Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
March 2012

Paul F. Derflinger
ARLEE — Paul F. Derflinger, 83, of Arlee passed away Monday, March 12, 2012 of natural causes while residing at The Springs Senior Community in Missoula. Paul lived his final years sharing his joy and happiness with everyone with whom he came in contact. He so appreciated the loving care he received from everyone at The Springs.

Paul was born Jan 2, 1929, in Vinita, Craig County, Oklahoma, to George Albert and Blanche Mae Derflinger. He married Violet Anita Derflinger in Eureka, CA and together they raised their family, Mark and Ernest Derflinger, and with Violet he helped raise his stepson, John Bone (Derflinger.) They were married for 54 beautiful years.

Paul was a master sergeant in the US Air Force. In 1967, he received the USAF commendation Medal for notorious meritorious achievement. His final assignment was at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. He proudly served his entire career in the USAF. He was also a member of the Elks Club.

In 1987, Paul and Violet moved to Arlee, where they retired. Paul was a happy man with a great sense of humor. He enjoyed his family, and spending time with them. He loved his children, grandchild, and great-grandchildren very dearly.

Paul loved to travel all over, him and violet would vacation to all the places that they had made their homes throughout their lives, travel to see old friends. Paul loved camping, and fishing with his sons; John, Mark, and Ernest.

Paul is preceded in death by his parents, wife Violet, and son John.

Survivors include his sons, Mark Derflinger of St. Ignatius, Ernest and Cath Derflinger of Ronan; grandchild Amber Derflinger of Arlee; and great-grandchildren Siraayah and Taliah.

A memorial service was held Saturday, May 5 at the Arlee Indian Senior Citizens Center with Military Honors being presented.

Robert Edgel Sigler
ST. IGNATIUS — Robert Edgel Sigler, 83, passed away at his home on March 26, 2012. Born in Anaconda to John and Cecilia (Schmidt) Sigler on November 16, 1928, as a child he moved to California where he became a truck driver working for CalCan, Cheslea, and was an owner operator for BBJ. He was also an entrepreneur and started the Workman Store.

Bob served proudly in the Army in WWII, and as an army veteran, he was proud of his service and had a real passion for being a veteran. He was a member of the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

Robert was also an outdoorsman who loved to fish and hunt; and he enjoyed going to rodeos and loved to be around his family and friends.

Bob is preceded in death by his son Robert George Hodgson, and brother John (Jack) Sigler.

Survivors include his children John Bradford Sigler, of Orange, CA, Nacee Watson of Baltimore, MD, Lillian Jean Fowlston of Reno, NV, and Cynthia Montgomery of South Lake Tahoe, CA; sister Maryanne Dongara of LaHambra, CA; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation was held Saturday, April 7 at Foster funeral home in St. Ignatius. Military honors were presented Sunday at the St. Ignatius Veterans Memorial located on First and Arrow in St. Ignatius.

Condolences may be left at

Lucy Rita Pluffe–McDanal
POLSON — Lucy Rita Pluffe–McDanal, 81, passed away Sunday morning.

A member of the CS&KT, she was born up Valley Creek on February 10, 1931. She was raised by Mary Louise Pluffe Adams in Camas Prairie. She learned English and was educated in the Catholic Schools in Helena before eventually marrying Jesse McDanal in Ronan.

A carpenter by trade, she helped her husband remodel properties as well as serving as a private nurse for many people. As a young child Lucy would ride a one-horse buggy to attend school in Camas Prairie. Lucy was very traditional woman speaking her Salish Language, enjoying picking huckleberries, gathering bitterroot and making moccasins. She enjoyed being with her family and was well known for her fry bread, pancakes and fried potatoes with bacon bits. Lucy also loved her bingo and Keno. She was and is the Bingo Queen of the Flathead Reservation.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jesse; children Mike, Anna and Sarah; Mary Adams; and cousin Alex Adams of Camas Prairie and aunt Louise Mary.

She is survived by her children Marlene McDanal, Marilyn Duback, Maxine Tenas, Marie McDanal, Mike McDanal, Charlie James, Jr. Joseph Pluffe and Zella Fisher; a brother in New York; 32 grandchildren; 44 greatgrandchildren; and 8 great-great-grandchildren

A traditional wake was held in the Salish & Kootenai Senior Citizens Center in Polson. Wake closing will be held at 10 am Thursday at the Senior Center in Polson followed by a graveside service at 11 am in the Ronan Cemetery. A dinner will follow the services at the Polson Senior Citizens Center.

Rodney Lawrence McCollum, Sr.
DIXON – Rodney “Big Rod” Lawrence McCollum, Sr., 77, of Dixon passed away March 21, 2012 at his home.

Rodney was born March 15, 1935 in Missoula to Eurcle and Mary (Majewski) McCollum. Rodney was raised in St. Ignatius. To help support his siblings, he began working at a young age driving a team of horses for the Jesuits. He married Doris DeMerle Evans in 1954 and started a family. Rodney worked in the mining and construction industries, operating machinery. After helping build Tiber Dam, he began hauling logs. Logging jobs led him to live and work in Libby, Potomac, Superior, Arcada, CA, and Polson. Continuing to log, he moved his family to Arlee and started to ranch. Rodney established his own Angel Trucking and finally settled in Dixon at the Selow Creek Ranch with Doris and their 5 children. After raising a family, he transitioned from logging to over-the-road trucking until he retired. Often accompanied by Doris and his grandchildren, he enjoyed sightseeing and traveling the country.

