For the Record
April 2005 Obituaries
ST. IGNATIUS -- Regina "Gina" Kay Barnaby Alexander died on April 19, 2005, in Arlee. She was born on July 19, 1963, to Tom and Sophie Barnaby. Regina was a member of the Conf. Salish-Kootenai Tribes. She attended primary school at the Villa Ursula Catholic School. She married Tony Barnaby in 1984; they were later divorced. She married Bill Weber in 1999; they were later divorced. Gina married Porky Alexander in 2000. Regina loved to pick mushrooms, pine cones, huckleberries; bead; put puzzles together; and visit her friends and relatives. She survived by her sisters Janine (Mike Assiniboine), Joe and Rhea Barnaby of St. Ignatius, Kathleen (John Hammer), Barbara and Buck Hammer, Debbie and Darrell Adams, Lydia and Ray Fisher all of Ronan, and Yvonne Barnaby of Stevensville. She was a special ya-ya to Trelan and Joe Joe. She never had any children of her own, so she loved and cared for all her nieces, nephews and their children as if they were her own. Wake services were condcuted at the Longhouse. Mass was celebrated at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission, followed by burial in the Catholic Cemetery.
VERNON J. AZURE
MISSOULA -- Vernon J. Azure, 48, died on April 16, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital here. Vernon had a passion for music drew him to various types of instruments. Vern had worked a lot throughout the U.S. and some time overseas. He was an engine conductor for Rail Link in Washington, then became a journeyman carpenter and worked in Fairbanks, AK. Camping and visiting with others in the outdoors was a favorite pastime. Vernon is survived by his partner, Lynette, and stepson Troy (both of Missoula); two sons, Elijah and Uriah (Oregon); daughter Ciera (Missoula); brother Paul and spouse Mary (Oroville, CA); sister Anne (Dixon); brother Marshall (Missoula); brother Lester and spouse Tina (Santa Cruz, CA); sister Carla and spouse Freddie (Blackfoot, ID); good friend and nephew, Robert Bigelow (Missoula); other nephews: Adrian, Freddie Jr., Levi, Che, Javier, Vernon and Cody; nieces LeAnn, Christina, Victoria, Rita, Cory and Ashley; great-nieces Savonnah, Tylea, Diamond and Mariah. A wake was held at the Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. Traditional Chippewa Cree services were conducted at the funeral home.
JOHN P. BEASON
ARLEE -- John P. Beason, 85, died on April 4, 2005, at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula. Born on Feb. 12, 1920, in Cleveland Co., N.C., to Joseph P. and Dicie (Waters) Beason, he was raised and educated in North Carolina. He became a private trucker until 1960, when he moved to Arlee. In 1960, he married Emma "Millie" Pierre and they ranched on the family place south of Arlee. John was an avid outdoorsman and a horsetrader. The last of his generation he was preceded in death by his siblings, his parents and a wife, Evelyn (Smith) Beason. Survivors include his wife Millie (Arlee); his children Helen (Max) Burgess and Linda (Ralph) Norman (all of Henrietta, NC), Mike (Lynette) Beason (Butte), Kathy Jolly (Forest City, NC), and Pam Stacey (Atlanta, GA); as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. A wake took place in the new Arlee Community Center. Mass was celebrated on April 8 at the Jocko Catholic Church. Interment followed in the Jocko Catholic Cemetery.
UNIONTOWN, Wash. -- Jerry Burland, 51, died on April 7, 2005. He was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Stinger-Smith; his father, Willard Burland; and his brother, Jim Burland. He is survived by his loving wife and caregiver, Elizabeth Ann Moon-Burland (Uniontown, WA); his son, Wayne White (S.C.); his step-father, Gary E. Smith (Pomeroy, WA); his brothers Richard Burland (Cheney, WA) and Elmer Burland (Spokane, WA); his sisters, Patsy Pulse (Polson,) and Yvette Smiley (Great Falls). No public services are planned.
