Char-Koosta News

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For the Record...

December Obituaries

Thomas V. Butcher
Plains - Thomas V. Butcher, 74, passed away Dec. 22nd in Missoula.

A native of West Virginia, he moved to Three Forks in the 80's and then to Sanders County, 1st in Thompson Falls and later to Plains.

A member of the American Legion and the Thompson Falls Senior Citizens, he was also very active in the Masonic Lodge, Shrine and Scottish Rite.

Thomas was preceded in death by sons Robert Vincent & William Lee and brothers John, Waitman and LeRoy Butcher.

He leaves behind his wife Claire of Plains; children Thomas Michael Butcher of Van Alstyne, TX, Deborah J Davies of Belgrade, MT, Robert Butcher of WA, Bruce Butcher of VA and Tom Butcher of Thompson Falls, MT.; sisters Alliedine Myers of Bridgeport, WV, Alice Barker of WV and Louise Lauth of OH, several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Dec 30th at 2pm in the Falls Chapel at Thompson Falls.

Dolores Jean Stanley
POLSON - Dolores Jean Stanley, 69,of Polson, MT. went home to be in the arms of Jesus on December 22, 2006.

Dolores was born on November 17, 1937 in Kalispell, MT to Ben and Mabel Rohrer.

She married Ray Stanley in 1955 in Kalispell, MT.

She enjoyed collecting dolls, building dollhouses and sewing. She was a member of the Polson Alliance Church and enjoyed bible study in her home. Dolores is preceded in death by her son- Russell ray Stanley and her parents Ben and Mabel Rohrer.

Dolores is survived by her husband Ray of Polson; daughter Laurie Miller and her husband Don of Polson; sons Rory Stanley and his wife Jeannie of Chicago, Ill. and Rocky Stanley of Polson; seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren and a brother Jim Rohrer and his wife Sheila of Lakeside, MT and ARIZONA, also survive her.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the Polson Alliance Church with Rev. Harvey Town officiating.

Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory of Polson.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Charlyn M. Rogers
CHARLO - Charlyn M. Rogers, 72, of Charlo, MT. passed away from cancer on the morning of December 21, 2006, with her family at her side and the glory of her beloved Mission Mountains in full view.

Charlyn was born in Poplar, Montana on November 25, 1934 to Walter and Luvia Montgomery. She was raised on the family wheat farm where she and her sister Betty Rae lived until the family decided to move to Billings to allow the girls to attend High School. The Poplar farm proudly remains in the family to this day.

Charlyn met Jim Rogers during the state track meet of their senior year of high school. It was love at first sight and Jim promptly ran home and announced to his Mom, "I've found the girl I'm going to marry!"

Charlyn and Jim were married in 1954 while Jim was on a 30-day leave from the Army. Charlyn stayed in Billings where she attended Eastern Montana College. She was secretary of her class and made the high honor roll. Upon Jim's return from the Army, the two of them set off for Bozeman for Jim to play football and attend Montana State University. Charlyn worked full time for the Fish and Game department and helped Jim through school. It was also during this time that Charlyn recognized one of her true callings, that of a devoted mother, as she proudly welcomed the arrival of her first son, James Michael into their lives.

Jim's graduation from MSU (and Char received her "Honorary Degree"), the young family pulled up stakes and headed to Missoula. Here they welcomed the arrival of their second son Randy, and the family was complete. Side by side, Jim and Char ventured into the business world and founded J&C All American Trophy. Char wore many hats in getting the business going from bookkeeper to typesetter to receptionist. Her efforts and hard work paid off, as the business is still flourishing 45 years later under their son Randy's management.

Having worked so hard for most of their lives, Jim and Char decided on early retirement and moved to their dream home on Ninepipes in 1986. Surrounded by a beautiful pond with the Mission Mountains as the backdrop, this picturesque setting would become the masterpiece of their lives. It was a sanctuary to every type of bird imaginable, from songs birds to waterfowl to raptors. Char loved them all. This place truly became Char and Jim's heaven on earth. Grandma Char imparted her love of this place onto her grandchildren who have many wonderful memories of nature walks, fishing, boating in the pond and anxiously awaiting the hatching of the goslings each spring.

