Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

February 2003 Obituaries

PABLO -- Sonny Bisson died of cancer on Feb. 4, 2003, at his home here. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and four brothers. He is survived by a daughter, Becky Smith (Arlee); two sisters, Dorothy Kroshus and her husband, Ole (Pablo) and Vivian Cahoon and her husband, Earl (Pinehurst, ID); seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Graveside services were conducted on Feb. 8 at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

PABLO -- Jesse James Brown was born on July 30, 1981, to Andrea Faye Blixt Brown and Thomas Lee Brown in Kalispell. He died on Feb. 10, 2003, from hypothermia related to an automobile accident. Jesse, a Salish-Kootenai tribal member, was married to Tina Diaz. He loved his family and fixing cars. His other interests included motorcycles, racing cars, playing video games, hiking, camping and horseback riding. He was preceded in death by his mother; his paternal grandfather, Harvey Brown; his maternal great-grandmother Mary Glover; and his maternal grandfather, Porky McClure. He is survived by his wife and their children, Destiny and Dakota; his father; brothers Justin Brown (Pablo), Kyle Brown and Tony Brown (Browning), his paternal grandmother Alpha Brown; his maternal grandmother, Marjorie Blixt; maternal grandfathers Jimmy Blixt (Niarada) and Jerry Nicholai (Hot Springs); and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Wake services and Mass were conducted in Elmo. Burial followed on the Brown property at Pablo.

KALISPELL -- Dixie Lee Crone, 90, longtime Hot Springs resident, died on Feb. 10, 2003, at Brendan House here. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Judy Crone (Kalispell); her daughter and son-in-law, Gail and Clayton White (Hot Springs); nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. She was preceded in death by her husband, Marland Crone, in 1984, and by two brothers, Cecil and Lloyd Woods. Funeral services were conducted on Feb. 12 at the Lonepine Community Hall. Burial followed at the Murray Memorial Cemetery in Lonepine. Memorials may be made to the Hot Springs Senior Citizens or to the Lonepine Community Hall.

POLSON -- Linda Lee Dixon died of cancer on Jan. 25, 2003, at her home on the west shore of Flathead Lake. She was born to Dr. and Mrs. Lee W. Smith on Oct. 13, 1926, in Butte, where she attended school. She graduated from high school in Faribault, MN. She also attended Montana State College and Stanford University at Palo Alto, CA, where she graduated in 1948 with a degree in nursing. She returned to Montana and worked for Drs. Teel and Tanglin in Polson and for the state of Montana and Lake County in public health. She was involved with the Polson Library, Public Health and Community Concert boards. She was also a volunteer hospice worker and volunteer nurse in the public school system. She was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church Linda met her husband, Charles Dixon, while skiing; they were married Nov. 16, 1952. Linda enjoyed the outdoors and participated in downhill and cross country skiing, fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, hunting and huckleberry picking. She also enjoyed duplicate bridge. Linda is survived by her husband at the family home; son Charles L. Dixon, M.D., his wife Eve (Kalispell); daughter Rebecca G. Lewis and her husband Greg; daughter Christine Dixon (Oak Harbor, WA); and daughter Melinda G. Dixon and husband Chris Clouart (Bend, OR); two grandchildren; her sister Shirley Weditt and husband Jim (Butte); her brother Lee W. Smith and wife Joan (Columbia Falls); and numerous nieces and nephews. Private family services have been held. Memorial donations may be sent to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Box 1112, Polson, MT 59860; or to the donor's church or charity of choice.

SALEM, Ore. -- Celena Fisher, 4, died on Feb. 14, 2003, of an ongoing chronic illness. She was number one on the liver transplant list. Her doctor, Annie Terry, who was more like a friend, fought hard for Celena. She loved to watch movies, Barney and Teletubbies, and reading. She enjoyed visits from her teacher, Tiffany Perez of Morningside Elementary. Family recalls that she was a little actress who loved to sing. Survivors include several relatives in Salem: her parents, Fred and Kathy Fisher; her sister and brother, Triva and Wesley Fisher; and grandparents Sally and Wesley Fisher; several step-brothers and sisters in Montana; grandfather Manuel Ortega (Phoenix, AZ); and many aunts, uncles and cousins on the Flathead Reservation. Mass of the Angels was celebrated on Feb. 19 with interment following at Belcrest Memorial Park. Memorials may be sent to Marten Transport LTD, c/o Ruth Boles, 29605 Kinsman Rd., Wilsonville, OR 97070.

