Char-Koosta News

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For the Record

September 2008 Obituaries

Kenneth "Kenny" A. Courville
PABLO — Kenneth "Kenny" A. Courville, 65, passed away Saturday morning, September 27, 2008 at his home in Pablo.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, Kenny was born in St. Ignatius on June 5, 1943 to Alex L. and Elsie (Bisson) Courville. He was raised in the Mission Valley. After finishing High School he joined the US Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. Kenny worked for the Flathead Irrigation Project for 31 years and eventually became an OMC.

Kenny loved the outdoors, liked to gather firewood and hunt, especially moose. As an avid sports fan, he enjoyed watching the Griz and the Broncos until he was converted to a KC Chief fan. He liked to read and gamble a little bit but will probably always be remembered for his ability to enjoy the company of his friends with good conversation and a cold one.

He married Linda Oliver in the early 1980’s and as with many things in life things, it did not work out. They remained friends but divorced after 11 years.

He married Cynthia Bridges in on Valentines Day 2004 and she survives at the family home. He is also survived by his sons Rodney and Danny (Bev); stepsons Jason (Ashley), Jeremy (Sara) and Justin (Amanda); brothers and sisters Fred, Henry (Tammy Ely), Laura (Mike), Donna Lee (Wade) and Alex (Judy); brother-in-law Bill Rogers and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Alex Courville and Elsie Bisson Courville; sisters and brothers-in-laws Deloris Durgeloh Ramsey, Clare Rogers, Leona Courville, Constance Courville Carns and Glen Carns and Marlene and Pat Adams and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A traditional wake began Sunday at the Longhouse. Interment followed in Polson on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 where military honors were be presented.

Louis Ray
BUTTE — Louis Lincoln Ray died on Monday, September 8, 2008, at his residence, with his loving wife, Joan, by his side. Louis was born on February 12, 1922 at Turtle Lake, southwest of Polson, the son of Arthur, Sr. and Nellie May (Sloan) Ray.

Louis was educated in Polson. He worked for his father, on the family ranch, until he was 17. During the construction of Malstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Louis was employed as a truck driver for about eight months. He also worked as a truck driver for Union Coast Co., located in Missoula, before becoming employed F and S Construction in 1947. Later, Louis became a heavy equipment operator, a career that lasted more than 23 years. For 11 years, he served as the business agent and business representative for the Operating Engineers Union, Local 400. He also served as vice president of Southwest Building and Trades, in Butte, and two terms on Local 400’s executive board. Louis retired in 1980.

He was proud of his membership in the Operating Engineers Union, which he held for more than 50 years. Louis was also a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

In the fall of 1940, he met Cleo N. Aubrey. They were married in the spring of 1941 in Kalispell. Together, they were blessed with 10 children. She preceded him in death in 1958. In February of 1990, he and Joan Helstrom Dahlem were married in Butte.

Louis was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Effie, Beulah, Eunice, Bette and Florence; his brother, Arthur Ray Jr.; and his wives Cleo and Mary.

In addition to his wife, and best friend, Joan, his is survived by his children Louie, Jeanne, Daryl, Barbara (Murray), Bette, Jack (Maxine), Dennis (Mary Jane), Susie, Laurie and Judy; stepdaughter, Timmie; stepsons, David (Liz) and Chuck (Alicia); stepson-in-law, Dave; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, step grandchildren and great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends. His is also survived by his four-legged friends: Mollie, Mickey, Toby and Brandi.

Cremation has taken place. Private family services will be held with interment of ashes to take place in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials: Chelsea Bailey Animal Shelter or the charity of the donor’s choice.

H. Leon Johnston
PABLO — H. Leon Johnston, 71, passed away Friday, September 26, 2008 at the St Luke Community Hospital in Ronan.

Leon was born Sept. 20, 1937 in Ravia, OK to Sterling and Loise (Coffie) Johnston.

He married Margaret Silva in 1955 in Superior and they made their home in Wardner, ID near Kellogg where they raised their family and Leon worked in the mines. After the mines closed, they worked for Motel 6 in Texas for Helen and Chuck Rhine. Margaret and Leon vacationed in Montana for numerous years before moving here to retire 21 years ago.

Leon loved to fish and hunt and working on cars. In his spare time he also read westerns and enjoyed playing cards going dancing. He always had time for his grandchildren and playing with Sam his dog.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother; brother Sonny and sister Edna.

