Char-Koosta News

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For the Record

December 2004 Obituaries

POLSON -- Stella Vesta (Bower) Adams, 91, formerly of Proctor, died on Dec. 25, 2004, at the Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center here from natural causes. She was born on Nov. 13, 1913, in Polson, to Strat and Ella Bower. Stella married Charles "C.B." Adams on March 5, 1931. They spent their entire married life in Proctor. She was preceded in death by her husband on June 16, 1994. She is survived by her children, Maurine Little and husband Don (San Capitola, CA), Ruth Setzer (Seattle), Marvel Kirkland and husband Buck "Lloyd" (Kent, WA), Maynard Adams (Kalispell), C.W. Adams and wife Dee (Polson) and Steve D. Adams and wife Kitt (Proctor); and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held for family and friends at a later date. Cremation has taken place.

POLSON -- Richard W. "Dick" Brown, 73, died on Dec. 25, 2004, at his home here.Richard was born on March 11, 1931, in San Francisco.He is survived by his sons, Josh Brown-White and Matt Brown-White, and one brother, Roy Nisja.Cremation has taken place and no services are planned.

HOT SPRINGS -- Ruth T. (Gardiner) Buck, 87, of Hot Springs, died on Dec. 27, 2004, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Polson. Ruth was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 14, 1917, to Clara and Vince Gardiner. The family moved to North Dakota and then eventually settled in the Flathead Valley. She attended Flathead County High School and graduated in 1933. Ruth received her bachelor's degree in education from Western Montana College in Dillon. She taught the second grade in Hot Springs for 25 years. She married Howard Buck in 1955 and they spent 49 years together. Ruth was an avid gardener; her roses were her pride and joy. She was a voracious reader, she knitted and crocheted afghans for each member of her extended family and each year created ceramic Christmas decorations. She and Howard spent many of their retirement years traveling, camping, picking huckleberries and fishing. She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, John Dolan and Earl Gardiner; and two sisters, Mildred Roberts and Myrtle Paulding. She is survived by her husband in Hot Springs; her daughters and their husbands, Claire Massey and husband Bill (Hot Springs), Kathy Andrews and husband Colin (Kalispell), and Donna Andrews and husband Steve (Kalispell); her sister, Irene Benson (Billings); nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Services were held on Dec. 31, at the First Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs. Inurnment followed at the Murray Memorial Cemetery in Lonepine.

CHARLO -- Jack Sheldon Dalton, 71, died on Dec. 22, 2004, at his home. Jack was born on Aug. 14, 1933, in Lewiston, Utah, to Arnold and Marietta Dalton. He graduated from Bear River High School in 1951. In 1951 he started his career as a brick and stone mason. On May 21, 1955, he married his beloved sweetheart, Beverly Ipsen. Jack was a master mason and artisan. He built the Delta, Colo., courthouse and prison, Deer Lodge Municipal Building, Utah State University Union Building, Ronan Grade School, Brendan House in Kalispell and many other buildings in the Flathead Valley. He was a contractor who worked in Texas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana. During the summers of 1970 and 1971, Jack and his crew rebuilt four miles of stone walls and guardrails, a dozen culvert arches and the large mosaic veneer at the "tunnel turn" on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. He and Bev had owned and operated the Sitting Duck in Woods Bay near Bigfork. Jack was preceded in death by one son and one daughter. He is survived by his wife Beverly; son Kenneth; daughter Chris; brothers Lee, Newell and Timothy; sister Sharon; three granddaughters; and three great-granddaughters. Services were conducted on Dec. 28 at the Charlo Senior Center.

POLSON -- Earl Dale Gierke, 83, died on Dec. 28, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital here. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Fred Lewis Gierke; and four brothers, Henry, Alfred, Bill and Kenneth. Earl is survived by his wife Elsie (Polson); two children, David Gierke and his wife Teresa (Frenchtown), and Patty Gierke (Polson); four grandchildren, Kalla, Christopher, Michelle and Kevin Gierke; one step-grandchild, William Stanford; a brother, Darryll Gierke and his wife Rose (Billings); and numerous other relatives. A memorial service was held on Jan. 4 in Great Falls.

