Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
September 2010

Frederick L. Courville
POLSON — Frederick L. Courville, 71, passed away on September 22, 2010 at his home. He was born on July 5, 1939 in St. Ignatius to Alexander and Elsie (Bisson) Courville.

He served four years in the US Army and three years in the Reserves.

On July 24, 1965 he married Sharon Shepard and they later divorced in 1995.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Doris, Marlene, Claire, Connie, Leona, Kenny and Donna.

Fred is survived by his children Cherri (Doug), Kandy (Bobby), Travis (Amy) and Fred, Jr.; his grandchildren Jordan, Brittany, Kayla, Jamie, Braidy, TJ, Taylor, Tucker, Kyla, Rilea and Shailee; and his great grand son Natayvien; his brother Henry (Tammy) and Alex (Judy) and sister Laura (Mike); his special companion Flo Drowatsky and Sharon and Mike Burns as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends and his best friend “Princess”.

Fred loved his family, hunting, fishing and telling stories.

A visitation was held Sunday at the Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius with the Mass being celebrated at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission where military honors will be presented by the Mission Valley Honor Guard and the Veterans Warrior Society.

Clark H. Joy
RONAN — Clark H. Joy, 96, passed away Monday at his home in Ronan.

Clark was born on July 4, 1914 on a homestead near Pompey's Pillar, about 30 miles northeast of Billings. He was the son of Ruby and Warren Joy. Clark grew up with his sister LaVange and his three brothers Lloyd, Arles and Elwood "Shorty". Clark was the youngest of the five children.

When Clark was about 11, his grandmother got sick and his father went back to Nebraska to see her. When he never came back, times became pretty tough for the family. As Clark got older, he began working for local farmers but money was tight for everyone and no one ever really had money to pay him.

When he was 15, Clark left for Wyoming and went to work for the Continental Oil Company. He lied about his age; they thought he was 18. When that job ran out, he went to work for the railroad as a gandy dancer, maintaining tracks and keeping things in working order.

After a year or so on the railroad he was back in Polson. There wasn't a lot of work in those days so he did a little bit of everything and any little short jobs he could find. He even helped build Kerr Dam.

Clark married Bertha Zimmerman in 1934 in Polson and they had four children together. Clark began working in the lumber industry, working for both the Dewey Lumber Company and the Polson Lumber Company. He moved to Kalispell in 1952 to work for the Kalispell Lumber Co. and worked for lumber companies for the rest of his career from that point. He ended up in Columbia Falls at Plum Creek where he worked as a saw filer until retiring when he was 67.

After retiring Clark traveled and enjoyed his time with his wife Bertha until she passed away in 1995. Clark then moved to Minnesota to stay with his son, but after a few years he made his way back to Montana.

In 2000 Clark was headed to dance in Polson with a group of friends when they stopped to pick up Elda Cordier-Umphrey. That was the first of many dances for the two. A few short months later they were married and they've spent the last ten years dancing, playing cards and just enjoying each other's company whether they were traveling across the country or just going out to lunch. Clark also joined the LDS church on Dec. 7, 2002.

He was preceded in death by Bertha, his wife of 61 years, and his stepdaughter Laura Hauck.

Clark is survived by his wife Elda; his children Robert Joy of Kalispell, Donna (joy) Hedge of Columbia Falls, Clara (Joy) Sayles of Kalispell and Ronald Joy of Crosby, MN; his step children Faye (Larry) Garlock, Mike (Valerie) Umphrey, Kenneth Umphrey, John Umphrey and Jim Umphrey; his ten grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews as well as Elda's children and grandchildren.

A visitation was held last Friday at the Foster Funeral Chapel in St. Ignatius. The graveside committal service was held in the Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell.

Robert L. Langdale
POLSON — Robert L. Langdale, 83, passed away Tues, September 14, 2010 in Ronan.

Born near Mabton, WA on July 30, 1927 to Hjalmer and Effie Rose Langdale, he was raised and educated in Mabton and Yakima, WA. He then served in the Merchant Marines during WWII in both the Pacific and Atlantic. He later served with the Army in Korea.

A member of the Union Gap Police before becoming a patrol deputy at the Yakima County Sheriffs Dept., he eventually organized the 1st Detective Division in Yakima Co and commanded it until his appointment as Chief Criminal Deputy and served until he retired in 1979.

Robert was member of several Masonic Bodies in WA, the American Merchant Marine Veterans of WWII, Life member of the Korean Veterans Assn, VFW Post #379 of Yakima and AM. Legion Post #112 of Polson. He was also a charter member of the American Motorcycle Association and the WA State Retired Dep. Sheriff’s and Police Officer Association.

Married in 1963, he was preceded in death by his first wife and his parents. He later remarried his current wife of 27 years, Judith Gordon and she survives.

