Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
February 2015

Charles Joseph Rhine
POLSON — Charles "Chuck" Joseph Rhine, 78, of Polson, passed away in his home on February 6, 2015. Chuck was born on January 23, 1937 to LeRoy and Lucile Rhine. Chuck attended school in Spokane, Washington, with his sister, Mercedes, and brother, Don.

As a young man he enlisted in the Army and proudly served his country in the Korean War. Upon returning to the United States, Chuck started a short career as a traveling salesman where he met the love of his life, Helen M. Silva. Chuck and Helen were married on July 10, 1971, at the Hitching Post in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho. Chuck was a proud father of son, Curt (Christy) J. Rhine, of Ronan, and daughter, Rhonda (Wayne) Arndt, of Sherman, Texas.

Chuck worked many years in construction before landing a successful career as a Structural Engineer for Motel 6. His career moved him and his family from Pendleton, Oregon, to Santa Barbara, Californai, and ending up in Sherman, Texas.

His long life and love for his family gave him many memories to cherish. Some of his favorite memories were coaching his son's and grandson’s baseball, wrestling, and football teams and daughter's softball team. Chuck enjoyed horseback riding in his younger years. As he aged, he changed his hobby to golfing, hunting, fishing, and playing a good game of cards with his friends and family. The longing to be closer to home moved Chuck and Helen back to Montana. Chuck began his own construction business in Polson, CREC Construction. Together with Helen, Chuck built his retirement dream home next to Turtle Lake, overlooking the beautiful Mission Mountains.

To Chuck, his greatest accomplishments in his life were his beautiful wife, his wonderful children, grandchildren and family.

Chuck is preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy and Lucile Rhine; sister, Mercedes (Paul) Wittkopf; and brother, Don (Billie Joe).

Chuck is survived by wife, Helen Rhine of Polson; son, Curt (Christy) Rhine, of Ronan; daughter, Rhonda (Wayne) Arndt, of Sherman, Texas; grandchildren, Chase, Carston, and Caden Rhine, and Trina and Hailey Arndt; great grandchildren, Cannon, Cason, and Alexis Farley; and several nieces and nephews.

There was a celebration of life reception at the Rhine residence, at 37490 Turtle Lake Loop, in Polson, on February 8, 2015.

Arrangements were under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory. (Formerly Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory).

Betty Jean McElderry
ST. IGNATIUS — Betty Jean McElderry, 85, passed away at her home in St. Ignatius, on February 4, 2015.

She was born in Spalding, Nebraska, on July 31, 1929 to James Marisch and Olive Michael.

She was raised and educated in Spokane, Washington, Betty met the love of her life, and on October 2, 1945, Jim McElderry and Betty were married.

Betty was a life long homemaker, enjoyed spending time cooking in the kitchen, and during her leisure hours could be found reading, sewing, and tending to her gardens.

She also loved caring for her related children, and those of dear friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, James Marisch and Olive Michael; husband, James McElderry; and infant daughter, Susan.

Betty is survived by brothers, Jean and David, of Spokane, Washington; and sisters, Joan and Carol, of Spokane, Washington, and Gloria, of Arizona; her nine children, James and wife, Kay, of Rapid City, South Dakota, Richard and wife, JoAnne, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Diane and husband, Bill, of St. Ignatius, Larry and wife Bonnie, of Butte, Gerald and wife, Kathleen, of Ronan, Michael and wife, Linda, of St. Ignatius, Joann and husband, William, of Bar Nunn, Wyoming, Melvin and friend, Forrest, of Missoula, and Barbara and husband, Howard, of St. Ignatius; 31 grandchildren; 49 great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.

Services were held at Foster Funeral Home, St Ignatius.

Sadie May Saloway
ELMO — Sadie May Saloway, 73, of Elmo, passed away on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Hospital of natural causes.

Sadie was born on March 20, 1941 in Flagestone, North America to Douglas Phillips, Sr., and Mary Gravelle.

Sadie was a tribal member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She worked to preserve the Kootenai culture and language and served on the Kootenai Elder Committee. She loved the Traditional Summer Language Camping Trips.

On March 10, 1958, she married Marvin Saloway, Sr., The couple made their home in Elmo, where they raised their family. Sadie held numerous jobs but was the most happy when she worked with children. She retired as a School Counselor for the Polson Public Schools.

Sadie loved to cook, sew, garden, and pick berries. In her younger years, Sadie was a very avid skier and bowler. She also liked to travel; a cruise to Alaska and a trip across the pond to London, England, were the highlights of her travels.

Sadie was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin Saloway, Sr.; her daughter, Tracy Saloway; her parents, Douglas Phillips, Sr., and Mary Gorrie; her brother, Douglas Phillips, Jr.; and sisters, Sarah (Sally) Pierre, Gloria Trahan and Susie Gorrie .

Survivors include her aunt, Elizabeth Gravelle, of Grasmere, B.C. Canada; brother, Victor (June) Phillips, of Big Sandy; sister, Angela (Paul) Paradise, of Grasmere, B.C. Canada; cousins, Grace Eneas, of Spokane, Washington, Margaret Elliot, of Elmo, Marge Blixt, of Pablo, and Wayne McCoy, of Elmo; and daughters, Jeris (Nelson) Fred-Racehorse, of Fort Hall, Idaho, Carol Saloway, and Dorothy Burney, of Elmo; and son, Marvin (Michelle) Saloway, Jr., of Elmo; grandchildren, Ambrose Cook-Saloway, Niche McClure, Ashten Rivard, Myles Metzger, and Kayin Racehorse; along with numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.

