Char-Koosta News

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For the Record

April 2003 Obituaries

LIBBY -- Wallace Joseph Beaudry died at St. John's Hospital here on April 25, 2003, after a brief illness. He was born in Bainville on Aug. 27, 1912, to William and Melvina Beaudry. He graduated from high school in Bainville in 1933. He worked on Fort Peck Dam, clerked at the Wolf Point Hotel, drove a candy truck and then was accepted to and graduated from the first Montana Highway Patrol school, all before marrying his high school sweetheart, Ruth J. Swant, in Bainville on Feb. 15, 1942. They moved to Polson for his first assignment. He later served as the chief of police in Polson and then served two terms as the Lake County Sheriff. He went to work for the Montana Department of Fish and Game in 1957 and lived and worked at fish hatcheries in Anaconda and Arlee. He retired to Ronan in 1976. After his first wife died, he married Ruth Simonson Wirz, on Nov. 10, 1983. He moved to St. John's Assisted Living in Libby after her death. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Rolland, Arden and Clayton; sisters, Leone and Eva; and his two beloved Ruths. He is survived by his daughter, Wendy and her husband William Dodson (Troy); his sister, Alice Beaudry (Sao Paulo, Brazil); stepdaughters, Mary Dyer (Salt Lake City), Dorothy "Dode" Hall (Canby, OR), Eula Rider (Missoula), Becky Olsen (Kalispell); stepson, George "Phil" Wirz (Charlo); numerous step grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to the Ronan Senior Citizens Center, the Ronan Methodist Church or the charity of the donor's choice. A memorial service was held on April 27 in Ronan.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Jean Kelly Burt, 46, died on April 3, 2003, of cancer. Jean was born Aug. 4, 1956, in Detroit. She grew up in Missoula and graduated from Arlee High School in 1974. She met and married Larry Burt in 1979 in Missoula. She is survived by her husband; five children: Amber Burt and Bernie Burt, Rachael Ubay, Jeannette Oliva, and Kathleen Burt; nine grandchildren; a sister, Kathy Kelly; stepsister Kerin Young; and a stepbrother, Zane Kelly. She was preceded in death by her father, Glenn Kelly; her mother, Pearl; and stepbrother Bill Kelly. Services were conducted on April 5 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Polson, with graveside services following at Lake View Cemetery in Polson.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- George Roger Cote, the son of Joe and Marie Cote, died at his home here on April 30, 2003. Roger, as he was known by his family, was born on Dec. 2, 1933. He attended the Ursuline School in St. Ignatius. He enlisted in the Marines and saw action in the Korean War. He married Janice Jones in 1957 in Missoula. They moved to Portland in 1961 and he was employed as a sheetmetal worker by the Ray Becker Co. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Beulah Brubaker (Arlee). He is survived by his wife; three sons, Rick and Robert (Portland) and Roger (ID); a daughter, Theresa (AZ); two brothers, Joseph (Portland) and John (FL); two sisters, Josephine Smith (Missoula) and Ann Edwards (Marion, MT); ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass was celebrated on May 3. A full military service was conducted on May 11 at the Willamette Veterans National Ceremony in Portland, OR, where inurnment took place.

HOT SPRINGS -- Roger Barron Gwaltney, 71, died on April 16, 2003, at his home here following a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Sue Gwaltney; one son and daughter-in-law, Roque and Becky Gwaltney and their three children (all of Jacksonville, IL); one stepson, Jim Norvell (Somers); two stepdaughters, Sheila Wininger (Somers) and Misty Lane (Nampa, ID); one brother, Porter Gwaltney (Springfield, IL); and one sister, Jan Piersol (Florrisant, MO). A gathering to remember Roger was held on April 23 in Hot Springs. Memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, Hot Springs Masonic Lodge or the Clark Fork Shrine Club.

