Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
December 2009

Marie L Dowdall
CAINSVILLE, MO — Long-time Polson resident, Marie Dowdall, passed away peacefully at home in Cainsville, Missouri on December 29 at the age of 84. Marie was the wife of the late John Dowdall, who was a Polson banker and civic leader. She lived her last years under the loving care of her daughter Rosemary McLain.

Marie was born in La Porte City, Iowa to Monte and Louise Bedard Foss. Raised on a farm, Marie attended the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and later Fresno City College, ultimately becoming a nurse. She met her first husband, Michael Dowdall, during World War II in Iowa City. They had seven children together in California, first living in Watsonville from 1946 to 1963 and then in Fresno. Michael was a union leader in California who passed away in 1967 at the age of 45. Following his untimely death, Marie raised her children with the help of her oldest son Jim of Fresno, California and her oldest daughters, Michele Pecina of Madera, California and Katherine Ireland of Oroville, California. To support her family, she worked as a nurse at St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno.

Marie married John Dowdall, Michael's brother, in 1973 and relocated from Fresno to Polson. John founded First Citizens Bank of Polson, where he remained as President until his retirement in 2001. John and Marie were partners in founding the Port Polson Players along with Larry and Pat Barsness in 1975. She also supported John in his civic endeavors, including becoming mayor of Polson, establishing the Polson Community Development Association, chairing the capital campaign to expand St. Joseph's Medical center and a number of other civic projects. They both were active members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Marie loved and studied painting and music; she played the piano as well as an antique accordion. John and Marie retired to Tucson, AZ. After his passing in 2003, Marie re-located first to California, then, Polson and then to Missouri to live with her daughter Rosemary.

In addition to Michele, Jim, Katherine and Rosemary, Marie is survived by her sons Michael of Ripon, California, Joe of Polson and Sean of San Francisco. She leaves behind eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A private memorial service will be held in California in the spring. Donations honoring Marie are requested to be made to the Mission Valley Friends of the Arts, which supports the Port Polson Players at P.O. Box 1156, Polson, MT 59860. "We will miss you, dear Marie: you taught us how to see the world through artistic eyes."

Peter J. Liberti
EVARO — Peter J. Liberti, age 69, long time resident of Evaro passed away on December 28, 2009. Peter was born to Antoinette Cutronio and Salvatore Liberti on August 2, 1940 in Buffalo, New York.

Peter attended schools in Buffalo and at age 17 joined the US Army where he obtained his GED. After two active duty tours to Vietnam, Peter returned to Missoula where he served as an Army recruiter and retired with 20 years service in 1977 at the age 37.

Peter met and married Roxana Colman on January 14, 1970 while working in Missoula as an Army Recruitment Officer. His career led him and his family to travel throughout the country including a tour to Erlangen, West Germany where his daughter Misty was born.

Upon returning from Germany and retiring from the service, Peter built his dream log home in the Evaro area. Peter loved to “putsy” which means he was a multi-tasker who enjoyed being involved in numerous endeavors, adventures and activities. He especially enjoyed visiting with friends and had a special affinity to prove that one person’s garbage can be another’s “goldmine”.

He was very entrepreneurial and knew how to stretch a dollar, in other words...well, you who knew Pete would have to chuckle at this point. He loved dumpster diving. I am not sure if this condition is a result of his service related experience or just a fun thing to do that turned into a business venture. You gotta’ love him.

Peter is no doubt smiling down upon us and would be so proud to know that so many people truly enjoyed his company and were awed by his eccentricities. They say what goes around, comes around and Pete is proof-he made the world more interesting and his energy was endless to say the least.

He was very young when he chose to serve his country. Upon his 20 years of military service he suffered from many emotional war traumas but it didn’t slow him down. Peter often chided about his military regimentation and summed things up rather humorously: “If the military wanted me to have a normal life, they would have issued it.” And so it wasn’t.

All in all, however, Peter was a good father, a good person, a good husband and a good friend who could be trusted. He could muster up humor to lighten life’s darkest and heaviest moments. We will all miss him.

Peter worked in a variety of jobs for the past 15 years to keep busy and met many of his friends through his community work and activities. Peter made significant community contributions and when he saw a friend or acquaintance in need, he was there to help.

