Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
November 2011

Joseph “Sonny” Arlee, Jr.
RONAN — Joseph “Sonny” Arlee, Jr., 72, of St. Ignatius passed away on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 at St. Luke Extended Care Facility.

Sonny was born on Dec. 28, 1938 in St. Ignatius to Frances Marie (Matt) and Joseph Arlee, Sr.. He grew up and attended schools in St. Ignatius and attended college at Northern in Havre.

He moved to California and joined the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. After his military discharge he returned to California and operated a drill press for a missile plant. He then moved to Seeley Lake, MT and worked at the sawmill. He eventually moved back to the Mission Valley and worked as a custodian at the Community Center in St. Ignatius. He also worked for Tribal Forestry and most recently at KwaTaqNuk Resort.

Sonny was an avid sports fan and was an outstanding athlete in both high school and college. He still holds many records in St. Ignatius.

He was a member of the Polson Eagles, St. Ignatius American Legion and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Sonny enjoyed playing pool.

His parents; his stepfather, Columbus F. Bourdon; and an uncle Louie McDonald precede him in death.

He is survived by eight siblings: Rachel Bowers of Pablo; Lorene Zachuse and Darlene Bourdon of St. Ignatius; Maureen McElderry, Marlene Bourdon and Marvin Bourdon all of Pablo; Johnny Arlee of Ronan; Dorene Bourdon of Polson; and adopted sister, Raynelle Arlee; and several other relatives.

Traditional wake services began Saturday, November 19 at the St. Ignatius Community Center. The Rosary was held on Monday, November 21, and Mass was held Tuesday at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church with Father Drew Maddock who officiated. Interment followed at the Snyelmn Sntmtmne in St. Ignatius.

Messages of condolences may be left on line at

Grogan Funeral Home of Polson considered it a privilege to have assisted the Arlee family.

Albert Clifford Foote
DENVER, Colo. — Albert “Clifford” Foote was born Jan. 28, 1948 in Crow Agency, Mt to Eva Foote Rowland. His father was Raymond Harris Sr and his dad was Allen Rowland and was adopted by Eva Medicine Bull Bearchum. He died November 14, 2011 at the Rose Medical Center-Intensive Care Unit in Denver, Co. Clifford was a proud member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and was an original member of the Muddy Creek Broncs.

Clifford attended St. Labre his entire school years graduating in 1967 as Salutatorian. While in high school he was involved in basketball, track and Cross Country. He was a member of the State Champion Cross Country team in 1965 and 1966, and the State C Basketball Championship team in 1967. He continues to hold state records in Cross Country and Track. Clifford attended Dawson Community College. His love for the Montana Grizzlies was shared with his children and grandchildren. He was a sports fanatic to the very end.

Clifford married Frances Bearchum and was later divorced. He married Althea Beartusk on March 6, 1997 in Sheridan, Wy. The Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority employed him as the Special Projects Coordinator at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Althea; and his children and grandchildren: Angela (Dallas) Sioux - Leighton, Tyrell and Shanny; Darold (Heidi) Foote - Alexis, Taylor, Thomas and Peyton; Rainie Foote – Sutherland and Waverlee; Lakota (Jason) Sechler – Cheyton, Josiah and Ashlyn; Roxanne (Robert) Fyant – Danica, Josephine, Elias and Shanndyn; Maria (Wayne) Spang – Sean, Seth, Scot, Meya niv, Jeffrey, Bessie, Joce’ Nia and Two Lances. Brothers and sisters: Richard Foote, Adrian (Patricia) Foote, William (Donita) Rowland, Raymond (Chahoristah) Rowland, Cheryl (Tillman) Sanchez, Priscilla Robinson, Patricia (Richard) Rowland, Laura (Leon) Sioux, Annie (Charlie) Messer, Maria (Earl) Charette, Denise (Hymn) Alexander, Alberta Twenty Stands, Clinton (Kathy) Harris, Matthew (Connie) Harris, Theda Foote, Clara Harris, Evalee Foote and Leroy Spang.

