Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2012

Monte F. (Dempsey) Azure
ST. IGNATIUS – Monte F. (Dempsey) Azure of St. Ignatius passed away Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. He was 69.

He was born in Fort Belknap, November 18, 1942 to Joe and Emma (Ducharme) Azure. He was raised and went to school in the Chinook area. As a boy, he worked with his family on farms and ranches and became an expert sheep shearer. Monte enlisted in the army in 1960 and was honorably discharged two years later. He acquired his nickname ‘Dempsey’ as young man on the boxing circuit.

He worked a variety of trades including: mechanic, garbage truck driver, barber, farmer, carpenter and contractor, and was best known as a handy man in the Mission Valley.

Monte married June (Crawford) Bracey on January 7, 1972 in Chinook. They lived in Fort Belknap until the family moved to St. Ignatius in the summer of 1973.

Monte loved the beauty of the Mission Valley and loved to spend time on the lakes and rivers. He was an avid fisherman and hunter, and enjoyed outings into the mountains. He loved sports and was always in the stands cheering for his beloved Bulldogs. He was an active member of the Little Shell tribe.

Monte was preceded in death by his father and mother; his brother Jim; and sister Shirley.

He is survived by his loving family: June, daughters: Janelle (Peter) Matt, Dorothy ‘Dee’(Lee) Meyers, Scott (Judy) Bracey and Lester (Ted) Bracey; sisters Irene Houle and Dorothy (John) Croft; grandchildren Shane, Shyane, Destany, Briittany, Dakota, Raymond, Peter Ryan, Troy and Cora; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was a wonderful father, grandfather and friend. Dad we miss you and know you are dancing a jig in heaven

A rosary was held February 24 at 8pm at the St. Ignatius Catholic church. Funeral services were held Saturday February 25 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

Victor James Matt, Sr.
ARLEE — Victor James Matt, Sr. a life long resident of the Jocko Valley passed away at his residence here at Arlee, on February 26, 2012. Victor was born on May 9, 1924 at Arlee and was the 4th child of eight born to James Matt and Ellen LaMoose. Victor began grade school education at Arlee and later at the Ursuline School in St. Ignatius. Victor told his story about his short stay at the Ursulines, saying that he and Lawrence Finley took their younger brothers and ran away - taking them two days to get home. He stated that they slept in an old trolley car at the old Ed Schall residence and finally made it home the next day. Victor was then raised in the Jocko Valley by John S. Woods. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th divisions, during World War II in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima.

He returned home and married the love of his life, Delma Victoria “ Bodine” Gebeau (Matt) in Hamilton, MT on October 19, 1946.

Victor worked very hard most of his life, he worked on a rock crusher as an oiler, a mining operation for a short time, and as a woodsman up until he retired. He sawed timber around Western Montana and Idaho, which he loved to do. He also served on the Tribal Council from 1954 to 1957 as a representative from Arlee.

Victor was preceded in death by three brothers; Lloyd, Victor Issac, and Clarence; two sisters, Roberta (Bobby) Antelope and Gladys Felsman.

He is survived by two siblings, Caroline LaFrinire of Arlee, and Winona Arlee of Ronan. He is also survived by his five children: Bing and Ron of Arlee, Roberta Kay Matt Decker of St. Ignatius, Arlene Dusty Bull and Patty Young Running Crane of Browning. Victor has 16 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren for a total of 70. Once he made the statement “No wonder I can’t remember all of their names!”

Victor was instrumental in help getting the Jocko Church moved from St. Ignatius to its present location. He also constructed the pavilion and stickgame arbors at the Arlee Powwow Grounds and was later named after him in his honor by the late Thomas “Bearhead” Swaney. His hobbies included mowing his lawn and driving his daughter “Kay” berserk when he would sneak out and drive his old John Deere Tractor around the field. He also loved to watch CNN News on his TV and give the Republican party a cussing everyday, stating that old “Bush” sure got us into a lot of trouble and President Obama is catching all the hell over it.

Victor was a man who loved his family very much. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. He loved his traditional and cultural ways that he knew when growing up. Before his passing he told our mother “to be good to everyone and feed them when they come,” this was done as he asked by his children and relatives.

We thank those who stayed with him, cared for him, and prayed with him. Lena, Amber, Amanda, Carlin, Ron, and Clark. Thank you so very much for showing your love for our Dad. We also want to thank Tammie Matt and Clarice Anderson, Dr. Bekemeyer, the staff from Hospice, who came when they were called; Kathy Felsman and who ever else volunteered to give care to our Dad.

