Betty J. Filcher
September 3, 1932 – February 15, 2021
Betty Filcher, 88, of Deer Lodge, died Feb. 15 at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.
She was born to Rose and Bill Miller in Bell Crossing, Stevensville, on Sept. 3, 1932. The family moved to Anaconda with her sister Flossie and brother George, where they graduated high school.
She worked as a telephone operator and at the Anaconda Courthouse and at JC Penney for a time.
She married Dale Filcher and had one son, Michael J. Filcher. She has a granddaughter Jaci Filcher with two grand girls Adrienne Fogerty and Braizlynn Brock and grandson Rhylie Filcher.
Betty and Dale moved all over Montana as Dale worked on the railroad for 40 years. Betty enjoyed bowling, playing cards with the ladies and fishing over the years.
She will be missed greatly by us all.
Graveside services will be held at a later date.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Betty’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Barry Allen Kennedy
September 12, 1946 – March 22, 2021
Barry Allen Kennedy, 74, died at home of natural causes. He was born Sept. 12, 1946, in Rolla, N.D., the second child of Verna Joyce and Ivan Gerald Kennedy.
He spent the first 8 years of his life in Rock Lake, N.D., and then went to work at the smelter in Anaconda. He lived in Deer Lodge almost for the rest of his life.
Barry was very good at math and graduated from Powell County High School in 1964. He went on to the Navy and was honorably discharged 3 years later. After that, he went to and graduated from computer school. He worked at West Coast Paper in Seattle, then settled at Montana State Prison and retired after around 25 years.
Barry liked to fish and hike in the mountains at various lakes. He loved fantasy sports, football, basketball, baseball, hockey – you name it. He was very good at all of them.
He loved his computers and his dogs, walking with them every day, and loved visiting with everybody he happened to meet.
Barry was preceded in death by his mother in 2014 and father in 1997.
He is survived by his daughter, Heather Kennedy, in Fort Collins, Colo.; brothers, Ronald L. Kennedy of Butte and Gerald L. Kennedy (Jackie) of Sagle, Idaho; nephew, Matthew Kennedy of Butte; nieces, Stephanie Rief of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Roberta Cestnic of Manhattan.
Donations may be made to any animal shelter in Barry’s name.
A memorial service will take place at a later date.
Richard O. Rydeen
June 10, 1943 - March 23, 2021
Richard O. Rydeen, 77, known by most as Dick, passed away peacefully on March 23 at St. Pete’s Hospital in Helena from complications of COVID.
Dick was born June 10, 1943, in Kalispell and attended school there prior to the family moving from Somers to Lincoln, then Livingston. He attended Park County High School, graduating in 1961 with his close friends and entered the Army with his buddies very soon after and served his country for 3 years. Upon discharge he moved to Deer Lodge where his parents and siblings were and went to work at the Northern Timber Sawmill.
Dick fell in love with and married his wife Karla Johnson there in 1966. They moved to Missoula, and he enrolled at U of M and worked nights at a parking garage downtown. They then moved back to Deer Lodge, returning to work at the sawmill.
He then enrolled at Western Montana College in Dillon, where the family resided, returning each summer to work at the mill. Part of his success in managing everything was having earned the G.I. Bill funding of $90 (a large amount in 1967!), being a wizard with finances, and working any job during the school year, including cleaning laundromats, and farm work. He always made sure all of the needs of his family were met, sometimes going without himself, but always ensuring there were savings for any emergency.
He and Karla had two daughters during that era, Kristi Lee and Amy Jean.
Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a math major, they returned to Deer Lodge where he once again worked at the sawmill. He completed his student teaching at the Junior High with the wonderful teachers, becoming good friends. Never having taught in the public schools thereafter, he used his education in many ways as he climbed the ladder with what became one of the Louisiana-Pacific Co. mills as Planer Superintendent, Mill Manager, then promoted as Division Operations Manager of 15 mills in five states. He was lucky enough to keep his family and office in Deer Lodge even though the head office was in the Coeur d’ Alene area. He had the most amazing work ethic and barely took a day off and few vacations. He received a special LP watch in 1993 commemorating 20 years with that company and worked until he took an early retirement one month short of his 54th birthday.
In 1980 we were blessed with custody of our nephew, Frank Gonzalez, and he was instantly received with love as a son and brother to Kristi and Amy. Dick made sure his kids were able to enjoy snow and water skiing, bringing their friends along, and those are some of their best memories today. With his great sense of humor he teased the kids about many things, but their favorite was when he told them he had “the body of James Dean and the mind of Einstein.” Pictures of the two legends still grace the wall of his room even though the only sure thing was his brilliance and high IQ. He taught us all the difference between “want” and “need” even though he spoiled his children with pretty much everything they wanted!
