For the Record...
April 2007 Obituaries
ST. IGNATIUS - Anna Ruth-Bird-Ahtanum-Jobey was born on July 5, 1925 in
St. Ignatius, Montana. She passed away on Saturday, April 21, 2007 at
Emerald Circle Convalescent Center in Wapato, WA.
Anna was a member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribe
the Catholic Church. She has resided in Ronan, MT, Wapato, Darrington,
Puyallup and Tacoma, WA. She met and married Kenneth Jobey. Anna
enjoyed gardening and her pets. If she had to go anywhere, she would
put on her Cadillac shoes and she was gone.
The family would like to thank the staff at
Convalescent Center, Merritt Funeral Home, Yakama Agency,
Salish/Kootenai Tribe, Puyallup Tribe, Tulalip Tribe, Yakama Tribal
Police, the medical staff of the Yakama Tribal Clinic and to Dr. Mark
Kozakowski of the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority. A special thanks to
Tina Owens, Sandra Celestine, Jenny Celestine, Val Wahpat and all the
cooks. We apologize if we left someone out. Your support for Anna's
family is greatly appreciated.
Anna is survived by her daughter Dorothy John of
her brother Gene and his wife Charlotte of Polson, MT, her
grandchildren Debbie Pierre, Marry Anne John (Joe), Margaret John, Leo
John, Jr., Delores Johnson (Tony) all of Tacoma, and Michel John
(Becky) of Taholah, WA. She is also survived by 16 great grandchildren,
Traci, Maria, Theresa, Beatrice, Regina, Susan, Joe, Angel, Angelica,
Angela, Kortney, Kameron, Toni, Derek, Lewis and Wyatt, 6 great-great
grandchildren, Tony, Amelia, Nicholas, Angeline, Isiah and Kayleona,
numerous nieces and nephews and many dear friends. Anna was preceded in
death by her husband Kenneth Jobey, her brothers Charlie, Joe, and
Frank, her sister Helen, her sisters Helen, Mary and Ida and her
parents Nancy Larose and Henry Bird.
RONAN — Thomas Steven Walchuk passed away to be with the Lord
April 30, 2007. He was born in a sod house to Peter and Pearl Walchuk
on January 31, 1926 in Whitewater, MT.
During his childhood, Tommy's family left the
and relocated to a farm West of Ronan in 1936. In 1948, Tommy married
Evadene Marie Bilile. They raised their family in Round Butte, where he
enjoyed raising horses and Hereford cattle.
He was a retired farmer/rancher, businessman,
Senior Citizen bus, and welcomed many to the RV Park from around the
world. He enjoyed playing music at dances and extended care facilities
and water dousing. He enjoyed meeting and visiting people. He kept in
close touch with families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
His wife, infant daughter Mary, a brother and his
parents preceded him in death.
His sister Lillian Pablo, brothers Leo, Joe and
Walchuk, daughters Diane and Theresa, sons Laurence, Marvin and Stan,
16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, survive Tommy.
Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan
Home in Polson. Condolences may be sent to the family at
RONAN — Melvin L. Brown, 82, of Ronan, MT. died on April 26,
2007 at his home in Ronan.
Melvin was born on Dec. 20, 1924 at the family
home near Polson. He was raised and grew up in the Polson area.
As a young man Melvin worked in Hanford, WA. as a
truck driver for a few years and eventually returned to Polson.
He married Helen Bisson on July 23, 1945.
He worked in the timber industry in various
for several years. He then started his long career as an ironworker and
worked for Montana Power Company and Culbertson Steel in Missoula. He
also owned operated Brown's Conoco Station at Post Creek during the
early 1960's. Melvin retired in 1983.
He and Helen took a three-month vacation to Alaska
after his retirement.
Melvin especially loved hunting and fishing.
a longtime supporter and fan of the Mission Valley Speedway and built
several roll cages for local drivers.
Melvin was a member of the Confederated Salish and
He is preceded in death by his wife Helen, an
infant daughter Mary Regina Brown and 2 brothers Harry Brown and Ronald
He is survived by his children- Melvin and Lynda
of Pablo, Cammie and Fred Ross of Ronan and Natalie and Ron Melvin of
Polson and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also
survived by six sisters- Dorothy Webster of Ronan, Lenore and Henry
Padilla of Ronan, Laura and Dale Decker of Puyallup,WA, Phyllis Lester
of Ronan, June and Dave Conner of Tacoma, WA and Irma and Ballard
Olquin of Portland, OR and is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews
and other relatives.
The family would like to give a special thank you
to Ann and Herb Sias for their care and friendship shown to Melvin.
Condolences may also be sent to the family at www.groganfuneralhome.com
Louise Couture Lefthand
POLSON — Our beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt
and friend, Mary Louise Couture Lefthand, passed on, Sunday April 22,
2007. She was born on November 27, 1931 in St. Ignatius, at the Holy
Family Hospital to Madeline Phillips and Alexander Couture.
