Betty J. Filcher
September 3, 1932 – February 15, 2021
Betty Filcher, 88, of Deer Lodge, died Feb. 15 at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.
She was born to Rose and Bill Miller in Bell Crossing, Stevensville, on Sept. 3, 1932. The family moved to Anaconda with her sister Flossie and brother George, where they graduated high school.
She worked as a telephone operator and at the Anaconda Courthouse and at JC Penney for a time.
She married Dale Filcher and had one son, Michael J. Filcher. She has a granddaughter Jaci Filcher with two grand girls Adrienne Fogerty and Braizlynn Brock and grandson Rhylie Filcher.
Betty and Dale moved all over Montana as Dale worked on the railroad for 40 years. Betty enjoyed bowling, playing cards with the ladies and fishing over the years.
She will be missed greatly by us all.
Graveside services will be held at a later date.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Betty’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Barry Allen Kennedy
September 12, 1946 – March 22, 2021
Barry Allen Kennedy, 74, died at home of natural causes. He was born Sept. 12, 1946, in Rolla, N.D., the second child of Verna Joyce and Ivan Gerald Kennedy.
He spent the first 8 years of his life in Rock Lake, N.D., and then went to work at the smelter in Anaconda. He lived in Deer Lodge almost for the rest of his life.
Barry was very good at math and graduated from Powell County High School in 1964. He went on to the Navy and was honorably discharged 3 years later. After that, he went to and graduated from computer school. He worked at West Coast Paper in Seattle, then settled at Montana State Prison and retired after around 25 years.
Barry liked to fish and hike in the mountains at various lakes. He loved fantasy sports, football, basketball, baseball, hockey – you name it. He was very good at all of them.
He loved his computers and his dogs, walking with them every day, and loved visiting with everybody he happened to meet.
Barry was preceded in death by his mother in 2014 and father in 1997.
He is survived by his daughter, Heather Kennedy, in Fort Collins, Colo.; brothers, Ronald L. Kennedy of Butte and Gerald L. Kennedy (Jackie) of Sagle, Idaho; nephew, Matthew Kennedy of Butte; nieces, Stephanie Rief of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Roberta Cestnic of Manhattan.
Donations may be made to any animal shelter in Barry’s name.
A memorial service will take place at a later date.
Richard O. Rydeen
June 10, 1943 - March 23, 2021
Richard O. Rydeen, 77, known by most as Dick, passed away peacefully on March 23 at St. Pete’s Hospital in Helena from complications of COVID.
Dick was born June 10, 1943, in Kalispell and attended school there prior to the family moving from Somers to Lincoln, then Livingston. He attended Park County High School, graduating in 1961 with his close friends and entered the Army with his buddies very soon after and served his country for 3 years. Upon discharge he moved to Deer Lodge where his parents and siblings were and went to work at the Northern Timber Sawmill.
Dick fell in love with and married his wife Karla Johnson there in 1966. They moved to Missoula, and he enrolled at U of M and worked nights at a parking garage downtown. They then moved back to Deer Lodge, returning to work at the sawmill.
He then enrolled at Western Montana College in Dillon, where the family resided, returning each summer to work at the mill. Part of his success in managing everything was having earned the G.I. Bill funding of $90 (a large amount in 1967!), being a wizard with finances, and working any job during the school year, including cleaning laundromats, and farm work. He always made sure all of the needs of his family were met, sometimes going without himself, but always ensuring there were savings for any emergency.
He and Karla had two daughters during that era, Kristi Lee and Amy Jean.
Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a math major, they returned to Deer Lodge where he once again worked at the sawmill. He completed his student teaching at the Junior High with the wonderful teachers, becoming good friends. Never having taught in the public schools thereafter, he used his education in many ways as he climbed the ladder with what became one of the Louisiana-Pacific Co. mills as Planer Superintendent, Mill Manager, then promoted as Division Operations Manager of 15 mills in five states. He was lucky enough to keep his family and office in Deer Lodge even though the head office was in the Coeur d’ Alene area. He had the most amazing work ethic and barely took a day off and few vacations. He received a special LP watch in 1993 commemorating 20 years with that company and worked until he took an early retirement one month short of his 54th birthday.
In 1980 we were blessed with custody of our nephew, Frank Gonzalez, and he was instantly received with love as a son and brother to Kristi and Amy. Dick made sure his kids were able to enjoy snow and water skiing, bringing their friends along, and those are some of their best memories today. With his great sense of humor he teased the kids about many things, but their favorite was when he told them he had “the body of James Dean and the mind of Einstein.” Pictures of the two legends still grace the wall of his room even though the only sure thing was his brilliance and high IQ. He taught us all the difference between “want” and “need” even though he spoiled his children with pretty much everything they wanted!
Dick had a major stroke at 59 but his disabilities did not affect his being the caretaker of his family. Again, being the amazing “Great Watash” as his kids called him; he made sure he lived the last 18 years large and in charge, with the same work ethic and love, exercising, reading, always kind to all that cared for him even in the worst of situations.
He especially appreciated the great care given to him by the Veterans Administration, including the VA Home Health Care team. He got tired of “this damn stroke” but kept his sense of humor and his ability to give Karla, the kids and grandkids and other family members that great advice even if they didn’t need it! Education was important to him for any and all that pursued it, and he assisted family as best he could with those financial burdens.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Frank and Fred, nephew Joey, niece Anna, the in-laws he loved so much, and his beautiful daughter Amy.
He is survived by his wife and girlfriend, Karla; daughter Kristi; son Frankie; grandkids Lance and Carlo Gonzalez, Daley (Michael) Beck, of Helena, Danielle of Casper, Wyo.; great granddaughter “Princess” Kennedi Beck, Helena.
The Psalm of Life poem from his Mother said in part “Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate, still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.” On his office wall was a sign that said, “The Oxen Are Slow but the Earth is Patient.” These words are what he tried to teach his co-workers, friends and especially family to live by, as he did himself.
A graveside service is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, April 3, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. A celebration of Dick’s life will be scheduled this summer. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Dick.