Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
April 2010

Kiowa (Coyote) Nueman Lapier
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Kiowa (Coyote) Nueman Lapier was lifted into Creator’s arms on April 30, 2010.

Kiowa was a warrior in his own right and bravely fought Cystic Fibrosis; the doctors told him that he would live until he was a teenager. Kiowa was strong and with the love and support from family and friends and lived his life to the fullest until the age of 32.

Kiowa was born in Montana and lived between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Reservation and the San Francisco Bay Area. Kiowa was proud of his Bitteroot Salish and Chippewa Cree heritage.

Kiowa graduated from Two Eagle River School in 1997, and attended Salish Kootenai College and College of Alameda. Kiowa was training for airline traffic control.

Kiowa was an amazing person who smiled through his pain and always had encouraging words for his friends and family. Kiowa loved playing the guitar, writing poetry and lyrics, and attending pow-wows.

Kiowa is survived by his mother Marlene Reaves; stepfather, Dwayne Reaves; sister, Lesley Jo; niece, Jeneshia Alexis; nephew, Dallas and numerous uncles and aunties. Kiowa was a loyal friend, cousin, uncle, brother, nephew and son.

Kiowa is preceded in death by his father Willie Lapier; brother Leroy Headdress; and his grandparents; OV and Joey Neuman.

A memorial service will be held for Kiowa at the Two Eagle River School at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 14.

One of Kiowa’s favorite quotes is " I have been to the mountain top. I have seen the Promise Land, I may not get there with you in person but will be there when we arrive." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Harry L. and Alene "Susie" Hodges
RONAN — Harry L. Hodges, 76, passed away April 24, 2010, at Ronan Extended Care Facility, following a courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease and cancer.

He was born in Fort Yuma, California on October 22, 1933 to Albert C. and Mildred (Glass) Hodges, Sr., he was the youngest of three children. He attended school in Laurel and enlisted in the Navy in 1954.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Donald and Albert Hodges, Jr.

Alene "Susie" Hodges, 76, passed away June 2, 2010, at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan, following a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born in Columbus, Montana on March 6, 1934 to Chris A. and Violet (Calvin) Brunckhorst, she was the fifth of six children. She attended school in Columbus and Eastern Montana College in Billings. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Harry and her sister and brothers, Midge "Jenny", Clifford, Calvin and Chris "Sonny" Brunckhorst.

Harry and Susie were married in March of 1957. They both enjoyed their family and friends. As a couple they were involved with their community. They enjoyed serving the Jaycee's, Laurel Search and Rescue, Boy and Girl Scouts, Laurel Herbsfest, Billings Midland Empire Snowgoers and Water Ski Club..

Harry and Susie are survived by their three children: Miki (Nick) Bemer of Billings, John (Becky) Hodges of Laurel, Ric Hodges of Billings; their grandchildren: A.J., Kelsey, Nathan, Cole, Laura; many nephews and their families.

The family would like to thank the medical staffs in Polson, Ronan, Missoula and Spokane for their loving care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to The Annual Fiddlers Picnic made out to: Mercier Ranch LLC, 1160 Yuri Road, Helena, MT 59602

Memorial open house at their home will be Saturday, June 19 at 36025 Leanin Tree in Pablo at 2 p.m.

Matthew Roger Howlett
ST. IGNATIUS — Matthew Roger Howlett was called home to the Creator on April 25, 2010. Matthew was born the fifth child of Steve and Mary Lou Howlett in St. Ignatius on January 28, 1955.

Matthew was in the first class of graduates from the Two Eagle River School, an accomplishment in which he held with great pride.

Shortly after his graduation, he moved to the state of Washington where he took up the trade of carpentry. For many years, he was employed on the Nooksack Reservation in Western Washington doing home renovations.

He continued in this line of work until ill health forced his retirement. Matthew returned to the Flathead in 2004 and made his home in St. Ignatius where he resided until his death.

He confronted many hardships throughout his lifetime. We understand the complexity of what is brought upon us in life, and he had the strength and courage to endure these hardships.

Matthew is survived by his brothers Jack of Helena and Kevin (Ronda) of Arlee; sisters Jamie of LaConnor, WA, Linda of St. Marysville, WA, and Stephanie (Joe) Hawkins of Arlee; son Ryan Smith (Morey Tellier); and grandchildren Mason, Jarred and Jalynn.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother Daniel and his sister Karen Hale; nephews Anthony Howlett, Shawn Whitworth, and Casey Hawkins; uncles Boots, Dan, Satch McDonald and Gene Howlett; and aunts Lona, Alma, and Betty McDonald.