A wake was held Monday February 27 at the Arlee Community Center. Rosary was recited Tuesday with Mass held Wednesday in Arlee.

Condolences may be left at

Robert Azure
FORT BELKNAP — Robert L. Azure Jr. left this world on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, to join his mother in heaven, while surrounded by his loving family.

He was born to Robert and Ramona (Bell) Azure on Feb. 27, 1951, in Fort Belknap.

Robert received his education in Harlem and Butte. After high school he attended Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell where he met his first wife, Marie Buffington. They had one daughter named Jennifer, and then later divorced.

Robert then met and married Daphne Wetzel in Missoula and they had a son named Robert III "Bobby."

He loved to work on cars and spent his career working on them almost daily. He did that until he was no longer able to do so. Robert took great pride in his work and being co-owner of Azure Body in Harlem.

Robert loved family and thought of many first cousins as brothers and sisters. He fulfilled his later years by spending time with his close family and friends. He loved it when his sisters and nieces pampered him. He spent many hours watching his numerous nieces and nephews grow and especially liked it when his nieces came to visit or take him for a ride.

He also loved nature and spending time at Flying Squirrel with family and watching the kids and dogs grow and play. He cherished "Chili Sunday's" at his dad's but what he loved most was talking about his children and grandchildren who lived so far away.

Robert loved collecting dragons, music and movies.

Robert was preceded in death by his mother, Ramona, and his sister, Barbara Ann.

Robert is survived by his father, Robert Azure Sr.; daughter, Jennifer and her two children, August and Christina of Austin, Texas; and son, Bobby of Wailuku, Hawaii.

His siblings and their spouses are Pete (Terry) of Butte, Steve (Patti) of Fort Belknap, Bernard (Kim) of Arlee, Debbie (Terry) of Anaconda, Anne of Butte, Jack (Donna) of Butte, Ted of Butte, and Mary (Ed) of Butte. Robert is also survived by his numerous nieces and nephews, Ramona, Pepita, Pete, Justin and Owen (Pete); Amber and Jeremy (Steve); Tashina and Ezra (Deb); Dyani and Katyra (Anne); Mary Rose, Steve and Jake (Jack); Tara and Samantha (Ted); Danelle, Nikol, Robbie, Shayna, Alex and Max (Mary); and LaNada, Casey, Mitchell and Gus (Bernard). He is survived by many great-nieces and -nephews whom he cherished deeply.

Robert will most be remembered by his big smile and infectious laugh. Although his family is left with many beautiful memories, he will be sadly missed.

Theodora Elizabeth Gingras Charette
Theodora Elizabeth Gingras Charette, 64, passed away at her home on Monday, February 6, 2012.

She was born on August 17, 1947 in St. Ignatius. She married Norman Francis Charette on August 10, 1971.

She attended grade school at the Urslines Catholic School to the 5th gradem then 6th and 7th grade in Pierre SD. She also attended school in St. Ignatius and Arlee and graduated from Flandreau HS. She attended Business College in San Francisco, Community Business College in Denver, CO.

From 1979 to 2003 Teddi and Norm owned and operated their own business NorTed Metal Company where she was their business manager.

She loved camping, fishing, hunting and picking huckleberries, but mostly having family gatherings.

She is preceded in death by her father Eli Gingras; mother Agnes Nomee Gingras Mitchell; brothers Joseph Louis Gingras and Francis Eli Gingras; sister Martha Gingras; niece Janet Pierce; and nephew Duane Michael Plouffe.

She is survived by son Charles D. McClure Charette and stepson John Charette; brothers William R. Gingras, David M. Gingras, Peter D. Mitchell and George A. Mitchell; sisters Maria (Chickee) Gingras Pierce and Joanne S. Gingras Schall; grandson Christian Andrew Charette Haynes (Roberta Haynes) and granddaughter Twilynn Rochelle (Sandra Jackson) and was also known as grandma to Gia Williams and Lisha Ortlandt; and several nieces and nephews and numerous cousins, aunties, uncles not forgotten from Idaho and WA.

