Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
October 2009

Lynn James ("Bud") Webber, Jr.
PUYALLUP, WA — Lynn James ("Bud") Webber, Jr. passed away on Oct. 29, 2009 at age 71, after a three month battle with melanoma cancer. He was born in St. Ignatius on February 28, 1938. He was tribal elder of the Salish and Kootenai Tribe in Montana and a member of the VFW.

He attended Western Washington University, served in the U.S. Army, and worked for Alberto Culver, American Thread Co., and The City of Tacoma. He was dedicated to his family and was extremely proud of his grandchildren. He generously included extended family and friends in many memorable activities over the years.

Bud enjoyed spending time in the woods and was a thoughtful steward of the land. He was a native plant enthusiast and had an affinity for rhododendrons. Many memories of big meals, card games, hiking, fishing, canoeing, playing pitch, and sharing stories on the front porch will stay with us forever.

Lynn is survived by Eileen, his wife of 47 years; sons Jim (Linda) of Puyallup, Dan (Kris) of Redondo Beach, CA, Dale (Alison) of Berkeley, CA, and Jason of Tacoma, WA; grandchildren Rachel, Hannah, James, Sarah, Danny, Andrea, and Caden. He is also survived by his sisters Doreen Mussman of Portland, OR., Joyce Coffel of Tacoma, WA., and brother Douglas of Ronan.

A memorial service to celebrate his life was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Puyallup on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Randy J. Trosper
POLSON — Randy Joseph Trosper, 55, of Polson, died peacefully of natural causes at home on Monday, October 26, 2009, after a short battle with heart disease, cancer, and additional complications. Although he lost the battle, he fought it with courage and his innate good humor.

Randy was born in the old Catholic hospital in St. Ignatius on March 12, 1954, to Alice Stockton Trosper and George Lester Trosper. He was the youngest of six children making him the guinea pig for many childhood adventures and experiments while growing up at Kerr Dam. Randy was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

He attended Polson public schools graduating from Polson High School in 1972. During that time he worked at Safeway. He attended Flathead Valley Community College after graduation fighting wildfires for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes during the summer to finance his education. He then completed a truck driving school. He joined the U. S. Army in 1978. Randy began his military career as a draftsman and was trained later as a nuclear weapons advisor specialist serving three overseas tours in Germany and Greece. He attained the rank of Sergeant First Class and was honorably discharged in June 1992.

Randy attended Salish Kootenai College, graduating with an Associates Degree. In September 2001 he began work at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Natural Resources Department as a fisheries technician while pursuing a fisheries biology degree through the University of Montana. Randy was employed with the Tribes Water Quality Program beginning January 2003 until his much too early death.

Randy was proud of his cultural heritage and was a very active member of the Veteran Warrior Society, often traveling out-of-state and to Canada for powwows and life celebration ceremonies.

Randy thoroughly enjoyed and loved his nine nieces and nephews and their children. He was a history buff and an avid reader with varied interests.

Randy was married and divorced twice. He was preceded in death by his father Lester, sister Lynda, and grandparents.

He is survived by his mother Alice and siblings, Danna Hurtt (Richard), Eldeana Davis, Brad Trosper (Marilyn), and Leslee Dickson (Buz), two aunts, one uncle, and numerous cousins.

Funeral services were held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Thursday, October 29 with Rev. Paul Rowold officiating. Military graveside services followed at Lakeview Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of the donor’s choice. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at www.groganfuneralhome.com. Grogan Funeral Home, Polson, is assisting the family.

Leonard Leroy Williams
WENATCHEE, Wash. — Leonard Leroy Williams, 76, lost his courageous battle with cancer on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born September 9, 1933, in St. Ignatius, to Jacque Leland and Rosalie Carmelita (Ashley) Williams and was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Indian Tribes of the Flathead Reservation. He attended Catholic school at the Villa Ursulines in St. Ignatius and other schools on the Flathead Reservation. In the fall of 1940, the family moved to Grand Coulee, Washington where his father worked on the Grand Coulee Dam and his mother cooked in the local restaurants. He graduated from Grand Coulee High School in 1952.

