Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
August 2011

Kathleen (Kay) Helen Schweitzer
HELENA — Kathleen (Kay) Helen Schweitzer of Helena died from an accident on August 21, 2011 at the age of 83. Ms. Schweitzer was born on September 24, 1927 on a farm near Box Elder, the fourth of five children to Michael and Hannah McKernan. Michael and Hannah moved to America from Ireland in the early 1900’s. In addition to Kay, their children were Michael McKernan, deceased; Mary Brady, deceased; Nora Nelson and Patricia Warhank.

In 1946, Kay married Adam Schweitzer in a double wedding with her sister Patricia, who married Adam’s good friend Raymond Warhank. Patty and Kay met the young men at post-World War II dance on the Hi-Line. After their marriage, Kay and Adam managed the Schweitzer family farm near Gildford before moving to Geyser in 1954. Kay played an active part in managing the family farm, especially since the 1970’s when the family built the internationally renowned Schweitzer Simmentals. Schweitzer Simmentals produced the first Simmental calf in the United States in 1968, and held the first production Simmental Sale. Schweitzer Simmentals produced award winning Polled Fullboods. The Schweitzer Simmental cattle won numerous awards, including: Grand Champion with a bull named Montana in Argentina, and Grand Champions in Europe, Australia, and Mexico. Her final show was in Fort Worth, TX where she won the title of World Championship Bull. Kay was the driving force behind Schweitzer Simmentals; everyone knew that Kay was the one who marketed, groomed, and trained the cattle.

Kay also became passionate over world and political events. She organized a group of women to protest the low price of wheat in Great Falls. Later, many of these same women became the founding members of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE). She organized a protest to the boycotting of eating meat movement, also held in Great Falls. During the early 70’s, she wrote countless letters to Montana’s legislators regarding her political beliefs. She even tried acting when she played Eleanor Roosevelt for a play about First Ladies produced by the Flathead Women’s Democratic organization. She became active with the Hibernian Women’s organization in Helena. Kay was a devout Catholic. She was the coordinator for mass at Waterford Retirement facility for the past several years. In her later years, she enjoyed world travel to countries such as Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia. Kay was proud that all six of her children attended college and pursued successful careers as doctors, real-estate agents, farmer, rancher, consultants, and governor.

Kay is survived by her sisters Nora Nelson from Havre and Pat Warhank from Rudyard; her children Darwin (Sharon), OR; Warren (Ingela), CA; Mike (Jolyn), Billings; Brian (Nancy) Helena; Walter (Cindy), Helena; and Mary, OH; 12 Grandchildren and three Great Grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Adam, two siblings and one grandchild.

A rosary is planned for 6 p.m. on August 31, 2011 at the Retz Funeral Home in Helena. A funeral will be at 10 a.m. on September 1st at the Cathedral of St. Helena in Helena. She will be buried next to her husband at 5 p.m. on September 1 in Highland Cemetery, Havre.

Donations may be made to her grandson’s Beau’s Catholic order, the Society of our Lady of Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) at PO Box 149 Robstown, TX 78380. To offer condolences to Kay’s family or to share a memory of Kay, please visit

Doreena Dee Plant
ST. IGNATIUS — Doreena Dee Plant, 45, passed away at 9:17 am Thursday, August 11, 2011 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

Doreena was born July 25, 1966 in Brewster, WA to Albert and Delphine Plant. As a child the family moved living in Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota before moving back to Montana where she graduated from Arlee High School. Doreena studied at the University of Montana. She joined the US Navy in 1988 serving boot camp in Orlando, FL then received her training to be a machinist mate at G L Akes before becoming an East Coast Sailor. Her first ship was the Lady Lexington.

Following the time in the Navy, Doreena lived in the Carolinas for a short time before returning to the reservation where she worked for the Tribe. She enjoyed berry picking, fishing and hunting moose with her dad & Clark. She loved the South Fork, Hot Springs, dancing, gun rights and especially her dog Moose.

Doreena is survived by her parents Albert and Delphine Plant of Arlee; siblings Vernita Charlie of St. Ignatius, Albert (Aileen) Plant, Jr. of Schley, Gary Plant of Blue Bay, and Louie Plant, Sr. of St. Ignatius; aunts and uncles Glenrose Bird of St. Ignatius, Johnny and Darlene Flores of Okanogan, WA, Joe and Elaine Plant of Arlee; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents Tony and Clara Plant; uncles Jack and Chuck; aunties Marie and Victoria; and her sister-in-law Mackenzie Plant.

A Wake began Saturday in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated Monday in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission with Fr. Michael Smith, celebrant. Interment followed in the Jocko Cemetery. Military honors will be presented. Pallbearers are Phillip Haynes, John Matt, Simon Cisco, Duane Plant, Louie Plant and Gary Plant.

Thanks go out to the Ronan EMT's, St. Pat's Life Flight, her friends Louise Mitchell, Sharon Haynes and April Charlo. A special thanks to Bruce Dragonfly, Carol Lankford and Bud and Audie Moran and to everyone for their prayers and kindness. Also a special thanks to the CS&K Tribe and SK Housing Authority for their support and prayers.

Thank you from the Plant family.

Nadine E. Allison
ST. IGNATIUS — Nadine E. “Gramma Gunny” (Felsman) Allison, 89, passed away peacefully on August 8, 2011 at her home in St. Ignatius.

Born to Joseph and Flora “Bess” (MacDonald) Felsman on July 14, 1922 in Missoula, she was a direct descendant of Angus MacDonald. She was raised in the Dixon area and was educated at Flandreau Indian School, and then graduated from high school in Dixon.