Mary attended school at the Ursiline School for
eight years and worked as a nurse’s aide. Mary graduated from
the Flandreau Indian School in 1951. She married Victor Lefthand on
June 7, 1954 and had two daughters, Verna Leann and Lauren Gail
Lefthand. During the following years she had numerous jobs including
cooking in Libby, while Vic worked on the Libby Dam. She also worked
with the Homemakers, then Lake County Homemakers and the elders program
in Elmo. She served as a tribal court judge, and served as a State
Social Service employee, which led her to work in this same field and,
following her good friend Edie Adams, through the circuit of social
service work for the BIA at the Flathead, Browning, Fort Peck and Wind
She came back home and worked with Social Services
and then ran for the Elmo District Tribal Council representative where
she served the community for 12 years.
Mary loved Christmas treeing, picking apples and
huckleberries. And more recently, she enjoyed gambling and traveling
with her daughter Lauren to places such as Las Vegas, Nevada; Bonners
Ferry, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents Madeline
and Alexander; her sister, Madeline; grandparents, Louis and Sophia
Phillips; and John and Josephine (Sapine) Couture; aunts, Madeline
Mathias, Mary Eneas, and Agatha Phillips; aunt and uncle Susie and Joe
Couture; and Elizabeth and Pete Couture; cousins, Richard Nichols; Roy
Couture; and Regina Matt; nephew Darren Couture; great-great nieces,
Tia and Rashaunda Denton; and many other beloved family and friends.
She is survived by her husband Victor Lefthand of
Elmo; daughters, Verna Leann Lefthand of Phoenix, Arizona; Lauren Gail
Lefthand of Pablo; Aunt Helen Charlo of Elmo; sister, Agnes Caye
(August) of Polson; brothers, Wayne Couture (Barbara) of Dog Lake;
Ignace Couture of Elmo; Edward Couture (Earline) of Elmo; grandson,
Brandon James of Polson; great grandchildren, Elijah; Tyrel; and
Keaton; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
All will greatly miss her.
Arrangements were under the direction of Grogan
Funeral Home in Polson, MT. Condolences may be sent to the family at
Genevieve “Jennie” Matt-Eder
POLSON — Jennie went home to be with the Lord, surrounded by
her family and the caring medical staff of St. Luke Hospital in the
early morning hours of April 18, 2007. She was born August 29, 1914 in
Ronan, MT to Jule Matt and Louise Poquette-Matt and was the 7th of 10
children. Jennie was a proud member of the Confederated Salish and
Kootenai Tribe and held her culture close to her heart, willingly
sharing her knowledge of her traditional lifeways with her family and
At the age of 5, she and her older brother Woodrow
(Woody), and younger brother Wilfred were sent away to Flandereau
Indian School, where she received her education until she was 12 years
of age. Jennie returned to the Flathead Reservation and lived with her
family in the Jocko for many years. Eventually, in her true
independence, Jennie embarked on a life that was filled with hard work,
but a life she found to be extremely rewarding. She worked in the woods
for several years starting out as a tree skinner, and was later
promoted to a sawyer where she worked side by side with her male
counterparts, much to their astonishment. Jennie went on to master the
operation of the skidstear and logging trucks for her employer, taking
on these positions with great pride for it was unheard of for a woman
to hold such jobs during that time.
Jennie’s love for the outdoors was very
profound and it is because of this love she was led to seek work as a
ranch hand on a homestead in Helmville, MT. Upon meeting the owner of
this ranch, she had informed him that she needed a job, and he needed
her. After two years of working along side this man, it became evident
to them both of them that they were well suited and had developed a
bond that would last a lifetime.
On April 12, 1954, Jennie married Otto Eder. They
lived together on the 160-acre homestead that had been originally
settled by Otto’s parents. Together they built the homestead
into a thriving 1,400-acre ranch. When they had time between raising
crops and working their cattle, Jennie and Otto would take off into the
wilderness for weeks at a time, enjoying the wildlife and picking
huckleberries. Both were avid hunters, but only hunted for the food
they needed, as they were strong believers in being good stewards of
the blessings of nature. Jennie was known for her hunting abilities and
her great skill with a rifle. She was listed in Boone and Crocket for
taking one of the largest bull elk out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Her love of nature and all it had to offer is a legacy she has passed
on to many.
During the past 10 years, after the death of her
husband, she became increasingly close to her niece, Betty Margquart.
Jennie thought of Betty as more of a daughter than anything else. These
two formidable women shared a very strong and loving relationship. As
Jennie’s health needs became more prevalent, Betty brought
her to her home to care for her. This relationship spilled over to
Betty’s children and grandchildren, who also spent many years
sharing in Jennie’s stories and memories.
