Char-Koosta News

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For the Record

December 2002 Obituaries

GENE ALLARD
RONAN -- Eugene "Gene" Allard died on Dec. 8, 2002, at his home near Ronan. He was 97 years old. Eugene Lewis Allard was born on his family's ranch near Post Creek on Feb. 3, 1905, the fourth child of Joseph and Adaline Allard. Gene was a member of the Conf. Salish-Kootenai Tribes. As a sickly child, Gene learned sewing, knitting and cooking skills from his mother. He also had the opportunity to ride beside his father on the historic Allard Stagecoach that carried travelers up and down the valley. Gene was raised in the Mission Valley, attending Leon, St. Ignatius, and the Ursuline schools before graduating from Ronan High School in 1924 where he was an outstanding athlete in track and basketball. On Nov. 27, 1937, Gene married Dorothy Jovin. The couple had only one daughter, Diane, but fostered and helped raise many other children. Coming to the Allard ranch for summer camp-outs was a highlight for his grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Watching Papa or Uncle Gene wind up the horse's tail or work magic when coins would come from behind one's ears were some of the attractions. At night, Gene would don a buffalo hide and tell bear stories as long as one would listen. Playing jokes at lunchtime with a "leaking" water glass added to the fun. He never forgot to ask Dorothy if she had pie, cake or cookies for dessert and usually she did. In the late 1930s and 1940s Gene was busy operating threshing crews throughout the valley, using the first threshing machine on the reservation with rubber tires. Throughout the 40s and 50s Gene continued to build up his ranch near the Big Canal on Mollman Pass Trail. At this time the Allards raised both beef and dairy cattle. Gene and Dorothy had the distinction of operating a grade-A dairy, the first owned by a Native American on the reservation. In 1955, the Allards moved to their current ranch on the Pache' Allotment east of Ronan. This is where Gene and Dorothy have thrived for the past 47 years. Gene drove the farm equipment and oversaw the haying and calving operations well into his 80s. Gene worked on many local roads, farms and Mission and Kerr Dams. In the 1950s he worked as a powder foreman in Alaska for various construction companies and built roadways at Illiama and King Salmon. Gene also helped build the docks at Anchorage. Gene was active in his community as a 4-H supporter, Master of the Lake County Grange, serving on the Lake County Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Committee, the Northwest Cattle Marketing Association, and the Tribal Advisory Committee on Agriculture. He was also a charter member of the Post Creek Indian Stockman's Association. Gene enjoyed traveling with Dorothy around the world. He was in the Ronan cheering section for all sports. Gene loved to fish, picnic and tell stories. Gene Allard was honored by the Ronan Booster Club, serving as grand marshall of the Ronan Pioneer Days parade; the Lake County Fair as an honoree in the premium book; and by Salish Kootenai College, which granted him an honorary degree. Most recently, he was awarded the Outstanding Tribal Agricultural Producer's Award for the Flathead Reservation. On Nov. 27, 2002, Gene and Dorothy celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Irving Allard; sister Odna Swanson; sister Gladys Bentley; brother Sidney; sister June Green; and several nieces and nephews. Gene is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Ronan); daughter Diane and son-in-law Phil of Ronan; granddaughter Dawn (Mariposa, CA); grandsons Dana Grant (Seattle), Allison Grant and Joelfre' Grant (both of Ronan); two great granddaughters; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Dec. 14 in Ronan, with interment following at the Mountain View Cemetery, also in Ronan. Pallbearers were Joel Clairmont, Lawrence Cornelius, Gale Decker, Mike Lee, Luke Savage, and Terry Tanner. Honorary bearers were Kaneesha Benson, Dorothy Bocksnick, Bud Cheff, Clifford Eckley, Verda Eckley, Monte Jenkins, Chanel Lake, Don Lake, Leory Lake, Cal Lindburg, Louis Normandeau, Max Stark, Vic Starkel, and Wanda Whalen. The family suggests memorials to the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Ronan.

