Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
July 2012

Lenore Marie Padilla
RONAN — Lenore M. Padilla died on Thursday, September 13, 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born July 5, 1932 in St. Ignatius to Agnes and Harry Brown of Polson.

Lenore grew up on Glover Road in Polson. She spoke of many fond memories of time spent with her grandmother, Eliza Minesinger on Minesinger Trail in Polson. She attended Pablo Grade School and Ronan High School, during her junior year she transferred to Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, SD.

Lenore married Henry C. Padilla on July 30, 1949. They made their home on a dairy farm in Ronan where they lived for the next 24 years to raise four sons and two daughters. Together they were a wonderful example of true love. They joyfully celebrated 60 years of marriage surrounded by friends and family in 2009.

Lenore was an amazing homemaker and talented seamstress. She loved to sew clothes for her children and later her grandchildren. She also loved to knit and crochet. Each Christmas her children and grandchildren got to pick from a stack of beautiful, handmade blankets in an array of colors.

Lenore was a warm and loving person, who upon first impression may have seemed shy or reserved. For those close to her she was known as sweet and feisty. She had a gift with children and loved to surround herself with kids both at home and at work. She worked in the Ronan Middle School for quite a few years as a teacher’s aide. Then she worked for the Headstart program for many years as a teacher’s aid.

Lenore is preceeded in death by her husband Henry; parents Harry and Agnes Brown; brothers Harry, Melvin and Ronnie Brown; and sisters June Conner and Irma Olguin.

She is survived by her sisters Dorothy Webster, Laura Decker and Phyllis Lester; her six children Stan Padilla (Carol), Lee Padilla, Terri Johnson (Dennis), Mark Padilla (Margaret), Craig Padilla (Merrie), and Jeanine Padilla; 23 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Monday, September 24 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ronan 11 a.m. A reception will follow at the parish hall. Shrider-Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services assisted with arrangements.

Leonard Ray Delaware
HOT SPRINGS — Leonard Ray Delaware, 79, of Hot Springs, born November 29, 1932, passed away July 14, 2012 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Polson, after fighting illnesses all his life and years of living in pain.

He went to Heaven with a smile on his face knowing he would be pain free to join his parents Mary Theresa Olive (Matt) and Julian Anthony (Tony) Delaware, his two brothers Dwayne and Glen, his grandson Chad Bykonen and step-son Richard Thompson.

Leonard is survived by his wife of 35 yearr, Bette; his four stepchildren Jenny Anderson, Debbie Gounder, Bill Thompson and George Thompson; and four children from a previous marriage, Larry Schwartz, Connie Bykonen, Tony Schwartz and Brenda Schwartz. Leonard has 13 grandchildren and 15(+) great grandchildren. Leonard is also survived by his only living sibling Barbara Gaines of Spokane, Wa. He has several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Leonard worked several places through-out his life: The mines in Philipsburg, the saw mills in Garrison and Hall, He worked at the hospital in Deer Lodge and was active in Search & Rescue. He also served at tribal elections.

Leonard enjoyed life: Camping, fishing, hunting, snow mobiling and boating. He liked the quiet times of picking huckleberries and mushrooms. Leonard’s hobbies included flytying, playing cards on his “confuser” (computer), and cooking—cookies and pumpkin and apple pies were his favorites. His passion was woodworking - making bird feeders.

Funeral services were held July 20, 2012 at Shrider-Thompson Funeral Chapel in Ronan. Leonard was cremated and his ashes will be laid to rest with his dad at the Jocko cemetery in Arlee, at a later date, where he will be given an Indian ceremony as per his request.

Many thanks to all for the prayers, flowers and words of comfort. They are so greatly appreciated, in our time of sorrow. Knowing he is no longer in pain and suffering is our comfort. Leonard will be greatly missed by many, now we must live with the memories of a man who has touched our lives with his kindness and loving heart.

You never said “I’m leaving”
You never said “goodbye”
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knew why.
There are no words to tell you
Just what I feel inside
The shock, the hurt, the anger
Might gradually subside.
A million times I’ll need you
A million times I’ll cry
If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died.

Gerald “Jerry” Joseph Noel
POLSON — Gerald “Jerry” Joseph Noel peacefully passed away July 12, 2012 with all of his family by his side. Jerry, a CSKT tribal member, was born in St. Ignatius on January 2,1939 and grew up in Polson until his graduation from Polson High School in 1958. In the same year, Jerry joined the California Army National Guard and served six years. He also completed training in Diesel Mechanics in Berkeley, CA. It was during these years that Jerry met and married his wife and partner of 51 years. Mae and Jerry had three children: Bill, Sharon, and Fred.

