Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

July 2005 Obituaries

ARLEE -- Brian James Bachmeier, 22, of Arlee, died on July 4, 2005, in Hamilton. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on July 8 at the Arlee Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which was followed by burial at the Jocko Cemetery. Brian was born on July 1, 1983, in Missoula, to Richard and Margaret (Gervais) Bachmeier. Brian grew up in the Arlee area, graduating from Arlee High School. He was accepted into the Skaggs School of Pharmacy where he was entering his second year. He was a member of MOA (Montana Officials Association) and Kappa Psi, the pharmacy students' fraternity. Brian will be remembered as a wonderful and caring son, brother, uncle and friend who always had a smile on his face and was willing to help out those around him. Brian is survived by his loving parents, Richard and Margaret (Arlee); sister and brother in law Brenda and Kevin Messner (Arlee); and his grandfather, S.J. Bachmeier (Choteau). Those wishing to make a contribution in Brian's name may do so to Skaggs School of Pharmacy, The University of Montana, in care of Lori Morin, Missoula, MT 59812.

POLSON -- Joseph Eugene "Gene" Clairmont, 98, died at home here on July 8, 2005, from natural causes. Gene was born on April 3, 1907, to John Clairmont and Mary Rose Morigeau in Ronan. As a member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes he was raised and educated on the Flathead Reservation. As a young man he bought his first dump truck and worked construction in California, Oregon and Arizona. Later, after moving back to Montana, he worked on different phases of Kerr Dam. In 1938 he married Carol "Code" Wyman; from this marriage a daughter, Julie, was born. Code preceded him in death in 1979. In the '50s he owned Clairmont Construction, a sand and gravel business, for 10 years. He later went to raising Hereford cattle with Hank Bureau. He loved the ranching business and had a special horse named "Chief." In 1981 he married "Sis" Wall; she preceded him in death in 1983. In 1984 he married Ella Oie, and she resides at the family home. Gene enjoyed pack trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, traveling and trips to Alaska and Mexico. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Lawrence, Phil and Harold, and sisters Alice, Bernice and Lily. He is survived by his wife Ella; daughter Julie Wall and husband Ray Wall (Polson); four grandchildren, Raylene, Marcia, John and Tracy Wall; four great-grandchildren, Kaelen, Felicia, Tommy and R.J.; sisters Ruth Hall (Ronan) and Myrtle Whittle (Seattle); and stepchildren Jerry Oie (Pablo), Sharon Hill (Pablo) and Donna Sturm (Greenough). Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on July 12 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

ARLEE -- Louise Lamoose Combs died on the morning of July 3, 2005, at the at of 104. Grandma Combs, as she was known by many, was born Oct. 24, 1900. She lived her entire life in the Arlee area except for the years she spent at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Ore., and the summer months in the late 1940s when she and her husband harvested fruit in the Bitterroot Valley. Grandma was preceded in death by many, many family members including infant son Richard, husband Abel Combs, and daughter Margaret. She is survived by three grandchildren, Rose Pablo (Gil Parizeau), Joe Pablo (Melinda) and Clarice King (Rudy), all of Arlee; 16 great-grandchildren; 38 great-great-grandchildren; four great-great great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; and her very special friend, Ashanee Kenmille. A wake was held at her home and the Arlee Community Center on July 6, where rosary was recited. Funeral services were held on July 7 at the Arlee Community Center with burial at the Jocko Cemetery.

POLSON -- John C. Corbett, 81, of Polson, died on July 22, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula from complications of lung surgery. John was born June 11, 1924, in Fairview. He was the youngest child of George P. and Lottie (Oakland) Corbett. The family moved to Libby where John attended schools. He served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II and later in the Korean War. John attended Kinman Business Univ. in Spokane and it was at that time that he met and married Therese Biesen in 1950. John had a long career in law enforcement, which included the Montana Highway Patrol, and as a special investigator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was a member of the Sons of Norway, Elks, NARFE, Masumola and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson. John was a pilot and enjoyed fishing, camping, golf, playing cards and spending time with his family. John was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mickie Hennesy Decker; brothers Lloyd and George (Joe) Corbett; and a son-in-law, Rich Stripp. He is survived by his wife, Therese (Polson) and his children and their spouses, son Timothy and Laura Corbett (Boise, ID), daughters Dana and Oscar Escobar (Milwaukee, OR), Cindy and Kenneth Munski (Great Falls) and Elizabeth Stripp (Ronan); eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Elva Detjens (Libby); a sister-in-law, Ruth Corbett (Kalispell); and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial Mass was held on July 29 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson with military honors following at the church. Memorials are suggested to St. Luke's Extended Care in Ronan or to the donor's choice.

