Barbara Elaine Beck Weis October 7, 1948 - July 19, 2022
Barbara (Barb), 73, was born in Deer Lodge on Oct. 7, 1948, to Peter L. Beck and Frances N. Moran. She joined an impressive list of half-brothers and sisters on both sides. On her father’s side, brother Charles Beck and sisters Margie (Shandy), Rita (Morgan) and Helen (Hallingstad) along with many cousins, nieces and nephews to follow. On her mother’s side, she joined brothers Emmett, Edward, Bill, Pat, Dan and Don O’Keefe, along with sister Gloria (Corcoran). After the passing of her parents, Barb came to live with Charles and Rhea Beck, and became part of the Beck family, joining sister Diana (Warner) and brothers Pete and Doug. She graduated from Powell County High School in 1966 and went on to study at Western Montana College in Dillon. She majored in English and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. Another wonderful occurrence happened while Barb was in Dillon. She met the love of her life, Jim Weis. Barb and Jim were well known for their playful banter and sardonic wit. They loved nothing better than visiting with friends and relatives. It was a match made in heaven. They were married in Las Vegas in November 1973. They enjoyed 48 years as a married couple and stuck together from beginning to end. Upon graduation, Barb began her illustrious teaching career at Helmville, Mont. She taught elementary school grades one through three for three school years, 1972-1974, and enjoyed every minute of it. Jim found work in Hysham, Mont., and worked on a farm for Verlin Barnes, while Barb worked at the local co-op. They grew to become experts at growing and cooking sweet corn and provided many amazing feasts to prove it. They later settled in Helena (1976) where they currently reside and have enjoyed a good life in their home on Sierra Road. Barb had a successful career in bookkeeping for various Helena businesses, including Sheehan’s Distributing, Zeke’s Distributing, Blue Cross of Montana and Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co. Throughout her years, Barb maintained a close relationship with family near and far. Another big plus for Barb was inheriting Jim’s family by previous marriage, and she was so proud of Lisa, Jim Jr., Larry and Dave. Larry was her hometown hero helping his father with chores around the shop and coming to the rescue many times when Barb had fallen. Barbara is survived by her husband, Jim Weis, and his family; siblings, Diana, Pete and Doug; and many close friends and relatives. There will be a memorial luncheon at the Elks Club in Deer Lodge at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21. Friends and family are invited.
Janette Marie Smith July 27, 1930 - July 26, 2022
Janette Marie Smith, 91, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, died Tuesday, July 26, 2022, just one day before her 92nd birthday. Janette was surrounded by her family and died peacefully in her sleep. Janette was born on July 27, 1930, in Sidney, Mont., to Urgel and Isabella Bouchard. She attended and graduated from Sidney High School in 1948. On Sept. 24, 1949, she married the love of her life John J. Smith. They were blessed with 73 years of marriage; five children: Jim, Janice, Jerry, Joel, Jay; 15 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren. She worked at JC Penney and as a phone operator for Mountain Bell in both Sidney and Great Falls, Mont. In 1959, they moved to Great Falls, where she devoted her time to her family and her work. In 1972, Janette and her husband moved to Deer Lodge, where they opened a Ben Franklin Store. They later changed the name to J&J Variety and worked there until they closed it in 2013, at the age of 83. She then moved to Idaho Falls, in 2019, to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Janette is survived by her husband, John Smith; her children, Jim Smith of Deer Lodge, Janice (Gary) Weninger of Idaho Falls, Jerry (Cathy) Smith of Bozemen, Joel Smith of Deer Lodge, Jay (Sherry) Smith of Charlestown, Ind.; 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Brianna Smith; parents, Urgel and Isabella Bouchard; and her brothers, Urgel (Bud) and Phillip Bouchard. Graveside service will be held at the Newland Cemetery in Sidney at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, with a luncheon to follow. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.
Gregory G. Sauber July 22, 1960 - August 1, 2022
Gregory G. Sauber, 62, died Aug. 1 in Denver. He was the son of Gregory and Helen Sauber and grandson of Bernard and Lena Sauber of Gold Creek. He is survived by two sisters, Mary Jo in Coeur d’Alene in Idaho and Patricia in Torrance, Calif. Greg enjoyed many visits in Gold Creek. His death occured after an accidental fall on July 4. Greg was born on July 22, 1960. He grew up in Libby, Mont. He attended grade and high school there and the University of Montana in Missoula. He and a friend owned the Washington Park Grille in Denver. A memorial mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on Aug. 16 in Denver.