PABLO -- Cheryl Ann Gobert Irvine, 44, died on April 13, 2003, at Community Hospital in Missoula. Cheryl was born Nov. 1, 1958, in Ronan to Marvin Gobert and Grace TwoHorses. Raised in the Pablo area, she graduated from Seeley Swan High School before going to work at the St. Joseph Convalescent Center in Polson. She married William Pat Irvine and they had five kids; they were later divorced. She was also a student at Salish Kootenai College. Cheryl was a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and was a "people person." She enjoyed camping, riding motorcycles and listening to music. A long-standing pool player, she was a member of the Pablo Women's Pool League. Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents and her grandparents, Josephine and Irvin Gobert. Survivors include her companion, Russell Lefthand; her children: Desiree Lee Irvine, Joshua Patrick Irvine, Jeremy Cheyenne Irvine, Anthony David Irvine and Deanna Rose Irvine; two grandchildren, Alexis Matt and Michael Irvine; two sisters, Marilyn Gobert and Vera Folden; her brother, Marvin Gobert, Jr.; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Traditional wake services were held at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Funeral services were conducted on April 17 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

POLSON -- Herman Ralph Janzen, 81, died at his Jette Meadows home on April 3, 2003. He was diagnosed in early December 2002 with cholangiocarcinoma -- a rare and inoperable tumor. He was born in Lehigh, KS, a Mennonite community, on Dec. 11, 1921, to Susan Regier Janzen and Peter Cornelius Janzen. Herman was the ninth of 16 children and said he farmed the first 18 years of his life. On his 18th birthday he left home, jumped onto a freight train and headed West. After numerous small jobs, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon his discharge, he married Frances McCulley of Turner, OR. Together they attended Northwest Bible College in Seattle where he graduated in 1950. Herman worked at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle and Wichita. He also worked at Western Gear. In June 1971, he married Adell Morrison Adams, whom he had met years before while helping her parents in missionary work in Hawaii. They moved to Polson in 1998. He is survived by three daughters: Leilani Janzen (Belton, MO), and Lucille Smith and Lori Turner (both of Wichita); step-children Robert Adams, Cheri Pahmeyer and Ida King; four granddaughters, five grandsons and one step-great-grandson; two sons-in-law; one daughter in-law; nieces and nephews; his three sisters, Ruby Sungren (McPherson, KS), Susie Buller (Henderson, NE), and Esther Fisher (Hillsboro, KS); and two brothers, John and Ted (both of KS). Family members preceding him in death besides his parents include two sisters, Margaret Kelman and Katrina Fast; five brothers, Abe, Dan, Pete, Henry and Sam; and infants Jacob, Martha and Annie. Services were held on April 6 at the New Life Christian Center Polson.

DAYTON -- Natalyia Starr Johnson, three-day-old infant of Bryon A. Johnson and Maelee R. Samsel, died on April 8, 2003, at Community Medical Center, Missoula. She was born on April 5, 2003. She is survived by her parents and a sister, Alexis Jayla Johnson (Dayton); grandparents Connie Repnak (Salem, OR), William Samsel (Polson), Lois Friedlander (Dayton) and Ralph David Johnson (Dayton); great-grandparents, Hazel Trusler and Mavis Repnak (Polson) and Kenneth and Margaret Friedlander (Bonners Ferry, ID); great-great grandmother, Adeline Mathias (Dayton); and numerous other relatives. A graveside service was held on April 10 at the Dayton Cemetery.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Dorothy Lee (Carey) LaPorte died on April 12, 2003, at the UC Davis Medical Center here after a short illness. Born March 17, 1930, in Kimball, NE, to Paul and Leona Carey, she was raised in Akron, CO, and Charlo, MT, where she graduated in 1948. She married Victor "Gene" LaPorte in 1949. After he retired from the Navy, they settled in Camptonville, CA, where she retired from the U.S. Forest Service. She was preceded in death by her husband, father and a brother, Doyle Carey. She is survived by two daughters, Vickie Wade (Ogden, UT), and Debbie Bryant (Yuba City, CA); three sisters, Donna Freeman (Camptonville), and Darlene Haats and Deana Winebarger (both of Spokane); four brothers, Dale Carey (Ronan), Dennis Carey (Spokane), Duane Carey (Little Rock, AR), and Delmar Carey (Charlo); four grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Memorial services are pending.

