Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
October 2014

Barbara Tucker
ST. IGNATIUS — Barbara Tucker, 67 of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, passed away October 8, 2014 in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. She was born November 12, 1946 in St. Ignatius, the daughter of Josephine Morigeau Steele and Matthew “Swede” Steele. Barbara was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Barbara started schooling in California and graduated in 1964 from Arlee High School. That fall she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where she studied in the arts, music and opera for two years, then she transferred to Montana State University in Bozeman to continue with her degree. Barbara had a gift of song. A highlight of her life was dancing at the White House for President Johnson.

Barbara met her first husband, Robert H. Cotton, while attending MSU Bozeman. And from this union, her four children were born.

Barbara was employed at the First National Bank for several years and later at Capital Savings Bank, both in Glasgow. During her years in Glasgow she was a member of the Cowbells, enjoyed bowling and volleyball. She sold home interior decorating and Tupperware, for a time. She is also remembered for her beautiful wedding and specialty cakes, as well as floral arrangements she made for an extra income.

She married Ron Tucker in October 1986, and relocated to Lewistown with her four children. While in Lewistown, she pursued her love of gardening and transformed her yard into works of art. She gained employment as Fergus County Deputy Superintendent of Schools for a time and devoted her life to being active in church related ministries.

Ron and Barb later relocated to Oklahoma, where she continued her love of gardening, home decorating and serving the Lord.

Survivors are her husband, Ron; three daughters, Collette Cotton, of Glascow, Elissa Cotton, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and Joanna Cotton, of St. Lawrence, Wisconsin; son, Lane Cotton, of Belgrade; 16 grandchildren; sisters, Beverly Steele, of Dixon, Betty Steele, of Arlee, Yvonne Grenier, of Arlee, and Denise Steele, of Arlee; brothers, Jim Steele, Sr., of Polson, and Jody Steele of Arlee; several nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers; Melvin, Harold and Robert "Robbie" and John Steele, and sister, Carol Steele Pierre.

Funeral services were Monday, October 13, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home Chapel, in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, with Rev. Mike Glass officiating. Burial followed at Sallisaw City Cemetery under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home.

Active pallbearers were Lane Cotton, Christian Tucker, Alias McKnight, Loy Gragg, Bryon Messig, Bryan F. Jenner, Cody Vann, Levi Catron and Denny Thedford.

Viewing was 1-8 p.m. Saturday, and 2-8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: VOM, P.O. Box 443 Bartlesville, OK 74005 or Faith Covenant International, P.O. Box 2570 Parker, CO 80134.

Jody Laureen Butler
POLSON – On October 9, 2014, after a long intensive struggle with health issues, Jody Laureen Butler left on her journey to be with the Lord, her friends and family. Jody was born to Joseph and Sybil Hawkins Butler on December 10, 1967. She was proud to be a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, but most of all was proud to belong to God whom she relied on these last few years. While battling her severe illness, she always kept her strong belief in the Lord and was very strong until the end.

Jody did many things during her lifetime, but her three children and six grandchildren always came first. She always loved her work, from working in the woods to being a Tribal Officer, and then to Mission Valley Power as a warehouse assistant.

Jody is survived by her mother, Sybil Hawkins Butler; three children, Brandon Jeppesen (Rick Jeppesen), Taija Collier and Dalton Collier (Leo Collier); six grandchildren; four sisters, Shelly Hendrickson (Shane), Pamela Butler, Crystal Butler and Juanita Butler; one brother, Leslie Butler; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her father, Joe Butler; niece, Cameron Hendrickson; and granddaughter, Adileah Collier.

Jody loved all of her family, immediate and extended, and will be missed by all. She loved life itself, and even with limitations of poor health, she did as much as possible and as much as she could.

A wake was Saturday at 5:00 pm in the Longhouse, St. Ignatius; services were Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the Longhouse, St. Ignatius, followed with a dinner.

Condolences may be left at

Celine Rose Matt
ST. IGNATIUS — Celine Rose Matt died peacefully in her home of natural causes at the age of 80, on October 16, 2014 with her family by her side.

She was born October 10, 1934 in St. Ignatius, at the Holy Family Hospital, to the proud parents of Dewey and Ferol Matt.

Celine attended Flandreau Indian School, of Flandreau, South Dakota. She married Robert Huitt, of Klamath Falls, Oregon. She liked to play piano and guitar. She could play Chopin and Bach by ear, and if you ever had the pleasure of listening to her play "Boogie Woogie Ragtime", your memory will make you smile. Whenever she grabbed a guitar she would strum up country western songs. She loved her Papillon dog, Hannah, and Elvis Presley! Sewing was one of her favorite hobbies.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Dewey Matt, Jr., Irvine Jean Matt, Duane Matt, Anthony Ernest Matt, Teresa McNair, Royal Jude Matt, Marianne Matt, and Calvin Matt.

She is survived by her brother, Francis Matt, of Klamath Falls, Oregon; her daughter, Genevieve Huitt; her grandchildren, Kateri Huitt, Beartracks Calanche and Star Yellowhorn; and her great grandchildren, Tyra and Aliyah Huitt, Ethan and Beartracks Calanche, Jr., and Piikani Yellowhorn. Pallbearers are Fred Matt, Randy McNair, Kevin Pierce, Chuckie McClure, Mike Matt, Beartracks Calanche. Honorary bearers are Matthew Winegart, Art McNair, Tyra Matt, and Allen Speedy Matt.

The wake began Sunday at 4 p.m. and Rosary at 8 p.m. at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. The funeral was held Monday at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church at 10 a.m.