Laurel Lee Dodgson Christensen December 23, 1941 - July 23, 2022
Laurel Lee Dodgson Christensen, 80, died peacefully at home on July 23, 2022. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 30, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Sun River, Mont. Laurel was born on Dec. 23, 1941, to Frank and Blanche (Woods) Dodgson in Butte, Mont. She was raised in Wise River, Mont., then later in Deer Lodge, graduating from Powell County High School. On Aug. 19, 1961, Laurel would marry Gerald Reilly; the couple would go on to share 11 years and one child together. After their divorce, Laurel shared marriages with Don Nyguist and Wayne Christensen, before settling down with Tom Wadsworth. The couple spent 20 years of marriage together. Laurel was employed as a bookkeeper for a variety of establishments, such as the Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic in Deer Lodge, the Great Falls Veterinary Service and Great Falls Livestock. In her free time, Laurel enjoyed camping and riding horses in the mountains. She loved animals, especially horses, dogs and cats. She was a member of the Back Country Horsemen. Laurel was an active member of Sun River’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Laurel was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband, Tom Wadsworth; son Brett Reilly and his wife Tracy; and her sister, Lorraine Seaford. To share condolences please visit www.crox- fordfuneralhome.com.
Donald Joseph Fraser August 1, 1937 - June 30, 2022
Donald Joseph Fraser, 84, left this world on June 30, 2022, after a battle with cancer. Don was born in Butte, Mont., on Aug. 1, 1937, to Butte natives Donald Fraser and Isabelle (Kujawa) Fraser. At age 4, his parents moved him and his sister, Denise, to Deer Lodge, where they welcomed Jack, Mary, Geradette and Eddie. Don graduated from St. Mary’s Academy and later Powell County High School in 1955. After graduation, Don enlisted in the U.S. Army. He spent most of his tour in Germany, visiting 12 European countries. He earned the rank of Sergeant, enjoying his time in the Army and speaking of it affectionately. When Don returned to civilian life, he ran into his PCHS classmate, Vicki Sierra (Vick); they soon began dating and were wed in 1959. They moved to Helena where Don worked for an insurance company and Vicki was a registered nurse. They welcomed their first child, Bret, in July of 1960. Soon after, the family moved to Bozeman, where Don enrolled at Montana State University and Vicki continued her work as a nurse while Don went to school. During that time, they welcomed two more children, Janine and Scott. After graduating in three years with honors, Don accepted a position with AT&T in Helena, where they welcomed their fourth child, April. In 1967, Don accepted a position with RCA in Sparta, Wis., where their fifth child, Darci was born. In 1967, Don was offered a position as Senior Budget Analyst in Palo Alto, Calif., so the family made the move west to California. They enjoyed the sunshine and summer adventures in the family station wagon. In 1969, Don accepted a transfer to work as a Budget Manager at RCA in Anchorage, Alaska. For the next six years, the family spent the summers swimming in the nearby lake, fishing and camping in the family VW van, and enjoying the long summer days. The family also kept busy with both boys playing baseball and hockey, and the girls in Girl Scouts, softball and ballet. Don spent the winters growing his famous handlebar mustaches and beards, for which he won several awards at the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous. In 1976, Don and Vicki divorced. Don stayed in Anchorage; Vicki and the kids moved to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, to be closer to family. In 1984, Don married Priscilla Santistevan, and they continued living in Anchorage. In 1990, Don took an early retirement, and they moved to Trinidad, Colo. They divorced in 1998, and Don moved to Coeur D’Alene to be closer to his family. Don spent his time puttering in his garage, working on projects for his grandchildren, driving his Mustang, and driving to Montana and Nevada. He loved his siblings and enjoyed watching his nieces and nephews grow up. He also enjoyed a sip of “Clan Fraser” now and then. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Don and lsabelle, his sister Denise Gransbery and brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Andrea Fraser. He is survived by his children, Bret (Kristin), Janine (Greg), Scott (Cari), April (Patrick) and Darci (Kim). His surviving grandchildren are Alyssa, Torin, Sarah, Katie, Brady, Joey, Oliver, Andrew and Nolan. Surviving siblings include Mary (Pat) McMahon and Gerry Sullivan of Butte, and Eddie (Mary) Fraser of Whidbey Island, Wash. Other survivors include nephews, nieces and cousins in Montana, Nevada, Texas, California, ldaho and Kansas, Canada and Nova Scotia. Don was fortunate to have many wonderful neighbors, including J.B. and Patty Romero, who were a blessing. In the final months of Don’s life, the cancer was a struggle, but Don was cheerful and thankful for the little things - the beauty of a fawn born in his back yard just days before his passing or the simple beauty of flowers. Our family is very thankful for this time with our father, nothing left unsaid and will miss him dearly. Cremation services were provided under the care of Yates Funeral Home in Coeur D’Alene. A celebration of Don’s life will be held at Don’s home in Coeur D’Alene at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13; all are welcome to join in the celebration. Memorials are requested to the Southwest Montana Veterans’ Home in Butte at 65 Veterans Circle, Butte, MT 59701 or a charity of the donor’s choice.