Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2010

Ramone Jarren Yazzie
RONAN — Ramone Jarren Yazzie, newborn, was made an Angel on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at St. Luke's Hospital.

He was preceded in death by his great grandfather Ned Ramone Yazzie; great great grandparents Ernie and Annie Sorrell and great grandparents Johnny and Amelia Jones who welcomed him into Heaven.

Survivors include his parents Anthony J. Yazzie and Raena L. Jones; paternal grandparents Curtis and Gigi Yazzie of St. Ignatius; great-grandparents Emma Yazzie of New Mexico and Ernest "Rawhide" and "Mama" Lou Sorrell of St. Ignatius; uncles Julian L. Sorrell; aunt Antoinette "Sister" Yazzie and Frank Stanger, Jr.; cousins Audrey Felsman-Sorrell and Jackson Felsman-Sorrell; maternal grandparents Lubert and Norma Jones of Ronan, and Jim and Terry Moses of Lakeside; great grandmother Dorothy "Dot" Meyers of Roundup; uncles Kendall Jones, Brandon Jones of Columbia Falls and Brennan Jones of Polson; aunts Carol and Phillip Bartell of Arlee, Carla Walhood and Clancy Walhood, Patricia Jones, both of St. Ignatius and Andrea Corpron of Kalispell; and numerous other family members.

Graveside services were held Friday, February 26.

Alma Josephine Morigeau Luedtke
RONAN — Alma was born March 19, 1910, to Matilda Gebeau Morigeau and John Morigeau. She was the seventh of 12 children born and raised at the family home in Valley Creek. On Friday morning, Feb. 19, 2010, with her loving son at her side, Alma shed her tired, broken body and passed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This day was just one month prior to her 100th birthday. At the time of her passing, she was the oldest living member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Alma’s childhood was filled with wonderful memories of a large family working on the ranch raising cattle, horses and tending to their large gardens and orchard. The family had a huge cellar, which was always well stocked as they were all avid hunters and fishermen. They welcomed weary travelers on horse and buggy, along with hosting community barn dances, as the ranch was located on an old stage stop. Her father had an icehouse and sold ice, fruit and smoked fish.

Alma began her formal schooling at the Ursuline schools in St. Ignatius, where she remembered waking up to flames and rescuing her siblings. She continued her boarding school experience in Chemawa, Ore., and Rapid City, S.D. When she was 14 years old, she was called home to care for her ailing father.

At age 21, Alma met and married Elmer Luedtke. Elmer was working at her brother John’s garage in Arlee. Their union was blessed with two children, Ed and Shirley. The family resided in Arlee, Dixon, Great Falls and Anaconda before moving to Trentwood, Wash., where they were employed at Kaiser Aluminum during the war. The couple eventually divorced and Alma returned home to the reservation.

Alma cooked at the Blue Bay Resort in the early ‘60s and eventually made her home at the Kicking Horse Job Corps cooking for the students. Upon her retirement she moved into a lovely home on Clairmont Road in Pablo, where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren spent many hours and gained wonderful memories. Alma was a fabulous cook and passed her legacy onto her children, grandchildren and their spouses. The entire family has special recipes of Alma’s that are their favorite.

Alma had a fabulous sense of humor and delighted her family, nieces and nephews with jokes, toasts, funny sayings and her mathematic skills. She even brought her prankster skills into the kitchen, adding rubber bands or wool to pancakes for her husband and grandchildren on April Fool’s Day. She made everything fun, even burnt eggs. If they were lacey around the edges she would serve them proclaiming, "These are the fancy kind."

Alma was a very beautiful, well-dressed woman. She loved silver and turquoise jewelry. She took great pride in her appearance and caught the eye of those who saw her.

Alma loved to go camping and spent many summers in her beloved camper trailer at her sister Laura’s home on Flathead Lake. She was an avid gardener and loved to play games. She spent hours playing cards, dice and Rummy Cube with her family. She had a passion for gambling and never missed a chance to play bingo or go gambling in Reno with her lady friends. Just a month ago at her son Ed’s 75th birthday party, she beat the family at a game of dice.

Alma loved to fish and spent some of her happiest times with a rod and reel in her hands. She was very excited to travel to Alaska and fish with three of her grandsons and their families. Many summer days were spent with loved ones fishing on area streams, Flathead Lake or the Flathead River.

