Don Clifford Grazier
Don Clifford Grazier passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Don was born June 26, 1921, at home in Clear Lake near Geraldine. He was the youngest of four children born to Albert Vern Grazier and Phoebe (Switzer) Grazier. The family moved to Dixon when Don was five years old.
Don married Virginia Ayers on Dec. 6, 1941. Together they raised three children, daughter Lynn and two sons, Ken and Scott, on a ranch in Dixon. Don received his auctioneering certificate from Iowa in 1946 and worked auctions for many years. He learned to work hard and would get the job done right. He lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
During their 51 years together, Don and Virginia “Jinks” raised their family, Hereford cattle and Appaloosa horses. In 1976 they purchased a smaller ranch near Garrison with the intention of semi-retiring. That property included a large building that functioned as both a barn and a shop, which became a studio for the budding “artist.” At age 65 Don found his artistic calling for sculpting animals after building a model calf for a practical ranch need. He designed a sling to hold a real calf off the back of a pickup so that the mother would follow along when a calf needed to be brought in to be doctored up. From that model calf sprung a zoo full of hand-built larger-than-life steel animals that have wound up as far away as Switzerland. His metal sculptures include a longhorn steer, a ram’s head, great blue herons, a cape buffalo, giant humming birds, an extinct Irish elk, a woolly mammoth, Canadian geese and snowy owls.
His wife Virginia passed away in 1994 after 53 years of marriage. In December 2000, Don married Mary Belle Boyd, a longtime family friend, and they have enjoyed many happy years together. He enjoyed landscaping and planting many trees at their new home in the Round Butte area.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, A.V. and Phoebe Grazier; brother, Glen; and sisters, Vivian (Walter) Weedman and Vera Grazier. He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife, Mary Belle; daughter, Lynn (Howard) Moss; sons, Ken and Scott; Mary Belle’s children, Beverly (Jack) Horner and Shirley (Barry) Baker; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to Hospice for their wonderful care.
At Don’s request, there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Dixon Senior Center.
Memorials may be sent to Lake County Home Options, 712 Main St. S.W., Ronan; or a charity of donors choice.
Neil Duane Swant
Neil Duane Swant was born July 26, 1948, to Marvin and Velma (Cole) Swant in Deer Lodge, the third of three sons. He passed peacefully in his sleep June 13, 2016.
Neil attended Deer Lodge Schools and graduated from PCHS in 1966. After high school, he attended General Motors Mechanics School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was sponsored at this school by Dee Motor Co. of Anaconda. He later worked for Dee Motors and Downing Chevrolet in Deer Lodge. He moved to the Tri Cities area in Washington for a short while working as a mechanic in Richland, Wash. He returned home to Deer Lodge in the fall of 1971 because he wanted to go hunting. While in Deer Lodge at this time, he met Marlene Anderson on a blind date arranged by his brother and wife. Neil and Marlene were married February 17, 1972. They were blessed with two sons, Thad and Aaron. In 1980, Neil opened Swant’s Auto Repair in Deer Lodge. He ran the shop until 1994, when he went to work for School District #1 as maintenance and transportation supervisor, retiring in 2010. He enjoyed hunting, camping, snowmobiling, and 4-wheeling with friends and family. His most memorable hunting trip was this last year. After 30 years of applying for a moose tag, he drew one and shot a big bull while hunting with both of his sons.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marlene, son Thad and wife Lauren, and son Aaron; his granddaughter Hannah Sidner and husband Rodger, and his newest granddaughter, eight month old McKenna; his brother Dale and wife Arlene, of Davenport, Wash., his brother Gary and wife Laura, of Deer Lodge; his sister-in-law Merna and husband Terry Nelson (Wash.), sister-in-law Vicki and husband Wayne Koterba (N.D.), brother-in-law Darrell and wife Alice Anderson (Wash.); and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A memorial service was held at the 1st Baptist Church in Deer Lodge Friday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m. Memorial donations in Neil’s name can be made to Deer Lodge Christian Men Group at 268 Meadow Vista, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 or to donor’s choice.
William (Bud) Arthur Elberson
William (Bud) Arthur Elberson, Sept. 27, 1918 - June 5, 2016.