At a young age she married Steven Howlett, who later preceded her death. She also met and married the love of her life Gunny Allison and they made their home in St. Ignatius.

As a young adult during the time of “Rosie the Riveter”, she worked as a tank painter and welder and moved to the shipyards in Seattle during the WWII. When she returned to Dixon she became a secretary first for the Tribe and later for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Nadine was very proud that she was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and was a descendant of the MacDonald Clan. An accomplished wildlife artist, she and Gunny enjoyed picking mushrooms and fishing when given the chance.

She also enjoyed playing keno and watching western movies.

She was preceded in death by her parents Joe and Bess Felsman; husband Gunny Allison; daughter Karen Hale; granddaughter Wendy Roullier; and grandson Casey Hawkins.

Gramma Gunny is survived by her daughters Stevie (Joe) Hawkins of Arlee and Jackie Dempsey of Hot Springs; grandchildren Kelly (Richard) Burland of Arlee, Joe (Darleen) Howlett of Missoula, Shelly Howlett of Dixon, Lance Hawkins of Arlee, Tracy (Marlon Burke) Hale of Big Arm, Casey (Shannon) Hale of Dixon and Cheyenne Hale of St. Ignatius; and many grandchildren and friends.

A wake began on Wednesday evening at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with a prayer services held the same evening. Funeral services will be held Thursday, August 11 at 11 am in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with Pastor Lynn Lapka officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery where she will be laid to rest beside her husband Gunny.

Condolences for the family may be left at

Art Trahan
KALISPELL — Arthur R. Trahan Sr., 66, father, “papa”, great-grandfather, uncle, friend and teacher passed away Friday, August 26, 2011 in Kalispell after a lengthy illness. He was born on March 10, 1945, to Alois Burland and Luke Trahan in St. Ignatius.

As a child and young man Art attended various Catholic boarding schools including Ursulines in Mission. In September 1962, he married Shirley McDonald with whom he had four children: three sons and a daughter. They parted ways and Art continued to work and live in the Mission Valley. He had two more children, a daughter and a son. He then met Gloria Phillips in 1970 and they married in April 1978; he became stepfather to her two children and they had one daughter together.

Art lived and traveled throughout the Northwest and California. He attended Bellingham Community College where he received his Certificate in Auto and Diesel Mechanics. He moved his family back to Montana. In 1983 they settled in Elmo, where he continued to live and work until his passing. He was well known as a Heavy Equipment /Truck Driving Instructor for Salish Kootenai College. He valued his relationships with all his employers.

Art was a kind, generous and forgiving man, who was always willing to help the “boys” work on their rigs. Working on cars was his passion, he enjoyed the challenges of being a mechanic. He could build or fix any appliance or anything that had an engine. He encouraged the people he helped to learn how to do it themselves and enjoyed teaching them. Many people who knew Art didn’t know it, but he was also very talented artist. He enjoyed drawing, painting, carving, leatherwork and woodworking. He enjoyed all kinds of music, but especially enjoyed a good “beer drinking song” and cruising “around the horn” with friends and family. But he would always outlast his partners. He loved to dance and with his wife Gloria by his side and they were often seen dancing the night away. After her passing in 2010 Art found the strength to continue in his new “dance partner”. He spent the last couple of years sharing his love of life, dance and music with his “Babes”, Josey.

He is survived by his mother Alois Burland; brothers Jim Skelton, Mike (Caro) Trahan, and Ron (Vi) Trahan; sisters Kay Trahan and Dixie (Bill) Brabender; sons Les (Jen)Trahan, Art Trahan Jr., Dan Trahan, Luke Trahan; daughters Nicki (Mark) Peasley, Chelsea Gardipe, Crystal (Jess) Houle and Michelle (Joe) Usher; grandchildren Karissa and Lenise Trahan, Elizabeth and Daniel Durglo, Luetta Conko-Camel, Thomas and Jaidyn Trahan, Taylor Durglo, Levi and Gracie Trahan, Annie, Lenae, Devin and Payton Peasley, Jess, Tonya, Stephanie, Melanie and Danny Houle. Jenny, Jami and Josey Usher; and 13 great-grandchildren; and his best friend and companion Fritzee AKA Fritzheimer.

He is preceded in death by his father Luke Trahan, his beloved wife Gloria Trahan, daughter Wendy Roullier, stepson Darrin Couture, and grandson Kyle Trahan.

Art has left us all with many wonderful memories and great stories to share. He will be missed by many. He wouldn’t want our hearts to be sad, he always said “don’t worry about it, it’ll be alright.”

Wake services began on Sunday evening in Elmo and Mass was held Monday, August 29, 2011 at the Elmo Community Center. Burial followed in Dayton Cemetery.

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. Trahan’s family.

Anthony Gardiner
MISSOULA — On Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, Anthony Gardiner, a longtime Missoula resident, died peacefully in his sleep at his home.

Anthony was born in St. Louis, Mo., on Nov. 10, 1948. He graduated from high school in Butte and the University of Montana in Missoula and continued taking classes in many disciplines over the years.

He was one of six children. He is survived by three brothers; two sisters and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Anthony was a man of honor, integrity and compassion for all living things. He was proud to be a Montanan from Butte.

At his request, no services will be held and his ashes will be scattered by his family. A potluck gathering was held at Northside Park in Missoula, Saturday, Sept. 17.

Memorials are suggested to your local Humane Society, Missoula Art Museum or Sussex School.