HOT SPRINGS -- Joseph Anthony Ceiplis, 96, died at his home here on April 8, 2005, following a long illness. A funeral Mass was celebrated on April 13 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hot Springs.
POLSON -- Betty Couch, born Betty Fanchon Southworth in St. Joe, AR, in 1914, died on April 8, 2005, at her home here. She was attended by her sons, Jeff (CA) and Charles (PA); her daughter, Nancy Teggeman (Polson); and other family members, notably her great-granddaughter, Bella Teggeman, 18 months (Whitefish). She is also survived by five grandchildren and Delilah. She was a whitewater rafter much of her life, her most recent trip being three years ago at the age of 88 on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Horseback riding was a lifelong passion as well. As a Nevada Vaquero, she logged more than 300 20-mile rides in the desert and mountains. Betty was a master gardener, a gourmet cook, and an accomplished artist. She helped teach her children to ski and ride horses. A celebration of Betty's life took place on April 10 at her home.
MAYBELLE O. DENNIS
POLSON -- Maybelle O. Dennis, 91, died on April 28, 2005, at Community Medical Center in Missoula. Maybelle was born on Dec. 12, 1913, in Twin Falls, ID, to Frank and Emma Hine. She graduated from Kimberly (Idaho) High School in 1932. Maybelle married W. Leslie Dennis in Twin Falls in 1934. They later moved to Ronan, where they raised Angus cattle. They lived there for 34 years and then moved to the Post Creek area. Her husband of 57 years passed away in 1992. She later moved to Polson and resided at Lakeview Village. She was also preceded in death by her parents and six brothers. She is survived by a sister, Dorothy L. Dennis (Charlo) and numerous nieces and nephews. At Maybelle's request, there will be no services held. Cremation has taken place.
JOE C. DUFFIELD
LIBBY -- Joe C. Duffield, 89, died of natural causes on April 24, 2005, at the Libby Care Center. He was born on July 13, 1915, in Laurel, where he grew up and attended school. Joe later lived in Havre, Big Arm, Rollins, North Crow, Charlo and Rexford before moving to Libby in 1969. He was a sawyer for the J. Neils Lumber Co. until his retirement. Survivors include his wife, Juanita Duffield (Libby); children Brad Duffield and wife Judy (Thompson Falls), Gloria Duffield (Libby) and Beverly Ransdell (Mesquite, AZ); five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Private family services will be held.
POLSON -- Vern Hubert Fast died on April 9, 2005, at St. Joseph Hospital here from natural causes. He was born in Derring, ND, to Fred and Francis (Grilley) Fast on Nov. 20, 1914. Vern married Juanita Davison on July 18, 1941, in Calif. In the spring of 1946, he moved his family back to Polson. He not only built a home for his family but was instrumental in the construction of Linderman Gym in 1950, construction of the forms for the last generator at Kerr Dam in 1954, remodeling of St. Joseph Hospital from 1958 through 1959, and he was site supervisor for the remodeling of the Lake County Courthouse in 1975. Vern enjoyed raising flowers, especially roses, begonias and raspberries, and spending many hours on Flathead Lake. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Juanita and a grandson. He is survived by his daughters, Linda and husband Joe Mark and Judy Fast Carte (all of Polson), and Bette Jean and husband Dan Gull (Frenchtown); seven grandchildren; and 16 great grandchildren. In keeping with Vern's wishes there will be no public service. Help make a wish come true for a critically ill Montana child. Make a donation to the Montana Hope Project in the name of Grant Simpson and Vern Fast. Donations may be sent to Montana Hope Project, P.O. Box 5927, Helena, MT 59604.