Survivors include his wife Margaret of Pablo and children Mike McLeod of Pablo, Willard Moore of AZ, Helen (Steve) Fielder of TX, George (Kelly) Moore of Pablo, Shirne (Les) Robinson of TX and Juanita Johnson of Pablo and numerous grand children and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Oct. 3rd at 10 a.m. in the Foster Funeral Home & Crematory in St. Ignatius.

Ernest E. Hunt
ST. IGNATIUS — Ernest E. "Ernie" Hunt, 85, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday, September 4, 2008. He decided his work on Earth was done.

Ernie was born in Missoula on July 11, 1923 to Emmett and Olive (Brown) Hunt. Ernie was raised in Piltzville and attended grade School in Bonner. Ernie was a product of the school of Hard Knocks. He dropped out of Hellgate High school in the 9th grade, after getting in a fight because someone insulted his bib overalls he was wearing. From then he worked at various farms around the area.

At the age of 16 he started work at the Bonner Mill were his father was employed.

His first marriage to Hilda (Blondie) Henke was at a young age and he was the proud father of two daughters, Charlotte (Hunt) Myles-Peterson and Sandra (Hunt) Opp.

Ernie then went to work for the Anaconda Co. Smelter a short time before being inducted into the US Army 8th Calvary Division from 1944 to 1946 where he saw action in the Pacific Theater.

Ernie then returned from the Service and worked with his cousin Guy Keirnes up Willow Creek Sawmill, also logging up Boulder Creek, Sunrise Mountain out of Hall.

In 1958-59 Ernie worked on Building Flint Creek Lumber at Hall. During this time he had a second marriage and was honored to help raise two stepsons, Richard and Larry Seamann, he was proud to have these boys in his life.

In 1960-61 he met and married his present wife, Jacqueline (Molnaa) Hunt. Life began again with a new family of three children: Robert, Julie and Russell. Flint Creek Lumber Sawmill was very successful, until a fire caused him to sell out and purchase Rose Mountain Ranch up Dunkelberg Creek, seven miles east of Hall where he stayed until 1973, when an injury caused him to sell and buy a smaller ranch at St. Ignatius. He was going to retire, but that didn’t last long; he got bored and thought his family needed jobs close to home and he found it very difficult to buy just a few boards to repair corrals and etc., around his farm. So along with his wife and children, he started building another sawmill. "Sawdust was just in his blood." He always said he was born in a sawdust pile.

Hunt’s Timbers Sawmill opened it’s door’s in 1980, where Ernie spent most of his time. His lumber and specialty timbers have been shipped to many places in the US. It wasn’t uncommon for people to know of St. Ignatius, just because they had lumber shipped to them from Hunt’s Mill. It was unbelievable to him how much the mill had grown in the last 28 years

He loved working with his family and very much enjoyed visiting with his customers.

He was one who did not like technology, but believed in work and would often wonder why his boys would like to go hunting and fishing all the while knowing that it was he who cultivated this habit.

Ernie lived life to the fullest whether it be work or play. Ernie was patient, sentimental, experienced and had wisdom and passed it on to all he knew. We have all lost our "Encyclopedia to Life"

He will be truly missed by all his family, friends and lumber customers;

He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years Jackie (Molnaa) Hunt: children, Sherry (Hunt), Peterson Sandra (Hunt) Opp, Richard Seemann, Larry Seemann, Robert Hunt, Julie (Hunt) Kuefler, Russell Hunt; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents Olive and Emmett Hunt, sisters Edith Sasse, and Olive Casteel and a brother Walter Hunt.

"Dance on, Ernie, til we meet again."

Funeral services were held Friday, September 12 at Hunt’s Timbers in the mill yard with burial following In the Pleasant view Cemetery in St. Ignatius where military honors were presented by the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

The Family suggests that memorials be made to Pine Haven Children’s Ranch St. Ignatius 59865.

Richard "Dick" Lee Moulton
CAMAS PRAIRIE — Beloved father, brother, uncle and friend Richard "Dick" Lee Moulton, 62, of Camas Prairie, went to be with his ancestors on the beautiful early fall afternoon of Saturday September 13, 2008. Dick had just recently been diagnosed with cancer; the Creator took him early so as to save this courageous man from the pain that this sickness is known to cause.

