Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2013

John Baptiste Mahseelah
BRITISH COLUMBIA — John Baptiste Mahseelah passed away peacefully at the Rocky Mountain Village in Fernie, British Columbia, on February 18, 2013.

John worked for McDonalds Ranch and Lumber for many years until his retirement. In his retirement he enjoyed travelling to pow wows and celebrations. John was an avid stick game competitor. He cherished his family and friends and willingly shared his knowledge and experiences about traditions, culture and life.

John was predeceased by his father, David Mahseelah; mother, Mary Lucy Maseelah (Baptiste); son, Dennis Brian; sisters, Mary (Andrew), Margaret, and Julia (Pierre); and brother, Joe Pierre.

John leaves to mourn his loving wife of 53 years, Mary; his aunt, Lucy Caye; brother, Edward McClure, son, John Maseelah, Jr.; and grandchildren, Patrick, Warden, Dawn (Adam), Denny (Stephanie); great-grandchildren, Tayden, Uriah, Evelyn, Abagail, Rebecc, Maddie and Kyden; along with numerous nieces, nephews and many lifelong friends and acquaintances.

Wake and rosaries were held February 21, 2013, at Tobacco Plains Band Hall. Services were February 22, 2013, at Pioneer Hall, Grasmere, British Columbia. Interment was at the Rooseville Cemetery.

Henri Michele Christie
RONAN — Henri Michele Christie, 37, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2013, after a long battle with cerebral palsy. She was born in Plains, on February 11, 1976, to Henry and Barbara Christie. A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes she was also proud of her Cherokee ancestry, being half of each.

Henri was raised in the Mission Valley. She liked listening to Elvis Presley and loved watching Disney movies.

She was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Mitch Smallsalmon and Lucy Parker; and paternal grandparents, Henry and Marie Christie.

Survivors include her parents, Henry and Barb Christie; sisters, Rose Pierre, Mary “Teeny” Pierre, Sheri Old Horn, Lucille “Muffy” Ross, Lucy Christie, Samantha Old Horn, Susan McCrea and Chanda Christie; brothers, Frank Parker, James Parker, Lester Old Horn, Glen Parker Sr., and Joshua Christie; aunties, Theresa Risland, Maryann KickingWoman, Lela McKee, and Alice Smallsalmon; uncles, Jimmy Dale Whitekiller, Mitch (Ducie) Christie, Stanley (Donetta) Healy, Stephen (Juanita) Smallsalmon and Phillip (Debbie) Paul; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A traditional wake began on March11, 2013, at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, with the Rosary being recited Tuesday evening. Wake closing began Wednesday, March 13, with Mass following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Condolences may be left at

Clara May Bourdon Howlett
POLSON — Clara May Bourdon Howlett passed away February 1, 2013, in Polson. She was born on April 9, 1924, in St. Ignatius, to Joseph and Rosie (Vincent) Bourdon.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, she was raised and educated at the Urselines before moving to Pierre, South Dakota, where she spent some of the happiest times of her young life. While at Pierre Indian School, she was president of her class; class monitor and was also in the Glee Club that performed “Over the Rainbow” for the Governor of South Dakota. She graduated in 1942.

Upon finishing her schooling she married Eugene Howlett, and to this union they had four children, Ken, Gloria (Jack), Glenn (Sue) and Diana. She is also survived by her eight grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.

Clara moved to Polson in 1998, but lived in Hot Springs for 70 years. She was a wonderful homemaker always baking and making sure everyone’s needs were met. She worked at the Hot Springs rest home for ten years, was a homemaker for the Tribe and cooked at the Senior Center.

She also loved to eat out, go to Bingo and visit her best friend of 50 years, Jean Mitchell. Every year she brought her camp trailer to the Plains Fair where she would meet up with friends and play Bingo.

