Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
January 2012

Irene L. (Dumont) Morigeau
ARLEE — Irene Dumont Morigeau passed away January 29, 2012 at home surrounded by her children. Irene lived a full life with most of it spent on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Irene was raised in the Bitterroot Valley and had many fond memories of school and work during her younger years there. She talked of the sawmills that her stepfather worked at and where her brother learned his work ethic. She loved going back to the Bitterroot in the Fall to pick apples for canning and pies, and to attend church occasionally at the St. Mary’s Mission.

Irene, or Todo, (as she was called by family and close friends), married Carl Lloyd Morigeau when she was 18. They eloped to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and made their early home on the Flathead Reservation, and often for work in Kellogg, Idaho. At 20 years of age she started her family and became a devoted mother of five children. She was described as a “Momma Grizzly” when it came to protecting her children, nieces and nephews, and children she cared for. Irene was preceded in death by her son Kenny, and former husband Carl.

Irene was a proud Native woman; who loved her Tribal heritage. As a young mother she would take her Mother, sister, nieces, nephews, and children to harvest berries. She would spend days afterward canning and making jams, jellies, syrups and wines. Irene had five children of her own, but her home was often filled with nieces, nephews, and children’s friends who adored her for the love and care she showered upon them. Her children found her to be strict, but other children adored this quality because sometimes these children didn’t have rules and loved the fact that she cared enough to know where they were and what they were up to. Irene’s home always smelled of cooking; after school, kids were treated to homemade meals, cinnamon rolls, hot biscuits and other homemade treats.

She didn’t believe in hungry children. As these children became adults, they would often stop by and thank Mom for the guidance and rules she shared with them. They looked at every admonishment that came their way as an act of love from someone who truly cared for their present and future wellbeing.

Irene had quit school to get married but went back and earned her High School diploma while her children were still in school. She made this accomplishment at Arlee High School; the school she quit her senior year to get married. Other training Irene sought was cashier training on cash registers before the time of barcode scanning. She was particularly proud of her cosmetology training at Mr. Ray’s Beauty College.

She was an exemplary cook, paying close attention while under her own mother’s care and by observing other cooks she worked with. She got her start in commercial cooking while working at Head Start. Irene developed quite a following of friends and devoted customers while cooking at the Four Star and Buffalo establishments in Ravalli. Later in life she started her own restaurants featuring her own recipes. Loyal customers followed her to her business establishments to enjoy her company and cooking skills.

Every dish she put out had a healthy helping of love, the spice she used most in life. The loss of Gaming on the Reservation affected two of her businesses severely; she would not talk Tribal politics due to the harm done to her business, and other businesses in the valley, by this policy.

Irene was a woman that didn’t mince words. You always knew where you stood with her. As a bar owner, she put customer’s safety and wellbeing above profits. She would often give a customer a “piece of her mind” regarding their need to go home and take care of their family and other responsibilities.

Irene is survived by her children, C. Douglas, Calvin, Curtis and MaryRose Morigeau Bacon; whom all lived within a 15-minute drive to her home, as they had done most of their lives. Irene was especially close to her sister, Viola Dumont Keenan, and treated Vi’s children as her own; Jim, Willie, and John-John Keenan.

Irene will be remembered for her big heart, ferocity in standing up for what she believed in, which was family, honesty, and hard work. Many people would stop in to talk family history, a topic she could spend hours on, relating tidbits of information that only someone who had been there could share.

This information will live on in those that sat and listened, intently, to her history lessons.

A wake began on January 30, in the Arlee Community Center with the Rosary recited January 31, and Funeral proceedings held on February 1, in St Ignatius Catholic Church. Burial was held after services, next to her father, Charles Dumont, in the St Ignatius Catholic cemetery. A dinner celebration of Irene’s life was held after burial at the Arlee Community Center.

Pallbearers were: John Keenan, Jim Keenan, Bruce Shelby, Harley Tanner, Davie Burland, Carmen McClure, Monty Dumont, and Brent Griffin.

Honorary Pallbearers were: Jenny Kjos, Lois Dumont, Freda Loper, Shirley Tanner, Dave Love, Don Loper, Bob Dumont, Clay Dumont, Mike Morigeau, Tyon Miller, Tim Atwin, Fred Tapia, Bud Schmauch, her grandchildren, many nephews, godsons, sister/cousins and friends.

Louis John “Baba Lu” Nevarez
RONAN — Louis John “Baba Lu” Nevarez, 63, passed away at Community Hospital in Missoula on January 31, 2012. A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was born on June 5, 1948 in St. Ignatius to Mary Pablo and Leopold Nevarez.

Louie attended schools in Hot Springs and St. Ignatius before going to Haskell Indian Nations University. Louie was employed at Kicking Horse Job Corps where he was an excellent CDL teacher. He also enjoyed umpiring baseball games; watching sports, golf, and always telling his jokes.

He was preceded in death by his parents Mary and Leopold; brothers Raymond Santos and Floyd Nevarez; and sisters Janice Nevarez and Diana Jones. Louie is survived by his brothers Joseph Santos and Vincent Burrafato; sisters Julian Barton and Lupe Jones; sons Curtis Nevarez, Montana Nevarez, KC Nevarez, and Chase Nevarez; and daughter Kayla Nevarez; four grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.

A visitation was held on Wednesday at the Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. A funeral will be held today, Thursday at 10:30 am in the Ronan Community Center.