Big Rod thoroughly enjoyed outings with his family. He liked hunting, fishing, swimming, and going boating as well as riding his horses, snowmobiles, and motorcycles. He also liked to go bowling and take Doris out on the town dancing. Rod had a passion for vehicles and traveling, acquiring several cars, jeeps, tractors, trucks, and motorhomes. In his later years, he continued to enjoy sightseeing and family outings, taking his grandkids to Fairmont, Pend Oreille, and State Parks. His hobbies included reading, finding a good deal, traveling to auctions or just going out to dinner. One could definitely say that he had a passion for the road, always wanting to travel somewhere.

Rodney was preceded in death by his wife Doris, his brother Richard and niece Stacy.

Rodney is survived by his children: Mildred (Rio) Liberty of Dixon, Rodney (Melanie) McCollum of Dixon, Donna Arnonne of Las Vegas, NV; Yvonne Dennis of Dixon, Brian McCollum of Dickinson, ND; siblings Patricia Gergen of Bellevue, WA; Ernest McCollum of Huson, Carol Rektor, Robert McCollum, and Joseph McCollum all of Spokane, WA.

Services were held Monday, March 26 at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in St. Ignatius. Condolences can be left at

Helen Joyce Teigen
RONAN — Our dearest, mom, sister, auntie and friend, Helen Joyce Teigen age 62 passed away on Thursday, March 29, 2012 after a long courageous battle with cancer at her home in Ronan with her two “little brats” (Charmaine and Shanell), great niece (Shaylene), and close friend (Francine) by her side. A long courageous battle proved her strong independent will and tough character, which carried her through to the end.

She was born on August 1, 1949 near Eureka to Oswald Sophus and Dorothy Pearl (Wilson) Teigen. Helen was raised in the North Crow area from 1955 to 1965; the family then moved into the town of Ronan in 1965. Helen graduated from Ronan High School in 1967.

Helen was a “Jill of all trades”. In her early years, she worked at Hoppy’s gas station and drove 18-wheeler trucks and cattle trucks for Roy Fisher. She bartended and helped her brother-in-law Roger Dodger with remodeling, building, and other construction. She worked for Mickey McCall at his shop in Ronan, and the San Francisco Feed and Grain elevators, and she sprayed weeds for the county extension office. Around 1993 she moved to Jefferson City doing road construction. She bartended and waited tables at the Cribbage Board and Stage Stop in Jefferson City. She worked at Walmart in Helena, and at Hillbrook Nursing Home as a dietary assistant, and loved visiting with the residents there. Helen spent many summers at her sister Rita’s helping with the kids and helping with whatever labor she could to help pay for her class ring and first set of store bought clothes. She loved BSing and telling jokes, cooking, watching her old western movies and television shows, collecting Elvis Presley memorabilia, and listening to her gospel music on Sundays.

Helen is preceded in death by her parents and her brother Gene “Swede.”

She is survived by her daughter Charmaine; grand dog “Munchkin;” sisters Pat (Fred) of Stevensville, Rita of Ronan, Shirley of Ronan, Alice “Blackie” (Paul) of Havre, and Dorothy of Ronan; brothers Bill (Marge) of Libby, Cliff (Alvina) of Ronan, and Dale of Ronan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, April 3 at the Ronan Cemetery.

Thomas Lee Moss
RONAN — Thomas “Tom” Lee Moss, 67, of Ronan passed away peacefully March 25, 2012 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Tom, a member of the CS&KT, was born on November 4, 1944 in St. Ignatius, to Henry and Elsie (Truchot) Moss. He spent most of his early life in Blackfoot, Idaho and loved playing baseball. Tom was also selected to try out for one of the major league baseball affiliations. Tom was a member of the Union Iron Workers, well known for his welding skills and deeply loved to work with his hands. Eventually, he went into the plumbing, pipefitting and carpentry trades.

He loved fishing, hunting, camping, bowling, and golfing. He enjoyed spending time with family and many friends.

Tom will be greatly missed by all his family, including many nieces and nephews, and by friends who he had met throughout his life’s journey.

He is survived by his loving wife, Constance B. Moss, stepdaughter Jennifer Gardner; three daughters from his previous marriage to Julie A. (Hernandez) Moss - Susie Lee Moss of Gibson, Idaho, Stephanie Ann Moss of Gibson Idaho and Debbie Renee Langston (Dave) of Pocatello, Idaho; and step-son Larry Wadsworth (Sonya) of Fort Hall, Idaho; sisters Gloria Whitworth of Polson and Marilyn Woods (John) of Blackfoot, Idaho; nine grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

Tom was preceded in death by sister Maxine (Mickie) Moss; brothers John Moss (Phyllis), Frank Moss, George Moss, and Jim Moss (Jeanie).

