Death Notice for Duane Hart
Duane Hart, 70, of Deer Lodge, died on Thursday, December 24, 2020, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center. Services are pending.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Duane’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Dale Marie Thompson Briggeman
After almost 96 years of family hugs, and nine months without them, mom/grandma Dale took her last breath in the early minutes of Dec. 26, 2020.
Dale Marie Thompson Briggeman died of natural causes at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation, her home for most of the past six years. It had nothing to do with COVID-19 and everything to do with a gentle old heart that grudgingly stopped beating.
Dale was born June 2, 1924, to Leo and Elizabeth Bersuch Thompson on a ranch between Lewistown and Grass Range. The family moved into Lewistown when the kids, including sister Eleanor and brothers Roy and Harry, became of school age. Dale graduated from Fergus High in 1942 and followed in Eleanor’s footsteps to Montana State Normal College in Dillon. After graduating from the two-year program she taught third grade in Bozeman for a year; first grade in Deer Lodge for three years and in Rockford, Washington, for one more. While in Deer Lodge she met Martin Briggeman, and they married in Lewistown on June 25, 1949.
The newlyweds lived first in Drummond, where Martin was bulk salesman for Continental Oil (Conoco). Kathy was born in May 1950, and in 1951 Martin accepted an offer to manage Ted Farley’s Two Creek Ranch in Ovando. Lynne, Tom and Kim were born while living there. In 1957 Martin took a job with the state highway department and moved his growing family to Helena. In June 1958 they settled outside of Missoula, in a home at Marshall Grade that would remain Briggeman headquarters for the next 50-plus years. Mary, their fifth and youngest child, was born two months later.
In January 1965, with all her kids now in school, Dale opened a private kindergarten on the porch of her home. For the next nine and a half years she taught morning and afternoon classes to five-year-olds who are now in their 50s and early 60s. When Bonner School added public kindergarten in the fall of 1975, Dale was the obvious selection to lead it. For the next 11 years she was surrounded by a staff of lifelong friends and hundreds of eager students. Dale was also an active member of the Altar Society at St. Ann Catholic Church in Bonner, and was fully immersed in the horse show scene with Martin and the girls. After she retired from teaching in 1986, Dale threw herself into her yard, her kids and their kids, walks by the river and up Marshall Canyon, and frequent travels with Martin to ports of call from Hawaii to Texas to Plentywood. In 2006 they moved into Missoula to enjoy life at The Springs. When Martin’s health deteriorated five years later, Dale moved to the Village Senior Residence to be near him. Her husband of 62 years passed away on Aug. 22, 2011.
After living for a time in Colorado with daughter Lynne and her family, Dale moved back to Missoula in early 2015. She received the best of care at Riverside from an array of compassionate providers, even and especially during these COVID times. We will forever be grateful for that.
Besides Martin, Dale was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Eleanor Bell and Roy and Harry Thompson. Survivors include her children: Kathy (Sam) Milodragovich, Butte; Lynne (Stewart) Thomson, Kremmling, Colorado; Tom (Tomi) Briggeman, Kalispell; Kim (Linda) Briggeman, Missoula, and Mary (Milt) Bradford, Weatherford, Texas. Dale is also survived by brother-in-law Don Briggeman of Portland, Oregon, as well as 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren: Sam and Kelly Milodragovich (Arabelle and Ellery) of Lolo; Mary Milodragovich of Clinton; Pat and Liza Thomson (Charlee, Owen, Will) of Wright, Wyoming; Tim and Nellie Thomson (Lyndee and Hadley) of Kremmling, Colorado; Adrianne and Mike Taylor (Jackson and Clay) of Spokane; Malarie and Chad Juel (Briggs) of Scobey; Kaci Briggeman (Marli) of Missoula; Kara and Josh Petersen (Kenzie and Kyrie) of East Helena; Nicole and Jermaine Sellers (Lincoln) of Raleigh, North Carolina; Molly and Austin Sabers of Kalispell, and Garrett Bradford of Texas.
Funeral services will be held when the pandemic is under wraps. Dale’s cremains will be interred next to Martin’s at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge at that time. Memorials can be made to Ladies of St. Ann, St. Ann Catholic Church, P.O. Box 1008, Bonner, Montana 59823.
Edna Marie Parish Hover
Edna Marie Parish Hover. December 11th, 1943 – December 28th, 2020.
