For the Record
Joy Glover Johnson
RONAN — Longtime Ronan resident Laurene Joy Glover Johnson joined
her parents in heaven on February 28, 2011. Laurene passed away in the
St. Luke hospital in Ronan. Laurene was born to Fred and Helen Glover
on May 8, 1940 in St. Ignatius.
As a young girl, Laurene resided in many different
communities. Her brothers would place her on a mailbox to sing and play
banjos while the construction crew built road between Plains and Hot
Springs. She enjoyed the music in her family, and she had a beautiful
voice. Laurene loved Western Montana and finally found her permanent
home in Ronan many years ago. She is a proud member of the Confederated
Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Laurene had many friends and will be sadly
Laurene received her college education in Seattle,
at the Singer Business College. From there, she worked as a bookkeeper
for various companies in the South. Laurene was the second employee at
Salish Kootenai College and helped develop the college as it is today.
She was most proud of her ten-year tenure at Salish Kootenai Housing
Authority where she received many honors, including employee of the
She met Jim Johnson in 1988 and they married two
years later on
November 5. She and Jim spent many wonderful days in their beautiful
garden planting flowers and enjoying their blossoms. They loved to
travel and cook for local events. Laurene loved to cook so much that
she booked a trip to Italy that was specifically to learn how to cook
Italian food from the Italians themselves.
Laurene was an active member of the V.F.W. Ladies
Post 5652 in Ronan. She also donated many hours to help at all tribal
wakes. Laurene was outspoken, compassionate, loving and she always
fulfilled her obligations and promises.
Laurene is survived by her loving husband of 20
years James D.
Johnson, three children: Theresa Marie Green (husband Mark) of
Washougal, Washington; James Thomas Ridley of Eugene, Oregon; and
Meloney Michelle Ridley of Ronan; ten grandchildren; four great grand
children; her brothers: Robert L. and Dale M. of Seattle, Washington;
Bowen H. Glover of Ronan; and her only sister Shirley Anne Glover of
Services were held on Friday, March 4, 2011, at
Cemetery on 46727 N. Foothills Dr., Ronan. A gathering of friends for a
celebration of her life followed at the V.F.W. Post 5256 immediately
following the service, with food and beverages served.
ST. IGNATIUS — Michael "Mikey" J. Snell, 45, passed away Monday,
February 14 in Great Falls of complications from diabetes.
Michael was born in St. Ignatius on February 19,
1965 to Floss Felsman and Babe Snell.
Mike was a well-traveled child who was baptized in
Church and received his first communion while in Hawaii. He was raised
and educated in St. Ignatius, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho and Montana. He
went on to be a sheet metal fabricator in Washington and for Big Sky
Heating and Cooling in Ronan.
A big sports fan, when opportunity presented
itself, he liked going fishing and watching NASCAR.
His father and several aunts and uncles whom he
had known for
years preceded him in death: Joe Dog, Harold, and Carl Felsman; and
He leaves behind his mother Floss Felsman of
Ronan; his son
Mike, Jr. (Alisha), their children Loki and Memphis; his sisters and
brother, Diana Falcon Lee (Duane) and their children Tammi, Jeff and
Vallee; Francis "Jiggs" (Leslie) his children Curtis and Kaila Snell;
Linda Azure (Jess) their children Eduardo and Nick Catudio, and Gabriel
Azure; Bev (L.D.) and her daughter Jennifer; Donna Miller and her sons
Nick, Matt and his boy Jordan; and Chris (Debra) and their children
Tyler and Devon; Shirley Butler and her children Dave and Maleea; Barb
Nicholson (Chad) and their children Zane and Luke; as well as Mike's
companion Sandra McClure of Great Falls; his aunt and godmother Dorothy
Felsman; a special spiritual friend and counselor, Lee Houle of Rocky
Boy. He also leaves behind numerous cousins and his dog Blix.
The Indian Choir; Fred Matt; and Del Nicholson,
who traveled from Deer Lodge, provided the music.
A Rosary was held Sunday, Feb. 20 at Foster
Funeral Home and
Crematory in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated Monday in the St.
Ignatius Catholic Mission with burial at the St. Ignatius Catholic
Cemetery. Father Drew officiated.
Pallbearers were Mike Snell Jr., Eddie Catudio,
Nick Catudio, Matt Miller, Chris Miller, Nick Miller, and Jeff
RAVALLI — Janice (Foutch-Sollars) Nuernberger, 65, passed away February
28 at her home in Ravalli.
Born Sept. 15, 1945 in Haskell, OK to Ernest and
Lucy Foutch she was raised in Santa Paula, CA.
