Janet Elaine Barkhoff August 12, 1953 - October 15, 2022
Janet Elaine Barkhoff, 69, of Deer Lodge died Oct. 15 from medical problems. Janet was born Aug. 12, 1953, in Columbia Falls, Mont. She was the second child of six born to Melvin and Patricia Stevens. She married Art Barkhoff, and they were together for over 40 years. She had two children, Tom Elmose (Angelena) and Erin Barkhoff (Jerry Good). She had three grandchildren: Zoe, Kaley, Jerry. They were the love of her life. They grew up poor children, but Janet was rich with goodness of heart and caring. When they were young their dad would take them to Grammas and Roy’s. Janet would tear into her uncle Roy, so he called her a wildcat. All the family loved her and her stamina. Janet was preceded in death by her father, Melvin Stevens; brother, Daniel Stevens; and her sister, Terry Vorhes. She is survived by her children; grandchildren; mother, Patricia Stevens; three sisters, Cathy Jennings (Steve), Vickie Downard, Christine Phichter; and brother-in-law, Terry Vorhes. We will love you always. She was quite a character. Services for Janet were held Oct. 24. Please visit longfellowfinneganriddle.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Janet. Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Janet and her family.
Delia Pierce May 8, 1970 - September 26, 2022
Delia Pierce, 52, died Monday, Sept. 26. She was born May 8, 1970. She was a kind and loving sister, daughter and friend. Her great nieces, Abigal Granthum, Ember Seitzinger, and great nephew, Ben, all called her Grandma. She played that role with great pleasure. Delia was a loving mother to her nephews Cody Grantham, Christopher Pierce and niece, Jessica Pierce. She loved them as though they were her own. Delia enjoyed cooking, entertaining her family and camping. She is survived by Elizabeth (Betty) Stone, Tina Pierce, Joseph Pierce, Karl Pierce, Irma Marrell, Patrick Pierce and Rosa Pierce, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Sr. and Evelyn Pierce; sister, Eva Pierce; brothers, Evan, Ernest Pierce Jr, Blaine, Cliff; and her beloved niece, Jessica. She is, and always will be loved.
Veronica Candace “Khandi” Gersitz Tomsheck October 29, 1963 - September 27, 2022
Khandi, 58, was born October 29, 1963, in Elizabeth, N.J., to Gerald and Maureen Gersitz. In 1964 the family moved to Deer Lodge to be closer to family. Khandi was raised in Deer Lodge and worked in different places in her earlier life. While living in Butte with her sister Debi, Khandi saw an ad to become a nanny to two children, as she loved children dearly. Khandi and Debi drove to Sunburst to become a nanny and never left. While in Sunburst, she met her future husband, Rex, and they were married Feb. 28, 1987. They became a family of four. Rex had two children, and so did Khandi. They also became foster parents and adopted two beautiful girls. Their family was complete, with a total of six children. Khandi worked several jobs – group homes, assisted living and home health. She was passionate about caring for others, especially the elderly and disabled. She also worked in restaurants and successfully ran a restaurant. One of Khandi’s deepest passions and greatest memories was camping with family. Every year in July, the family camp trip, hosted in different locations around Montana, brought Khandi much joy. She got to spoil her grandbabies and enjoy being around family. The family also enjoyed the frybread that was Khandi’s specialty. This love of camping was sparked by her mother, as she took her family camping as often as possible. Khandi’s dream was to become a camp host, and in the summer of 2022, Khandi got her dream job at Dry Wolf campground in the Little Belt Mountain area. Her dream was cut short due to illness. Khandi was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) on Sept. 13, and died Sept. 27, with family by her side at Peace Hospice in Great Falls. Khandi leaves behind her loving husband of 35 years, Rex Tomsheck. She is survived by her six children, Jeremy (Amber), Ed (Kris), Cindy (Briar), Sheena (George), Jessica and Satyn; fourteen grandchildren; two great-granddaughters with a third on the way; her brother, Karl (Heidi); her sisters, Debi (George) and Suzi (Don); many nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family members. She is preceded in death by her mother, Maureen Walter; brother, Mark Moody; grandparents, Clyde and Fern McCleary Harvey and Emma Rodgers; and her in-laws, Robert and Ethel Tomsheck. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Lutheran Church of Sunburst and can also be viewed on the church’s Facebook page. Thank you for all the well wishes and cards the family has received. They are very appreciated during this time. Condolences can be made to www.asperfh.com.