Peter was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his daughter Misty Liberti; a grandson Isaac Fleming; five siblings, Joanne (Jerry) Highway, Marie (Sonny) Calabrese, Joe (Olga) Liberti, Shirley (John) Sardina from the Buffalo area and Pat Liberti, who resides in Florida; numerous nieces and nephews and his godchild, Rosalie Sheridan.

A wake began Friday, January 1. Mass was celebrated Saturday, January 2 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Mission in Arlee; the burial followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery where military honors were presented.

Donna J. Kudlock
RAVALLI — Donna J. Kudlock, 68, passed away Tuesday, December 29, 2009, after losing her battle against cancer.

She was born Oct. 11, 1941.

Cremation has taken place and there will be a private family graveside service in the spring.

Donna “K” was a wonderful wife, mother, grandma and friend, She will be deeply missed. We love you, Mom!

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution, in her name to the Community Cancer Center or the Mission Valley Animal Shelter.

Leonard Gerald “Grandpa” Lytle
ARLEE — Leonard Gerald "Grandpa" Lytle, age 86, passed from this life on December 25, 2009 peacefully in his home with family at his side.

He was born in York, Nebraska October 23, 1923 to Stanley William and Anna Catherine Reiners Lytle. He lived in York until 1940 when his family moved to Buhl, Idaho where he graduated from high school in 1942. As a young man, Leonard was a star running back on his high school football team and a center fielder on his baseball team and received a scholarship to Pocatello, ID to play football. He was also a Lightweight Golden Glove Boxer.

Leonard began working for Missoula Livestock in 1945, and then became a Brand Inspector for the State of Montana in 1956 where he spent several years in Missoula, Lewistown, and Billings. In 1974 he purchased Missoula Livestock and enjoyed this venture until the unexpected death of his partner that required the sale of the business in 1976. He remained foreman for many years until retirement.

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and one sister, and his wife Joan.

He is survived by his son Marty Lytle of Arlee; daughter Lorri and her husband Tim O’Neill of Arlee; granddaughters Katelyn Lytle of Missoula, Alyssa (Daniel) Cahoon of Charlo, and grandsons Wyatt and Webb O’Neill of Arlee.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, December 30 in the Arlee High School Gymnasium. Burial will be held at a later date with a private family service.

Timothy L. Vaile
ARLEE - Timothy L. Vaile, 55, passed away Tuesday, December 15, 2009 in Arlee.

Born and raised in Browning, he moved to the Jocko Valley over thirty years ago and made it his home.

He was preceded in death by his parents Ennis and Catherine (Gobert) Vaile; grandparents John and Louise (Guardipee) Gobert; brothers Virgil "Joe" Tatsey, Gerald Phil Guardipee and Frank Ennis Vaile and nephew Ronald John Tatsey.

Survivors include his children Winter (Joey Ventura) Vaile and Winter's children Elaina and Jayden of Missoula and Yolanda Maestas and Yolanda's children Carlena, Savannah, Isabella, Marhee and Joseph of Arlee; brothers and sisters John "Ugoh" Tatsey of Browning, Tom Nowlan of LaCrescent, MN, Jim Chris Vaile of Great Falls, John "Jack" Vaile of Browning and Ilona Vaile of Browning; sister-in-law Bernice Vaile of Browning and aunts and uncle Elsie Vaile of Lethbridge, AB and Gary Gobert, Sr.; and numerous extended family and friends from the Flathead and Blackfeet Reservations.

Burial was in the Jocko Cemetery.

Kathryn E. "Kathy" Ely Snyder
RONAN - Kathryn E. "Kathy" Ely Snyder, 52, passed away from a heart attack at her home on Sunday, December 20, 2009.

Born to Jim and Audrey (Stockton) Ely on July 2, 1957 in St. Ignatius, she was raised in Dixon and later Ronan where she attended schools. A dedicated wife and mother, she married Merlyn Snyder in Coeur d'Alene and they made their home in the Ronan area.

Kathy worked for Second Chance in Ronan, for S&K Electronics, as a seasonal worker and was a housecleaner by the lake. She enjoyed playing cards, telling jokes and stories, collecting antiques and native art. But most importantly she enjoyed spending time with her grandkids.

She was preceded in death by her dad and mom Jim and Audrey Ely; a sister Christy Ely Richardson and brother Leonard Newman.

