Richard James Ross October 1, 1935 - November 1, 2022
Richard James Ross, 87, passed away on Nov. 1, 2022. He was born in Dillon, Mont., on Oct. 1, 1935. At age 6 he moved with his family to his grandfather’s farm east of Ronan, Mont. A short time after he graduated from Ronan High School in 1953, he joined the Army where he spent most of his time in Germany as a mechanic and driver on a tank retriever. After his return from service, he attended Western Montana College where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education. He taught five years in the Whitehall Elementary School before starting his railroad career in 1963 with the Milwaukee Road. He worked many positions with the Milwaukee Road and eventually moved to the Deer Lodge Superintendent’s Office and was there until it closed in 1980. After leaving the Milwaukee Road, he worked for several consulting firms until 1983 when he was given a position with the State of Montana in the Transportation Division of the Department of Commerce. Starting in 1992, he worked many railroad-related positions through the next several years living in Hiawatha, Kan. and Florence, S.C. His last position took him to Davenport, Iowa, with I&M Rail Link when he retired in 1999 and moved to Florida. He was married to Phoebe Johnson in 1959 and there are five children born to this marriage which ended in divorce. He married Mary Lou Dowden in Dunnellon, Fla., in September 2000. They enjoyed several years of traveling in their motor home before moving to Ponte Vedra, Fla., where he enjoyed playing golf, playing cards and other activities in their Del Webb community. And, of course, keeping in touch with all his old railroading friends around the country. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; sons Jim (Beth) of Billings, Mont., Greg of New Port Richey, Fla. and Dave (Alesha) of Deer Lodge; daughters Lori of Deer Lodge and Cami of Butte; and stepsons Jeff Struble (Lisa) of Ponte Vedra, Fla. and Scott Struble (Mandy) of Kingsland, Ga. He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, five step grandchildren and one step-great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers; Frank, John and Jake; and one sister, Della Marie. There will be a celebration of life for Dick on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Del Webb Anastasia Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Linda Hodder Labbe September 23, 1963 - November 13, 2022
On the morning of Nov. 13 2022, Linda Hodder Labbe passed away after a hard-fought year with brain cancer. She passed away at home with her husband, daughters, brother and sister with her. Linda Labbe was born in Rock Springs, Wyo., on Sept. 23, 1963. She was one of three triplets, two girls and one boy, born to Eugene and Helen Hodder of Farson, Wyo. Linda grew up on the family ranch in Farson. She lived and learned the ranching and farming life with her triplet siblings and older sister and two older brothers. They raised chickens and cattle and farmed the land. After finishing high school in Farson, Linda went on to college in Casper, Wyo., and Tampa, Fla., graduating in 1989 with a degree in botany. After residing for approximately 10 years in Florida and a short time in Idaho, Linda ended up back in Farson where, shortly thereafter, she met Stan Labbe. Stan and Linda were married in February of 1999 and resided in Farson until 2004 at which time they moved to Lander, Wyo. In 2010, Stan, Linda and their two daughters, Michelle and Christa, moved to Deer Lodge, where they resided until Linda’s passing. Linda embraced Deer Lodge and became ingrained in the community. She joined the Deer Lodge Art Club early on and was a member until her passing. She also worked as a teacher’s aide at the O.D. Speer grade school in Deer Lodge. Linda spent the last few years of her life working at the Browsing Bison book store in Deer Lodge and very much enjoyed her work there, helping and visiting with customers. Linda enjoyed camping and could endure husband Stan’s long outings in the woods - searching for fishing holes, wildlife or berries. She loved walking her dogs (she always had at least one) and going on birthday trips with her triplet sister Laura and niece Melissa. She liked a good puzzle and enjoyed reading, which went well with her job at the book store. She was a talented artist and painted many beautiful pieces, whether it be on a wood plank, saw blade, canvas or greeting card. She could produce the most beautiful outdoor scenes. She also enjoyed visiting with friends and family. She was a beloved wife, sister and mother and was an endearing “mom” to her daughter’s friends, as well. Linda’s daughters would talk about how their friends thought that she gave the best advice and hugs, and felt like this really says a lot about how she lived and was influential. Linda was strong in her faith and enjoyed being a member of her church. She was devoted to the teachings of the bible and seriously pursued her relationship with God until the end. Linda was preceded in death by her two brothers Mark and Les, also her father Eugene, mother Helen, brother in-law Dean Snyder, nephew Warren Hodder and several beloved dogs and cats. Linda is survived by her husband Stan, daughters Michelle and Christa, all of Deer Lodge; brother Jim Hodder of Farson; sisters Laura (Kevin) Sloan of Eden, Wyo., and Debbie Snyder of Rock Springs, Wyo.; many nieces and nephews; and her canine companion, Sophie. A memorial service for Linda will be at the Abundant Life Fellowship church, 630 W. Iron St., Butte, Mont., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, with a luncheon following in the church basement.
