March 14th, 2018
Joseph David Barnett
Joseph David Barnett left us to be with our Lord Jesus February 1, 2018, in Manhattan, Gallatin County. J.D. was born October 26, 1924, to Thomas Barnett and Dola Martin Barnett in Gallatin County Illinois, the oldest of six children.
J.D. served his country in the U.S. Navy (Pacific Theater) during WWII and the Army during the Korean War. Following his military service J.D. moved to Evansville, Ind. There he met his wife of 64 years Vera Jane Padgett Barnett. Two children were born to this union, Jarita Blythe and Ruey Lane. J.D. had many jobs during his lifetime, with his longest tenure working for Birdwell in the oil fields.
The Barnett’s made their home in Fairfield, Ill. from December 1959 to June 1971 until a job transfer took them to Glendive. September 1975, J.D. and Vera moved back to their farm in Fairfield and resided there for the next 24 years. They returned to Montana to be closer to Jarita and Ruey and their families; first to Glasgow, then Belgrade and Manhattan.
J.D. is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings Jim, Marty and Ida. He is survived by his wife Vera of Manhattan, daughter Jarita (Howard) Neckels of Deer Lodge and son Ruey (Marla) Barnett of Belgrade; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. J.D. is also survived by his sisters Ruth Nix and Sally (Glen) Snodgrass; sister-in-law Ellen Barnett.
A private family service was held February 5, 2018, in Manhattan. Memorials may be sent to Belgrade Alliance Church, 205 W. Cameron Ave, Belgrade, MT 59714.
Shirley LeeAnn Fleming (Strickland)
Shirley LeeAnn Fleming (Strickland), 83, of Deer Lodge.
The hearts of those who knew her are one laugh lighter today. Shirley was born to Archibald and Miriam Strickland on August 5, 1934, and left this Earth surrounded by loved ones at home on March 5, 2018. A descendent of the original Strickland homesteaders in the Deer Lodge Valley, Shirley grew up and worked on the family farm. She raised chickens, milked cows, and recalled 5¢ movies at the local theater. Upon graduating from Powell County High School in 1952, she briefly relocated to Spokane, Wash. to work for Swift & Armour. She lived for Saturday nights, as the Spokane dances at the YWCA were very memorable in the early 1950s. Shirley also worked at the Registrar’s Office and the Deer Lodge Clinic.
Shirley and her sweetheart Kenneth (Kenny) Fleming, whom she first met in high school, exchanged letters during his time in Korea, and they eventually married in Butte on March 23, 1956. Their first daughter, Brenda, was born during Kenny’s time working at the Glasgow Air Force Base. Upon returning to Deer Lodge, Shirley and Kenny took over the Fleming ranch and set to work raising livestock and crops. Three more daughters, Colleen, Tracey, and Stacie, were born between 1957 and 1964. Shirley spent many Thursday evenings candling eggs with her daughters in order to sell them the next morning in town.
A keen observer, Shirley kept detailed diaries every day until the final years of her life, creating an unofficial almanac of the happenings of the Deer Lodge Valley and her family. Given this reputation, at one point the Montana State Prison phoned Shirley to verify a recorded temperature on a specific date. She belonged to the Valley Sewing Club and served as an election clerk for many years. Shirley’s excellent memory and fondness for saving mementos created a rich history for her family to enjoy well into the future. While she preferred gifts of jewelry, she saved every letter and picture her grandkids ever sent her!
Well known for her fashion sense and penchant for department stores in Butte, Shirley loved shopping and was a skilled bargain hunter. She also hosted many delicious holiday dinners over the years for friends and family. Her daughters especially remember her commitment to baking birthday cakes and Thanksgiving pies.