MARTIN ANDREW
RONAN -- Born July 13, 1948, near Ronan, Martin Andrew, along with his twin sister Martina, were the youngest of seven children of Harriet Beaverhead and Andrew Andrew Sr. He attended the Ursuline schools for a while; he also went to the schools in Ronan and later went to Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota. He spent many of his early days traveling with his grandparents, Pete and Josephine Beaverhead, to various powwows. Martin also spent many years working in the woods, cutting wood and as a tree planter and thinner, first as an independent contractor and later with Tribal Forestry. He also spent many summers employed as a firefighter. On his own time, Martin loved to hunt, fish and hike and play pool, darts, and horseshoes, and he joined in on the local leagues. Martin died on the afternoon of Dec. 17, 2002, at the age of 54. A wake was condcuted in St. Ignatius. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and parents; sisters Diane and Geraldine; brother, Max; and three aunties, Mary Small Salmon, Angie Matt and Rosie Bird. Martin leaves behind his children and grandchildren, Angelic with her two sons Damien and Martin; Max Andrews, Amber, Aleda and April, and Martin Andrew Jr.; brothers Andy (Marion) and Danny (Enid); sisters, Martina and Deannie Finley; cousins, Alice Small Salmon, Stephen Small Salmon (Juanita) and Stanley Healy (Donita); nieces, Marcelene, Sandra (Tony), Kim (Mike), Lois (Frannie) and Alta; nephews, Mike, Steve Arca (Michealanne), Little Joe, Gene (Binky) and Chauncey (Lisa); and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews, friends and other relatives.

HARVEY BALISON
RONAN -- Harvey Dale Balison, 83, who lived most of his life in Hot Springs, died at his home here on Dec. 13, 2002. Dale leaves his family and friends remembering a hard-working, fun-loving man among men, a hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman. He loved and provided for his family, served his country, state, county and community. Dale, who was born in 1919, was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and a grandson. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vivran Toots Balison; son Harvey Rush Balison and wife Betty; daughter Lorraine Lynch and husband Scott; foster daughter Val McClary; seven grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; three brothers and their spouses, Keith and Sharon Balison, Brownie and Rosie Balison, and Melton and Lola Balison; several in-laws, nieces and nephews; and special friend, Peanut. A celebration of Dale's life was held on Dec. 21 in Ronan. Memorials may be made to the Hot Springs Fire Dept. or Pinehaven Children's Ranch, P.O. Box 940, St. Ignatius, MT 59865.

MONTANA BASLER
POLSON -- Montana Basler, 74, died on Dec. 7, 2002, from natural causes at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation here. She was born Jan. 29, 1928, in Kalispell to Raymond and Esther McIntyre. She was raised in the Smith Valley and attended Flathead High School. She was a member of 4-H and the Smith Valley Grange. Her first love was her horses. She enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and later, crocheting. She married Paul Basler in 1952. They moved often while her husband worked as a heavy equipment operator. In 1966, they purchased Basler Honey Apiary in Polson. She also worked 14 years at Western Bee Supply until 1980. Paul preceded her in death 1971, as did her brother Warren in 1955 and her parents. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Bruce and Cindy Basler (Polson), Jim and Debbie Basler (Polson), Ted and Jean Basler (Butte) and Rosann and Chuck Jenne (Florence); and 11 grandchildren. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated in Polson. Burial followed at Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were Paul Basler, Kyle Basler, Erich Basler, Sean Basler, Brian Basler, Brad Jenne and Jeremy Basler.

FRANK L. BIRD
ST. IGNATIUS -- Frank L. Bird, 83, died on Dec. 29, 2002, at his home. Born on March 19, 1919, at Post Creek to Henry Charles and Nancy (LaRose) Bird, he was raised in the Spring Creek area and attended school at Ronan and St. Ignatius. In 1941, Frank joined the Army where he served in the South Pacific. Upon his return in 1945, he married Dorothy Brown on July 4. To this union two children where born, Dennis Frank Bird and K.O. Bird. The couple later divorced. He married Glenrose Plant in August of 1951 and they had a daughter, Debra Bird. rank was a heavy equipment operator who worked on the dams in the Northwest before he went to work for the Indian Health Services helping update the utilities for many houses on the Flathead Reservation. A member of the Conf. Salish-Kootenai Tribes, Frank enjoyed fishing and playing pool where he was affectionately known as the "Old Man," as he was the oldest player in the league. He was an active member of the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission Parish and the Veterans Warrior Society. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. Frank was preceded in death by his children, James and Joyce "Roses"; his brothers, Charles R. and Joseph R. Bird; his sisters, Helen O'Day, Ida C. Woodcock and Mary Rose Warthen; and his parents. He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Glenrose Bird (St. Ignatius); his children and their spouses, Dennis Frank and Vonnie Bird-Webster (Ronan), K.O. Bird (Blue Bay) and Debra Bird (Ronan); his brother and sister-in-law, Gene and Charlotte Bird (Polson); sister Anna Jobey (Tacoma, WA); 13 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. A wake was conducted in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated on Jan. 1. Burial with military honors followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers were Les Clairmont, Steve BigCrane, Terry Tanner, Ryan Smith, Steve Picard, Jim Paro and Ken Ebner. Honorary bearers were Frank's grandsons.