ARLEE -- Cornelia Hawkins Klittke Francis died at the family ranch in the Jocko Valley on April 30, 2005. Cornelia was born to Herman and Cora Klittke on Jan. 18, 1909, in Williams Bridge, N.Y. When she was 10 months old, her family moved to Saskatchewan. At age 13, her parents decided that Cornelia should pursue a formal education. She entered eighth grade in public school, graduating from Jamaica High School in Jan. 1928. She worked briefly for McGraw Hill Publishing House in New York City before enrolling at the Univ. of Montana. She pursued degrees in journalism and creative writing, graduating in June 1932. That same year, Cornelia married Hiram Francis. In 1959, Cornelia accepted a teaching position at Arlee High School, where she taught English, journalism and drama for 13 years. In 1966 she was named the Montana Journalism Teacher of the Year. She was a feature writer for the Missoulian and Lake County Leader. After the death of her husband in l966, Cornelia spent the next 39 years managing the ranch. She was active in the founding of, and was a lifetime member of, the Arlee Jocko Museum and the Fort Connah Restoration Society. She was a member of Eastern Star, Alpha Alta Kappa and the Arlee Methodist Church. Cornelia was preceded in death by her husband, her sister Constance, and her son Howard. Survivors include her children and their spouses, Perry and Maria Francis (Missoula) and Emily and Mark Lennon (Polson); daughter-in-law Betty Francis (Cape Canaveral, FL); one nephew; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. An outdoor memorial service was held on May 21 at the family ranch. In Cornelia's remembrance, donations may be made to Partners in Home Care Hospice, 2687 Palmer St., Missoula, MT 59808; Arlee Senior Citizens, 106 Wessinger St., Arlee, MT 59821; or Arlee Jocko Museum, Box 512, Arlee, MT 59821.
RONAN -- John Daniel French died of natural causes on April 29, 2005, at his home here. He was born on June 2, 1915, to Lee D. French and Thora N. French in Minneapolis, MN. In 1921, the family moved back to the homestead west of Polson, where John graduated in 1931. He worked several summers in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and attended the Univ. of Montana - Missoula. He graduated from UM Law School in 1939 and served as county attorney for Lake County from 1941 until he volunteered for the military service in September 1942; and again from 1946 to 1953 after release from service. In 1941, Norma C. Jager and he were married in Ronan, where they resided from 1946 until Nov. 9, 1950, when Norma and the couple's two children, Victor John and Christine Lee, and Norma's mother, Faye Jager, were killed in a traffic accident on Evaro Hill. In 1951, he married Dorothy E. Welch in Portland, OR, and they resided in Ronan for 48 years until her death on Nov. 23, 1999. John practiced law for more than 50 years. He performed the legal work incorporating many churches, civic clubs and other organizations in the area. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Elks, Mission Lodge 86100F, Lions Club and other organizations and served on the Montana Board of Education and Board of the University Regents from 1963 to 1975. He was a member and served as chairman of the Lake County Cemetery District No. 1 for more than 40 years. He was preceded in death by his first family; his parents; three sisters, Mary Otto, Ellen Jensen and Marguerite Myrin; and his wife, Dorothy. He is survived by Joan K. French (Walla Walla, WA), his and Dorothy's daughter; and several nieces and nephews. He directed that no public services be held as he believed his friends, on hearing of his death, would in quiet reflection recall good times in the past and miss him with fleeting sorrow. He directed that his cremains be buried in the family plot in the Mountain View Cemetery in Ronan. The family suggests memorials be made to the Ronan Senior Center or a charity of your choice.
RALPH C. GIPE
POLSON -- Ralph C. Gipe died on April 27, 2005, at his residence here. Ralph was born on Sept. 7, 1916, in Cedaredge, Colo., to L.A. and Sophia Gripe. At age 3, he moved with his family to a farm in Valley View near Polson. Ralph grew up on this farm and ended up living there for 72 years. Ralph and his two brothers all attended Valley View School through the eighth grade, and then graduated from Polson High School. After graduating, Ralph worked on the construction of Kerr Dam, but his love for farming would eventually bring him back to the family farm. On the side, he worked at the Valley View School as a clerk. This is where Ralph met his future wife, Amelia Borden, whom he married on May 10, 1942. They took over the family farm in 1942. Ralph was voted Lake County Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1983. Ralph was president and director for the Lake County Farmers Insurance Co., which was founded by his father and several other farmers in 1928. He was a member of the Polson Community Church. He enjoyed hunting trips into the Bob Marshall and other areas. His parents, L.A. and Sophie Gipe, and brothers, Lawrence and Gordon Gipe, preceded him in death. Ralph is survived by his wife of 63 years, Amelia Gipe; children Doreen Ratzburg, and husband Dayle (Ledger), Ron Gipe and wife Kathy (Lakeside) and Harlan Gipe and wife Shirley (Polson); 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and two special friends, Rebecca and Diane. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held on April 30 in Polson. Memorials may be made to the Lake County Hospice or to the Polson Community Church.