David Alvin Thomas, Sr. July 11, 1922 - October 7, 2022
David Alvin Thomas, Sr., 100, father of three, former Navy sailor, hard-rock miner and bartender, died a peaceful death Oct. 7 while living at the Southwest Montana Veteran’s Home in Butte. He is survived by his three children, Danny Griffith Thomas (Wasilla, Alaska), David A. Thomas, Jr., (Ogden, Utah) and Carol White (Newcastle, Wyo.). He has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Dave attended Butte High School and later, in January 1941, he joined the Navy. While aboard the USS Helena, he survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Guadalcanal and the sinking of the Helena in the Battle of Kula Gulf. A few minutes before the Japanese attacked Pear Harbor, Dave was swabbing the deck of the Helena with another sailor. The balmy Honolulu weather allowed the men to mop in their skivvies. When the general alarm sounded, his shipmate said he was going below deck to put on clothes. Dave stayed on deck. His shipmate didn’t return. An exploding torpedo had killed him. After the Helena was sunk at Kula Gulf, Dave, who couldn’t swim, floated for five hours at night in the oil stained ocean before being rescued. Japanese subs were circling, listening for the cries for help from floating, often wounded, sailors. One of the Japanese ships shelling the Helena, the Amagiri, was the same ship that rammed John F. Kennedy’s PT 109. Later, at a medal ceremony Dave got to shake General Douglas McArthur’s hand. McArthur, seeing him in a tee-shirt and shorts, promised him a new uniform. He was happy about this news until he learned he had to pay for the new clothing. Later he was part of a PT boat crew stationed in the Aleutian Islands. In November 1946, with the rank of gunner’s mate first class, he was honorably discharged. Dave mined coal at Klein, chrome at Nye, phosphate at Garrison. He tended bar in Roundup, Bozeman, Lima, Dillon, Sheridan and Deer Lodge. He loved bartending. He said he loved hearing people’s stories. When tending bar in Dillon, he liked to listen to the sheep ranchers and their herders talk about their business deals and their lives. He gave bottles of cheap wine to the down-on-their luck herders. He took in abused dogs from PAWHS, the Deer Lodge humane society. He trained them. He showed the dogs that they could be loved and that they now had nothing to fear. We thank Mary Newman, Dave’s caretaker, the apple of his eye, for her friendship and emotional support to him. His landlords, Bonnie and Issie Juarez, cared for him when Mary couldn’t. Dave Littlefield did dozens of plumbing and electrical repair jobs on his trailer. Dennis Pritchard checked in on him and hauled firewood to his porch. Kenny and Arleta Fenner made him homemade soup when he was sick. Amy, his favorite bartender at the Corner Bar, insured he’d plenty of firewood. We thank the staff at the Butte Veteran’s Home. Registered nurses Mary and Julie, CNAs Codi, Jordan and Candy professionally nursed Dave and guided us through the dying process. We thank former vet’s home CNA Nicole and home-care specialist Emma for coming in on their off-duty time to attend to Dave. The friendliness of Butte people is boundless. Dave often didn’t see eye to eye with his children. In life and so often in death, things can become messy, they can be complicated. Norman Maclean, in “A River Runs Through It,” said everyone will look upon a loved one and ask the same question: “We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.” Nightly, Dave prayed for his children. He loved them completely, the best he could love, without complete understanding. Dave wanted a party and not a funeral. So on his 101st birthday, July 11, 2023, there will be a military honor ceremony at Hillcrest Cemetery and later an all-you-can-eat party. Both events will be announced in the Silver State Post in June.
Alwin “Buster” Cook December 11, 1951- October 7, 2022
Heaven has gained another angel. Alwin “Buster” Cook, 70, died Oct. 7, 2022, from a heart attack. Buster was born Dec. 11, 1951, in Sidney, Mont., to Melissa (Sipe) Brodhead and Price Cook. He grew up on a farm outside of Grassy Butte, N.D., with his older siblings, Roger, Gene, Frances and Marie. Buster married the love of his life, Phyllis, on Sept. 28, 1975. Together they have three children: Dixie, Trenady and Anena. Buster and Phyllis had just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. The family moved around due to Buster being a mechanic and working in the oil fields. The family lived in several different states (Montana, North Dakota, Washington, Arizona, Nevada). He finally settled in Hadley, Nev., in 1995. Buster and Phyllis lived there for 27 years. He loved being in Hadley; he could take his quad and ride for hours. He could go camping within minutes of his home. Buster was a Master Mechanic; he could fix anything and rebuild an engine without any books or help from anyone. For those who knew him, knew he could go on for hours about what cars he built and what engines were in them. He could tell stories like no other. He loved to joke with his wife, kids and grandkids.He always thought outside the box and would be able to come up with ideas to make camping or anything he did enjoyable. He is preceded in death by both parents, his brothers Roger and Gene. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; siblings, Frances (Ken) Groff of Green Valley, Ariz., Marie Cook of Round Mountain, Nev.; his children, Dixie Cook (Scott), Trenady (Danielle) Cook, Anena (Steve) McKellip; his grandchildren, Ty Cook, Adriana (Jeff) Buchanan, Stephany McKellip (Ryan), Trent McKellip, Cristofer James. Buster will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Fredrick L. Raihl, born Sept. 2, 1956, died Sept. 7, 2022. Obituary to come later.