He is also survived by daughters Deborah Langdale Berilla and Kimberly Langdale, both of WA and two stepchildren Jodi Heinbuch of Seattle and Robert Pruett of Houston.

As per his request cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time.

David Wayne Thorp
CISCO, TX — David Wayne Thorp, 45, died Saturday, September 11, 2010 at his home of a massive heart attack.

David was born in Butte to Don and Maxine Thorp and grew up in the Moiese Valley and the Ronan area. Early in life he decided to be a long distance truck driver. He followed his dream until health forced him off the road.

David was married to Kelly Stansfield of Boise, ID and they later divorced. He later married Connie Sandel in Polson and she survives.

Also surviving are his loving daughter Topanga Thorp of Cisco, TX; father Don Thorp of Ronan; brothers Tim Thorp (Kay) of Ronan and Dale Thorp of Polson and sister Catherine Duffy (Gene) of Klamath Falls, OR.

David was preceded in death by his mother Maxine.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial will be announced at a later date.

Douglas Marengo
POLSON — Loving father and brother, Douglas David Marengo, 58, of Whitefish and formerly of Polson quietly passed away on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at home in his sleep from complications of diabetes.

Douglas was born in Polson on April 15, 1952 to Clarence “Speedy” and Irene Marengo. He graduated from Polson High School in 1971, where he, like his father, was a standout athlete in track and basketball. He married the love of his life, Dondi Wester, and together had two sons. Although they later divorced, they remained close friends throughout the years.

He was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe where he was employed for many years in various capacities. He was a true entrepreneur who never knew a stranger and was known as the original “pawn star”. He was most noted for his kindness, generosity, humor, and free foot massages. He was proud of Polson and sought to improve it beauty and appeal. For years it was common for Douglas to take his sons along to help him improve the landscape along the highway in Polson.

Besides his mother and father, son Jesse, and nephew Joseph Ploymar preceded Douglas in death.

He is survived by sons Tanner Ross Marengo and Shannon Jesse Marengo; siblings, Carole (Keith) Fredrickson, Lynda Frost, Sheila Garrison, Greg (Ellen) Marengo, Monty Marengo, Brad (Debbie) Marengo, Cyndie Marengo, Kevin (Peggy) Marengo, and Kim Marengo; as well as many aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

At his request, no public services are planned and a private family memorial service was held. Douglas’ remains will be scattered in the Jocko where he spent much time camping and fishing. We will miss our dear father and brother and look forward to seeing him in the resurrection.

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 Mr. Marengo’s family.

Sylvia “Sheba” Mary Garcia (Strange Owl)
POLSON — Sylvia “Sheba” Mary Garcia (Strange Owl), 72, of Polson, passed away Saturday, September 4, 2010, at her home of natural causes. Sylvia was born at home on July 6, 1938 in Kirby, as the fourth child of eleven. Sylvia was a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Lame Deer; her Northern Cheyenne name was Nah’ Ka’a (She Bear). She received her LPN license in Fort Collins, CO.

She began working at St. Joseph’s Convalescent Center of Polson and St. Luke’s in Ronan and worked as a nurse for 18 years until retiring in 2000. Sylvia was a very hard worker and she also enjoyed and perfected her hobbies of beading, sewing, baking, picking Huckleberries, gardening (the best strawberries), watching her favorite Elvis movies, reading the latest trend magazines, watching her two favorite shows E TV and CNN.

On July 2, 1988, she married Don Garcia at his house on Minesinger Trail, Polson where they made it their home for the next 22 years.

Sylvia was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents John Strange Owl and Gertrude Bullthigh; maternal grandparents Henry Redneck and Mary Looksbehind; parents David and Grace Strange Owl; uncle Ralph Youngman; siblings Elaine Strange Owl, Gordon Strange Owl, Alfred Strange Owl, David R. Strange Owl and other relatives.

Sylvia is survived by her husband, Don; siblings Ann (Dayton) Raben of Colorado, Eva (Jim) Lee of Wyoming, Florence (Mike) Running Wolf, Rachel (George) Magpie, Charlotte (Thomas) Rockroads, Ruthie (Don) Shoulderblade and Barbara (Otto) Braidedhair, all of Northern Cheyenne of Montana; daughters Selma Swank of Helena, Lisa Spotted Wolf of Polson, and Jenny (Tom) Stark of Helena; step-children Donald Garcia, David (Linda) Garcia, Tracy (Jenaya) Garcia, and Chris Garcia; grandchildren Patrick, Chastity, Nicole, Brooke, Jenna, Tamberly, Tim, Danielle, Zachary, and Tyson; step-grandchildren Josh, Mike, Sammi, Mike, Dominic, Logan, T.C., Tristan, and Trevor; five great-grandchildren, Jewel, Na’tyus, Ashtyn, Tyhren, Tyshea, and Haivyn; and numerous close cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family suggests memorials be sent to the local Tribal Diabetes Program. The family thanks Dr. Smith, Nurse Debbie, and the nurses that helped comfort Sylvia these past years with her health.