Alma was a pet lover and had several faithful companions. Grandchildren fondly remember her dogs Putsie, Jock, Collette and Peachy.

For the past 14 years Alma resided at the St. Luke Extended Care facility, where she was greatly loved and cared for by the staff. They will surely miss her smile and sharp tongue. During these years, Alma’s beloved grandson Danny was her closest friend and companion. Danny made sure his Granny did not want for anything. He would take her out for visits, holidays, family parties and even a couple of fishing trips. They even attended one of Alma’s favorite events, the Arlee Powwow, two years ago. Every adventure Alma and Danny shared produced a fond memory for him and his wife, children and grandchildren. They were all very blessed to have these special years with Alma. It was also a very special time for Alma as she so loved to be around the children and was fortunate to share time with her great- and great-great- grandchildren. She would always tell them just exactly "what she knew for sure."

Alma was preceded in death by her parents; brothers: Arthur, John, Walter, Elmer, Carl and Jack; sisters: Grace, Letha, Laura, Lorena and Dehlia; son-in-law Gene Young; grandson Norman Young; and great-great-grandson Tyler Luedtke.

She is survived by her son Ed Luedtke of Hayden, Idaho; daughter Shirley Young of Rathdrum, Idaho; grandchildren Valarie (Mike) Dunlap, Scott (Vicki) Luedtke, Danny (Bev) Luedtke, Kent (Brenda) Luedtke, Andrea (Pat) Malone, Erica (Brad) Bell, Erron Luedtke, Dale (Victoria) Young, Bill Young, Diane Young and Brian (Kelly) Young; 33 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends who loved her.

A wake began Tuesday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, a rosary service Wednesday, and the wake closing today at 10 a.m. at the Longhouse with Mass at 11 a.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

A family private burial service will be held March 20 when Alma will be cremated and laid to rest with her mother at the St. lgnatius Catholic Cemetery. A celebration of her life will also be held that day at 1 p.m. at the Indian Senior Citizen Center in Ronan.

Arrangements were provided by the Foster Funeral Home of St. Ignatius and Mission Valley Crematory of Ronan.

Vance D. Stapleton
HOT SPRINGS — Vance D. "Putts" Stapleton, 55, passed away Tuesday February 16, 2010 at his home in Hot Springs.

Born to Loren and Vera Koistinen on Sept. 18, 1954 in Cartwright, Manitoba, he was raised in Hansboro, North Dakota. Vance was the oldest of eleven children. Vance loved his family and all his friends.

He is in our hearts and memories.

Vance moved to Sandpoint, ID in 1982 and worked in several jobs moving to Hot Springs in 1999. He worked at Symes Hotel and Hot Springs in Hot Springs, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with grandchildren.

Vance married his wife LaRita on Sept 22, 1984 and she survives as well as his parents: Loren and Vera Ann Koistinen; children: Andrew, Casey, LaRita Kamp, Judy Mason and Steven (Becky) Mason; siblings: Pamela Bradley (Tom Duran), Kenny (Shelley) Koistinen, Anne (Bob) White, Laurre (Bryan) Azure, Leah (Pete) Klingbeil, Cindy (Rick) Laverdure, Mary Jo (Scott) Delvo, Blake (Carla) Koistinen and Blaine Koistenin (Kathy Kendall); sisters in-laws and brother in-laws Rocky (Nita) Eveland, Nancy (Don) Metcalf, Carlotta (Jim) Martin, Clayton (Penny) Eveland, Rinnie Eveland, Clinton Eveland, Laura (Dave) Eveland; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his Grandma Ethel Stapleton, brother Michael Koistinen; grandson David Kamp and mother in-law Sharon Stevens.

Services were held Saturday, February 20 at the Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs. He was laid to rest by his grandson at the Pack River Cemetery in Idaho.

Lisa Marie Ellis
POLSON — Lisa Marie Ellis, 40, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Saturday, February 6, 2010. She was born May 1, 1969 to Fred and Cheryl Ellis in Spokane, Washington.

Her family moved to Polson in 1976 where she was raised. At the age of thirteen she had incredible talent for singing and a love for music and for her birthday that year she wanted to join her family band; yes she got her wish. She played guitar, drums and sang with her family band off and on through her life, as well as many other local bands in Montana, she had her own band in LasVegas, Nevada and played the Nevada circuit.

