Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
May 2010

Margaret M. Posivio
RONAN — Margaret M. Posivio, 87, a longtime resident of St. Ignatius passed away peacefully in her sleep, May 23, 2010, at her son's home in Ronan.

Margaret was born on April 25, 1923 to Mathew and Magdalen Tschida in St. Paul MN; she joined an older sister, Louise. Margaret graduated from St. Agnes School in St. Paul, MN and began working for the telephone company. She met Donald R. Posivio on a blind date set up by Donald's cousin, Kathleen Melde.

Margaret and Donald R. Posivio were married on June 20, 1945 in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1948, Donald moved Margaret and their two sons, Don and Bill, from St. Paul to Don's home town of St. Ignatius, where their son, Gene and daughter, Mary Ann were born.

Margaret enjoyed gardening and canning fresh vegetables from her garden. She also loved to sew and showed her talent by making dresses for her granddaughters and shirts for her grandsons.

Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, Matthew and Magdelan Tschida; husband, Donald R. Posivio; daughter, Mary Ann Erickson; and sister, Louise Gorman.

Margaret is survived by her sons, Don (Linda K) Posivio - Sidney; Bill (Nancy) Posivio of Ronan; Gene (Linda J) of St. Ignatius; son-in-Law Bob Erickson of Charlo; brothers-in-law Max (Marianne) Johnson of Ravalli, Charles (Joanne) Johnson of Canada, and Emery (Lorraine) Johnson of Seeley Lake; sisters-in-law Dolores Lake of Missoula, Peggy Johnson of St. Ignatius, Lillian Johnson of Missoula and Evelyn Johnson of Denver, CO; grandchildren Melissa (Brent) Johnson of Vancouver, WA, Jason (Jolene) Posivio of Milwaukie, OR, Brian Posivio of Ronan, Kathleen (Jennings) Johnson of Kalispell, Jennifer (David) Hout of Ronan, Angela (Brian) Schendel of Missoula, Teresa Posivio of St. Ignatius, Jeffery Posivio of Ronan, Elizabeth Posivio of St. Ignatius, Loren Erickson of Charlo, Robbie Erickson of Charlo, Dick (Sonya) Wing of Sidney, Gary Wing of Sidney, Don (Kelly) Wing of Sidney and Greg Wing of Sidney; 21 Great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Friday, May 28 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church and Father Drew Maddock officiated. Burial took place in the Posivio/Johnson Family plot in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery under the direction of the Foster Funeral Home.

David "Chub" Pierre
ARLEE — David "Chub" Pierre, 71, passed away May 27, 2010 at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

Dave was born in St. Ignatius on March 25, 1939 to Pierre "Pete" Pierre and Mary Moss Pierre. He was educated in Arlee where he became a lifelong resident.

Dave married Catherine Cobb in 1959. He was a journeyman painter with B&L for many years. He then worked in the woods up until five years ago.

Dave loved to cook and have picnics anytime of the year; family and friends looked forward to these events. It wasn't a dinner; it was a fire, hot dogs and hamburgers in the woods. If there wasn't a utensil to cook with or frying pan he made one! He had true "Injunuity". It has been said, he could sell ice cubes to Eskimos and donkeys to Democrats.

He was an avid flower and vegetable gardener and enjoyed sharing the fruits of his labor with family and friends. Life did not pass him by! If it wasn't a ride in the woods, it was a weekend in Spokane to see his great-granddaughter and family.

He loved the woods and knew them all like the back of his hand, from the Northwest to the Bitterroot Wilderness. Horse racing was a passion that took him to watch the race meets throughout the Northwest and Special events at the Coeur d'Alene Casino. He loved to meet people and let you know how he felt, without mincing words. His personality was infectious; humor and generosity was his trademark. If you did not have a nickname when you met him you had one when you left.

He will be sorely missed by family and friends and our hearts will be empty without our stronghold, but we are comforted by knowing he is without pain and suffering and that he is now at peace.

He was preceded in death by his parents Pierre "Pete" Pierre and Mary Moss Pierre; brothers Peter David, Peter Louie, Isaac Richard and Bob Adams; sisters Angeline Matt and Felicity Bull Robe; and grandson Josh.

Survivors include his wife; brother Leonard Pierre; sisters Emma Beason, Regina Pierre Cooper and Frances (Butch) Hill; children Brenda (Mitch), Clayton (Rhonda) and Manias, all of Arlee; granddaughter Dani; great grandchildren Rhiannon (Jose) of Spokane, Delanie, Mary, Bob, and Rochelle all of Arlee; great-grandaughter Bethany; and great-grandchildren Cesar, Alonzo, Cielobree and Clavid.

Foster Funeral Home is assisted the family with arrangements.