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. Garcia’s family.

Lucille Finley McCasland
SPOKANE, Wash. — We are saying farewell to Lucille (Lucy, Lulu, and Lou), our old one and our heart, who passed away September 27, 2010. She lived a long life and a good life. She loved and nurtured all of us and literally was a yoyot sp?us (strong heart). We were blessed to have this revered mother, grandmother, aunty, elder in our family and in our lives. We are hurting and sad right now, but we are also happy. We are celebrating our old one's incredible life.

Lucille, 89, was born on January 15, 1921 in St. Ignatius. Her parents were John W. Finley and Mary (Sorrell) Finley. Lucille had many brothers and sisters. She is survived by her brother, George Finley; sons, Henry Charette and Bud Campbell; and daughters, Carol; Debra Lynn; and Sandra Bransford. A cousin, Clarence Hunter; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive her. There are numerous nieces and nephews as well. Her son, James Willis, preceded Lucille in death.

A memorial will be held in the future and details will be shared prior to the date. Smart Cremation of Spokane was in charge of the arrangements.

Calvin “Cal” Brandon Joseph Andrew
CAMAS PRAIRIE — Calvin “Cal” Brandon Joseph Andrew, 17, passed away from injuries received in an auto accident near Sloan’s Bridge on Monday morning, September 27, 2010.

Cal was born on July 9, 1993 in Ronan to Dorothy J. Andrew and Larry D. Old Horn and was raised in Grasshopper Flats. He attended schools in Camas Prairie, Hot Springs, Ronan, DeSmet Middle School and Big Sky before returning to Two Eagle where he was currently going.

Cal enjoyed basketball, video games, traveling to powwows and meeting people. He also enjoyed spending time with his nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Larry Old Horn and Elizabeth Parker Old Horn; cousin Christopher Matt; and aunt Denise Old Horn.

Survivors include his grandparents Frank and Angie Andrew of Grasshopper Flats; parents Larry Old Horn and Dorothy Andrew of Grasshopper Flats; siblings Frank (Ashley) of Polson, Athena (Larry) of Missoula, Rhonda Old Horn of Missoula, Daniel Old Horn of Grasshopper Flats, Tania (Jess) of Missoula, Kristen (Nakota) of Pablo and Kiefer (Brittany) of Missoula; nieces and nephews Jeremiah, Xavier, Leilani, Denzel, Kayreen, Kenyan, Cherish, Tyler, Jordan, Aden, Raille and Dion; and numerous aunties, uncles, cousins and friends including Merida (Archie), auntie Viola and cousin David.

He was laid to rest in the Red Crow Curley Cemetery at Camas Prairie.

Samuel Cruz Valles
ATASCOSA, TEXAS — Sammy Cruz Valles, 59, went to be with his ancestors who left before him on September 8, 2010.

Sammy was born on July 30, 1951 to Elvira (Cruz) Valles and Basilio P. Valles in Bonarmy, Texas.

On March 7, 2005 he married Dolores Rodriguez at the Lily of the Valley Church in Lytle, Texas. Sammy attended Southwest Elementary and Southwest High School in Southwest, Texas and graduated in 1971. During the summer months when he wasn't attending school Sammy worked at Aldrich Nursery in 1969, Ace's Manufacturing in 1970 and Southwest Research in 1971. At the time of his death he was working at Speedway Erections as a sheet metal laborer erecting buildings.

In 1971, after graduating high school he enlisted in the Army; his tour of duty included Korea and Germany. In 1980 he was honorably discharged.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elvira and Basilio Valles; his grandparents, Melton and Taeodora Valles and Resugio Cruz; two nephews, Abram Alvarado, Sr. and Basilio Valles; and a niece Esmeralda Alvarado.

Sammy is survived by his wife Dolores (Rodriguez) Valles at the family home; stepson Robert (Joyce) Castanada of San Antonio, Texas; sisters Sara (Cruz) Alvarado of Atascosa, Texas, Refugia (Leon) Garcia, Janie (Gilbert) Serna, Anastasia (Gilbert) Reyes, and Elizabeth (Guadalupee) Castro; brothers David (Frances) Valles and Guadalupe (Maria) Valles, all of Lytle, Texas.

Sammy was always a hard worker and a kind and generous man. He always had a kind word and smile for everyone and because of this we know he is in heaven looking down and smiling upon us. We will miss him but we will have him in our hearts forever.

Funeral arrangements were made by Del Angel Funeral Home in San Antonio, Texas with Mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bonarmy and burial was in Fort Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.