Born on November 29th, 1945 in Grants Pass, Oregon, to Goldie Garcia and Father Derwin "Mickey" DuMont whom preceded him in death. Dick was fortunate to be born into a large family, which reaches from Oregon, Washington.

Dick shall always be well known for his hard working nature, a very hard working man with a heart and soul larger than most. In his early years in Montana he was a successful logging man whom employed many, most who would go onto become lifelong friends after the job was done. Dick was a "Jack of all trades," however most known for his mastery of telling tales to whomever had the time to pull up a chair and listen; in his later years Dick was also known for the many treasures he sold out of the "Sale Barn" which he loved to spend any spare moment cultivating the showcase of the many treasures he had for sale. And one could never speak of the early days of the Upper Miller Creek Raceway without mention of Dick Moulton’s car #149. As he always poured his full heart into any endeavor he approached, racing was no different and went on to become a passion he loved. Dick had many trophies to show for his accomplishments, and shall always be remembered in racing circles. Dick was also a very proud member the of the United States Air Force, from which he was honorably Discharged in 1966 after four gallant years of service.

Dick fell in love early in life and married Rosemary "Penny" Gardipe Moulton, Penny preceded Dick in death in 1981. He met Carole Finley, to which two beautiful sons were born. As the Gardipe family is a large and loving family, with hearts bigger than the Missions, Dick later met and married Linda Gardipe Moulton in 2001, Linda resides in the family home on Camas Prairie where she will fondly remember Dick, and perhaps become the new "Store Keeper" of the Sale Barn.

Dick is survived by his loving wife Linda Moulton of Camas Prairie; step-mother Loise DuMont; daughters and sons Laurie Powell, Angela (Shawn) Parker, Alta Finley, Casey (Michelle) Moulton, Mose (Nicole) Moulton, Eric (Kelly) Moulton, David (Zetra) Gardipe, Larry (Shelly) Nimrick, Frank (Arlene) Powell and Orlando Powell; sisters and brothers Bernita (Al) Mann, TC DuMont, Laurie Dumont, Lorene Mitchell, Derwin "Dew" DuMont, Doug Dumont, Mike (Myrna) DuMont, Doran (Rannon) DuMont; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the whole Gardipe clan.

A wake was held at the family home in Camas Prairie. Pastor Dean Buffalo officiated.

Upon Dick’s wishes, he was buried at Jocko cemetary next to his beloved Penny.

A guestbook can be signed and condolences may be sent the family at

Joanne Orr
FT. WAYNE, IN -— Joanne (Mandy) Orr quietly passed away at Saint Anne Home in Ft. Wayne, IN on September 10, 2008 due to complications from a fractured pelvis in late August and a major stroke on Labor Day. Born on May 19, 1913 in Devil’s Lake, ND, she was the sixth of 11 children of blacksmith Michael Henry Mandy and his wife, Marie (Haugen) Mandy, and the family grew up in Ladysmith, WI. Joanne’s husband, George - son of William Harrison Orr and Caroline (Felsman) Orr of St. Ignatius - was killed in a hunting accident on Whidby Island, WA, in 1954.

Joanne was remembered in the following tribute to her on Mothers Day 2008:

The Silent Accordian

Joanne played the accordion professionally for over 75 years; She doesn’t worry about it though, and will not waste her tears;

That beautiful instrument is silent now - it sits in its big, black case. She will simply get rid of it so it doesn’t take up needed space.

She now lives in one of Indiana’s assisted living facilities; She’s more fragile now, and must cut back on her activities.

She smiles and says ‘Hi’ to all she meets as she daily walks the floors Because she has one of those hearts that’s as big as all outdoors.

To watch her joke, talk, and play brings everyone so much pleasure, And all can see that this woman is truly a heaven-sent treasure.

Joanne is my mother, you see, and is now quite elderly, But she will forever mean the very world to me.

She represents a time when folks got married before they had a child; Compare that to current times when things have gone so wild.

She joined a convent when she was quite young of year, But my brother and I are so very glad she didn’t make it her career.

She learned to play the accordion, and won beauty contests as a teen; And she was even selected to be a Wisconsin accordion queen.

Waltzes, foxtrots, schottishes, polkas...she could play them all, And everyone who went to her dances really had a ball.

The beautiful music she coaxed from that electronic squeeze box Would literally knock you right out of your socks.

She’d play lullabies to soothe you, and reels to make you feel alive; Then she’d really light things up with "Hungarian Dance #5."