She loved doing a solo introducing her own style of music with the songs that she wrote. Lisa loved people and loved to entertain them, she gave it her all.

Lisa attended the University of Montana and Salish and Kootenai College in Pablo. One of her dreams was to become a news broadcaster.

Lisa was an enrolled member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes and was a proud of her heritage.

She is survived by her parents Fred and Cheryl Ellis of Polson; brothers Darin Ellis of Austin, Texas, Tahoe Ellis and Mark Ellis of Santa Anna, Ca.; and sister Gwen Barker of Santa Anna, CA.; her aunts Billy Ellis of Polson and Debra Earling of Missoula; her uncles David Ellis of Seattle, Dennis Earling of Spokane and Rob Earling of Evaro; grandmother Florence Earling of Spokane; her boyfriend Dan Lampe of Anaconda; and many nieces and nephews. Lisa shared a special bond with Melody Mergenthaler.

Private family services to follow at a later date. A special thank you to the Polson Health and Rehab Center and to the Hospice Team, and all of you that gave great support and comfort to us and our Singing Angel. Thank You

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Judy Lynn McDonald Matt
ST. IGNATIUS — Judy Lynn Matt, 43, passed away Tuesday, February 10, 2010 at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, she was born in St. Ignatius along with her twin Julie on Dec. 15, 1966 to Francis and Julia (Hernandez) McDonald.

Raised in the Mission area, she attended schools in St. Ignatius, Chemawah Indian School and Dixon, and graduated from Two Eagle River School in 1985. After high school she worked as a firefighter for a short while before starting her family and eventually becoming Gene’s #1.

Judy enjoyed fishing with Gene and going in the mountains but most of all she enjoyed visiting with her children, grandchildren, family and friends. She also enjoyed playing dice and making us smile and laugh.

She is preceded in death by her father Francis "Popsucker" McDonald and sister Donna "Bell" McDonald as well as several uncles and aunts.

Judy is survived by her husband Gene Matt; children and step children Bridget Samuels, Paulette Samuels (Jim CrossGuns), Elizabeth Matt, Michael Matt (Angela), Mary Jo Matt (Frank), Abbey Matt (Cavey), Carol Ann Matt and Mary Matt and their childrenM; mother Julia Hernandez of Ronan; sisters Julie Colon (Willie) of Charlo and Carol Fay McDonald of Pablo; brothers Francis "Fuss" McDonald, James McDonald of Dixon, Allen McDonald of Pablo, Rusty Fristo of Missoula, and Raymond McDonald (Lisa) of Pablo; godmother Clara Charlo of St.Ignatius; maternal aunts Carol Licht, Evelyn Hernandez, Agnes GunHammer, Mary Hernandez of St. Ignatius, Diana Hernandez of Missoula, Delores Martinez of Chimayo, New Mexico and Patty Betz of Billings; paternal aunts Felecite "jim" McDonald, Dolly Linsebigler (Willie), Shirley Trahan of St Ignatius and Theresa Fristo of Missoula; her god child Sonia Flammond and her children Tynneal Flammond-Onesalt and Daylin Johnson (Byron Johnson); and the children she helped Julie raise: Jamie Flammond and her children Myranda, Sean and Jason Trahan (Wayne Trahan); Clifford "JR" Flammond; and Mikaela Flammond.

A traditional wake began Friday in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the rosary being recited on Sunday at the Longhouse. Funeral services were held Monday in the Longhouse with burial following in Snyelmn Sntmtmne.

Lashaundra Aimsback
RONAN — Lashaundra Aimsback, three-month-old daughter of Tiffany Cutfinger and Peter Aimsback, was made an angel on February 13, 2010 in Ronan.

A wake began in Browning this week under the direction of Spotted Eagle Tribal Wake Center (338-2099) before returning to St. Ignatius where final services will be held and she was laid to rest in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

Clara Ann (Nick) Rossbach
ST. IGNATIUS — Clara Ann (Nick) Rossbach, 59, began her journey on February 1, 2010.