Clifford was preceded in death by his mother, father, dad and siblings; Jimmy Foote, Raymond Harris Jr., Tony Foote and Celeste Spang.

Extended family includes: Foote, Harris, Two Two, Whiteman, Littlewhiteman and Limpy. Our family is large and we apologize if we excluded anyone.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Rose Medical Center, Intensive Care Unit A in Denver, Colo. for the excellent care they provided to Clifford and family during his short stay.

Dad and grandpa, we love you and will miss you very much, you will be forever in our hearts. You are now pain free and forever young, running to your heart’s content.

Funeral services were held on November 18, 2011 at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Lame Deer, Mt.

Kevin Cole McCrea
POLSON — Kevin Cole McCrea, 45, passed away Tuesday November 15, 2011 at his home.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was born in St. Ignatius on December 10, 1965 to Robert and Dorothy (Couture) McCrea, Sr.. Raised in Dixon he graduated from Two Eagle River High School while it was still in Dixon.

As a small child he was involved in an auto accident that had several family members pass on and left him in a coma for over a year, but this didn’t stop him.

As a child he grew up in the Dixon area and knew the river like the back of his hand. He swam often, fished when he could, and became very athletic. An accomplished special Olympian, he received many medals. He also enjoyed walking, taking rides to the Moiese Mercantile with his father, the outdoors, hanging his pictures on the walls of his home and listening to music. He married Liga Wells and they made their home in Polson. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Mike, Linda, Vida, Monica, Laura, Keane, Brad, and Kim.

Survivors include his wife; a son Robert; brothers Bob and Doug; and sisters Tracy and Edie, as well as a large extended family.

A wake was held in the Longhouse. The Rosary was recited Sunday with Mass celebrated Monday, November 21 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

Dr. John Paul Daniels
ST. IGNATIUS — Dr. John Paul Daniels (“Doc Daniels”) 78, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, at Closer to Home Assisted Living in St. Ignatius following an extended battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

John was born on Jan. 4, 1933, in Madison, Wis., to Einar and Lorraine Daniels. John spent his childhood in Wauwatosa, Wis., along with his brother Stephen and attended Wauwatosa High School where he graduated in 1951. Even in his early life, John was an avid outdoorsman and during the summers between his high school years enjoyed a number of adventures with his lifelong friend, John Morgridge and other boyhood friends. When he was 14, he spent two weeks canoeing down a Wisconsin river, and on a later occasion he drove with friends from Wisconsin through the American West and back. This began John’s lifelong love of the Western states. John also had a great love of sports and while he was in high school, he played football and was on the tennis team.

After graduating from high school, John began university at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., where he majored in forestry. In 1952, John married his high school sweetheart; Nancy Altman, and she joined him at Michigan Tech. After graduating from Michigan Tech in 1955 with a B.S. in forestry, John and Nancy moved to New Haven, Conn., so that John could pursue a master of science in forest pathology from Yale University. After graduating from Yale in 1956, John began working as a research forest pathologist for the U.S. Forest Service headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M. Later, he worked for the Navajo Tribe as a forester and was headquartered in Window Rock, Ariz.

From New Mexico, John then decided to enroll at Stanford University where he earned a Master of Science in psychology in 1961. After graduating from Stanford, John decided to continue his education by attending medical school.

John attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he earned his medical degree in 1965. Following medical school, John began his residency at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

After completing his residency in 1966, John came to work at the Mission Mountain Clinic in St. Ignatius. John fell in love with the Mission Mountains and decided to make the area his home. John maintained his love of the mountains for the rest of his life. While he was living in Mission, John became known as an accomplished surgeon and performed all manner of medical procedures.

During this time of his life, John enjoyed hunting and fishing and also learned to fly at the St. Ignatius Airport. Also, during his early years in Montana, John was an active voice for various low-income groups, i.e. LIGHT.

After John and Nancy divorced, John moved to Nome, Alaska, for a year. John often fondly looked back on his time in Alaska and appreciated the chance to help the villagers there who had little access to medical care.

