Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
June 2011

Bud Cheff, Sr.
CHARLO — Bud Cheff, a Life time Mission Valley resident passed on to meet the Lord and join his beloved wife Adelle; his daughter Viola; his parents Marie and Ovila Cheff; brothers Leo, Rex, Chris, Louie, Vila, Jim, Ray; sisters Bernida, Grace, and Josephine; and grandchildren Corey, Billy, Amanda, and Cheri.

Bud "Vern Edmond Cheff Sr.", 96 years old, died June 27, 2011, at his home with his family. He was born April 2, 1915 southeast of Ronan on the Tehnum Finley place. He went to school at Ronan, and in 1933 married his childhood sweetheart, Adelle Rogers. They were sweethearts from the 5th grade on.

Bud took his first paying customers as an outfitter into the Bob Marshall Wilderness that year, starting a lifetime career as an outfitter and guide. He was honored last year for being Montana's oldest living outfitter, and having the longest on-going outfitting business in the state, from 1933 to 2011. It is still a flourishing family-owned business.

He has been invited to speak at a number of universities in western states, including a convention of worldwide scientists held in Glacier Park. Bud had a deep love for Montana and its wilderness areas, and was devoted to preserving the wild life and land for future generations.

Bud's family had early roots in Montana, starting with a free trapper for David Thompson and the Northwest Fur Co. in 1810, to the settling of Frenchtown and Demersville in the Flathead. His parents came from Ontario, Canada in the late 1890's to join other family members already settled here.

Of French and Iroquois decent, Buds family had close ties with the Flathead Indians. Bud went with them every year until 1933, on their hunting and gathering trips into the Mission Range and Bob Marshall area, under the leadership of Eneas Conko. Eneas and the old Indian hunters taught him well, as he had a vast knowledge of wildlife and the mountains.

Bud wrote two books, "Indian Trails and Grizzly Tales," and "The Woodsman and his Hatchet." The Outdoor Life magazine did a series of stories about Bud and his hunting experiences.

Starting as an Iron Worker on Kerr Dam, Bud also worked on Hungry Horse and Noxon Dams, the Frenchtown Pulp Mill, the Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant, and numerous bridges over the years. He was a top-notch cowboy and broncobuster, breaking hundreds of horses and mules in his lifetime.

Bud and Adelle were instrumental in starting the First Baptist Church in Ronan. They were charter members and co-founders of the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. He was loved by the school children that toured the museum, and received many thank you letters from them.

Bud was loved, and admired by all that knew him. He was a storehouse of Montana history, had a wonderful memory, and loved to share his knowledge with all that were interested. His hope was to leave this world a little better than he found it, and he prayed that he had not offended any of the wonderful people he had met and cherished in his long life.

He will be sorely missed by all.

He is survived by brothers Floyd, Herman, and Clarence; his children and their families Bud Jr. and wife Laurie, Kenny, Buck and wife Cheryl, Mick and wife Karen, Happy, and daughter Roxy and husband Don. He was also blessed with 33 grandchildren 82 great-grandchildren, and 18 great-great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana.

Ron Plouffe
ST. IGNATIUS — Ron Plouffe, 69, of Polson, passed away at his home on June 12, 2011 of natural causes.

Ron was born April 4, 1942 in St. Ignatius to Collette (Matt) and Napoleon Plouffe and was raised on a farm southeast of Mission where he graduated from high school in 1962. Shortly after that he married Carol Schoonover. In his early years he worked for Northern Pacific Railway in Helena. After the birth of their first two children, Ron and Carol moved to California where Ron attended welding school. They returned to Polson where Ron worked at Plum Creek Timber for 32 years. Their family was complete after the births of their last two children. Their lives were further enriched with the addition of ten grandchildren. In retirement, Ron and Carol loved to visit family, friends and casinos, in that order.

Ron was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He was also a proud member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Polson.

Ron is survived by his wife of 49 years, Carol; his daughters, Collette Plouffe (Lance Whittaker) of Longmont, Colorado, Audrey Plouffe (Mike Hanson) of Polson, Lissa Peel (Dennis) of Polson, and Ron Plouffe, Jr (Candice) of Kiln, Mississippi; ten grandchildren, Josh and Emma Reed, Sam, Derek, and Caitlin Peel, Amber (Isaiah King), Channing, Natalie, Marissa, and Cameron Plouffe. Ron is also survived by his brother Gary (Barb) of St. Ignatius; a sister-in-law, Joann Sagmiller of Polson, and lifelong friend, Bert McCollum of Spokane, Washington.

A memorial service was be held on Thursday, June 16 at Grogan Funeral Home, 101 Sixth Ave. E., Polson. Ron’s ashes were buried at Lakeview Cemetery, Polson; after the service a reception followed at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, Ron’s family suggests donations be made to either the Humane Society or to the National Diabetes Foundation.

