Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2014

Cheryl Birdena Parker
ARLEE — Cheryl Birdena Parker, 'SherBear', 'Sherry', 52, of Arlee, passed away on Friday, February 7, 2014 at St. Patrick Hospital.

She was born on January 10, 1962 in Hot Springs, to Louie and Mary Lucy Parker. She was a descendent of Rosalie Telpah Matt and Steven A. Matt.

She graduated from high school in Arlee. Afterwards, Cheryl attended Salish Kootenai College, Haskell, and the University of Montana, where she made many friends and had many fun adventures. She worked for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Mission Valley Power for many years. At MVP, she was a Customer Service Representative before moving to the Accounting Department. In the early 2000’s, she moved to OAB and worked in Contracts and Grants.

Cheryl had many hobbies including playing with her granddaughter, cooking, beading, spending time with family, and playing Guitar Hero. She cheered on the Griz football team. She enjoyed huckleberry picking with Mona and Darwin. And she was always at the local powwows.

A loving mother, daughter, and grandmother, she took great care of her family. She was a pet lover and had a few special cats, including: Rango Tango, Chiparoo Mister Cat, Lil’ Lady, Baby Lucky, Hugsy, Patches, and Buddy. She also had two dogs, Bowser and Koda.

Survivors include her daughters, Dawnelda Parker, Rosalie (Keith O’Neill) Parker, Shanelle Parker, and Shania Parker; granddaughter, Aurora Royalle Mali Parker; her mother, Mary Lucy Parker Matt; stepfather, Larry Villegas; her brothers, Darwin (Mona) Parker, Timothy Parker, and Randal Parker; godmother and aunt, Jenny Matt; her special auntie, Charlene Petet; aunts, Wilhelmina Wright, Mary Val Plant, Katie Nick and Martha Langston; uncles, Clark (Leeann) Matt, Steve (Helen) Matt, and Marvin Matt; her nieces, Carmen Barnes, Olivia Hennell, Cristy Brooks, Kelly Parker, and Joselyn Felsman; her nephews, Timothy Brooks, Mark Felsman, Larz Felsman, and Ozzy Felsman; and handful of great nieces and nephews, whom she loved and enjoyed.

In accordance with her wishes there will be no service at this time. Instead there will be a dinner in June to celebrate her life. Information of the dinner will be announced at a later date.

Cremation was under the care of Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies. Condolences and memories may be left for the family at

Cindy Mikesell
ST. IGNATIUS — Cindy Mikesell stepped from our door to begin new adventures on February 17, 2014. We wish she had more time with us but her bags were packed with old memories and dreams. Missed will be her soft caresses, the brush of hand, the look that was given with a smile or frown. There is a light as long as those of us who knew and loved her draw strength from her memory. Our paths will meet again for this a journey we all must take.

Those who knew Cindy go with her in spirit. Now the bed is empty of snuggles and the usual morning chatter is void of sounds of breakfast cooking, telephone ringing and day plans. Missed and loved, the darkness of this passing is profound. Cindy, we love you.

Cindy is the daughter of Shirley and Eldin Alexander. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 11, 1957. She raised three boys to be proud of. She owned and operated two thriving businesses: MMSR Trucking and Mission Mountain Rain Gutters. She leaves her friends and family with love and wonderful memories.

We can share the joyous stories - mischievous and misfortunate - crafted to celebrate and inspire family and friends. All are invited to celebrate a life that touched so many. Bring your memories, love and laughter and join us at the Second Chance Saloon on March 1, 2014 at 4 p.m.

Morris Robert Houle
NIRADA — Morris Robert 'Bob' Houle, 81, passed away from natural causes on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, while surrounded by all his loving children. Bob was born September 5, 1932, in Ronan, to Fredrick J. and Hellen E. Houle (Winslow).

In 1951, Bob married Phyllis (Tougas) Houle. Also in 1951, he joined the US Air Force. He served from 1951 to 1954. He was stationed as an air policeman at Fairchild, in Spokane, Washington. During Phyllis and Bob’s 19 years of marriage they had five children. In 1955, Bob served as a Tribal Council Member for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes at the young age of 22. In 1970, Bob married Cherilee (Dresen) Houle and had three more children during their 26 years of marriage.

Bob lived most of his life on a ranch southeast of Polson. Construction was his trade, but what he really loved was farming and ranching. His entrepreneur spirit lead him to establish a construction business called Mud Creek Construction. When he wasn’t working for himself, he worked as a Carpentry Instructor at Kicking Horse Job Corp. Ultimately, he retired as a Building Inspector for S&K Housing Authority in 1995.

After retiring, Bob moved to Niarada to spend the rest of his days ranching and being a cowboy on what he called the “Wolf Bait Ranch”. As everyone who knew Bob during this time, he really pushed the limit riding and trading some rough horses and some great horses. He entered steer wrestling in local rodeos when most cowboys his age had hung up their hats. He lived hard. He always used to say “I would have taken better care of myself if I would have known I’d live this long”.

Dad was famous for one liners. Many of them not appropriate for print. This trait must be hereditary if you ever listen to his sons.

Our brother, husband, dad, Papa Bob, will be remembered as a hard-working man, an absolute true cowboy with the biggest hands you’ve ever seen. He had a great voice, loved to sing old country music and yes, Bob, “it is hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way”. We love you and you will be greatly missed.

He is proceeded in death by his father, Fredrick J. Houle; his mother, Hellen E. Houle; sisters, Lois Dupuis and June Dulleghan; brother, Fredrick J. Houle; and daughter, Linda M. Houle.

Bob is survived by three siblings, Allene Cole, of Dixon, Lora Cole, of Polson, and Rose Kugler, of Ronan. He is also survived by seven children, Cathy (Houle) and Keith Barrows, of Arlee, Mike and Pamala Houle, of Polson, Sandy (Houle) and Brian Hall, of Hot Springs, Fred J. Houle, of Arlee, Kelly and Christy Houle, of Columbia Falls, Hugh and Lisa Houle, of Ronan, and Jolene (Houle) and Eric Henricksen, of Ronan. Bob was blessed with 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

William Richard Gingras
ST. IGNATIUS – William Richard 'Wild Bill' Gingras, 77, passed away Saturday, February 15, 2014, at St. Lukes Community Hospital.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was born to Eli Richard and Agnes (Nomee) Gingras on June 27, 1936, in St. Ignatius. Raised and educated in Hot Springs, he graduated from Flandreau Boarding School in South Dakota. He then joined the Army proudly serving his country. After receiving his honorable discharge he went on to log, as a carpenter, at the Highway Department and for Mission Valley Power.

'Wild Bill' enjoyed pool, hunting and fishing, stickgame, mechanics and carpentry. He was a true 'Jack of all Trades' and was highly skilled at them all.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eli Richard and Agnes (Nomee) Gingras; sisters, Teddi Charette, Martha, Annie and Christine; and brothers Joseph, Lewis and Francis Gingras.

He leaves behind his sons, Emery Wilson, Brian and John Gingras; sisters, Matlida Marie “Chicky” (Stan) Graham, and JoAnne (Rod) Schall; brothers, David (Lorelda) Gingras, George (Lori) Mitchell and Peter (Cynthia) Mitchell; five grandgchildren, 4 great-grandchildren with one on the way; and numerous nieces, nephews and a large extended family.

A wake began Monday at the Longhouse with Rosary being recited at 8 pm Tuesday (tonight). Closing services will be Wednesday at 11 am in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius where military honors will also be presented. Condolences may be left at