ST. IGNATIUS -- Marilynn Mae Hackney died at her home here on April 13, 2005, at the age of 64. Marilynn was born on May 15, 1940, in Hamilton. She attended school in Corvallis, graduating in 1958. Following graduation, she attended airline ground school and worked for the U.S. Air Force in Glasgow as a stenographer. She later transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in Missoula where she worked until her marriage to Jim Hackney on April 12, 1962. They lived in Kalispell, Corvallis, and Newport, Wash., before making their home in St. Ignatius 34 years ago. During that time, she worked for the local newspaper and later as a part-time cook at the Senior Citizens Center as well as helping her husband with his excavation business. She is survived by her husband Jim; two daughters, Shellie Crane (Spokane) and Shawna Fuhrman (Virginia Beach, VA); a brother, Gordon Mickens (Hamilton); and five grandsons. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on June 21 at the St. Ignatius Christian Church. A graveside service will be held that same day at 3 p.m. at the Corvallis Cemetery followed by a coffee social at the Corvallis Community Church C.E. Building. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Camp Mak-A-Dream, P.O.Box 1450, Missoula, MT 59806-1450.
RONAN -- Gregory Ellis Hammett, 18, died on April 10, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula of injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Greg was born on Sept. 16, 1986, in Greenbrae, CA. He moved to Oakley, ID, then to Kalispell in 1996. He moved to Ronan in 2000 and attended Ronan High School. He had worked for Woody's for two years and at the time of his death worked for McDonald's. Greg enjoyed stereos, trucks, being with his friends and reading. Greg is survived by his parents, Warren and Jenny Barker (Ronan); his father, Gregory (California); sister Crystal Hammett (Charlo); brother Louie Hammett (Novato, CA); his grandparents, Jim and Bobbie Willyard (Ronan), Barbara and Marvin Saunders (Cheshire, OR), and Alice and Ted Barker (Kalispell); and nephew Dillon Barker (Ronan). Memorial services were held on April 18 at the Church of the Nazarene in Pablo. The family requests that memorials be made to the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County, P.O. Box 334, Ronan, MT 59864.
ST. IGNATIUS -- Margaret Ann (Peg) Harriman, 76, died on April 5, 2005. Peg was born on May 4, 1928, to Laurence and Margaret (DeVoe) Drew of Somers, where she was raised. She attended grade school at there and high school in Kalispell. After graduating she went to the Univ. of Montana in Missoula, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in botany in 1950. She was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. While attending the university she met her future husband, David Harriman, of New York. Peg and Dave married April 14, 1951, and moved to Coeur d'Alene, ID, where they worked for the State of Idaho Fisheries Dept. running a hatchery on Lake Coeur d'Alene. In 1952 they brought a small private hatchery on Post Creek North of St. Ignatius. Peg was involved with the charter of the Flathead Resources Organization and later became its chairperson. Peg was preceded in death by her parents; brother Ivan Algren; husband David; and a daughter, Cynthia Harriman Larson. She is survived by her daughter Polly Harriman and husband John (Bay Area, CA); two sons, Alan and his wife, Sue (St. Ignatius) and Brooke Harriman (Red Springs, NC0; 11 grandchildren; and a nephew. A service in Peg's garden was held on April 9. The family requests that donations be made to the Public Radio Station KUFM in Missoula.