Kyle J. Dionne (Gingras)
GREAT FALLS — Kyle “D”, 25, beloved son of Donald Gingras and Eileen Dionne (Gingras) went to be with the Creator on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.

Kyle was born in Belcourt, N.D. on April 16, 1986. He grew up in Bismarck, N.D., where he was raised by his grandparents, Adolf and Elsie Dionne; both of whom Kyle loved dearly.

He made his home in Great Falls and worked hard to provide for the love of his life, Carissa Blackbird and their beautiful daughters Keyahna and Isabella. He loved his family more than life itself and showed it in all he did.

Kyle was an outgoing individual and was liked and loved by everyone who he came in contact with.

Kyle is preceded in death by an uncle, J.R. Dionne and an older brother, Rydell Longie.

He leaves behind a large extended family all of who will miss him greatly and include: his parents, his partner Carissa Blackbird of Great Falls; daughters, Keyahna and Isabella Dionne of Great Falls and Baylee Tangen of Florida; brothers Louie Gringras, Ken Gringras and Raymond Powell; sisters, Crystal Gingras, Lancia Charles, Donielle Gingras, and Casey Jo Gingras; grandparents, Dollie Olson of Columbia Falls; Kenneth and Patricia Gingras of Polson; and Adolf and Elsie Dionne of North Dakota. Survivors also include aunts, uncles, cousins and friends too numerous to mention.

Rest peacefully son.

Funeral arrangements were provided by Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory, Great Falls. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.croxfordfuneralhome.com

Marcia “Marsha” Marie Day Harris
RAVALLI — Marcia “Marsha” Marie Day Harris of Ravalli passed away peacefully, surrounded by her two sons on Monday, January 9, 2012 at the age of 61.

She was born to Donald Clifford and Geneva May Day on October 24, 1950 in Missoula and was raised in Ravalli. She attended St. Ignatius School for most of her schooling, but graduated high school in Arlee after the birth of her first son, Steven Day. She went on to study Accounting at the Vo-Tech in Missoula.

While attending college she met and married Richard Harris of Missoula and together they had her second son Stacy Harris. Although divorced, they have remained friends over the years. She later met Morrie Wilson of Missoula who she shared over 20 years of her life with.

Over the years Marsha has worked at several bars, managed Car Town car lot and the family rentals in Ravalli.

Marsha was talented with her hands and excelled at quilting, beading, cross-stitching, crocheting and knitting. She recently started knitting from her own hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn. She has given many hand-made gifts that will long be treasured by her family. She enjoyed her pets over the years, from the horses of her youth to her chickens and flying squirrel in Missoula to her birds and cats in Ravalli. She enjoyed having coffee at her local hangouts in Missoula and Ravalli and socializing with the regulars.

Throughout her life she taught us, by example, the importance of: Unconditional Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Respect and Perseverance. She has made those around her better people and we will all miss her greatly.

She is survived by her sons, Steven Day of Ravalli and Stacy (Rhonda) Harris of Florence; two grand-kids, Ashley Shafer and Seth Harris; one great-granddaughter, Madison Shafer, sister, Jeanette Heberle of Great Falls; three nephews, Randy (Anita) Heberle, Chris (Michelle) Heberle and Luke (Tyla) Heberle along with numerous extended family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Geneva Day and life-partner Morrie Wilson.

Funeral Mass will be on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church followed by a memorial lunch at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Internment in the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Missoula will occur later this year.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the many people from Lake County Home Health, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Evergreen Rehabilitation and St. Luke’s Hospital who helped care for Marsha during the last years of her life.

Messages of condolences may be sent to the family online at www.groganfuneralhome.com.

Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory, Polson, considers it a privilege to care for the Harris family.

Harold Francis Reed, Sr. (Big Beaver)
BROWNING – Harold Francis Reed, Sr. (Big Beaver), 66, passed away Thursday in Browning.

Born Dec 18, 1945 in Browning to George Big Beaver Sr. and Ruth Walter and later adopted by William Paul Reed Sr., he was raised in Browning, served in the Army during the Vietnam War and returned to the Blackfeet Reservation where he worked as a Park Ranger, Police Officer, Ranch-hand, Firefighter and as a mechanic in numerous service stations eventually owning Big Sky Standard.

He liked hunting and fishing, stock car races and restoring cars.

His birth father; his parents; three brothers, William P., Aaron T. Reed and George Big Beaver Jr.; and a niece Mandy preceded him in death. He married twice, first to Linda Johnson and then Bonnie Bongey. He had three children - Harold F. (Sherri) Reed, Jr.; Lynn L. (Jason) Stott; and Kaitlin R. Reed. He is also survived by siblings Minnie (William) Elmore of GA, Volley (Opal Boggs) Reed of Babb, Lawrence (Yvette) Reed, Lillian Reed, Nellie Whitford, and Llona (Verlin) Wippert all of Browning, Willow (Richard) Ell of Conrad; five grandchildren – Taylor, Marc, Taryn, Thomas and Madeline as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A wake began Saturday in Browning at the Old Eagle Shield Center and moved to the Starr School on Monday where the Rosary was recited on Tuesday. Funeral Services were held Wednesday in the Starr School with burial in the Willow Creek Cemetery. Memorials maybe made to the Vietnam Vet Treatment facilities in Walla Walla, WA; or the Wounded Warriors Fund. Condolences can be left and an obituary can be viewed at fosterfhandcrematory.com