In 1970, Jerry and his family moved back to Polson where he worked for over 30 years with the Kicking Horse Job Corp Center as an Auto and then Diesel Mechanic instructor. He was very proud of these years of service and had a major positive impact on hundreds upon hundreds of primarily young Native American men who completed his course.

Upon retirement from Job Corp in the year 2000, Jerry would spend much of his free time working on his many rental properties. He eventually found work as the ‘Princess’ tour boat captain and then, later, worked for the Tribal DHRD Transportation Department as a driver.

Jerry’s many interests over the years included Christmas tree and firewood cutting, inventing, gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, visiting friends and relatives, reading, carpentry, mechanics, politics and supporting the Democratic Party, spending time with grandchildren and great grandchildren, and, enjoying mom’s always delicious home cooking.

Funeral services, which celebrated Jerry’s life, were held Thursday, July 19 at Grogan Funeral Home in Polson.

Benjamin “ Ben” Fyant
VALLEY CREEK — Benjamin “ Ben” Fyant was born on March 15, 1945 at Valley Creek to Louie and Adeline (Stevens) Fyant. He passed away in Missoula on July 30, 2012.

Ben grew up in the Valley Creek area and as a child one of his favorite things was to spend the summers with his older brother Eddie Vanderburg at the lookout near Hot Springs. Ben graduated from Arlee High School in 1964 and in September of 1965 he joined the Army and served his basic training at Fort Ord, CA. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter (Rifle M14), Sharpshooter (Rifle M16), and Vietnam Service Medal. Ben was honorably discharged in August of 1967.

A member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, following his military service he returned to home to work for BIA until 1990, and then Tribal Lands where he worked as a soil conservation Tech from 1977-2004 until his health forced him to retire.

Ben was a good man, a good brother, and a good friend. He had a gentle spirit (mostly) and spoke well of others. He loved all his family. The light of his life was his daughter Alexandria. He married his longtime companion Betty Steele in July 2008. They later separated but remained best friends. He was proud to be father and helped Betty raise Francis and Roland Brown.

He was preceded in death by his daughter; his parents; sisters Pee Wee Mason and Rose Sheridan; brothers Eddie Vanderburg, Everett, Frank and Jimmy Fyant; Yaya Adele Vanderburg and numerous others.

Survivors include Betty Steele Fyant and her boys Francis and Roland; sisters Frances Vanderburg, Virginia Butler and Marie Fyant; brothers Art (Gordon (Gale) and Bobby Fyant; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

A wake began Tuesday at the Arlee Community Center and the Closing Ceremony started Wednesday morning in the Center. Following the closing, he was laid to rest by his daughter in the Jocko Cemetery. Father Andrew Maddock presided over graveside services and military honors were presented by the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

Condolences may be left at

Glenrose Amelia (Plant) Bird
Born October 29, 1927; passed July 24, 2012

Glenrose Amelia (Plant) Bird is now in the arms of Our Beloved Lord God and her husband, Frank Lester Bird. Glenrose is the daughter of Anthony August Plant and Clara (Mitchell) Plant. Paternal Grandparents were Isaac Plant and Sophia (Finley); Maternal Grandparents were Pierre Mitchell and Amelia (Bruno) Mitchell.

Glenrose was the #1 pool cheerleader for Frank, a.k.a. “Old Man” at the local tavern’s pool tournaments. Mom-ma never missed a game that Daddy was in. Glenrose had a voice that carried above conversations and clinking glasses; much to the amusement of teams, challengers, and “Old Man’s” teammates.

Gaming was another passion that she really enjoyed; we all wished she would hit the big one. G-Bird also enjoyed fishing, but never ate fish. Daddy would cook the best fish ever. She enjoyed cooking holiday feasts for the entire family.

Of the schools she attended she hopes her friends remember her with a smile. G-Bird enjoyed meeting many of her friends while doing her personal tasks in town. On the serious side her most memorable and enjoyable job was for CSKT Tribal Police. Many of the tribal members used to have their Tribal I.D. picture taken by G-Bird, with her signature on it. Glenrose worked for Law and Order “17 years, three months and one day.”

Family members that have preceded Glenrose are: Frank L. Bird; parents and grandparents named above; daughter Rose Bird; son, James bird; brothers Darrill Plant, Peter L. Plant (Val), Peter Plant II (Nancy) Anthony J. Plant, Clarence “Chuck” Plant (Norma), Joseph Plant, and James R. Plant; sisters Clara “Vickie” Plant Fisher (Ray), Regina Plant, and Mary Antoinette Plant.