Mary E. Hunter Hewey died on Dec. 15, 2004. Mary, also known as Erma, was born to Charles B. and Julia (Sorrell) Hunter on Sept. 7, 1924, in St. Ignatius. She was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and was known for her doll-making, miniature houses, and all kinds of arts and crafts. She was schooled at the Ursuline School and government school. She had a baby when she herself was just a child; his name was Frank "Micky" Sorrell, who was adopted by her uncle and aunt, Frank and Liza Sorrell. She joined the Army (served in WWII), where she met her first husband. They had one daughter, Lisa Jean "Peepsie;" they later divorced. She later met and married Ray Hewey and together they raised two daughters, Lisa Jean and Vicky. They resided in Florida. She was proceeded in death by her husband Ray Hewey, parents, her baby sister Catherine (Frances) Hunter, and Mae (Maisy) Alexander; brothers Clarence, John I "Duke," Charles Hunter Jr.; and her son Frank. She is survived by her two daughters; grandchildren Adrienne, Bryan, Jake, Michelle, Tricia, Georgette, Nora Chippewa Nelson (Micky's daughter); eight great grandchildren; a very special triple-great-grandchild, KaLynn; two brothers, Jody Hunter (St. Ignatius) and Clarence (Dorothy) Hunter (Arlee); and many nephews, nieces and cousins. Cremation has taken place and a memorial dinner to celebrate her life will take place at the family reunion in May of 2005.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Darlene Courchane Matt, 68, died suddenly at her home here on Dec. 4, 2004. She had been a resident of the Mission Valley for more than 40 years. Darlene was born on May 10, 1936, at the old Holy Family Hospital in St. Ignatius. She lived on the reservation until 1941, when the family moved to Grand Coulee Dam, Wash., eventually settling in the Wenatchee Valley in the central part of the state. She and the rest of the family worked in the apple, pear and cherry orchards during the 1940s. She attended schools in Wenatchee during this time and into the early 1950s. She was a member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes and a descendent of Jocko Finlay. She was married twice, first to George Washington Hansbrough on Nov. 13, 1954, in Indiana. Together they had five children: Sharon Marie, Sheryl Lea, Nancy Lynn, Darla Gwynn and George Michael Hansbrough. She and George were later divorced. She then married Basil "Bob" Matt on May 26, 1967, in Montana. They had one son, Robert Charles Matt. Darlene was a good homemaker and very good cook. She was known for her canned pickles and even cooked a large turkey this last Thanksgiving. As a hobby she collected Santa Claus and turtle figures. She and Bob owned and operated the Silver Dollar Bar in St. Ignatius during the 1960s and 1970s. She was preceded in death by both husbands; her daughter, Nancy Estevez; grandsons David James Hansbrough, Jim Monroe Pickering, and Jonathan Charles Pickering; a great-grandson, Jason Pickering Jr.; her parents, Louis and Viola Ashley; two brothers, James Joseph and Dale Louis Courchane; and four sisters, Mary Therese Courchane, Adrianna Courchane, Leota Lorraine "Rainsey" Zaste, and Donna May Baylor. She is survived by her daughters, Sharon Hansbrough (St. Ignatius), Sheryl Harmon and her husband, Larry (Eatonville, WA), Darla Clement and her husband, Allen (Texarkana,TX); sons George Hansbrough (St. Ignatius), and Robert Matt and his wife, Sharlena (St. Ignatius); a sister, Lilly "Sassy" Jones and her husband, Oreon A. (Missoula); one brother, David "Chalky" and his wife, Pam (East Wenatchee, WA); her very special dog, Addy; many nephews, nieces, cousins, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a nephew special to her, Steve A. Courchane (St. Ignatius); and her god-children, Rose Tellier and Charles Zepeda (both of St. Ignatius). A wake was conducted at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. The celebration of Mass took place in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