Derek James LaTray January 10, 1985 - October 3, 2022
Derek James LaTray, 37, died unexpectedly on Oct. 3, 2022. He was born into this world Jan. 10, 1985, in Deer Lodge. He moved to Oregon where he spent the next 14 years with his mom, Terry; his sister, Desiree; and brother, Trace. At 14 he came back to Deer Lodge and lived with his grandparents, Pat and Harold LaTray, before settling in with his other mom, Sheila Zachary. Through his high school years, D.J. spent a lot of time working in the family meat shop until he found his way to Anaconda Job Corps. He graduated with certificates in welding and carpentry. Later on he started working at Montana State Hospital, where he made a lot of friends and enjoyed working with the people there. D.J. was an avid gamer and spent his free time playing Xbox and meeting new friends from all over the world. Dom was his best friend and the perfect dog for him. He was preceded in death by his mom, Terry; grandma Pat; uncle Duck; and aunts, Sandy and Wanda. He is survived by his father, James; grandfather Harold; aunts, Sheila, Jennifer, Lila and Debbie; uncles, Butch and Dale; sisters, Heather, Cassie, Desiree, Dallas, Terilyn, Kirsten and Carol; brothers, Trace, Justin, John and Nathan; nephews, Dominic, Blake and Hunter; nieces, Justice, Hope, Bailey and Paige. He is also survived by his good friend, Martin, as well as countless cousins and other friends. We all saw D.J. for the giant teddy bear with a huge heart that he was. While he could never seem to see his shine, we were all blinded by it. Our world will be a little emptier without him, but our love will never end. Cremation has already taken place and a celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Sheila’s house, 1004 Oregon, in Deer Lodge. It’s a potluck, so everyone is invited to bring a dish and your stories about Derek.
Mary Grayce (Bisch) Hoppe July 3 1930 - September 26, 2022
Mary Grayce (Bisch) Hoppe, 92, came into this world like a little firecracker on July 3, 1930. Her parents, John and Helen Bisch, celebrated when their red-headed baby girl survived the difficult pregnancy. She grew up in constant motion, talkative and independent. She left this world with a hint of red hair on Sept. 26, 2022, at Deer Lodge Medical Center with her children surrounding her during her last days. Being raised on a farm in Cleveland, Minn., gave Mary a strong work ethic and strong arms as she hauled buckets of water into the house. With five brothers and one dear sister, she learned to stand her ground and speak her mind. As a young girl, she entertained her family by reciting the lines and songs of performances she had seen only once. Attending Good Counsel Academy in Mankato for a year of high school was a wonderful memory for Mary. When she returned to Cleveland High School to graduate, her classmates voted her “Best All-Around Girl.” She attended college for a year at Mankato State and then worked as a dental assistant and at Walgreens soda fountain with her brother Harold. One of Mary’s favorite stories was from when she was working a summer job at the Jolly Green Giant Canning Plant. She mentioned to a coworker that one of the workers was very handsome. Her coworker Alvera said, “That’ s my brother.” She introduced them and thus began their journey. Earl and Mary were married, Aug. 15, 1951. When Earl returned from the Korean War, they set up a home in Mankato, where he began his career as a carpenter. Mary’s high energy was put to use as they raised five boys and four girls who became responsible people with not one known outlaw among them. She was a loving, generous mother who was very proud of her children. Mary raised her family in the Catholic faith with Holy water being sprinkled as they left the house. She fiercely defended her children and taught them to stand up for their rights and do the right thing. Not having a driver’s license until she was 47, she got her children to appointments using public transportation, got them to church every Sunday, kept a clean house and cooked delicious meals. Her family appreciated her famous potato salad, bread pudding, chicken n’ dumplings and angel food cake with strawberries. Mary loved to shop and find a good bargain. Her creative side could be seen when she would perform Christmas plays, sing, make bookmarks, cards, decorate cakes, write dozens of letters and an occasional newspaper article. Mary’s outfits were colorful. As an ambitious decorator, she stripped the woodwork and painted the dining room purple, while pregnant. She added special touches to any presentation. In 1975 Earl and Mary packed up the house and kids, and started a new life a mile outside of Deer Lodge. Mary loved many things about Montana: the view of Mount Powell; picking huckleberries, chokecherries and elderberries to make jams and wine; the chickens in the yard and selling their eggs to her many friends; walking the country roads at a fast pace, and small-town life. Once she got her driver’s license and a purple car with the plates, “PRPL LDY,” many opportunities opened up. She took on a career as the Welcome Wagon representative, which was perfect for a friendly lady who liked to chat. She joined the Women’s Club and the American Legion Sunshine Committee. Mary was now able to shop on her own schedule and go to church any day of the week. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was an important part of her spiritual and social life. She loved to sing in church, relax in the Peace Garden with her friends and dress up as a Pilgrim to greet people at the Thanksgiving Feast. On Aug. 15, 2021, she and Earl celebrated their 70th and last wedding anniversary with their children. Earl died Dec. 12, 2021, and she missed him very much. To cheer her up, her children would take her to 4Bs to have some good laughs over coffee and her favorite lemon meringue pie. We will miss her feisty spirit, her long telephone monologues, her wisdom and her humor, among many things. Her words will always be in our mind and her love is forever in our hearts. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Harry Hoppe; her parents, John and Helen Bisch; her brothers, Harold, Robert, Stanley and Allie Bisch; her sister, Lorretta Curran; and Godmother Grayce Vaughn. She is survived by her children, Allen (Sue) Hoppe in Shoreview, Minn., Mary (Jerry) Stringer in Helena, Connie Girard in Deer Lodge, Gwen Hoppe (Jim Day) in Missoula, Terry (Katrina Gennis) Hoppe in Greenough, Jerry (Marie)Hoppe in Cheney, Wash., Roseanne Hoppe in Anchorage, Alaska, Charlie (Anne-Marie) Hoppe in Sparks, Nev., John (Kirsten) Hoppe in Anchorage; her 100-year-old brother Lawrence Bisch in St. Paul, Minn.; sisters-in-law Dorothy Bisch of Minnesota, and Alvera Carufel in Hastings, Minn. Mary was very proud of her 23 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, some who called her Aunt Wow. Her oldest niece, Faye Bisch, was able to talk to her on her last days. A rosary will be held at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark St., Deer Lodge, and a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29. Burial will take place immediately after the funeral; the reception will follow at St. Mary’s Hall, which is adjacent to the church. Condolences can be sent to 134 Pasture Lane, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. The family would like to thank those who cared for her at her home and in the hospital, and the many community members who greeted her while she was shopping.