Edna Hover went to be with her Lord on December 28th, 2020, in Chandler, Ariz. She was born on December 11, 1943, to Carl and Phoebe Parish in Dillon. The family resided in the Big Hole Valley for several years before moving to Deer Lodge in 1955. She attended Powell County High School and there, met the love of her life, Forest Hover. The two were married on July 6, 1960. Edna was a lifetime member of Floral Chapter #46, O.E.S.
She is survived by her son, Roy Hover, brother Carl Parish, numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Forest, and her daughter, Tammie Hover Romine.
No services are planned at this time. Donations in her memory can be made to a charity of your choice.
Diane Wallgren (90).
Diane passed away peacefully at home on December 26. She was surrounded by her family including her husband of 72 years, Ivan, and her son Terry and his wife Mary. Diane lived in Rathdrum, Idaho for eight years at the Golden Spike Estates, but Deer Lodge, where they lived for 58 years, was the place she always considered home.
She was born February, 1930 in Ashley, N.D., to Adolph and Lydia Hess. In her childhood, they moved around North Dakota as her dad worked for the Great Northern Railroad. She graduated from Ellendale High School in North Dakota. A mutual friend had introduced Diane to Ivan Wallgren and their first date was a local dance. She married Ivan in 1948 in Jamestown, N.D. They went on to have two children, Terry and Vicki, and moved to Deer Lodge in 1954 where she spent most of her life. Ivan taught shop at the junior high. Once their own children were in school, Diane worked for the Montana Registrar’s Office and then became the “call girl” for the Montana State Prison – at least that was what they called the switchboard operator. She enjoyed her career and the friends she made. She retired in 1984.
Diane loved her beautiful flower garden and was affectionately known as “Grandma Rainbird” because she maintained a gorgeous yard through frequent watering by hand. They loved going to car shows in the Northwest to show off their restored ’67 Mustang convertible and ’55 fat-fender Ford pickup and even hosted the Territorial Days Rod Run at the Old Prison in Deer Lodge for several years. In addition to the multitude of trophies they took home, they also made many friends they enjoyed seeing year after year. Diane also enjoyed traveling to see family across the US and in Canada. Family and friends were very important to her. Diane will always be remembered as an elegant, beautiful woman with a quiet, gracious nature.
Faith meant a lot to Diane and she was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Deer Lodge and then Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Rathdrum.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents and their daughter, Vicki. She is survived by her husband, Ivan; son Terry (Mary) of Rathdrum; grandsons Cory (Holly) of Jefferson City, Lee (Kirsten) of Havre, and Brett (Leticia) of Bonney Lake, Wash.; and six great-grandchildren: Michael, Ryan, Wyatt, April, Colter, and Harper.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation: www.BCRF.org
Jerry Ray Johnson
Jerry Ray Johnson, 68, ended his journey on earth and entered his true home in Heaven on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. He was with his devoted wife, Sharon, at their residence and is now at peace after a five-year battle with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy).
Jerry was born on a blizzarding Easter Sunday, April 13, 1952 to Lawrence and Nellie Ann (Runnels) Johnson 45 minutes after his twin sister, Judy – much to the surprise of his parents. They joined his other siblings David, Jim, Jane, Barbara and Kathleen.
He was raised in Wautoma, Wis. where he enjoyed playing baseball with his siblings, spending summer days at Witter’s Lake with his grandmother, Anna Johnson, swimming, fishing, and catching turtles and frogs with his siblings and cousins. The family moved to Monona, Wis. in 1967 where Jerry later graduated from Monona Grove High School in 1970.
He moved to Milwaukee where he worked for Kmart and Miller Brewing Company for many years. He met and married Jaqueline Blend and they were blessed with two sons, Joseph in 1975 and Kristopher in 1979. Jackie and Jerry later divorced, and Jerry moved to Deer Lodge in 1984 where his brother Dave lived. Jerry began managing the Deer Lodge Golf Course and worked at the liquor store and bartended at The Broken Arrow before settling into his career at the Montana State Prison. He met Sharon Moore and was welcomed with open arms to the Moore family and group of friends. Jerry and Sharon married in July 1986 and were blessed with son, Joshua in 1988 and daughter Dannielle in 1992.
Jerry worked for the Montana State Prison for 29 years. He held several different titles through the years including Correctional Officer, Hearings Officer, and finally as Contract Placement Bureau Correction Manager. Jerry enjoyed work, but more importantly the people he met and friendships he made. He will probably be remembered by his coworkers mostly for his sense of humor, pranks, and easy-going attitude. Due to health issues, he retired from the prison in August 2016 and was honored for his years of service.
