John Willard Ford
John Willard Ford was born Oct. 28, 1930 in a rural setting near the St. Francis River in Arkansas to Price and Molly L. (Huckabee) Ford. At the age of five he moved with his family to California and grew up in the town of Gilroy. He married Claire Griffith in March of 1952 after serving a short term in the USAF during the Korean War. The couple had three children, all sons, Michael, Jeffrey, and Ted. John (also known by his nickname, Dean) worked for Westinghouse Corp. in San Jose, Calif. before moving to the town of Hollister which is about 50 mi. south of there in 1959 where his sons were raised. He operated a shoe repair shop there and also worked as a long-haul, and cement truck driver. He moved with his wife and family to the Deer Lodge Valley in 1973 and operated Dean’s Leather shop on Main St., for a number of years. He also managed his own rental properties for several years afterwards. Dean, as he was known locally, enjoyed fishing and hunting and in his later years spent his winters with his wife Claire in Mexico. He was preceded in death by his wife, Claire and virtually all of his brothers and sisters. He is survived by his son Michael, in Montana, Jeffrey in Oregon, Ted in Alaska, and two granddaughters, Christina and Jennifer who both live in Washington. He died on Wednesday, October 19 in Helena but will be interred with a graveside service at the local Deer Lodge cemetery.
Ralph Dean Davis
On Oct. 3, 2016 Ralph Dean Davis passed away at his daughter’s home surrounded by family. Ralph was born in Bozeman and grew up in Deer Lodge where his father was a conductor on the railroad and his mother was a school teacher. After high school he went onto serve in the military as an Aircraft Engine Mechanic Crew Chief where he earned a medal for code of conduct. After serving he moved back to Deer Lodge where he met the love of his life Ruth Dawn Theriault. They married shortly after and had eight children. Ralph worked at the Kerr Dam in Polson when he was given an opportunity to transfer to Ennis to work for The Montana Power Company down the Bear Trap Canyon at the power plant. After several years Ralph retired and enjoyed it with his wife. Many people have told us our father was a “One of A Kind” man. He could make anyone laugh with his humor and quick wit. He had stories of his past that he enjoyed telling people and people enjoyed hearing it even more. The stories and quick wit will be greatly missed. He is preceded in death by his wife Ruth, son Kenneth, his father Ralph and mother Lucille and brother Vince Davis. He is survived by his children Guy, Joel, Monte, Colette Davis and Brenda (Cameron) Funke of Ennis, Barbara (Kevin) Davis of Peyton, Colo. and Keith of Wyoming. As well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There will be no services until spring where we will lay Ralph and Ruth to rest in Deer Lodge.
In lieu of flowers please give donations to the Wounded Warriors or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Susan Marie Roberts
Susan Marie Roberts, 67, of Deer Lodge, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 after a brief illness at St. Pats Hospital with her family by her side. Susan was born January 7, 1949 in Devil’s Lake, N.D. to Elden and Helen Roberts. She was the eldest of seven children.
Susan spent 47 years of her life working for the Title and Registration Bureau in Deer Lodge. During this time, she also spent 13 years helping her good friend run a Karaoke business, traveling around and enjoying the people she met along the way.
Susan enjoyed reading, doing cross-stitch, taking drives and spending time with family. She looked forward to her Sunday visits at her brother Donald’s house.
Susan was an excellent sister, aunt and friend. She had a special place in her heart for all of her nieces and nephews. The thing Tisha Harding loved the most about Susan was the way she smelled.
After retiring two years ago, she spent most of her time with her nephew Cody Mitchell, running errands and keeping him company. Cody loved her and looked forward to seeing her everyday. She also spent time helping her mother Helen when she needed her.
Susan was a selfless person and truly loved giving to others. She was loved by many and would do anything for anyone. She had a heart of gold. Her warm hugs and beautiful smile will be missed by many. Heaven has a new angel.
Preceded in death by her father, Eldon Roberts, her brother Ray Roberts and her nephew Jacob Roberts.
Survived by her mother, Helen Roberts, her brothers Daniel (Tori) Roberts of Saratoga, Wyo., David Roberts of Missoula, Donald (Lila) Roberts and Duane (Nicky) Roberts, sisters Kathy Mitchell, Debbie (Jerry) Persons and Kathy Cornell (KC), along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral Mass and Vigil services were held at the Catholic Church at 11 am on Saturday, October, 22, 2016 with a luncheon to follow. Her vigil was Friday, October 21, 2016 at 6 p.m.
