Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
November 2012

Octave A. Finley
PABLO — Octave A. Finley, 84, began his journey to the ancestors on November 15, 2012, while surrounded by his loved ones.

A respected elder and cultural leader of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was born in St. Ignatius on November 1, 1928, to Camille and Mary Finley. Raised traditionally, he joined the Army serving for two years before switching to the Air Force where he was a jet mechanic for 18 years. During his time in the service he married Edna Murphy, of Alabama, and they were blessed with four children. On Octave’s return from military service he worked for the Irrigation Project and then for Mission Valley Power.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Camille, Mary and Pete Beaverhead; daughter, Mary Lou “Tomie”; sister, Angelic Finley Matt; uncles, Joe and Pete Eneas; cousin Dorothy Felsman; and a nephew, Camille.

Survivors include his wife Edna, children Richard, Frank, Oather “Dusty”, Angie and Samantha; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; his nieces & nephews Tweety, Russell, Joe and Kathy as well as the many people whom he adopted and called his friends.

A wake began Friday at the Longhouse with the rosary recited at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Wake begin at noon on Monday and was followed by Mass in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the Snyelmn Sntmtmne with military honors. Condolences may be left at

Lois M. Dupuis
POLSON — Lois M. Dupuis passed away on November 27, 2012, at the age of 94. An enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), Lois ventured far from home, for a lady of her generation, seeking employment. After serving as the recording secretary of the first federally recognized tribal council of the CSKT, she worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Billings and for the Crow Tribe of Montana. She then transferred to work in Washington D.C. for the Pentagon and met and married fellow tribal member James Phillip Dupuis. She met Jim through the ‘moccasin telegraph’ as she was rooming with two of his sisters at the time.

Upon retirement from the Forest Service, Lois and Jim became cherry orchardists on Finley Point. At 72, Lois lost her sight and became a Montana leader in bringing awareness to the training and services needed by people of low vision. Lois was selected, from a field of 6500 nominees, for a 1999 “Ageless Hero” award, winning in the “Beating the Odds” category for overcoming the challenges of a disability by Blue Cross-Blue Shield Insurance. Lois started the Mission Valley Chapter of the Montana Association of the Blind, and at 84, served as host and organizer of the 2002 Annual State Conference. Lois served as the Prayer Chain Chair for the First Baptist Church for 10 years.

She was the eldest daughter of Fred and Hellen Houle, and was preceded in death by her husband, James; daughter, Janet; son, Victor; sister, June Dullaghan; and brother, Fred, Jr.

She is survived by her sisters, Lora, Allene, and Rosemary; brother, Bob; daughter, Anita; son, Virgil; grandchildren, Lucas and Ana; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Viewing was November 28 and 29 at Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. A memorial service followed by a luncheon was held at the First Baptist Church on Highway 35, on November 30, 2012. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lois’ name to the Montana Association for the Blind or the First Baptist Church. Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at

Mike Reynolds
CUT BANK — Mike Reynolds, 71, whose humor, wisdom, work ethic and dedication earned the respect and made a difference in the lives of more young people than most of us will ever know in a lifetime passed away at home Wednesday November 28, 2012, after a courageous battle with cancer.

John M. (Mike) Reynolds was born October 6, 1941, in San Francisco, California, to Montana natives John R. and Marie Grenier Reynolds. Moving to Polson during his young teen years, Reynolds, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, was a graduate of Polson High School, Class of 1959, a class (with friendships, give or take a year either way) whose bonds still remain strong. He continued his schooling at Northern Montana College and earned his degree in elementary education from the University of Montana in 1963. In 1964, Reynolds enlisted as a member of the 650th Personnel Service Company of the United States Army Reserve, Great Falls, and served for six years. His name is among those honored at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Warrior/Veterans Wall of Remembrance at the Eagle Circle, in Pablo.

Teaching one year in Power, Montana, in 1962, and then moving to Cut Bank, Reynolds began a career as an educator and coach that would span the next 50 years, finishing with the 2012 cross-country season. Many middle school English students came under his tutelage; his passion was track and field and cross-country, and for Reynolds there was no finish line. He would always be preparing for the next meet, the next season. Inducted into the Montana High School Association Coaches Hall of Fame and the National High School Association Coaches Hall of Fame, Reynolds was tireless in helping young athletes attain their potential. His life-long friendships with like-minded coaches reached across the state and country.

Reynolds married Linda Cook at a family ranch near Geraldine, December 23, 1973. He is survived by his wife; daughters, Jill Reynolds and Erin Reynolds, of Portland, Oregon; son, John Reynolds, currently living in Cut Bank; siblings, Richard Reynolds, Sharon Reynolds and Joseph Browning, all of Polson; and aunt, Dorothy Grenier, of Portland, Oregon.