Shirley is survived by her husband Kenny of 61 years and sisters Lois Kustura of Astoria, Ore., Marjorie Gress of Yuma, Ariz., and Marlene Beck (Tom) of Helena, as well many nieces, nephews, and extended family members. Direct survivors include her daughters: Brenda Tribelhorn (Robert), of Moscow, Idaho; Colleen Cluka (Donald), of Kalispell; Tracey Fleming-Reese, of Medellin, Colombia; and Stacie Marler (Chris), of Ravensdale, Wash. She additionally leaves behind seven grandchildren: Melissa, Maria, and Jacob Tribelhorn; Brandy Cluka; and Kenneth, Morgan, and Chandler Reese. Shirley is preceded in death by her parents as well as her brothers Robert and Monte Strickland.
Shirley had a deep and unconditional love for her family and friends. She will be dearly missed. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memoriam to Cottonwood Commons Transition Home in Deer Lodge, the Deer Lodge Food Pantry, or Camp Mak-A-Dream in Gold Creek.
Clarke Richard Russell
Clarke Richard Russell, June 1, 1926 - January 28, 2018.
Clarke Richard Russell, age 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Serenity Point Life in Townsend.
Clarke was born on the Russell family ranch north of Weippe, Idaho on June 1, 1926 to Steve Richard Russell and Myrtle May (Jared) Russell. He grew up on the ranch and helped with ranching and the family business of logging. On May 6, 1944 he married Shirley Yvonne Perkins. He graduated as Valedictorian of his class from Weippe High School, Idaho.
On September 18, 1944, Clarke enlisted in the Army during World War II and was assigned to Combat Infantry. After boot camp at Fort Lewis, Wash., he was sent to the Pacific Theater and engaged in heavy combat. His first battle engagement was with the 163rd Regiment, 41st Division conducting an amphibious landing at the Battle of Mindanao (Operation Victor V).
Under heavy mortar fire, his outfit was dumped so far off shore that it required swimming with full battle packs. He could not swim but a buddy got him safely to shore. Several men in his outfit drowned in the landing. After Victor V, he was transferred to the battle for Mount Daho at Jolo Island in the southwest Philippines. There he experienced cave fighting and frequent assault by snipers.
After the Japanese surrender, he was sent to Nigato, Japan, just over the hill from Kuri Navel Base, and put in charge of a crew of Japanese soldiers (prisoners) that were rebuilding the city.
After serving two years, he was mustered out on October 19, 1946. He was never to be the same after participating in these horrors of war. Upon returning home, he learned the family had sold the ranch at Weippe and bought Lochsa Lodge in north-central Idaho. Here, he was engaged in outfitting elk hunting parties during hunting season and logging at other times of the year. In the winter, he lived at Missoula, Victor, or Stevensville in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana.
Clarke continued his profession of logging at various points in western and central Montana, moving frequently. He moved to White Sulphur Springs in 1960 and lived there for several years while logging in the surrounding mountains. Logging jobs still required moving around so he lived in the Montana towns of Wilsall, Livingston, Pray, Emigrant, Clyde Park, Three Forks, Townsend, Avon, and Elliston.
Clarke prayed for salvation as a Christian in 1962 and began preaching in a small church in Elliston in 1980. In 1994, he and Shirley moved to Townsend where he became pastor of the Cedar Street Baptist Church and, in August 1996, was ordained into the Southern Baptist Convention. For many years, he had a ministry at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. He retired from these ministries in 2011 and lived in Townsend until his death.
He had a life-long interest in mining and minerals and his early ambition was to become a mining engineer and geologist.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, wife Shirley, and two sisters, Margaret and Charlotte. He is survived by his children, Steve F. (Kathleen) Russell of Ames, Iowa; Marla Sue (Michael) Russell-Lubbers of Prairie Village, Kans.; six granddaughters: Carla (Bill) Behrens; Tracy (Jerry) Stuart; Effie (Jeff Barber) Tuttle; Miranda (Lee) Winbush; Abbey Russell-Kostoryz; Rebecca (Jace Lyon) Russell; and several great and great-great-grandchildren.
The family asks that memorial contributions be made to your local church in his name.
Celebration-of-Life ceremonies are planned for June 9, 2018 in Ames, Iowa and August 11, 2018 in Townsend. Burial, with Military Honors, will take place at the Avon Cemetery on August 11. Please contact family for times and places.
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