The family would like to thank those that have shown Matthew compassion and support in so many ways.

Matthew was brought to the Longhouse in St. Ignatius on Wednesday April 28. Mass was celebrated Thursday at the Mission Catholic Church in St. Ignatius and burial followed at Snyelmn Sntmtmne.

The long struggle has ended; rest in peace my brother.

Joshua Dean Ridgley
RONAN — Joshua Dean Ridgley, 21, became our guardian angel on April 22 in Ronan.

He was born on October 14, 1988 in Lander, WYO to Pamela Whalawitsa and Scott Ridgley. Joshua was fortunate to have two sets of parents and was raised by Randy and Ava Wright of Ronan. He graduated from Ronan High School and was attending Salish Kootenai College. An avid golfer, hunter and fisherman, he was an accomplished artist who loved to draw and listen to music especially Johnny Cash.

He was preceded in death by his birth father.

Joshua leaves behind his wife Kayla (Keplin) Ridgley and their daughter JessaRae Michelle; his parents Randy and Ava Wright and Pamela Whalawitsa; siblings Anastashia, Luke, Sonny and Jessi (Carl Dunkerson) and their children Kaydynce and Tristen; grandparents Chuck and Rose Wright of St. Regis (formerly of Ronan), Lillian Sebey of Havre, Ruth and Bobby Joe Goggles and Valane Ravere and an aunt Blanche Friday all of Wyo. as well as many friends, extended family members and golf and fishing buddies.

A wake will began Sunday in the Elmo Cultural Hall in Elmo; mass was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Elmo Cultural Hall and interment followed in the Calvary Cemetery in Ronan.

Matthew Roger Howlett
ST. IGNATIUS — Matthew Roger Howlett was called home to the Creator on April 21, 2010. Matthew was born the fifth child of Steve and Mary Lou Howlett in St. Ignatius on January 28, 1955.

Matthew was in the first class of graduates from the Two Eagle River School, an accomplishment in which he held with great pride.

Shortly after his graduation, he moved to the state of Washington where he took up the trade of carpentry. For many years, he was employed on the Nooksack Reservation in Western Washington doing home renovations.

He continued in this line of work until ill health forced his retirement. Matthew returned to the Flathead in 2004 and made his home in St. Ignatius where he resided until his death.

He confronted many hardships throughout his lifetime. We understand the complexity of what is brought upon us in life, and he had the strength and courage to endure these hardships.

Matthew is survived by his brothers Jack of Helena and Kevin (Ronda) of Arlee; sisters Jamie of LaConnor, WA, Linda of St. Marysville, WA, and Stephanie (Joe) Hawkins of Arlee; son Ryan Smith (Morey Tellier); and grandchildren Mason, Jarred and Jalynn.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother Daniel and his sister Karen Hale; nephews Anthony Howlett, Shawn Whitworth, and Casey Hawkins; uncles Boots, Dan, Satch McDonald and Gene Howlett; and aunts Lona, Alma, and Betty McDonald.

The family would like to thank those that have shown Matthew compassion and support in so many ways.

Matthew was brought to the Longhouse in St. Ignatius on Wednesday April 28. Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Mission Catholic Church in St. Ignatius with burial to follow at Snyelmn Sntmtmne.

The long struggle has ended; rest in peace my brother.

Robert E. Dettwiler
RONAN — Robert E. Dettwiler, 80, of Ronan, formerly of Arlee, passed away April 22, 2010 at St. Luke’s Extended Care Center in Ronan.

Born to Maude (Butler) and Rudolph Dettwiler on July 4, 1929 in Missoula, he married Charlotte “Lottie” Monyan and they farmed near Arlee. After Lottie’s passing in 1986, Robert eventually retired, sold the farm and moved to Ronan where he has resided since.

He was active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ronan.

Except for his brother John of Lewiston, ID and a cousin Carol Livingston of Hot Springs, he has seen the passing of all his close family but he leaves many friends who shall miss him greatly.

A graveside funeral service was held Monday evening in the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius with Larry Jensen conducting the services.

Thomas E. Orr
ST. IGNATIUS — Thomas E. Orr, 62, passed away at his home on Sunday, April 11, 2010 surrounded by his family.

Tom was born July 22, 1947 in St. Ignatius. He was the first child of Ray T. Buster Orr and Rosemarie J. Soucie Orr.