The family’s deepest appreciation goes out to the doctors and staff at Benefis East, Great Falls, and Northern Rockies Medical Center, Cut Bank, for their excellent care. And also to nurse/neighbor, Janice Fauque, whose willingness to step in allowed Mike to be at home during his final weeks. Memorials may be made to: Rockies Healthcare Foundation, PO Box 10, Cut Bank, Montana, 59427; or, Polson High School Class of ’59 Scholarship, 32564 Skidoo Lane, Polson, Montana, 59860.

Cremation has taken place; a celebration of his life was held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at Cut Bank High School. A private family burial will take place at a later date.

Olive Ella Frey "Tootie"
RONAN — Olive Ella Frey “Tootie”, passed away at the age of 89 at St. Luke’s Hospital in hospice care on November 10, 2012.

She was born June 2, 1923, in Bridger to Clarence and Sadie Spencer. Raised and educated in Bridger and Moiese, she married Harry Frey in January of 1942.

Tootie worked at F&F Fabrics in St. Ignatius, at the hospital in St. Ignatius as a Nurse’s Aide, at the St. Ignatius school kitchen, Mission Drug, Country Side Café and Old Timers Café.

Tootie was an active member in the Order of the Easter Star for over fifty years. She spent much of her time sewing blankets and clothing for the Shiners’ Children’s Hospital, and donated her work to Organization “Daughters of the Nile”.

Tootie spent her time and life dedicating her time to others. Whether it was time in an organization such as, Eastern Star, or her sewing room, she was always concerned with people other than herself. It is an understatement to say she was selfless, and it showed in her works. We will all miss her warm embrace and comforting laughter. She taught many to live life “as it is”, hard yet rewarding, but no matter the hardships, joy will shine through in family and friends. Let’s let us all remember what life is truly about when thinking of the times we spent with those such as Grandma Tootie.

Proceeded in death by: her husband, Harry Frey; and her brothers, Arthur Spencer and Lee Spencer.

Survived by: her three sons, Larry (Helen) Frey, of Polson, Raymond (Dolly)Frey, of St. Ignatius, and Dennis Frey, of Kalispell; her siblings, Walt Spencer, Faye Sweeney, Myrtle (Leo) Schroeder and Dixie Parker; grandchildren, Richard Frey, Judy Hudek, Heather Stiles, Colleen Frey-Cordier, Ben Frey, Sadie Frey-Harris, Troy Frey, Nikki Karish, Lacy Frey, Josh Felton, and Stacy McElderry; eight great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchildren; and multiple nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at Mission Valley United Methodist Church, on Saturday, December 8, 2012, 10 a.m. Friends and family please join us for services with a lunch to follow.

Memorials to Mission Valley United Methodist Church, donations to “The Order of the Eastern Star” in care of: Joanne Brock, 38191 St. Mary’s Lake Road, St. Ignatius, Montana, 59865.

Randy Joe Santos
ARLEE — Randy Joe Santos, 36, passed away in Arlee on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

Randy was born September 3, 1975, in St. Ignatius, to Rosemary and Raymond Santos. Randy is a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe. He was raised and graduated high school in Arlee.

Randy met Shawna Ringle in 1989, and together they had a baby girl Tiara Rose Santos, the love of his life.

Randy spent some time in Spokane, Washington, and moved back in 2008 to help take care of our mother and devoted his time to her until she passed.

Most recently Randy met Tiffany Griffin, whom he fell in love with and she brought him a lot of happiness in their short time together.

Our brother was a good man with a big heart and he truly cared and loved his family as we did him. We will truly miss him and his contagious smile.

Randy is preceded in death by his father, Raymond Santos, Sr., and his mother, Rosemary Santos. Survivors include a daughter, Tiara Rose Santos; brothers, Raymond, Jr. (Liz), Roman, Robbie, Ricky (Collette), Jess (Lisa), Michael (Sandy) and Ronald (Tosh); sisters, Gloria (Steve) and Trudy (Joe); and numerous nieces and nephews.

A wake began Friday at the Arlee Indian Senior Center with the rosary being recited on Sunday at 8 p.m. The wake service was November 26, at 10 a.m. in the Senior Center, followed by Mass at the Jocko Catholic Church. Condolences may be left at

Monica Vanderberg
ARLEE — Monica Vanderburg, 27, passed away November 19, 2012, in Missoula from respiratory failure due to inhalant use.

Born in St. Ignatius on January 1, 1985, she was the New Years baby for 1985. Proud of her Salish and Oglala Lakota heritage, she made the Reservation her home living her life and enjoying the freedom it gave her.

She is survived by her parents, Wayne (Sandy) Vanderburg, of Pablo, and Val Brings Yellow, of Oglala, South Dakota; her children, Tristan Isiah, Ethane Zachary and Trevor Austin; her Kahneh, Frances Vanderburg; grandpa, John C. BringsYellow Sr., siblings, Alonzo, Martin (Chelsi) Vanderburg, Jubilee (Aaron) Santos, Rayvis Vanderburg and step sister, Coralea “Maya” Barnaby; nieces and nephews, Alyssia, Amare, Keyshia, Juaquin, Eshan, Alonny and Madison; aunts and uncles, (Winona) BringsYellow, John (Virginia) BringsYellow, Reggie (Vina) Roan Eagle, Malissa (Dane) Morigeau, Arleen Adams; and many, many more aunties, nunus and cousins.

A rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. on Friday in the Arlee Community Center, with wake closing at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Mass will follow at the Jocko Church at 3 p.m. Family requests that in lieu of flowers that memorial be made in her name to Safe Harbor. Condolences may be left at

Desmond Paul "Dez" Pablo
ST. IGNATIUS — Desmond Paul “Dez” Pablo, 29, went to be with the Creator on Saturday, November 24, 2012. A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was born September 10, 1983, in St. Ignatius, to Roger and Maxine (Adams) Pablo. He was raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation by his parents, and on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington by his Qene’, Leota Pablo.

A woodsman by trade, he post and poled until a logging accident left him in a wheelchair. Even this didn’t slow Dez down! As a lifelong “hoopster,” he was undefeated in all games for the last couple of years he played. He played all over Washington, Idaho and Montana with the “Descendants,” “Desert Horse” and “Hillside Ballers.” He always loved his basketball and was still the “Biggest Baddest Indian Around,” in his words!

He was preceded in death by great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Price; grandparents, Louis “Pug” Pablo, Sr., and Nadine Papin Adams; aunt, June Iona Pablo; cousins, Louie Roy Pablo III, Viola Brown, Heather Adams and Geralynn Grayboy; nieces, Omniara Pablo, Marie Burke and Baby Heather Adams; and nephews, Michael OneHorn and Louis Snowy Mountain Shepard.

He leaves behind his parents, Roger and Maxine Pablo; significant other, Mary Jo Hawk; daughter, Ayden, and Roll Dogg Tuggers; brothers, Roger Jr. and William Pablo (Kristina); sisters, Deah Adams (Kevin); and twin sister, Rosi Pablo (Matt); Qene’, Leota Pablo; grandfather, LouisAdams (Gert); uncles, Danny Pablo Sr. (Stephanie), Eddie Pablo Sr. (Lori), Louie Pablo Jr., Eugene “Bones” Pablo, Jim Adams, Ray Adams and Jason Adams (Autumn); aunts, Myrna Dumontier (Greg), Brenda Morton (Randy), Arleen Adams (Bill) and Andrea Adams; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family members from Montana and Washington.

A wake began Monday at the Arlee Community Center, with the rosary recited at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Wake closing began at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, with Mass following at the Community Center. Interment was be at Jocko Cemetery. Condolences may be left at or

Linda Plouffe
RONAN — Linda Plouffe, 45, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Missoula.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, she was born Nov. 2, 1967, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Bernard Louis Plouffe and Lillie Sanchez. A dedicated mother, she made her home in Tacoma until 1999, when she moved to Ronan. Linda loved to gamble, listen to KORN, watch detective movies and go to secondhand stores and yard sales. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, David Plouffe; and cousin, Monica Shepard.

She is survived by her children, Matthew (Chasity Maestas) Vanham, Jason (Natessa Shigley) Vanham, and Garrett Plouffe; brothers, Joe Plouffe and Louis Plouffe (his children, Teresa and Robert Plouffe); as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A wake was started at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the Rosary being at 7 p.m. Sunday, with a Mass being held Monday at 11 a.m., in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Condolences may be left at

Robert R. Colman
ST. IGNATIUS — Robert R. Colman, 36, passed away Nov 21, 2012, in Missoula. A member of the CS&KT, he was born to Randy Wheeler and Linda Colman on April 16, 1976, in St. Ignatius.

A woodsman by trade, he was also an Indian Firefighter, working often with the Montana Indian Fire Fighters. A practical joker by nature, he was also an avid Griz fan who enjoyed his video games and weight lifting.

Survivors include his son, Ethan; parents, Randy (Laneta) Wheeler and Linda (Chuck Zeiler) Colman; sisters, Melinda Simpson, Melissa Taylor and Bobbi Jo Wheeler; brother, Will Wheeler; as well as numerous aunties, uncles, cousins and friends.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Friday in the Longhouse with wake closing beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. Mass will follow at 11 a.m. Saturday in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment will be in the Jocko Cemetery. Condolences may be left at

John Edward Fisher
ARLEE — On Monday November 12, 2012, John Edward Fisher began his journey to the ancestors. He was born February 7, 1961, to William Sr. and Violet Fisher.

John is survived by his fiancée, Dacia Marie Vollin; daughters, Tia (Ted) and Naomi; sons, Robert (Megan) and Kevin; granddaughter, Ahriah; mother, Violet Fisher; sisters, Virginia (Jim) and Christine (Mike); and brothers, Mickey (Dacia) and Les (Inj). He is preceded in death father, William Sr.; sister, Mona; and brother, Ronald.

A wake started Wednesday, November 14, at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. The rosary was on Thursday, November 15. Wake closed on Friday, Nov 16, and the mass followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Interment will be in the Jocko Cemetery.

Condolences may be left at