NATOSHA BURLAND
POLSON -- Natosha Rachell Burland, 15, of Polson, was born on Sept. 9, 1987. She died in the early morning of Dec. 6, 2002. She resided with her mother, Vikii Burland, on the west side of Polson in tribal housing. Natosha had lived with her sister, Aryon, in Spokane for the past two years. She was a student at Two Eagle River School in Pablo. She is survived by her mother and two sisters, Jody Stripe and Aryon Birdtail (both of Spokane). She is also survived by many cousins, her Aunt Norma, Uncle Phillip and Uncle Steve and his wife Wanda, and her grandmother, Dottie. Natosha was very active and was always looking to have fun. Wake services began Dec. 10 at the St. Ignatius Longhouse. Funeral services were Dec. 12 at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. Burial was at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

EUGENE BURROWES
POLSON -- Eugene Burrowes, 77, died of natural causes on Dec. 2, 2001, at the Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was born May 23, 1924, in Twin Falls, ID, to Wilbur and Aldene (Quinn) Borrowes. Survivors include his brothers, Wendell and wife Marilyn Burrowes (Polson) and Keith and wife Beverly Burrowes (Billings); sister Mildred and husband Forrest Wood (Las Vegas); and nine nieces and nephews. Memorial services were Dec. 7. Memorials in Gene's name may be made to the new Polson stadium and activity complex.

MYREE BYERLY
PABLO --Myree Byerly, 66, died on Dec. 15, 2001, at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson from natural causes. She was born May 20, 1935, on Walnut Ridge, Ark., to Lewis and Cordia Dalton. Myree was preceded in death by her husband, James Byerly, in 1990. She is survived by her children, Karen Britton, Nadine Littlefoot and James D. Byerly III (all of Pablo), and Steven B. Byerly (Yakima, Wash); six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Graveside services were Dec. 19 at Ronan Cemetery.

DONALD A. CHUTE
POLSON -- Donald A. Chute, 75, died of cancer at his home here on Dec. 13, 2002. Donald was born in Aitkin, MN, on March 30, 1927, to Clarence Chute and Sarah Congdon. Donald was the youngest of five children; he was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters. Don worked for the Great Northern Railway in St. Paul, MN, before joining the armed forces. Don served in the U.S. Army Paratroopers. After the service, Don returned to GNR in St. Paul, then transferred to Havre in 1950 where he worked as a machinist. Don met and married Marian Buell in Havre in 1950. Don was an avid motorcycle lover who also enjoyed fly fishing, fly-tying, writing poetry and songs, swimming, sailing, woodworking, roller skating, ice skating, and woodcarving. Don served as commander of the Bear Post VFW in Havre in 1967. Don and Marian retired to Columbia Falls then moved to Polson in 1996 where they could enjoy the lake and sailing. Don is survived by his wife of 52 years; his children and their spouses: Christine A. and Walter Perry (Salem, OR), Timothy A. and Marie (Hebness) Chute (Missoula), Paul T. and Melissa Chute (Havre), Mary K. and Ronald Dalke (Havre), Mark J. and Rose Chute (Clinton), and Toni M. and Joel Bell (Havre); eight grandchildren; a great-grandson; numerous nieces and nephews; and one pretty kitty, Cee Cee. Per Don's request, no services were held and in lieu of flowers please send donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane, WA.

