Sonja Larson Dehn
Sonja Larson Dehn, 79.
Sonja Marie (Larson) Dehn died of natural causes on February 5, 2017, in Great Falls where services were held on Saturday, February 11.
She was born May 31, 1937 in Big Timber to Sadie & Elmer Larson. In 1940 they moved to Deer Lodge where her father was manager for W.G. Woodward Co (later Anthony’s) dry goods store. Sonja attended Deer Lodge schools graduating from Powell County High School in 1955 where she was active in music, drama, and athletics. She graduated from Montana State in Bozeman in 1959. Following graduation, she taught school in Havre and worked as an occupational therapist at Montana State Hospital before marrying Karl Dehn of Power in 1961. Karl’s work with the Minuteman missile program required the family to relocate to five different states in the west during the 1960s. The family settled in Great Falls permanently in the 1970s.
An avid sportsman, Sonja served in many capacities on boards and instructing youth in bowling and golf. For 20 years she served as secretary of the MT State Women’s Golf Association. A special lifelong memory was attending the 1960 Olympic games in Rome, Italy.
A gifted wood carver, she specialized in Norwegian design as well as scale-size miniature wood figures which are treasured by many friends and family.
Sonja is survived by her husband, Karl, of Great Falls; daughter, Kristen Dehn (Mike Carrethers) of Great Falls, sons, Keith (Armoun Forghan) Dehn of Mesa, Ariz. and Paul (Karin) Dehn of Choteau, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Also surviving are sister Judy Johnston of Deer Lodge and brother Charley Larson of Hamilton, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Carole Elizabeth Hansen-Ray
On February 3, 2017, it became apparent Luke Ray Sr. did not want to spend another wedding anniversary in Heaven without his best girl, Carole Elizabeth Hansen-Ray. He asked for her to come home so they may celebrate their 55th Wedding Anniversary — together and surrounded by those who are already there.
As the wife of a miner and a timberman, Carole often heard Luke say, “Back ‘em up and head ‘em out.” On May 1, 1961 this would be the way they began their marriage. She slid in next to him and they drove to the courthouse in his new Dodge muscle car and the rest was a love story to be admired by many. In the early morning hours, she headed out to follow her best friend and husband for the final time.
Upon her return home, Carole was greeted by her parents Harold and Margret Hansen who blessed the world with their daughter on March 16, 1943. Carole’s brother Dick and sister Joyce were also a part of the welcoming home committee. They will be talking over old times with their parents, while Russell and Harold remember them dearly back here on earth.
God knew what he was doing when he introduced Luke and Carole to each other over cokes and coffee in The Coffee Cup Café in Deer Lodge. This town is also where they made their home and built a family. Mining jobs took them to California, Nevada, and Idaho. Carole never questioned a move — her place was right beside Luke. The adventures were rounded off by Carole’s older brother, and Luke’s good friend, Harold Hansen.
When their first child and only daughter, Denise was born they knew it was time to put roots down once and for all. Luke worked at the mine at Phosphate and Carole worked as a cook in local restaurants. It was during this time Luke’s waist went from a trim 29 inches to incrementally larger sizes “Due to having one too many of Carole’s good pies.”
Two sons, Luke Jr. and Dean soon joined the family within a few years of each other. Luke and Carole’s children became lifelong partners and best-friends to them. Now when they talk about their children, the conversations will be filled with deep love and pride. They will smile at each other and revel in the many blessings of the grand-babies (both fur and human) who will remember them in their hearts.
Carole’s kitchen table was one at which you would always find an open seat, a hot pot of coffee and an even hotter game of Pinochle. Somehow, room was always made for one more. At her table many ladies played cards, told stories, drank Pepsi and/or coffee and thrived in each other’s company. It was from this table, future generations overheard conversations and made observations which would shape their lives — often without being aware of the goodness surrounding them.
Family, friends and other passions were entangled with each other. Bowling — up to seven days a week for years, countless BINGO game outings and watching T.V. all had kept with the tradition of having one thing in common — family. The family Luke and Carole amassed over the years was more than biology it was the result of the willingness to open their hearts and their home.
The countless loved ones who remain behind include, but are not limited to: her brothers Harold and Russell Hansen. Her daughter Denise Ray and her family, Tony Forsman (Shelby Stroup), Brooklynn and Brylee Forsman, Jessica Forsman (Joe Gwin), Holly and Cambrie Hiltz, Taitem and McKenna Johnson, Teddi Forsman (Izzy). Her son Luke Ray (Brenda Ray) and their family, Anthony Jacks, Breanna Ray (Bo Havens), Krystal Havens, Lukie Ray, Bobby Ray (Samantha Lott), William Ray, Carli Ray. Her son Dean Ray (Brittany Ray) and their family, Jolene Herbst, DJ Ray, Jeremiah Ray, and Abbie Ray; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who have and will always be considered family. They are the legacy of two people who met, fell in love and built a life together. There will be a viewing at Jewell Funeral Home Friday February 17, 2017 from noon-8 p.m. Please join in a celebration of this great lady’s life at Jewell Funeral Home on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 2 p.m. Graveside services will follow where Carole will be attended to by her loving pallbearers: Luke Ray, Dean Ray, Tony Forsman, Bobby Ray, Lukie Ray, and Anthony Jacks.