Bud Elberson, 97, passed away in Sandy, Ore. on June 5, 2016. He was born on September 27, 1918 in Deer Lodge, to William Elberson and Gladys Cowan Elberson. Bud grew up in a Montana pioneer family on the Hansen homestead cattle ranch. He attended Powell County High School where he was active in FFA and band. After graduation he attended diesel machinist school and was employed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in addition to working on the family ranch. He married his high school sweetheart, Lorna Gerk, in 1941 and in May they celebrated their 75th Wedding Anniversary.
Bud was a WWII veteran. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1942 to 1945 and was a Chief Petty Officer. After he was discharged, he and Lorna returned to the Montana ranch. In 1951, the family moved to Spokane, Wash., where he was employed by the Washington Water Power as a machinist for 29 years until he retired. Throughout their life together, Bud and Lorna enjoyed ballroom and square dancing. They spent their retirement years traveling in their motor home, boating and fishing with friends.
Bud Elberson embraced the Montana cowboy spirit.
*Be gentle with dogs, horses and little children.
*If it is broken, fix it better than brand new.
*If you really need it, build it yourself.
*Never say “whoa” in a tough place.
Bud is survived by his wife, Lorna Elberson of Sandy, Ore.; daughters, Lynette Larter (Leigh) of Spokane, Wash. and Leslie Elberson of Estacada, Ore.; son, Bill Elberson (Laurie) of Ketchikan, Alaska; 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grand children.
A graveside memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 18, 2016 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
Herbert Spencer Kimerly
Herbert Spencer Kimerly was born in Deer Lodge, on April 24, 1944 to George and Bessie (Setter) Kimerly. Herb attended various schools in Deer Lodge and Twin Bridges and went on to work at many of the local ranches around Deer Lodge. In the early 1970s, he moved to Butte where he met and married Linda Poulton. Together they had one child, a daughter they named Lisa. While in Butte, Herb worked as an underground miner. Herb and Linda later divorced and he and his daughter moved back to Deer Lodge where he worked various jobs to include cutting firewood, working on various ranches and the local sawmill. Herb continued to live in Deer Lodge, a town he loved, for the remainder of his life.
Herb was an avid fisherman, hunter and loved anything outdoors. He and his nephew, Russell Robertson were great friends. If you saw Herb out fishing or hunting, you knew Russell was close by. They were always together doing the things Herb loved the most. Herb would even tell people Russell was the son he never had.
Herb had one grandson, Zechariah, who he talked to regularly on the phone.
Herb was a great father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He had a heart of gold and would do anything to help out a person in need. He was loved by just about everyone who came into contact and had a conversation with him. His conversations generally varied from hunting to fishing and usually included a very tall tale!
Herb passed away on June 6, 2016. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings George, Henry, Darlene, Betty, Evelyn, Rose and Ida plus numerous nieces and nephews who have joined the angels.
He is survived by his daughter Lisa (Denny) Muscato, grandson Zechariah Muscato, nephews Russell (Missy) Robertson and Kenny (Tina) Kimerly who were there to care for him over the last few years. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Emma Kimerly and numerous nephews and nieces from the Kimerly and Sanford families.
A memorial service will be held in Deer Lodge later in July.
Memorials can be made to any special needs children’s organization or to an organization of the donor’s choice.
Harry Walter Mitchell
Harry Walter Mitchell, 88, of Green River, Wyo., passed away on Friday, October 2 at his home.
A resident of Green River for the past three and one half years and former resident of Dubois, Wyo., Mr. Mitchell had been in ill health for the past several years.
He was born on January 15, 1927 in Lavoye, Wyo., the son of the late Walter and Angela Mitchell. He married the love of his life Marilyn Gregory in Cortez, Colo. on December 5, 1969. She preceded him in death on August 29, 1986.
Mr. Mitchell was a United States Navy Veteran of World War II. In his younger years he was a saddle bronc rider and spent his days as an outfitter and guide. He was a true cowboy who enjoyed hunting, fishing and ranching. He also worked in the oil field as a driller for many years.