The funeral service took place on Thursday, March 29 at the Spirit of God Assembly Church in Ronan.

Misty Dawn Boushie
PABLO — Misty Dawn Boushie, 26, passed away Wednesday at her home in Pablo.

Born in Browning on March 19, 1986 to Cecile Wagner and Bill Boushie, she was raised on the Blackfeet and Flathead Reservations.

A dedicated mother and wife, she married Travis Couture and they had four children, Billy, Dallan, Joseph and Tayler Daisy Couture.

She was preceded in death by her child Tayler Daisy Couture; brother Tyler Chance Boushie; and grandparents Eileen Schlidt Gilham, Donald Wagner, Ed and Louise Boushie.

She leaves behind her parents Bill Boushie and Cecile Boushie; husband Travis Couture; children Billy, Dallan and Joseph; her siblings Susie Boushie, Billie Louise Boushie, Debbie Boushie, Bill Marceau, Katherine Madman, Laura Boy, and Jack Marceau; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A wake was held at Glacier Homes in Browning and Mass was celebrated in the East Glacier Catholic Church. Condolences may be left at

John Stanislaw
CAMAS PRAIRIE — John Stanislaw, 79, passed away last week at his home in Camas Prairie on March 14, 2012. A member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was a true mountain man. John was born in a huckleberry patch in the mountains near Clarks Fork, Idaho to Joseph Stanislaw and Annie Paul Curley on August 30, 1932.

A jack of all trades and fluent speaker of his language, John was an elder who was a cultural resource. He worked many places and had met many people in his travels. On one of his trips to Washington DC, while he and others in his delegation were lobbying for their aboriginal rights he was present as the civil rights movement was at the Mall and he met Abernathy, who was Dr. King’s successor.

John’s sisters Angie Andrew and Harriett McDougall both of Camas Prairie, Rose O’Bennick of Hot Springs and Hazel Barnaby of Dixon, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, all survive him.

A wake began at the family home last Thursday and moved to the Longhouse in St. Ignatius on Friday. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon in St. Ignatius with his burial at Camas Prairie.

Peggy Sue Antoine
RAVALLI — Peggy Sue Antoine left this temporary life to enter into eternity with her loving Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday March 18th at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. Peggy was born to Alice (Antoine) and Edward “Slim” Deardorff on September 30, 1959. After being in and out of a number of foster homes, she went to live with her adoptive parents Larry and Mary Keele at the age of 10.

Peggy is survived by seven children, Nicole Hammond, Nathan Evans, Michael King, Adri Antoine, Frank Antoine, James Roylance and Virgil Phillips. She has three grandchildren and another one due any day. Siblings include Owen Deardorff of Hot Springs; L.D. Keele of Ravalli; Janita VonHeeder of Dixon; Jobi Ash of Angola, IN; Dallas Deardorff of Plains; Erma McNulty of Medicine Hat, AB; Travis Deardorff of Ronan; Shelly Christensen of Kalispell; Jay Goodman of Spokane; David Goodman of Ronan; and three adoptive siblings, Pam Keele of East Missoula; Becky (Keele) Snyder of Nebraska; and Kathy (Keele) Petersen of Dillon. She also has numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Preceding her in death are two siblings, Rick Lozeau and Jay Deardorff; her dad, Slim Deardorff and one niece Cara McNulty.

Peggy enjoyed the outdoors and took great pride in her hide tanning skills. She was very talented with a number of skills including baking breads, beading, arts and crafts. She also came to love and thoroughly enjoy her grandchildren. She always left a lasting impression on the many people she encountered.

Services for Peggy were held Wednesday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius.

Harriett Jane Sherman
ST. IGNATIUS — Harriett Jane Sherman, 50, passed away Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Missoula. She was born to Paul Finley and Josephine LaMoose on May 23, 1952 in Hamilton. Her grandparents Louie and Felicity Cullooyah raised her. After their passing, she was raised by Kenneth and Alice Old Person and David and Sophie Haynes families.

Harriett had many interests. She enjoyed traveling, powwows, beading and camp meetings. Harriett had a sweet spot in her life for her “boys” - Starr School and the Black Lodge Singers, which she enjoyed listening to. She will be remembered each time they hear, “Huh,” her common phrase.

She was preceded in death by her son Kenny SureChief, siblings Merle, Annette and Laura Old Person, Harmon Good Gun, Pete Finley and Kenny Burland; and her parents and grandparents.

She leaves behind her children: Robert (Serena Crofoot) Sherman of St. Ignatius, Malcolm (Galen) SureChief of Great Falls, Sharon Buckskin Michel of Elmo, and Shawna Armstrong of Polson; five grandchildren: Coral, Indigo, Nakai and Talon Sherman and Savannah Sunshine Michel; her siblings: Debbie Homegun, Georgie DeRouche, Roger Old Person, Ken Old Person Jr., Susan Lefthand Dowdall and Pooyah Lefthand; as well as a large extended family from those who raised her.

A wake and Rosary was held Friday at the Arlee Community Center. Funeral services were held Saturday