Being born and bred in Wisconsin, Jerry was an avid Packer and Brewer fan and every trip to Lambeau Field and Miller Park was a special occasion, even to the point of paying homage by kissing the ground at Lambeau field with Kris and Josh. Family and friends loved to gather, often in full Cheesehead apparel, to watch the Packer games. He wanted to make sure everyone was well fed so brats and brews and a multitude of appetizers were staples. Jerry enjoyed all sports especially when his kids were participating – soccer and baseball with Joe, hockey with Kris, basketball and football with Josh and basketball, volleyball, softball and track with Danni. At Danni’s various sports events he was known as the “King of Concessions” and would often have pockets full of treats to give away.
Jerry had such a gentle spirit, always wanting to make people feel comfortable and at ease. He had an infectious grin and a quick humor, regardless of the occasion. He would be the first person to crack a joke at his own memorial. Just ask any of his coworkers about his fart machine. He was the best guy to belly up to the bar with for a drink and always had a story to tell. With family and others, he was continually patient, kind, fair, understanding, impartial, and ready to listen.
Jerry was full to bursting with classic dad knowledge - how to build a deck, the best kind of pepper for salsa, dates of the French and Indian War, how tall Napoleon Bonaparte was, and the name of the 1967 Superbowl MVP. If you ever had the privilege to be on his team in a game of trivial pursuit, the win was in the bag.
He was always willing to lend a helping hand no matter the time or place. He was an Exalted Ruler for the Local Elks club, frequently acting as chef (where his potato bar was famous), and bartending where his humor and listening skills were greatly appreciated. He was an avid participant in their charitable activities around town like the Hoop Shoot, Hooked on Fishing, bike safety and various other community events.
Jerry loved yard sales, and on any given weekend you could find him scouring the streets of Deer Lodge looking for a bargain (or what Sharon called junk), the perfect gift, or just striking up a conversation, especially with fellow “collectors,” a trait that he passed along to Danni.
He enjoyed Monday night cribbage - looking for a 29 hand, men’s bowling- always striving for the elusive 300, and the occasional poker games on Saturdays at Benders. For many years, golfing was also an enjoyable activity with family and friends. Jerry loved to build, tinker, and fix. He was always working on a project - fixing a lawn mower, building a shelf, organizing the garage or elbow deep in his garden.
Jerry was loved by all who were lucky enough to know him. He made every life he touched better. Many would say he was “one of the good ones.”
Jerry was preceded in death by parents, Lawrence and Nellie, in-laws, Hugh and Lois Moore, brother Dave and Sister Barbara and brothers-in-law Pat Purcell and Robert Pohle. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; sons Joe (Alison) Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; Kris, Sheboygan, Wis.; Josh (Brittany) Belgrade; daughter Danni (Joe) Kersten, Manitowoc, Wis.; brother Jim (Janice) Sidney, Ohio; sisters Jane (Pete) Brogle, and Kathy Pohle, Wautoma, Wis.; twin sister Judy Johnson (Gene) Wild Rose, Wis. He is also survived by brother-in-law David (Nancy) Moore, Deer Lodge; Janice (Chuck) Spencer, Helena; Meri (Greg) Hudoba, Minneapolis, Min. and grandchildren, David, Mary, Daniel and Luke Johnson, Katelynn Johnson and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
Sharon and the family would like to thank Julie and Grace from Senior Home Solutions for their wonderful care. A special thank you to Dr. Paul Siddoway for the years of care and support as well his determination to find answers. They are forever grateful. Sharon would also like to thank family and friends for their love, support and prayers these last five years which brought them joy and laughter even amid Jerry’s health challenges.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 1 p.m. at the Rialto Theater in Deer Lodge. Join us in solidarity that day by wearing green and gold with the Johnson family Packer fans. Masks and social distancing will be practiced. The service will be live streamed from: Flint Creek Courier’s Facebook page under Events.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to CurePSP, Elks National Foundation, Christ Fellowship Church or donor’s choice.
James Harold “Steve” Stevenson
James Harold “Steve” Stevenson. May 23, 1929- December 29, 2020.
Dad was born in Alexander, North Dakota on May 23, 1929. He was raised on his granddad’s ranch on Squaw Gap, Redwing/Haydraw area, North Dakota near Sydney. He was the fourth of 11 children born to Hod Stevenson and Laura Grace (Shibley) Stevenson. The first two passed as babies from “milk fever.” His older brother, Hugh William, was killed in a car wreck in May of 1975.
