John Jacob Bircher
On November 26, 2017, John Jacob Bircher passed away at the Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, Va., due to complications arising after being admitted for a diabetic condition. John was born in Missoula on February 27, 1938, to Jacob and Alice (Batson) Bircher.
John never married, choosing to remain single. He graduated from Powell County High School in 1956 and spent several years at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he received a degree in Mathematics. He then spent several years in the Navy, after which he went to work for the Department of Defense as a Statistician.
Mother: Alice Margaret (Batson) Bircher - 1905-2002.
Father: Jacob Jochin Bircher - 1902-1990.
Sister: Alice Ariadne (Bircher) Shepherd - 1934.
Brother: Frederic Louis Bircher - 1928-1945.
Sister: Janice Margaret Bircher - January 1933 - March 1933.
Nephew: Edwin Alan Shepherd (Alice’s son) - 1955.
John is survived by many cousins. They have all sent their love and condolences.
Besides being a brilliant mathematician, John loved working on all kinds of puzzles. He made airplanes as a hobby and enjoyed playing poker with his friends. He analyzed the stock market and frequently provided advice to family. His nephew, Edwin, could always get John to open up and talk.
Services were held at the Adams Green Funeral Home in Herndon, Va. on December 4, 2017, at 7 p.m. His final resting place will be at the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Miles City is the home of a large ranch where John’s parents previously resided with three other Bircher brothers and their families. The ranch held a special place in John’s heart. He will be missed.
Bruce Allen Thomas
Bruce Allen Thomas, age 72, passed away peacefully at his home in Elliston with his wife Cheryl and his family by his side on November 26, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Bruce was born on January 17, 1945 to William and Mayme (Engler) Thomas in Kellogg, Idaho, joining brothers William, Robert and Barney. The family moved to Elliston when he was two years old and he was soon after blessed with a sister, Sue.
Bruce spent most of his youth in Elliston, where he attended school. On November 30, 1964, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a medic and was honorably discharged from the 396th Station Hospital in July of 1970.
Bruce married Cheryl Davies on October 30, 1965, and built a home in Elliston in the subsequent years to raise their children in. Bruce was a loving husband and devoted father to sons Bruce, Tom, Brandon and his special daughter, Sarah.
Bruce was a man of many talents and was known for being a reliable, hard worker. Over the years he shod and broke horses, worked on the railroad, mined, was a carpenter and a ranch hand. He also spent many years in the timber industry, including logging with horses. In 1978, Bruce started his own logging business and as they came of age, all three of his sons worked alongside him. He eventually retired, leaving the business to his sons. Even in retirement, Bruce continued to be an invaluable asset to the family business, building roads, piling brush and providing guidance for his sons. A man who always needed to be working on something, he insisted (against the wishes of wife) on running his CAT dozer to plow snow for his sons’ logging business as recently as last winter while battling cancer.
In his younger years, Bruce was involved in rodeo, where he competed in Bareback Riding, Team Roping, and Calf Roping. He also had many hobbies throughout his life including; hunting, trapping, fishing, and riding his ATV. He was an active member of the Avon Catholic Church and remained a very prayerful man until the very end. One of his most cherished accomplishments was being a grandfather and he enjoyed spending time with his 11 grandchildren.
Bruce is preceded in death by his parents; William Thomas and Mayme Engler Thomas; and brothers Barney Thomas, Brian Thomas (infant), Barry Thomas (infant) and Byron Thomas (infant).
Bruce is survived by his loving wife Cheryl; four children Bruce Thomas (Jodi), Tom Thomas (Kerri), Brandon Thomas (Anne Marie), and Sarah Thomas; siblings William “Bill” Thomas (Marilyn), Robert “Bob” Thomas (Sherri), and Sue Hiltz (Jim-deceased); grandchildren Trent Thomas, Troy Thomas, TJ Thomas, Logan Thomas, Lacie Thomas, Levi Thomas, Lane Thomas, Madison Thomas, Andrew Thomas, Isaac Thomas, and Alivia Thomas; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A Rosary Vigil was held Thursday, November 30 at 6 p.m. at the Anderson, Stevenson and Wilke Funeral Home. A funeral mass was held on Friday, December 1 at noon at the Helena Cathedral and a graveside ceremony was held after mass at the Elliston Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at the Elliston Community Gym.
