Richard James Ross October 1, 1935 - November 1, 2022
Richard James Ross, 87, passed away on Nov. 1, 2022. He was born in Dillon, Mont., on Oct. 1, 1935. At age 6 he moved with his family to his grandfather’s farm east of Ronan, Mont. A short time after he graduated from Ronan High School in 1953, he joined the Army where he spent most of his time in Germany as a mechanic and driver on a tank retriever. After his return from service, he attended Western Montana College where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education. He taught five years in the Whitehall Elementary School before starting his railroad career in 1963 with the Milwaukee Road. He worked many positions with the Milwaukee Road and eventually moved to the Deer Lodge Superintendent’s Office and was there until it closed in 1980. After leaving the Milwaukee Road, he worked for several consulting firms until 1983 when he was given a position with the State of Montana in the Transportation Division of the Department of Commerce. Starting in 1992, he worked many railroad-related positions through the next several years living in Hiawatha, Kan. and Florence, S.C. His last position took him to Davenport, Iowa, with I&M Rail Link when he retired in 1999 and moved to Florida. He was married to Phoebe Johnson in 1959 and there are five children born to this marriage which ended in divorce. He married Mary Lou Dowden in Dunnellon, Fla., in September 2000. They enjoyed several years of traveling in their motor home before moving to Ponte Vedra, Fla., where he enjoyed playing golf, playing cards and other activities in their Del Webb community. And, of course, keeping in touch with all his old railroading friends around the country. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; sons Jim (Beth) of Billings, Mont., Greg of New Port Richey, Fla. and Dave (Alesha) of Deer Lodge; daughters Lori of Deer Lodge and Cami of Butte; and stepsons Jeff Struble (Lisa) of Ponte Vedra, Fla. and Scott Struble (Mandy) of Kingsland, Ga. He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, five step grandchildren and one step-great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers; Frank, John and Jake; and one sister, Della Marie. There will be a celebration of life for Dick on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Del Webb Anastasia Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Linda Hodder Labbe September 23, 1963 - November 13, 2022
On the morning of Nov. 13 2022, Linda Hodder Labbe passed away after a hard-fought year with brain cancer. She passed away at home with her husband, daughters, brother and sister with her. Linda Labbe was born in Rock Springs, Wyo., on Sept. 23, 1963. She was one of three triplets, two girls and one boy, born to Eugene and Helen Hodder of Farson, Wyo. Linda grew up on the family ranch in Farson. She lived and learned the ranching and farming life with her triplet siblings and older sister and two older brothers. They raised chickens and cattle and farmed the land. After finishing high school in Farson, Linda went on to college in Casper, Wyo., and Tampa, Fla., graduating in 1989 with a degree in botany. After residing for approximately 10 years in Florida and a short time in Idaho, Linda ended up back in Farson where, shortly thereafter, she met Stan Labbe. Stan and Linda were married in February of 1999 and resided in Farson until 2004 at which time they moved to Lander, Wyo. In 2010, Stan, Linda and their two daughters, Michelle and Christa, moved to Deer Lodge, where they resided until Linda’s passing. Linda embraced Deer Lodge and became ingrained in the community. She joined the Deer Lodge Art Club early on and was a member until her passing. She also worked as a teacher’s aide at the O.D. Speer grade school in Deer Lodge. Linda spent the last few years of her life working at the Browsing Bison book store in Deer Lodge and very much enjoyed her work there, helping and visiting with customers. Linda enjoyed camping and could endure husband Stan’s long outings in the woods - searching for fishing holes, wildlife or berries. She loved walking her dogs (she always had at least one) and going on birthday trips with her triplet sister Laura and niece Melissa. She liked a good puzzle and enjoyed reading, which went well with her job at the book store. She was a talented artist and painted many beautiful pieces, whether it be on a wood plank, saw blade, canvas or greeting card. She could produce the most beautiful outdoor scenes. She also enjoyed visiting with friends and family. She was a beloved wife, sister and mother and was an endearing “mom” to her daughter’s friends, as well. Linda’s daughters would talk about how their friends thought that she gave the best advice and hugs, and felt like this really says a lot about how she lived and was influential. Linda was strong in her faith and enjoyed being a member of her church. She was devoted to the teachings of the bible and seriously pursued her relationship with God until the end. Linda was preceded in death by her two brothers Mark and Les, also her father Eugene, mother Helen, brother in-law Dean Snyder, nephew Warren Hodder and several beloved dogs and cats. Linda is survived by her husband Stan, daughters Michelle and Christa, all of Deer Lodge; brother Jim Hodder of Farson; sisters Laura (Kevin) Sloan of Eden, Wyo., and Debbie Snyder of Rock Springs, Wyo.; many nieces and nephews; and her canine companion, Sophie. A memorial service for Linda will be at the Abundant Life Fellowship church, 630 W. Iron St., Butte, Mont., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, with a luncheon following in the church basement.