David Alvin Thomas Jr. died Friday, Oct. 7 of natural causes while living at the Southwest Montana Veteran’s Home in Butte. A longer obituary is forthcoming.
Donald Robert Beck November 16, 1945 - September 23, 2022
Donald Robert Beck, 76, died Sept. 23, 2022, at his home in Gold Creek surrounded by family and friends. He was born in Deer Lodge on Nov. 16, 1945, to Don “Bud” and Irene Beck, the oldest of eight children. Don graduated from Powell County High School in 1964. He then attended Montana State University where he studied math for 2 years. Don was exceptional at math and would always help his kids with their homework whether it was at the high school or college level. He then went to flying school in Billings for six months before returning home to work on the family ranch at Galen. The next fall he went to Great Falls and instructed at a flight school. Don loved flying and owned a small plane that he did some unorthodox maneuvers in over the years. He had no problem landing on the highway to stop at the ranch to pick up his kids, shooting coyotes only a few feet above the ground or spotting elk for local hunters. A lot of his passengers were pretty white knuckled when they landed, but he always put her down “shiny side up.” Don attended the Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, Calif., and studied aerospace engineering before again returning home to help on the ranch. He was drafted into the Air Force on Aug. 15, 1968, and was stationed at Atwater, Calif., tasked to the civil engineering squadron. While Don was away, his father was in a serious vehicle collision, and Don applied for and was granted a hardship discharge so he could go home and help his family on the ranch. He married Jeannie M. Nelson on Sept. 9, 1972, and moved to the ranch at Garrison. It was there that they raised their four children: Dana, Maggie, Brandy and Don Jr. Don took his kids with him to work on the ranch and on many adventures over the years. They learned a lot of valuable lessons through the school of hard knocks. Jeannie died in 1995, and Don was looking forward to being reunited with her again after his death. Don was a true outdoorsman and sportsman, and enjoyed hunting and hiking mountain peaks. He guided for Tom Villeneuve from 1970-1979 in the Pintler Mountain range and helped harvest many elk, deer, bear, big horn sheep and moose over the years. Don had a firearms license and was like a little kid in a candy store when he got to help any of his customers find the perfect gun. He also had an explosives license, giving him the ability to buy dynamite…I think he may be part of the reason why the screening is so tough to get a license today. Don blew up a lot of beaver dams and could send a tire hundreds of feet in the air just to show off. Don later moved to the ranch at Gold Creek and continued ranching and raising cattle. He made a lot of good friends over the years and rarely missed break time with his good friend Dave Yoder and crew. Don employed a lot of young men to work alongside him through the years, and they all left with gratitude for Don and some valuable life lessons. Don enjoyed work and was eager to teach his young hired men a good work ethic that they could carry with them through their lives. He enjoyed boxing in his younger years and won a lot of his bouts. Don would go to the prison to spar with the inmates and teach them the art of boxing. They too learned a lot from Don; not just about boxing but also about hard work and putting in a solid effort if they wanted to succeed. Don served on the Garrison School Board and was an active member of the Garrison Fire Department. Don would help anyone in need whether it was to lend advice, borrow money or pull them out of the ditch…if you asked, Don would be there. Don kept a list of many of his friends and family’s birthdays and would give each person a call every year to say happy birthday and check in on them. Don is survived by his four children: Dana Beck (Ron McDonald), Maggie Beck, Brandy (Jim) Davis and Don (Melanie) Beck. He has two grandchildren that were the highlight of his life: Gizelle Irene and Donald Henry (Ole). He has seven siblings: Nancy Jean, Sharon Louise, Peg, Ted (Julie), Pam (Rick) Hirsch, Jann (Kris) Kerpa and Dave. Don also has many nieces, nephews and cousins. Don was preceded in death by his wife, Jeannie; his parents, Bud and Irene Beck; his grandparents; and his nephews, Zane Beck, Johnny Delaughder and Doug D’Arcy. Graveside services were Saturday, Oct. 1, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, followed by a celebration of life in Garrison. Memorial donations can be made to the Garrison or Gold Creek fire departments, Rocky Mountain Stockgrowers Association or to the donor’s choice. “No hurries, no worries” Don Beck
Rodney Gene Brown February 7, 1958 - October 1, 2022