MISSOULA -- Kenneth L. Fisk, 51, of Polson, died on Feb. 3, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital here of natural causes. He was born Dec. 6, 1951, in Spokane, WA, the son of Harry and Bernice (DeVoe) Fisk. Ken was preceded in death by his father and a brother, Don Fisk. He is survived by his wife, Kathi (Polson); four daughters, Honey Dozier (Spokane), Lisa Fisk (Pierre, SD), Laura Ware (Germany) and Sara Fisk (Kalispell); his mother, Bernice Fisk (Ione, WA); four grandchildren; two sisters, Terri Garpestad and Pamela Jahn (both of Spokane); and three brothers, Dave Fisk (Spokane), Doug Fisk (Priest River, ID) and Steve Fisk (Spokane). Services were conducted on Feb. 8 in Proctor.

PABLO -- Thomas E. Gingras, 68, died at his home here on Feb. 18, 2003 from natural causes. He was born on Feb. 13, 1935, in Niarada, MT, to William Gingras and Mary (Pierre) Gingras. He attended high school at Flandreau, SD. He joined the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. After serving in the military Thomas attended Haskell Junior College in Lawrence, KS. He worked for years as a seasonal worker in orchards in the Okanogan Valley in Washington, then eventually moved back to the Flathead Reservation. He enjoyed listening to blues music and reading. He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Elsie Gingras,and a brother, Francis Gingras. He is survived by a sister, Esther Gingras (Niarada), a brother, Clarence Gingras (Dayton) and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and friends. Traditional wake services took place at the Elmo Hall. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Feb. 21 in Elmo. Burial followed at the Dayton Cemetery.

RONAN -- Bernice Shirley Hewankorn, 61, of Elmo died away on Feb. 3, 2003, at the St. Luke Extended Care Facility here from natural causes. Bernice was born on Aug. 26, 1941, in Silver Butte, MT, to Modeste and Mary Eneas. She grew up in Elmo and attended schools there and in Polson and Flandreau, SD. Bernice married George Hewankorn in July of 1968. She and George lived in Colorado from 1968-1978. They ran the bowling alley in Elmo for several years. Bernice also was a cook for the Senior Citizens Center. She eventually became the sergeant-at arms for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, a post which she took over after George passed away. Bernice had provided care for her parents the last several years. Bernice was an avid keno, bingo and stickgame player. She loved to go bowling. She volunteered for years as the secretary of the Standing Arrow Pow Wow Committee and as a language instructor in the Polson schools and for the Kootenai Language Commission. She was a board member of KCDC and a past member of the Polson Eagles. Bernice loved to be around her grandchildren and she loved to attend all of their activities. She was preceded in death by her husband, her father and her brothers Leo and George Eneas, and a cousin, Richard Nichols. She is survived by her mother, Mary Eneas (Elmo); two brothers, John Eneas (Elmo) and Bernard Eneas (Spokane); a sister, Christine Lacey (Salem, OR); her children and their spouses, Orsino and Leslie Walker (Elmo), Gwen Hewankorn and Joe Quequesah (Elmo) and Adrian Hewankorn and Dana Tenas (Dayton); stepchildren Georjean Moomaw, Janice Peasley, Becky Hewankorn and Hazel Hewankorn (all of Omak, WA); 28 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Wake services took place at the Elmo Hall in Elmo. Mass was celebrated on Feb. 7 in Elmo. Burial followed at the Dayton Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Kootenai Language Commission.

ARLEE -- Charlottie Amelia Johnston, 96, died at her home near Arlee on Feb. 20, 2003. Born Sept. 14, 1906, in Williston, ND, to George E. and Bessie (Jacobs) Messler, at age four, she moved to Eureka. They then moved to Shelby where she lived until she turned 18 and she moved to Kalispell, where she met her future husband, Walter Raymond Johnston. They married in 1926 and made their home near Arlee where they ranched and farmed for the next 55 years. She enjoyed being around her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed working in her garden and going fishing. Charlottie was preceded in death by a grandson, Tony, in the Vietnam War, and her husband in 1979. She leaves behind two children and their spouses, Lawrence and Hazel Harness (Kila) and Pearl and Ted Foust (Arlee); 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Feb. 24 at the Arlee Christian Missionary Alliance Church, with interment following at the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius.

MISSOULA -- Dean A. Kleppen, 47, of Hot Springs, died at St. Patrick Hospital here on Feb. 2, 2003. He was born in Powers Lake, ND, on Feb. 26, 1955, the son of Bernice and Arvin Kleppen. Dean served four years with the Air Force and two years with the Naval Air Force. He worked in Hot Springs for Sanders County Waste Disposal and will be remembered for his love of hunting, his skill in mechanics and jamming with his musician friends. His family includes his father, Arvin (Missoula); mother, Bernice Hysulien (Lignite, ND); two children, Doran Kleppen and Devin Narron; three sisters, Debbie, Pat and Pam; four grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial services will be held at a later date in Hot Springs.