He was a veteran of the United States Army (1953-1956), Army Reserves (1956-1958) and of the United States Navy (1958-1959).

He met the love of his life, Virginia Overbey, in Electric City after he was discharged from the Navy. They were married in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on November 5, 1959.

Leonard worked construction at several of the dams on the Columbia River before going to work at Alcoa in 1965. He was an equipment operator at Alcoa and known as “Chief” until his retirement in 1996.

Leonard enjoyed fishing at Lake Roosevelt with his fishing buddy Jake. He and Virginia also attended many Blue Grass Festivals in their RV.

His greatest joy was spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Len was an exceptional father and grandfather. He will also be remembered as being kind to anyone and everyone he met. We will all miss his smile and jokes and his endless help and patience with Virginia’s honey-do-list over the past 50 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Fred and Dick Williams and sister Rose Ellen Hall.

His survivors include his wife, Virginia, at home; sons Ted (Maria) of Nice, California, Lenny (TerriLynn) of Woodinville, Ron (Rozy) of Wenatchee, and Fred of Wenatchee; daughters Christy Such of East Wenatchee, Marci Williams of Anchorage, Alaska, and Vickie Williams of Dutch Harbor, Alaska; 19 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins

Services were held on Thursday, November 5 at Heritage Memorial Chapel in Washington. Burial was on Friday, November 6 at Spring Canyon Cemetery in Grand Coulee.

The family would like to thank Dr. David Notter, his staff and the “chemo” girls at Wenatchee Valley Clinic for all of their patience, love and compassion over these past several months.

Walter Lee Allen, Jr.
RONAN — Walter Lee Allen, Jr., 61 of Ronan, passed away on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 at St. Luke Extended Care Facility.

Walter was born on May 14, 1948 in Bridgeport, Conn. to Gloria and Walter Allen, Sr.

Walter attended schools in Seattle, WA area. Walter married Georgi Mitchell on June 21, 1993 in Pablo.

He worked his whole career with Burlington Northern Railroad where he started as a boxcar checker and worked his way up the ranks to become a Dispatcher. He continued as a dispatcher until he retired in 1993.

After his retirement he attended South Seattle Community College where he earned degrees in supervision and management and in business management. He graduated president of South Seattle Community College student body, Phi Theta Kappa and was on the United Student Association Board.

Walter loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and boating. He used to run half marathons. He especially loved his family and was proud of his Native American roots. He was a member of the Little Shell Chippewa Cree Tribe.

He is preceded in death by his mother Gloria Allen, brother Charles Allen and infant sister Margie.

Walter is survived by his wife Georgi Mitchell of Ronan; his father Walter Allen, Sr. (Ola) of Bremerton, WA; daughter Margie (Tony Clark) Allen of Helena; stepdaughters Tricia Finley of Polson; Annie Mitchell of Polson; Jocelyn Finley of Pablo; and JoAnn Mahler of Vancouver, WA; sons James Allen of Helena, Walter Allen III (Thaydra) of Vancouver, WA and adopted son Ryan Allen of Bozeman; brothers Robert Allen of Polson and Steve Allen of Polson; 13 grandchildren, one great grandchild and a special sister-in-law Ardith Allen of Polson.

A memorial service was held on October 24, 2009 at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson with Pastor Kenny Prewitt officiating. A reception followed at the funeral home.

Daniel P. Seery
ST. IGNATIUS — Daniel P. Seery, 86, a lifetime resident of St. Ignatius passed away Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in St. Ignatius. Dan was the sixth of eight children born to Michael Joseph and Anna Keegan Seery in Lombard on September 23, 1923, both of whom emigrated from Ireland to Townsend. In 1938 the family moved to St. Ignatius where Dan attended school. He enlisted in the Navy V-5 Flight Program in 1943 and served as a navigator in the Pacific Theater until 1946.

