Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2009

Stephen "Jay" Flores
OMAK, Wash. — Stephen "Jay" Flores was born in St. Ignatius on May 29, 1961. He was born to a beautiful woman, Marie Antoinette Plant, St. Ignatius. Jay had two brothers Frankie Martin and William Flores, three sisters Sharlene (Dan), Spokane, Connie, Omak, and Karen of North Carolina. He has two living uncles, Joe and Albert Plant of Arlee; two beautiful living aunts Glenrose Bird, St. Ignatius and Darlene Flores, Okanogan, WA.; and several cousins, nieces and nephews in Montana, Washington, Idaho, North Carolina and Mexico.

Jay’s first few years were spent in various places: Montana, Texas, Mexico and then Tonasket, Wash.

In his pre-teenage years he moved with his family to Omak, Wa. where he attended school and started his life. He met Shelley Swayzee and had two wonderful sons, Christopher and Adam Flores. Christopher has a son Braden and a daughter Cadence Marie, who is to be born on Jay’s birthday.

Jay had many adventures in Omak and grew to love the town so much that he never wanted to leave.

Jay loved cars and was very adamant about them being clean and running to perfection. Jay was an excellent friend, brother, father, uncle, nephew, brother-in-law and grandfather. He was blessed with a large caring family. Jay loved to tease and play practical jokes on unsuspecting victims like his nieces and nephews. They will never forget him and neither will we.

Jay passed peacefully in his sleep in Omak, Wa. on February 10, 2009. He was laid to rest on Friday February 13 at Omak Cemetery next to Amy, his life’s love.

Rosary and funeral masses were held at ‘Lady of the Valley’ in Omak by Father Cyprien.

Tina Thatcher
RONAN — Tina Thatcher, 44, passed away at her home on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.

Tina was born in Snohomish, Washington on July 13, 1964 to Dean Kenneth and Sharon (Payne) Thatcher.

Tina was employed as a vocational rehabilitation placement specialist in California until moving to Montana in 2001 where she worked for Reliacom and Lucky Lil’s Casino, both in Ronan, until she was diagnosed with MS, which caused her to slow down.

She was preceded in death by her parents and son Jessie James Thatcher who passed away in 1991.

Survivors include her children Christopher Thatcher of Ft. Lewis, WA and Marissa (Francis Pierre, Jr.) Thatcher of Ronan; grandchildren Andrew and Linden; brothers and sisters, Ray, Liz, Willie, George, Amy and Linda.

A wake began Friday in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius; funeral services were held Saturday and burial followed in Snyelmn Sntmtmne Cemetary.

Foster Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family with arrangements.

Dorothy Rose Felsman
HOT SPRINGS — Dorothy Rose Felsman, 80, passed away February 26, 2009 at Community Hospital in Missoula.

Born to Henry and Angeline (Matt) Felsman on November 1, 1928 in St. Ignatius, she was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Dorothy was raised on the reservation and finished her education at Chemawah. She then returned to Hot Springs where she worked at the Bath House until its closing.

An avid traveler, she enjoyed traveling especially in the Southwest. Dorothy was also a good mechanic as several roadside repair shops found out and she was known to drive to LA from Hot Springs in 24 hours in her truck. She also liked to fish, was a terrific cook especially for Mexican food and could crochet.

She is survived by her longtime friend Ida Trujillo of Hot Springs and several nieces and nephews from the Felsman and Matt families including Doris Felsman of Ronan.

Visitation was held at the Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius on Monday with the Rosary recited Monday evening at the Funeral Home Chapel. Mass was celebrated at the St. Ignatius Mission on Tuesday with the burial following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

Agnes "Oshanee" Cullooyah Kenmille
POLSON — Agnes "Oshanee" Cullooyah Kenmille was born March 16, 1916 near Arlee Montana to Paul and Annie (Lumpry) Cullooyah.

Through her mother, she was a descendent of Chief Charlo’s band of Salish who was forcefully removed from the Bitterroot in 1892. Her mother taught her to bead at a young age. At the age of 13, she was orphaned.

The following year she married Edward Stasso and moved to Elmo where she had one daughter, Annie Stasso Antiste. While living in Elmo, she became a fluent speaker of the Kootenai Language and started her journey to becoming an expert in hide tanning and beadwork.

Following the death of her husband, she remarried Joseph Mathias, son of Chief Baptiste Mathias, and together they had two children, Catherine Mathias and Camille Mathias. In 1937, while helping build Kerr Dam, an unfortunate rockslide killed Joe Mathias.

Her third marriage was to Camille Kenmille and they had four sons, Wilfred, Eneas, Laurence, and Donald Kenmille. They later divorced. She continued to raise her family, working numerous jobs across the northwest, while continuing to master her beadwork.

Gramma taught language classes along with arts and crafts at Two Eagle River School. She also taught hide tanning at Salish Kootenai College for many, retiring in 2008. She received numerous, prestigious honors and awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Art’s Governor Award. She also received an honorary bachelors degree from Salish Kootenai College.