MISSOULA -- Ruth M. Quigley Miller, 88, of Polson, died on Feb. 12, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital here. Memorial services were conducted on Feb. 9 at the Pablo Christian Church. The family requests that memorials be made to the church.

POLSON -- Ben F. Morigeau, "Seaton Maning" (Walking Hawk), died on Feb. 25, 2003, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center of cardiac arrest. He was born in 1924 in St. Ignatius to John and Amy Morigeau. They, as well as a brother, Cyzie, preceded him in death. His wife, Diane, and his second mom, Phyllis Morigeau Piper, survive him. Ben had three children and eight grandchildren: son, Bob Morigeau and his wife, Dona, and their children Joshua, Jason and Justin (Palmer, AK); and daughters, Julie Mathison and her children Benjamin and Kristyn (Yakima, WA), and Nancy Hill and her children, Rheanon, Ronny and Mariah (Clinton, WA). He was also blessed with two great-granddaughters, Hannah and Taylor Dyann. He was proud of each and every one of them. He is also survived by four sisters, June Morigeau, Peggy Morigeau, Paulette Morigeau O'Neill and Laura Morigeau; two aunties, Laura Matt and Alma Luedke; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Ben served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He had a love of airplanes since he was a little boy and acquired his commercial ticket early in life. Ben worked construction all over the world: Thailand; Vietnam; Okinawa, Japan; San Salvador, El Salvador; Saudi Arabia; and Indonesia. He received many letters and plaques for technology transfer from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Arvin Army of South Vietnam, the government of Indonesia and his rock quarry in Sattahip, Thailand, is now inscribed with a huge gold Buddhist image, and a nice little park at the base makes it a must for lunch for tourists. His local crew there still calls it the mountain that Mr. Ben made. In the early '70s, he and Diane settled in Alaska. There, he built roads and airports and worked on the Alaska Pipeline, acquiring more lifetime friends. In the '80s, Ben and Diane retired and returned to the Rez. Ben was a member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes; a lifetime member of the Masons at Matanuska Lodge No. 7 in Palmer and a 42-year member of the Polson Elks Club. At Ben's request he will be cremated and a service will be held later.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Elmyra E. Carey Moss died on Feb. 19, 2003. Myra was born to Walter I. and Edna May Gardner Carey in Laingsburg, MI, on Dec. 16, 1911. In about 1932, she met Reuben Ray Moss, and they began a 45-year relationship, operating a number of ranches. She was a "buddy" teacher at St. Ignatius Elementary School and was employed at different times by both hardware stores in St. Ignatius. She was a dedicated member of her church. In the fall of 1996, Myra moved from St. Ignatius to live near her son, Carl, and his wife, Kathy, on a ranch on Irvine Flats west of Polson. Reub died on Feb. 17, 1976. She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Myrna Joan, 2. She is survived by six sons and their wives: Ray and Susie (Clarkston, WA), Jim and Dana (Mattawa, WA), Howard and Lynn (Dixon), Carl and Kathy (Polson), Dennis and Kristi (Anatone, WA), and Kevin (Uniontown, WA); and four daughters and their husbands: Elaine and Dennis (Roy, UT), Marilyn and John (Centralia, WA), Marge and Marvin (Fairfield) and Afton Dupuis (Polson); 54 grandchildren, 64 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Dennis Villegas, who lived with them during his teenaged years, is also considered a cherished member of the Moss family. Funeral services were conducted on Feb. 22 at the LDS Church in St. Ignatius.

SEATTLE -- Mary Ann Torgerson Rickard died here suddenly on Feb. 6, 2003. She was born in Polson on July 27, 1933, to Art and Myrtle Torgerson. She attended grade school at Charlo and high school in Bigfork, where she graduated in 1951. She married Jack Rickard on Aug. 10, 1952. Mary Ann spent most of her life raising her family in Bigfork. In 1983 she moved to Missoula, where she was a volunteer at St. Patrick Hospital and a babysitter for many friends' children. Mary Ann was a member of the Rebekah Lodge, Lakeview No. 12 and Esther No. 5; she was also involved in the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarch Militant, Ladies Encampment Auxiliary, Special Olympics, the United Nations Pilgrimage, the World War I Veterans Auxiliary and Royal Neighbors. She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Laureen Day; and a brother, Jack. She is survived by her children: Michelle, Art and Norm (all of Seattle) and Cindy (Columbia Falls); two granddaughters; a great-grandson and three great-granddaughters; brother Don; nieces and nephews and many more relatives and friends. Memorial services were Feb. 15 in Bigfork. Burial followed at Lonepine Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Special Olympics of Montana or the American Diabetes Association.