KALISPELL -- Jessie May Rautz Downing Ness died on April 26, 2003, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She was born in Harriston, NE, to William Rautz and Bertha A. Baltz on March 17, 1937. Jessie married Elmer J. Ness on Aug. 9, 1953; they lived in Charlo and Drummond. In 1965, Jessie divorced Elmer and moved with her three children back to Ronan, where she worked in a cafe as a bartender. Jessie married Gerald D. Downing in 1968; they were divorced in 1981. Jessie is survived by her mother, Bertha A. Welker (Ronan); and four siblings and their spouses: Jerry Welker and Sharyle (Lakeside), Robert and Joan Rautz (Missoula), Alvin J. Rautz (Ronan), and Alberta Welker and Gerald Hagfelt (Las Vegas). She also is survived by her three children and their spouses: Doreen K. and Richard Krupa (Benton City, WA), William and Lisa Ness (Frenchtown) and Crystal L. Jordan (Kalispell); 10 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Jessie enjoyed many friends at the manor during her short stay. She enjoyed cooking and baking as well as crocheting, knitting and many crafts. Jessie often shared her talents with her family and friends. Services were conducted on May 1 at the cemetery in Ronan.

ARLEE -- Ted Pellew, 82, grandson of the late Chief Martin Charlo, died at his home here on April 26, 2003. He was born on Feb. 7, 1921, in the Jocko Valley to Louis and Lucy Charlo Pellew. Ted entered the Army and served in Germany and France in W.W.II, after which he received an honorable discharge and returned to the Evaro - Arlee area. A member of the Conf. Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Ted worked for, and retired from, the Bureau of Reclamation, which later became Mission Valley Power. He loved the mountains along with hunting, fishing and camping out. He was a stock car race fan, too, and liked watching his nephews race. He was preceded in death by parents; his wife, Marie (Laurence), in 1986; three brothers, who died in infancy; and five sisters: Mary L. Adams, Harriet Dumont, Dorothy Trickey, Agate Parker and Juanita S. (Bunny) Gardipe. He is survived by his stepchildren, Theora Jay Laurence, Rogue Laurence, Randall Boyer and Roxane Boyer; two stepgrandchildren, Shannon Weinberger and Ernesto Arenaga; 12 nieces and nephews, and numerous great-nieces and nephews. A wake was held at the Arlee Salish Senior Center. Mass was celebrated on April 29 at the Jocko Catholic Church. Interment with military rites followed in the Jocko Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers were Jerry Nicholai, Mike and Charley Charlo, Drew Hendrickson, Jesse Jo Best, Russell Burland, Jon Gardipe and Gordon Fyant. Honorary bearer was Harold Kent.