During the early 1970s, John returned again to western Montana, at which time he began living in the Jocko Valley near to Finley Creek. At this time, John found employment at the Plains Hospital working for one of his finest friends, Dr. Jack Lulack. Later, John opened his own clinic in Arlee. John also attended log-building school.

John continued working at his clinic in Arlee throughout the 1980s and during this time constructed a number of log homes as well. He enjoyed restoring cars in his free time and John also took the time for several extended trips to the Philippines and Indonesia during this period.

During the past 25 years, John continued his work at his clinic and also spent his time hiking, woodworking and with his daughter at barrel races and rodeos. John loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and one of his favorite things was enjoying family meals together.

John maintained a deep respect and admiration for the people of the Flathead Reservation during the time he practiced medicine. Up until the time he retired, he continued to make house-calls and welcomed people into his home after hours to treat their injuries.

John is predeceased by his parents, Einar and Lorraine Daniels; and by his son, Erik Daniels.

John is survived by two sons and a daughter; Jeffrey Daniels and his wife Barbara Daniels; Peter Daniels and his wife Gabrielle Daniels; and Rima Daniels Carnicero and her husband Jorge Carnicero; he is also survived by his brother, Stephen Daniels. John is survived by five grandchildren, Neoma Geddes; Hugh Daniels; Karl Daniels; Soren Daniels and Miles Daniels. Three great-grandchildren and a nephew, Brian Daniels; also survive him.

A celebration of Doc Daniels’ life is planned for late-spring 2012 in Arlee.

Christina Lynn McClure Sorrell
PABLO — Christina Lynn McClure Sorrell, 49, of Pablo passed away on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA.

Christina was born on April 8, 1962 in Los Angeles, CA, a daughter of Larry E. McClure and Rachel Arlee. She attended local schools in St. Ignatius and Ronan and later went on to attend Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Christina was an enrolled member of the CSKT.

Christina married Daniel Tromp and together had three children: Rachelle (Rocky) Cote, Daniel Tromp and Jason (Nikala) Tromp. She then married James Sorrell and together they had four children: Isadore Sorrell, Janelle (Will) Sorrell, Jay (Ishan) Sorrell, and July Sorrell.

She was many young people’s mom and auntie and even grandmother. She was liked by many people both young and old. Chris was a woman of many trades: an alcohol counselor, an RA at the JobCorp, a bartender, and was a flag woman for highway construction. She attended SKC for getting her CDL so she could drive a truck, “Big truck for a little woman”. She also worked many seasonal jobs including firefighting whenever possible, treeing, potatoes, summer youth and rec programs, and a cultural teacher’s aide. Christina enjoyed playing pool, cruising the backroads listening to the oldies, camping, huckleberry picking, and spending time with her dear family.

Survivors include her mother, Rachel Arlee Bowers; her father, Larry E. McClure; her children, Rachelle (Rocky) Cote, Daniel Tromp, and Jason (Nikala) Tromp, Isadore Sorrell, Janelle (Will) Sorell, Jay (Ishan) Sorrell, and July Sorrell; numerous step-children, Mitch, Bruce, Mikki, Viola, O’Shawna, and Shanda; numerous grandchildren; her brothers and sisters, Kathleen McClure, Thomas McClure, Patricia Buffalo, Robert McClure, Judy Sorrell Harlow, Gi Gi Sorrell Yazzie, and Lou Anne Smith Hoskinson; and Christina’s companion, Joe Cahoon and his son, Elijah.

Christina is preceded in death by her husband, James Bo Sorrell; stepson, Jimbo Sorrell; and her grandparents Franics Bourdon, Joseph Arlee, Sr., Alvina Todd McClure, and John McClure.

A Rosary was recited on Sunday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass was held on Monday at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Burial followed at the Snyelmn Sntmtmne Cemetery, St. Ignatius.

Messgaes 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 Christina’s family.

Merrie Holley Prewett
ARLEE — Merrie Holley Prewett died from cancer on November 13, 2011. She was taken into the arms of the Savior she loved and served for forty years.