Rodney Gene Brown, 64, died peacefully at his home in Deer Lodge, surrounded by his loving family on Oct. 1, 2022. Rod was born on Feb. 7, 1958, in Deadwood, S.D., to Ralph and Verna Brown. The family moved to Deer Lodge when Rod was in second grade. He married the love of his life, Mary Pat Morris, on May 26, 1979. They shared 43 years of marriage before his passing. Rod and Mary Pat were blessed with three wonderful children: Tricia, Mike and Krissy. Rod had many jobs throughout his life, but the career that chose him was logging, which he did for over 43 years. He was often referred to as “Super Saw,” a nickname that was truly fitting for this amazing man. Rod was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a very proud and faithful member of the Catholic Church that he joined nine years ago. He also loved to golf and spend time at his favorite place, “The Cabin,” with his family gathering firewood, sitting around the campfire, four-wheeling and riding snow machines. Building the cabin at Georgetown was a true labor of love for his family. Family was Rod’s true passion, and he loved them fiercely. There wasn’t a better husband, dad and pa out there. He attended all of his children’s extracurricular activities as well as his grandchildren’s. He was a friend to many and would have given the shirt off his back to anyone. The world was a better place with Rod in it, and he will be truly missed. Rod is survived by his wife, Mary Pat Brown; his children, Tricia Witt (Darrell), Mike Brown of Deer Lodge, and Krissy Petersen (Jeremiah) of Missoula; his brothers, Randy Brown (Marie), Ron Brown; sisters, Teresa Launderville (Joe), Karen Knutson, all of Deer Lodge; Pam Duffy (Roy) of Anaconda, and Janice Brown of Elliston; and his brother-in-law, Gene Morris. Grandchildren: Brett and Taryn Witt; Jacob, Michael and Kobe Brown; Kaylee McQueary, Joe Lowery and Maysa Petersen. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Verna Brown; his sister, Virginia Gilcrest; and his in-laws, Mike and Barbara Morris. Words cannot express how much Pa will be missed; we love you so much! Recitation of the Rosary will be held at 6:15 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 605 Clark St., Deer Lodge. A Vigil will immediately follow at 7 p.m. at the church. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, at Immaculate Conception Church, with a luncheon to follow at St. Mary’s Center, 301 St. Mary’s Ave., in Deer Lodge. In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Rod are suggested to the Deer Lodge Food Pantry, 101 Milwaukee Ave., Deer Lodge, MT 59711, or to Toys for Tots (Powell County), 1115 Claggett St, Deer Lodge, MT 59722, or to a foundation of the donor’s choice. Please visit www.longfellowfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Rod.
Mary G. Hoppe died of natural causes on Sept. 26, 2022, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center. Her funeral will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Deer Lodge, with Father Joe Fleming officiating.
Gary Niles Kimble January 3, 1942 - July 30, 2022
Gary Niles Kimble, 80, former President Bill Clinton appointee and senate-confirmed Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, died July 30 at the Veteran’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. Kimble, a native of Fort Belknap, Mont., and a member of the Gros Ventre tribe, had a long and distinguished career with the US Government from which he eventually retired. Kimble attended grade school in Elliston and graduated from Powell County High School in 1962. He concentrated on labor and employment relations, environmental matters and public health and welfare issues during 1972-1978 while a member of the Montana House of Representatives representing Missoula. From 1979-1982, he was executive director of the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission in Portland. He was also the former executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs in New York. Kimble served as an advisor on Indian affairs in the Office of the Governor of Montana between 1983-1986. During most of that period, he also was chairman of the board of directors for the Missoula Indian Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program. From 1987-1988, he was with the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College, as an adjunct professor of federal Indian law and director of the affirmative action program. Kimble also worked as counsel in 1979 for the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, served as assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of Montana and represented the State Department as a delegate to the U.S. - Canada treaty negotiations on Pacific fishery. He was a graduate of the University of Montana Journalism School in 1968 and the School of Law in 1972. He was a US Army Veteran having served in the US Army in Vietnam. One of his most proud achievements was his receipt of the Distinguished Alumni Awardfrom the University of Montana in 1993. His father, Aubrey Elwood Kimble; mother, Cecilia Stiffarm; and brother, Raymond, preceded him in death. His memorial service was held Sept. 2 at the Fort Belknap Community Center in Harlem, Mont., with interment services at the Philipsburg cemetery.
Donald Robert Beck, 76, died Sept. 23, 2022, at his home in Gold Creek. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge. You are welcome to attend. A celebration of life and luncheon will be held immediately afterward at the 45 Barn at Garrison, located at 50 US Hwy 12 E.