For friends’ occasions and at senior citizen homes she would play for free, But at large, commercial establishments she’d accept some gas money.

She billed herself as a one-lady band, and played in many a city, But her accordion is silent now, and that’s really quite a pity.

She played at nursing homes, and there were many a day When you’d see smiles of recognition on faces whose minds had gone astray.

When the Ontario, Oregon, civic center needed a major roof repair, The community was unprepared, and sank into despair.

Though raising money for such an endeavor could prove to be quite stressful, Next to corporate and wealthy donors, her efforts were the most successful.

While in her mid-80s, she taught school children how to line dance, And she extended those lessons to give senior ladies a chance.

Her teaching children was captured on the Ontario museum western wall, And the "Golden Boot Scooters" still perform regularly at the mall.

She played the accordion all the time, and thousands she did please, But she can’t play it anymore because she has Parkinson’s disease.

Her fingers would caress those pearly keys, and create such a wondrous sound, But her accordion is silent now, and as she looks around...

She says anyone who’s lived this long has faced life’s ups and downs, But even though she’s slowed a step or two, she seldom, if ever, frowns.

She said her favorite birthday was when her two sons met her at the door, And took her to lunch at Red Lobster when she turned 94.

She always maintained it was so much fun just to be alive, She’s looking forward to that day in May when she turns 95.

She doesn’t feel particularly sad when with her accordion she must part, Because all that beautiful music she used to play is written on her heart.

When she retires for the night she says a little prayer, that when she gets to heaven, God can use another accordion player.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom, I know someday I’ll meet you there; And Happy Mothers Day to every mother, everywhere.

Joanne is survived by her two sons, James of Ft. Wayne, IN and Charles of Anchorage, AK; and two younger sisters, Dorothy Walter of Sunrise, FL and Pat Thorpe of Medford, WI. She was cremated, and laid to rest next to her husband in Seattle’s Evergreen Washelli cemetery.

We all know there is nothing that God cannot fix, But He decided to take Joanne home before she reached 96.

- Chuck Orr, September 10, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska

Margaret Ann Schwarz
POLSON — Margaret Ann Schwarz died unexpectedly from natural causes on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at her home in Polson.

Margaret was born July 28, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska to Sue Ann and Vernon Hawkins. She moved from Salt Lake City, Utah to Polson where she met and married Bill Schwarz on March 1, 1978. Together they had two sons, Jason and Adam.

Margaret was proud of being a head waitress at several restaurants in Polson. She had a special knack for training new employees to do their job well. She later worked at Service Inc. as a sales clerk until they closed in 2005.

Margaret was very proud of her two grandsons Kailen and Shayden. They were the light of her life. There was nothing Margaret wouldn’t do for her family and the people she loved. She enjoyed playing bingo, babysitting her grandchildren, cross-stitching and collecting antiques. She also had a special love for animals, especially her dogs Bear and Tiny.

Margaret was preceded in death by her mother Sue Ann, her brother Howard and her grandparents.

She is survived by her husband Bill; their sons Jason and Adam, both of Polson; her sisters Ruby, Pam, Julie, Nancy, Theresa; and brothers Grant and Steven; plus numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Polson with Rev. Paul Rowold officiating. Burial followed at the Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

Memorials in Margaret’s name may be made to Life Saver Animal Rescue or to the Mission Valley Animal Shelter.

Leona Mae Courville
POLSON — Leona Mae Courville, 73, passed away at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

Born in St. Ignatius on May 26, 1935 to Alex L. and Elsie (Bisson) Courville, Leona was a lifelong resident of the Mission Valley and worked for Mission Mountain Enterprises and Twice But Nice in Ronan. Leona lived with family until recently when she moved to Polson.

She loved to color in her coloring books, artwork and TV.

She was preceded in death by her parents Alex Courville and Mom Elsie Bisson Courville; her sisters and brothers-in-laws Deloris Durgeloh Ramsey, Clare Rogers, Constance Courville Carns and Glen Carns and Marlene and Pat Adams; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is survived by her family and many cousins, nieces and nephews including her brothers and sisters Fred, Henry (Tammy Ely), Kenny (Cindy), Laura (Mike), Donna Lee (Wade) and Alex (Judy).

A traditional wake began on Sunday at the Longhouse. Interment was on Tuesday in the Decker Beauvais Cemetery in Polson.