Charlyn Rogers lived her life with the grace of a true lady. She was an active member of her community. She was a proud member of PEO and the Mission View Garden Club. She established many friendships and touched countless peoples' lives through her work, as was evident in the volumes of get well wishes and cards that were sent her way during her illness. She and Jim were fortunate to have celebrated their 50th Anniversary together in March of 2004 with a gathering of their family and many friends at Leon Hall.

Char was preceded in death by her parents, and her oldest son James Michael. She is survived by her husband Jim of Ninepipes; son Randy and his wife Colleen and their children Jaclyn, Tylor and Caitlyn of Missoula; Granddaughters Michele and Jenice; great granddaughters Anastacia and Teonna, all of Washington; sister Betty Rae Stewart; nephew Scott Stewart; special niece Shawn Hinz; and cousin Hap Dudik of Ronan.

A celebration of Charlyn's life was held at Leon Hall on Saturday December 30th at 1:00 p.m. (1 mile west of Highway 93 on Leon Road). The family suggests memorial contributions for a scholarship in Charlyn's name be made to P.E.O., Chapter BS, in care of Hope Stockstad, Ninepipe Road, Charlo, MT 59824.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Speckart and the caring staff of nurses at St. Pat's Cancer center, and also to Dr. Vizcarra and the staff at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan. The tender care all of you provided Charlyn with touched this family's hearts deeply

Arrangements are by Grogan Funeral Home & Crematory of Polson. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Erma Mae Otto (Panchot)
POLSON - Erma Mae Otto (Panchot), 74, Pablo, died at home Saturday. She was born May 14, 1932, at St. Ignatius and attended Dixon schools. Erma traveled to the Philippines in 1949 when her father Harry Panchot was sent to build Voice of America broadcast stations. She also traveled to Greece and Europe and then returned to graduate from Ronan High School in 1950.

Erma attended Spokane's Kenman Business University and received a one-year business accounting degree. In May 1953, she joined the Air Force and was assigned to San Antonio and to Scott AFB, IL. She went to the Missoula Vocational Technical Center to become a Licensed Practical Nurse on November 27, 1981. While nursing in Portland, she met her Ronan High School sweetheart Kenneth Otto. They wed in October 1990. After his retirement from Freightliner, they purchased a Pablo home.

Erma Erma Otto was a member of the Tribal Warrior Society and the Polson VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She is survived by Aunt Winogene Cheery, brother Maurice Panchot, brother-in-law Alf Salway, and numerous cousins, by three children, James Wilkinson, Salem, OR, David Wilkinson, Sacramento, CA, and Diane Milligan, Denver, IA, and by three grandchildren. She was preceded in death by parents Harry and Faye Panchot, sister Mary Alice Salway, and grandparents Maurice and Hattie Hastings. She loved nursing, camping and fishing, gambling, and puttering.

Erma Private services will be held Thursday, December 21 at Grogan's Funeral Home in Polson. She will be buried with full military honors at the Polson Cemetery on March 13, 2007, at 10 am.

Erma Condolences may be sent to the family at

Mike A. Finley
Polson - Mike A. Finley, 56, of Polson died peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 22nd.

Born in St. Ignatius on June 29, 1950 to Antoine & Susan (Hewankorn) Finley he was raised in Dayton Creek & Polson.

Mike worked at the Dupuis Mill as the green chain boss until the mill closed. He was also a skilled auto mechanic and electrician. Most recently he worked at Tribal Maintenance.

He loved to hunt and was one of the best providers to many people shooting 17 bucks in one fall with a 22 single shot. He was known for his adaptability when needed during the hunt. An avid stickgame player, he had most recently won the big tournament at Kwataqnuk. He also enjoyed shooting pool with his nieces and nephews, and spending time with his grandchildren Audrey, Mariam, Tobias, Aiden, Tabitha, Ezekiel "EJ" and Francois's kids.

also loved his Harley and the Martial Arts as well as playing video games with the grandchildren. He will be remembered as a kind & generous man who would share anything he had with whom ever needed it.