Caleb Jeffrey Havens March 19, 1995 - November 15, 2022
Caleb Jeffrey Havens, 27, peacefully joined his twin brother, Wyatt, Nov. 15, 2022. Caleb was born in Missoula on March 19, 1995, and Wyatt followed 22 minutes later. Even though grandma refused to make the twins T-shirts, stating which one was the good twin and which one was the bad, we all know that Caleb was the mastermind behind any shenanigans, so we will let you form your own opinion. Caleb loved the mountains, often going for drives in unreliable vehicles and getting stuck. He could be counted on to never have a sleeping bag, flashlight or a charged cell phone. He liked to cut firewood, and the hood of the nicest truck he ever owned had a dent to prove it. He attended school in Deer Lodge, where the principal had our number on speed dial. The main rule for his younger brothers was, “if Caleb thinks it’s a good idea don’t do it.” This did not deter Riley from catching a squirrel because the twins said he could. Caleb’s step mom was thrilled to find grasshoppers in her ice cube trays and dried ice fishing maggots in the dryer. Luckily grandpa stopped them before the boat gas tank was filled with water although he often had to escape from being tied up in the chair while babysitting. Riley and Jordan got most of their common sense the hard way after being talked into several bad ideas. Caleb graduated with his High School Diploma from Anaconda Job Corps in 2014 and worked as a heavy equipment operator. A short time later he and Wyatt were diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s disease (JHD). Caleb moved to Helena with his family in 2015. He started working on a bucket list which included trips to Alaska, Florida and Seattle, Glacier and Yellowstone parks and many concerts. Caleb loved music and we once rode a train to Fargo, N.D., in February to see Jason Aldean. His little sister will never forget trying to get Caleb across the entire campground at Country Jam after he had a few too many beers. Caleb enjoyed working out and spent a lot of time with his friends Tyvan, Dale, Anthony and Trevin, who were gracious enough to understand the progression of Caleb’s disease and support him through it. In 2018 Caleb lost his twin, and he never smiled the same again. Every day brought a bit more loss as JHD slowly took his ability to drive, talk and walk. We are so happy that the twins are reunited and probably doing something they shouldn’t be this very second. Caleb spent the last few days of his life preparing to be an organ donor. We are so proud that he saved lives at the end of his. Caleb was preceded in death by his twin, Wyatt Havens, and his father, Lyle Havens. Grandmother Karen Havens, grandfathers Willman Spaulding and Lyle Havens, uncles Jeff and Ron Havens and great grandmother Doris Hildebrand. Caleb is survived by his mother and step father Todd and Kristy Boese; his brothers, Riley Boese and Jordan Havens; his sister, Kayin Boese; grandmother Linda Spaulding; and step mother Jennifer Sprouse as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. The family would like to thank the staff at St. Peter’s ER and ICU as well as LifeCenter Northwest for the excellent care we received. You are all so appreciated. A receiving of friends and family took place on Nov. 21 at Simple Cremation Montana in Helena. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Caleb, please visit www.simplecremationmt.com.