She was born July 24, 1950 to Hy Nick and Mary Andrew Sherwood in St. Ignatius. She attended the Urselines in Wellpinit, Washington and St. Ignatius Schools. Growing up she spent most of her time with her Yaya Mary "Stousee" Finley learning the traditional ways that helped her with her job as a teacher. She taught Salish at Two Eagle, Mission schools, Blue Bay Cultural Camp and the Agnes Vanderburg Camp. Clara had also worked as a nurse working in Minneapolis and St. Ignatius.

If you knew Clara she was an upbeat girl full of life. She was an eighteen year old in a 50-year-old body. Clara was always cheery and full of laughs, humming her songs, indulging in her sweet tooth with chocolate, Pepsi and Hershey chocolate bars. Clara also enjoyed telling stories, gambling, camping, stickgames, attending powwow with Ste'me and scary movies. It was hilarious to see her scream. A fan of JaRule and Tupac she enjoyed rap music and most recently became a fan of "Twilight". She collected her little Homies, dolphins and knick-knacks.

As a young woman, she met Robert Peltier who she later married. She remarried William Delmer George Rossbach and they had four children together

Clara was preceded in death by both husbands and her parents; a stepfather Lil' Dan Sherwood and John Ignace; brothers Mose Nick, Arnold Sherwood, Thomas Sherwood and Donald Sherwood; sisters Mary Ann Williams and Rose Ellen Sherwood; and infant daughter Yavonne Rossbach; grandmothers Mary Stousee Finley and Oshanee Kenmille; nephew Eli Francis Sherwood; and grandchildren Moses Whitegrass and Dancing Bear Rossbach; also her dog Joy Bell and her cats Casper and Tina.

Survivors include the love of her life Tazzy and sons Cavey (Abilene) Rossbach of Dixon and William "Dunie" Rossbach of St. Ignatius; daughters Waleya Lynn Rossbach of Arlee and daughter-at-heart Jessica (Julius "Bubba" Whitegrass) Conko of St. Ignatius; sisters Susan Sherwood, Nancy "Bear" Sherwood, Julie "Twerp" Sherwood (Dave Ashley) all of St. Ignatius, Agnes "Any'e" Sherwood (Jeff "Huck" McDonald) of Arlee, Denise "Nee/Nee" Sherwood of St. Ignatius and Joanne Nick Augustine; brothers Warren Teasley, Eneas Nick of Usk WA, Francis Sherwood (Dorthy), Daniel "Jr" Sherwood all of St. Ignatius; aunts Helen Sherwood and Margaret Gardipe; grandchildren Ontequa, Cavey, Naziah, Kelly, Aarron, Rory, Susette, Preston, Nateesha, Donald, Snc'le, Skylar, Donilyn, Carlee and Deon; and great-grandson Robert.; nieces Mary Jo (Frank), Carol Ann, Mary (Brian), Anast'a (Carl), MichaelAnn, Glenda (John), April (John), Lyssia (Emery), Geraldine, Kaona, Rita, Lavonne, Lonnie, Rose, Natisha and Deidra (Bo); nephews Michael (Angela), Arnie, Tony, Jerome, Levi, Alex, Duran (Candy), Daniel (Chanel) and those who in her kind heart she adopted as her own.

A traditional wake began Thursday, Feb. 4 at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the Rosary being recited Friday, Feb. 5 in the Longhouse. Mass was celebrated on Feb. 6 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment was in Snyelmn Sntmtmne.

Albert Nathan Decker
PRINEVILLE, OR — Albert Nathan Decker, a long time Prineville resident passed away on Thursday, February 4, 2010. He was 85 years of age.

Albert was born in Pablo on January 30, 1925 to Albert C. and Nora (Pablo) Decker. During WW II, he served in the U.S. Army infantry. He was involved in the South Pacific theatre and served in the Philippines at the Battle of Lehtye. He moved to Oregon in 1950 and worked in the lumber industry working for most of the sawmill’s in Prineville. He married Elnora L. Bolton in Goldendale, Washington on November 30, 1951.

Albert loved to hunt and fish and was a rockhound with his wife. He enjoyed going to the Senior Center in Prineville and playing cribbage. He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife Elnora Decker of Prineville; daughter Martha and her husband David Rasmussen of Prineville; and two son’s Nathan Decker of Prineville and David Decker of Prineville; two grandchildren Jacob Decker of Portland, and Lakota Rasmussen of Prineville.

