Death Notice - Beverly Smith
Beverly Smith age 71, born May 2, 1950 passed away May 14, 2021. Full obituary to follow.
Lucille Lorang Helsper
November 14, 1929 – February 19, 2021
Lucille Helsper, 91, was born in Great Falls to Charles and Catherine (Thommes) Lorang on Nov. 14, 1929. She died peacefully Feb. 19 in Butte.
She is survived by sisters Anna Lingel and Mary Seidl, and her six children, John H. Helsper (Denize Springer) of Mill Valley, Calif., William F. Helsper of Deer Lodge, Lynne M. Gallion (Ron) of Centennial, Colo., Michael D. Helsper (Annette) of Tustin, Calif., Cheryl A. Gebhardt (Matt) of Kalispell, and Curtis L. Helsper (Sue) of Coeur d Alene, Idaho.
Also surviving her are grandchildren, Brian Helsper of Tustin, Calif., Kevin Helsper (Allison) of Anaheim Hills, Calif., Ronnie Gallion (Gara Frisch) of Aurora, Colo., Tom Gebhardt (Heather) of Wasilla, Ark., Ryan Gebhardt of Kalispell, Brenna Russell (Paul) of Nelson Bay, Australia, Scott Helsper of San Bernardino, Calif., Drew Helsper of Coeur d Alene, Idaho, and Dennis Wind of Butte.
Her great grandchildren are Blake, Luke and Zackary Helsper of Anaheim Hills, Calif., Lily and Titus Gebhardt of Richland’s, N.C., Seb and Charlie Russell of Nelson Bay, Australia, and Sterling and Brody Gallion of Aurora, Colo.
Lucille was predeceased by her husband, John V. Helsper; sisters Katie Hugg, Sylvia Mammen and Helen Rada; and daughter-in-law Lisa Helsper.
After graduating from Great Falls High School, Lucille worked as a stenographer until she married. The couple raised their children in Great Falls, Sun River and Anaconda, where, later in life, she worked at Christie’s Flower Shop for 20 + years. She also lived briefly in Kellogg, Idaho and Yuma, Ariz., returning to Anaconda before moving to Butte.
An energetic follower of her children’s and grandchildren’s sports pursuits, “Gramma Lucy” often traveled hundreds of miles to cheer them on at games and meets. They all looked up to her as a bold, strong, driven, funny and sometimes a larger-than-life figure and hero.
When she wasn’t traveling, Lucille was busy going to and volunteering to manage rummage sales and other community events as well as advancing her skills in a number of crafts, including ceramics, crochet and fashioning beautifully accurate silk renderings of many species of flowers, often contributing them to the weddings and other celebrations of friends and families.
Lucy will be remembered for her generous spirit, as a friend to all her children’s friends and as someone who could empathize with and strike up a conversation with anyone.
She loved Elvis Presley, NASCAR and spending time at her family’s cabin on Flathead Lake, where picking and eating cherries were one her favorite things about summer.
She marveled at nature and tried to share it with her children and grandchildren, particularly the wonder of butterflies, hummingbirds, roadrunners and the chickens that lived in the trees outside her Yuma home.
Late in life she relished the role as her own family’s matriarch at the gatherings at her son Bill’s ranch where she kept time on expertly played spoons with all the musicians in the family. She also held her own at horseshoes and even took up the challenge of her son’s home-built mechanical bull. “Oh, what a thrill!,” she proclaimed as she walked away victorious.
Lucille was an avid member of the Daughters of Isabella and the congregation at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Anaconda. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 28, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark St., Deer Lodge, MT 59722. Rite of Committal will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Condolences and memories can be shared online at https://buttefuneralhome.com/obituaries/lucille-helsper-age-91-of-deer-lodge/#respond
Gifts in Lucille’s honor can be made to: Daughters of Isabella, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or to a favorite charity.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Lucy.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Lucy and her family.
