Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record...

May 2007 Obituaries

Thurman H. Trosper 1917-2007
RONAN - Thurman grew up in Ronan, Montana. He earned his B.S. degree in Forestry and Range Management from the University of Montana in 1941, and then joined the Marine Corps. He served during World War II in the Pacific, on Guadalcanal, with the 3rd Defense Battalion, First Division. After the war he joined the US Forest Service, one of the first Indians to serve in management positions in the Forest Service. After working on the Kootenai and Clearwater National Forests, he was supervisor on the Bitterroot National Forest from May, 1955 to December, 1959. Later he was Assistant Regional Forester for Personnel Management for the Eastern Region in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1968, he joined the US Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and in 1970 the National Park Service, where he was Assistant to the Director, in charge of Environmental Affairs. In that position, he was active in successful efforts to save the Everglades from the development of Dade County Airport. After serving the Federal Government, he retired to his home in Ronan, Montana.

Upon retirement from the Federal Government in 1973, he served for three years as President of the Wilderness Society. He served on the Governing Council of the Wilderness Society from 1965 to 1980.

His advocacy for protection of wilderness included working with others to establish the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness during the 1970s. In 1982, the Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes established the tribal wilderness with Ordinance 79A. Thurman's advocacy of wilderness led the Montana Wilderness Society to give him an award.

He was active in other environmental activities, particularly in Montana. In 1974, he was elected chairman of a coalition to fight a proposed open-pit coalmine in British Columbia, which would threaten the quality of Flathead Lake. The coalition secured $5 million for a baseline study of the Flathead Basin, and Thurman chaired the steering committee. The proposed open-pit coal mine was denied at that time; recently the proposal has arisen again and the United States remains opposed to the coal mine. He served as the first Chairman of Montana's Flathead Basin Commission. He was active in building bridges among all those interested in protecting the quality of Flathead Lake, including the Flathead Lakers and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. In 2004, Flathead Lakers' President Rose Schwennesen presented him an award in recognition of long and dedicated service contributing to the quality of Flathead Lake. He served on the board of the Pacific Rivers Council.

He also served on many boards for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, most particularly as first chairman of the Personnel Board, where he guided the development of the Tribes' personnel system. He also served on the Shoreline Protection Board and the governing board of Mission Valley Power. In 2004, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes gave him a Warriors Medal of Valor for his military service.

He was active in other community activities on the Flathead Indian Reservation, working for five years on the Lake County Planning Board. He was also active with the Flathead Resources Organization, Neighbors, and the Montana Human Rights Network on Indian issues. He was on the Advisory Committee for the Dean of the Forestry School at the University of Montana, and also served on a search committee for the dean position.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; four sons, Ronald, William, David, and Douglas; and five grandchildren.

A Celebration of his life will be held at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, starting at 3 P.M. on Thursday, May 31, 2007.

Helen Benally Espinoza
ST. IGNATIUS - Helen Benally Espinoza, 65, went to be with the Ancestors on May 27, 2007 after passing away at her home from an extended illness.

Helen was born Sept. 6, 1941 to Susan QueQueSah and Joseph RedHorn; she was later adopted and raised by Annie and Louis Pierre.

Helen was both an elder and member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai tribes and was one of the few who still spoke her native tongue fluently, something she was quite proud of.

Helen's greatest pride and joy, though, were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed spending time with them and they enjoyed the stories she told about the many different times of her life, both the good and bad. She was strong willed. Helen usually got what she wanted. Helen was blessed with a very large extended family, both biological and adopted, which she loved very much.

She was preceded in death by both parents; her son Michael Benally; daughter Marianne "Wally" Allard Gopher; granddaughters Winter Hoops and Katherine (Cass) Gopher; sisters Viviane RedHorn, Rose Felix, Josephine "Dee" Pierre and Rose Tanner RedHorn and brothers Billy Antoine and Joseph Pierre.

Helen is survived by her remaining children David Benally, Glen J. Gardipe and Rosalie Little Light and family all of St. Ignatius; 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren; sisters Marian Andrew, Alice Goodman and Francine Antoine, all of Ronan and Rita Adams of St. Ignatius; brother James "Jimmy" Antoine of Ronan and sister-cousins Virginia Brockie, Dorothy Woodcock, Shirley Trahan and Mary "Dolly" Linsebigler. Also her beloved Uncle Alec (Betty) QueQueSah and Aunt Sophie (Gene) Mays both of Charlo.

Glen William Bachman Sr.
SEATTLE, Wash - Glen William Bachman Sr., 88 of Seattle WA, died May 4, 2007, at his home in Seattle.

Glen was born in Ronan on Jan 13, 1919, raised and grew up on the family farm near Polson.

His mother Gertrude Lee Stansberry Bachman died when Glen was only three, and while his father (George William Bachman, a descendant of Rosalie Morigeau) had to work away from the family of his two brothers and sister, they lived and were raised with their aunt Dolly and uncle Fred Bachman.

Glen married Marguerite Taylor from Kellogg, Idaho in 1942. He then served in the US Army during WWII where he achieved several decorations.

He is preceded in death by his wife Marguerite, 2 brothers Larry, Jack and his sister Delta. The Bachman family has a plot next to the Flathead Lake.

He is survived by his children Glen William Bachman Jr, Melanie Bachman Jorgensen and Leslie Ella Bachman

His grandchildren Grant Bachman, Andrea Bachman and Danielle Brinsen, all from the Seattle area, his cousin Earl D Bachman from Tacoma WA, and Earl's sister Alice Avery, recently from the reservation and now CA.

Condolences may be sent to

Ruby June Dalke
ST IGNATIUS — Ruby June Dalke, 77, passed away at her home Monday, May 7, 2007.

Ruby was born in Melvern, Kansas on June 21, 1929 to Elza and Golda Rider. The family moved to Chinook, MT where Ruby met Raymond Dalke. They were later wed in Polson, Montana on September 3, 1946. Ruby and Ray bought their farm in St. Ignatius in 1951.

Ruby was an avid reader and according to her children could cook with "The Best of Them". Even in her later years, her cane and willow switches were a sharp reminder of one's manners in Ruby's presence. Ruby was loved and respected by all who knew her.

Ruby was preceded in death by her husband, one daughter Maria Benfit and her parents.

Ruby is survived by her children Judy (Britt) Salois of Pablo, MT, Tom (Kay) Dalke of Seeley Lake, MT, John (Lorie) Dalke of Thompson Falls, MT, Ted (Karen) Dalke of Wilburn, OK, Ed (Bev) Dalke of Pablo, MT, Lena Dalke of St. Ignatius, MT and Fred (Tracey) of Ronan, MT; 3 sisters Ruth (Louie) Parish, Jean (Ralph) Turner & Marge (Bill) Tiegan; brother Bob (Nancy) Rider; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and several relatives and friends over the mountains in the Chinook and Havre areas.

Cremation has taken place under the care of Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home in St. Ignatius with Graveside Memorial Services being held at the St. Ignatius Cemetery on Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 1 pm.