Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
August 2009

Paul Gary Mathias, III
ELMO — Paul Gary Mathias, III, 18, of Elmo, went to be with the Lord on August 29, 2009 in Auburn, WA.

Paul was born on Nov. 5, 1990 in Mount Vernon, WA to Paul Gary Mathias, Jr. and Darlene Sam. He attended schools in Mount Vernon until 2007. He moved to the Flathead Reservation in 2007 and attended school at Two Eagle River High School in Pablo. He played football and basketball at Two Eagle River.

Paul loved to hunt, fish, attend powwows and play in stick game tournaments throughout the Northwest.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents Paul Mathias, Sr. and Bessie H. Williams.

He is survived by his father Paul Gary Mathias, Jr. of Elmo; and mother Darlene Sam of Sedro Wooley, WA.; sisters Mariya Mathias of Elmo, Sara Charles and Maggie Edwards; brother Mikie Edwards all of Sedro Wooley, WA.; great-great-grandmother Helen Charlo of Elmo; and several other relatives.

Funeral services were held in Sedro Wooley, WA and burial was held in Hamilton, WA.

Jerolyn Schiele LaFromboise
ARLEE — Jerolyn Schiele LaFromboise, 52, of Arlee passed away on Thursday, August 27, 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Jeri was born on July 27, 1957 in Polson, daughter of Harold Schiele of Pablo and Lois Ashley of Pablo. Jeri was a special woman with a huge heart. She always put everyone else before herself. She was the glue that held everyone together and the voice of reason when you needed good advice.

Jeri worked hard her whole life. She held many different jobs, from nurse’s assistant to restaurant manager. In 1992 she started working for the US Postal Service, and was the rural carrier in Charlo until 2000 when she and her husband moved to Arlee, where she was the rural carrier there until the cancer forced her to quit in March of 2009.

Jeri had a soft spot for animals and loved to be out in the field with her horses, Little Boy, Maggie, and Cimmeron. They were a very special part of her life. She also had a rescue dog she named Orphan Annie that she found on her mail route and nursed back to health with no help at all from her jealous cat, Catrine. Jeri also loved to ride her Harley Davidson motorcycle alongside her husband Jeff. When she wasn’t on her horses or her motorcycle she enjoyed baking, spending time with her family, and going to the Griz games and concerts.

Jeri is survived by the love of her life, Jeff LaFromboise of Arlee; her daughter Codi (Rod) VanNess of Polson; her mother and stepfather, Bill and Lois Ashley of Pablo; father and stepmother, Harold and Eda Schiele of Pablo; brothers Dale (Pam) Schiele of Phoenix, Arizona, Billy Ashley of Pablo; sisters Rhonda Hogan of Chandler, Arizona, Barb (Dwayne) Hill of Sweetwater, TX; her brother-in-law Conrad (Maryellen) Lafromboise of Browning; Don (Elyse) LaFromboise of Butte; sister-in-law Lois Slater of Pablo; Lorna Morgan of Spokane, WA; Vicki LaFromboise of Bozeman; Lori (Dan) Harris of Tacoma, WA; and Lori LaFromboise. She is also survived by her "other two kids" Angela (Chad) Cole, and Iain Hogan and many more nieces and nephews who were all very special to her, each in their own way.

She is preceded in death by a sister Deborah Ashley; her beloved grandparents George and Elva Doney and Martin and Elsie Schiele; her special aunt and uncle Bernice and Woody Ridnour ; and her father-in-law Robert LaFromboise; mother-in-law Rose LaFromboise; her brother-in-laws, T.J., Steve, Roy and Robert LaFromboise; and her sister-in-law Maryellen Matt.

Our lives were all blessed to have Jeri in them. She made our lives rich with her kindness and love. WE WILL MISS YOU JERI. Rest well "Holy Horse Woman" - Natoyi-Ponoka-mitaa-ki.

Funeral services was held on Monday, August 31 at the Jocko Valley Baptist Church in Arlee with Rev. Kenny Prewett officiating. Pallbearers were Dale Schiele, Billy Ashley, Rod VanNess, Chad Cole, Jason Matt and Don LaFromboise. Cremation took place after the funeral services. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at Grogan Funeral Home, Polson, is assisted the family.