Survivors are Debra Bird McLeod (George); grandson Shane Bird Dominguez (Marissa); daughter Ashley McLeod (Paris); grandsons, Jojo and Jason Flores, and Antoine Yanez (Rose); sister survivor Darlene Plant Flores (Johnny); brothers survivors Carl “Joe” Plant (Elaine), and Albert Plant (Delphine).

Many thanks to all the nieces and Hospice volunteers who kept Glenrose comfortable in her final hours. I know that for the 59 years of my life, Mom-ma sat on the same bench and pew at the historic St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Every Thursday she cooked a pie or cake and met with Father Drew, our current Nuns, along with Nancy Plant and friends to enjoy lunch. Glenrose, we will miss you dearly.

Leonard Ray Delaware
POLSON — Another one of our tribal elders has left our valley for greater rewards with the creator.

Leonard Ray Delaware passed on July 14, 2012, at the St Joseph Hospital in Polson at the age of 79. He was born on November 29, 1932, to Mary Theresa (Matt) and Julian Anthony “Tony” Delaware.

He had been in failing health for a few months, but his spirit was high.

Services were held on July 20, 2012. His remains have been cremated; we will perform a Warriors send off in the future. This happened on a short notice and not all were notified, we apologize for this.

We wish to thank all who attended his services, sent prayers and flowers.

He was preceded in death by his brothers Duayne and Glen; his mother Mary; and his father Tony.

He is survived by his sister Barbara Gains, from Spokane, Washington; his four children, Larry, Connie, Tony, and Brenda; and their children and grandchildren. He also left a significant other Betty Thomson and her children by a different marriage.

Larry D. Old-Horn
ST. IGNATIUS — Larry D. “Cowboy” Old-Horn, 47, passed away unexpectedly Sunday in Ronan.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, he married Dorothy Andrew. They lived locally and started their family. As with many things in life not everything works out and they separated but remained friends.

He was preceded in death by his son Calvin Andrew and parents Larry Dean and Elizabeth Ann Parker Old-Horn.

He is survived by his children Frank, Athena, Rhonda, Daniel and Tanya Old-Horn and Kristen and Keefer Andrew; brother and sisters Lester Old-Horn, Christine Pierre, Sheri Old-Horn, Lucille Ross, Samantha Old-Horn and Susie McCrea as well as his special friend Traci McCrea.

He will be moved to the Longhouse at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the Rosary being held at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Wake closing services will be at noon on Thursday at the Longhouse with burial following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery. Condolences may be left at

Adele Louise Durgeloh
ST. IGNATIUS — Adele Louise Durgeloh, 35, (named after his qene and her yaya) went to join her people who have on, on July 22, 2012 in her sleep at her home that she shared with her loving mom. Adele had been ill for several months due to complications from Spina Bifida.

Adele was born May 18, 1977 in St. Ignatius to Bill Durgeloh, Sr. and Shirley Trahan. She attended elementary school and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1996. Adele attended Salish Kootenai College and graduated in 2009 with an AA in Native American Studies.

Adele worked at Tribal Health in the summer youth program and as a Salish Language teacher for HeadStart. Adele liked to first and foremost go to celebration (pow wow), she likes to tease her brothers, listen to music, watch TV, email friends, and Facebook people. Adele could do beadwork, but the last two years her health wouldn’t allow it. Visit an exchange gossip and news with her mom. Adele was a tough Indian woman, loved her Salish cultures and learned some language from her Yaya Louise. Adele loved her family and all of her extended family.

She was preceded in death by her father Bill Durgeloh, Sr.; her Yaya and Sile Louise and Thomas McDonald; her Qene and Sxepe Adele and Conrad Durgeloh; nephews Kyle Joseph Trahan, Billy Joe Lumpry, and Wes Benn; and brother David Durgeloh, Sr.

Surviving is her best friend and loving mom, Shirley Trahan; sisters Nickie (Mark Peasley) Trahan, Rose Lozeau and Jolene Durgeloh; brothers Les (Jennifer) Trahan, Art Trahan, Jr., Dan Trahan, Vic Stevens, Doug (Jennifer) Charlo, Francis (JoAnn) Durgeloh and Bull (Peggy) Durgeloh; nieces Karissa, Laniece, Liz, Louetta, Ann Marie, Mary, Jule Ann, Lanae, Peyton, Jaidyn, Aaliyah, Courtney, Emilie, and RanDee; nephews Daniel, Devin, Thomas, Riley, Jerome, Dave, Jr., Justin, JC and Jon; aunts Theresa Fristo and Dolly Linesbigler (Willy) Nunus Bud, Smama Mike (Barb), many cousins and other relatives.