MISSOULA -- Leila Janet Hartung, 56, of Polson, passed away on July 25, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital here from natural causes. She was born on March 28, 1949, at St. Ignatius, to Reynold and Lillian Bisson Hartung. She graduated from Salish Kootenai College with a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences, and worked as an education mentor at SKC. Leila enjoyed painting, arts and crafts. Her parents preceded her in death. She is survived by her long time friend Russell King, daughters Daniele Langan and Kelly Adley, sisters Billie Hartung, Joan Raymond, and Sherry Fox, brother Mark Hartung, and three grandchildren. Graveside services were held at Ronan Cemetery in Ronan on July 30.

ARLEE -- Rosie (Rosemary) Babbitt Howes died on July 31, 2005, from cancer. Rosie was born in Flagstaff, AA, to Betty and Ted Babbitt Jr. After graduating from Flagstaff High School in 1968, she attended Arizona State Univ. to study Spanish. Rosie's love of children then led her to Mexico to work in an orphanage. That experience led her to Maricopa Tech and a degree in nursing. Rosie worked for years in the nursing field. In 1996, Rosie relocated to Arlee, where she and her husband operated the Sheep Ranch Inn. She loved her new home and the many new friends she made in Montana. She is survived by her husband, Alan Howes; children, George Herlihy (Flagstaff), Tedi and husband Ryan Hodson (Portland, OR), Tim Herlihy (Missoula) and Joe Glover (Arlee); her mother, Betty Babbitt; five sisters; three brothers; and her beloved granddaughter, Lexie Hodson. Rosie was preceded in death by her father, Ted Babbitt. She was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Flagstaff on Aug. 6. A memorial Mass was celebrated on Aug. 27 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Arlee. Special thanks to Sister Joan and Donna Molica. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to Northland Hospice or St. Patrick Hospital's Providence Center.

RAVALLI -- George V. Kamenik was born on Jan. 23, 1946, and died July 2, 2005. He was a proud veteran who courageously and respectfully served his country. He visited and lived in many countries. George is survived by his daughter, Christina Maria Kamenik, and all the many friends he made in his lifetime. Graveside services were held on July 22 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

RONAN -- Moshe B. Landau, 49, died on July 22, 2005, at his home here from complications of AIDS. A memorial gathering was held on Aug. 6 at his home near Ronan.

RONAN -- Jennie Lois Largent, 94, died on July 12, 2005, at St. Luke Community Hospital here. Jennie was born on Aug. 29, 1910, in Townsend, to Walter and Mabel (Townsley) Crane. She attended school in Townsend, Helena and Bozeman, where she graduated from high school. Jennie was married to Forest "Frosty" Louis Largent on May 25, 1935, in Polson. They lived in Superior and Alberton during Frosty's employment with the Forest Service. They moved to Moiese in the fall of 1938 where they ranched and Frosty worked for the Bison Range. After Frosty's retirement in 1971, they lived in Bigfork, Moiese and finally Ronan. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, five brothers, two sisters and an infant daughter. Survivors include two sons, Walter Largent (Kalispell) and James Largent (Moiese); three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Jennie loved spending time with cherished friends and neighbors, putting together puzzles and was a mother figure to many. A private family gathering will be held at a later date. As a memorial, the family suggests visits to an elderly family member or friend.

DIXON -- George Alexander Markuson of Dixon died at his home here on July 1, 2005. He was 81 years and four days old. Born to Axel Jolmer Markuson and Nicolene Amanda (Hoff) Markuson of Raymond on June 27, 1924. He attended high school in Thompson Falls where starred in football, basketball and track. He was a four-year letterman and club president and class vice-president. He married Phyliss Irene Baylor, a high school sweetheart, on Jan. 22, 1943. She bore him six children: Cheryl Irene Scott (deceased), John Olen (who died at birth), Nicolene Louise Kelley (Palmdale, CA), Judith Ann Matt (Dixon), Marvin Axel Markuson (deceased) and George Alexander Jr. (Dixon). They had 18 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Irene died in 1980. Right after high school, George bolted for the war and joined the Navy on May 22, 1943. Irene ran into him on his first leave from basic and they got married on July 22, 1943. They didn't see each other again until after the war. He served on three different ships, the S.S. Clarence King, the S.S. Monterey and the S.S. Cape John, all in the South Pacific where he won three medals of valor. He was discharged on Jan. 4, 1946. George and Irene raised the children in Missoula and on the Mission Range where he was a master carpenter. He was a homebody and loved to hunt and fish. After George's wife Irene died in August 1980, he spent 18 years preferring not to remarry until he ran into Nadine Adams, an old childhood sweetheart. She had lost her husband. They were both alone so they hitched up. Marrying him in 1998, she gave him companionship his last seven years until a few months ago when Nadine had to go into a home for medical care. They kept in touch the last few weeks by phone when George was no longer able to travel. Private family services have been held.

