Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

January 2003 Obituaries

ST. IGNATIUS -- Cecilia Ann "Cecile" Alexander, 34, died on Jan. 16, 2003 at the Alexander family home in Elmo. Cecile was born on March 9, 1967, to Eli and Agnes (Hewankorn) Alexander of St. Ignatius. She attended school at Mission. A dedicated mother, Cecile was a member of the Salish Kootenai Tribes. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Porky, Isaac, Levi, and Francis Alexander; a sister, Christine; and aunts Telah Hewankorn, Louise Conko (Granny), Jeanette Conko and Margaret Conko Friedlander. She is survived by four brothers and their spouses: Andy and Florence, Camille, Louie and Dawn, and Richard and Bernie Alexander; three sisters and their spouses: Josephine Hernandez, Mary "Lulu" Alexander and Rose and James Morigeau; children Del Michael Joseph, Deidra Joseph, Deborah Dawn Joseph and Doug Matt, Jr.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A wake was conducted in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church, with interment following at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Glen Oliver "Chief" Delaware, 68, of Helena, died on Jan. 20, 2003. A member of the Salish-Kootenai Tribes, he married Lilla Kate Roberts. He served in the U.S. Air Force and enjoyed skiing, hunting, fishing and partying. His brother, Dewayne Delaware, preceded him in death. Survivors include his daughter, Theresa Pearl Delaware Dunn (Aikens, SC); three sons: Meshell Lee "Mike" (Grovetown, GA), Andy James (Liberty, SC), and Gerald Len (Irvine, KY); a brother, Leonard "Stub" Delaware (Hot Springs); a sister, Barbara Gains (Spokane); eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Services were held in Helena. Mass was celebrated on Jan. 25 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission, with burial with military honors following at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

POLSON -- Ruth Rose Fredrickson, 81, died at her home here on Jan. 8, 2003, from natural causes. She was preceded in death by her husband Myron in 1976, her parents Peter and Elizabeth Furhmann, three sisters and five brothers. She is survived by her daughter, Gaile Jacobson (Polson); two granddaughters; one great-granddaughter; two sisters, Hulda Tate (Great Falls) and Leiha Walker (Glasgow); and one brother, James Furhmann (Ronan). A graveside funeral was conducted on Jan. 13 at the Lonepine Cemetery.

MOIESE -- Eileen Janice Kimes died on Jan. 27, 2003, of cancer. Eileen was born in Fort Collins, CO, on Aug. 27, 1939. She married Donald (Cotton) Kimes and began her life as a devoted wife. She had three children, Kenny, John and Roxie. She loved to garden, play the piano and sing, and watching hummingbirds. She also loved to cook and garage sales. Eileen is survived by her husband; three children, Kenneth Kimes (WY), John Kimes (WY) and Roxanna Dennison (MT) and 10 grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Feb. 2 in St. Ignatius.


RONAN -- Ann May McDonald, R.N., 78, of Niarada, died on Jan. 28, 2003, at St. Luke Extended Care Facility here. Ann was born to Joseph and Vera Christman on June 6, 1924, in Hartford, WI. She grew up and attended schools in West Bend, WI, and graduated from St. Maries School of Nursing in Milwaukee. Shortly after graduating from nursing school, Ann moved to Kalispell and started her nursing career. She married Thomas R. McDonald on Feb. 14, 1948, in Polson. Ann was well-known as a registered nurse throughout western Montana for 52 years. She worked as a nurse in Polson, Ronan, St. Ignatius, Kalispell, Hot Springs and Plains. She also ranched with her husband and was especially good at doctoring lambs and calves on the ranch. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking and canning. Ann always loved to harrow every spring. She was preceded in death by her husband and an infant son, Angus Patrick McDonald; her parents; and one brother, Joe Christman. She is survived by her children, Gail Graves and husband Jack (Polson), Marsha Rubino and husband Vince (Big Arm), Lorrie Meeks and husband Tom (Dixon), Malcolm McDonald and wife Dora (Niarada) and Ranald McDonald and wife Effie (Polson); 16 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Mass was celebrated on Feb. 1 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson. Burial took place at the McDonald family cemetery in Niarada. Memorials may be made to any obstetrics program at the hospital of your choice.