A special thank you is given to Dr. Adam Smith and his staff for their excellent care for Ron.

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 Ron’s family.

Lawrence Arnold Schliep
ST. IGNATIUS — Lawrence “Larry” Arnold Schliep, 73, of St. Ignatius passed away Sunday, June 19, 2011 at Mountain View Care Center in Ronan.

Larry lifetime resident of St Ignatius was first of five children born of Arnold Leonard Schliep and Laura Bernice Soucie in St. Ignatius Montana, 10 Mar 1938. He was raised in St. Ignatius and attended Ursaline Catholic School and St. Ignatius High School.

He married Billie Carol Hurlburt on March 10, 1962, and divorced June 6, 1977.

He worked as maintenance engineer at the Holy Family Hospital and then for CSKT until retirement. He loved to hunt and fish.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by children John (Marti) Schliep of Spanaway WA and Ann Schliep of West Jordan UT; grandchildren Justin (Tina) Schliep, Ryann (Jason) Gray, Kasie and Brandon; great-grandchild Braelynn Schliep; brothers Denny of Nine Pipe and Joe of Turtle Lake; and sisters Janice Cordier of Ronan and Carol Monte of Pablo.

No services will be held as requested by Larry.

Many thanks to the Mountain View Care Center Staff for Larry’s care and Foster Funeral Home and Crematory.

Lincoln D. Billedeaux
Lincoln D. Billedeaux was born on October 9, 1955 in Browning to Dwight A. and Ethelmae (Matzdorf) Billedeaux. He took his last breath on this earth June 7, 2011 passing to the other side in his sleep.

As a child Linc lived in Sunburst, North Las Vegas, Nevada, Helena, Billings and Reston, Virginia where he graduated from Herndon High School. Yet, he always called the Blackfeet Reservation “home” and moved to Browning as a young adult. He married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Reid, and became a dad in 1976 with the birth of Lincoln D. Billedeaux III. He and Cheryl were later divorced.

He was a hard-working man with his first job in the kitchen of a Virginia multi-ethnic restaurant. He always enjoyed cooking. Menudo was his favorite creation. He also worked in highway construction, building a power plant in Colstrip and fish canneries in Alaska, and for the City of Las Vegas. He was a union member much of his life.

Linc loved to tell a good story! He was gifted with many friends and family he entertained daily making the mundane sound hilarious and the humorous seem hysterical. There was usually some truth in all he spoke, but exaggeration was his forte. No one would ever refer to Linc as a common man.

Loving Lincoln was easy to do. When he met Arlene Bigcrane of Ronan they started a family that he adored beyond words. Susette, Marcia and Molly joined John Tom and Alicia. The Flathead Reservation became his new home. Grandchildren solidified his permanent residence among the Salish people. He and Arlene separated remaining parents together. Nobody had more delightful grandchildren than Lincoln!

He was proud to be an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation and the namesake of his late uncle, Lincoln D. Billedeaux I. He was quite boastful about the accomplishments and deeds of his large family. Linc camouflaged his humble manner with unbelievable tales. He was usually in the midst of creating a piece of artwork, an incredible financial opportunity or a great meal and concocting the story to go with it. He gave nicknames to those he loved. Like his Uncle Lynk before him, he was idolized by his nieces and nephews. They thought of him as their fun-loving, comedic, celebrity relative. He’d impress on them the value of prayer and respect for the culture.

He was preceded in death by his father, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He leaves behind to mourn his loss his four children, their spouses, eight grandchildren, two step-children, his mother of Arizona, his siblings Dwight W. Billedeaux (Mary Jane), Anna Marie Harney and Marcia Beaumont (Ronnie), numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and loyal friends across the west.

A wake started at the Longhouse on June 9 with Rosary on Sunday evening and with Mass followed on Monday in the St. Ignatius Mission. Burial followed in St. Ignatius.

Violet E. Dumontier
MISSOULA — Violet E. Dumontier, 73, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 10, 2011 at Riverside Care Center in Missoula.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, she was born August 28, 1937 to Mary Genevieve (Keenan) and Frank Dumontier in St. Ignatius. Violet attended the Urselines in St. Ignatius and finished her education locally while living in the Jocko Valley, Evaro and the Reservation.

A dedicated mother she started her family and they made their home in Evaro, Missoula, Libby and several towns in western Montana where she worked as a cook for several nursing homes, hospitals and schools including the sororities at the University.

She was a wonderful lady who loved to cook, doing her ceramics, garden and tend flowers and travel. She also loved to dance and was very good at it.

She was preceded in death by her parents Frank Dumontier and Mary Genevieve Riekena and siblings Lee and Bosco.