POLSON -- Florence "Trudy" Sanders, 70, died of natural causes on Feb. 8, 2003, at her home here. She was born on Aug. 15, 1932, in Aitkin, MN, to Phillip and Florence Bolduc. She grew up and attended schools in Aitkin, before moving to Kalispell in 1950. On Oct. 21, 1950, she married Billy J. Sanders in Kalispell. She and Billy also lived in Kemmerer and Cody, WY, before moving to the east shore of Flathead Lake. Trudy loved feeding hummingbirds and other wild birds. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Oliver Bolduc, Phillip Bolduc and Tony Bolduc. She is survived by her husband in Polson; two daughters, Val Knight (Polson) and Lorna Scott (Kalispell); a son, Bill P. Sanders (Polson); one brother, Gene Bolduc (Grand Rapids, MN); eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and several other relatives. Cremation has taken place and no services are planned.

DIXON -- Mary Jo Anne Schmauch, born in Stella, Missouri, on Dec. 17, 1922, died at her home here on Feb. 23, 2003. She moved to Harrison, MT, with her family and later to Butte, where she met and married William Richard "Tiger" Schmauch. They both worked in casinos in Butte, West Yellowstone, Phoenix and Las Vegas until they moved to Dixon and bought the Dixon Bar in October of 1951. She pulled her last shift in the Dixon Bar on Feb. 20. She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents, Dick and Audra Parker; one sister, Jackie Jo Michael; and a nephew. Survivors include two sons, John Thomas Schmauch (Dixon) and Richard Schmauch (Sheridan, MT), and a daughter, Patricia Mitchell (Tustin, CA). As per her wishes, cremation has taken place.

FRENCHTOWN -- Barbara Lynn Shourds died on Feb. 17, 2003, at her home here. She was born Aug. 27, 1949, in Missoula to Chester E. Shourds Sr. and Theresa A. (Trahan) Shourds. A member of the Salish-Kootenai Tribes, she was a lifelong resident of Frenchtown. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Chester E. Shourds. She leaves behind brothers and sisters (and their spouses): Roger and Louise Shourds (Polson), Kerry and Jamie Shourds (La Conner, WA), Cathleen D. Espin (Palm Coast, FL), Colleen Collins (Frenchtown), Belinda Coffman (Avondale, AZ), Kelley Shourds (Glendale, AZ), Rebecca Podobnik (Cascade) and James Howard (Frenchtown); as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins and friends. Services were conducted in St. Ignatius.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Leighton Small, 78, died on Feb. 24, 2003, at St. Luke's Community Hospital in Ronan. Born on March 6, 1924, in Cut Bank, to Edgar W. and Cecillia (Gibson) Small, he was raised in Cut Bank until the family moved to St. Ignatius in 1960. Leighton was the second oldest child in his family and helped with the farming most of his life. Their farm was "the Small farm right next to the Biggs farm," as he used to say. He was proud of his English ancestry, singing his risque songs and was quite the poet in his time. He also enjoyed yodeling and riding his three-wheeled bike around town and to the Malt Shop to get his diet Pepsi at 1:15 p.m. every day. A single man all of his life, Leighton was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Alan, who died in infancy. He leaves behind his sister, Barbara Duncan (Mebane, NC); niece Mary Anne and nephew John Edgar (both of NC); a cousin, Harold Small (Kalispell); several cousins in Ellensburg, WA; as well as many friends. Funeral services were conducted on Feb. 28 in St. Ignatius, with interment following at the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius.