VERA F. DUCHARME
POLSON -- Vera Frances DuCharme, 62, died on Dec. 2, 2002, at her home here from natural causes. She was born Feb. 25, 1940, in Watford City, ND, to Ray and Sylvia Spence. She attended schools in Polson and graduated from Polson High School. Vera married Richard DuCharme and he survives her at the family home in Polson. Vera worked as a professional cook in Polson. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Keith Spence. She is survived by her husband; sons, Ronald H. Watt and Robert Ray Watt (Pablo), Cameron K. Watt (Ferndale, WA), and Cory DuCharme (Tucson, AZ); sisters, Lillian Molzon (Thompson Falls), Karen Syness (Helena), Charolette Bird (Polson) and Lanore Hildenstaff (Helena); brothers Dennis Spence (Polson) and Sam Spence (Vancouver, WA); and six grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Dec. 7 in Polson. Burial took place at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

ANNELLA DUMONTIER
HAMILTON -- Annella Leona (Dale) DuMontier, 98, died of natural causes Dec. 17, 2002, at the Valley View Nursing Home here. She was born Jan. 22, 1904, in Plains, daughter of Ben and Eva McNeeley. She went to school in Camas Prairie and lived in the area until marrying Isaac "Ike" Dale in 1922. They lived and worked in Thompson Falls, Martin Creek, Hot Springs, Polson, Seeley Lake and Missoula. Ike died in 1973. Annella married Albert DuMontier of Arlee in 1980, and they made their home in Missoula. She dearly loved fly-fishing. She spent long hours cooking in logging camps and restaurants and also crocheted many afghans. She was active in local hospitals, Daughters of the American Revolution, Odd Fellows, Welcoma Club, Arlee Senior Center, Moose, Eagles and Elks clubs and the Missoula Senior Center. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Butch McNeeley and Short McNeeley; her son, Lester "Bud" Dale; her grandson, David Dale; and her second husband, Albert DuMontier. She is survived by her daughter, Dorothy Jameson (Hamilton); five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a niece. Memorial services were Dec. 28 in Missoula. Remembrances or favorite stories are welcomed by the family and may be sent to Brian Jameson, 253 Roosevelt Lane, Hamilton, MT 59840; or call 406/363-3026.

REBECCA FOSTER
ST. IGNATIUS -- Rebecca Jean Menicucci-Foster, 38, died on Dec. 28, 2002, in Missoula, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. The second child of Louie and Belva (Pierce) Menicucci, she was born Jan. 24, 1964, in Anaconda, where her family lived. Raised and educated in there, Becky graduated from high school in 1982 and then went to beautician school in Butte before returning to Anaconda, where she ran a branch of the Old West Bakery for her family. In 1989, Becky met her future husband, Ralph Foster, at her bakery and gave up being the baker's daughter to be the mortician's wife, a mother, and a preschool teacher. In 1996, Becky and her family moved to St. Ignatius, where she opened her own preschool, Cuddlebugs, before going into the flower and gift shop business with her own shop, Stargazer Floral and Gifts, which she ran until cancer caused her to give it up in 2001. A unique and undying spirit, Becky was an avid collector of Barbie dolls and tiaras. She was preceded in death by a nephew, two uncles, an aunt and her grandparents. She leaves behind her husband Ralph Cary Foster and children Zachary Iian and Zane Aaron (all of St. Ignatius); her parents; her brother Louie Menicucci; sisters and brothers-in-law Dawn and Gary Chilcott, Kim and Dave Jones, Angie and Dirk Malmberg, Ginny and Jimmy Close and Susan and Jim Schimming (all of Deer Lodge), and DeeDee McCarthy (Phoenix); aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces and close friends. A wake was conducted in St. Ignatius. Services were held onJan. 2 a.m. at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Memorials may be made to the Guardian Angels Cancer Fund, 2835 Fort Missoula Rd., Building 3, Suite 301, Missoula, MT 59804; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

WALTER M. FOUTY
POLSON -- Walter M. Fouty, 79, of Polson, died on Dec. 3, 2002, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Walt, the youngest of five children, was born Dec. 27, 1922, in Van Wert, OH, to Blanche and Glenn Fouty. Walt met his wife Gladys "Jo" Lozar in San Francisco during World War II while he was serving with the U.S. Marine Corps. Walt and Jo were married March 4, 1945. After Walt left the Marines, the couple moved to Montana, where Walt worked in the logging industry before moving on to heavy construction work and finally retiring. Walt was a devoted husband to his wife, Jo. He took care of her for 18 years as she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Jo and their son, David, preceded him in death. Walt is survived by two daughters, Jane Whiting (Big Arm) and Deborah Statham (Polson); two sons, Robert Fouty and Walter G. Fouty (both of Polson); eight grandchildren: Mike Fouty, Steve Fouty, Ann Vert, Asia Gray, Roth Fouty, Strohm Fouty, Kristen Statham and Steven Statham; and four great grandchildren. Walt was an outstanding athlete during high school years and a No. 1 local sports fan. In his younger years, he hunted and fished and enjoyed horse packing in the Mission Mountains. Later in life he took up golf and particularly liked taking his brother-in-law's money on the course. He was also involved with the senior citizen groups. A memorial service was held on Dec. 7 in Polson.