Dale Alfred Lowery
Dale Alfred Lowery, age 61 went to be with Jesus on Oct. 18, 2016. He passed away at his home in Missoula. Dale was the oldest of eight children, born Nov. 18, 1954 to Alfred and Mary Lowery of Deer Lodge. Dale graduated from Powell County High School in 1973. He was a true outdoorsman and at a young age began enjoying the adventures of trapping, hunting, hiking, living life to its fullest. Dale followed in his father’s footsteps and became a bricklayer, working beside his dad and brother, Dave. When Dale was just 23, he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident. From that day forward Dale’s path of life was changed. He remained a bright light to his family and continued to bring joy with his sense of humor and loving personality.
Dale is survived by his seven siblings: Diane (Lowery) Benz & Larry Benz, Dave & Patty Lowery, Dan & Deb Lowery, Dean & Naomi Lowery, Don Lowery, Donna (Lowery) Klette & Dan Klettte, Doug & Judy Lowery, 30 nephews and nieces and 13 great-nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred & Mary Lowery, nephew John Lowery and grandparents Gerald & Elsie Lowery and Catherine Anderson.
A memorial service and celebration of life ceremony is planned for November 25. In honor of Dale, contributions can be made to Deer Lodge Rialto Theater.
Dennis Robert Herrick
Our beloved brother, son, and uncle is now with the Lord. Dennis Robert Herrick was born in Westwood, Calif. on December 29, 1951. He was preceded in death by his father Charles Andrew Herrick (Jim), his grandparents Joe Herrick Sr. and Mary Herrick, and Joe and Ethel Striplin. And nephew Benito Herrick.
He is survived by his mother Patricia Herrick, brothers Mike Herrick and James Herrick. His sisters Carole Defoe, Julie Hoyt, Andrea Albery, and many nieces and nephews. Including Tiana Albery, Drue Loreque, Sage Defoe, Sean Herrick, Melissa Herrick, Rachel Kassabian, Michelle Armstrong, Emily Ascher and Sarah English, and many cousins.
He worked in Sonoma, California as a dietician at Sonoma State Hospital. He worked at Juanita’s and Mary’s restaurants. He loved to cook and was good at it. He worked for many years with the family business M. Herrick Enterprises. He was an entrepreneur. His many ventures included building motorized bicycles called Gassickle Scudderia. He renewed patents on classic boats and sold the plans calling the business Gunfighter Boats. He had another business he called Sea Of Green Thoroughbred Genetics doing hydroponic gardening. He made 1957 Ferrarri Testerosa kit cars. He sold the business to Excaliber. At the time of his death he was working on solar energy projects and wanted to build a small mall with a food court. He was also a member of the Guardian Angels.
He was a generous person and always willing to share what he had.
He graduated from Agua Caliente High School in Sonoma in 1971.
He lived in Montana for 22 years. For the last 15 years he took care of his mother after the death of his father. He loved nature and being outdoors and watching wildlife. He use to say “nature is my church.” He had many pets including a herd of Saanen goats that he took care of.
He died at his home in Gold Creek of natural causes on October 17, 2016.
Services will be held at Immaculate Conception church in Deer Lodge on Saturday, October 29 at 11 a.m. Luncheon to follow at Saint Mary’s Center
John Edward Mollenberg
John Edward Mollenberg passed away October 13, 2016 in Deer Lodge. He was born January 18, 1932 in Montesano, Wash. to Edward and Isabelle (Schultz) Mollenberg. His parents had moved to Washington for a couple years, for his mother’s health. They moved back to Montana and started the Spring Creek Dairy at Garrison. John worked the dairy with his family at a very early age and continued into his adult life. He enjoyed his many relatives who came to visit - many of whom he played good natured tricks on - something he learned from his mother’s prankster brothers.
He married Joan Jacobson of Racetrack on June 2, 1954. He was drafted into the Army shortly after they were married, but was called home and honorably discharged when his father was injured.