Tom attended school in St. Ignatius graduating in 1965. He played football and basketball for the Mission Bulldogs. Except for three years in the US Army serving in Vietnam, Tom spent his life in St. Ignatius and had worked for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Forestry for the last 40 years.

Tom loved the NFL and the Miami Dolphins was his team. Tom was also a very avid reader of books, especially mysteries and sci-fi. Tom was also a music fan and loved his rock and roll. He coached a women’s softball team for many years. The girls gave him the handle of “Tommy Tucker”. He enjoyed the bond he had with the team.

Thomas’s parents passed away before him and he is survived by brother Ken from Norfolk, VA and sisters Betty Van Dorn of Missoula and Donna Orr of St. Ignatius. He also has numerous nieces and nephews including Mikel Van Dorn, Tami Votendahl, Denis Van Dorn, Carrie Allum and Krista Ness; great grandnieces and nephews include Nick Orr, Anton Luety, Mercedes Luety, Kenny Ness and Tyrel Votendahl and a large extended family of cousins and friends.

A memorial service were held Saturday, April 17 at 4 pm in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with inurnment following at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery where Military Honors were presented by the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

Honorary pallbearers are his fellow workers from Tribal Forestry and the Women’s Old Softball Team he coached.

Marty Paul Covers Up
LODGE GRASS — Marty Paul Covers Up, 33, of Lodge Grass, died April 7, 2010, of injuries sustained in a one-car vehicle accident north of Lodge Grass.

Iakaashe “The Smallest One” was born June 28, 1976 in Crow Agency, a son of Manuel Covers Up and Maria Guiterrez. He grew up in the Crow Agency and Lodge Grass areas, graduating from Lodge Grass High School in 1995. While in high school, he excelled in football and wrestling. He later attended the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

Marty married Marlo Kay Parker on June 19, 2001 on the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas. The couple made their home in Lodge Grass. He worked for the S Bar S Corporation in Billings and was currently a carpenter for the Apsaalooke Nation Housing Authority. He enjoyed building, playing drums and listening to Peyote songs.

He was a member of the Catholic Church, Native American Church, Piegan Clan and was a child of the Piegan.

His grandparents preceded Marty in death.

Survivors include his wife Marlo; his daughters, Alicia Andrews, Nyssa Parker, Patience and Parker Covers Up; his stepdaughter Lindsay Parker; his son Skye Covers Up; his mother and stepfather Maria and Byron Bad Bear; his father and stepmother Manuel and Linda Covers Up; his sisters Maranda Covers Up, Katrina Pretty Weasel, Charlotte and Trish Bad Bear; his brothers Curtis Bad Bear, Matthew and Manuel Covers Up Jr.; his special aunt and uncle Carol and Robert “Sargie” Howe; as well as his extended family including the Covers Up, Gardner, Old Coyote, Old Crow, Old Bull, Russell DeCrane, Rides the Horse, Pretty Eagle, Stewart, Little Light, Good Luck, Bell Rock, Gutierrez, Medicine Crow, Donít Mix, Red Star, Gros Ventre, Bright Wings and Crooked Arm families.

Rosary was recited Friday, April 9 in the Bullis Funeral Chapel. Funeral mass was celebrated Saturday, April 10, in the Lodge Grass Our Lady of Loretto Church Catholic. Interment followed in the Lodge Grass Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Sheila (Burton) Collins
RONAN — Sheila (Burton) Collins, 70, longtime resident of Lake County, passed away of natural causes on April 1, 2010, with her family at her side.

Sheila was a single, divorced mother who devoted everything in raising her children and ensuring their happiness. With one child left to raise, she met and married her mountain man "Sandy" Collins. They spent much time in her beloved Mission mountains. Her family meant everything to her and she will be sorely missed.

Sheila is preceded in death by husband, Donald Collins; father, Roy Burton, Sr.; sisters Ida (Bill) Howell and Judy Burton; and baby brother Ronald.

She is survived by her mother Viola Burton; children Terri (Francis) Davis Dollinger, Diana (Jerry) Reid, Dale (Nettie) Ott, and James (Danica) Ott; sisters Ferol Burton, Dianne (El Roy, dec.) Wolf, and Bernice (Michael) Fugere; brother Roy Burton, Jr., and David (Cynthia) Burton; grandchildren Christina, Nick, Lancelot, Tristan, Michael and Travis; and great-grandchildren, Rachel, Miranda, Jade and Tyler.

Funeral services were held at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with Larry Jensen presiding. Internment followed at the Ronan Cemetery.