In 1948 he opened the Malt Shop in St. Ignatius and in 1949 married his high school sweetheart, Isabelle Pinsoneault. They raised four children and a foster son, and provided mentoring to countless people who came through the doors of the Malt Shop. Dan sold the best cheeseburger in town, operated a laundromat, handled Western Union transactions, arranged bus tickets, sold lottery tickets, and was an avid supporter of the Mission Bulldogs, waiting for many late night school busses returning from out-of-town events. Dan enjoyed fishing, playing cards, and bowled on the team he sponsored for over 40 years. His greatest pleasure was being surrounded by his family and friends.

He was a volunteer fireman, ambulance driver, and town councilman. He was also an active member of the American Legion Post 106, the St. Ignatius Senior Citizens Center, the St. Ignatius Catholic parish, and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was on the Board of Directors for Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative from 1981 to 2001, serving as Board President for several years.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Jack, Frank, Leo, and Tim Seery; sister, Mary Ellen Aune; and an infant son, Daniel Patrick, Jr.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Isabelle, of St. Ignatius; children Danielle (Tim) Smith of San Diego, CA; David (Diane) Seery of Golden, CO; Debbie (John) Maher of Tempe, AZ and Denise Seery of Denver, CO; foster son, Tony Miller-Seery of San Diego; grandchildren Kyle and Shannon Seery, Danny and Katie Maher, and David Smith; brother Joe Seery of Sparks, NV; sister Doty Everson of Kalispell; sisters-in-law Patsy Seery of Missoula, Alice Seery of San Clemente, CA; double-cousin Eileen Perry of Townsend; and numerous nieces and nephews and extended relatives of the Seery and Pinsoneault families.

Rosary services were held October 26, and a funeral mass followed on October 27, both in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Military honors were conducted by the Mission Valley Honor Guard, American Legion Post 106. Cremation as under the direction of Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. A family ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the inurnment on his mother's grave at St. Mary Cemetery in Missoula. Memorials may be made to the Tim Ryan Mission Valley Scholarship Foundation or a charity of the donor's choice.

Kathy C. Rode
TUALATIN, OR — Kathy C. Rode, 51, passed away October 6, 2009 peacefully in her home with her family and friends at her side.

She was born and raised in the Mission Valley where she attended school in the Ronan-Pablo School District. Her younger years were spent with her family, which included five brothers and one sister. At the age of 18, she moved to Portland, Oregon where she lived the rest of her life. She married Ernie Rode in 1989 and had a son, Jace Rode, that same year.

She enjoyed gardening, caring for her indoor plants, collecting antique masks and rocks, reading mystery books, watching cooking shows, cats and dogs, walking, hiking, spending time with friends and family and life itself. She was a people person with an infectious giggle; there wasn’t a person she wouldn’t smile at or say hello to.

Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Victoria Stinger; and brothers Cory and Mark Stinger. She is survived by her son Jace Rode of Tualatin, Oregon; fiancé Donny Naugle of Tualatin, Oregon; brothers David Stinger of Ronan, Guy (Lisa) Stinger of Pablo, Bruce (Stacey) Stinger of Pablo; sister Misty Lohn of Tualatin, Oregon; and many nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place and her ashes will be brought to her hometown of Ronan.

Vernita (Jean) Pichette Ducharme
RONAN — Jean Ducharme passed away peacefully on Monday, October 19, 2009 in Ronan. Jean was born in St. Ignatius on January 19, 1932. She was an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Jeanie's life was filled with a deep commitment to the Catholic faith. Jeanie spent the majority of her life working as a nurse at Missoula's Community and St. Patrick Hospitals. Her proudest accomplishment was obtaining her LPN license.