Dick had a major stroke at 59 but his disabilities did not affect his being the caretaker of his family. Again, being the amazing “Great Watash” as his kids called him; he made sure he lived the last 18 years large and in charge, with the same work ethic and love, exercising, reading, always kind to all that cared for him even in the worst of situations.
He especially appreciated the great care given to him by the Veterans Administration, including the VA Home Health Care team. He got tired of “this damn stroke” but kept his sense of humor and his ability to give Karla, the kids and grandkids and other family members that great advice even if they didn’t need it! Education was important to him for any and all that pursued it, and he assisted family as best he could with those financial burdens.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Frank and Fred, nephew Joey, niece Anna, the in-laws he loved so much, and his beautiful daughter Amy.
He is survived by his wife and girlfriend, Karla; daughter Kristi; son Frankie; grandkids Lance and Carlo Gonzalez, Daley (Michael) Beck, of Helena, Danielle of Casper, Wyo.; great granddaughter “Princess” Kennedi Beck, Helena.
The Psalm of Life poem from his Mother said in part “Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate, still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.” On his office wall was a sign that said, “The Oxen Are Slow but the Earth is Patient.” These words are what he tried to teach his co-workers, friends and especially family to live by, as he did himself.
A graveside service is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, April 3, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. A celebration of Dick’s life will be scheduled this summer. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Dick.
Berrett Michael Wirth Crossley
April 25, 2007 - March 6, 2021
Berrett Michael Wirth Crossley, 13, left his earthly body to join our Heavenly Father on Saturday, March 6, at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Wash. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of not wearing a helmet during a skateboarding accident.
Berrett was born April 25, 2007, in Billings, to Larae Stone and Cory Wirth. Larae and Berrett moved to the Seattle area when he was 3 and shortly after became part of the large and loving Crossley family when Larae and Mikal joined their families, and Gabriel, Gianna and Lincoln became his best friends and siblings. Three years later they welcomed their little sister, Finley, into the family and Berrett became the best big brother a little girl could ask for. He adores her and she worships him.
Berrett loves all things outdoors. He could be found at the skate park, building a fort or riding quads while camping, playing basketball or baseball, sledding and tubing at Georgetown Lake, Mont., or anywhere he could find adventure or test his survival skills. He was an entrepreneur and loved to draw. He created a logo for his Kadet skateboard brand.
Berrett is survived by his parents Mikal and Larae Crossley and Cory Wirth; siblings Gabriel, Gianna, Lincoln and Finley Crossley; great grandparents Beverly Bruner, and Art and Mary Bradley; grandparents Jake and Natalie Stone, Tom and Gayle Butler, Monty and Christie Lambert, Dustin and Lani Moore, Steve Crossley and Tanda Robinson; uncles and aunts Aaron and Lacie (Stone) Gransbery (Royal), Loudan and Andi Steffes (Brant and Veda), Dustin Mace, Jamie and Cassie Waters (Liam, Lila and Juliette), Kelsey Crossley (Lianna and Lamont), Sam and Tera Hemken (Beatrice and Sam), Skyler Crossley, Kiara Crossley, Zak Crossley, Willie and Lynn Johnson (Lenora and Josee), Kiya Shelton and Devin Shelton. Berrett is also survived by his best friends Alyanna and Cyler Qualls and numerous other cousins and friends.
On March 8, Berrett gave one more remarkable gift to this world and helped save the lives of other children with his gift of organ donation. Donations to assist other families with organ donations can be made in Berrett’s name to Life Center of the Northwest, 3650 131st Ave. SE, Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98006 (lcnw.org).
A GoFundMe site (Berrett’s Medical Fund) has been set up to help with medical expenses and start a campaign to educate kids on the importance of wearing their helmets until their last ride is over. #Wearit4Berrett.
Berrett’s family would like to thank the first responders of East Pierce Fire and Rescue Station 116 and the wonderful staff at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for the great care they gave Berrett and the kindness they bestowed upon his family. A special thank you to Doctor Whitt, Doctor Asplin and Doctor Jones; nurses Patrick, Anabel and Bonnie, Patient Service Specialist Shannon of the 7th floor PICU and Rachel and Carly from Life Center of the Northwest. Your care for Berrett and kindness during this tragic time will be forever remembered.
A celebration of life will be Saturday, March 13, at 2 p.m., at Rainier Hills Christian Church, 23711 Entwhistle Road, Buckley, Wash.