COEUR d'ALENE -- Charles Maxwell "Max" Stark died here on Feb. 7, 2003. Max was born Nov. 24, 1916, to Charles Milton and Fay (Miller) Stark near Stevensville. The family moved to Missoula in 1922 and to Hollywood, CA, when the Great Depression hit in 1929. Returning to Montana at age 17, Max graduated from Stevensville High School. While working in Yellowstone Nat'l Park, he met Charlotte McNary and they married on Oct. 1, 1940, in St. Paul, MN. They moved to Bozeman, where Max graduated from Montana State Univ. With agriculture and coaching as his specialties, he taught Montana high school students at Chester in 1942, at St. Ignatius from 1943 to 1949, and in Polson from 1949 to 1979. He also started the wrestling program at Polson High School and the Polson tennis courts are named for him. He helped bring seed potato farming to the Mission Valley in the early 1950s and raised cherries in the Flathead Valley. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. Despite having 10 children of their own, Max and Charlotte took in foster children. The Stark family also helped start the KOA campground on Flathead Lake's east shore in the mid-1960s. Following Charlotte's death in 1995, Max lived on Finley Point during the summer months and with his son, Rob, in Bozeman during the school year, when he attended classes at MSU. He moved to Coeur d'Alene last fall. Survivors include seven sons and two daughters: Mike Stark (Royal City, WA)., Barbara Klammer (White Bear Lake, MN), Tim Stark (Lakewood, WA), Mary Rosdahl (Coeur d'Alene), Andy Stark (Polson), Rob Stark (Bozeman), Jeff Stark (Oak Park Heights, MN), and Chris Stark and Paul Stark (both of Fairbanks, AK). Other survivors include his sister, Helen Allen (Sebastopol, CA); 29 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, brothers Heman and Ford, and daughter Patti Mercure. A community memorial service and celebration of Mass were held on Feb. 22 in Polson. His ashes will be scattered on St. Mary's Peak and inurned at Polson Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to the Max Stark Memorial Scholarship Fund, Polson School District, 111 Fourth Ave., Polson. MT 59860.

POLSON -- Sean Michael Sylvester died on Feb. 14, 2003, at his home here. Sean was born Dec. 24, 1979, in Concord, CA, to David Sylvester and Geraldine Ashley Trahan. He was raised in Pittsburgh, CA; and in Woodcock, Ronan and Polson. He received his education in Ronan before going to work for the Tribes as a tree planter and firefighter and at the Ronan Fitness Center. A member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes, he was also proud of his Seneca background. He enjoyed basketball and baseball, and taking walks and biking with his family. He also enjoyed playing PlayStation and fishing. He was preceded in death by his mother in 2000. Survivors include his wife, Dolly Evans, and his children, Dashane Hewankorn, 6, and Tyrell Sylvester, 4 (all of the family home); his father, Dave Sylvester (Sacramento, CA); his sister, Reyna Sylvester (Ronan); brothers Wayne "Tai" Trahan (St. Ignatius) and Sunny Sylvester (Sacramento); foster brothers Aaron Matt and Michael Michel (both of Ronan); as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. Traditional wake services were held at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated on Feb. 18 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

MISSOULA -- Donn R. Walker of Polson died on Feb. 3, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital here from natural causes. He was born Aug. 12, 1930, in Gage County, NE, to James Henry Walker and Gladys Ruth Brown. Donn (Mud) Walker was a big-hearted man of action who was a poet, played piano and the harmonica, and wrote music. He was a cowboy and a horse whisperer. Donn was an air traffic controller for the U.S. Air Force until 1955. He graduated from Doane College in NE and received his M.E. from the Univ. of Montana. He taught school for 34 years in Beatrice, NE; Missoula, and Alberta, Canada. He retired to Polson in 1995. He married Marcia Isaacson on Oct. 6, 1967, in Corvallis. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Duane Lee Walker. He is survived by his wife of 33 years in Polson; two daughters and their spouses, Kathleen Dawn and John Foss (Polson) and Kim Rose and Duane Jessop (Pinesdale); a sister, Barbara Jean Walker (Polson); 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; three nephews and one niece. A memorial service was conducted on Saturday in Polson. Inurnment took place in Neb. Memorials may be made to the Diabetes Association.

POLSON -- Keith Wright died on Feb. 27, 2003. He was born in 1924, the second child of Edythe and George Wright, and grew up in Polson. In high school, he was active in football, track and drama. His sense of service was first demonstrated when he memorized the eye chart to pass the Air Force medical in World War II, where he served as an aircraft instrument and bombsight supervisor in Northern Ireland and Germany. He put himself through college with the GI Bill to earn a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1950 from Montana State College. Upon graduation, he moved to Missoula and soon started Wright Lumber Co. During retirement, he stayed involved in Polson, most recently with the Polson Sports Complex and as a member of SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives). He is survived by his wife, Gail Wright (Polson); two sons, Brad Wright (Kalispell) and Blaine Wright (Whitefish); a daughter, Beth Cole (Missoula); four grandchildren; two stepsons, Ralph Ashmore (Fall City, WA) and Dan Ashmore (Stevensville); a sister, Gina Devlin (Polson); a niece, two nephews and a cousin. Services were held at on March 3 at the Presbyterian Church in Polson. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Keith D. Wright Scholarship Fund, c/o Polson High School, 111 Fourth Ave. E., Polson, MT 59860.


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