John and Joan had two children, Rick and Debbie. After Rocky Mountain Phosphate Company moved to Garrison and destroyed the dairy operation, John worked for Bill Fenby at the Garrison Sawmill. In 1967 he started John’s Tune Up in Deer Lodge. His green and white truck was known far and wide by trucker and rancher alike. He spent many years working on semi’s, haying equipment, irrigation systems, trucks, and cars. He was quick to help those in need, and often would tell people who asked, “How much?” to buy him a cup of coffee next time they were around. He spent many holidays helping stranded motorists get to their destination to celebrate with friends and family. Jim Woodward (NAPA) and Gene Hughs (DL Auto) gave John keys to their stores so he could get parts after hours to keep people moving along.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Joan; sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Roy Beduz of Kimberley, B.C.; cousin, Jeff Mollenberg of Lewiston, Idaho; brother-in-law, Bud Jacobson; sister-in-laws, Eva Touchette Carman and Barbara Jacobson.
He is survived by his son, Rick Mollenberg; daughter, Debbie Ehret (Jeff Tamcke); granddaughter, Jonadel Ehret; grandson, Jordan Mollenberg; brother-in-law, Ted Jacobson; sister-in-law, Edna Jacobson all of Deer Lodge; brother-in-heart, Ray (Mary Kay) Browning of Hamilton; his sister’s children, Judi (Terry) Cozzetto of Ymir, B.C. and Brian (Lorraine) Beduz of Kimberley, B.C.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Celebration of life was Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 11 a.m., Baptist Church in Deer Lodge. Luncheon followed at the Elks Lodge.
Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital or donor’s choice.
Susan Naomi Brown
Susan Naomi Brown, 91, passed away October 16, 2016 in Deer Lodge.
Funeral services will be Friday, October 21, at 10 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Chester. Burial to follow in Chester Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rockman Funeral Home.
Susan was born October 14, 1925 in Hankinson, N.D. to Olen and Ione (Hanson) Gifford. Susan married Max Brown on November 23, 1943 in Great Falls. They made their home on the family farm and began raising their family. The Browns moved into Chester in 1950 when the kids started attending school and built a new home in 1957. After the children were grown, they began traveling to Mesa, Ariz. They were snowbirds at Windsor Park for 42 years. The Windsor Park residents were Max and Susan’s family away from home, and were very busy with activities each winter. The summers were spent in Chester with Susan loving being a Montana farmer’s wife.
Susan loved cooking, baking, sewing, reading, and crafting. For several years she had a kiln in her basement and friends would come over to do ceramics. Susan baked for everything and just about everyone. Her cinnamon rolls were famous, but probably more famous was her wedding cakes. She decorated wedding cakes and assisted in receptions for approximately 35 years in Chester and the Hi-Line. Her kids got to eat the rejects (the baked goods that got a little too brown), and one special neighbor kid loved eating her frosting by the bowl. She made the wedding cakes for all five of her kids.
Max and Sue had a cotton candy machine, which they donated all the sugar and machine time for school kids fundraising projects. Susan made cheerleading outfits, costumes, formals for Rainbow Girls, and a lot of her girls’ clothes. Children and school activities were important to Susan. With their home in Chester across the street from the schools, many country kids stayed in her basement when snowstorms hit or kids needed to be in town for late school related practices. She was happiest when her kitchen table was full of hungry kids, and family.
Susan was active in many organizations and charities; if she wasn’t organizing something, she was baking and cooking for it. She was a member of the United Methodist Church, a 60-year member of Eastern Star, chairman of the Liberty County Democratic Women for several years, a member of Royal Neighbors of America, a member of Chester Lionettes, and probably more that we kids can’t remember. While Max was the organizer of many community activities, Susan was the baker!
Close to Susan’s heart was the Sunshine Acres Children Home, a home which was the children’s forever home. When they come to Sunshine Acres, it is their home until they are done with school, be that high school or college. It is non-profit and only survives with private donations. Susan held many ice cream socials to raise money for Sunshine Acres, as well as her own generosity.
In the late 70s, Susan was unlucky to receive an imperfect flu shot, causing her to get Gillian-Barre Syndrome. Despite the medications needed, the many joint surgeries she suffered, the pain she lived with, one would never know due to her gusto for life. Where she wasn’t expected to live to be 60, Susan showed who was boss and what determination looks like, as she celebrated her 91st birthday just two days before passing. Max always said, “She never did listen to anybody.”