Merrie was born December 31, 1952 in Memphis, TN to Grace and Kelsie Holley. Merrie married Kenny Prewett and together they had four children. They made their home in the west where they served the Lord on several different mission fields. The Flathead Reservation in Montana had been their home for the last twenty years.

Merrie was preceded in death by her parents and and her son, Jordan Prewett. She leaves behind her loving husband, Kenny; their children Asa (Jenna) Prewett of Arlee, Laura (Sonny) Ford of Seattle, WA, Anna (Garrett) Brewer of Byhalia, MS, Sergey Svetlichney of Arlee; and five grandchildren. She also leaves behind her loving sister Gay Powell of Clearwater, FL.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 from 2-7 p.m. at the Grogan Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Jocko Valley Baptist Church in Arlee. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

Memorials may be made to the Jocko Valley Baptist Church in Arlee, 73382 Coldwater Lane, Arlee, MT 59821.

Messages of condolences may be sent to the family at

Charles M Schmidt, Sr.
NINE MILE FALLS, WA. — Charles M Schmidt, Sr. passed away November 6,2011 in Nine Mile Falls, Washington at the age of 61. Chuck was loving, giving, compassionate, intelligent, strong willed and a true fighter all the way.

Chuck is survived by his wife Laurie; children Michelle (Tony) Anderson, Charlynn (Willy) Ward, Charles M Schmidt Jr., and Samantha Cotner-Stevens; grandchildren; great grandchild; his mother; and eight brothers and sisters.

A Celebration of Chuck’s life was held on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at Sunset Chapel in Fairmount Memorial Cemetery, W 5200 Wellesley. Visit Chuck’s online memorial at

Ayasha Courville
ST. IGNATIUS — Ayasha Alessandra Darlene Courville was made an angel on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Born in Ronan on October 21, 2011 to Ashley (Matt) and Jesse Courville, she was welcomed into the family home by her big brothers Nirada and Gunner and big sister Destiny.

Here but for awhile she was loved by her parents, brothers and sister and her grandparents JC (Ronda) Courville and Robert and Sharlena Matt all of St. Ignatius and her great grandparents Bill and Diana Hammond also of St. Ignatius.

A funeral was held last Monday in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with burial following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

Condolences may be left at

Carolyn Peterson
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. — Carolyn Peterson of Apache Junction died at Mountain Vista Hospital on November 24, 2011 surrounded by family, friends, and her pastor.

The eldest of four children of Lester Dupuis and Faye (Simonis) Dupuis of Pablo, she was born on May 7, 1943, in St. Ignatius. Carolyn was raised in the Mission Valley and graduated from Ronan High School in 1961. After attending college in Seattle, she returned to the Valley where she met and later married Jim Peterson of Pablo on January 31, 1964. They made their home in Ronan and had two children, Sheri and David.

Carolyn served the tribe in a variety of ways, including transporting children to dental appointments in St. Ignatius, starting a non-profit booksource in Ronan, and working for the Salish Kootenai College in multiple roles.

She and Jim retired to Apache Junction in 1997. Some of her favorite pastimes included ceramics, taking in the occasional stray cat, and watching the hummingbirds at the lake. Above all else, she loved her family and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them.

Her mother, Faye Dupuis and her brother John Dupuis preceded her in death.

She will be missed by her husband, Jim Peterson, of Apache Junction; her father Lester Dupuis and her stepmother Joan; her daughter Sheri (Peterson) Olson of Mesa, AZ; her son David Peterson and his wife Holly of Kensington, CA; her brother Joe Dupuis and his wife Francine and their family; her sister Cathi Dupuis and her family; three grandchildren, Donald Olson, Nikki Olson, and Casey Olson all of North Dakota; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Friends and family alike will remember Carolyn for her kindness and generosity.

A memorial service will be held for her at Red Mountain Christian Center in Mesa, AZ on Tuesday, December 27 at 10:30am. A remembrance ceremony will be planned in the Valley next summer 2012.