She leaves behind her loving husband Merlyn Snyder; her kids big baby Richard Snyder; son Merlyn Snyder (Shawn Field); daughter Wendy (Darren) Orr; and little baby Jimmy Dean Snyder; brothers and sister Bodie (Bobby) Ely, Steve Ely and Tammy (Henry) Courville; seven grandchildren Jodi, Landon, Cassidy, Troy, Abbie, Logan and Skylar; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Services were held on Wednesday, December 23 in the Longhouse.

Ronda L. Burtch
DIXON — Ronda L. Burtch passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, of cancer and pneumonia, at the age of 42, surrounded by family.

She was born June 15, 1967 in St. Ignatius, to Dick and Tiny Burtch. She attended elementary school in Dixon, then graduated from Mission High School, where she was proud to be a Mission Bulldog cheerleader.

She had her first child, a daughter Kyla, in 1984. She married Shawn Malatare in 1987 and they had a son, Sean Wren, in 1991. They divorced in 1997.

In high school, Ronda started working road construction with her family’s business. She also worked for Riverside and Schellinger Construction. Her Dad helped his two daughters start their own road construction business, with contracts in Montana, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Ronda worked the jobs until she became ill and had to quit.

She was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and worked on the Tribal election as a judge. She also bartended throughout the years.

Ronda loved the outdoors. She loved camping (especially cooking over a campfire), fishing, traveling to and exploring places she had never been, and gardening. She also loved to cook, going to the Plains Demo Derby (which she drove in), watching her “who dunnit” movies and TVshows, and spending time with her family, friends and animals.

Ronda was a loving and caring person. She was kind and had a generous heart that would help anyone. The center of her life was her family. She loved them all very much, as they loved her. Her motto was “Family First”. She was called home after her courageous battle with cancer, to be under her Dad’s wings and to be with her Guardian Angel Gerry. She was such a strong person during her illness.

Ronda was preceded in death by her father, Richard “Dick” Burtch, her baby brother and sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

She is survived by her mother Tiny, her daughter Kyla (Gary) and granddaughter Shakira; son Sean Wren Malatare; sister Tina (Randy); nieces Kaylee (Trevor), Siarra and Shantayla; uncles Dennis St. Germaine and John Juhauz; other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She also leaves behind Deni, her soul-mate and best friend, and her dog Zoey.

Ronda was cremated and will be buried at a later date. No flowers please.

Lois “Ruth” Hall
POLSON — Lois “Ruth” Hall, 92, of Polson, our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, went to be with our Heavenly Father on a clear brisk night on December 7, 2009 from natural causes.

Ruth, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was born on September 16, 1917 in Ronan. She attended schools throughout the Mission Valley. She graduated from Polson High School in 1938.

Ruth was married in 1942 to Mark Hall in Tacoma, Washington right before Mark was shipped overseas to serve in World War 2. In the years leading up to their marriage, she attended Beautician school in Spokane. While her husband was overseas, she practiced her trade in various towns in Washington State.

Ruth is preceded in death by her loving husband Mark Hall, her mother Mary Rose Morigeau Clairmont, her father John Clairmont, her brothers Harold, Eugene “Gene”, Lawrence, Phillip, and her sisters Lillian Thomas, Alice Sly, Mary “Bernice” Bryant, and Myrtle Whittle.

Ruth left behind her six children Grayce (Gary) Grinolds, Sharon (Dick) Silberman, Larry (Mary) Hall, Leonard (Sandy) Hall, Geri (Bud Papin) Hall, and Linda (Gary) Faucett. In addition to her children, she lovingly left behind 13 grand children and 8 great-grandchildren as well as countless nieces, nephews and friends.

A Rosary Vigil was held at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson on Friday Dec. 11. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday Dec. 12 at the church. Gravesite services are to be determined at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Lake County Hospice or the American Cancer Society.

Condolences may be left at

Shane Alex Fiddler
ARLEE — Shane Alex Fiddler, 35, passed away from an accident on Wednesday, December 2, while at work in Glacier County.

He graduated from Arlee High School in 1992. Shane was an excellent carpenter, he loved to build and create things. His most recent job was with SK Construction as a GPS Surveying Technician and Riverside Construction working as a framer. He previously started his own construction company in Missoula and later moved it to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Shane loved horses and was known as a prankster. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. _A large part of his life was making people laugh, if you didn’t know Shane you missed out. He was a great teacher, a loving friend, and an amazing father. He had a beautiful smile and a great laugh. Shane will be in our hearts forever. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.