She is preceded in death by her parents Annie and Paul Cullooyah; husbands Edward Stasso, Joseph Mathias and Camille Kenmille; companion Mose Auld; brothers Alex, Frank and John Cullooyah; sisters Mary Cullooyah Andrews and Cecille Cullooyah Ascencio; daughter Annie Stasso Antiste; and grandchildren Joseph Hamel and Kelly Ann Kenmille.

She is survived by her children Catherine Mathias Hamel, Camille Mathias, Wilfred Kenmille, Eneas Kenmille, Laurence Kenmille, Donald Kenmille and stepson Michel "Mike" Kenmille and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

Gramma loved war dances and was the head war dance woman for the Arlee and Standing Arrow Powwows. Over the years she traveled to numerous powwows throughout the northwest and Canada. Gramma had many friends throughout the world and each of them had a special place in her heart. She had a jolly personality and lived and loved life to the fullest. Gram was a very firm believer in traditional customs and beliefs. Gramma believed in hard work. She had a knack for making people laugh and enjoyed the company of her many friends and especially the younger generations.

Gramma's other special past times included picking berries, digging various roots, eating traditional foods, and playing rummy according to "grammas rules."

It’s been great living with gramma in this day and age as she was a walking encyclopedia. She lived an old-timers life and shared much of it with everyone she encountered. She shared her knowledge of life and experiences with us all. She was a great teacher and a unique self-made woman. We will miss her dearly and never forget her as her teachings and stories remain with us. We realize how lucky we were to be apart of our lives. As we heard her say, "You got brains!"

A wake began Friday at the Cultural Hall in Elmo, Saturday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius and concluded on Sunday at the Arlee Community Center; the Rosary was recited on Sunday evening at the Center. Mass was held in St. John Berchman’s Catholic Church at Jocko Agency near Arlee on Monday with burial following in the Jocko Catholic Cemetery.

Joseph Edmond Garcia
PABLO — "Our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, it isn’t going to be easy to say goodbye."

Joe was born in Polson on May 27, 1939 and joined our creator on February 11, 2009 at his new home with his wife by his side. Joe passed away from natural causes.

He served in the U.S. Army in 1958 and returned back to the Flathead Reservation after his military discharge.

He met the love of his life, Suzanne Clemens, and they married on July 2, 1965 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Joe and Sue had 43 wonderful years together. They had four children, Jacqueline being the oldest and Joe being the youngest.

Joe enjoyed hunting, fishing and golf. He would call up his brothers and say "golf anyone?" Spending time with his family was what dad enjoyed. Camping at Blue Bay by the lake and having family get-togethers will be memories cherished by everyone.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents Trinidad and Annie Garcia; brother Jack; sisters Connie Huffman and Clara Bykari; two sons and a grandson Andrew Sharp.

Joe is survived by his wife Suzanne; daughter Jacqueline Sharp; son Joe ( Ronda) Garcia; and six grandchildren: Jon, Samuel Sharp, Bradlee Garcia, LaShelle Sharp, Koby, Michlyn Garcia; brothers Don (Sylvia), Plair, Lyle (Maxine), George (Trudie) Garcia; and many nephews, nieces and great nephews and great nieces.

Visitation was held on Monday at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. A vigil service was held at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Rev. Jim Connor officiating. Military honors followed the services at the church. Cremation followed the services and a private interment was held at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

Condolences may be sent to

Auddie M. Coulson
ARLEE — Auddie M. Coulson, 49, of Arlee passed away Wednesday February 11, 2009 at St. Patrick’s Hospital. He was born on February 12, 1959 in Spokane, WA.

Auddie was raised and educated in the Jocko Valley, by his parents Jim and Connie. He enjoyed cooking, carpentry, hunting, fishing, bowling and having barbeques with his family and friends. Auddie loved dancing the jitterbug and polka, with his sister Becky, and he enjoyed spending time with his wife and children.

Auddie was a very strong willed person, and will be missed by everyone who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his parents Jim and Connie (Moran) Coulson; sister Linda (Coulson) Dahl; grandparents Ernie and Alice Moran and Wilbur and Ottie Coulson; and numerous other relatives.

Auddie is survived by his wife of ten years Shawna and their three children Nathanial, Noah and NataLee all of Arlee; an ex-wife Michelle and their three children Jenny and Martin of California and Rusty of Arlee; three sisters Debbie (Skip) Privett, of Missoula, Rebecca Dillard of Arlee and Peggy (Bob) Hammond of Wasilla, Alaska; a brother Chet James of California; and a large extended family of very good friends including Jim and Clayton Malatare.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated for Auddie last Saturday in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Arlee with Fr. Andrew Maddock, S.J. as celebrant. a reception was held at the Arlee Community Center following the services.

Foster Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.