Dennis K. Driessen October 26, 1947 - September 8, 2023
Dennis K. Driessen, 75, known to many friends and family as “Trapper,” departed this earthbound plane on Sept 8, in Seattle. Dennis was born in Salmon, Idaho, Oct 26, 1947, to Frank and Janice Driessen. He spent his formative years in Spokane, among his dad’s family. Upon Frank’s death, Dennis joined his Montana family in Deer Lodge at the age of 11. He loved hunting, fishing and all outdoor endeavors. In high school, he ran trap lines to earn spending money, often hiking miles in the hours before school and on weekends. He joined and loved FFA and once got to travel to Kansas City convention with his local club. He graduated from Powell County High School in 1966, eventually landing a brakeman job on the Milwaukee Road. He was drafted into the Army in 1967, serving honorably in Vietnam as a medic, enduring the horrors of the Tet Offensive of 1968; he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star, which is the third highest award for the U.S. Army. After service, Dennis returned to his railroad job. He married Shannon Neubauer in 1972, and they had one child, Cory. He had found his niche while serving as a medic and decided to pursue a degree in prosthetics, which he successfully attained in Memphis. He served a residency and met his final certification requirements, first practicing in New Mexico, eventually landing back in Montana. He and his wife opened an orthotics and prosthetics business in Helena, helping many clients in need of bracework and appendage augmentation. He became frustrated by the lack of support for his clients by the Medicare system, and eventually, the business was sold. His was a restless soul. He travelled to southeast Asia, finding it a magnet. After his divorce, he moved to Thailand, establishing his place among the other expats and networking. He was always trying new endeavors – smoking his own hams and making bacon, learning to cook Thai dishes, learning to speak and read some Thai (speaking was much easier than reading), making many short journeys on his motorbike, getting into gemstones and making jewelry. He had landed in SeaTac; just boarded the plane to Spokane to begin his extended in-country visit, when his life force took off. It was an oddly appropriate passing for Trapper, with the gypsy heart and feet of sand. He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Cory. He is survived by siblings Darlene Sauber, Mike Whittaker, Pat Rehorn and Mary Kostich, along with nieces, nephews and beloved cousins, and his ex-wife, Shannon. Pursuant to his belief system, there will be no services or memorial.
Michele (Brown) Williams November 14, 1964 - July 15, 2023
Michele (Shelly), 58, passed away unexpectedly on July 15, 2023, in Napa, Calif., after a sudden illness. Michele was born Nov. 14, 1964, while in Moetsch, Germany, near Bitburg Air Base. Her parents, Master Sgt. George W. and Shirley R. (Strizich) Brown were stationed in Germany while her father served in the U.S. Air Force. She joined two older sisters. Following her dad’s retirement, the family returned to their native Montana and settled in Deer Lodge. Shelly graduated from Powell County High School in 1984. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1989 from the University of Montana. While at UM, Michele developed a love for all things sports. She worked for the athletic department and kept statistics for teams. This developed her undying love of the SF Giants, Golden State Warriors and of course, the Montana Griz. In her spare time, when not caring for Colby, she watched or attended various sports events. She often traveled to area colleges to watch the Griz play. In 1992, Michele was joined on this earth by her beloved son, Colby Brown. She raised him as a single parent until she met and married Alan Williams in 1997. The trio moved to Napa, where they made their home. She separated from Alan in 2021. In Napa, Michele worked for the Napa County Community Housing in the accounting department for 25 years. She worked there at the time of her death. She is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Mathew and Edith (Launderville) Strizich; paternal grandparents Walter and Etna (Shaffer) Brown; parents Shirley Strizich and George W. Brown; an older brother Michael and numerous aunts and uncles. She is survived by her son, Colby of Napa; three sisters, Becky Smith (Anaconda), Chris Brown (Yerington, Nev.) and Sandy Hanson (Missoula); paternal aunt Doris (Brown) Matz (Anaconda); maternal aunt Cathy (Strizich) Knutson (Helena); nephews Brandon Brown (Missoula), Nicolas Talbott (Denver), Ryan Talbott (Missoula) and Kaidre Brown (Yerington); three nieces, Alana (Smith) Nickell (Alamogordo, N.M.), Abby Smith (Lewistown) and Olivia Hanson (Missoula); and eight grand nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m., Oct. 10, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, W. 5th St., Anaconda. Reception immediately follows at Croatian Hall, 809 E. 3rd St., Anaconda.