He is survived by his brothers Vernon (Elaine) of Polson and Barney (Frances) of Ronan; sisters Myrna of great Falls & Naida of Polson; his children Tricia, Jocelyn, Annie and Francois, his mom Cecile as well as his grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles and aunties.

A wake began Saturday morning in the Elmo Community Center with services followed by burial in the Dayton Cemetery being held Sunday, Dec. 24 (today).

Pallbearers were Donny Prindel, Harlan Mathias, Tom Duran, Jerry Hewankorn, Oskie Lefthand, Ray Finley, Jr.. Cross Bearer was Harry Hewankorn and honorary bearers were Jerry McClure, Bud Mathias, Virgil Mathias, Reuben Mathias & his many other relatives and friends.

Louella Marie Dover
POLSON — Our beloved mother and grandmother, Louella Marie Dover, passed away December 22, 2006 due to complications of colon cancer. Louella was born November 17, 1932 in Casper, Wyoming to Lewis and Thelma (Waring) Hansen and joined her elder sister, Geraldine in the home. The family lived in Glenrock, WY and Redmond, Oregon before moving to Billings, MT. Louella graduated from Billings High School. While attending Eastern Montana College, Louella met the love of her life, Edwin Leroy Dover, on a blind date. They were married on August 31, 1951. To this union was born four children - Lewin (Jan), Lorrie (Donald), Leslie (Gerry), and Lance (Rose). Louella's grandchildren were Thomas Maxwell, Garrett Dover, Anna Maxwell, Quinn Dover, and Joseph Maxwell.

Following his retirement from teaching, Louella and Leroy moved to Polson, MT where they delighted in hosting people from all over the country to the beauty and wonders of Flathead Lake. Mom's wonderful meals and especially her cinnamon rolls were a delight to many. Mom was also an accomplished leather crafter and she and Leroy would travel to craft shows all over the state to share her talents with others.

Louella's parents, sister, and beloved husband passed before her, Leroy by 187 days.

A visitation was held on Friday December 29, 2006 at the Grogan Funeral Home Chapel from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

were held at Grogan's Funeral Home on Saturday, December 30th at 11 a.m. The Reverend Russ Barber officiated. Burial followed the services at Lakeview Cemetery. A reception followed the services at Grogan Funeral Home.

The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula for their loving and tender care of our mother.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Frederick H. Decker
ST. IGNATIUS - Frederick H. "Freddie" Decker, the only son of Fred B. and Mary (McClure) Decker, was born Feb. 12, 1917, and passed away from natural causes Saturday morning, Dec. 16, 2006, at the family home. Freddie was a proud member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and was the oldest living tribal war veteran.

He graduated from Thompson Falls High School in 1938. He lettered in athletics, was student body president and a well-known baseball player, and participated in numerous high school clubs.

to joining the Army in 1942, Freddie worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in heavy equipment operations. During World War II, Freddie was in the Army Aviation Engineers. He served in Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno and southern France. He built airstrips and dismantled land mines. Freddie was honorably discharged on Aug. 28, 1945.

After the war, he married Alma Eileen Swaney in 1948. Freddie and Eileen had three children: Denise, Daniel and Mary Jean. Freddie and Eileen also cared for Maureen (Kelly) Swaney, Colleen (EO) Swaney, James (KittyKat) Swaney, Doug Swaney and Beverly Swaney.

Freddie had a variety of work experiences. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads Division and Kicking Horse Job Corps as a heavy equipment instructor. Most of his work was with heavy equipment and road construction with the BIA, from which he retired at Juneau, Alaska, in 1980.