Margaret (Margy) Barkell November 10, 1932 - November 13, 2022
Margaret (Margy) Barkell, 90, was born Nov. 10, 1932, in Ironrod, Mont., to her parents, Leland and Myrtle Graham. In 1950, Margaret married Richard (Dick) Lyle Barkell. They were married for 62 years when he passed in 2012. Margaret was a stay-at-home mom, which is the hardest job of all! Margaret’s favorite hobbies and activities included raising six children and being a part of every grandchild and great-grandchild’s life. Margaret also enjoyed gardening, reading, fishing, hiking, spending time at their summer home at Rock Creek, plus being the best cook and baker EVER! After raising all their children, Margaret and Richard loved to travel. They did cruises to many places – the Panama Canal, Alaska, the Caribbean, just to name a few. They also loved their fishing trips with many of their special friends to the West Coast, Alaska and several places across Montana – lots of great fishing stories were shared after those adventures. They also enjoyed their summers at Rock Creek. Their grandchildren remember so many special “stays” out there with their Grandparents – they are still surprised she survived them. She certainly had to be “one tough lady” to survive those trips! But all these cousins will always have a special bond together because of her special love and care to each one of them. Margaret passed away peacefully on Nov. 13, 2022, in her home in Anaconda, Mont., due to heart failure. She is preceded in death by her parents, Leland and Myrtle Graham; her husband, Dick; brothers and sisters-in-law, Bud (Vi) Graham, Dave (Marion) Graham, Richard (Sandy) Graham, Danny Graham; sisters and brothers-in-law Jean (Norman) Gleason, Betty (Frank) VanWort, Nancy (Chuck) Patrick, and several very special brothers and sisters-in-law from Dick’s family. Margaret is survived by her brother, Bob (Penny) Graham; sons Rick of Philipsburg, Mont., Keith (Cheryl) of Philipsburg and Tim (Jodee) Barkell of Anaconda; daughters Vicki (Dave) Johnson of Anaconda, Sharon Mungas (Kyle) of Philipsburg, Karen (Ray) Bennett of Anaconda and daughter-in-law Deena (Bustos) Barkell of Bremerton, Wash.; grandchildren Dave Johnson of Billings, Mont., Rick (Noel) Johnson of Butte, Mont., Rico (Jamie) Barkell of Philipsburg, Randi Jo Barkell of Bremerton, Gina (Kale) Joyce of Billings, Craig (Colt) Mungas of Missoula, Mont., Joe (Shannon) Mungas of Philipsburg, Shauna Bennett of Butte, Lisa (Joe) Gentri of Missoula, Ashley (Justin) Irvine of Spokane, Wash., Jamie (Ben) Wagner of Billings, Jessica (Keith) Antonoli of Philipsburg, Brandie Barkell of Butte, Clint (Rachel) Barkell of Anaconda, Samantha (Cliff) Galle of Anaconda. Margaret is also survived by 33 great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Margaret are suggested to Shriners, 911 W 5th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204; Saint Jude’s, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or Pintler Hospice of Anaconda, 118 E 7th St, Anaconda, MT 59711. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home, 107 Oak St., Anaconda. Please visit longfellowfinneganriddle.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Margaret. Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Margaret and her family.
Lloyd Wallin February 23, 1926 - November 1, 2022
Lloyd Wallin, 96, died Nov. 1 at the Deer Lodge Medical Center. He was born in North Dakota, and educated in North Dakota and Minnesota. He attended first through 12th grade in Steele, N.D., and fought in the Navy in World War II. After the war, he enrolled in Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and received his Bachelor of Arts degree. He continued his education at the University of North Dakota and received his master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Lloyd was preceded in death by four brothers: Clarence in Steele, N.D., Norm in Bozeman, Mont., Wayne in Moorhead, Minn., and Ralph in Minot, N.D. Lloyd worked professionally in North Dakota and Montana. He was in business in Montana until his death. He was a lifelong member of the Lutheran church. Lloyd is survived by his wife, Eleanor; sons Eric Todd and his wife, Terri, in Mukilteo Wash., and Paul and his wife, Barbara, in Montana. No funeral is planned; however, a celebration of his life is planned at a later date. In memory of Lloyd you can, if you choose, donate to the food bank, Kohrs Library or the Rialto.
