie Scobee), twins-Dillon (Jana Tihista) and Travis (Chelsea Shearer) and Caleb (Libby Olson); and a granddaughter Jeysa. She is also survived by her father and mother-in-law Frank (Hap) and Loretta Schroth and sister-in-law Lori Shorb.
Her easy going, loving, caring nature made her a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. Cherie’s family was special to her including her nephews and niece and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A service will be held on Friday, March 13 at the Elliston gymnasium at 11 a.m. followed by her burial at the Elliston cemetery. Please join us for a luncheon at the gymnasium following the burial.
There will be a Celebration of Life in Buffalo Gap, S. D. at 2 p.m., Monday, March 16 at the Buffalo Gap Auditorium. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Cherie.
March 04th, 2020
Grand presumption (not permission) supports the family of Richard Geary in composing for public consumption the following notes on his life.
Born April 2, 1947 to William Geary and Lois Evans Geary, R.N., Dick grew up on the family ranch in Helmville. There, through seventh grade, he attended a one-room, coal-heated school with his siblings and cousins. Living the academic year in Deer Lodge, he graduated high school in 1965. Much later in life he would graduate from the University of Montana with a degree in speech, language and audiology.
Dick’s informal education, however, informed the man far more than his academic. He served in the Montana National Guard and wrote of that time and ranching in his newspaper columns. Five years as an agricultural outreach and loan agent with the Peace Corps in rural Brazil affected him most significantly. Fluent in Portuguese, he fell in love with the country, its people, the very flora and fauna. He would tell of a trip to Argentina and the moment when his heart seemed to drop, and time stop; he knew in that instant the precocious parrot with whom he shared his days had died back home in Barra de Burges. He returned to live in Brazil in 2017, informing his column readers he would miss only seven people here (he would later reduce the number to five.). None of his eight siblings foster any illusion they were among that number.
A health crisis in Brazil would cheat him of his life-end plan to simply walk into the Amazon. In a 48-hour round trip, his sister Joyce brought him “home” (willingly). (Heartfelt appreciation to his readers, friends and family who helped fund the trips) He began life anew in his sister Elaine’s home near the Missouri River where he continued to produce 800 column words a week, (Dick’ column was printed by the Missoulian, Silver State Post, Philipsburg Mail and Blackfoot Valley Dispatch). Provocative, nostalgic: readers never knew what to expect and Dick liked it that way. He suffered neither fools nor their false gods silently. Writer, ranch life, acerbic iconoclast, he enjoyed opera for its angst, mocking country for the rhyming lines.
As ranch manager he once stopped work to lay a cottonwood branch over a Grant Creek rivulet, allowing a troop of traumatized ants to continue their march home. He raised finches, cared for feral cats and ensured neighborhood skunks were cared for, even inviting them into share his dog’s food which backfired on occasion.
A photographer with a keen eye, Dick said he would sooner throw his camera in a ditch than take a photo of person or a mountain. For weeks he monitored the light through a barn door, capturing the iron-age shadow cast by an antique anvil.
His dogs and his horse were christened with the names of men he admired. Chris (McLaughlin), Paul (Jacobson) were without question this man’s best friends. They and his horse Kenny (Esterby) precede him in death.
Richard is survived by his siblings: Joyce, Bob, Elaine, Joan, Daniel, Jacob, Joe, Katie and many cousins here and in Ireland. Jeanette Barnes, Michelle Holt, Annette Mannix Gardner, Tom Gilbert, Dan Coughlin and Aidan Beatty warrant special notice. Additionally, heartfelt thank-you’s to his many column readers, many of whom reached out through e-mail and phone to encourage and challenge him in his writing, and offer condolences at his passing. Family and friends hope to publish his writings and photography, including the book he had dreamed of publishing.
If you would wish to honor Richard, we recommend:
• Free a dog from a life on leash.
• Support non-traditional journalism.
• Honor your horse as the real ranch hand.
• Read James Joyce’s “Ulysses”, Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” & Mark Twain’s “War Prayer.”
• Build an insect bridge on the boss’s time.
• Live (as Albert Camus enjoined) “to the point of tears.”
If it is indeed unto dust we return, may Richard’s drift into a pole corral where a good horse, day’s work done, rolls four times, increasing its worth by one hundred dollars with each robust turn.
A private gathering in Helmville in April will be followed by a celebration of Dick’s oft-eccentric life.
Death Notice: Catherine Ellen Owens
Catherine Ellen Owens, 91, of Deer Lodge passed away March 2, 2020. Funeral Mass will be at Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday, March 7, at 11am. Parish vigil will be Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the church. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery following lunch at the St. Mary’s Center. A full obituary will follow.