Freddie was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing as often as he could and the mountains of the Flathead Indian Reservation, especially the Jocko where at age 17 he helped construct the "Decker Cabin" at the Shovel Camp of the North Fork of the Jocko River. He was complimented in 1980 in the Southeast Empire newspaper of Juneau as an "expert equipment operator working in such exotic places as Crooked Creek, the upper KusKoKwim River and Chignik on the Alaska Peninsula, where he constructed suspension bridges and boardwalks."

Freddie was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Dorothy Decker Dupuis, Ann Decker Dupuis and Zelda Decker Morigeau; and James (KittyKat) Swaney.

is survived by his wife of 58 years, Eileen, at the family home in St. Ignatius; his children, Denise and Gary Morigeau, Mary Jean Decker, and Daniel and Cher Decker, all of St. Ignatius; 15 grandchildren, James Steele Jr., Rick Steele, Matt Steele, Bill Steele, Dan Decker, Shawn Decker, Josh Decker, Amber Walks Over Ice, Amanda Decker, Wyatt Decker, Shaniya Decker, Victoria Decker, Pauline Never Misses A Shot, Dustin Decker and Dylan Decker; and 17 great-grandchildren.

A rosary service was held at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at the Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Burial followed at the Decker Family Cemetery. A dinner was held at the St. Ignatius Long House after the burial.

Carol Jane Schell
POLSON - Carol Jane Schell, age 57 of Polson, passed away on Sunday December 17, 2006 at St. Luke Hospital in Ronan, MT.

Carol was born on January 31, 1949 in Bozeman, MT to Edwin and Ethel Ehresman. She grew up in Belgrade, MT. Carol married Gary Schell in 1971 in Belgrade. Gary and Carol were in Germany while Gary was stationed in the U.S. Armed Forces. They later moved to New York, NY for four years. Carol and Gary divorced and she moved back to Bozeman. She worked at the American Land & Title in Bozeman for 10 years. Carol then operated her own flower shop, "The Posie Patch", in Belgrade for several years. She moved to Polson and began a new career selling real estate for Century 21. Carol enjoyed sailing on Flathead Lake and enjoyed her crafts and making her family feel special.

Carol is preceded in death by her father Edwin Ehresman and a brother Don Ehresman. Surviving carol are her daughter Kimberly Oliveira of New Jersey and her son Zachary Schell of Denver, CO, her two grandchildren Ava Oliveira and Josephine Schell, her mother Ethel Ehresman of Belgrade, and four brothers.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home & Crematory of Polson. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Venetta Andrea Howell Brower
MT. PLEASANT, UTAH - Venetta Andrea Howell Brower passed away peacefully in her 93rd year on December 9, 2006 at the Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. She died of causes incident to age and a recent heart attack.

She was born on Sept. 11, 1913 in Downey, Idaho to William Leo Howell and Andrea Boletta Jensen. She was the second of seven children. She attended beauty school in Washington. She fulfilled an honorable mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Western States Mission, and was a certified nurse's aide.

She married Edgar Franklin Brower on Sept. 28, 1939 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple in April 1940. They were the parents of 2 sons and 2 daughters, Fred, Beth, Charles, and Kathy.

They lived in Nevada, Montana, Washington and Utah, but were the happiest in their home in Polson, Montana on the shores of beautiful Flathead Lake.

Venetta loved fishing, genealogy, gardening, cooking, canning, and spending time with friends and family. She was well known for baking 12 loves of bread at a time and making wonderful chicken noodle soup. She was a work-aholic and taught her children and grandchildren the love of work. She was a life long member of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints and her testimony was an important part of her life. She served as president in many different auxiliaries and was an example for good to all who knew her.

After Ed passed away in 1997, Venetta spent winters with her children in Washington and Utah, but continued to live in the family home in Montana during the summer, taking care of her 2 acres of garden, fruit trees, lawn and home. She was able to stay in Polson due to the loving care of her niece, Peggy Pick.