He had nine children and 19 grandkids that he adored. Survivors are six sons Rod Mitchell, DK Mitchell, John Scott Mitchell and Ed Mitchell, all of Montana, Kevin Reardon and Shane Mitchell both of Green River, Wyo.; three daughters Debra Mitchell of Montana, Karrie Ann Reardon of Pinedale, Wyo. and Sandy Mitchell of Gillette, Wyo.; two sisters Jeanne Mitchell of Montana and Mary Carter of Utah; his loving caretaker and daughter-in-law Dorothy Mitchell of Green River, Wyo.; 19 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; one son Shawn; one brother Ray; one sister Maxine, one grandson Tyler Lane Reardon and one granddaughter Smokie Mitchell.
Cremation will take place and services announced at a later date.
Jerry Shafford, 63, died June 10, 2016 at home South of Deer Lodge. Jerry was a son of Laura (Lorello) and Elwood Shafford.
He is survived by his mother Laura, three brothers (Jim, Joe and Jed Shafford) and one sister (Susie Mavrinac), two children (Shelley and Jerome), five grandchildren, and seven nephews.
Jerry worked as an auto mechanic throughout his life and also ran the Garrison Mercantile for a period of time. Jerry was known as a personable and pleasant man, with a quick wit and friendly disposition.
Jerry will be missed by all that had the pleasure to know him.
Jerry was preceeded in death by his father Elwood, brothers (Jack, John and Billy Shafford), and niece Jodi Shafford.
There will be a celebration of life at a later date. Memorials: Your local food bank. Jewell Funeral is assisting the family in arrangements.
Laura Smith died peacefully and went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on May 28, 2016 in Helena at the age of 58.
Laura was born on March 16, 1958 in Anaconda where she later attended school. She married and later divorced Daniel Marry. Years later, she married Bill (Bonsie) Smith and together they raised their family while living in Opportunity. After Bill’s death in 2009, she moved to Deer Lodge to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.
Laura had many different jobs during her lifetime. She worked 16 years at MSH, and later for Easter Seals, the Montana Standard, BSW, Western Big Sky Inn, Renaissance Senior Care, and Home Health. She enjoyed helping and caring for people. Throughout their marriage, Laura & Bill owned and operated S & S Salvage along with Bill’s brother Ron. After Bill’s death Laura continued on as partner until 2012.
Laura was a devoted Christian, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend. She home-schooled for many years and enjoyed being home with her boys when they were young. She loved being a grandma and her grandkids will cherish every memory they have with her.
She was generous in every way and always eager and willing to help anyone in any way that she could. She had a strong faith and her number one prayer was that everyone she knew and loved would be saved and know Christ as their personal savior. She lived to serve God and strived to please him. She enjoyed learning to play the keyboard, reading, going to dinner with friends, and being with family. She will be missed by many.
Laura is survived by her daughter, Alesha (Dave) Ross, sons Jesse (Emily) Smith, Jon Smith and Joel Smith, grandchildren Isaac, Jamie, Sam, Timarie and Jackson Ross, sister Dee Rivers and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by husband William Smith, her parents John and Marion Rivers, older twin brothers Terry & Larry Rivers, her twin sister Linda and two children she was looking forward to meeting in heaven.
A celebration of Laura’s life will be held June 10 at 11 a.m. at the 1st Baptist Church, 127 Sam Beck Rd. in Deer Lodge with pastor Tim Olsen officiating. A potluck luncheon to follow.
Oliver (Smokey) Thompson
Oliver (Smokey) Thompson passed away on June 6, 2016 at the Deer Lodge Care Center in Deer Lodge, from Alzheimers disease. He was 90 years old. Cremation has taken place.
Smokey was born to Edmund and Alma (Underwood) Thompson on December 9, 1925 in Dillon, the last of eight children. He and his family lived in Bannock (their house is still standing) where Edmund was a miner. Edmund passed away at an early age from consumption and his family moved to Dillon where Smokey finished grade school, attended Beaverhead County High School, and one quarter at Western Montana College. He played football and basketball for the Beavers and football for the Bulldogs.
Smokey met Betty Lou Glassey from Wisdom in high school in 1945 and they were married on May 8, 1948 in Wisdom. Two daughters, Diane Kay and Linda Lee, were born in Dillon while Smokey worked for the Dillon Creamery. He was hired by the Montana Power Company in 1950 and the family transferred to Butte where Smokey completed his apprenticeship as an electrical lineman in 1953.