She met and married Don Sollars while he was
serving in the
military and they were married in 1964 and eventually made their home
in Browning. However, as with many things in life things did not work
out and they later divorced in 1990. She then married Howard
Nuernberger on June 20, 1992 in Charlo and they made their home in
While in Browning she worked for Teeples IGA until
she worked for Lake County Bank in St. Ignatius before retiring in
She enjoyed shopping, golfing, camping, fishing
riding horses and landscaping and gardening.
She was preceded in death by her mom and dad
Ernest and Lucy
Roberts Foutch; seven siblings; son Edward Wayne Sollars; daughter
Laurie Wallis; and a stepmother Willow Foutch.
She is survived by her husband Howard Nuernberger
daughters Jackie Hicks (Mark) of Reklaw, TX, Laura Sollars, Paula
Augare (Paul) of Browning; sons Kenny Sollars (Sheila) of Henderson,
TX, Richard Sollars of Ravalli and stepsons Bill Brown (Emma) and
Howard Paul "HP" (Diane Nuernberger) of Billings; 21 grandchildren; 11
great-grandchildren; sister Alma Calvert and brother Gerald Foutch,
both of Grants, NM; and sons she raised as her own Richard Trombley,
Rod Sellars (Zola), Glenn Kennedy (Kathy), and Tony Beaudry (Billie Jo)
all of Browning, MT.
A visitation was held at the Foster Funeral
Chapel in St.
Ignatius on March 2 with funeral services held on Thursday at the St.
Ignatius Christian Church. A reception followed in the St. Ignatius
Community Center following the services.
A memorial service is tentatively planned in
Browning on Saturday, March 12.
Memorials may be made to the American Auxiliary of
RONAN — Earl Dennis Jones, 69, of Ronan, traveled on to the happy
hunting grounds on Friday, February 25, 2011 at St Luke Hospital in
Ronan. He was the fifth of eleven children born to John and Amelia
(Tellier) Jones. He was a member of the Nez Perce Tribe.
He was born and raised in St Ignatius. From there
several years in the Army at Fort Hood in Texas. When he returned to
Montana, he met his first wife, Guadalupe "Lupe" Nevarez. They had two
children, Adele (Jeff) Vincent, Ronan, and Aragon Jones, Ellensburg,
WA. They moved to Washington where he obtained his Diesel Mechanic
In 1977, he moved back to Montana where his
travels added other
companions and their children to his family. He met and married his
current wife, June Parker, in 1987. Their relationship added two sons:
Vincent Parker of Great Falls, and Armel Jones of Ronan, to his family.
He worked as a Diesel mechanic for many years, farming, and several
He finally retired so that he could spend more
time doing the
things he loved. His biggest passions in life were hunting, fishing,
and his garden. There was nothing more exciting to him then the sound
of the moose and elk during the rut, or the sight of the Salmon running
in the river. He loved sharing the bounty of his garden with his
friends and family.
He will live on in the many memories he has left
his kids and
grandkids, of their numerous hunting and fishing trips to Idaho with
He is preceded in death by his parents John and
Amelia Jones; and his sister Adeline (Glenn) Upton.
He is survived by his children; his wife; his
White, Benjamin White, Shelby Vincent, Josh Jones, Russell Jones, and
Chelsey Parker; great grandkids Jossalyn White, OryAnna White, Isabella
White, Seterra White, and Benjamin White; brothers and sisters Ken
Jones, Kamiah, ID, Alfred (Ada) Jones, Ronan, Marie Ashley, St
Ignatius, Pauline (Del) Nicholson, Deer Lodge, Leo Jones, Kamiah, ID,
Lubert (Norma) Jones, Ronan, Ira (Alice) Jones, Arlee, Dalon (Anita)
Jones Albany, OR, and Vicki (Davey) Belgard, Hayes; his adopted
brother/best friend Joseph (Mae) Schliep, Polson; and numerous nieces
Traditional wake began Saturday evening at the
Longhouse in St.
Ignatius. Rosary was held on Monday, February 28. A traditional
seven-drum ceremony, with services, was held on Tuesday, March 1 at the
Long House. Burial followed at the Catholic Cemetery in St Ignatius.
(Gene) Lee Pitts
DIXON — Eugene (Gene) Lee Pitts, 90, longtime resident of Dixon,
and member of the Confederated and Salish Kootenai Tribes, passed away
February 18, 2011 at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan.
Gene was the
older of two children born to Geneva Houle and Virgil Lee Pitts in
Valley Creek, Montana. He, went to the first and second grade at Valley
Creek, 3rd grade Ursuline's School, St. Ignatius. His parents divorced
and he moved with his father to Lonepine where he continued his
elementary education riding to school on horseback. When he was eleven,
his dad bought a dairy in Hot Springs where he learned his work ethics.
Seven days a week, he arose at 4:30am, milked 30 head of Guernsey cows,
delivered glass bottled milk to families of Hot Springs via horse drawn
wagon and then he ran a mile and 1/2 to school. After a day of school,
he would run the 1.5 miles back home and return to the milk barn to do
the evening milk and giving him a "running start".