Ann J. Peck, 74, of Spokane, Wash., died Aug. 22 after courageously battling cancer. Ann was born in Missoula but, with her parents, George and Regina Peck, moved to Deer Lodge, where she grew up as the only girl in a family of five brothers. She attended St. Mary’s Academy then moved to Powell County High School, graduating in 1966. In the fall of that year she enrolled in the St. Patrick School of Nursing in Missoula and in 1969 graduated as a Registered Nurse. After working in several civilian hospitals, she enlisted in the United States Air Force and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, working primarily as a neonatal intensive care nurse. Following her service, Ann moved to Spokane, Wash., to be near her family, especially her many nieces and nephews, quickly becoming their favorite aunt. While in Spokane she regularly hosted year-long high school exchange students from around the world, quickly becoming their beloved “American mom.” She was also an active big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northeast. She remained active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spokane Valley, participating in regular bible study groups. Ann is survived by her brothers, George (Barbara), Rob (Mary Lou), Fr. John, Rich (Renee) and Jim (Robin) as well as close friend and caregiver Kathy Sims, and she leaves behind her cherished dogs, Sophie and Sweet Pea, and her cat, Big Boy. A memorial service for Ann will be held at 1 p.m., Oct. 1, at St. Mary’s in Spokane, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.
Sylvia Pauline Sullivan December 26, 1936 - September 1, 2022
Sylvia Pauline Sullivan, 85,was born in Three Forks to Sydney Milton and Helen Faye (Owen) Comer. After the death of her mother, she lived with her paternal grandparents in Pony until her father married Jennie Tidball. Two sisters, Martha and Mae, completed the family. Sylvia and Leaman John Sullivan married January 21, 1956. They met while attending high school in Deer Lodge. Soon after their marriage, they headed to California. They made it as far as Portland, Ore., where family they visited convinced them that they should stay. Oregon became their home until their deaths. They lived in Southeast Portland, Scappoose, Manzanita and Albany. Mom was a homemaker, seamstress, 4-H leader, Parent Teacher Association president, Garden Club member and Master Gardener. She received her driver’s license at 26 while Dad was on crutches and while she was pregnant. She drove us, and our friends, everywhere we needed to be in the family Volkswagen Bus. Mom and Dad were members of several Square Dance Clubs in Portland, Scappoose and Astoria. After Dad retired, they traveled the United States in their van and went on many light house trips with the U.S. Light House Society. What family remembers most fondly is that Mom was a quiltmaker. She would machine piece the tops and hand quilt them. Dad set up a pulley system for her quilting frame so it could be lifted to the ceiling out of the way for family meals and fun times in the basement of their dream home they built together in Manzanita. Sylvia is survived by her sisters, Mae Hassman and Martha (Kurt) Kurtz; her children, Vicky Lynn, Mary Jane (Bob) and Tom (Linda); seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death seven weeks ago by her husband. They were married for 66 years.
Donelda (Donnie) Jean Kaleva May September 21, 1935 - September 9, 2022
Donelda (Donnie) Jean Kaleva May, 86, died at her home on Sept. 9, 2022. She was born Sept. 21, 1935, to Ed and Elinor Altenbrun in Rock Lake, N.D. Donnie grew up on the family farm, lived 2 years in Chicago and then returned to the farm. At the age of 17 she met and married Willie Kaleva and moved to Montana. They had three children together before Willie died in 1982. She met and married Roy May in Spokane 15 years later. Donnie was preceded in death by Willie Kaleva, her parents, brother Gary and sister Arlene. She is survived by her husband Roy; brother Larry (Marg); her children Lynn (Patsy) Kaleva, Penny Kaleva and Kelly (Kim) Kaleva; her grandchildren Heather Kaleva, Amber Willis, Vanessa Kaleva and Tyler Kaleva; as well as 14 great-grandchildren; and her fur babies Barney, Paco, Pug, and Spooks, all of whom loved her and will miss her dearly. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at Hillcrest Cemetery with a luncheon to follow at the Women’s Club (802 Missouri Ave.) in Deer Lodge. Please visit anacondafuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Donnie. Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Donnie and her family.
Dona Schlueter November 15 1957 - August 25, 2022
Dona Schlueter, 65, loving wife, daughter, mother and grandmother, died Aug. 25, 2022, at home surrounded by family. While we miss her beyond measure, we rejoice in that she’s now in her eternal home with Jesus, free of pain. Dona was born Nov. 15, 1957, the only daughter of Bobby and Doris Wilson. She grew up with her younger brother, Robert, in Libby, graduating high school in 1976. In 1983 she welcomed daughter Shaunda and later welcomed daughter Hope in 1984. Shortly after, she met and quickly fell in love with Hans Schlueter, marrying in 1986. Together they welcomed daughters Christina, Lorna and Alyssa, and later welcomed son Logan. They raised their family in the Swan Valley, later moving to Deer Lodge. Family was everything to Dona, and if you were considered a friend, you were considered family. Her grandkids were her pride and joy, and nothing made her happier than spending time with them camping, playing games and just enjoying their company. Her last days were filled with family get togethers, scenic drives and even a family trip to Yellowstone National Park, where we finally saw a moose! Dona is survived by her parents, Bobby and Doris; brother Robert; husband Hans; daughters Shaunda, Hope (Thomas, grandkids Chris, Blake, Kylee and Ashlyn); Christina (Justin, grandkids Jace and Jesse); Lorna (Thomas, grandkids Shandi, Layla and Maddy); Alyssa (Shane, grandkid Reilly); son Logan; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and friends. A casual celebration of life will be held at the Community Center in Deer Lodge from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. All are welcome, and we know she would love to have you there! In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Powell County Literacy Program or an organization of one’s choice.