DIXON -- Lillian Gladys Hebert, 82, of Winegarden Lane, died on April 6, 2005, at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan. Born on July 2, 1922, in Glendive, she was the daughter of Daniel and Alma Winegarden. She was married to Tom Sangray, who preceded her in death on April 2, 2005. She was of the Methodist faith. Survivors include three daughters and two sons, Marilyn Hammack (Keeling, VA), Violet Peek (Dixon), Gladys Freeland (Farmerville, LA,) Roland Hebert (Pahrump, NV), and Dennis Hebert (Ronan); nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. She was the youngest of 11 children who have all predeceased her. A memorial service is pending and will be held at a later date.
POLSON -- Andrew Hall Keene, 62, died on April 12, 2005, at his home here from natural causes. He was born on Feb. 7, 1943, in St. Louis, to Hall and Dorothy (Black) Keene. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict from 1960 to 1965. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Ari, in 1985. His wife Ophie and daughter Marissa Keene, both of Polson, along with numerous close friends, survive him. A memorial service was held on April 22 at the Grogan Funeral Home. Cremation has taken place.
HERBERT 'RICK' LOZEAU
RONAN -- Herbert "Rick" Lozeau, 51, died on April 26, 2005, in Polson. He was born on Jan. 26, 1954, in St. Ignatius. He was adopted and raised in Arlee, Blue Bay, Dixon and Dog Lake on the Reservation as well as in Texas by his parents, John Chris and Leoma (Marengo) Lozeau. He was an athlete at Ronan High School, excelling at football, boxing, basketball, track and wrestling. Rick worked for the CSK Tribes in Forestry until epilepsy forced him to slow down. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Chris and Leoma Lozeau, brother Marvin Weaselhead Lozeau, sister Wanda Lozeau, grandmother Suzie Antoine, his biological father Sam Coleman, and a grandson. Survivors include his wife, Rose Durgeloh Lozeau; stepsons Jerome and Billy Lumpry; an adopted daughter, Rachel Nelson; a very special friend and mother of his children, Donna "Chicken" Houle (Great Falls); children Lonnie Romsa of Ronan (Lawrence) and Jesse Houle of Great Falls (Starla); daughter Buffy Haines (Jeremy) of Texas, son Charles "Casper" Tenas of Dayton; his biological mother Alice Antoine Goodman; grandchildren Kristina and Lawrence Mays Jr., Deja and Khaila Houle; sisters Judy Lozeau of Ronan, Karen Fisher (Vern) of Ronan, Peggy Antoine, Janita Von Heeder, Jobie Ash, Erma McNulty, Glenda Whitworth and Linda Coleman; brothers Owen Deardorf, Larry Keele, Dave and Jay Goodman, Amos, Lester, Wayne and Arnie Coleman; nieces; nephews, as well many cousins too numerous too mention. Mass was celebrated on April 30 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.
RONAN -- Virginia "Ooshane" Joscum Moreno, 58, died at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula on April 11, 2005. Virginia was born on Sept. 29, 1946, to Antoine "Tony" Joscum and Adeline Squeque Finley. She was a full-blood member of the Salish-Kootenai Tribes. Virginia enjoyed attending powwows and traveling. She was preceded in death by her parents; great-grandmothers Mary Koltome Finley (Sackwoman) and Mary Louise Koltome; sisters Mary Christine "Tina" Joscum (Kansas), Mary Rose Joscum Funke (Charlo) and Mary Louise Joscum Blue-sky (New Mexico); children and grandchildren, Charlie Moreno and Donna Moreno (both of Seattle) (Devonna, Johnny, Jesus and Selena); Frankie Moreno, Angela Moreno and Monica Perez (all of Los Angeles), Gabrielle "Gabi" Hewankorn (Brian, Jerome, Elizabeth and Isabel) (Pablo), and Marco Houle (Missoula). Virginia is also survived by her longtime companion, "Tennessee" (Ronan); brothers Alex LaFontaine (Missoula), Joseph Joscum (Great Falls) and Jim Joscum Cahoon (Charlo); sisters Ursala Thomas (Missoula), Judy A. Joscum-Roy (Oklahoma City, OK), and Melanie Taylor (Mission); her aunt Louise Finley (St. Ignatius); as well a large extended family and many friends. The wake was held at the Longhouse. Mass was celebrated on April 14 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission.