RONAN -- Ken Sagmiller, 73, died on April 21, 2003, at his home here after a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Ken was born to John and Matilda Sagmiller on July 12, 1929, in Hazen, N.D. He lived there with his family throughout the Depression. In 1947, his family moved to Finley Point, where they had an orchard, raised cattle and farmed. Ken met Margaret Eloise Jones in the summer of 1949, just prior to his being shipped overseas to Germany as part of the peace-keeping forces during the Korean War. They married in September 1952, when Ken returned to Finley Point. They lived in Los Angeles for a short period before returning to Montana. Ken bought the Charlo seed plant in 1973 and began Western Seed and Supply, which soon expanded to Ronan. He bought the Peavey Co. mill in 1978 and later opened a garden store in Ronan. He built a state-of-the-art seed plant and renamed the business Westland Seed Inc. in 1985. He continued to be a leader in the agricultural community here as well as in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. He was active in many agricultural organizations. Ken supported the Ronan Methodist Church and his community, as well. He was a consistent supporter of the fat stock sales in both Ronan and Plains. He served on the fair board for 30 years, the St. Luke Hospital board for 12 years and was a founder of the Mission Mountain Golf Course. He was a leader in the community and gave generously to many charities and organizations. Ken particularly enjoyed golfing and bowling, having been on leagues in both sports for over 20 years. He also enjoyed his annual fishing trip Alaska with his buddies, and hunting with his friends and family. He enjoyed special love for Lorraine Bryant and her family for the last nine years. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two brothers, Del Sagmiller and Gerald Sagmiller. He is survived by his children, James Sagmiller and long term partner, Rockey Day (Las Vegas), Dr. Kay Sagmiller (Medford, OR), David and Renee Sagmiller (Ronan) and Shelley Sagmiller Mills (Glasgow); four grandchildren; one brother, Norman Sagmiller, and two sisters, Lucille Buchmann and June Sorenson (all of Polson). Memorial services were held on May 30 at the Ronan Community Center. Memorials may be made to the Lake County Hospice.

ARLEE -- Mabel Sias died here on April 6, 2003. She was born June 15, 1915, in Basin. She was raised primarily by her Grandpa and Grandma Milliron in Lincoln. She was married to Leo Sias for 52 years. He died in 1981. She loved her family, her yard and music, especially dancing. She was a fun-loving, hard-working redheaded Irish woman. She was always ready to play a game of cards and "dirty marbles" with family and friends. She loved and cherished each of her 14 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by Bobby, an infant son; her father, Clyde Milliron; and sister, Katherine Frazier. She is survived by her children, Jim Sias and wife Kelly (Ronan), Donna Bennett and husband Dick (Pasco, WA), Ken Sias and wife Susan (Myrtle Creek, OR), and Vi Potter and husband Jim (Arlee); and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Funeral services were held on April 11 at the Ronan Community Center, with burial following at Mountain View Cemetery.

MISSOULA -- Jean Sitch died at St. Patrick Hospital here on April 30, 2003, from lung cancer. She was born in St. Ignatius on Sept. 11, 1937, to Yvonne and James Silverthorne. Jean was raised and educated in the Flathead Valley. She married Peter D. Sitch on April 29, 1960. The couple moved to Lincoln in 1961 and raised their family there. Peter preceded her in death in 1984. Jean continued to reside in Lincoln until 1994, when she moved to Washington for a short time before making Polson her home. Jean enjoyed her pet dog, Nicki, a wide range of music, crossword puzzles and making a variety of crafts. Her family includes seven children and their spouses, David and Becky Sitch (Helena), Pam and Buddy Rangel (Thermopolis, WY), Tammy Sitch (Polson), Diana Burk and fiance Eric DeLano (Port Orchard, WA), Laurie and Shawn Mills (Hahnbach, Germany), Dennis and Shelley Sitch (Kelso, WA), and Pete and Jennifer Sitch (New Berlin, IL); 19 grandchildren; and a sister, Norma Martin (Polson). She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Jim. Services were conducted on May 5 at the Lincoln Community Hall. Burial was at the Old Lincoln Cemetery. The family suggests that memorials be made to the Missoula Co. Cancer Assoc., 3005 Queen St., Missoula, MT 59801.

POLSON -- Catherine Vercammen, 83, died here on April 6, 2003. Catherine Maud Brown on Aug. 5, 1919, in Hull, England. She married C.F. "Bus" Donaldson of Hamilton in England. Catherine and Bus had four children together: Stuart, Debby (who died in 1999), Charles and Catherine. Her husband preceded her in death in 1973. Catherine married Lee Vercammen on May 14, 1977. They were together for 25 years. Survivors include her husband, Lee (Polson); two sons and their spouses, Stuart and Judy Donaldson (Corvallis) and Charles and Cathy Donaldson (Hamilton); a daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Bill Whiting (Polson); a stepson, Carlo Lee Vercammen (East Helena); 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; her brother, Michael Brown (England); and two sisters, Betty Maus (Denver) and Mourine Hudson (England). Catherine was a member of the Polson congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Funeral services were held April 11 in Hamilton. A graveside service followed at the Corvallis Cemetery.