Leila Marie Curran Larkin
Leila Marie Curran Larkin (79) passed away on November 27, 2017 at Renaissance Care in Deer Lodge. Marie was born May 7, 1938 to William Emmett and Leila May Connolly in New Castle, Colo.
During her teens, Marie moved to Anaconda where she graduated from Anaconda High School. She worked as a secretary before marrying her soulmate, James Curran in 1958. Together they had four children and raised their family in Deer Lodge. James preceded her in death in 1981.
Marie was a successful business woman, owning and operating Marie’s Beauty Salon for over 25 years. During her free time she enjoyed experimenting with different recipes and entertaining friends and family. She was also known for her drawing, painting and elaborate wedding cakes. Marie had a beautiful smile and a mischievous sense of humor.
Marie married widower Floyd Larkin and together they enjoyed many years of retirement. They traveled extensively across the United States and took great pleasure in being tour guides. As a couple, they were very active in community volunteering.
Marie was a beloved mother and grandmother. She is survived by her children: Thomas Curran (Laurel Lee) of Deer Lodge; David Curran (Patti) of Ontario, Ore.; JoAnn Peters (Don) of Billings; Sharon Curran (Jeff Kinzer) of Chalfont, Pa.; Richard Larkin (Sara) of Broken Arrow, Okla. Marie had eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Marie is also survived by her brother and lifelong closest friend, William Connolly of Anaconda.
A celebration of Marie’s life was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Deer Lodge on Saturday December 2, 2017 at 11 a.m. A graveside service followed immediately at Hillcrest Cemetery and all were invited to lunch at the Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Deer Lodge Art Club or the Deer Lodge Presbyterian Church.
Jewell Funeral Home was entrusted with Marie’s funeral arrangements.
Lynn Schmidt, May 31, 1937 – November 29, 2017.
Lynn died on Wednesday, November 29 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Lynn is survived by her husband Jim, son Steve, sister Lois, daughter-in-law Julie, grandson Paul, and four nephews and nieces.
Lynn was born on May 31, 1937 in South Gate, (Southern) Calif. to Anna Louise and George Anglemyer. For health reasons of George, they relocated to the desert outside of Palm Springs. Lynn’s mother was a teacher and for a time she operated a road-side diner to support the family. Lynn had an older sister Lu Ann and a younger one Lois.
Lynn went to high school in Palm Springs. She was on the bowling team and played the clarinet in the school band. One year they performed in the Rose parade. Her mother and the three girls relocated to San Diego.
After high school, Lynn went to work for Convair Astronautics as an engineering assistant while she worked on her college degree at San Diego State. She met her husband to be, James Schmidt, at Convair. He was a flight test instrumentation engineer in the same department as Lynn. They were married in October, 1958.
Soon afterward, Jim’s change of jobs took them to Sunnyvale, (Northern) Calif., the area now known as Silicon Valley. Their son Stephen was born in 1964.
While in California, Lynn was not one to sit around the house. Her love of books led her to help organize book sales to support the Sunnyvale Library. She joined the board of the Sunnyvale Library where she ultimately became president of the Library Board of Trustees. She worked for the US census one year. She enjoyed traveling to far off destinations with her older sister Lu Ann. Trips to England, Turkey, Brazil and Argentina were particularly memorable.
Lynn fell in love with Deer Lodge on many trips there to visit her mother, father-in-law and sister Lois. As Jim’s retirement neared, she told him one day, “I don’t know about you, but I’m moving to Deer Lodge when you retire. You can come along if you want!” When Jim retired from Lockheed in 1992, they moved to Deer Lodge.
In Deer Lodge, she kept up her interest in books, reading and traveling. She was on the library board at the Kohrs Memorial Library. She was a member of the Deer Lodge Woman’s Club. She rose to president then became a board member of the local club. She was active at New to You until health issues intervened.
A memorial service was held on Monday, December 4 at the First Presbyterian Church. Lynn was cremated and her ashes will be spread in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Kohrs Memorial Library.