LELA MAE GRIFFIN
POLSON -- Lela Mae Griffin, 88, died on Dec. 25, 2002, at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center here from natural causes. Lela was born Sept. 12, 1914, in Prescott, WA, to Roy and Vera Phillips. She grew up and attended schools in Camas, WA, where she graduated from high school. Lela married Robert F. Griffin on July 28, 1934, in Stevenson, WA. She lived in Fern Prairie, WA, and later in Willard, WA. She and Robert moved to Missoula in 1942. Robert's job eventually took them to Whitehall, where they bought a ranch. They lived on the ranch until 1965. She and Robert traveled throughout the U.S. for several years and eventually retired to Polson in 1991. Lela's main love and interest was her family. She was preceded in death by her husband; a son, Robert "Chip" Griffin; and three sisters. She is survived by her son Roy Griffin (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands) and daughter Kathy Long and her husband Chris (Kansas City, MO).; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Graveside funeral services were conducted at the Whitehall City Cemetery.

CARLA HARRINGTON
RONAN -- Carla Harrington, 85, of Ronan, died on Dec. 4, 2002, at Emanuel Legacy Hospital in Portland, OR. She was born Nov. 10, 1917, to Carl and Juliette Nelson in Dooley, MT. Raised in Plentywood, she later moved to the St. Ignatius area with her family. Carla enjoyed dancing and yodeling in her high school days. She was a contestant in the Miss Montana beauty pageant. After high school she attended college for two years in Dillon. In 1943 and 1944 she drove a bus for in Spokane. She married Earl Goss in 1944. They had two children. In 1951 she married Dennis "Jiggs" Harrington. She raised a grandson, Jerry, and enjoyed cooking and helping with all sport activities that her children were in. Carla worked in the potato industry, helped with the government census and later worked at the school as hot lunch supervisor. Carla and Jiggs owned racehorses and enjoyed going to horse races. She was preceded in death by her parents and both husbands. Survivors include her children and their spouses, Earlene Couture and Ed (Portland), Gary and Kathy Harrington (Ronan) and Jerry and Bobbi Johnson (Medical Lake, WA); numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; sister Alice Luoma (Ronan); brother Ervin Nelson (Green River, WY); and numerous nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be announced. The family requests that memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

BILL HINES
POLSON -- Bill Eugene Hines, 56, of Polson, died on Dec. 18, 2002, in a motor vehicle accident near Clinton. He was born Oct. 18, 1946, in Lafayette, Ind., to James Curtis Hines and Vera May Suiters. A 1964 graduate of Brookston (Ind.) High School, Bill received a degree in aviation from Purdue Univ. in 1970 and a master's in business administration from the Univ. of Arkansas in 1977. He was an implement dealer and had served in the Indiana National Guard. Bill had lived in Montana for the past 12 years. Survivors include two daughters, Julie Ezell and husband Rich (Farmington, AR) and Sara Dawson and husband Doug (Lawrence, KS); his parents in Battle Ground, IN; brother Bob Hines (Brookston); sisters Betty Kitchel and husband Steven (Logansport, IN) and Barbara Dieterle and husband Ted (Lafayette); and three grandchildren. Services and burial were Dec. 24 in Brookston. Memorials may be made to the Dayton United Methodist Church.

LYDIA LONG
RONAN -- Lydia Long, 88, died on Dec. 19, 2002, at St. Luke's Extended Care here. Born on June 21, 1914, in Linton, N.D., and raised in North Dakota, she married Reid "Ray" Long later in life and they lived in Montana and North Dak. In the late '80s, Lydia moved to St. Ignatius after her husband died. She eventually moved to the St. Luke's Extended Care Center. She was also preceded in death by her parents and a son. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews from her husband's family. As she requested, cremation has taken place and no formal services are planned. At a later date, her cremated remains will be interred with her husband.

