Dwight (Dykes) Rittenhouse
Dwight (Dykes) Rittenhouse passed away on April 28 at the age of 94. He was born July 3, 1920 in Deer Lodge to Dwight and Sara Rittenhouse. He graduated from Powell County High School where one of his favorite memories was being a starter on the 1937 State Champion Basketball team. It is also where he met the love of his life, Betty (deceased), and to whom he was married for 72 years. Dwight thoroughly enjoyed growing up in Deer Lodge and tells many stories about hunting, fishing, and hiking adventures in his youth.
After working at the Deer Lodge Safeway for several years, Dwight hired on as a Fireman on the Milwaukee Railroad following in his dad and father-in-laws footsteps who also retired from the Milwaukee Railroad. Dwight was drafted into the Army in 1941. He was part of the occupation army after the atom bomb was dropped in Japan.
After being discharged in 1945 he returned to working on the Milwaukee Railroad becoming a locomotive engineer. Dwight and Betty had two children, a daughter Terry Jo born while Dwight was in the Army and a son, David, who was born while Dwight was fishing up the Blackfoot River near Ovando! He and his family loved the outdoors which probably came from Dwight’s experiences as a child and he took his wife (Betty) camping into the Dempsey Basin area near Deer Lodge for their honeymoon. Pictures from this trip have been featured in the Way We Were section of the Missoulian along with pictures of Dwight serving as a fireman on the last Milwaukee passenger train prior to the Milwaukee Road shutting down in 1980. Dwight was thrilled to see the Hiawatha bike path established on the railroad right of way and made several road trips over the driveable portion of that route with family and friends.
Dwight moved his family to Missoula in 1957. He worked for the Railroad for over 40 years and could still tell stories about his many adventures including derailments and the filming of the movie Timberjack up the Blackfoot River where he transported loads from near Clearwater Crossing to the Bonner Mill. The Blackfoot River was always a favorite family recreation area with a family hunting cabin near Lincoln and fishing the river above McNamara’s Landing.
After his retirement Dwight and Betty enjoyed extensive travel to visit family and relatives. They always tried to take an anniversary trip in April where they invariably ran into a late storm but it never dampened their enthusiasm to do it again. They also were active in the First Presbyterian Church, helped with Meals and Wheels and enjoyed square dancing. Dwight and Betty moved to the Village Senior Residence in 2008.
He will always be remembered for the wide circle of friends he enjoyed and enduring love of family. Survivors include a daughter Terry Jo Sather from the Spokane Valley, and son Dave Rittenhouse (Suz) from Polson. He had three grandchildren: Allen Sather (Kim), Barry Sather (Stephanie), and Paula Watkins. His great-grandchildren include Kyra Lee Droppers (Michael), Amanda King, Andrew King, Chistopher Sather, Austin Sather, Hanna Watkins, Sydney Sather and Jackson Sather all from the Spokane area. His great-great-granddaughter Delaney Kay Droppers recently turned three years old. He is also survived by a niece Janet Locke from California and other Rittenhouse relatives in Texas and Iowa.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at 4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church on May 30. Memorial donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Missoula or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The family wishes a special thanks to friends Tom Finch, Wes Pyeatt, and Doug Fraser of Missoula for their special friendship and help to our dad along with Hospice of Missoula and the staff at the Village Senior Residence.
William Daniel Jones (Bill)
Mr. Bill Jones, 79, passed into the Lord’s care on April 27, 2015, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center. Services were held with military honors in Garrison on May 1 and at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton on May 2.
Bill was a long-time resident and active member of the Deer Lodge community. He was dedicated to community service as an individual, as a member of organizations and as a supportive spouse.
Bill Jones was born and raised in Kingston, Pa. Bill’s life of civic service began at an early age. He participated in the Boy Scouts, achieving the honored rank of Eagle Scout. He worked at the Hillside Dairy Farm, and went on to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in Animal Husbandry from Delaware Valley College.
The US Army stationed Bill at the Military Entrance Processing Center in Butte where he met his wife, Lillian Gail Madeen, a Butte native. Bill transitioned from active duty, but continued his uniformed service as a member of the Montana Army National Guard. He retired from the Guard as a Sergeant First Class.
Bill used his academic and Army training to work in lab and x-ray departments of the hospitals in Warm Springs, Hamilton and Deer Lodge. He later worked at the Montana State Prison in various capacities. He treasured most his years as an Emergency Medical Technician serving the county as a member of the first responders on the ambulance crew. He also volunteered his services to the athletic department for the Montana Tech football team.
In Hamilton, while working at the hospital and maintaining a small farm, he served on the Sheriff’s Posse and in the Montana Army National Guard. He was an advisor for a local 4-H club and supported the involvement of three of his children in the Junior Posse, a mounted drill team.
The family moved to Deer Lodge in 1975 and Bill quickly found ways to serve in the community. Bill served as a member of the Order of Eastern Star and was a Mason. Through this he also served as an advisor to the Deer Lodge chapter of the Rainbow Girls. Bill served as an adult mentor/advisor to the PCHS Key Club while an active member of the Deer Lodge Kiwanis Club. He and his wife, Gail, hosted the local call center for the annual Jerry Lewis telethon for years. Bill and Gail took great pleasure in sponsoring draft horse events as well as the girls’ softball team.
Bill proudly supported his late wife, Gail, in her service on the City Council and as a Powell County Commissioner until her death in 2009.
He is preceded in death by his daughter Barbara Janelle, granddaughter Meghan, and beloved wife Gail. He is survived by his sister, Willma A. Jones of Kingston, Pa., and three of his children: COL William D. Jones III, (Donna Lewis); Meredith Czarnek (Alan); Lt. Col (ret) David Mitchell Jones (Kayla Miller); seven grandchildren: Mylisa Jones, Lillie Schroder (Dane), Emily Williams (Claude J.); Colton Jones, Benjamin Jones, Daniel Jones and Elizabeth Jones; two great grandchildren, Charlotte and Erik Schroder.
The family wishes to thank the community of Deer Lodge and the surrounding area for their outpouring of support. Our parents genuinely loved this area and believed that Montana truly is the Treasure State, not just for its natural riches and beauty but because of the people who live here. In lieu of gifts or flowers, we ask that you find a way to give back to your community, as a tribute to them and as a gift to the future of our beloved Montana.