John Wesley Harr
John Wesley Harr
March 13, 1978 - December 8, 2016
Johnny was so much to so many people, a devoted husband and father, a brother and son; he loved his family fiercely. He loved his friends like family. Johnny had an overwhelming amount of love that he was so willing to share. To know him was an honor. He is irreplaceable and unforgettable.
A gifted athlete, Johnny was laid back, yet a true warrior in competition. Johnny once ran two marathons in a week during his cancer treatments! Humble, gracious, and honest, Johnny told the hard truths and wasn’t afraid to walk the path least traveled. He was loyal, even to people who may not have deserved it. He was funny, a story teller who tattooed his presence everywhere he went.
Johnny was born in Red Lodge and on July 10, 1978, he became the newest member of the Harr family in Butte. It was on that day, Wes and Jane Harr brought Johnny home as his adoption was nearly finalized. Johnny completed the bulk of his education in Deer Lodge as he moved with this family in first grade when they purchased The Malt Shoppe, a local diner, which they later expanded down the street into the Nickelodeon Cafe, a family restaurant.
He began wrestling in AAU Wrestling and continued the sport through Jr. High. He dabbled in basketball, although his coordination didn’t quite match his height at that time. He attended Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. Luckily, his coordination had improved tremendously, and he was first recognized as the gifted athlete we’d come to know! Johnny then transferred to Butte Central High School the latter part of his junior year, where he played basketball and football. Because of his height, he was affectionately known as, “Big John.”
Upon graduation, he attended Montana Tech in Butte on a football scholarship, transferred to Dixie State in St. George, Utah, and finally graduated from Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., where he played football and basketball. Johnny graduated with degrees in Anthropology and Psychology. His professional occupation was as an Adult Foster Provider, where he acted as the primary caregiver for adults with special needs.
Johnny was the ultimate caregiver, as his profession clearly demonstrated. His life’s purpose was to care for others, starting with his family, spreading to his friends, even affecting strangers he’d just met. His greatest joy in life truly came from benefiting others, and Johnny helped everyone he could.
Johnny Harr passed away December 8, 2016 of colon cancer at the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore., where he was lovingly cared for by an amazing medical staff, family, and friends. He is survived by his wife, Laura (Lovrien) Harr, and children, Layah (two), Zoe (six), WesLeigh (10), Alyviah (16), and Cassidy (18). Johnny is also survived by his mom and dad, Wes and Jane Harr, of Deer Lodge, grandma, Shirley Harr, of Dillon, sister, Jennifer Harr, and nephew, Niles Harr (seven), of Anaconda, sister, Michelle (Harr) Navarro, and brother-in-law, Nick Navarro, niece, Nichole Navarro (seven), and nephew, Michael Navarro (10), of Florence, and many aunts and cousins.
A favorite quote of Johnny’s was, “When you die, that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live,” said by Stuart Scott.
Johnny Harr dominated cancer; Johnny Harr beat cancer.
Donations can be made directly to The Johnny Harr Fund at any Selco Credit Union. To mail a donation to The Johnny Harr Fund, send a check or money order to:
Selco Credit Union, 299 East 11th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401.
A celebration of Johnny’s life will be held in Deer Lodge in March.
Marilyn D. (Eliason) Chappelow
Marilyn D. (Eliason) Chappelow, 80, of Independence Mo., passed away on January 17, 2017. She was born on July 27, 1936, in Butte to Harvey and Helen Eliason. Marilyn and her husband Sam were long time residents of the Deer Lodge Valley before moving to Missouri.
Marilyn is survived by her husband of 58 years, Samuel Chappelow; son, Keith (Karen) Chappelow of Hastings, Mich.; daughter Joylyn Chappelow of Independence, Mo.; brother Neil Eliason of Bigfork; four grandchildren, Michael (Aimee) Chappelow, Brent Chappelow, Elizabeth (Cameron) Kulhanek, and John Chappelow; seven nieces and three nephews and her beloved doggy, Chico.
A visitation was held from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, January 21 with a memorial service following at 2 p.m. at the East Independence Community of Christ Church in Independence, Mo. Contributions can be made to the Oblation Fund of Community of Christ, 1001 W. Walnut Independence, MO 64050.
Ida Leah (Jones) Hamilton
Ida Leah (Jones) Hamilton, 89, died of natural causes on January 10, 2017 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena.
Ida and Ada her identical twin, were born on July 14, 1927 to Alex and Ida Jones in Deer Lodge. Ida was raised on the family ranch in Avon. She later met Vernon H. Hamilton and married March 10, 1946, they spent 37 years together and raised five children before Vernon passed away in April of 1983.
She was employed by Silver City Sawmill and retired after 17 years. Ida later met her life companion Elmer “Buzz” Wallace. They spent their time traveling, camping and fishing. You always knew it was them in their awesome motorhome. They resided in Elliston until “Buzz” passed away.