Jean attended the Ursuline School in St. Ignatius and Chemewa Indian School in Oregon. The love of Jean's life was her husband of 53 years, Joe Ducharme. Jean and Joe had known each other their entire lives. His passing in April 2006 was still so difficult for Jean. Jean and Jody - everyone knew "they went together."

Together they raised their daughters, JoAnn "JoJo" Ducharme of Anchorage, Alaska and Becky Messing of Spokane, Washington. Jean also had a daughter Kelly Garcia of New Mexico. She is survived by brother in-law Pete Ducharme of Missoula; and her nieces Delores Abel Plumage and her family of Ft. Belknap, Montana; and Judy Abel Gray and her family also of Ft. Belknap. Her three grandchildren were so precious to her and she is survived by Benjamin Coffroth of Anchorage, Alaska and Kylie Messing Spokane, Washington. Josie Messing also of Spokane, Washington passed away in June 2009.

Jean was also preceded in death by her father Baptiste Pichette; her mother Mary Combs Felsman and a sister Bernice Pichette Abel Clairmont.

The wake will begin today, Thursday at 1pm in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the Rosary being recited at 8 pm tonight (Thursday). Wake closing will begin at 10am Friday in the Longhouse with the Mass being celebrated at 11am in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission with burial following at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery. The pallbearers will be Christopher Plumage, Charles Plumage, Jason Gray, Benjamin Coffroth, Steve Munford, and Joe Pablo; with Leonard Combs being an honorary pallbearer.

Mary Josephine Cote’ Smith
ST. IGNATIUS — The family of Mary Josephine Cote’ Smith sadly announce that she passed away on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at St. Luke’s Community Hospital in Ronan. Attending her bedside were her daughters Judy, Linda, Lora Lynne and Barbara and numerous family members. Josephine was 94 years old.

Josephine was born on October 30, 1914 in St. Ignatius, the first of six children of Mary Kiernan Cote and Joseph M. Cote. On her mother’s side of her family, Josephine was descended from the Couture, Finley and Ashley families of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Indian Reservation, and she was a tribal member. On her father’s side of the family, Josephine descended from Jean Cote. The Cote family is widespread and can trace their ancestors back several hundred years to the Perche region of France. Josephine received her education at the Ursuline Boarding School in St. Ignatius.

Josephine married a fine young man named Stanley Oliver on December 23, 1930. The couple made their home on a small farm in the shadows of the Mission Mountains on the Flathead Indian Reservation. They both worked hard at farming, helping her parents and raising a large family, lacking many of the modern comforts such as electricity and indoor plumbing. Eight of their children were born in the Mission. Eventually they sold their farm and moved to Missoula, and they subsequently had four more children.

Josephine and Stanley divorced. She went to work at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. There, Josephine met another fine man named Richard Smith, whom she later married. They happily lived in their home at 2000 S. 5th Street West in Missoula for many years. They were well known for their meticulous yard and beautiful flower gardens. They enjoyed retirement there, and for a time they cared for a handicapped son. Richard preceded her in death, but with the support of her family and the kind neighbors Josephine stayed on at the comfortable little house for many years until she was no longer able to care for herself.

Sadly, Josephine was preceded in death by five of her children: Mickey, Richard, Kenney, Stanley and Tony. Also preceding her in death were her sister Beulah and her brother Roger.

Josephine is survived by her sister Annie Edwards of Marion and two brothers Joe Cote of Portland, OR and John "Jack" Cote of Auburndale, FL. Her seven children are Judy Oliver-Davenport of Lolo, Linda West of Hot Springs, Barbara Oliver of St. Ignatius, Lora Lynne Oliver of Pablo, Robert Oliver of Arlee, Douglas Oliver of Spokane and Susan Jo "Jody" Faucett of Orofino, ID and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other relatives

A wake began Wednesday in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the Rosary being recited tonight at 8 p.m. at the Longhouse. Wake closing will begin at 11 am Friday at the Longhouse with Mass being celebrated at noon on Friday in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Cremation will follow the services.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family would like donations made to the Humane Society.