Edna Wheeler
ST. IGNATIUS — Edna Marie Cote Wheeler, 99, of St. Ignatius passed away at her home in St. Ignatius on Monday, May 24, 2010 surrounded by her loving family.

Edna was born on October 15, 1910 in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada a daughter of Anna Marie and Jean Baptiste Cote. The Cote family moved from Canada on January 15, 1915 and established their permanent home in St. Ignatius. The family homesteaded near Edna's present home above the canal on Mission Creek Road.

She attended the Ursaline School in St. Ignatius and graduated in 1928. Edna then married Tom Wheeler on September 5, 1928 with a ceremony performed by Father Taelman at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. She worked alongside Tom in his logging and sawmill business and raised seven children.

Edna was a member of the now disbanded Women's Club, held several offices in the Catholic Guild throughout the years, was the president of the American Legion Auxiliary, and was a member of the Foothill Club for 73 years. She was a dedicated and supportive member of the Catholic Church. Her stewardship included raising flowers for the altar, teach religious education classes, assisting with CVC events, founded the Ladies Guild along with Mary Michel, and assisted in fund drives for the church. Edna also worked for several physicians who practiced in St. Ignatius.

Besides her parents, Edna is preceded in death by her husband, Tom Wheeler; daughter June Marie Orr; brothers William (Bill), Leonard, and Ben; sisters Emily, Hazel, and DoraMae; grandchild Dustin; and great-grandchildren Eric, Cote, Devan, and Micah.

Those left with cherished memories are her daughters Jeannine Wheeler (J.C.) of Fairbanks, AK, Maryann Weingart (Bob) of St. Ignatius, and Connie Sutten (Galen) of Fairbanks, AK; sons Tom Wheeler of Arlee, John Wheeler (Jane) of Kodiak, AK, and Dennis Wheeler (Gaye) of St. Ignatius; and sisters Jean Bosley and Lyla Smith. Edna also leaves behind 34 grandchildren, 84 great-grandchildren, and 26 great-great grandchildren.

A Rosary service was held on Friday, May 28 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church; mass to follow on Saturday. Burial followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials in Edna's loving memory can be made to either the St. Ignatius Catholic Church's restoration fund or to the Shodair Children's Hospital, 2755 Colonial Drive, Helena 59601, or by visiting Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at The staff of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory, Polson, considers it a privilege to care for Mrs. Wheeler's family.

Sheila Rae Hadley
ST. IGNATIUS — Sheila Rae Hadley, 51, passed away Sunday, May 23, 2010 at her home after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

Born in St. Ignatius to Delores (Cordis) and Boyd Hayes, she was raised in East Missoula and attended school at Hellgate. Following school she went to work in the kitchen at Hillside Manor for several years before she married Rodney Hadley. After her marriage she worked at the Tannery for four seasons combing bison hides, rugging bears and handling furs.

She enjoyed camping and hiking in the summer and making Afghans and crocheting.

Her father Boyd preceded Sheila in death.

She is survived by her husband Rod of St. Ignatius; children Nicole, Cory and Patrick Hadley; eight grandchildren; mother Delores Hayes; siblings Katherine Marie Dawson, Nelda J. Hayes and Debra Ann Woodward (Mark Geis); as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Services will be held on Friday, May 28 at 3 p.m. in the Foster Funeral Chapel in St. Ignatius.

Lawrence “Lyle” Decker
ST. IGNATIUS — Lawrence “Lyle” Decker, 74, of Polson passed away on Thursday, May 13, 2010. Lyle was born September 8, 1935, in St. Ignatius, the son of Lawrence and Edith Decker.

After graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1953, Lyle served in both the Army and Air Force receiving honorable discharges in 1956 and 1960. Lyle then worked at the White Pine sawmill in Missoula for several years and retired from there to care for his mother in St. Ignatius. After her death, Lyle worked in the woods cutting posts, farmed in the Jocko Canyon, and worked at Kicking Horse Job Corp. After retiring again, he lived at Flathead Lake and attended Salish Kootenai College and received an Associate of Arts Degree in Human Services, General Studies, and Psychology.

Lyle loved the outdoors, enjoying snow skiing, fishing, hunting, water skiing and boating. His cabin at Flathead Lake is where family and friends all gathered. Lyle was a character when he told his stories. Lyle loved his family and especially his nieces and nephews who were all so important to him.

Lyle was a Past Master of Masonic Harmony Lodge No. 49 in Missoula, a life member of the York Rite, a life member of the Cryptic Masons, and a member of Mission Valley Lodge No. 78 in Polson.