At the Montana State track meet he won the mile,
880 yard race,
and placed second in the 440 yard race. Gene personally scored 14 of
14.2 team points for Hot Springs for the second place trophy behind the
Madison County High School team who had 15 points.
Gene was recognized as the State's top athlete.
His record for his mile race remains unbroken in Hot Springs.
After Gene graduated from Hot Springs, in 1939 he
initiative to send his race clippings to the college national title
holder in Track and Field, the Big 10 School, University of Wisconsin
(UofW). His efforts were rewarded in a track scholarship. At the UofW,
Gene ran with the greats, of running history, senior Fenske and
grad-student Mehl. His freshman year he was the UofW number one 880
runner and won the famous Turkey Cross Country race, breaking the
previous record by 23 seconds. UofW recognized him with a silver trophy
as the freshman athlete of the year. He was afforded the opportunity to
become the pace runner for Mehl in his effort to break the mile world
record. UofW Badger head coach, Tom Jones said, "Gene Pitts was known
as a quite man, slight build and stature but he always got his work
done using his endurance, race intelligence, and speed." One of Gene's
favorite memories was in his sophomore year he was a member of the Four
Mile Relay team at the Drake Relays. His running career was interrupted
by his duty to his nation in World War II.
He enlisted in the
relatively new United States Forest Service "Smokejumpers" at the Nine
Mile Base. He was always proud he was one of the first smoke jumpers
out of the Nine Mile. He enlisted in the US Navy flight program, began
his officer training at the Missoula County Airport and concurrently
attended the University of Montana (Griz). Upon completion of pilot's
training, he shipped out for combat in the south pacific, flying the
Gull Wing F4U Corsair. He progressed to become the Squadron leader in
the "Guadal Canal." After being shot down during his second year of
combat fighting he was recruited the senior test pilot for the new hot
WW II airplanes, under the personal direction of Admiral Halsey.
the war, Gene returned to Hot Springs, and started logging. He then
went to Camas Prairie and built cabins and set up a sawmill where he
employed 28 local people. Hot Springs Savages (now the Savage Heat)
Basketball team went on to win the 1946 Divisional title and won second
in the state tournament.
In 1945 Gene returned to Hot Springs
and while in his officer uniform, he went into the local mercantile,
where he spied a beautiful auburn haired lady, Faye, whom he married
July 5, 1947, after she completed her beauty school in Missoula on July
3rd, celebrated the 4th of July, then the morning of July 5th a fire
broke out in the Camas Prairie timberline. He fought fire with his
future bride at his side. They got the fire out, went home and put on
their wedding clothes, and completed the evening and were married that
night at the Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs. They moved from Hot
Springs to Camas Prairie and lived while operating the Pitts Lumber
sawmill until 1951 when he relocated the business to Ravalli and
significantly expanded the operation. Gene was known as a person who
would always give a person the opportunity to work. Gene concurrently
moved his family, Faye and their two children Lettie and Garry to Dixon
where his family grew to include Terry, KoLynn and Larry. The sawmill
burned down in the early 60's. Then after that Gene took his few cows
and developed a registered Polled Hereford Cattle Ranch in Dixon. In
the early 70's, Gene he became the Director of the CSKT Community
Action Program. Then he was appointed the postmaster for the United
States Postal Office until he retired in 1990. After retirement, Gene
returned to ranching and once again became involved in a leadership
role and became involved with Mission Valley Power Board where he was
an active board member for 17 years. He retired again at age 85.
was very active with all activities that his children were involved
with. He was a 4-H leader for over 20 years. He is one of the founding
members of the Dixon Fire Department, which still serves the community
and served on the Dixon School Board.
Gene was proceeded in death by son, Larry Pitts;
Donald Pitts; mother, Geneva Houle; father, Virgil Lee Pitts; and
stepmother, Serena Pitts; and sister Donna Mae Veitch; and numerous
other relatives who have been pioneers in the valley.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Faye
Garry (Christine) Pitts, Terry (Crystal) Pitts, and KoLynn (Paul)
Sinclair and daughter in-law, Ginger Pitts. Grandchildren: Gregory
Neuman, Stephen Pitts, Zachary Pitts, Zanen Pitts, Don Powell, Samantha
Pitts, Whitney Pitts, Taylor Pitts; great-grandchildren: Jett Pitts and
Talis Pitts; and sister, Nina Mae (Bud) Heitmiller of California.
A visitation will be held Friday at the funeral
home until 5pm
when the visitation will move to the Longhouse where a Rosary will be
held at 7pm Friday evening. Funeral services will be held Saturday,
11am in the Dixon Gymnasium. A reception will follow in the Dixon
Senior Center. Military honors and graveside services will be at 3pm at
Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Missoula, Montana.
