Lila Claire Finch Douglas
Lila Claire Finch Douglas went home to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the early hours of Monday April 29, 2019. Lila was born August 13, 1930 to Ozroe D. Finch and Helen Beryl George Finch in Ismay, Montana. She grew up in a large, loving, and hardworking family on their ranch in the Pine Hills, east of Miles City. She attended the country school in Knowlton then finished grade school, junior high, and high school in Miles City. In high school she met Albert Douglas, a young cowboy from Ekalaka, Montana. They fell in love, got married in 1948, and stayed in love for almost 69 years, until Albert’s death in 2017. Albert and Lila worked on ranches in Carter, Powder River, Prairie, Teton, Granite, and Powell counties. During those years they raised five children; Larry and David born in Miles City, Reimer born in Spearfish, South Dakota, and Robert and Beverly born in Choteau, Montana.
In 1972 Albert and Lila moved to La Grande, Oregon and worked there in ranching and agriculture for 20 years. In 1992 they returned to their beloved Montana as caretakers on a beautiful ranch in the Bitterroot valley. Then, in 2013 when they were in their early 80s, they retired to their final earthly home in Churchill, Montana. Lila was a strong, wise, and very gentle wife and mother. She loved music and had a beautiful, harmonizing voice which she used often to praise her Lord. Mom loved her family and very many friends. She had a kind and encouraging influence on many more people than she realized. Besides her husband she was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Olive Rogers; brothers, Dennis, Earl, Joe, and Lloyd Finch; and an infant great-grandson. Lila is survived by her sister, Bertie Clowers; brother Miles Finch; as well as her five children and their spouses; 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren with more on the way.
A special thank you to our friends at Compassus Hospice who so faithfully and lovingly cared for Mom in her last months of life. And to many others in our community who gave of themselves to love and bless Lila.
A memorial service was held at Manhattan Christian Reformed Church on Saturday May 4, 2019 at 11 with burial preceding at Meadowview Cemetery at 10.
“Many women have done excellently but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Thomas P. Enger
Thomas P. Enger, 1938-2019.
Thomas P. Enger passed away on April 16, 2019. He was born April 21, 1938, to Rose (Neilson) and Oscar Enger in Deer Lodge. Tom married his college sweetheart, Jacquelin, in 1960 and together they raised their son Colin.
Tom received his B.A. and M.A. from Montana State University and completed his post graduate work at Stanford. In 1965 he joined the Economics Department at St. Olaf College. He was an engaged and beloved member of the St. Olaf community, instrumental in enhancing the Economics Program and renovating Holland Hall. Tom’s specialties were Money and Banking and International Trade. He was a popular teacher with a unique lecturing style which his colleagues often compared to a Southern Baptist Preacher with a wry sense of humor. Tom and family enjoyed memorable sabbaticals in Switzerland and Norway.
In 1982 he became an Advisor to the Central Bank in Saudi Arabia. Lasting until the early 1990s, the post proved to be challenging and at times even dangerous.
Tom shared the last chapter in his life with his second wife, Susana. They settled in Carlsbad, Calif., where they enjoyed fine dining, friends and family and extensive travel.
Tom is survived by his wife Susana, son Colin, nephews Tom and Gregg and niece Teri.
Three years ago, after Robert Staffanson penned his award-winning memoir at the ripe young age of 94, a veteran journalist reviewing the book asked, “Is Staffanson the most interesting man in Montana?”
Staffanson’s three-part tome, “Witness to Spirit: My Life With Cowboys, Mozart & Indians,” chronicled his life as a rancher’s son who underwent several different phases of reinvention.
Staffanson died Saturday, April 27, 2019 at age 97 in Bozeman. A memorial service is being planned for June 8, 2 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman.
Born in Sidney, Montana along the lower Yellowstone River on Nov. 11, 1921, Staffanson was the son of George and Julia Staffanson and the devoted brother of Gladys Staffanson Lutticken.
Raised on a cattle ranch near Deer Lodge, he trained in music at the University of Montana. In 1945, he wedded his hometown sweetheart from Deer Lodge, Frankie Ann Smith. They were married 71 years.
Upon college graduation, Staffanson founded The Billings Symphony, then was subsequently tapped to lead the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts based on the recommendation of acclaimed violinist Eugene Ormandy, then conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
During Staffanson’s tenure in Springfield, he became friends with many classical music giants, including Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Fiedler.
In the prime of his career, however, Staffanson gave up conducting. Not long after moving back to their beloved Montana, Bob and Ann welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Kristin Staffanson Campbell, whom they considered “the brightest light in their lives.”
Appalled by the treatment of indigenous people, Staffanson worked closely with tribal elders to found the American Indian Institute.
Staffanson held a special place in his heart for the thousands of native people he met, not only from North America but around the globe.
He is survived by his daughter, Kristin, son-in-law Michael Campbell, and grandsons Bryan Robert Campbell and Cody Michael Campbell, all of Bozeman.
Staffanson greatly loved his nieces, nephews, and treasured friends (too many to list here). To learn more about Staffanson, read his book. To support the ideals he championed, please consider making a contribution to the American Indian Institute.
For the full obituary, please visit www.dokkennelson.com.
John T. “Jack” Lingenfelter
John T. “Jack” Lingenfelter, October 15, 1958-April 19, 2019.
Jack was the youngest son of Margaret (Gallagher) Lingenfelter and Bill Lingenfelter of the LH Ranch at Gold Creek. Jack grew up running all around the ranch with his school friends and later exploring much of the surrounding mountain ranges with them.
Concluding school in Gold Creek, he attended PCHS in Deer Lodge where he excelled in all subjects, especially Vo-Ag and was in FFA all four years, and on the swim team. As an FFA officer, he travelled extensively and went to the National FFA Convention in Washington, D.C.
He attended MSU in Bozeman to be an Ag Teacher. While off for summer breaks he worked at Grant-Kohrs Ranch. He also worked for and travelled with Bruce Thomas of Thomas Herefords doing custom fitting of show cattle across several states. Later, he helped his brother-in-law, Jim Hansen, with logging projects on the LH Ranch and then took the real estate test to work in that field, keeping up on changing property laws.
He went on to work for several logging operations in Montana and eventually headed to Alaska where he spent several years logging on various islands before coming back to Montana and going to work at the mill in Deer Lodge, later driving log truck for them. After serious injury on the log truck he finished out his work experience with Bob Rabel of Rabel Excavating in construction.
Jack was preceeded in death by his half sister, Patricia (Patti) Hansen, of the LH Ranch. Cremation has taken place and there will be a gathering at the LH Ranch later this year to distribute his ashes to the various up-land pastures he enjoyed hiking and hunting, with the rest on the home area. We will let everyone know to be able to attend.