After Max died in October 2011, Susan moved to Deer Lodge to live with Diana and Bert; until moving into Genesis Nursing Care and Rehab Center just after her 90th birthday.
Survivors include children, Diana (Bert) Solle of Deer Lodge, Fred Max “Bud” (Charlene) Brown Jr. of Kalispell, Barbara (David) Hess of Stone Mountain, Ga., Richard (Drea) Brown of Helena, and Stuart (Julene) Brown of Skagway, Alaska; brother, George (Sharon) Gifford of Sugarland, Tex.; brother-in-law, Stephen Brown of Chester; grandchildren, Tanya (Christopher) Solle Campbell, Rick (Kelly) Brown, Dawn Brown, Lora Brown, and Michael Brown, Darrien (Mindy) Hess and Dayna (Jonathan) Mooneyhan, Joshua (Erin) Brown, Rebekah (Erik) Southard, Jennifer (Christopher) Atkinson, Erik (Kim) Sundsted, and Sy Sundsted, Carlee (G.J. Mendlik) Brown, Kristen (Derek) Brown Frank, and Polly Brown; great-grandchildren, Dakota (Jacob Miller) Campbell and Ryley Campbell, Alfons Brown, Brodrick Brown, Genevieve Brown, Lauren Weinhandl, Roland Weinhandl, Victoria Weinhandl, and Cassie (Andrew) Faber, Maverick Brown, Madeleine Hess, Caitlyn Hess, Amelia Hess, and Brayden Hess, Elysia Mooneyhan, Kiera Brown, Kamber Brown, Evan Brown, Brooklynn Brown, Savayah Brown, and Everett Brown, Breanna Southard and Liam Southard, Nathan Atkinson and Kaden Atkinson, Freyja Sundsted, Addison Frank, Elliana Frank, and Breckin Frank, and Leora Brown; great-great-grandchildren, Noemi Campbell Miller, Calvin and Ellis Weinhandl, Taryn, Dominick, Audrey, Mia, and Claire Faber; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Olen D. and Ione (Hanson) Gifford; husband, F. Max Brown; infant son, Curtis Brown; granddaughter, Janelle Solle; brothers, Wallace, Roland, Russell, O.D., and Glenn; sisters, Myra Ross and Carrie Harmonl; sister-in-law, Carol Brown Jeppesen.
Memorials can be made to Chester United Methodist Church, 510 Monroe, Chester, MT 59522 or Sunshine Acres Childrens Home, 3405 Higley Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215.
Martin Patrick Olsen
Martin Patrick Olsen lived a long, adventurous, full life - born and bred, lutefisk eating, 100% Norwegian! He died October 2, 2016.
Martin was born December 20, 1922 in Lennep, to Norwegian immigrant parents Ole C. and Inga (Nelson) Olsen. The family purchased the Viking Dairy in White Sulphur Springs where Martin spent his youth. At nine years old, Martin tended sheep in the Castle Mountains with his brother, Clifford. A highlight during high school was travelling to National 4-H Congress in Chicago at the age of 16 with his money pinned to his underwear! As a young adult he worked for McDonnell Douglas in California building Douglas Dauntless Dive Bombers during WWII. Shortly after returning to White Sulphur Springs, the new school marm caught his eye. Martin and Marvel (Fossen) married on June 2, 1945 in Joplin. Dad held on tight to his Marvel until her death in 2007. They resided at the Olsen ranch in White Sulphur Springs raising Champion Hereford bulls. During this time they welcomed David in 1946 and George in 1948.
Deer Lodge became home in 1948 when the couple purchased Trask Hardware. Susan joined the family in 1952, Jan arrived in 1958. After selling Trask Hardware, Martin sold John Deere implements with partner Frank Shaw. Upon the death of Marvel’s father in 1957, the family purchased a farm in Joplin, where they spent summers farming for eight years. Deer Lodge again became their full time home when Martin became a partner in Haviland Insurance Agency. He obtained his real estate broker’s license and sold real estate until his retirement. He served on the board of Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan.
