Lyle Gillette left this world on August 20, 2015, to be with his Heavenly Father.
Lyle was born on October 18, 1932, in Anacortes, Wash., to Ollie Mae Allen and Lyle Gillette, Sr. He was the oldest of three boys.
Lyle grew up in the Anacortes and Everett areas north of Seattle. He had many grand adventures as a child.
In 1952 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Korea. His love of the Corps lasted to the very end of his days.
He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1955, and resumed his college education in January, 1956, at Eastern Washington University. He went to a dance that month and met the love of his life there, Virginia Fish. They married six months later on June 8 in Rice, Wash.
Lyle graduated from Eastern in March, 1959, moved to Montana, and began his teaching career.
After two years in Rudyard, and four years in Baker, he took his wife and seven children to Deer Lodge in the summer of 1965. He would teach there for the next two decades before retiring in 1987.
During his teaching career, Lyle worked as a coach in football, basketball, and track. He also refereed basketball games. Lyle was also one of the people involved in bringing Legion baseball to Deer Lodge in the late 1970s. He was a diehard UM Grizzly fan.
Lyle continued his military service with a stint in the Naval Reserves, switching over to the Montana National Guard in 1980. He retired from military service in 1992 with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. He was a long-time member of the American Legion and the VFW where he held numerous offices. In his heart, although he served in three branches of the military, he always considered himself a Marine first and foremost. He was active in the Marine Corps League in Butte almost to the day he died.
Not only being involved in the military and in school athletics, Lyle also served his community as a City Councilman from the 1980s to just a few years ago, including a term as Mayor from 1996 to 2000. He did volunteer work for the Legion baseball program, donated blood, was Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout troop 33 in the 1970s, and worked as a volunteer tour guide at the Old Prison Museum.
Lyle is survived by his wife of 59 years, Virginia, and their seven children: Kelly (Jonelle) Gillette; Nikki (Kirk) Smith; Bobbi (Dean) Rognrud; Kyle Gillette; Jeff (Angie) Gillette; Marika (Dennis) Tice; and Danelle (Mark) Cease. Lyle and Virginia have 20 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. His brothers Steve and Carl are also survived, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and in-laws.
He was preceded in death by his mother Ollie Mae Allen, his father Lyle E. Gillette, Sr., and one great-granddaughter, Addie.
He will be missed by those whose lives he touched as a teacher and coach, and by a multitude of friends.
A private family service will be held at Fort Harrison on Wednesday the 26, 2015, for the internment of his remains.
A community service in celebration of his life will be held Saturday, August 29, at 10 a.m. in the PCHS Gymnasium. No reception is planned.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to your favorite charity.
Verner Laurits Bertelsen
Verner Laurits Bertelsen died on the evening of August 18, 2015 at the age of 97. He had been diagnosed with cancer in January of 2014. Verner spent the last six weeks of his life at Touchmark in Helena, but prior to that had been vigorously caring for his home and garden, making great cookies, and remaining active in governmental concerns for senior citizens and all Montanans. Verner testified at the Capitol even into 2015 to help preserve the Montana Coal Trust for future Montana generations.
Verner was born in Froid, July 19, 1918. He attended grade school and high school in Froid and graduated from Northern Montana College in Havre, in 1938.
Verner has lived in Helena, for the past 38 years, having moved from Ovando. He was an elementary school teacher, in Helmville and then Ovando, from 1938 – 1969, a rancher from 1947 – 1977, the Powell County Commissioner from 1951 – 1957, and a Montana House of Representative from 1975 – 1984 where he served on many committees, being the chairman of Local Government and Revenue Oversight. He was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Ted Schwinden and served from April 21, 1988 until December of 1988. Verner served as Chairman of the of the Developmental Disabilities Planning and Advisory Council, was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Council for Tobacco Use Prevention, was appointed by Secretary of State Mike Cooney to the Election Advisory Council, President of the Montana Advocacy Program, and was a Montana Senior representative to the White House Conference on Aging. He was President of the Golden Nuggets senior citizen club and was a Lobbyist for the Montana Senior Citizens Association. Verner was Chairman of the Montana Coal Trust for many years.
Verner was married first to Ellen Bentsen, his childhood sweetheart, who died shortly after the birth of their son, Allen Verner Bertelsen. Allen was born November 13, 1939 and died after a surgery in March of 2009. Allen’s wife, Jan, moved from Bozeman last year to San Diego, with their youngest daughter Julie, to reside near their other daughter, Beth Ellen Bertelsen-Purtirka. Beth is married to Sandy, and they have two children, James and Jamie. Mark Bertelsen with his wife, Lisa, live in Selah, Wash., and have a son, Brandon, who attends the University of Utah.
Verner’s second wife was Marjorie Wendt who died in 1975. Two children, David Laurits Bertelsen and Annette Elizabeth Bertelsen were born to them. David and his wife, Karen, live in Wibaux. They have two sons, Jeffrey and Gregg. Jeff lives with his wife Tina and daughter Shantel in Wibaux. Jeff’s oldest son, Travis, lives in Wibaux with his wife Jonna. Jeff’s other son Chase is attending Rocky Mountain College in Billings. Gregg lives with his wife Jessica in Dickinson, N. D. with their son Trenten. Annette lives in Helena. Annette’s son Jason lives with his wife Vicki and children, Ben and Adelle, in St Augustine, Fla. Annette’s oldest son, Dustin, died in Seattle, Wash. at the age of 35.
Verner wed his third wife, Judy Edwards, in 1975. She died in 2001. Judy’s son, Jim Nelson, with his wife Fay, live in Helena. Their daughter Jennifer and husband, Sam Cummins, live with their daughter Caroline in Missoula.
Verner’s fourth, and last wife, was Dorothea Cool. They wed in 1993, both the ages of 75. This was Dorothea’s first and only marriage. She and Verner had been engaged briefly at the ages of 18 and then rekindled their romance after the death of Verner’s third wife. They enjoyed 10 years of marriage prior to her death in 2003.
Verner’s current love of the last 11 years has been Betty Barraugh. They have loved, honored, and cherished each other with the great respect and admiration of Verner’s other family members. Betty resides in Helena with her son, Eric, and daughter Terri.
Verner was a member of the Presbyterian Church since 1954, where he was an Elder, on the Nominating Committee, and an Usher. He even served as a Pastor for the occasional need in Ovando. Verner attended the Catholic Church jointly in respect to his wife Judy. And he attended the Assembly of God Church jointly in respect to his wife Dorothea.
Funeral Services will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 6, 2015. His service will be held in conjunction with the regular Church Services at The First Presbyterian Church of Helena, 535 North Ewing Street. Refreshments will be served after. A graveside service will be held at the Ovando Cemetery at approximately 3:30 p.m. We, the family, are so appreciative of the many superb people who have worked with, supported, enjoyed, loved, and enhanced the life of our fine father, partner, husband, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be soulfully missed but is trusted to be with us through spirit and gene.
Death notice: Elnor E. Corneil
Elnor E. Corneil, age 95, passed away peacefully on August 23, 2015. She is survived by her three children Earl, Ross, and Wanda and their families. Private graveside services will be held at a later date.