Shirley Ann Freeman Tucker May 8, 1938 - August 23, 2022
On Aug. 23, Shirley Tucker, 84, closed her eyes on this world to open them before her Lord, Jesus. Her family was at her side as she peacefully succumbed to natural causes. She was born May 8, 1938, to Marion “Bud” and Edna Peterson Freeman, in Hawthorne, Calif. Mom was the oldest of seven children, and her siblings truly respected her, each having a special connection to Shirley as they grew up. As the family grew, they were blessed with many extended family nearby. At an early age, Shirley was the best babysitter, using her money to help at home, buy things she desired or save for something later. Mom told stories of meeting Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and being invited to their ranch. Mom was proud that her Dad taught Roy how to yodel. As the family grew, they were involved in the youth group at their church, making many memories throughout the years. Mom graduated from Leuzinger High School. She then obtained a job at an insurance agency, which enabled her to purchase her first car, a 1950 hard-top convertible. She had it repainted a two-tone burgundy, and the interior was reupholstered with a white leather tuck-n- roll. Mom told us many stories of ventures in her car, all including fun and crazy adventures. She said she wanted to be a race car driver. During the summers of 1961 and 1962, Mom took her vacation and traveled to Wisdom to visit her grandma, Eliza Chandler Peterson, a Wisdom school teacher. While on vacation, she began waitressing at Fetty’s. During this time, she met the love of her life, Dan Tucker. On Jan. 19, 1963, they were married in a double wedding with her sister, Bonnie and Harold Smith. They worked hard through the years raising four daughters in Wisdom. Her life was filled with serving hearty meals to all who entered her kitchen, and anyone visiting could always count on a good cup of coffee or tea coupled with great conversations and many laughs. Over the years, our family spent countless hours fishing for dinner, cookouts, going for drives in the mountains, snowmobiling and attending church.Mom had a special gift for drawing others to God. She was the prayer warrior for the Valley, sharing her love for Jesus with all her family and friends. Shirley was an active member of the Wisdom Women’s Club, the Wisdom PTA and a 4-H leader. She found great joy in serving others in many ways. For many years Mom hosted Bible studies at our home. After raising the girls, Mom began cleaning the school and the forest service office and helping her good friend, Karen Stevenson, in her janitorial endeavors. Shirley enjoyed dancing, tole and ceramic painting, and cross-country skiing. Her joyful spirit spread to every activity and occasion. More than once while out cross-country skiing, she’d take a tumble then laugh so hard she couldn’t get up. The situation would cause all who were part of the ski trip to be incapacitated by the laughter. She put on many tea parties and movie nights/slumber parties. Popcorn and root beer floats were her favorite treats to serve during countless slumber parties. She and Dan were married for 37 years. When widowed, Shirley moved to Polson and invested in a Curves fitness center. Later she sold it, moved to Proctor and kept bees. Square dancing became a significant pastime. Deer Lodge soon became home for the next 12 years, where she was closer to family and enjoyed friends at her church “seniors” group. Shirley was preceded in death by her beloved husband Dan; her parents Marion “Bud” and Edna Peterson Freeman; sister Barbie, and Barbara’s son, Tim Spurgin, and her brother-in-law Harold Smith. Memories of her well-lived life will be cherished by her four daughters: Leah Tucker Helle (Tom), Dillon; Cindy Tucker Johnson (Randy), Frenchtown; Marion Tucker McArthur, Dillon; and Heather Tucker Quigley (Brian), Avon. Grandchildren: Jessi (Nick), Danny (Lukrisha), MaRysa, Jennifer (Cody), Cheyenne, Levi, Kyle, Courtney (Ty), Russ (Megan), Tucker; 18 great-grandchildren, and countless family and friends. Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, at Assembly of God Church, 601 Fifth St., in Deer Lodge. At 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, there will be an internment at the Wisdom Cemetery. In place of flowers, please contribute to Clark Canyon Bible Camp in Dillon in her name. Comments can be made at www.buttefuneralhome.com.
Diana Mildred Kipe Finch March 2, 1937 - August 29, 2022
Diana Mildred Kipe Finch, 85, died Aug. 29, 2022, in Deer Lodge. Diana was born March 2, 1937, in Butte (in a house), to Herman and Della Kipe. Her parents had five children between them, Adeline, Bertrand, Sophronia and Margaret. Diana graduated from Butte High and then Montana State University as a registered nurse. She married Clyde Arthur Finch April 8, 1961. They moved to Deer Lodge, where they raised their two children, Brenda and Clyde. She worked as a registered nurse at Powell County Memorial Hospital. Diana loved the outdoors. She loved gardening, camping and fishing. She also enjoyed vacations, especially when she went on cruises with her friends. Diana loved to bake, especially for her grandkids. She would also sneak a few extra bites of sweets now and then. She was a member of the Eastern Star. She was involved with pinochle, bridge, sewing and bunco clubs. She volunteered at the school as a helper in the classroom. Diana was a very loving, kind and caring person. She loved Jesus and would daily sit in her Lazy Boy recliner and read her bible. She also loved her church and was actively involved as a deacon and treasurer. She became a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Deer Lodge on May 24, 1964. She was ordained Deacon in 1990 and a ruling elder in 2003. Diana is preceded in death by her husband, Clyde A. Finch, and her siblings Adeline, Margaret, Bertrand and Sophronia. She is survived by her two children, Brenda (Brian) Smith and Clyde (Sandra) Finch; two grandchildren, Daniel Smith and Jennifer (Franklin) Thim; two great-grandchildren Alaya and Hailey Thim; her nieces Joyce Walker, Carol, Debbie and Denise Doris; nephews Ray (Diane) Clark, Wendell (Susan) Walker, Mark Walker, Bertrand and Dale Doris, and many great nephews and nieces. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8, at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Milwaukee Ave., Deer Lodge. A reception will immediately follow. Her internment will be held privately on a later date at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Butte. Memorials in honor of Diana are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church of Deer Lodge or to the donor’s choice. Please visit axelsonfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Diana.