Traditional wake started at her home, on Monday, July 23 and 24. The wake moved to the Longhouse on 25 with Rosary being recited at 8 pm that evening. Wake closing will be at 10 am Thursday the 26 with funeral home at noon in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission.

George Jefferson
ARLEE — George Jefferson, 93, a long time Jocko Valley resident died at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula on July 18, 2012. George was born April 16, 1919 to Eugene and Vera Jefferson in Monroe Center, Wisconsin. After graduating from A.F. High School he went to welding school; and went to work in the shipyards in Bremerton, WA during WWII. After the death of his father in 1949 George ran the Jefferson Ranch north of Arlee. His last job was field supervisor for Green Thumb covering nine counties and 85 employees.

George was a good mechanic and he enjoyed old cars. He once purchased from a museum the parts for a 1929 Model A Ford and put it together. He was well known for his “Jocko Valley Taxi” and won many ribbons in parades for it. George also enjoyed hunting and fishing. Like Will Rogers, George never met a man he didn’t like.

He is survived by his brother Jack Jefferson of Arlee, sister Jean Callahan of St. Ignatius and sister June Coultas of Rib Lake, Wisconsin and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents Eugene and Vera Jefferson, brothers Forrest and Joe Jefferson and sisters Crystal Freeck and Wilma Jones.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 24 in the Arlee Alliance Church and the burial followed in the Jocko Cemetery. Condolences may be left at

Kathleen “Kathy” (Airhart) Nelson
ST. IGNATIUS — On July 13, 2012, Mom passed away peacefully with her daughters by her side, ultimately succumbing to the cancer that she fought with courage and grace for the last 13 months of her life.

Kathy was born on May 23, 1949 and grew up in Plains, and graduated from Plains High School in 1968. She raised her daughters Lisa, 42, and Rosie, 40, in Missoula and later moved to St. Ignatius where she lived for the past 23 years.

Kathy considered Allentown/Ninepipes Lodge, where she worked for over 20 years, her second home and forged many close friendships there. She created fun memories for everyone who visited - from near and far - and to this day, people who return to the Lodge still ask about her.

The loves of her life are her daughters and grandkids, as anyone who talked to Kathy could tell you. She lived every day immersed in the lives of her family and friends, and will be greatly missed.

Mom is preceded in death by her parents Patrick and Rosalie Airhart; and brothers Patrick “Buck” Airhart and Patrick Collins.

She is survived by her brother Charles (Gail) Airhart; sister-in-law Linda Airhart; daughters Lisa (Jeff) Evans and Rosalie (Devin) Roy; grandchildren Justin Evans, Dylan Evans, Kaleb Roy, Savano Roy, Izabel Evans, and Owen Roy; great grandson Mason Paul-Evans; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Kathy’s funeral service will be at the St. James Catholic Church in Plains at 11:00 am Friday. Lunch to follow at the VFW.

Condolences may be left at

Gilbert J. Michell
ST. IGNATIUS — Gilbert J. Michell, born July 7, 1934, passed away peacefully at his home with his family at his side, July 14, 2012. After battling cancer, he answered his last roll call with a big A-OK.

Gilbert was born and raised in the Mission Valley to Mary R. Beauchemin and John A Michel.

He attended school in St. Ignatius, and shortly thereafter started his career in the United States Navy, and also married Marjorie Felsman to begin their family. He served in Korea and Vietnam (three tours), and retired on April 15, 1972 to return to the Mission Valley to continue his government service with the Dept of Interior (BIA Reclamation), as Mechanic Shop Foreman.

Gilbert was a proud member of the Mission Valley Honor Guard and American Legion Post #106.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and John Michel; Walt Cample; siblings Margaret (Bosworth), Lois (Adams) and John “Zazz” Michel.

Survivors include his siblings George, Keith (Ruth), Agnes, and Rachel (Charles); his children Gilbert R. (Georgia), Ronda (JC Courville), Randall J. (Marcy), Rita R. (Tim Evans), Rachel Ann (Randy Gainan), and Teddi; also numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held Wednesday in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery; Fr. Andrew Maddock, S.J. officiated and Military Honors were presented by the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

Condolences may be left at