Lyle is survived by his siblings Betty (Hal) Samsel of Polson, Dale (Laurie) Decker of Tacoma, WA, Donna (David) Marks of Arlee and Ranae Decker of Denver, CO; an adopted son Vincent “Buck” Swan; his nephews Steve (Shelly) Samsel and Jeff Decker; his nieces Sheryl (Randy) Symon, Shenda Burnett, Debbie (John) O’Neill, Deanne (Casey) Smith; and his beloved great nieces and nephews, who called him “Uncle”; and his cat JJ. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents and nephew, Dwayne Marks.

Services were held on Monday, May 17, in the Chuck Dixon Park in Polson, where Military and Masonic Honors were held.

Memorials may be sent to charities of the donor’s choice.

Jim Hilton
ST. IGNATIUS — Jim was born and raised in the St. Ignatius/Ronan area.

He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1974. From 1974 to 1990 Jim worked for Cenex in Ronan. He and his wife Shirley moved to Kalispell to start a new job with North West Propane for a couple years from there Jim was hired to work for Montana Power/Northwester Energy.

Jim was “the gas man”. Any family or friends needing advise about propane or natural gas, Jim was the one we called.

Jim was an avid blood donor and was adopted by Eastgate Volunteer Fire Department as the official cook of steaks twice a year at the Montana Mutual Aid Meetings.

Jim was always there for his friends and family. He loved his family especially his children and grandchildren and would do anything for them.

He loved fishing, bass fishing was just the thing. He found that he also loved hunting, especially opening day with family. Jim also enjoyed farming, boating and bowling.

He is survived by his wife Shirley; daughter Korrie; son Ezeaquil Bautisa; grandchildren Shanae, Jathaniel, Isabell and Carlos; Tim and Delores McAllister; sister Evelyn Jennotte of St. Ignatius; brothers Dave Hilton of Billings, Larry Hilton of Great Falls; and Ken Hilton of Darby; along with several nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Jim is preceded in death by his father Everett Hilton, mother Margery Hilton, and step son Timothy (TJ).

Dickson L. White Elk
YAKIMA, WA — Dickson Lee White Elk, 43, passed away in the early morning hours of May 13, 2010, surrounded by family at Memorial Hospital.

Dickson was born September 21, 1966. He was the second child of Frazer White Elk and Alvina C. White Elk.

Dickson attended school in Yakima and in Salem, Oregon. He graduated from Chemawa Indian School in 1985. He went on to attend college at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. After college, Dickson went to work in Alaska on fishing boats, sawmills, and was a seasonal wildfire firefighter.

Dickson married Vanessa in 1993, they made their life in Yakima for the past 17 years. During his marriage he became a dedicated stay at home dad. Dickson enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed being outdoors with his family at parks, lakes, rivers, and sporting events.

Dickson is preceded in death by his father, Frazer White Elk, and his mother Alvina C. White Elk.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Vanessa, and their children Ashley Roberts, Zachery Roberts, Joshua White Elk, Jacob White Elk and David Huitt; brothers, Frazer (Andulia, Eudee, Daveencah, Suviette, Pitaki) White Elk of Portland, Oregon and Archie (Merida and Dion) White Elk of Toppenish, Washington; sisters April White Elk (Ty, Jason, David, Richard) of Portland, Oregon and Josette McMaster of Lethbridge, Alberta Canada; aunties Veronica Smith of Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada and Harriet McDougall of Camas Prairie; uncle Dan McDougall of Hot Springs; and his many beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins throughout the provinces of Alberta, Canada and the state of Montana, Washington and Oregon.

Dickson and Vanessa hearts and home were always open to anyone that needed a place stay and considered many of them as their own, such as, Arturo, Eddie.

Dickson was a wonderful husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed.

Cremation has taken place.

Stella Pearl Jamison
RONAN — Stella Pearl Jamison, 93, of Polson passed away on May 16, 2010 at St. Luke Nursing Home in Ronan.

She was born on May 3, 1917, at Valley Creek to Eli and Nancy Morigeau. She attended schools in Arlee, Chemawa, Oregon, South Dakota and Lawrence, Kansas. Stella was a proud member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe.

In September of 1937, she married Archie Keirnan Jamison in Thompson Falls. They lived in Polson, until they moved in 1942 to Portland, OR where Stella worked as a welder in the shipyards and also for Bess Kaiser Hospital as a scheduler. They had many happy years together raising their children, Barbara, Archie Jr., Deanna and Donald.

Stella loved her family most, next to dancing, bowling, decorating her house inside and out, gambling and family get togethers. Stella and Archie moved back to Polson in 1978 where they spent many happy years. She loved playing racehorse rummy with her cousin Laura Matt and they could play for days, stopping only to eat. She enjoyed her senior citizens activities in Montana, Mesa, Ariz., Vancouver, WA. and Portland, OR.