He was transferred to Deer Lodge in October 1959 and he and Betty Lou have resided there since. Smokey was named town manager for the Montana Power Company in 1974 and retired after 38 years of service on April 1, 1988. He became a volunteer fireman 1960, was on the Board of Directors for Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan, and belonged to the Baehr Electric bowling team for many years. The bowling team was very close, and once a year they and their wives took a trip on a bus where they had a wonderful time and many fun memories were made. Smokey was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather who had a great sense of humor (even up to his final days); he a very honest, generous, and caring man.
Those who preceeded him in death are his parents, Edmund and Alma Thompson; his three brothers: Rayburn (Cat), Lewis (Murph) and Elvin; his four sisters: Velma, Meda, Estella, and Verna; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Survivors are his wife of 68 years Betty Lou; daughters Diane of Missoula, and Linda Lee (George) Hucke of Fallon, Nev.; grandson Wade (Cathy) Hucke of Dillon; granddaughter Wende Hook of Fallon; great-grandsons Derrick Hucke of Havre, and Donovan Hucke of Dillon; great-granddaughters Ali Pokrandt and Camryn Hook of Fallon; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge on Thursday, June 9 at 11 a.m. Luncheon will follow the service at the Presbyterian Christian Education Building at 507 5th Street. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Smokey’s name to the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Milwaukee Avenue, Deer Lodge, MT 59722 or the Deer Lodge Elks, PO Box #1737, Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
Lawrence D. Wells
Lawrence D. Wells was born to Ross and Bessie (Cornell) Wells in Big Timber, on July 16, 1953. He grew up in Deer Lodge and attended public school. In 1971 he was married to Kathy Stevens, and had three children, Jeffery, Dave, and Darian.
Larry was a proficient lumber grader along with a few other opportunities at various saw mills. When the sawmill opportunities dwindled, Larry went to trucking. He later married Carol Dietrich and they resided in Oregon. Larry moved back to Deer Lodge, where he met Alese Moore.
Larry was known as a musician, and said that his love for music was a lifetime hobby. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. Larry was a kind man who would help anyone he could. After being diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer, he passed at his home in Deer Lodge on May 26, 2016. Larry was preceded in death by parents Ross and Bessie, and his infant son Jeffery. He is survived through his significant other Alese Moore, sons Dave and Darian (Lori) Wells, sisters Karen (Steve) Stevenson, Sandra (Brad) Ford, and Linda (Pat) Clark, his brother Jim Wells, grandchildren Ashlee, Kaitlynn, and Lane Wells. A memorial service by Tim Olsen will be at the Elks Club at 2 p.m. on June 12, 2016.
William Alan Orvalla
This year has claimed many legends, and on the evening of May 18, 2016, the world was meant to suffer another significant loss with the passing of William Alan Orvalla.
Bill was a hard-working, loyal brand of man that American heroes are built off of. Along with serving in the US Navy on the U.S.S. Maddox during the Gulf of Tonkin, he was a skilled artist, handy-man, and an unconditionally loving family man. If you knew Bill you liked him, because he was incapable of having an enemy. “Love your fellow man,” he would teach his two daughters and his adoring nieces and nephews, “even if they are a royal jerk!”
We will miss Bill’s comical disposition and warm, tender heart. The whole world as Bill knew it mourns what the Lord took with him when He took Bill’s quips of wisdom from us. Tell him a joke that you remember him telling you when you think of him. He would like that.
He is survived by his loving wife, Wanda Orvalla (nee Hamilton), his daughters Billie Orvalla and Samantha Duenas, his grandsons Jose Duenas and Julio Duenas, his devoted brothers and sisters, Chuck (Betty Lou) Orvalla, Ginny McGlynn, Linda Tomicich, Emily Orvalla, George (Ike) Orvalla, Mary (Bob) Gaines, Marge (Alan) Barnett, and his many other relatives and friends that miss him so dearly.
Gary Alan DuVall
Gary Alan DuVall, a 1958 graduate of Powell County High School, passed away last year in Seattle.
He was the son of the late Marie and E.F. DuVall, for whom the DuVall Junior High School was named.
He was Valedictorian of his high school class, and was an outstanding musician.
DuVall graduated from the University of Montana in 1962 with honors and was named the outstanding student in Chemistry.
He lived in Seattle and finished his career working for the EPA inspecting facilities throughout the Northwest. He is survived by his wife, Judy and sons Jason and Jesse.