Jim enlisted in the Army in November of 1950. Dad married our mother, Karen Louise Wells, on March 31, 1951, in Miles City. Five days later Jim was deployed to Korea. He served 10 months on the front lines as a Communication Specialist. He returned to the states in August of 1952.
After his return to civilian life Jim and Karen, and daughter Donna who was born while he was away at war, moved to Keene, N.D. to the Henderson Ranch. Leslie and Danny were born while Jim and Karen and family lived there. The family then moved to the Kennedy Ranch at Mandaree, N.D. and then moved to Powers Lake where Jim worked for Ron Creighton, Karen’s uncle, who ran a dairy farm there. Our brother Wade Lee was born on May 19th of 1959. A week out of the hospital and Jim moved the family to the Spring ranch on the Figure 4. It was there that Wade Lee passed on January 21, 1960. Times were tough for this Stevenson family, but we worked hard and always made the best of things. We had each other to rely on and had many good times as well.
In April of 1960 Jim and family relocated to Deer Lodge to work for the Comico American Phosphate Mine. He was nearly killed in a mine accident in 1962. In June of 1967 Jim moved the family to Wisdom. The family lived at the Ferris Ranch house and Jim took a job working for the Mel McDowell family.
Jim did many different jobs over his 91 years of life. He broke horses, farmed, milked cows, cut lumber, built fence. His greatest love next to his family, was breaking horses and working on the ranch. The cowboy life. In fact, he was just horseback two years ago in the spring, up at the North Fork Ranch west of Wisdom and heeled a calf that needed doctored and tagged!
Jim loved the Big Hole. He loved riding the meadows, hunting, fishing, fencing. Just about anything outdoors. He loved a good meal, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and peas. He loved a good piece of pie and often could be found at the Crossing Bar and Grill in Wisdom enjoying his favorite, pumpkin pie with a big dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top. Jim also like to socialize. He could often be found at the Antlers Saloon in Wisdom discussing the day’s work with the local cowboys while enjoying a Budweiser or a Ten High Whiskey Ditch.
Jim was known throughout the area as “Gentleman Jim, or Steve,” which was short for Stevenson.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents (Laura Grace and Harold Stevenson), his siblings Hugh (Shib) Stevenson, Walter (Walt) Stevenson, Jerry (Bud) Stevenson, Winnifred (Loulabell) Dschaak, Sharon Stevenson, Patrick Stevenson, Robert Henry “Bob” Stevenson, and two siblings who died right after birth: his two sons, Wade Lee Stevenson and Leslie James Stevenson, and his beloved grandson Jason (Jake) Neil Stevenson.
Jim is survived by his siblings Patricia/Sis (Pete) White, Adam “Mike” (Katherine) Stevenson, and Katheryn “Jeppy” Rutledge; his daughter Donna Louise (Mike) Campbell of Battle Mountain, Nev., her son Danny Ross Stevenson (Serena) of Wisdom, daughter, Paula (Buzz) Kirkpatrick of Jackson; also his grandchildren Dusti (Aaron) Gilbert of Battle Mountain, Nev., Chancy (Sheila) Campbell of Wisdom, Tharon Campbell (Stacey) of Jackpot, Nev., Lacey Stevenson of Billings, James “Jimmer” (Zane Burns) Stevenson of Wisdom, Lori Wilke of Wisdom, Lani (Eric) Leonard of Winslow, Ariz., Jennifer (Rusty) Kallem of Billings, Sarah (Dan) Reinhold of Pocatello, Idaho, Megan (Robert) Blake of Dillon, and Holly (Spencer) Sorensen of Belgrade, Arthur (Harlie Smith) Gutierrez of Bozeman, Lydia (Martell Parks) Gutierrez of Menifee, Calif., Rosanna Gutierrez of Missoula; and 29 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 9. About 4:30 or 5:00 we will all toast Jim at the Antlers Saloon in Wisdom, then at 6 pm at the Crossing Bar & Grill, we will all do a toast to “Gentle Jim,” a great friend, a great cowboy, a great man. A private family and close friends scattering of his ashes at Stone Lake, up Doolittle, will take place this summer, date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Rocky Mountain Care Center, 30 South Rodney, Helena, Montana 59601. They took such great care of him; he was very comfortable and happy there.