POLSON -- Donald Clarence "Butch" Munn, 81, died of natural causes at his home here on April 11, 2005. Butch was born on Aug. 27, 1923, in Tomah, Wis., to Clarence and Mamie Munn. When he was young, the family moved to Crow Agency, where Butch attended school and met and married Audrey Nelson. They moved to Dixon in 1948. They moved to Ronan in 1949 and eventually to Polson in 1960. During these years, Butch joined the Navy Seabee Reserves, the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard. He spent most of his career with the BIA in several different departments, including reclamation, Job Corps and housing. He worked as a handyman for eight years at McDonald's in Polson, retiring again only after being diagnosed with cancer. Butch was a lifetime member of the Mission Valley Skyliners 4x4 Club. He was most proud of being one of the three original members of the M4x4A Old Fart Racing Team. Don was proud of being the oldest driver on the track and didn't care who knew it. Butch was also an avid NASCAR fan. Butch is survived by his wife of 57 years, Audrey (at home in Polson); sons, Don and wife Janet (Polson), Robert and wife Pat (Coeur d'Alene, ID), and Richard and Judy (Aurora, CO); and five grandchildren, Jesse, Sarah, Rachel, Missy and Kasie. Cremation has taken place and at Butch's request, no funeral services are planned. A celebration of Butch's life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Skyliners 4x4 Club, P.O. Box 1416, Polson, MT 59860.
ST. IGNATIUS -- Allen Francis Peone, 46, of Warm Springs, died on April 4, 2005, at his home. He was born on Jan. 2, 1959, in St. Ignatius to Francis J. and Adeline Peone. He was brought up and lived on the reservation most of his life except for a few years spent in Idaho. He enjoyed the outdoors, drawing, playing his guitar and visiting with family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis Peone, and his brothers Dean Peone, Kenny Peone, Gary Peone and Stan Peone. Allen is survived by his mother, Bernice Peone (St. Ignatius); his brothers Les Peone and Doug Peone (both of St. Ignatius), Howard Peone (Dixon), Ray Peone (Ronan), Darrel Peone (St. Ignatius), and Marvin Peone (Seattle, WA); his sisters Bev Bolman (North Dakota), Joyce Peone and Char Peone (both of Pablo) and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. As per his wishes cremation has taken place and a private family service will take place.
DIXON -- Charles "Tom" Sangray, 78, died of complications following surgery on April 2, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. He was born on March 29, 1927, in Gilman, MT, to Charles F. and Annie Rose Sangray. He attended Augusta High School and Great Falls Commercial College. He married Helen Poole who died in 1970. Life companion Lillian Hebert died just four days after him. Tom had been an accountant and was a member of the NRA, AARP and Ducks Unlimited. He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and camping with family. In addition to his wife Helen and companion Lillian, he was predeceased by a son, Tom; brothers Jack and Mike; sisters Rosella and Burneal; and both parents. Survivors include two sons, Bob Sangray (Bigfork) and Steve Poole and family (East Providence, RI); two daughters, Carole Ann Dare and family (Blue Lake, CA) and Carole and Danny James (Raleigh, NC); four grandchildren; and Lillian's children. Services will be held at 11 a.m. April 30, at the Augusta Catholic Church with burial following at the Augusta Cemetery. A reception will be held at the church.