LEONA OLSEN
CHARLO -- Leona Marie Olsen, born Oct. 20, 1914, in Ekalaka to Fred and Dora Rose, died on Dec. 28, 2002. Leona is survived by her sister Helen Sollars (Hamilton); her eight sons and their spouses, Alan and Louise (Spokane), Robert and Carol (Charlo), Virgil and Jerry (Spokane), Verle "Pic" and Becky (Kalispell), Kenneth and Lois (Idaho Falls, ID), Clyde and Lynn (Charlo), Donald (Charlo), and Delmar and Beth (Wolf Point); her two daughters and their husbands, Barbara and Wayne Ness (Castle Rock, WA), and Delma and John Rosenbaum (Pocatello, ID). She also has 36 grandchildren, 61 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. Leona spent her early childhood in Ekalaka, then moved to Charlo. She was married to W.A. "Bert" Olsen on June 14, 1932. She worked for Gambles in Ronan for some time and ran the Snack Shack Cafe in Charlo for several years. She enjoyed ceramics and dancing and being with relatives. She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents; three brothers, Elmer, Gilbert and Delbert; and a sister, Elsie West. Services were held on Dec. 31 in Charlo. Donations are suggested to Leon Club House in her honor.

ROBERT J. SWINEHART
POLSON -- Robert J. Swinehart, 81, died on Dec. 27, 2002, at St. Joseph Hospital here. He was born May 28, 1921, in Toledo, OH, to George and Helen Mayo Swinehart. He attended schools and graduated from high school in East Chicago, IN. He worked for Inland Steel before being drafted into the Army during World War II, where he served 31 missions as a gunner before being shot down and wounded three times. He married Doris Freedle on Sept. 29, 1943, at the courthouse in Lake County, IN. They moved to the Bay Area in Calif. where he managed a Chevron station and worked for Kaiser Steel. He retired in 1982 and moved to Finley Point. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, a sister and one daughter, Cindy. He is survived by his wife, Doris, and a daughter, Robbie Swinehart (both of Polson). Graveside services with military honors were held at on Dec. 31 at Lakeview Cemetery.

FRANKLIN TONASKET
ARLEE -- Franklin Lee "Big Lee" Tonasket was born Dec. 23, 1944. He died on Dec. 23, 2002. Lee was born in Omak, WA, to Joseph Howard and Alice Marie Tonasket. He lived his early live in Omak. Later the family moved back to Arlee where Lee spent the remainder of his life. Lee went to school in Arlee, but in high school transferred to Chilocco Oklahoma Indian School, where he graduated. He enjoyed driving, being outdoors, playing cards and spending time with his family. He did a lot of beading before his eyesight gave way; he said the beads got too small. Lee worked in the CSKT Commodity Program for 25 years, before poor health forced him to retire. Lee is survived by three brothers and their wives, Ron Tonasket (Arlee), Mark Peasley and Nickie Trahan (Arlee), and Mike and Mary Peasley (Missoula); three sisters and their spouses: Toni and Chuck Courville (Charlo), Wanda White and Jay Fisher (Ronan), Ellen Tonasket and Brian Atwood (Coulee Dam, WA); six nephews and 13 nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; his paternal grandparents, Frank and Ellen Deschamp-Tonasket; and his maternal grandparents, Alex and Cecelia Vanderburg and Peter Martin. A wake was conducted on Dec. 27 at the Arlee Senior Citizens Center. Services were held on Dec. 28 at the Jocko Catholic Church. Burial followed in the Jocko Cemetery near Arlee.

GILBERT VIGIL
ST. IGNATIUS -- Gilbert (Gil) M. Vigil, died in his sleep on Dec. 14 , 2002. He was preceded in death by his parents, Micheal and Lelia Vigil. Gil is survived by two sons and a daughter-in-law, Kenwood and Christine Vigil (Mesa, AZ) and Jeff Vigil; five daughters: Reesha Vigil, Joyie Vigil (WA), Jamie Vigil, Camie Vigil, and Leah Vigil (all of NV); 11 grandchildren; his soul mate, Gloria Velasco (St. Ignatius) and her two grandchildren. Cremation has taken place. A memorial will be held at a later date with his family.

OBIT ARCHIVE:

Dec. 2002 Jan. 2003 Feb. 2003 March 2003
April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003
August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003
December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004
April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004
August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004
December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005
April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005
August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005
December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006