She is preceded in death by her husband Archie Jamison; son Donald Jamison; daughter Deanna Olney; and numerous brothers and sisters. Stella was the last one to go of the Eli and Nancy Morigeau children.

She is survived by daughter Barbara Thompson and her husband Pat of Polson; son Archie Jamison and wife Diane of Portland, OR; and her grandchildren Pam Thompson and Deanna bates of Polson, Mike Jamison (Trish) and Susan Funke of Portland, Laurie Veitenhimer (Gary) of Vancouver, WA, Byron Olney, David Jamison, Steven Jamison and Tina Jamison of Portland; and numerous great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces and their families.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 20 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grogan Funeral Home. A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral mass will be held on Friday, May 21 at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson with Rev. Jim Connor officiating. Cremation will follow the services with interment to be held at Lakeview Cemetery at a later date.

Memorials may be left to the American Heart Association.

The obituary may be viewed and condolences left to the family at

Michael Pierce
RONAN — Michael Troy Pierce was granted his angel wings and went home to God on Saturday May 8, 2010. He was 22. He was born in Missoula to Donald and Kelly Pierce.

Mikey graduated from Billings West High in 2006. He moved back to the Mission Valley to work with his father at D&M Repair.

He enjoyed hiking in the Mission Mountains and riding his mountain bike as often as he could. You could not keep him from being outdoors. He also enjoyed camping, boating, and spending time with his family and friends.

Mikey had a contagious personality and smile and could make anyone laugh, especially his mommy. He was an amazing son, father, and brother. The day his son was born was the proudest day of his life.

Michael is survived by his parents Kelly Pierce Helm (William) and Donald Pierce (Sue); his son Troy; sisters Alicia (Leach) Pierce and Annesha Taylor; brothers DJ, Leonard, and Brandon Pierce; the love of his life and mother of his child, Cassie Normandeau; and her two awesome boys Daniel and Brent. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, cousins, and a very large extended family.

He is preceded in death by, his Grandfather Phillip O. Voight, Aunt Janet Pierce, and his namesake Michael D. Plouffe.

Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, a trust fund for Mikey’s son, Troy, has been set up at the Community Banks of the Ronan area.

Maria A. Gress
ST. IGNATIUS — Maria A. Gress, 84, passed away Thursday at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena.

Maria was born to Mike and Pepretua (Waliser) Gress on June 18, 1925 in Hysham. The youngest child in a large family, she was raised by her older sister after her mother passed; she graduated from St. Ignatius.

She and Al Sloan married in March of 1945 and to this union they were blessed with ten children. However, as with many things in life things do not always work out and they later divorced.

A dedicated mother, Maria was very proud of her children. They were her life. She loved the home she raised them in and loved living in it.

She was preceded in death by her siblings and parents as well as her oldest daughter, Patricia Sloan.

She leaves behind her children and their families including Ly Traversie of Ronan, Clay (Ann) Sloan of Pablo, Sandy K. Castor of St. Ignatius, Lorma Sloan of Ronan, Liberty (Vern) Plouffe of Pablo, John Roy Sloan of Spokane, Victoria (Dale) DeLack of Helena, Caroline DeRosia of Kalispell and Crystal (Terry) McLure of Spokane and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family.

A service was held in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery in St. Ignatius; Fr. Andrew Maddock, S.J. officiated.

Michael McCrea, Sr.
BIG ARM — Michael McCrea, Sr., 57, joined his creator May 1, 2010 at his home surrounded by family and friends.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, Mike had an AA in Environmental Science. He was an avid woodsman whether he was thinning, planting or firefighting. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his grandchildren.

Mike was a well known by many and he has left many stories and memories with us.

He was preceded in death by his mother Dorthy Couture McCrea; his father Robert A. McCrea; sisters Linda, Laura, Monica and Veda; brothers Kean, Bradly and Kim (Humphrey), and a grandchild Jade.

He leaves behind his brothers and sisters Robert McCrea, Doug McCrea, Tracy McCrea, Edith Coleman and Kevin Cole McCrea; his wife of thirteen years Kim Charette; his children Yancy (Savonnah) McCrea, Sr., Kean (Niccole) McCrea, Michael (Rose) McCrea, Rene (Francine) Pierre, John (Glenda) Stevens, Brandy Gardipe and Junior Gardipe; grandkids Jocelyn, Alicia, Naomi, Tana, John, Leonidas, Mary, Emily, Bryar, Jaquelyn, Steven, Whisper, Yancy Jr., Saraeha, Mirayna, Kaimen, Shayne, R.J., Isaac and Michael McCrea III; and great-grandchildren Ayden, Isiah and Camron; and a large extended family and many friends.

A traditional wake began at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius on Monday at the Longhouse. Wake closing was Tuesday, follow in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.