BIG ARM -- Delores "Dee" Ann McLaughlin, 64, of Big Arm, died at her home here on July 2, 2005. Dee was born on June 20, 1941, in St. Ignatius, to Fred and Patricia Maiers. She attended schools in Seeley Lake and Missoula. Dee moved to California and worked as a caregiver to her sister in-law for a time before moving back to Montana. She married Frank Lee in 1959 and they had two children, Frankie Joe and Rene. She and Frank later divorced. Dee lived and worked waiting tables in Missoula for several years. She worked in cafes around Missoula but spent many years working at the Edgewater. She married Lyle McLaughlin on March 27, 1976. They lived in Missoula until 1983. They moved to New Mexico for a short time then returned home to Big Arm, where they built their current lake home. She continued to work as a waitress for several years at Lake City Bakery in Polson. She enjoyed cooking, fishing, boating around the lake, snowmobiling, growing flowers and most of all, her family. Dee held a black belt in shopping and left her legacy in photos. Dee is preceded in death by her son, Frankie Joe; her parents; and sister Elizabeth Pique. She is survived by her husband, Lyle; a daughter, Rene Kittle and her husband Jess (Polson); two grandsons; stepdaughters Lyla and husband Ben (Defiance, OH) and Debbie (Sidney); several step-grandchildren; siblings and their spouses, Jerry Maiers and Ruth (Pablo), Darcy Maiers (Pablo), Patsy Dover (Hot Springs), Robert Maiers and Va (Wisconsin), Dorothy "Dot" Ensley and Les (Polson); and many special nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on July 5, at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. Graveside services were held on July 7 at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Missoula. Memorials are suggested to either the St. Joseph Hospital Cancer Center or to the Lake County Hospice.

BIGFORK -- Betty Dennis McNett, 86, of Polson, formerly of Malta, died at the Lakeview Care Center here on July 16, 2005. She was preceded in death by both of her husbands, her son Larry and his wife Peggy and sisters Florence Ronelsbacher, Irene Dennis and Elavera Hubert. She is survived by her son James Dennis and his wife Marlene (Polson); stepdaughters Eunice Newell (Boulder) and Arlene Sparrow (Helena); sister Ethel Sheehan (Plains); and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on July 21 at Grogan Funeral Home, Polson. Interment services were held in Malta on Aug. 5.

POLSON -- Suzanne R. O'Connor, 75, died on July 6, 2005, at St. Joseph Hospital here. Sue was born Feb. 23, 1930, in Chicago, to Donald and Laura (Roberts) Royce. She grew up and attended schools in Santa Monica, Calif. Sue went on to attend Colorado College and received her bachelor of arts degree in sociology. Suzanne married Charles O'Connor in 1952 in Santa Monica. They lived near San Francisco for 32 years and five years in Bend, Ore., before moving to Polson in 1995. She was a member of PEO and the St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary. Sue enjoyed golfing and playing bridge. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Don. She is survived by her husband, Charles (Polson); a daughter, Laura Pickett (Missoula); and a son, Scott (Plantation, FL). She is also survived by five grandchildren and a sister, Sally (Orinda, CA). A memorial was held on July 11 at the First Presbyterian Church in Polson. Cremation has taken place.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Dayami Starr Joseph Piapot, 18 days old, died on July 11, 2005 in Missoula. Infant of Jami Piapot, he was born on June 23, 2005, in Ronan. Born with medical problems his few special days and hours provided precious memories for his family. He was preceded in death recently by his great-great-grandmother, Margaret Matt Finley; and his grandfather Arnie Swaney. He will be laid to rest by one of his yayas, Kelly Matt Gonzalez. He leaves behind his mother Jami (Ronan); his yaya Vicki Matt Piapot (Missoula) and Lisa St. Clair (Ronan) and grandpa Darrell Piapot Sr. (Ronan); great-grandparents Patti Piapot and Joseph Piapot (both of Spokane), Vic Matt (Dixon) and Carmelita Wood (St. Ignatius); as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Services were held on July 14 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church, with interment following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