Rita Knerr
PERMA – On August 16, 2009, Rita Knerr, 96, found peace and the beginning of a new Journey, one of no pain and where eyesight is at least 20/20 and the pastures are always green. She is reunited with the love of her life and even though they physically separated for many years, spiritually they were always connected. Rita waited patiently for the time they would be together again.

She was born on February 28, 1913 at the family ranch near Colorado Springs, CO by the Black Forest with Pikes Peak in the background, to Harry and Euretta White Cummings and was the youngest of four girls. Her early years were spent on the ranch. She spent the next several years traveling through Calif., Oregon, Washington and Idaho, living a year or two at different places so she could attend school. She moved to Montana and lived in Moiese and Ronan and graduated from high school in Ronan. She finally moved to Perma where she would spend the rest of her life.

Rita met her future husband on a blind date. When they were introduced, he made his horse rear up while he took his hat off and bowed to her.

Rita was a Civil War enthusiast. Her grandfather was from the North and spent 18 months in Andersonville Prison, while her grandmother was a niece to Southern General Sterling Price who later became the Governor of Missouri. Her grandparents were next-door neighbors to Frank and Jesse James.

Except for her stays in the hospital followed by short nursing home stays for therapy, she was able to spend her final years at home , made possible by Jim Curtiss, who has been there for her for the last seven years to make sure she got to where ever she needed to go and be there for whatever was needed. The last several months were personal care that wouldn’t have been possible with out him.

Rita is survived for the most part by her most faithful admirer, friend and companion, her daughter Joyce. They shared love that was rarely ever spoke of but was surpassed by none!

Joyce’s unselfish and limitless commitment to her mother deserves the utmost respect. This became obvious and apparent to those who were closest to them in the later years. And to Mona, who was always just a phone call away and whose voice would always brighten Rita’s day no matter how sick she might have been, a very heartfelt thank you. We would like to also express our gratitude to the People at Evergreen for their care and concern for Rita. It was truly a blessing to see so many caring people. Rita is also survived by sons Archie and Bruce and daughter Edna and a large extended family of grandchildren and great grandchildren whom she loved dearly. Rita was a very honest person and would always look for the good in people and forgive those where none could be found.

Extended family besides Jim also includes Mona Allen of Perma and her husband Buster.

She was preceded in death by her husband Archie in 1991, three sisters and four infant babies.

Graveside services were Friday at the Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Montana Talking Book Library in Helena or a charity of one’s choice.

Harvey J. Hackman
POLSON — Harvey J. Hackman, 83, of Polson died peacefully from kidney failure at his home on Friday, August 21, 2009.

Harvey was proud to have been born on April Fool’s Day in 1926 in Missoula and the family always enjoyed the fact that his surviving wife of 59 years, MaryLou (Tootsie) was born on Friday the 13th.

In his early years, Harvey enjoyed logging with his brothers and later worked as a carpenter with his brother Warren, all in the Missoula area. In 1980, Harvey and his wife relocated to property overlooking Flathead Lake where he took great pride in his golf-course lawn and vegetable garden. The view of the lake from his Polson home perfectly matched a picture postcard Harvey had saved for many years prior to their moving.

Everyone who knew Harvey enjoyed his sense of humor, his witty sayings and jingles, and his whistling. Most of all, he always enjoyed his own jokes and was quick witted to the end. He will be missed more than he would have ever guessed.

He is survived by his wife MaryLou, his children are Carol and husband Paul O’Bagy of Stevensville; twin sisters Charlene (Dan) Crevar, and Cheryl (Bryan) Sedita all of Polson; sons Hardee of Missoula and Brett (Kim) of Clinton; granddaughter Carrie; great grandsons Kohl Tracy and Josh Duff of Potomac; grandson Brandon Hackman, who attends Montana Tech in Butte; and Brandon’s mother Liz Hackman who lives in West Glacier. Brother Conrad of Frenchtown and several nieces and nephews, also survives Harvey. Mention must also be made of the special relationship between Harvey and his best friend since the first grade, Donald Rummel and his wife Marie of Astoria, Oregon. The family dog Zeke, another best friend will surely miss sleeping with Harvey.