In accordance with Clara’s wishes, graveside services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Snyelmn Sntmtmne, in St. Ignatius. Messages of condolences may be sent to: P.O. Box 851 Polson, Montana, 59860, or fosterfhandcrematory.comPaul Gary Mathias, Jr.
POLSON — Paul Gary Mathias, Jr., 61, passed away on Friday, February 8, 2013, at his home. Gary was born July 7, 1951, in St. Ignatius and lived in Washington State for several years.

Gary was considered a Jack-of-all-trades and held several different jobs to prove this. He was the general manager of Sears and Roebuck Co. and Pay and Pack in Yakima, Washington. He also worked for Blue Diamond, in Mount Vernon, Washington, and S&K Electronics, in Pablo. Gary was also a commercial fisherman for many years and worked for the local Mack Days, in Polson.

His hobbies included playing stickgames, hunting, fishing, bingo, keno, and roulette. Gary loved to watch “The Price is Right,” football (Seattle Seahawks being his favorite team), boating, huckleberry picking and attending pow wows. Rodeos, horseracing and boxing were also some of his favorites.

Gary held strong beliefs in his traditional culture and was a proud member of the Kootenai Tribe.

Gary is preceded in death by his father, Paul Mathias, Sr.; his mother, Bessie H. Williams; his son, Paul Mathias, III; step-father, Floyd Williams; sisters, Georgette, Marilyn, and Veda Mae Mathias; a brother-in-law, Pat Lefthand, Sr.; his grandfather, Chief Baptiste Mathias; and great-grandfather, Chief Koostahtah.

Gary is survived by his daughter, Mariya Mathias; step-children, Sara Sam, Maggie Sam, and Mikey Edwards; Patrick and James Murphy, from a previous marriage; and a step-son, Terry Howell. His brothers, Reuben (Phyllis Gray) Virgil, Edmund”Bud”, and Tom Williams (Dixie); and sisters, Naida Lefthand, and Cheryl Mathias (Wain). Gary is also survived by his aunts, Patricia Hewankorn, Alice Hewankorn and Mae Noyes; his great-grandmother, Helen Charlo; great-uncle, Tony Anderson, of Cle Elum, Washington; nieces and nephews, Oskie, Josh, Lionel, Issaiah, Zachary, Jacki and Moses, Lisa and James, Phyllissa and Chaskae, Veda, Clarice, Eunice, Marty, Kenny Paul, Louie, Budz, Eric, Cecilia, and Seneca and Kiowa; numerous other nieces and nephews; and grand-nieces and great-nephews.

Wake Services were Sunday, February 10, 2013. Funeral services were held on Monday, February 11, at the Elmo Hall with burial immediately following at Dayton Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the care of Grogan Funeral Home.

Gloria Fern Moss Whitworth
POLSON — Gloria Fern Moss Whitworth, 75, formerly of Blackfoot, Idaho, passed away Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

Gloria was born October 11, 1937, in St. Ignatius, to Henry Moss and Elsie Truchot. She attended school in St. Ignatius and Fort Hall, Idaho. She lived different places in Montana and Idaho, spending the last three years in Polson.

In 1953, Gloria married Gene Whitworth. They were later divorced.

She worked as a cook at the State Hospital, in Blackfoot, Idaho. In her free time she enjoyed fishing, sewing, painting and gardening. She was a very accomplished artist. She loved spending time with her family and taking her grandchildren fishing.

Gloria is survived by her children, Roxanne Whitworth, of Arlee, J.R. (Ginger) Whitworth, of Thomas, Idaho, Danny (Robin) Whitworth, of Rexburg, Idaho, Wanda (Bryon) Whitworth, of Polson, and Tina Whitworth, of Idaho Falls, Idaho; sister, Marilyn (John) Woods, of Blackfoot, Idaho; 23 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents; son, Kelly Whitworth; brothers, John Moss, Jim Moss, Thomas Moss, George Moss and Frank Moss; sister, Mickey Wadsworth; and granddaughter, Deanna Whitworth.