PORTLAND -- Diane Marie "Sis" McNair, 50, died here Jan. 21, 2003, after a lengthy illness. She was born on Feb. 14, 1952, in Klamath Valley Falls, OR, to Tommy McNair Jr. and Theresa Marie (Matt) Captain. She attended schools in Klamath Falls, Beaverton and Corvallis. She was a school and mental health counselor. She later moved to Ronan, where she worked as nutritionist for the local diabetes foundation. She also worked with youth in the Upward Bound and Head Start programs. Her most "fun" job was as lead singer in the Louie Louie Band with her brothers and uncle. Survivors include her siblings and their spouses: Ferol Jean "Cutie" and Sonny Porter (Chiloquin, OR), Electra and Dale Frey (Ronan), Randall Ray "Hunky" and Tracy McNair (Ronan), Tania "Peach" Ayers (Klamath Falls), Sonny and Marlene McNair (Polson), Eunice "Goonie" and Art Rojas (Klamath Falls), Doug "DoRight" and Jacque McNair and Casey Case (Lincoln City, OR), and Dea and Dan Williams (Klamath Falls); and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. At Diane's request, there were no funeral services.

POLSON -- Luella S. Smith, age 93, died on Jan. 29, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital here from natural causes. She was born Nov. 5, 1909, in Watson, Saskatchewan, and moved to Polson in 1926 as a teen-ager. She married Everett Smith on June 24, 1935, in Polson. She and her husband owned the Grill Cafe in Polson for 33 years. Luella was very active in community and Methodist Church affairs. She was president of the Civic League, a member of the Garden Club and the Polson Kitchen Band. She worked for St. Joseph Hospital as a nurse's aide for five years and the Polson Country Store for more than 30 years. She was the pianist, organist and choir director for her church for 50 years and was also president of the church women. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star No. 53 and Noble Grand of Rebekah Lodge No. 94. She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Arnold James Smith, in 1962. She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Marjorie Reid (Redding, CA); three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Memorial services were conducted on Jan. 31 in Polson.

DIXON -- Ernesto M. Tapia died at home on Jan. 12, 2003. Ernie came into this world as Geronimo Ernesto Martinez Tapia on Sept. 10, 1908, in Opodepe, Sonora, Mexico. He spent his youth in Mexico and Arizona prior to making his home of 72 years on the Flathead Indian Reservation, where he met his wife, Marian Matt. Ernie became a U.S. citizen on April 8, 1946, and served in World War II. He was a member of the American Legion. He retired from ranching in 1983 and moved to Spokane, where he devoted the next 15 years of his life to working with handicapped children. He was preceded in death by his wife and a son, Guy. He is survived by six children: Armida (Olympia, WA), Marie Stockstad (Chesapeake, VA), Connie Tapia (Las Vegas), Joyce May (Pahrump, NV) and Fred Tapia (Dixon); nine grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren. Funeral services included a wake at the Longhouse, Mass in the Mission Church, and interment with military honors at the Catholic cemetery.

MISSOULA -- Cheryl Ann Pomphrey Wagner, 49, died on Jan. 8, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital here of cancer. Born Sept 19, 1953, she grew up in Leonardo, NJ. She joined the U.S. Navy in 1971. In 1994, she became the first female survival evasion resistance and escape instructor on the West Coast, Pacific Fleet. Cheryl retired from the Navy in 1996 as a senior chief air traffic controller and moved to Ronan. She graduated from Salish Kootenai College with an associate degree in computer science. She worked as CIO at Travel Learning Connections in Ronan. Prior to her illness, she was involved with the Mission Valley Back Country Horsemen and the Ronan VFW Post 5652. She is survived by her husband, Robert W. Wagner (Ronan); her parents, Arden Sellgren (Fredericksburg, VA), and Richard and Ellen Pomphrey (Neptune City, NJ); her sister and brother-in-law, Donna and Frank Martinelli (Stafford, VA); her brother, Jason Pomphrey (Neptune City); Robert's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Wagner (Metropolis, IL); and Robert's daughters, Shanna Nelson (Virginia Beach, VA), and Cheryl Collins (Murphysboro, IL). The family suggests memorial gifts be sent in Cheryl's name to Partners in Home Care Inc., 2687 Palmer St. - Suite B, Missoula, MT 59808.

ST. IGNATIUS -- James Gordon "Jimmy" "Papa - Big Z" Zackuse, 49, died on Jan. 20, 2003, in Missoula. Jimmy was born June 5, 1953, in Everett, WA. He moved to St. Ignatius in 1979. He married Lorene Dupuis on May 17, 1986. Jimmy loved playing pool, dominoes and loud music. He enjoyed laughing and hanging out with friends. At home, he watched movies and football games on his "big screen TV." Jim also enjoyed going to his son's basketball and football games. He is survived by his wife; a son, Jimmy Zackuse Jr.; a daughter and son-in-law, Dee Ann and Quincy Weatherwax; and eight grandchildren -- all of St. Ignatius. Other survivors are his brothers, Billy Zackuse Jr. and Gene Zackuse; sisters Fay and Linda Zackuse; an numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Ruth Spencer Zackuse; and a brother, Richard Williams. A wake was held at the Salish Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Services and burial were in Marysville, WA.


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