He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Harvey and Hazel Hackman; stepmother Edith Kroust; sister Helen Ogg; and brothers Harold, Chuck and Warren.

The family is deeply grateful for the friendship and help provided from Harvey and MaryLou’s neighbors, Dave and Bee Cottington. They would also like to thank Linda Edwards and Carol Sturm of Hospice for their support.

Cremation has taken place and in accordance with Harvey’s wishes, formal services will not be held.

Arrangements were by Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory of Polson.

Condolences may be made to the family at

Marjorie Lee Christopher Sparks
MISSOULA — Marjorie Lee Christopher Sparks, 63, died of a brain aneurysm at Kalispell Regional Medical Center on Friday August 14, 2009.

Marjorie was born May 1, 1946 in St. Ignatius to Kenneth and Ruby Christopher; she graduated from High School in Arlee. She married Larry Frey and they later divorced. Marjorie met Weldon Sparks in 1979 and they spent the next 30 years together.

She spent almost all of her entire working career at Great Western Petroleum.

Margie was the most wonderful mother and greatest caring grandmother ever. She spent her life giving to, caring for and enjoying her family. They were her life.

Margie was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Ruby and her sister Gloria.

Survivors include her husband and companion of thirty years Weldon Sparks; daughters Judy of Phoenix, AZ and Heather of Missoula; sons Richard of Altus, OK, and Dale and Glen both of Missoula; grandchildren Allie and Talon Smith, Colton Sparks, Moira and Owen Sparks, Charly Hudek, Sarah Pinedo and Riley Ferguson; and brother and sister-in-law, Leon and Rose Hayward.

Services were held on Wednesday, August 19. A gathering of family and friends followed the services at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Frank Tabish, Rick Stiles, Ron Briggs, Dale Sparks, Glen Sparks and Neal Riley.

The family suggests memorials to sent the American Diabetes Assn.

Carmel Devon Tanner
ARLEE — Carmel Devon Tanner was born on June 21, 1932 in Columbus, North Dakota. He died at his home in Arlee on August 17, 2009.

Carmel attended schools in Arlee and Missoula. He served in the U.S. Army.

He married Shirley A. Gebeau on December 31, 1955 and they spent the next 53 years together. Carmel spent his life in the Jocko Valley working as a rancher and farmer on the ranch he built with his family. He was a loving and loyal husband, father, grandfather and friend.

He is survived by his family: wife Shirley, son Harley (Joey), daughter Carla, grandchildren Tom (Jennifer), Cody (Kathleen), Craig (Lindsay); and great-grandchildren, Megan, Tyler, Ashley, Cody, Thomas and Brooke; brother Harold (Viola); sisters Geneva (Victor), and Ruby (Bud, deceased), and sister-in-law Bodine (Vic) Matt and numerous nieces and nephews.

Carmel has joined his parents, Edi and Julia Tanner, and siblings Geraldine, Asher, Harry and Basil.

Carmel will be laid to rest on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at the family ranch at 11 a.m. in Arlee with military honors. A reception will follow at the Arlee Community Center. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be made to the Cancer Center at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.

John P. Chittenden
ST. IGNATIUS — John P. Chittenden, 46, passed away Saturday, August 15, 2009 at his home.

Born in Martinez, CA on April, 24, 1963, he was raised in California and Colorado and had lived in the Colorado Springs area where he had trained to be an electrician until five years ago when a disability caused him to move Montana to be closer to family.

He is survived by his mother Phyllis Forget of St. Ignatius; his brother Patrick Forget of St. Ignatius; sisters Sharon Wright of Colorado Springs, Aletha Benoit of San Jose, CA and Roxanne Schlafli of Colorado Springs; nieces and nephews Sean, Corky, Tanner, Michelle, Jessica, Samantha and Christina; as well as an extended family that loved him dearly.

Cremation has taken place and services are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ronan and for later in October.