Rosary was held on Friday, February 13, at the Elmo Community Center at 8:00 p.m. Funeral mass was held Saturday, February 14, at 10:00 a.m. at the Elmo Community Center. Burial followed at Elmo Cemetery.thelakefuneralhomeand

Pilar J. Garcia
RONAN — Pilar J. Garcia, 77, passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 10, 2015.

He was born December 21, 1937, to Trinidad and Annie Garcia. He was one of eight children. In 1956, at the age of 19, he joined the United States Marine Corp. He served until 1958 and was very proud to serve his country.

When he was discharged from the Marines he came home and worked until he had a stroke in 1996 as a logger and log truck driver. He was the happiest when he was living and working in the forests of Montana. Pilar was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

He was proceeded in death by his loving parents; two brothers, Jack and Joe; and two sisters, Clara and Connie.

He is survived by three brothers, Don, Tony (Maxine) and George (Trudie); two sons, Lyle and John; daughter, Kathy; numerous grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and cousins. He also leaves behind his furry little companion, Puppy.

Cremation has taken place and Military Services will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015, at the Indian Senior Center in Ronan, at 11:00 a.m.

Shrider-Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service, of Ronan, is assisting with arrangements.

Philomene Redcrow
HOT SPRINGS — Philomene Redcrow, 75, passed away on Monday, February 23, at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.

Born in Camas Prairie to Michael and Lucy (Contesto) Redcrow on August 11, 1939, she was raised in Arlee and on the family ranch in Camas Prairie. She graduated from Haskell, in Kansas, she was a key punch operator living in San Francisco, and later returned to Helena, Montana. In 1970, she moved back to Hot Springs where she went to work for the Hot Springs Convalescence Home. She retired in the early 90’s.

She enjoyed bingo, pow wows and being around family.

Philomene was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Gilbert; siblings, Isaac, Tony, Pete, Mitch, Mary and Arlene Redcrow, and Joe Paul.

She is survived by her sisters, Mary Paul and Teresa Paul; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A traditional wake began Tuesday at the CSKT Senior Citizens Center, in Hot Springs. Rosary was on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the center. Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Mission, in Hot Springs, followed with burial in the Redcrow Cemetery. Condolences may be left at

Max Maurice Johnson
RAVALLI — Max Johnson, 80, passed away at his home on Saturday, February 28, 2015, surrounded by his family. Max died from natural causes, but had courageously lived a full life after suffering a major stroke over 22 years ago.

Max was born on October 14, 1934, at Holy Family Hospital, in St. Ignatius, to D.W. and Mary Florence (O’Laughlin) Johnson, and was a younger brother of a large boisterous Catholic family. He attended schools in St. Ignatius and graduated in 1953. On September 18, 1954, Max married his high school sweetheart, Marianne Morin. They had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Together they raised four children, Greg, Shari, Scott and Kellianne. He had seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He never missed a match, a game, a band concert or a play. He was their biggest supporter.

Max graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. He taught for two years in Whitefish, and 27 years in Arlee. Max wore many education hats. He taught sixth grade, high school history and government; driver’s training, coached several sports, drove a school bus, and was a high school principal for eight years, and finally a guidance counselor. He volunteered as a school board member in St. Ignatius. He announced wrestling matches and tournaments for many years. He was proud to promote the wrestling programs in St. Ignatius, Arlee and the surrounding communities. He tried hard not to miss a wrestling match or a football game. Up until last year, he attended every state wrestling tournament in Billings. Max loved working with kids and the community. Watching a student grow into a successful adult was a source of pride with him. He was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1968. He was a member of the St. Ignatius Mission Catholic Church, the JayCees, and the Mission Boosters.

Max retired from teaching in 1984 to start another career as a school bus contractor for the St. Ignatius Schools. Johnson Transportation safely hauled school kids and fire fighters for many years.

Max also proudly served in the Army National Guard from 1953 to 1961.

Max was rancher at heart. He ran a 200 head Simmental herd and raised registered paint horses. He said “the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.” He was a member of the Big Meadows Grazing Association in Marian.

Max was a hard-working man with boundless energy. He worked packing fire gear for the Forest Service for 13 summers in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. His longest pack string was nine horses and mules.

Max’s zest for hunting was an understatement. He was at his best mantiing up a pack and hitting the trail to get to the top of “You know” Gulch and “Whatchamacallit” Creek before first light. Hunting elk with his sons, grandsons, brothers and nephews was the best.

Max was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers and sisters.

Max is survived by his wife, Marianne; his sons and daughters, Greg, Shari, Scott and Kellianne Johnson. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jennifer Hendrickson (Mike), Shannon Johnson (Vanessa), Logan Sandman, Billy Johnson, Tara Johnson, Allie Johnson, and Tanner Johnson; and his great-grandchildren, Cashton and Suva Hendrickson, Braeden Coleman and Tatum James. He is also survived by his brothers, Charles (JoAnn), Emery (Lorraine), and sister, Delores Lake. He had many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Max lived a full and remarkable life. He touched the lives of many people.

Rosary was held Monday, March 2, at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, March 3, at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church at 11 a.m. and burial followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetary.