Paul Joseph Ployhar
Paul Joseph Ployhar, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Melstone, Montana, on June 30, 2021, following a six-month battle with esophageal cancer.
Paul was born the third of nine children to Joseph E. and Mary J. (Baburek) Ployhar at the family farm in Coffee Creek, MT on April 25, 1932. Paul graduated from St. Leo’s Catholic High School in Lewistown, MT in 1950. After graduation, he relocated with the family to a ranch in Potomac, MT.
In 1952, Paul was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the 32nd Infantry Regiment in the Korean War. Although Paul was very quiet about his time in active service, we know that he had specialized training in radio communications and completed his duty with honors. Upon returning from Korea, he formed Ployhar Logging with his brother Stephen, who was also a Korean War Veteran. They operated their logging business throughout Montana for the next 42 years.
Paul married the love of his life, Nancy Ellen Gendrow, in Bonner, MT on May 4, 1957. They were blessed with five children whom they raised in Deer Lodge. Work opportunities led Paul to Eastern Montana in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. After Nancy’s untimely death in 1994, he relocated to Melstone full time.
Paul had a strong faith and was very active in the local Catholic parish. A gifted musician, Paul enjoyed playing the guitar and mandolin at jam sessions and family gatherings, instilling in his children an appreciation of music. In retirement, Paul enjoyed fishing, wood cutting and gardening; he could often be found tending the community garden or delivering firewood to friends and neighbors.
Always a hard worker, and especially mechanically inclined, he was known as the town Fix-It Man (or Melstone MacGyver!). Paul continued to cut firewood, operate his chain saws and help others until just before his death. Paul remained quick-witted, sharp as a tack and tough as nails to the very end.
Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Nancy; his parents Joseph and Mary Ployhar; and siblings Charlie, Martin, Stephen, Rosalie Froehlich, Annie O’Neill and Mary Anne Abbot.
Paul is survived by two siblings, Albert (Peggy) Ployhar of Spokane Valley, WA, and Josephine Labbe of Turah, MT; children Marie Ployhar of Deer Lodge, Madonna (Kirk) Mader of Orovada, NV, Loretta (Ron) Sweigard of Cle Elum, WA, Annette (Sean) Galahan of Deer Lodge, and Anthony (Shelley) Ployhar of Delaware, OH; grandchildren Jessica Scharf, Austin (Kelly) Scharf, Quinn (Chase) Briggs, Kade Mader, Danielle Sweigard, Sami Sweigard, Joey Meagher, Connor Meagher, Julian Ployhar, Tristan Ployhar and Farryn Ployhar; and nine great grandchildren.
Paul’s Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Melstone, MT, on July 21, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. (Rosary will be at 11:00 am), followed by a luncheon at the Melstone Community Center.
Paul’s graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, MT, on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. followed by a luncheon at The Broken Arrow.
Memorials can be made to the Melstone EMT/fire service, Melstone Community Pool or Melstone Community Center.
Eva Marie Pierce
Deer Lodge resident Eva Marie Pierce passed away Saturday, July 10, at her residence surrounded by loving family. She was 49.
Eva was born to Ernest and Evelyn Pierce on July 17, 1971, and was welcomed into a large family of siblings. Throughout her life she maintained a strength of spirit that dominated her attitude and kept her in control of her adventures. Not always being dealt the best of hands, she maximized her place at the table with sheer strength and determination that was admired by anyone who knew her.
Eva loved to draw, fish and collect rocks. She could always be seen scrubbing her rocks clean, with a pencil in her hand drawing something or immortalizing her drawings by etching them onto wood.
Eva had two sons, Christopher Pierce and Cody Grantham. She also had a daughter, Jessica Pierce, who preceded her in death. Eva was also preceded in death by brothers Ernest Jr., Blaine, Evan and Cliff.
Eva is survived by her sisters Elizabeth Stone, Tina Pierce, Irma Morrel, Delia Pierce and Rosa Pierce; brothers Joseph, Karl and Pat; along with several nieces and nephews, cousins and her granddaughter Abigail Rose Grantham. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Service has been privileged to care for Eva and her family.
Funeral Notice: Barry Kennedy
Barry Kennedy, age 74, of Deer Lodge, passed away on March 20, 2021. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Please visit www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence, or to share a memory of Barry. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Barry and his family.