A funeral service was held February 18, 2013, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue, in Blackfoot. Family met with friends and family on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at Hawker Funeral Home prior to services. Interment followed at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Robert Omar Fundingsland
ARLEE — Robert Omar Fundingsland, 69, passed away, February 13, 2013, at his home in surrounded by his family, after a long and courageous battle with kidney failure. Bob was blessed by the loving care of his wife, children and many friends.

Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, January 17, 1944, Bob was the thirteenth child of Omar and Mabel Holwell Fundingsland. Bob spent his early years in Crookston, Minnesota, and Parshall, North Dakota, and graduated high school in Bemidji, Minnesota, in 1962. Bob’s dream was to live in Montana. He spent the summers of 1962 and 1963 as a wrangler at the Lazy-K-Bar Ranch, which was founded by the Van Cleve family in the Big Timber Canyon north of Big Timber, Montana. “As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a cowboy. I was fascinated by good guys with white hats and a six gun that never ran out of bullets. But, I was mostly intrigued by cowboys that could rope.” Bob would rope anything that moved, including his mother and later his dogs and children.

Bob married Judy McCrea on October 18, 1969, in Georgetown, Ontario. Judy runs The Russian Olive Bed and Breakfast, in Arlee, and is a board member of the Community Development Corporation (CDC) and founding member of Kill Deer Artisans Guild. Bob had a long and successful career as a financial advisor starting with IDS, concluding with Rocky Mountain Financial in Missoula. Many clients have remained longtime friends through his professional career spanning 42 years.

Bob enjoyed leatherwork, building saddles, and had a passion for cars. He enjoyed photography, playing guitar, and in his later years, golf. But, above all, he loved his family.

Bob is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judith Fundingsland, his son, David Fundingsland, of Beijing, China; his daughter, Carrie Fundingsland; and son-in-law, Francis Okwu, of Los Angeles, California; and three grandchildren, Anika, Afton and Mica Okwu; and siblings, Dianne Hilde, Rita Enge, and Marlene “Sugar” Hanson. Preceded in death by siblings, Joyce Bougie, Dale Fundingsland, Veryl Fundingsland , Phyllis Olson, Esther Steiner, Estelle Fundingsland, Richard Fundingsland ,Carol “Muffy” Fundingsland, and Alaine.

Two memorial services will be held, the first was held on Monday, February 18, 2013, at the United Methodist Church in Charlo. The second service will be held in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in the late spring. A memorial fund has been set up for his wife, Judith Fundingsland, to aid with expenses. Contributions can be made payable to: Judith Fundingsland, c/o Arlee CDC, P.O. Box 452, Arlee, Montana, 59821.

Condolences and memories may be left for the family at

Archie Thomas “Big Arch” Carpenter
ST. IGNATIUS — Archie Thomas “Big Arch” Carpenter, 60, joined his precious pugs Toby, Puggs, Jake and Blackie, passing away Sunday evening at his home from a heart attack.

The only boy in triplets that were born in St. Ignatius on February 9, 1953, to James and Irene “Nonie” (Quequesah) Carpenter, he lived in St. Ignatius most of his life. Archie went to school in Ronan and Miles City. He worked at post and pole a majority of his life and sold his beadwork.

Beadwork was his passion. A lot of it is hanging up in most businesses in the Mission Valley. He enjoyed mowing everybody’s yards, and had a love for softball and playing pool.

Also waiting for him on the other side are his parents, Irene “Nonie” (Quequesah) and James Carpenter; grandparents, Columbus and Ursula Bourdon; brother, Jake Carpenter; and sisters, Marlene “Muck” LaFrombois and Charlene Kee.

Survivors include his children, Ike Carpenter, Dillon Carpenter, Joe Olsen, Louie Morigeau, J.J. Morigeau and Dari Ann Garcia; his brothers, Wes Carpenter, Donald Carpenter, and Bert Carpenter; sisters, Marie Carpenter, Tracy Carpenter and Joann Ascencio; numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and many friends including his close friend, Annie Hammer.

A wake began Tuesday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius with the Rosary being held Wednesday. Wake closing will begin Thursday with Mass following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Snyelmn Sntmtmne. Condolences may be left at