SPOKANE -- Lloyd Robert Morrell (Antelope), 42, died here on Dec. 2, 2004. A member of the Salish-Kootenai Tribes, he was born to Luke and Roberta Morrell on Aug. 24, 1962. He loved to play sports, especially basketball and football during his high school years. Later in life, he enjoyed being around his family and many friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John Morrell and Mary Sophie Quinmosiee, and James Matt and Ellen Lamoose; his father, Luke; his brother, David; his sister, Jolanda; and his step-father, William Antelope. He is survived by his mother, Grace Roberta Matt-Antelope; two brothers, Corbette (Adrina) Morrell (Spokane) and Duane Morrell Sr. (Plummer, ID); one step-brother, Gabe Antelope (Kansas City); four sisters, Carol Ann Albert (DeSmet, ID), Wendy Morrell (Spokane), Raynelle Arlee (Lapwai, ID), and Arwin (Myron) Moses (Spokane); and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral Mass was celebrated at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in DeSmet on Dec. 6. Burial followed at the DeSmet Cemetery. The family sends special thanks to Lester Bigcrane, Daylon Weaselhead and Steve Arca.

MISSOULA -- Lorena H. Normandeau, 89, died on Dec. 1, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital here. Lorena was born on Aug. 30, 1915, in Davis City, IA, to Coral (Smith) and Louis Hurst Horner. In 1931, her family moved to the Flathead Valley, settling in the Round Butte area west of Ronan. She graduated from Ronan High School. She and Rupert A. Normandeau were married on Christmas Day, 1934, in Ronan. Lorena was active in many community organizations. She was a member of the Sew & Sew Club and the Federated Women's Club, a past worthy matron of Eastern Star, and an active participant in the Democratic Women's Club and the Ronan Garden Club. Because of her husband's back injury in 1952, they left the dairy and ranching business and opened and operated Normandeau's Trading Center in Ronan. In 1954, they moved to Conrad, where Lorena served as deputy clerk of court for Pondera County. When their youngest daughter, Jeannette, entered college, Lorena and Rupert also enrolled, fulfilling a lifelong desire to obtain a college education. Earning their teaching certificates, they taught one year in Terry and one year at the first through eighth grade rural Strauss School located east of Conrad. In 1966, Lorena again returned to college, graduating with high honors from the University of Montana. She taught school in Polson, and in 1969 she moved to Ronan and taught high school there until her retirement in 1980. She was a dedicated teacher of English, mythology and literature, and was deeply committed to teaching theater arts and special education classes. Under her guidance, Ronan High School students published the Dovetail Magazine, a treasured record of memories and vanishing histories of people in the Ronan area and the Flathead Indian Reservation. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1979. Following her retirement in 1980, she moved to St. George, Utah, where she owned an arts, crafts and yarn shop. Lorena served two missions for the LDS Church and made her home in Salt Lake City for many years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rupert; her brothers, Brainerd Horner and James B. Horner; her sister, Elizabeth Hahn; a daughter, Jeannette Cohen; and a grandson, Rafe Cohen. Lorena is survived by her children and their spouses, Jim and Colleen Normandeau (Yakima, WA), Elizabeth "Bette Ann" and Bill Samsel (Evaro), and Gracia and Ivor Jones (St. George, UT); 15 grandchildren; 49 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren. One grandson and two great-grandsons are currently serving in the U.S. military. Funeral services were conducted on Dec. 6. Memorial donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County.

MISSOULA - Joseph Albert Soucie, 88, died on Dec. 25, 2004, at the Village Health Care Center here. He was born on Nov. 21, 1916, to Frank Soucie and Rose Bourdon. He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. While stationed in Hawaii he drove for General Halsey. On returning home he met the love of his life, Jeanne Wightman. They were married on June 25, 1948, and the marriage lasted 56 1/2 years exactly. Joe worked in sawmills, White Pine Sash and Anaconda Co. (Bonner), where he was an edger man. He enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening and working in his yard. He loved spending time with his family. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Laura, Blanche, Julia, Rose, Mary and Florence; brother Frank; and two grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Jeanne; seven children and their spouses, Terri Caldwell (Rudy), Kathy Soucie, Stacey Hubbel, Tina Morris (Ron), Lisa Roylance (John), Richard and Michael Soucie; 25 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial services were held on Dec. 31 at Garden City Funeral Home.

POLSON -- Gary Walker, 67, died on Dec. 26, 2004, at Evergreen Health & Rehabilitation Center here from natural causes. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service was held on Jan. 3 at the Grogan Funeral Home.


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