Fred O. Fike February 23, 1934 - November 12, 2022
Fred Fike, 88, of Superior, Mont., passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, Nov. 12. He was known by his community as one who was always ready to help. He was a friend and helper to many. His love for Jesus Christ was very strong, and it kept him going through all the suffering. He fought cancer for 10 years. The last six months he broke his femur on his left leg and had several bouts of infection within his body. But Fred was a fighter through it all. He could always find a way to glorify Jesus, too. He said keeping busy was the best thing he could do. He would say, “I would rather wear out, than rust out.” Fred was a talented man. He could fix just about everything. He was a good mechanic, a good logger for 18 years and a very good carpenter. He built six homes over his married life. Fred grew up on a farm in North Dakota. He was 30 miles from town. When something broke, he just had to fix and mend it to get the work done. He was the youngest of 12 children. Farming in North Dakota was not an easy life. He came to Montana at 17 years old and worked on the railroad until he was old enough to work for the Anaconda Company. He married Tressie Rush of Deer Lodge, Mont. They were married 67 years. He would say, “She was the love of my life.” Fred is survived by his wife, Tressie Fike. Fred and Tressie had five children. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lillian Stocks (Terry) of Alaska. He is survived by David Fike (Kathy) of Whitehall, Mont., Deborah Rabel (George) of Gallatin Gateway, Mont., Kenneth Fike of Deer Lodge, Nancy O’Reilly (Matt) of Columbus, Mont.; and two surviving sisters, Ruth Mayor of California, and Gracie Schell of South Dakota. Fred and Tressie had 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Fred had a special talent for music all his life. He played the guitar and sang for church and for many other special events like the Mineral County Fair and for family benefits. Now he can be singing for Jesus and all the angels. Services for Fred will be at the Superior Community Church at 11 a.m. on Dec. 3. Come and join us for a fellowship dinner after the service to celebrate his life.
Mona Margaret Andrews September 14, 1924 - November 1, 2022
Mona Margaret Andrews, former Deer Lodge resident, died in Manhattan, Mont., on Tuesday, Nov. 1, after 98 well-lived years. She lived a life of kindness, generosity, patience, resilience and faith in her Lord. Mona was born in Deer Lodge to Dr. George J. Marquette and Mona Beaumont Marquette on Sept. 14, 1924. Her family knew her as “Binkie,” so nick-named by her father for a favorite childhood toy, in order to avoid confusion with her mother with the same name. She and her brother, Bill, spent summers with their cousins at a small cottage her father built on Rock Creek Lake, west of Deer Lodge. The lake and the tradition of family gatherings at the two-room cottage were a centerpiece of the Beaumont/Marquette/Andrews family for five generations. She graduated from Powell County High School as Salutatorian in 1942. Mona studied for two years at Montana State and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin where she graduated with a BS degree in Home Economics in 1946 and continued studies at Wisconsin leading to a Master of Science degree in 1947. She worked at the University of California – Berkeley doing cholesterol research from 1947-1948 and then the Chicago Meat Institute at the University of Chicago doing basic protein and vitamin research. Mona met her future husband, Fred A. Andrews, while working in Chicago. The couple married on Aug. 15, 1951, at St. James Episcopal Church in Deer Lodge. They continued to live in the Chicago area while their two sons were born: John in 1953 and Mark in 1955. The family moved to Shorewood Hills, Wis., in 1957 and then to Edina, Minn., in 1966. She was active in the Episcopal Church, the P.E.O., garden club and served on several alumni boards at the University of Wisconsin. Mostly, though, she was a great Mom. Mona moved to De Pere, Wis., in the early 2000s to be nearer to John’s family. During that time her eyesight began to fail and her independence declined. She moved to Parkhaven Retirement, Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Manhattan, Mont., in 2015. Age did not dim her mental acuity or spirit. She remained as active as her frail bones and limited eyesight and hearing allowed, with her son, John, and his wife, Sue, close by in Manhattan and visits from multiple family members over the years as well as a trip back to her hometown of Deer Lodge. Her husband, Fred, and her brother, Bill, preceded her in death. Living family members include son Dr. John (Dr. Sue Piechowski), their sons Michael (Rebecca) and their three children and Matthew (Mary) and their four children; son Mark, his daughters Dr. Sarah Andrews and Alexandra and son Jordan. Mona will also be missed by Fred’s sister, Sally, her Marquette nephew and nieces and her Daniels cousins. Mona’s ashes will be interred next to Fred’s in the rotunda mausoleum at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mona does not want flowers or donations in her name; she asked that you follow her example and lead a life of kindness and generosity in her memory.