Lucille “Lucy” Helsper
Lucille “Lucy” Helsper, 91, of Butte, formerly of Deer Lodge and Anaconda, died Feb. 19. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 28, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark St., Deer Lodge.
Rite of Committal will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Lucy.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Lucy and her family.
William Arthur Rush
June 9, 1930 – April 30, 1921
In memory of my brother Bill Rush:
William Arthur Rush, 90, of Deer Lodge, died Friday, April 30, in Helena, Montana.
My nephew, Don Rush, asked me to write about my brother Bill for this paper. I do this with pride. He was a brother to be proud of.
Bill was the first born in our family, weighing only 1 ½ pounds. Mother shared how hard it was to care for this tiny baby. She and Dad cared for him with tender loving care. Bill grew up to be 6 foot and 225 pounds.
At age 11, Bill got sick with spinal meningitis. This terrible disease took a toll on him. When it was over, he could not walk. Also, he forgot how to read. My parents bought a bicycle - Dad set him on it. They would go up and down the road until he got his legs working again. Bill was always handicapped with his reading skill, but his common sense was great. He knew how to treat people – fair with lots of kindness.
He left home at 17 and got the job as head crane man for the Anaconda Company After six or seven years, he had to quit – the gases in the air was poisonous. He went to work as a sheepherder in the clean outdoors and got his health back.
At age 35, his folks had a house fire. Bill went in to recover their important papers. He collapsed in the fire. His dad tore out a hole in the side of the wall and got Bill out. He was burned over 75% of his body, although his face was not burned.
He built his first house in Deer Lodge, and married Doris Sheelow. They had four children: sons, Bill and Don; and daughters, Dollie and a little girl, Bernadette, who one terrible night lost her life in a fire. Also their home.
Bill worked night shift at the Cominco Mine, just outside of Deer Lodge. He worked there 30 years, never missing a shift. In winter he bought warm coats for the miners – he was always thinking of others.
My brother came through so many hard times and always rose up a better man.
He started a used car lot in Deer Lodge – fixed them up and sold them. People paid him little payments. He just knew some folks had it harder than others. Lots of young people got their first car from my brother Bill.
At times he paid taxes for people. Also, food and rent for others down on their luck.
I was his little sister. He made me feel special all through my life. I’m 80 years, now.
In later years, Bill married Winnifred Dulaney. They had a good life together. He loved her very much.
Bill died April 30 of a heart condition. He died peacefully. I know our lord was with him and took him to heaven. Bill believed in Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible.
Bill had a saying when things got rough. He’d say, “What the hell.” He never lingered on the problems; just went on living, helping others.
Bill is survived by his wife, Winnifred; sons, Don and Bill; daughter, Dollie Rush Heitz; brother, George; sisters, Lily Kostoff and Tressie Fike; lots of grandchildren.
Bill Rush will be missed very much. He was a very good man. – written by his sister, Tressie Rush Fike.
Funeral Notice - Janice “Jan” Kay Ridley
Janice “Jan” Kay Ridley, 73, of Deer Lodge, Montana, died Nov. 19, 2020. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 1p.m. Sunday, May 16, at The Pen in Deer Lodge. A coffee and cookie reception will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. following the service.
Jan will be laid to rest during a private service at Hillcrest Cemetery. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of her.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Jan and her family.
August 13, 1952 – April 29, 2021
As the sun rose on April 29, Joe Moore died peacefully. Joe was born August 13, 1952 to Jack and Penny Moore in Helena. He attended Catholic schools and graduated from Helena High School in 1970.
Joe initially worked installing floors for Finstad Flooring and other companies. In 1977 he began his 44-year profession as a real estate appraiser with Moore Appraisal Firm.
Joe trained under his father and later mentored his brother, sister and nephew as they learned the appraisal business. He was instrumental in passing the first laws regarding appraisal licensing in Montana and was well respected by peers and clients alike. After spending his first years as a residential appraiser, Joe spent the last 20 plus years doing commercial work, including many different types of property in Helena and around the state.