Ida had an amazing sense of humor and always put a smile on the face of those around her. She had a passion for the outdoors and she adored John Wayne (There isn’t a Western she hadn’t seen.) She loved to cook and be surrounded by family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband Vernon H. Hamilton, identical twin Ada Smith, sister Marie Neubaur, son Russ Hamilton, granddaughters Brandy Hoyrup, Ekho Hoyrup and Jolene Hamilton, her parents Alex and Ida Jones, daughter-in-law Paula Bonogofsky, and life partner Elmer “Buzz” Wallace.
She is survived by her sister June Hamilton of Thompson Falls, children; Alex (Debbie) Hamilton of Florence, Deb (Bret) Hoyrup of Helena, Barb (Ron) McPhee of Belgrade, Bruce Hamilton (Tami) of Helena, daughter-in-law Linda Hamilton of Lincoln and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A special thank you to Cherly Green and Lacey McPhee for their love and support!
A celebration of Ida’s life will be held in July and will be announced at a later date.
Marie Potts Gilbert
Marie Potts Gilbert, 98.
Our mother disliked long obituaries. She threatened to come down and haunt us if a lengthy one was ever written for her. So, we told her we would write, “she was born, she lived, and she died.” She said, “Fine!” However, after 98 years of living it was decided she deserved more than that.
Mom was born February 13, 1919 in Butte to George and Frances Potts. She was raised in Helmville, the oldest of eight children. She attended St Vincent’s Academy in Helena and later business school in Butte.
In 1940 she married Clifford “Kick” Gilbert. They had six children; Lois Cearley (Jim), Linda Jennings (Cork), Tom Gilbert (Terry Sullivan), Margie Nield (Kent), Phyllis Welch (Tom), and Marvin Gilbert. Mom and dad bought a home in Deer Lodge where she continued living for 76 years. After 35 years of running the Texaco on Main Street with Dad, she kept busy going to “the cabin,” snowmobiling (only until age 96!), playing cards, and volunteering at the Deer Lodge Elementary School where many students called her “Grandma.”
She was preceded in death by her husband, Kick; grandson, David Gilbert; great-granddaughter, Taylor Cearley; sisters, Terese Sewell and Eileen O’Loughlin; brothers, Jack, Frank, and George Potts. She is survived by all her children, 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, sisters, Jean Haviland and Lois Tolon, numerous nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made in her name to the Deer Lodge Senior Citizens, Compassus Hospice, or a charity of donor’s choice.
Visitation was at noon Thursday, January 19, at Jewell Funeral Home with a Vigil service taking place at 6 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday, January 20 at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, Deer Lodge.
Sleep in peace - We love you.
Larry J. Swindler
Larry J. Swindler, 69, of Orange City, Iowa passed away surrounded by family on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Avera Dougherty Hospice House.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 28, at Miller Funeral Home-Downtown, 507 S. Main Ave. Burial will be later this summer at Deer Lodge.
Larry James Swindler, son of Lawrence and Alvina (Sutnik) Swindler, was born December 11, 1947 in Elgin, N.D. He grew up in Mott, N.D. where he enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, football; also hunting and fishing in the Cannonball River. Larry graduated from Mott Lincoln High School in 1965. He attended Dickinson State University for a short time before enlisting into the US Army from 1967-1969.
Larry was united in marriage with Jacqueline Greff on February 13, 1971 in Richardton, N.D. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Gold Creek to ranch with his father and brother. They ranched in Montana until 1979 when they moved to Huron, S.D. Wanting to return to raising livestock and farming, the family made a short move to Wessington, S.D. In May of 1985 they moved to Deer Lodge and he began working for the United States Postal Service in November. Larry transferred to Dakota Central Mail Distribution Facility in 1997 where he worked until he retired in 2010. They moved to Orange City, Iowa in 2011.
He was a member of the American Legion and VFW in Wessington, S.D. and Deer Lodge. He was also involved in the Elks and was in bowling leagues for many years. Larry loved being with his grandchildren where they would rock hunt and play ball in the basement. He loved hunting and fishing, taking pack trips with horses and mules in the mountains, gold panning and metal detecting. Larry loved the animals that were in his life, especially his dog, Reba and mules, Annabelle and Big Enough.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife of 45 years, Jaqueline “Jackie,” Orange City, Iowa; a son, Jason (Dee Roy) Swindler and their children, Avery Roy, Sydney and Aidan Swindler, Mitchell, S.D.; a daughter, Gail (Keith) Bolton and their children, Sawyer and Paisley Bolton, Sioux Center, Iowa; a brother, Robert (Gladys) Swindler, Hays, Kans.; and a sister, Sandra Swindler Brasmer, Puyallup, Wash.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Alvina Swindler; and his infant son, Daniel James Swindler.
Memorials may be given to Avera Dougherty Hospice House, 4509 S Prince of Peace Pl, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 or a charity of your choice.
For online obituary and guest register please go to our website at www.millerfh.com.
Earl Dallas Ford
Montana State Prison inmate Earl Dallas Ford died on Monday, January 23, 2017 of an extended illness at Montana State Prison. Mr. Ford was 76 years old.
Mr. Ford was sentenced out of Missoula County in 1994 for the crime of Sexual Intercourse without Consent. Mr. Ford was sentenced to Montana State Prison for 100 years, without the possibility of parole.