Anyone who knew Jennie could not help but be
touched by her loving nature and generosity, which knew no bounds. She
leaves behind many special family members and close friends, who will
miss her smiling face and sweet spirit.
Jennie was preceded in death by both parents, the
love of her life and soulmate, Otto Eder, her brothers John, Tony,
James, Eli, Woodrow and Wilfred, and her sisters Mary Florence, Theresa
and Lillian, newphews Andrew Matt, Don Matt, Camille
“Sonny” Matt, Duane Delaware and her special friend
Harmon of Phoenix, AZ.
Jennie is survived by her nieces, Betty (Clark)
Marquart, Charlo; Bernice Tallant and family, Seattle, WA; and Sandra
Stevens and family, Monroe, WA; special nephew Leonard Delaware, Hot
Springs; nephew, Russell (Linda) Matt, Pablo; niece, Louise (Tweetie)
Matt, Pablo, great nieces, Stacey Kiehn and her family, Ronan; Cheryl
Colacurcio and Denice (George) Goodale, St. Ignatius; and great
nephews, John “Duffy” (Cora) McQuade, Federal Way,
WA; Curt (Patti) Matt, Auburn, WA; DuWayne (Denice) Matt, Federal Way,
WA; and Jeff Matt, Seattle, WA; her special friends, Don and Julie
Potcha and family; Norma and Charlie Hughes; Mike and Linda Willis all
of Helmville, MT; and special friend Kathy of Phoenix, AZ, and numerous
great-nieces and nephews and their families living in and around the
Seattle area and the Flathead Reservation.
Pallbearers were her great-great nephews: Jordan
Espinosa, Tylar Espinosa and Westyn Kiehn, Rick Kiehn, George Goodale
and Don Potcha. Honorary Pallbearers were Clark Marquart, Leonard
Delaware, Cheryl Colacurcio and the Potcha boys.
Officiating the services was Jennie’s
pastor, Lockley Bremner.
Funeral services provided by Grogan Funeral Home.
ST. IGNATIUS — Tehya was born April 3, 2007 and died
April 15, 2007.
Pastor Lynn Lapka will be officiated. Burial was
at the Lake View Cemetery in Polson immediately after the funeral.
Parents are Mark and Sherry Cummings of Ronan.
Grandparents are Alan and Naomi Cummings of Polson
and Sharon Cain of Polson.
BLUE BAY — Billie Jo Staggs, 41, died at St.
Patrick's Hospital of a
brain aneurism on Saturday, April 7, 2007. She was born September 17,
1965 in Missoula to Glenn Henry and Mary Madeline (Pierre) Umphrey. She
graduated from Two Eagle River High School and went on to graduate from
Missoula Vo-Tech. She worked in the Financial Aid Department at the
Vo-Tech for many years; she also worked for the city of Missoula.
While in Whittier Grade School she met the love of
her life Don Staggs. They married April 18, 1987 in East Missoula.
Billie was a very compassionate person that always
put others before herself, she centered her life around her family and
the time she spent caring for, teaching and loving her children. Billie
rarely missed a race at the Mission Valley Speedway where she was the
biggest fan of Don and son, Edward. Billie Jo also loved to play darts,
and go to Nascar races. She loved to have fun and her friends enjoyed
being around her and will always remember her contagious laughter.
Billie Jo was preceded in death by; beloved
father, Glenn Umphrey; her step-father, Rennal Bramsen; her
father-in-law, Robert Staggs; brothers, William Hawkins and Owen
Hawkins; sisters, Julie Hawkins and Betty Umphrey; and two nieces,
Tambi Weinberger and Tina Staggs. She is also preceded in death by her
son's father, Edward Truman.
She leaves behind her soul mate Don Staggs,
children Edward Truman, Benny and Mary Jo of the family home at Blue
Bay, her best friend and daughter, Bessie from Albuquerque, New Mexico
and step-daughter Katelynn; her mother, Mary Bramsen; her
mother-in-law, Sally Staggs; her sisters, Cindy Umphrey and Gwen (Kurt)
Bautch; brother, Calvin Hawkins; brothers-in-law Robert (Robin) Staggs,
Ted (Tina) Staggs, Ron Staggs, sister-in-laws Bessie (John) Evans and
Rose Minnis, her niece and nephew, Glenda and Matthew Hawkins, which
she raised after the death of their mother. A very large extended
family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and many, many,
friends who loved her.
The funeral service was held on Wednesday April
11, 2007 at Grogan Funeral Home. Rev. John Payne officiated.
did not know that day, that God would call
In live we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to loose you, you did not go alone;
For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
You left us special memories, your love is still our guide;
Although we cannot see you, you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken, nothing seems the same;
But as God calls us one by one, our chain will link again".