Martin and Marvel cherished the friendships they made during their many years in Deer Lodge. They also enjoyed the winters they spent in Mesa, Ariz., especially their times spent with Errol (Marvel’s brother) and Tessie Fossen.
His civic involvements included Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, Deer Lodge school board, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Tax Appeals Board. Martin was instrumental in bringing the Towe Antique Ford Collection to Deer Lodge.
Martin enjoyed fly fishing, hunting, hiking, golfing, skiing, bridge, and travel, including three Norway trips! His special place in the universe was Glacier National Park, where he loved camping, hiking, and picking huckleberries. Marvel often referred to him as “Huckleberry Hound.” He took the “road less traveled” and rarely took the same route twice. By his example his children learned to fish, hike, play bridge and whist, golf, put his tools away (George), and to have “sense enough to pound sand in a rat hole!” Traveling Montana with Martin was a ‘lesson’ in geography, history, ranch families, and who bought his Hereford bulls!
Martin was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Norma, Clifford, and Orrie; Marvel, his wife of 62 years; son-in-law John Dostal. In reference to his family, Martin said, “I am a lucky man.” Survivors include David (Anita Braker), George (Ellen Vogelsang), Susan Dostal (Bob Wood), and Jan Bowers (Chris); grandchildren Jamie (Christian Simamora), Brian (Maria), Kara Libster (Michael), Nathan Dostal (Grace), Daniel Dostal (Jenny Bennett), Mark Dostal (fiance Tia Hunter), Rebecca Punch (Paul), Eric Bowers (Kate), Alison Bowers, Sara Bowers; great-grandchildren Madelyn, David, and Olivia Olsen; Christian, Angelis, and Samantha Libster; Amelia and Wesley Bowers; and Paxton Simamora. Martin is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, all whom were very special to him and Marvel.
Thank you to the caring staff of Shelby House and Rocky Mountain Hospice.
A memorial service celebrating Martin’s life will take place at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 Graf St., Bozeman. A reception will immediately follow the memorial service at the church. A private family burial will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Martin’s name are suggested to Reach Inc., 322 Gallatin Park Dr., Bozeman, MT 59715 or to Rialto Theatre, 418 Main Street, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Martin.
Pamela Joan Wahl
Pamela Joan Wahl, 66, passed away on September 30, 2016 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She was born in Deer Lodge on January 22, 1950 to Earl and Ramona Wahl. She was the fifth of six children. In her younger years she was a barrel racer, loved horses, led the choir in church, was a rainbow girl and worked at the local A&W. She graduated Powell County High School in 1968 and went on to study at Mary Kawakami’s College of Beauty in Provo, Utah where she met and married Wayne Peterson. They had two daughters together.
Our mom was a free spirit of sorts, always willing to try something new. An avid reader, Stephen King was among her favorites. We will miss seeing her in the chair with a good book. She loved to garden. Always had a green thumb. She was a beautiful seamstress and even had her own sewing business making lingerie. PJ’s by P.J. She was a talented artist, a beautician and a great travel companion. Always up for the scenic route which was taken often. She made wonderful food. Scones were a family favorite. She loved tea, watching movies and playing cards with the family.
She had a sarcastic, sneaky sense of humor. We will miss that. She had a good laugh and gave great hugs. She was strong and a fighter. She had a long battle with COPD and this last year was the hardest. She gave up a lot to be where she was but took everyday as it came. She would say “it is what it is.”
Pam is survived by her sister Gayle Donich, brothers Earl and Charles Wahl, daughters Jeena Rooney and Kimber Peterson, granddaughters Caitlin, Isabelle and Emma Rooney and beloved pets Seemore, Ernie and Baby Bird. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Darlene Wahl and Vicki Zabriskie.
As we write these words, they only hint at the kind of person she was. Words could never fully describe her life and just how much her loss is felt. We love you mom, wave wave. And, to all that called her a friend, thank you.
We have decided not to have a memorial service. Please remember her in your own way. Celebrate your friendship and her life. Remember her fondly and with love. A few months ago she found a poem that reflected how she felt about dying. ‘Death is nothing at all’ by Henry Scott-Holland. She told us this is how she felt and hoped it would bring us comfort.
Her urn will be placed at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge with her family. A dedication will take place in spring 2017.
Instead of flowers we ask that you do some unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone in her name. We think she would of liked that.