She is survived by her children Betty Albert of Louisville, KY, Edie Love of Missoula and Grant Willison of Springville, AZ; brothers and sisters Dolly Hirsch of AZ, Pete LaRance of Hot Springs, Nick LaRance of Charlo, Bodge Whitworth of Dixon and Myrna Graham of St. Ignatius; her true love; nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren as well as a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held Monday at the Foster Funeral Chapel in St. Ignatius and graveside services were held Tuesday in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

Daryl HomeGun
ARLEE — Daryl HomeGun, 62, passed away at his home on Monday.

The son of Paul HomeGun and Audrey Whitegrass, he was a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and a dedicated Christian. He was also a skilled carpenter and jack-of-all-trades from cooking to construction. He served his country proudly in Vietnam receiving a Purple Heart for his service in the Army.

Daryl married Debbie Old Person and they made their home in Arlee.

He is survived by his wife Debbie; his children Vance HomeGun, Audra HomeGun and Carlin NoRunner; grandchild Kyle Felsman; siblings Marceau KickingWoman, Wanda ScabbyRobe, Emily ScabbyRobe, Joe Sam ScabbyRobe, Elliot ScabbyRobe and Lucky Whitgrass as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family from the Blackfeet and Flathead Reservations.

A service were held Wednesday at 7 pm in the Missoula Bible Church where military honors were presented. He then will be transported to Starr School near Browning on Thursday where services will held nightly and a funeral service will be held Saturday at 11.

Foster Funeral Home of St. Ignatius is assisting the family with arrangements.

Norma V. Martin
POLSON — Norma V. "Muggs" Martin, 77, passed away Friday, June 4, 2011 in Missoula.

She was born to Yvonne V. (Hall) and James J. Silverthorne on January 23, 1934 in St. Ignatius. A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes she was raised in the Mission area, occasionally moving to surrounding communities such as Crystal Springs, St. Regis, Trout Creek and Seeley Lake when she was older.

A strong and independent woman, Norma married more than once, eventually marrying Don Martin in Seattle in 1968. They made their home in Pablo before she decided to move to Polson. She worked for the Salish Kootenai College in the old Bookstore before going to work for the Tribe as a Trust Manger for over 15 years.

She enjoyed shooting pool; playing her machines, "Keno" and bingo; and was known to root for her Cowboys and Cubs in between her lively and colorful conversations that all will remember her for. Why, she even enjoyed a few good Democrats.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son Shawn; brother James Silverthorne; sister Jean Sitch; her uncles Archie and Sonny Silverthorne; and her aunt Sis.

She is survived by her children Robert (Keila) Petronek of Eugene, OR, Angie (George) Ratayczak of Bellingham, WA, Bill (Chelsea) Martin of Polson and Steve (Lisa) Martin of Frenchtown; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A visitation was held at Foster Funeral Chapel in St. Ignatius on Wednesday continues through Thursday until 5 pm. Services will be held Friday at 1 pm in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with inurnment following in the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius.

The family would like to thank all those that helped Muggs, especially Kim and the nurses and doctors at Community Hospital and LeRoy and the nurses and doctors at St. Luke's in Ronan.

Ronald Jacobson
BIG ARM — Ronald Jacobson, 76, of Big Arm, went to be with our Lord on June 4, 2011. He died at St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson with his family at his side after recently being diagnosed with lymphoma.

He was born in Silverton, Oregon to Abel and Marie Jacobson. The family moved to Kalispell in 1936 and to Hot springs in 1949. He attended schools at the LaSalle country schoolhouse, Hot Springs and Polson. After high school he served four years in the U. S. Navy. In 1959 he married Jolene Jackson and to this union was born four children.

The majority of his life was spent as a rancher in Hot Springs but when asked to describe himself, he called himself a farmer and a musician. For many years he played the accordion for dances in the area. He will be remembered for the joy his music brought.

One of his great accomplishments was the building of an irrigation dam on his ranch, which created a 35-acre lake.

He traveled worldwide during his hitch in the Navy and 12 years ago he and several of his family members made a trip to Norway to visit relatives.

He and Jolene moved to Big Arm in 1992 where he felt great pleasure tending his garden and orchard. He loved nothing more than to sit and enjoy the lake views overlooking Jolene's flowers.

He is preceded in death by his son, Edd; his mom and dad; and two brothers, Jim and Abel, Jr.

He is survived by his wife, Jolene; son Marvin and friend Laurie; daughters Debra and Bevra and friends Ken and Kienan; grandchildren Gibb, Hank, Katie and Kim; great-grandchildren Ryder and Case; sister Evelyn Ansley (Frank) of Seattle; brothers and sisters-in-law Dan and Cheryl Jackson, Doug Jackson, Jeanne and John Bras, Nancy and Don Gaynor; many nieces and nephews and many, many friends.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 7 at the Lonepine Hall in Lonepine. Burial with military honors followed at the Lonepine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Ron's family has requested that donations be made to the Lonepine Hall.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at The staff of Grogan Funeral Home, Polson, considers it a privilege to care for Mr. Jacobson's family.