HOT SPRINGS -- Jimmie "Glen" Welch died on April 20, 2003, as the result of a motorcycle accident. He was born on Jan. 15, 1933, to John and Ione Welch. He graduated from Hot Springs High School. He served in the 101st Airborne Division. While in the service, he met and married Anne Lanier. They had two children, Jimmy and Joanne. Men of his character earn labels like "Bull of the Wood" as a logger, and he was known around the county for the straightest haystacks during his time as a rancher. Glen and his bride Dotsy lived every day to the fullest. They enjoyed rafting, camping and laughs in their abundant life together. He loved riding his Harley on a sunny day. Glen was preceded in death by his first wife, Anne; his parents; and a brother, John Welch Jr. He is survived by Dotsy, 11 children and 18 grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted on April 24 at the Lonepine Hall.

RONAN -- Floyd David West died at his home here from a heart condition on April 23, 2003. He was well-known in the Ronan area as "The Sharpener" and as "Bacho" to his grandchildren. Floyd was born on June 14, 1918, to William J. and Jessie Vanzyverden West of Shaunavan, Saskatchewan. The family moved to Opportunity, WA, near Spokane, in 1921. After his father died, Floyd moved to Sidney to live with his sister, Naomi, and graduated from high school while there. He married his childhood sweetheart, Lenore Lincecum, on Nov. 2, 1940, in Tacoma, WA. The couple lived in several western states throughout the early years of their marriage and eventually settled in Walla Walla, WA, where Floyd was a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary until his retirement. He and his wife also owned and operated an insurance business while there. After retirement, they moved to Redway, CA. They moved in 1992 to Ronan, where Floyd and Lenore were active participants in the Senior Center Bread Basket program and as ministers with Jehovah's Witnesses. Floyd was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Frank West; and his sister, Jean Bradshaw. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lenore Lincecum West; his sons, Bill West (Ronan) and Wally West and wife Carol (Redway); two brothers, Kenneth West (Yuma, AZ) and Donald Claymon (Veradale, WA); his sister, Naomi Myhre, and husband her Bill (Sweet Home, OR); three grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on May 30 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in St. Ignatius. The family suggests memorials to Lake County Hospice.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Frank Wieferich, a rancher, died on April 27, 2003, of cancer. Frank was born in Townsend to Frank and Mary Katherine Wieferich in July 8, 1933. He, along with three brothers and ten sisters, was raised where the Canyon Ferry Dam currently is. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and a sister. He is survived by three sons and four daughters and their spouses: Charlotte and Dale Freshour (St. Ignatius), Cheri and Miral Gamradt (Bozeman), Mike Wieferich (East Helena), Carol and Fran Cahoon (St. Ignatius), Kay and Rich Fladstol (Darby), Dave and Cathy Wieferich (Sidney) and Marc Wieferich (Maui, HI); two brothers; nine sisters; 14 grandchildren and eight grandchildren. Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on April 30 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

POLSON -- Dema Mae Wisseman, 93, died here on April 24, 2003, from natural causes. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton, and an infant son, also named Clayton. She is survived by her daughter, Velma Potter, and her husband, Donald (Mesa, AZ); two sons and their wives, Lavon and Denise Wisseman (Wickenburg, AZ) and Arlen and Miriam Wisseman (Polson); eight grandchildren and 12 grandchildren. Funeral services were held on April 29 in Mesa.

RONAN -- Robert F. Womack, 80, died on April 30, 2003, at the St. Luke Extended Care Facility here of natural causes. Military graveside services were conducted on May 5 at the Ronan Cemetery.


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