Joe’s pride and joy were his daughter and three granddaughters. He often drove to Great Falls to have dinner with them or attend a school event. He bragged about their accomplishments and enjoyed watching them grow, get good grades, pass tests and appreciate music. He helped build a house for Megan and the girls, volunteering many weekends with NeighborWorks Great Falls, often enlisting other family members and friends to assist.
Joe was an enthusiastic, avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish in Montana and Alaska. He was an accomplished taxidermist. While he taught himself taxidermy as a hobby, his mounts rivaled or exceeded those of many professionals.
Joe made sure his granddaughters, nieces, nephews, and other children caught fish and delighted in their joy as they hooked and landed a fish. For many years Joe meticulously tied his own flies. Joe taught hunter education to a generation of youth from the Elliston-Avon community. He enjoyed hearing stories about hunts from his students and seeing their pictures. Joe processed his own game together with his cousin Gary and Uncle Bud and was known for making excellent sausage.
As the oldest of eight children, Joe was the big brother who would help on any project from building a house, plumbing, roofing or flooring repairs, buying real estate, floating a river or sharing a hunt. He forged special relationships with each sibling and was treasured by all. Joe had a heart of gold. He valued his many friendships and routines of lunches, dinners, donuts and ice cream with friends. He also went out of his way to help anyone who needed it.
Joe loved vehicles and spent endless hours working on them. He started with a classic Pontiac convertible and progressed through a series of trucks that sometimes seemed to be just a collection of parts moving in formation. Later he enjoyed driving his red Corvette with the Treasure State Corvettes and showing his 1959 Corvette at classic car rallies.
To say that Joe loved rock and roll music is an understatement. He could recite the lyrics to hundreds of songs from all eras. He attended live concerts whenever he could and liked to challenge others with music trivia.
Joe was a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, seldom missing a game on television and occasionally attending in person.
He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed joking and teasing with his family, friends and waitresses. Coffee was a staple for Joe, especially when paired with ice cream and friends. Many servers in town recognized Joe and had his coffee on the table within a minute of his arrival. Joe was proud of all his friendships and especially a long-term relationship with Bill W.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Jack B. and Ruth Mary (Penny) Moore.
He is survived by his daughter Megan Moore (Bill Gardner) and granddaughters Mariah Redfern, Reina Crawford and Emma Jo Gardner of Great Falls; his siblings Lou Moore (Hal Aasen), Tim Moore (Liz), Dan Moore (Lori), all of Helena; Sue Moore (Pete Stabio) of Polson; Nancy Rossmiller (Dana) of Lewistown; Maureen Moore of Spokane; and Mary Kay Linke (Craig) of Helena as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
At Joe’s request there will be no funeral service. Friends and family are invited to stop by the Fairgrounds Picnic Shelter from to 2 to 4ish on Sunday, May 16, to share memories and celebrate Joe’s life.
Memorials may be made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Powell County Search and Rescue or a charity of your choice. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Joe.
Dawn Marie Meagher
June 30, 1972 - April 21, 2021
Dawn Marie Meagher, 48, was born June 30, 1972, at St. Pats in Missoula. She died April 21.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Dawn. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Dawn and her family.
William Arthur Rush
William Arthur Rush, 90, of Deer Lodge, died Friday, April 30, in Helena, Montana.
Come join the family and friends at a graveside service scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 5, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
A reception will be held at the Elk’s Lodge in Deer Lodge immediately following the graveside service. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of William.
Donna Finn Rainville
June 12, 1931 - April 14, 2021
Donna Finn Rainville died of natural causes April 14 at Olympics West Retirement Inn in Tumwater, Wash. She leaves behind a legacy of loving kindness for all who were fortunate to know her.
Donna was a person of immense integrity in her personal and professional life. She also exhibited great perseverance in overcoming any adversity encountered in her life’s path.
Our Mom was born the youngest child of John and Mary (Lowney) Finn in Deer Lodge on June 12, 1931. She was educated at St. Mary’s Academy and graduated from Powell County High School in 1949.
Donna was known for her meticulous attention to detail whether it was in managing our home or at her work. She applied her vast administrative professional skills in various occupations throughout her life.
She particularly enjoyed what she consistently referred to as “the best job ever” while working as Deputy Clerk of Court for Mary Ann McKee of Helmville (past Clerk of Court for Powell County). For a brief period of time thereafter, Donna was a Court Clerk for Clark County, Las Vegas, Nev.
After relocating to Texas in 1985, she was fortunate to secure an executive-level administrative support position through the City of Plano, Texas, at Schimelfenig Library, retiring in 1998.
At the time of her death, Donna lived in Tumwater, Wash., but she always referred to Montana as “home,” and she maintained contact with several of her dear friends and former classmates in the Deer Lodge Valley.
In her retirement, Donna enjoyed taking several “Senior” trips and she never passed up an opportunity to fly around the country to visit her children and her revered grandchildren.
She particularly enjoyed playing cards (she was especially fond of Bridge, Cribbage and Gin-rummy), triumphing board games played with her family and diving into a good mystery book.
She was a charter member of Prime Timers (a senior ministry at her church, St. Michael’s parish, in Olympia, Wash.) and she enjoyed her Dine-In Dinner Club group; she especially enjoyed co-hosting their St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.
She was also their “Sunshine Lady,” responsible for sending many get-well and sympathy cards, and she called upon the membership when it was St. Michael’s turn to provide lunch for the Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
Donna was also a devoted member of the Capital City Newcomers Club and served two years on their Board of Directors. She was deeply proud to be a member of the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers in consideration of her paternal grandfather, Luke Finn (a native of County Sligo, Ireland, who homesteaded and settled in Montana in 1864). The little community (now a ghost town) of Finn, in Powell County, bears his name.
Donna’s greatest joy in life were her children and grandchildren who survive: daughter, Paula Meyer, and her husband, Steve; son, Don Rainville, and his wife, Betsy; and son, John Rainville, and his wife, Deborrah; and her grandchildren: Maggie and Pat Meyer, Katie and EJ Rainville and Jackson Rainville. Also surviving are Donna’s sister-in-law, Barbara Finn, as well as several cherished nieces and nephews and many dear friends in Montana, Texas and Washington.
Donna’s Funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Olympia, Wash., at noon, on Wednesday, May 26.
A graveside blessing of Donna’s cremains will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 28, at Hillcrest Cemetery, Deer Lodge.
Mervin Alfred Horswill
November 27, 1961 - April 22, 2021
Mervin Alfred Horswill, 59, left this thing called life and went to his heavenly home April 22, 2021.
He was born Monday, Nov. 27, 1961, in Riverside, Calif., to Merlyn “Buck” and Lourlie M. (Johnson) Horswill.
Mervin started working at the Don Beck Ranch while he was in high school. After high school he moved to Oklahoma 1980 – 1982 and worked in the oil fields. In 1982 he moved back to Deer Lodge and started his logging career working for Wozny Logging and Sun Mountain Logging before starting his own logging company. He worked at Louisiana Pacific Saw Mill from 2002 - 2003 before starting his mining career at Stillwater Mine in 2003.
Mervin married Darcy (Sargent) on Aug. 28, 1992, at the Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge. Together they had three children: Royce Allen, December 1996; Rowan Victor, September 1998; and Raif Anthony, January 2000. Mervin and Darcy later divorced.
He met Raylynn (Kostoff) in Deer Lodge, and they relocated to Big Timber, where they were married March 2004. Together they had one child, Cash Mason, October 2004. Mervin and Raylynn later divorced.
Mervin moved to several towns before moving to Billings, calling it home. Mervin married Margo (Ball) in December 2012. Three step children, Kayla, Kassidy and Kaden, merged into the family. Mervin and Margo later divorced and remained close friends.
Mervin loved spending time with his boys, family and friends. He enjoyed riding his Harley motorcycles; taking his boat and camper out fishing tubing, skiing and camping; watching and cheering the boys on in their sports; watching a good movie at the drive in; shooting his guns at targets and gopher hunting; bartering and wheeling and dealing on cars, motorcycles and guns; sharing jokes, stories, laughs and memories.
Mervin loved his family and friends with all his heart. He loved spending time with all, making memories that he cherished. We hope all of you cherish those memories and will hold onto them in your hearts in the future and beyond.
Mervin was preceded in death by his dad, Merlyn “Buck” Horswill; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He is survived by sons Royce, Rowan and Raif Horswill, Williston, N.D., and Cash Horswill, Jacksonville, Fla.; mother Lourlie Horswill, Deer Lodge; sister Lisa (Marty) Hunter, Deer Lodge; brother Mark (Kelly) Horswill, Big Timber; sister Lynn (Willie) Johnson, Deer Lodge; Aunt Blanche Gill, Apache Junction, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of Life funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 15, at the First Baptist Church in Deer Lodge. Graveside services will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery. A luncheon will be served at the Corner Bar. There will be a Celebration of Life gathering at Tiny’s Tavern in Billings at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 22.
Donald Albert Hendricks
May 10, 1929 - April 14, 2021
Donald Albert Hendricks, 91, died peacefully on April 14, 2021. He was born in Omaha, Nebr., on May 10, 1929, to Albert and Elizabeth (Schulte) Hendricks.
In 1939, the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where Don attended school, graduating from Dowling Catholic High School for boys in 1947.
The years immediately after graduation were a great adventure for Don. He hitchhiked west to work as a ranch hand in Montana; jumped freight cars to Seattle where he worked as a longshoreman; and drove up the Alaska/Canadian Highway to look for railroad work in Alaska.
Don received his draft notice for the Korean War in 1951. After completing basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif., and Intelligence School in Maryland, Don was stationed in Nuremberg, Germany, in the Counterintelligence Corps.
In 1954, Don returned to Montana where he enrolled at the Montana School of Mines in Butte. Within four years, Don had met and married his beloved wife Natalie “Tootsie” Tomich, started a family and still graduated with honors – earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering.
Don’s professional mining career began with 12+ years at Montana Phosphate Co./Comico as Chief Engineer followed by 13+ years at the Anaconda Company, where he was Chief Operations Engineer. After the closure of the Berkeley Pit in 1982, Don worked well into his 80’s as a Professional Land Surveyor. He also returned to his alma mater, Montana Tech, as a professor, where he taught Land Surveying for several years.
Don and Tootsie lived and raised their four children in Deer Lodge. Don was an avid golfer and a founding member of the Deer Lodge Golf Course. He also enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing trips with his three boys and was a proud member of the Masonic Lodge of Deer Lodge.
Don was well traveled, well-read, with a keen intellect and a great memory that made him an excellent conversationalist and storyteller. With a glass of wine in one hand and vanilla smoke rising from his pipe, Don could tell stories for hours. He was a remnant of a bygone era and a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
Don was preceded in death by his “sweetheart” of 60 years, Natalie (Tomich) Hendricks and his parents, Albert and Elizabeth Hendricks.
He is survived by three sons, Tom (Cindy) Hendricks of Marysville, Wash., Ken (Lori) Hendricks of Casper, Wyo., Jim (Lisa) Hendricks of Allen, Texas; daughter, Jill (Keith) Dixon of Oklahoma City, Okla.; sister, Karen (Dan) of Florence, Ore.; sister-in-law, Joann (Ken) of Cut Bank; eight much-loved granddaughters; two great-grandchildren; and beloved nephews and nieces.
Services will be announced and held at a later date.
Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer a condolence or share a memory of Donald.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Donald and his family.