Fly high with angels, sweet boy. May the skate parks always be paved in gold, your trucks never be loose, and your bearings never go bad. You will forever live in our hearts, and we look forward to the day we see your beautiful, contagious smile once again.
Emery (Buzz) D. Weston
August 24, 1930 - March 10, 2021
Emery (Buzz) D. Weston, 90, of Deer Lodge, died Wednesday morning, March 10, surrounded by family in Hamilton.
Buzz was born Aug. 24, 1930, in Missoula, to Barney and Alice Weston.
He grew up on a ranch just east of Beavertail Hill along with two brothers, Ben and Bill, and attended elementary school in Clinton. Buzz graduated from Missoula County High School and attended the University of Montana where he studied accounting.
In 1953, he married the love of his life, Nedra Cordrey, and they were married 56 years. Buzz and Nedra moved to Deer Lodge in 1957, where they raised four children, Neil, Steve, Bill and Joni. Buzz worked several years for the National Guard but spent the bulk of his working years as a truck driver. During his time in the National Guard, he participated in the quelling of the Montana State Prison riot of 1959.
Buzz and Nedra retired in 1993, where they spent their time working on the family ranch and attending all the sporting events of their grandchildren. Nedra passed away in 2008 and Buzz missed her every day for the rest of his life.
Buzz will be remembered as one of the hardest working, most honest men ever. He will be greatly missed each day by the members of his family.
Buzz was preceded in death by his beloved wife Nedra, son Bill, brother Ben and son-in-law Ed Ames.
He is survived by his brother Bill Weston of Missoula and by sons Neil (Jany), Steve (Kathy), daughter Joni Ames, and cousin Wanda Weston-Hooper (Gary) of Helena. In addition, he is survived by nine grandchildren and many great grandchildren, and six nieces and nephews.
No public services are scheduled. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com
Sharon Dolores (O’Reilly) Collinsworth
March 18, 1945 – March 5, 2021
Sharon D. (O’Reilly) Collinsworth, 75, died Friday, March 5, at Accordius Health, a caring and loving nursing facility, in Harrisonburg, Va.
The world lost a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and friend. Sharon battled illness, but it never stopped her from thinking of others and providing words of love and encouragement. Her heart always had room for one more person to love. She was full of life. She was a strong, independent, and a stubborn Italian and Irish woman who loved everyone and never hesitated to put you in your place. She loved spending time with other’s and sharing her memories from childhood.
Sharon was born March 18, 1945, in Great Falls, to Francis J. and Bernadine (DeRose) O’Reilly. She graduated from Great Falls Central Catholic High School in 1963 and worked for her father’s real estate business as a secretary.
She married Maynard (Bud) J. Bolin Jr. on August 21, 1965, and had four children: Debe, Dena, D’ann and Dawn. Sharon and Bud made their home in Deer Lodge, where Sharon worked as a playground and lunch aide for the school district and then as a secretary in the steno pool at Montana State Prison.
She moved to Oregon in 1989 and married Wayne Collinsworth on August 11, 1990. She continued raising her family and working as a secretary for Touch of Mink in Salem, Ore., and as an office manager for the Polk County Itemizer Observer newspaper, in Independence, Ore. Her retirement years were spent in Mexico and California. After taking care of her husband who preceded her in death (2008), she continued her retirement years residing in Oregon, Indiana, South Carolina and finally settling in Virginia, making many friends and loved ones along the way.
She is survived by her sister, Dr. Francis L. O’Reilly; her brother, Jerry T. O’Reilly (Judy); and her daughters, Debe Rito (Charles Kidd), Dena Barnes (James), D’ann Farr (Maher), Dawn Ohren (Brent), Collette Antoine (Lou); and her stepchildren, Larry Collinsworth, Lynette Rounds (Billie), Lori Bosch (Dale) and Lonnie Collinsworth and sister-in-law, Del Collinsworth.
She was blessed with many nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, longtime friends, Nancy and Gerry Adams, and those she called her family.
A celebration of life is to be held at a later date.
James Charles (Boomer) Lane
December 21, 1947 – March 4, 2021
James Charles (Boomer) Lane,73, died on March 4, after a long-fought battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, diagnosed in 2012.
Jim was born on Dec. 21, 1947, in Great Falls to Charles and Frankie Lane. He moved to Drummond for two years then onto the Family Ranch, 12 miles south of Drummond on Flint Creek. He attended school in Philipsburg, graduating from high school in June 1966.
Jim enlisted in the Anaconda National Guard in 1969. He attended Western Montana College after graduation and embarked on a quest to seek knowledge in working in Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D., for 2 years; then became an auctioneer, accomplished pilot, developed commercial buildings, residential rentals…..No challenge that he passed on.