He is preceded in death by great grandparents Alex and Cecelia Vanderburg, grandmother Donna Mae McClure, grandfather Mickey Couture, great aunt Alice Vanderburg, aunts Lynn Shelby and Sandy Morigeau Adams, uncle’s Rusty Fiddler, Dennis, Dale and Gary Shelby.

He leaves behind his children McKayla of Arlee, Shalee and Isabella of Salt Lake City, Utah. Shane is survived by his parents Deeda and Neil Adams of the family home in Arlee and Wally Couture of Portland, Oregon; girlfriend Kelly Casey of Missoula; grandmother Cora Couture of Missoula; brothers Joe Don (Kimberly) Charlo and Chad Couture of Missoula; sisters Sam Shelby (Brittany) and Tara Couture of Missoula; aunts Connie Jo Stevens of Deer Lodge and Linda (Tim) Jefferies of St. Ignatius; uncles Bruce (Velda) Shelby of Pablo, Charles and Dennis Couture of Missoula, Gail (Bobbie) Adams, Francis Adams, Mary (Frank) First Raised, Mel Doney and Nancy (George) Boushie; cousins Louis Fiddler and family of Arlee, Lisa Fiddler, Lakota Fiddler and family of Arlee, Joel McGlynn of Missoula and Marcie (Jon) Stevens of Arlee, Dusty Shelby and family of Polson, and Erica Shelby of Van Nuys, California.

Pallbearers are his friends and family (brothers in trouble): Louis Fiddler, Lakota Fiddler, Quenelle Matt, Kean McCrea, Mike McCrea Jr., and Linden Plant.

Charles Robert Yancy
ST. IGNATIUS — Bob Yancy was born in Marshall, AR., on September 22, 1949 as the son of Rebecca and Clyde Yancey. He lost his fierce battle with cancer on Thursday, December 3, 2009.

Bob married his teenage sweetheart Jimmie Carol Pool. They had two daughters Laura Christine Yancey and Paytra Dawn Yancey, one grandson Christopher Robert Allison, one granddaughter Morgan Lashea Olivera and one great grandson Jesse James Allison.

They lived most of their lives in Olivehurst, CA.

Bob was a truck driver most of his life.

After many years of marriage they went their separate ways.

Bob moved to Marshall, AR and met his companion Helen Harris and her sons Danny Leffett Harris III and Jerry Cole Malachi Harris Yancey. They moved together to Montana on their mission to build their lives somewhere good for his boys.

Bob had six brothers, Clyde Edward, Billy Jean, Jacky Lynn, Johnny Ray, Bobby Joe and Tommy Lou and one sister Jerry Lee Yancey.

Bob is survived by Helen, Danny and Malachi of Charlo; daughters Laura and son-in-law Jesse Olivera of Yuba City, CA; and Paytra and son-in-law John Starkel; grandson Christopher Allison of Yuba City, CA., granddaughter Morgan Olivera of Yuba City, CA., great-grandson Lesse Allison of Yuba City, CA.; sister Jerry and husband John Cole of Marshall, AR.; brothers Eddie Yancey of Wheatland, CA, Joe Yancey and wife Donna of Marshall, AR., and Johnny Yancey of Marshall, AR.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Rebecca and Clyde Yancey; brothers Billy, Jackie and Tommy Yancey, all of Arkansas.

Cremation has taken place and no formal services are planned at this time.

Theresa Marie Andrew Stasso
ELMO — Theresa Marie Andrew Stasso, age 66, passed away on Thursday December 3, 2009 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center from natural causes. She was Born March 21, 1943 in St. Ignatius to Charles and Mary Lefthand Andrew. She attended the Urseline School in St. Ignatius and Pierre, South Dakota. She moved to Blackfoot, Idaho and Washkie, Wyoming where she met and married her husband Larry Heron, then later divorced and moved back to the Flathead Reservation.

Marie loved to shop and pick huckleberries. She was a proud member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Her parents, a sister Annie Tenas and husband Peter Stasso preceded her in death. Survivors included her three sisters, Louise Andrew of Niarada, Cathy Andrew of Elmo, and Diane Auld of Elmo; along with numerous nieces, nephews and relatives in Elmo and British Columbia.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday December 5 at 10 am in the Elmo Hall with Father James Connor officiating. Burial will be held in the Dayton Cemetery. Condolences to the family at