BOTHELL, Wash. -- Ricky Eugene Rollins died on July 27, 2005, after losing a courageous battle with cancer. An avid sports fan and passionate traveler, Ricky explored all parts of the world including Australia, Thailand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean and all of Europe. Ricky was born June 9, 1953, in Polson. He grew up and attended schools in St. Ignatius, graduating from Mission High School in 1971. Ricky attended the Univ. of Montana and graduated with a bachelor's degree in education in 1975, which included studying in France. Intending to go to medical school, he further studied at Washington State Univ. to receive his master's degree in athletic medicine. His interest and circumstances changed, taking Rick into the restaurant business. Beginning as a waiter, he soon realized his talent as a manager, manager trainer and restaurant consultant. His position took him to Kansas City. MO, where he later opened The Montana Steak House. In 1996 Rick came to Bothell to open an Outback Steakhouse in Kirkland. In 1997 he was named Proprietor of the Year. He later opened Outback restaurants in Alaska, Idaho and Indiana. Rick used his restaurant to help raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America. He used his talents as a chef and often cooked Mother's Day breakfast or Thanksgiving dinner for his employees and friends. He always opened his home to help family and friends go to school or help those who may be in need. Ricky's life, kindness and zest for life touched many hearts and will leave an everlasting impression. Ricky follows his little brother, Brian Rollins, and is survived by his beloved mother, Marjorie Rollins (St. Ignatius); brothers Daniel Rollins (Anchorage, AK), and Darryl Rollins (St. Ignatius); sisters Roxanna Ogemahgeshig (Olympia, WA), Ranae Sonju (Anchorage), Ramona Friske (San Antonio, TX), and Rowena Rollins (Polson); eight nephews; four nieces, four grandnieces and one grandnephew. Ricky's family held a small memorial at the St. Ignatius City Park on Aug. 2. In Rick's honor, donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of America or donor's choice.

RONAN -- Daniel E. Thomas, 87, died at home here on July 26, 2005. Daniel was born April 21, 1918, at home, a ranch on Medicine Lodge Creek in Small, ID. His early schooling was at Medicine Lodge and he graduated from high school at John Muir Tech. in Pasadena, CA. He went on to attend Pasadena Junior College where he majored in geology and was enrolled in ROTC. While attending the University of Idaho, he married his beautiful loving wife Betty Andrea Rider on July 23, 1937. They settled in Salmon Prairie, MT, for a short time and then moved to Seward, AK, in 1940. Daniel was then employed by the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He enjoyed the challenges of his varied pursuits: ranching, motel management and uranium mining. Eventually, he found his true calling as a commercial fisherman both in Seward and Cordova, AK. This calling offered a lifestyle for his family which created wonderful endless memories. He retired from fishing after 32 years and settled in Ronan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; daughter Andrea Marcia; granddaughter Heidi Barnes Martinez; parents Daniel W. and Mary E. Thomas; and brother Byron K. Thomas. Survivors include his children, Cinda Barnes, Sharon Barnes, Coral Lockwood (David) and Rex Thomas (all of Ronan); brothers and their wives, Gerald W. and Jean Thomas (Las Cruces, NM), Walter J. and Betsy Thomas (West Jordan, UT), William H. and Eunice Thomas (Alameda, CA), and John F. and Joann Thomas (Cordova, AK); 11 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on July 30 at the Lockwood residence on Terrace Lake Road in Ronan. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163.