Caleb Jeffrey Havens March 19, 1995 - November 15, 2022
Caleb Jeffrey Havens, 27, peacefully joined his twin brother, Wyatt, Nov. 15, 2022. Caleb was born in Missoula on March 19, 1995, and Wyatt followed 22 minutes later. Even though grandma refused to make the twins T-shirts, stating which one was the good twin and which one was the bad, we all know that Caleb was the mastermind behind any shenanigans, so we will let you form your own opinion. Caleb loved the mountains, often going for drives in unreliable vehicles and getting stuck. He could be counted on to never have a sleeping bag, flashlight or a charged cell phone. He liked to cut firewood, and the hood of the nicest truck he ever owned had a dent to prove it. He attended school in Deer Lodge, where the principal had our number on speed dial. The main rule for his younger brothers was, “if Caleb thinks it’s a good idea don’t do it.” This did not deter Riley from catching a squirrel because the twins said he could. Caleb’s step mom was thrilled to find grasshoppers in her ice cube trays and dried ice fishing maggots in the dryer. Luckily grandpa stopped them before the boat gas tank was filled with water although he often had to escape from being tied up in the chair while babysitting. Riley and Jordan got most of their common sense the hard way after being talked into several bad ideas. Caleb graduated with his High School Diploma from Anaconda Job Corps in 2014 and worked as a heavy equipment operator. A short time later he and Wyatt were diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s disease (JHD). Caleb moved to Helena with his family in 2015. He started working on a bucket list which included trips to Alaska, Florida and Seattle, Glacier and Yellowstone parks and many concerts. Caleb loved music and we once rode a train to Fargo, N.D., in February to see Jason Aldean. His little sister will never forget trying to get Caleb across the entire campground at Country Jam after he had a few too many beers. Caleb enjoyed working out and spent a lot of time with his friends Tyvan, Dale, Anthony and Trevin, who were gracious enough to understand the progression of Caleb’s disease and support him through it. In 2018 Caleb lost his twin, and he never smiled the same again. Every day brought a bit more loss as JHD slowly took his ability to drive, talk and walk. We are so happy that the twins are reunited and probably doing something they shouldn’t be this very second. Caleb spent the last few days of his life preparing to be an organ donor. We are so proud that he saved lives at the end of his. Caleb was preceded in death by his twin, Wyatt Havens, and his father, Lyle Havens. Grandmother Karen Havens, grandfathers Willman Spaulding and Lyle Havens, uncles Jeff and Ron Havens and great grandmother Doris Hildebrand. Caleb is survived by his mother and step father Todd and Kristy Boese; his brothers, Riley Boese and Jordan Havens; his sister, Kayin Boese; grandmother Linda Spaulding; and step mother Jennifer Sprouse as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. The family would like to thank the staff at St. Peter’s ER and ICU as well as LifeCenter Northwest for the excellent care we received. You are all so appreciated. A receiving of friends and family took place on Nov. 21 at Simple Cremation Montana in Helena. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Caleb, please visit www.simplecremationmt.com.