One brother and his parents preceded him in death.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Our Saviors Lutheran Church 695 NW Third St Prineville, OR 97754 or the American Cancer Society 2350 Oakmount Way, Suite 200 Eugene, Or 97202.

Arrangements are in the care of the Prineville Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held later.

Henry Crestino Padilla
RONAN — Henry C. Padilla died of natural causes on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, at his home in Ronan. He was born July 24, 1919, in Julesburg, Colo., to Patricio and Lorenza Padilla.

His family moved to Montana in the 1930s, where Henry attended a variety of schools in the Bitterroot and in Missoula, finally settling in the Moiese area, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class from Charlo High School.

After graduation, Henry moved to Seattle to work in the shipyards during World War II. He saved enough money to buy 80 acres in Ronan for him and his parents to raise sugar beets and dairy cows.

Henry and his wife, Lenore, married July 30, 1949 and lived on the farm for the next 24 years, where they raised four sons and two daughters. He retired from the farm in 1973, where he had milked 100 cows and farmed 400 acres. After retirement from the farm, Henry worked for Bilile Irrigation into his mid-70s.

This past July, his family celebrated Henry’s 90 birthday and Henry and Lenore’s 60th wedding anniversary with friends and family. Henry’s grandkids will always remember him fondly as a very kind, gentle and patient man. He must’ve been because he taught almost all of them how to drive on the backroads of Ronan. As for the great-grandkids, it took Henry a while to warm up to them and their abundant energy. His affection was generally reserved, but with a little coaxing and persistence the little ones won his heart.

Henry is preceded in death by his parents, Patricio and Lorenza; two brothers, Pat and Sham; two sisters, Aurora Eiseman (Missoula) and Albira Sloan (Ronan).

He is survived by his wife, Lenore; two sisters, Betty Hopkins (Ronan) and Anita Stevenson (Great Falls); and one brother, Socorro (Tony) Padilla (Polson); his six children, Stan (Carol), Lee, Terri (Dennis) Johnson, Mark (Margaret), Craig (Merrie) and Jeannine; 18 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. today, Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ronan. A reception will follow at the parish hall.

Shrider-Thompson Funeral and Cremation Services assisted with arrangements.

Katherine Irene Washula Miller
ST. IGNATIUS — Katherine Irene Washula Miller, 95, a longtime resident of St. Ignatius, passed away February 5, 2010 at St. Luke’s in Ronan. Katherine was the fourth of eight children born to Mike and Pauline Washula. She was born in Canada on December 7, 1914, shortly after the family arrived there from the Ukraine. She was raised on Frenchman Creek north of Malta.

Katherine came to the Mission Valley in 1933. She lived with her sister here and graduated from Mission High School in 1934.

On November 16, 1935 she married Merle Miller in Missoula and they made their home in St. Ignatius. Katherine and Merle had four children, Wayne, Barbara, Thelma and Mike. Katherine worked at Dubay’s Grocery store for years, and was best known for her upholstery business, and her crocheted bailing twine rugs.

She played Basketball for Mission High and was a loyal Bulldog fan for 76 years rarely missing a home game until this last year. She walked up to the school and would sit through several games, sitting on the top bleachers and helping her friends up and down the bleachers. She spent many hours doing volunteer work at the Senior Center and playing cards with her friends there.

Katherine was preceded in death by her husband Merle in 1990; brother John Ivanovitch; sisters Ann Hirschman, Susie Cote, MaryAnn Buffington, Pauline Toczek, and Rosine Davis; her son Wayne Miller; grandson Ray Stonehocker; and a son-in-law Dean Brown.

Katherine is survived by her daughters Barbara (Larry) Griffiths, Thelma Brown, and son Mike (Amy) Miller; grandchildren Kim Archambeault, Kelly Larson, Kasey Miller, Kandi Clausen, Dell Griffiths, Robin Griffiths, Randy Griffiths, Shane Griffiths, David Stonehocker, Shelly Stonehocker, Tina Stonehocker, Toby Bartel, Theresa Bryant and Chloe, and Amy (AJ) Miller; 37 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great Grandchildren; her Sister Nell Buffington, daughter-in-law Joy Morigeau; and numerous nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren and many many friends.

A memorial Service will be held during the summer when all of her family and friends can gather to celebrate her life.