POLSON -- Maria Lee Timm, 87, died on July 14, 2005, at Evergreen Extended Care Facility here. She was born July 11, 1918, to Herman and Annie Viola (Brown) Rigal in Casper, WY. Maria attended Casper schools, graduating from St. Anthony Elementary Catholic School and Natrona County High School in 1936. She was employed as a piano player and singer at a Casper radio station; on a dude ranch near Dubois, WY; and for "Ma Bell" as a telephone operator. She later moved to Cheyenne, WY, where she was employed as a long-distance switchboard operator with the Army. She well-remembered being called in to work on her day off, Dec. 7, 1941, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She married her partner-in-life Philip E. Timm in Cheyenne on Nov. 6, 1941. During the early war years she followed her husband around Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming where he was employed with several contractors performing flight training for the military. In 1944, Maria returned to Casper to live while Phil was on active duty in the Army Air Corps. Following the war, Phil and Maria came to the Flathead to help Maria's mother-in-law harvest her cherry crop. That was the first of many trips to the Polson area, which stimulated the couple to move the family of four to Polson on Christmas 1955 and start a new family aviation business at the Polson Airport. Whether as a wife, mother or businesswoman, Maria was her husband's partner in all things. In aviation, she ran the details of the business side of the operation, participated as a Scout leader, and a leader in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program. In 2000, she and Phil moved into St. Joseph Assisted Living in Polson where she provided musical entertainment for the residents. The Phil-Maria partnership ended after nearly 60 years with his death a few years ago. She is survived by her daughter Beth and her husband Byron Christian (Polson and Las Vegas); her son, Glenn (Polson); and a grandson. Rosary was recited on July 18 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Polson. (No other details given.)

ARLEE -- Paul was born on Sept. 20, 1931, in Fargo, ND, and died in his home here on July 26, 2005. Preceded in death by a brother, David, he is survived by his loving companion Patty Hahn; three children, Phillip, Lisa and Callie; and four brothers Bob, Stan, Tom and Terry. He spent many years in Tacoma,WA, and worked at St. Joseph Hospital as an operating engineer for 29 years. Paul served in the Army in Korea and was member of the AmVets. He was known for his sense of humor and his ability to fix anything. He was a loving father and friend and will be greatly missed . Services were held at Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius on Aug. 6.

RONAN -- Anton William "Tony" Walchuk, was born on May 24, 1932. He died on July 21, 2005. He was the fourth of six children of Peter and Pearl Walchuk. He graduated from Ronan High School then trained as a mechanic in the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of the Korean War. Tony is survived by his daughter, Dena (Glen) Gormley and their children, Krista and Jason; his son, Dale (Caroline) Walchuk and their children, Levi and Holt; his sister, Lillian; brothers, Thomas, Leo, Joseph and James; and many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great nieces. Tony loved the outdoors and all it offered. He spent much time hunting and fishing and loved sharing stories of animal encounters. Services were held on July 30 at the Ronan Sacred Heart Parish.

RONAN -- George White died at his home here on July 16, 2005. George will be remembered as something of a "jack of all trades" or perhaps a "Renaissance man," given that his achievements ranged from the creation of magnificent bronze sculptures, innovative dwellings including an earth-bermed house and an adobe brick house east of Ronan, building a complete RV from scratch, teaching art in the Ronan school system and Kicking Horse Job Corps Center and researching, writing, illustrating, printing and distributing manuals on Native American handcraft. One publication, "The Craft Manual of North American Indian Footwear," has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide. Former students may remember George as an idealist and a bit of a philosopher. He was the first faculty adviser for the Ronan High School Indian Club. His idealism was further revealed by becoming a member of the Masonic Order and earning a 32nd degree and by being the adviser to the Order of DeMolay. Other friends and family members may remember George through a more personal history: that he was born on March 11, 1912, to Tressa B. and George "Doc" White, dentist; how he and his family moved from DeWitt, Neb., via rail, steamboat and covered wagon to homestead near Roy in 1914; how his older brother, younger sister, mother and father lived in a sod house struggling to make a living from the reluctant red earth; that the family finally moved to Lewistown where Doc White took up dentistry again and Tressa went back to teaching school; that George lost vision in one eye due to an accident involving blasting caps and a bonfire at the age of 12; and that he was bedridden for most of a year enduring a bout with rheumatic fever, during which time he practiced carving figurines out of wood, a skill that he later applied to a master's of fine arts degree at the University of Montana and much later to his exquisite bronze sculptures. In 1937, he became infatuated with a 19-year-old coed, Beverley Mary Edwards. A year and a half later they married. Their life together spanned 67 years and took them to Idaho to New Mexico to Colorado where George worked for the Ute Indian Nation, and finally to Ronan in 1953, where George began teaching art and science and Beverley taught piano. George is survived by his wife, Beverley; sister Annabelle Thomy; sons George, Frank and Michael; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The White family extends its deepest appreciation to Mr. Harvey Covert from the Fiji Islands, who provided consistent and gracious care 24 hours a day for the last seven months of George's life.


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