Sarah R. Rehmer
Sarah R. Rehmer, 73, of Deer Lodge, died peacefully on Sunday evening April 26, 2015, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center.
Sarah, or “Sally” as her friends called her, was born on September 6, 1941, in St. Louis, Mo., the daughter of Frank and Ann Rochester. Her family later moved to Salem, Ill. where her father worked as a civil engineer for the state of Illinois. Sally took great pride in her father’s accomplishments, which included the construction of several bridges in the state.
Sally’s whole life may be understood as a triumph of survival. At just the age of five her mother Ann arranged for Sally to get a highly experimental and risky operation for an enlarged heart, which meant that Sally would remain physically limited and small in stature but strong in heart. Growing up, she excelled in art, and after studying first at the University of Illinois, then the University of Montana, she received an MFA in Art, and for a time taught in public schools in both Montana and Idaho.
In her early adult years Sally struggled with drugs and alcohol before achieving sobriety in September of 1977 and remained sober to her death. After achieving sobriety, Sally turned her attention to helping others afflicted with alcoholism, and became one of Montana’s first certified alcoholism counselors. She began working as a counselor trainee at Galen in 1979 and for approximately the next 25 years worked as a counselor throughout Montana, and was recognized for her work on several occasions. In the process, she both changed and saved lives. Having converted to Catholicism later in life, Sally was also devout Catholic who had been active in the Deer Lodge Catholic community.
She will be missed by her son Geoff, her daughter Heather, her daughter-in-law Ah-ling, her son-in-law Bryan, and her grandchildren Sage, Vivian, Gavin, and Hannah.
Her son would like to thank Judy Hogan, Verna Baker, Chris Dubay, and Jane McMahon, along with Dodie Rennfield and the Powell County Council on Aging for the friendship, love, and support of Sally, particularly in her later years.
There will be a celebration of Sally’s life at the Immaculate Conception Church in Deer Lodge on May 8 at 11 a.m.
Marvin Lee Atkins
Marvin Lee Atkins, 82, entered his heavenly home on May 2, 2015. In his final days, he was surrounded and comforted by his family. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace.
Marvin was born in Lawson, Mo. to Shorty and Fern Atkins on May 1, 1933. He was the seventh of eight children who were raised on a farm. Marvin graduated from Excelsior Springs in 1950 and was inducted into the high school hall of fame for football and track and field. At the age of 18 while working as a custom cutter in Shelby, Marvin met his future bride, Jeannine Montgomery. A year later they were married on June 22, 1952.
Marvin and Jeannine were blessed with four girls: Debbie, Bridgett, Janet, and Beverly. Marvin raised his family on a farm north of Shelby for 39 years. He retired in 2004 and moved to Deer Lodge and wintered in Surprise, Ariz. for 11 years.
Marvin enjoyed playing horseshoes, golf, card games, watching his grandchildren in their various activities and being a member of the Tractor Club. He was kind and soft spoken. He was a stranger to no one and a friend to all by his humor, contagious smile, and sharing God’s love.
He is survived by his wife Jeannine Atkins; his children Debbie and Pat Burgin, Bridgett and Chuck Oliver, Janet and Tom Christnacht, Beverly and David Davis; his grandchildren Nick and Jamie Corisis, Jessica and Jesse Bartley, Cody Oliver, Jennie Christnacht, Ashley Burgin, Susan Christnacht, Jesse Oliver, Michele Christnacht, Henry Davis, and Griffin Davis; his great-grandchild Landon Corisis; his siblings Ruth Rudd, Allen and Betty Atkins, Donna and Bill Smoot, and Floyd Atkins. He is preceded in death by his siblings Jay Atkins, John Atkins, and Rita Rabe; and his parents.
Services will be held in honor of Marvin Lee Atkins at the First Baptist Church in Deer Lodge, at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 9. Services will be led by Pastor Howard Neckels. A procession will lead family and friends to a ceremony at the Hillcrest Cemetery. Memorials can be made in Marvin’s name to First Baptist Church, Deer Lodge.
James (Jim) G. Blodgett Jr.
James (Jim) G. Blodgett Jr. passed away on April 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn. from a heart attack. He was only 52 years of age. Jim was born on January 31, 1963 in Deer Lodge in the old St. Josephs Sisters hospital, the first son of James Sr. and Janie M. Blodgett. Jim grew up in Deer Lodge attending O.D. Speer grade school, DuVall Jr. High and Powell County High School. Throughout his school years he was very active in school activities and excelled in basketball, football and track. Jim had a great love for the Deer Lodge area, its mountains, hunting and fishing. He spent many hours with his friends, family and his dogs hiking and fishing. Nearly every weekend his family spent time at their cabin at Rock Creek Lake and later at Rock Creek River. Jim spent every available daylight minute hiking, fishing, exploring and just skipping rocks. He was an excellent fly fisherman and rarely came home without a string of fine trout.
After graduation from PCHS in 1981 he attended Carroll College and the University of Montana eventually graduating from Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash. with a degree in Environmental Sciences.
During his younger years he developed a love of music and writing original songs which became his passion throughout his life. He was an excellent musician and played in several bands along with his brother Jeff. Jim’s first successful song was “Love Conquers All” on the Holy Soldier Album Promise Man in 1996. Jim carried the check receipt for payment he received for the song with him wherever he moved to as an incentive to never give up his passion.
While employed in Washington Jim met and married Kelley Atkinson. Jim & Kelley had three daughters from that marriage, Jessica, Taya & Teagan. In 1998 Jim and his family relocated to Nashville where he was employed by the State of Tennessee as an Environmental Air Pollution Specialist. The job and area seemed perfect for Jim and his family. In 1999 Jim entered a Nashville song writing contest entering four of his studio recorded songs. Jim won first place in the contest among the herd of Nashville song writers. In 2003 Jim and his family returned to Washington and he worked at various Environmental Specialist positions with the State of Washington. In 2009 he relocated to Alaska where he worked with the State of Alaska and the U.S. Government on Military Bases in Fairbanks and Delta Junction. Throughout the years he never lost touch with his contacts in Nashville and he continued to write music. In 2014 he returned to Nashville and taped several of his songs, four of which were recently in production. His first song of the four was picked up for recording by a new Nashville artist only days after his death.
Jim was a talented scientist, musician and song writer. He had an unconditional love for his daughters. He loved animals of all types but especially his German Shepherds. Jim’s family and many friends always enjoyed his sense of humor and great smile. He seemed to have a “different” way of viewing a situation and couldn’t keep from sharing his perspective to the enjoyment and laughter of everyone. Jim was always a kind and thoughtful person. He had a great eye for picking up interesting vintage “stuff.” While in the south he studied the Civil War and used his metal detector to discover many artifacts of battles in Tennessee. He seemed to have a sixth sense and great luck in finding so many interesting things for himself and his dad, both avid collectors.
His last wishes were to have his ashes spread at the areas of his greatest memories of his youth, Rock Creek Lake and Rock Creek River. His resting place will be with his family at the Blodgett Cemetery near Hamilton overlooking the original 1860s homestead of his three times great-grandfather Lyman Blodgett. A family gathering and memorial will be held at a later date. Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents Harry & Rose Blodgett, Alfred & Ella Weber, uncle Ron Weber, uncle Harry Blodgett Jr. & aunt Dolores Munden. He is survived by his parents Jim & Janie Blodgett of Polson, brother Jeff (Debbie) of Polson, daughter Jessica (Jacob) Stredwick, daughter Taya Blodgett & granddaughter Kalina, daughter Teagan Blodgett & granddaughter Vienna, niece and nephew Morgan & Cody Blodgett along with many cousins.