Her husband and her parents, 2 sisters, 3 brothers, and one daughter-in-law preceded her in death. She is survived by her 4 children, Fred, Salt Lake City, Utah; Beth (Terrell) Pack, Indianola, Utah; Charles (Pam), Newman Lake, Wash; Kathy (Jaime) Adams, St. George, Utah; brother Dean (Virginia) Howell, Billing, Mt; sisters-in-law, Marge Howell and Mary Howell, of Montana and many nieces and nephews; 36 grandchildren and 85 great grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at the Broomhead Funeral Home in Riverton, Utah on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 10:00 am with services following at 11:00 am. A viewing at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson will be held on Friday, December 15, 2006 at 10:00 am with a graveside service at the Lakeview Cemetery at 11:00 am. A luncheon will follow at the L.D.S. Church in Polson. Special thanks to Dr. Allan Day and the nurses at the Sanpete Valley Hospital for their kind and loving care, also to Candace and Steve Sanders and their staff.

Lorraine Peterson Carter
MISSOULA - Lorraine Peterson Carter passed away Saturday, December 9, 2006 at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula.

A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, Lorraine was born April 28, 1934 to her father Lyle Peterson and her mother Bernice Bisson Peterson Sias. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband Bob Carter and her three children, Cherie (Daniel Smith) Austin, Debbie Troyan and Greg (Elizabeth) Brown. Also surviving are her brothers Lorin (Lori) Peterson and Corky (Cynthia) Sias and Corky's five children; her stepfather Jim (Kelly) Sias and her sister Terry Sias Edmo and Terry's three children. Lorraine had five grandchildren, Sean and Kyle Austin, Larry and Tammy Troyan, Billy Brown and one great-grandson Ashton Glatz. Additionally surviving are one nephew Wayne Peterson, his three children, nieces Missy (Darwin) Hensley and her five children, Kathy Peterson and numerous cousins.

Lorraine left Montana to attend college in California and received her BA in Cultural Anthropology. She married, raised her children, retired and returned home to Montana in 2000 with her husband, Bob. She enjoyed traveling and was fortunate to have visited many places around the world. Some of her favorite pastimes were hunting for huckleberries in any form, playing with all the children and Margaritas.

A memorial dinner was held Tuesday December 12, 2006 at the Tribal Senior Center in Ronan. Graveside service was held Thursday December 14, 2006 at the Ronan Cemetery. Lorraine will be greatly missed by all those who had the pleasure of her company, her wit and her quick smile.

Fern Geraldine Matt Hitchcock
MISSOULA - Fern Geraldine Matt Hitchcock, 82, passed away suddenly Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006, at St. Patrick Hospital of natural causes.

Fern was born Sept. 29, 1924, in Ronan to Louis J. and Hazel N. Pratt Matt. She was raised in the Arlee area. She was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

She married Leonard Hitchcock on Sept. 10, 1945. They raised four children and two granddaughters, Michelle and Tammy, in their 45 years together. They lived in the Valley Creek and Clearwater areas and finally settled in Missoula. Fern was devoted to her family. In her early years, she and her family would camp up the Jocko through the week of the Fourth of July. Fern loved to garden. Her flowers and vegetables adorned her yard. She canned and made jams and jellies yearly. She always made time to sit down and visit over a cup of coffee. She will be truly missed.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Leonard; a son, Lenny; a sister, Angela; and her bothers, Jerry, John, Joe, Bud, Bob and Wendal.

Survivors include her daughter, Leona and her husband Richard Larson of Frenchtown; two sons, Albert and his wife Julie Hitchcock of Arlee and Ray and wife Jan of Arlee. Also surviving are 10 grandkids, Michelle, Tammy, Kelly, Kyle, Lisa and husband Mark, Brian, DeRae, William, Josh and Jeff; 12 great-grandchildren, Kail, Jaren, Dylan, Cierra, Kaitlyn, Zach, Royce, Jake, Allison, Taylor, Brittlynn, Aubrey and Caden; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at Livingston, Malletta and Geraghty Funeral Home with a vigil service to follow at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with burial to follow at the Jocko Catholic Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will be held at the Arlee Community Center following the burial.