In 1971, Jim went to work as a Journeyman Lineman for the Montana Power Co. in Butte. He married the love of his life, Deanna Peterson, on April 5, 1973. They welcomed a baby girl into the world Sept 24, 1974, Amy Rachelle Lane. Jim was transferred by the MPC in 1976 to Deer Lodge, where he resided for the remainder of his life.
Jim and DeeDee received their real estate licenses in 1977. He and Dee Dee worked side by side in the real estate profession, which proved to be a great choice, embarking on a 40-year career buying and selling several businesses as well as subdividing 20,000 acres across Montana.
Jim was an extremely passionate and dedicated person, which resonated in his devotion to his loving wife and daughter. He loved being a father and was always Amy’s first call for advice, solicited and unsolicited, but always great advice. He and Amy are a lot alike with a very special relationship. He was so proud of his family. Jim was beyond proud when Amy graduated in 1998 from U of M with a degree in business finance. Jim was absolutely adored by his grandchildren, Lane and Jace, which created a special bond. You could always see a twinkle in his eye just being with them and taking all of the family on special vacations.
He was known for his quick wit, vast knowledge and overall intellect. He was always up for a bet with his buddies. Jim and his soul mate, DeeDee, worked side by side together to run many successful businesses, excelling in real estate and development, amongst many other ventures. They were not afraid to take any challenge as a unified team.
Jim loved life and lived it to its fullest, always being the life of the party!
Jim is preceded in death by his parents Chuck and Frankie Lane; brother, Robert Lane; nephew Mike Lane; and his beloved granddaughter, Lane Mannix 11/27/2000-6/17/2019.
Survivors include his wife, Deanna Lane, Deer Lodge; daughter Amy Lane, Missoula; grandson Jace Mannix, Missoula; nephew, Mac Lane, Livingston; and many other nieces and nephews who enjoyed fun times with Uncle “Boomer.”
A funeral service will be held at the Rialto Theatre in Deer Lodge on Saturday, March 13, at 11 a.m. Visitation is from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Rialto, with reception to follow at Broken Arrow Steakhouse, Deer Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Deer Lodge Ministerial Association or charity of your choice.
Judy Gail Clark McConnell
Judy Gail Clark McConnell, 72, of Hamilton, completed a life with love, laughter and kindness.
Judy was born June 8, 1948, to Vern Dexter and Earldean “Deanie” (Hendrickson) Clark, in Great Falls. She graduated from Florence Carlton High School in 1967.
Judy married Jim McConnell on Nov. 16, 1985, in Lincoln. They added a son, Jason, and daughter, Cori, to make this family complete. Judy was a past member of the Red Hat Society. She enjoyed being an election judge in Garrison. Her many interests were quilting, gardening, reading, raising chickens, cooking, bible study and seeing her grandchildren grow.
Anyone that ever met her said she was the most kindhearted, sweetest person they knew. Judy had a beautiful smile that could light up the room. She was loved by everyone.
Judy was preceded in death by her loving husband, Jim McConnell; parents, Dexter and Deanie Clark; sister-in-law, Helen Clark; and brother-in-law, Scotty.
She is survived by her son, Jason (Jenn), of Great Falls; daughter, Cori (Trent), of Deer Lodge; brother, Jim; sisters, Barbara and Verna; seven grandchildren plus one on the way; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Jason Goss, Todd Goss, Trent Freeman, Art Freeman, Tim Haugen and Sam Goss. Honorary pallbearers are Jim Clark and Bill Everson.
Visitation was held Wednesday evening, March 3, and funeral services were Thursday morning, March 4, both at Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. Interment followed the service at the Florence-Carlton Cemetery. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.
A special thank you to Whitney and Partners in Home Health Hospice for all of their compassion and care during Judy’s last days.
John Matthew Inkret
February 25, 2021
John Matthew Inkret, 62, died peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in his beloved “Alamo,” in Deer Lodge. He was preceded in death by his father, William. He is survived by his mother, Aurelia, a brother, three sisters, three nephews, three nieces and many close friends.
Born and raised in Denver, he attended Regis High School, and graduated from Carroll College in Helena with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He later furthered his education with a master’s degree in Soil Science at Montana State University.
He enjoyed curating and planting the perfect combination of native grasses and forbs both professionally and as a hobby. His knowledge and skill in this area was impressive.
John had many friends, often brought together by their love of music. Appreciating live music and playing the mandolin were some of his beloved hobbies. John adored his dog Django, and he was passionate about fishing, gardening and working with his hands. He had a wry sense of humor, and he loved to laugh.
No services are scheduled at this time. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of John. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for John and his family.