Condolences may be left at

Sandra “Sandy” Kay Castor
RONAN — Sandra “Sandy” Kay Castor, 56, of Ronan, MT, passed away at her home in The Mission Valley on February 7, 2012. Sandy was born August 24, 1954 to Alvin Ernest Sloan and Marie Anne Gress. Sandy was raised and lived in the Mission Valley, she went to high school at Mission High School in St. Ignatius, and continued onto the Modern Beauty School in Missoula.

Sandy was blessed to have two great loves and three beautiful children. She spent the majority of her years working on the Glory B Ranch where she helped build her dream home, while gardening and sewing. She loved to sew and created unique Pendleton coats. She loved fishing, going to St. Mary’s Lake, traveling to exotic locations, spending time cutting and coloring her friends and family's hair.

Her Father, Alvin Sloan; Mother, Marie Gress; Sister, Patricia Sloan; Mother–in–laws Phyllis Castor and Flora Morin; and also her first husband James Mason Cates preceded Sandy in death.

Sandy is survived by Richard “Bud” Castor, daughter Bridget (Louis) Fiddler; sons Josh (Sabrina) Castor, and Timothy Castor; grandchildren Skyla, Shaylee, Sydney, Warren, Emily, Ethan and Eliot; and numerous brothers, sisters, and cousins.

Viewing was held at Foster Funeral Home with a memorial service to be held in the springtime. A complete obituary and condolences may be left at

Ronald P. Hansen, Sr.
ST. IGNATIUS — Ronald P. Hansen Sr., 54, a longtime resident of St. Ignatius in the Mission Valley for 23 years, passed away on February 9, 2012 at a family home in Seeley Lake.

Ron was the youngest of six children, born to Roy Sr. and Pauline Hansen in Olympia, WA, on March 31, 1957. When Ron was 4 years old, the family moved to North Bend B.C. After the death of his father in 1971 the family moved back to Yelm, WA in 1974. Ron continued his education, and graduated from Yelm High School in 1976. After graduating, Ron came to Montana where he worked in logging, farm work, and heavy equipment.

On April 25, 1987, Ron married Mona Gibson in Kalispell. Ron and Mona made their home in the Mission Valley. Their only son, Ronald P. Hansen, Jr., was born in Polson on June 4, 1991.

Ron’s hobbies were hunting, fishing, gold panning, and exploring the genealogy on his and Mona’s families.

Ron was a member of the LDS church. Ron ejoyed helping other families, and especially children. He was a Big Brother to all the kids. Ron had several nicknames that his good friends called him: “Moose”, “ Bubba”, and “ BigRon”.

Ron is preceded in death by his grandparents, mother and father, one brother, and one nephew.

Ron is survived by his wife Mona; son Ron, Jr. of St. Ignatius; a step-son Paul Tucker of Bozeman; step-son Tommy Price of Washington, DC; sister Loralee (Tom) Daley; brothers Richard (Toni) Hansen of Olympia, WA. and Glenn (Becky) Hansen of Nielton, WA; and numerous nieces and Nephews.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 1 p.m. in St. Ignatius at the community hall, with Everett Foust officiating. A potluck will follow.

Condolences may be left at

Jonah Mink
FORT HALL, Idaho — Jonah Mink, 79, of Fort Hall, passed away Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at his home.

He was born November 8, 1932 in Salmon, Idaho to Joseph Mink and Cora Pegoga.

Jonah attended school in the Blackfoot School District. He was a truck driver at the Gay Mine and a rancher.

He has been with his companion, Ardith Peyope for 33 years.

He enjoyed breaking horses, traveling to and singing at powwows and Sun Dances. He also enjoyed making Indian saddles.

Jonah is survived by his companion, Ardith, of Fort Hall; step-son Timothy (Monica) Peyope and Richard V. “Tazzy” Peyope both of Fort Hall, ID; step-daughter, Diana Peyope of Fort Hall, ID; sisters, Eloise Lopez (Alfonzo) of Gibson, ID; Alecodine Pahvitse of Fort Hall, ID; step-grandchildren, Katherine Jessica Peyope and Amber Lilly Peyope both of Fort Hall, ID; niece, Stephanita Evening of Fort Hall, ID; nephews, Ricky and Delmar Evening.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step-daughter, Josette J. Wieser, brother, Oscar Mink, sisters, Inez Evening and Gladys George.

A traditional burial service will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 10, at Gibson Cemetery.

He was taken to the family home at 1331 N. C Street in Fort Hall, Wednesday, February 8.

A service will be held at 6:00 p.m. tonight, Thursday, February 9, at his home.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hawker Funeral Home.