Timothy Daniel “Dan” Hanifen October 29, 1935 - August 24, 2022
Dan Hanifen, 85, died Tuesday at his home in Deer Lodge. He was born to Timothy James “Tim” and Annie Montana “Tannie” Hanifen in 1935. His parents instilled a good work ethic evidenced by Dan starting his first job at the age of 10. In 1954, at age 19, Dan married Norma Rae Rushton. The couple had two children, Tim and Tannie; as a result of that union and lived a happy life together until Norma’s passing in 1991. They enjoyed Norma’s home cooking, picnics in the mountains and time with family. Dan found love again and married Helen Micu in 1992. Dan was blessed to gain bonus children, grandchildren (and eventually great grandchildren) through this union. The two enjoyed a variety of hobbies and attended First Presbyterian Church of Deer Lodge. Dan was an avid hunter and trapper for the majority of his life and enjoyed being active by hiking and biking. He supported his family as a miner with 38 years at Cominco American. After retirement, Dan stayed busy for the next 20 years taking care of lawns throughout town. Dan is preceded in death by his wife, Norma Rae Hanifen; brother-in-law, Hoyt Thompson; daughter-in-law, Barbara Jo “BJ” Hanifen; and parents, Tim and Tannie Hanifen. Dan is survived by his wife, Helen Hanifen; siblings, David Hanifen and Frances Kay Thompson; children, Timothy Hanifen and Tannie Noffsinger; stepchildren, Mike, Kim and Kit Micu; grandchildren, Christopher Hanifen, Jennifer Hanifen, Scott Harrington, Toni Potts, Rachel Cantrell, Austin Micu, Rashelle Wheatley and Blaine Micu; as well as several great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m., Sept.5, at New Chicago Valley Cemetery in Drummond. Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Dan’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.
Shirley Ann Tucker, 84, died in Butte on Aug 23, of natural causes. Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept 10, at the Assembly of God Church, in Deer Lodge. Internment is set for 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept 11, at the Wisdom Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Clark Canyon Bible Camp. Condolences can be made at www.buttefuneralhome.com.
Dona Schlueter, 65, died Aug. 25, 2022. A celebration of life will be held at the Deer Lodge Community Center from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. Her obituary will be published in next week’s Silver State Post.
Juanita Kathleen Smyth December 9, 1956 - August 15, 2022
Juanita Kathleen Smyth, 65, was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Although she was taken from us unexpectedly on Aug. 15, her love will remain with us forever. She was born to Wilfred and Darlene Gangl on December 9, 1956 in Deer Lodge, where she grew up and spent time with her parents, siblings and other loved ones. She married Andrew Paul Smyth on Jan. 28, 1976, and they started a wonderful family of their own. Together they had seven children: Krysti, Westly, William, Scott, Jennifer, Cody and Wren. Juanita loved fishing and camping with her husband and family. She also enjoyed taking trips up to Montana, so she could visit siblings and loved ones that were an important part of her life. She was always very happy to have family visit and would often cook delicious meals as she talked and caught up with loved ones in the kitchen. She was always there to support her children and loved ones during difficult times and there to celebrate with them during the best of times. The great experiences and joy she shared with us all will be missed. She is survived by: her husband, Andrew Paul Smyth of Gooding, Idaho; five sons, Westly Smyth of Sandy, Utah, William Smyth of Gooding, Idaho, Scott Smyth of Twin Falls, Idaho, Cody Smyth of Gooding, Idaho and Wren Smyth of Salmon, Idaho; one brother, Chuck Gangl of Deer Lodge; two sisters, Mary Jo Lundstrom of Spokane and Donna Gangl of Deer Lodge; nine grandchildren, Tyler Newman, Bailey Close, Khloe Smyth, Taryn Smyth, Mackaylee Smyth, Emma Smyth, Makaylee Jae Smyth, Sadie Smyth and Kennedy Smyth. She was preceded in death by: her father, Wilford Gangl; mother, Darleen Gangl; two brothers, Raymond Gangl and Kenneth Gangl; and two daughters, Krystina Smyth Close and Jennifer Smyth Cheney. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, at Demaray Funeral Service, Gooding Chapel. Services will conclude at the chapel. Cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service. Condolences, memories and photos can be shared with the family by following the obituary link at www.demarayfuneralservice.com.