ST. IGNATIUS -- Steven Michael Tellier Smith was stillborn on April 18, 2005, in Missoula. He is survived by his parents, Morey Tellier and Ryan Smith; his grandparents Kathy Smith, Matthew Howlett, Linda and Kenny Ebner, and Sophie and Leo Tellier; his brothers Arlen, Jarred and Mason; and a sister, Jalyn; his aunties Charmel and Rose; and Uncle Mike; as well as numerous other aunts, uncles and cousins. Graveside services were held on April 19 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.
ARLEE -- Vital Pierre Stevens, 71, died on April 18, 2005, at his home here. Born in Arlee on Dec. 2, 1933, to Peter and Cecile Vanderburg Stevens, he was raised and educated in the Jocko Valley along with his 13 siblings. Vital worked as a woodsman until an ankle injury in 1967 caused him to change jobs and he went to work for the Conf. Salish-Kootenai Tribes where he served in food distribution until his retirement in 1987. Vital never married. He enjoyed his godchildren and the joys that they brought and being around his family. Vital had been a fancy dancer and had danced at the many powwows but he mostly enjoyed going to Sheridan, WY; Cardston, Alberta; those in Idaho and Washington, as well as the local areas. He danced until he was 37. The last of his generation, he was preceded in death by his parents and 12 brothers and sisters. He leaves behind a son, Vic Stevens; and granddaughter, Aaliyah Jade Stevens McElderry; as well as a large family of nieces, nephews, godchildren, and friends. Wake closing began on April 22 in the Community Center in Arlee with Mass following. He was laid to rest at the Jocko Cemetery.
JEREMY D. STIFFARM
SPOKANE -- Jeremy Douglas Stiffarm, 29, died on April 27, 2005, at his residence here of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jeremy was born to Karen Friedlander McCuistion and Steve Stiffarm in Missoula on May 7, 1975. Jeremy was employed for the past five years at the Northern Quest Casino in Spokane. He enjoyed hunting, hiking and camping. He abided by many Kootenai traditions which led him to become a Crazy Dog (Indian Warrior). He served with the U.S. Navy during Desert Strike after graduating from Ronan High School in 1993. Jeremy leaves behind his mother, Karen (Dee-Dee) Friedlander, and her husband, Mike McCuistion (Otis Orchards, WA); his father, Steven Daniel Stiffarm (Poplar); sisters Rhonda Rae Dee Stiffarm (Jimmy) and Michelle McCuistion (Spokane); brothers, Daniel Allen (Rachel) Stiffarm (Porter Corners, NY), and Jesse James McCuistion (Otis Orchards); grandparents, Kenneth and Margaret Friedlander (Bonners Ferry, ID), Esther Hannon (Spokane); great-grandmother, Adeline Mathias (Dayton); nieces Justyne Patrick, Phoebe Stiffarm and Laniya Milus; nephews Evan and Marcus Stiffarm (the light of his life); aunts and uncles, Debbie (Darrell) Arp, and Cindie (Dennis) Wells; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins from throughout the Kootenai and Gros Ventre Cree Nations. He was preceded in death by paternal grandparents Pete and Ruby Stiffarm, great grandfather Alec Lefthand, uncle Duane Edward Albert, best friend Duane Boy Chief, and his cockatiel, Bob. Funeral services were conducted at the Kootenai Community Center in Elmo. Funeral Mass was celebrated on April 30 with full military honors. Interment took place at Dayton Cemetery.
PETERSBURG, Alaska - Harold "Jim" Stipe Jr., 60, died here on April 29, 2005.He was born on Jan. 15, 2005, in Missoula, the son of Harold and Patricia Stipe. As a young child he lived at the family ranch in Charlo. He was born a cowboy and never turned away from that lifestyle. Jim lived his later years in Alaska along with his children, son Ed Stipe and grandchildren Amanda, Jacob, Josephine and Katrina of Petersburg and daughters Trish and Christy Stipe of Fairbanks, Alaska. Jim was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children in Alaska; sisters Mary Wall and her family (Charlo), Peg Wagner and her family (Hungry Horse); and many friends. Services were held in Petersburg on May 4. No services are planned for Montana.