Colleen (Crouse) Kessler
CONDON - Virginia Colleen (Crouse) Kessler was born in Tracy,
Minnesota on Sept. 1, 1929 and passed away on Feb. 22, 2011 in Ronan
after fighting a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Virginia was married to Boyd Kessler in 1953 and
Missoula and later Condon, MT. She was a mother, housewife and an avid
sports enthusiast, especially basketball. She loved music and played
the bass guitar and organ and she enjoyed listening to country western
music. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith.
She is survived by her husband Boyd, three sons
daughter; R.A. Nixon of Colonial Heights, VA, Rodney (Cherryol) Kessler
of Missoula, Rusty (Shannon) Kessler of Condon and Randi (Craig) Rinker
of Deer Park, WA. She is also survived by two sisters and one brother;
Darlene McDaniels of Milton, WA, Valette Stepp of Ft. Worth, TX and
Darrell Crouse of Crownville, MD as well as 3 grandchildren and 4
Cremation has taken place as per her wishes and no
services are planned. Memorial contributions may be made to the Montana
Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Foster Funeral Home of St.
Ignatius is assisting the family with arrangements.
Elizabeth Hewankorn Pierre
PABLO - Mary Elizabeth Hewankorn Pierre, 82, began her journey home on
Friday February 4, 2011 in Polson.
A member of the CS&K Tribes of the
Flathead Nation, she was
born January 29, 1929 on Post Creek to Baptiste Hewankorn and Cecilia
Youstah, Liz was raised by Sophie and Eneas Conko in Ronan where she
grew up and helped raise Millie, Maggie, Ellen and John Conko. At the
age of 19, she married Patrick Allen Pierre Sr., “Twice” at the JP then
by the Catholic Church. They moved to Camas Prairie. They then ended up
building a home in Polson for their family. Together they traveled,
raised their family of seven and were a foster parent to many, many
children. Her home was always full of love and laughter.
Liz was always full of giggles and the most
Her hobbies were many, she loved to bead and that was her favorite past
time, sewing, watching wrestling, traveling to places like powwows and
listening to her sons and grandsons drum and sing, “Bear Tracks”,
“Dancing Bear” and “Bear Spirit” were their drums.
comfort of her home she would watch her great-grandchildren walk to and
from school. She loved that as they walked by they would wave and she
would say those are granddaughter Jessica Pierre’s children. Mama loved
all of her kids so much.
Liz was a homemaker, a foster parent and fluent
speaker of our
language. One of her last jobs was as a grandparent language teacher
for the Cherry Valley Elementary School in Polson. She really enjoyed
being with children. She was a mother to many and will be dearly
She was preceded in death by her parents Baptiste
Cecilia Youstah; sisters Agnes Alexander, Josephine “Juice Ball”
Hewankorn and Threasa “Telah” Hewankorn; sons Patrick Pierre, Jr., John
Pierre Sr., Louis Pierre and David Pierre; grandsons Marcus OneSalt and
Vincent Mesteth and granddaughter Maurita Dawn Pierre.
Survivors include her daughters Mary “Sophie”
Pierre Green and
Margaret Rose (Antonio) Mendoza; sons Allen (Kelly) Pierre, Francis
“Jazz” Pierre and Josh Pierre.
A wake began Saturday at the Longhouse in St.
Ignatius with the
rosary being recited on Monday evening in the Longhouse. Mass was be
held on Tuesday at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church with burial
following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.
ARLEE — On February 4, 2011, surrounded by her loving family, Mona
Terese Fisher BigSam went home to her family and friends who went
“Monzie” was born on January 19, 1959 to Bill and
Fisher. As her mother states, “one day Mona started walking, the next
day she started running and no one could keep up with her.”
During her busy life she enjoyed fishing, hunting,
shooting, and spending time in the mountains with her family and
She was welcomed by her husband Bruce; dad Bill;
Ronald; aunts Toni and Lucille; uncles Al, Pat, Canny and George; and
grandparents John and Caroline Stevens and Joe and Florence Fisher.
She leaves behind her mother Violet Fisher;
son Louis “Mackey” and Crystal; daughter Crystal and daughter Cindy and
Randon; grandsons Aaron, Dennis, Isaac, Billy, Louis, Mugivei(Wesley)
and Sampson; sister Virginia and Jim; brothers Wm (Mickey) and Dacia,
John and Dacia, Les and Roberta (Inj) and sister Christine; uncle Wes
and Sally; aunt Dorsey and Dan and lots and lots of nieces, nephews,
cousins and extended family.
Traditional wake services began Saturday at the
Center with the Rosary being recited on Sunday. Funeral services were
performed on February 7 with burial in the Jocko Cemetery where she was
reunited with her husband.