Char-Koosta News

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For the Record

June 2003 Obituaries

RONAN -- Dennis Ray Abbey, 58, died at his home here on June 8, 2003. Denny was born Jan. 3, 1945, in Missoula to Arthur "Red" and Marjorie Abbey. Arthur passed away when Denny was three years old. Marjorie then married Steve McCready. Denny attended schools in Round Butte and Ronan, graduating from Ronan High School in 1963. He married Bonnie Arlint on Nov. 16, 1962. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968, serving one year in Vietnam. After living in the Ronan area the couple moved to Shepherd, where he worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1993, Denny and Bonnie purchased a hardware store in Superior and ran it until January 1999. In 2002, they moved to Joliet. Denny enjoyed teaching his family to hunt and fish and flying his Super Cub to hunt coyotes was a highlight in his life. He also enjoyed sports. He is survived by his wife of 40 years; his sons and their wives, Kraig and Shelley (Red Lodge) and Mike and Ashley (Billings); three granddaughters; his stepfather; brothers and sisters-in law, Gary and Frances (Ronan) and Steve and Cheryl (Vancouver); and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held June 12 in Superior, with burial taking place at the Ronan Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Superior Assembly of God Church.

RONAN -- Lucy Marie Arlint died on June 11, 2003, at St. Luke Community Hospital here of pulmonary fibrosis. She was born Sept. 17, 1932, to Aaron and Mary Palmer in Greenwood, SD. She moved to Ronan with her family in March 1946. She married Marvin E. Arlint in August 1952. They had a dairy farm southwest of Ronan, where they lived until moving into Ronan. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Laura Cook; a brother, Arnold Palmer; and several nieces and nephews. She was a homemaker and a home health care provider. She is survived by six sisters and their husbands: Helen and Frank Cole (Missoula), Rose McLeod (Ronan), Jeanette Kuntz (Polson), Loretta Emmingham (Orem, UT), Betty Kuntz (Ronan) and Barbara and Bob Burrell (Ronan); and one brother and his wife, Charles and Anna Mae Palmer (Henderson, CO). Funeral services were held June 16 in Pablo. Burial followed at Mountain View Cemetery.

ELMO -- Mose Auld Elmo, died on June 11, 2003, of natural causes at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson. He was born at Lone Pine on May 13, 1920, to Lucy Eneas and Peter Auld. He grew up in the Lone Pine area and attended Antelope School. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Paul, sister Ina, wife Alice Wakan, and eldest daughter Darlene. He leaves behind two brothers, Francis and his wife Deeana, and Albert Caye; his sister Louise Burke; four sons, Edward, Virgil and his wife Peggy, Curtis and Carson; two daughters, Glenna and her husband Jimmy, and Linda; his special friend Oshanee Kenmille; and 21 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Mose was a logger, working in the forests for Pikes Logging operating heavy equipment. Later, he worked in Loomis, WA, in the apple orchards for 14 years with Oshanee. Mose was also an accomplished wood carver in his younger years. He enjoyed spending time in the woods camping, hunting, fishing and picking huckleberries. He later enjoyed drinking coffee and visiting with his friends in the morning at the Culture Center. He was passionate about the apple trees he grew in his small orchard. He took pride in hard work, was an avid reader and enjoyed crossword puzzles. Traditional wake services were held in Elmo at the community center. Funeral services were conducted on June 14.

RONAN -- Charles Eben "Charlie" Caruthers, 66, died on June 5, 2003, while surrounded by his adopted family here. Born to Tom and Ruth Caruthers in Ellsworth County, KS, on June 7, 1936, he was raised and educated in Genoseo, KS. Charlie served in the Korean War as a medic. He also ran several businesses and worked the oil rigs in the High Plains. He married twice and was preceded in death by both wives, his parents, brother Keith and sister Linda. Survivors include the following siblings and their spouses: Wayne and Shirley (Genoseo); Richard (Pratt, KS); Ruby Palmer (Linsburg, KS) and Martha Ann Foust (Chalevorix, MI); as well as a large adopted family on the Flathead Reservation. In accordance with Charlie's wishes cremation has taken place and a picnic to celebrate his memory will held on June 14 at his home on Crow Creek.

HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Roy W. Caton Sr., part-time resident of St. Ignatius and Ovando, died here on June 17, 2003. Roy retired from Union Electric in 1985 and is remembered by family and friends for helping others and raising and breeding Arabian horses at his Sunset Valley Ranch in Cedar Hill, MO. He was preceded in death by a son, Mark Caton. He is survived by his wife, Irma B. Salters Caton; his children, Roy Caton Jr., Christy Caton Garcia, Thomas (Cyndi) Caton, and Elaine (Tim Swanberg) Caton; a brother, John Caton; as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Mass was celebrated on June 20 in House Springs. Interment followed in Byrnesville, MO.

PABLO -- Gary DeSaussure died here on June 12, 2003, from respiratory arrest. He was born May 19, 1938, the only child of Veldon and Marian (Kennedy) DeSaussure. Gary attended school in Pablo and graduated from Ronan High School 1956. Gary ranched in Pablo all his life. He was well known for raising good cattle and always riding an exceptional horse. He enjoyed this until his health caused him to sell most of the cattle. He loved the outdoors, hunting, his cattle, good horses, dogs, cats, roping, barrel races and rodeos. He was also an avid sports fan. He loved wheeling and dealing and was always trading cattle and horses. For many years he team roped. Gary was preceded in death by his father, his Aunt Gladys and his Uncle Kingdon. He is survived by his wife, Maxine (Pablo); his mother, Marian (Polson); son Rick DeSaussure (Santa Fe, NM); daughter Paula Homuth (Missoula); grandsons Kevin and Christopher Gardipe (Missoula), Andrew Homuth (Missoula) and granddaughter Ali DeSaussure (Denver); one great-granddaughter and a stepdaughter and her husband, Traci and Gus Vaile (Babb). In addition to the people he left behind he also leaves his beloved cats "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy" and "Tommy," his blue healer "Dukie," and his heel horse "Mercedes." A memorial service was held on June 16 on the Salish Kootenai College campus.

RONAN -- Doris Elaine Devereaux, 66, died on June 17, 2003, at St. Luke Hospital here from cancer. She was born Sept. 24, 1934, in Bozeman to Fitz and Margaret Wisner. She is survived by her son, Jeff Devereaux (Ronan); daughter Toni Lyn Devereaux (Browning); two grandchildren; and two sisters, Betty Richards and Donna Neubauer. Cremation has taken place. A memorial gathering was held on June 21 in Ronan.

POLSON -- Lloyd E. Fite, 84, died from natural causes at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center here on June 17, 2003. He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Fite; his parents; and a brother, Harold Fite. He is survived by his two sons, Kenneth Fite and his wife Connie (Chatham, IL) and Donald Fite and his wife Leta (Springfield, IL); two grandchildren; a sister, Dorothy Crannell (Polson); and a stepsister, Patty Arie (Stillwater, OK). No services are planned locally.

ST. IGNATIUS -- David P. Hamilton died on June 15, 2003, at Missoula's Community Medical Center of natural causes. He was born March 14, 1927, in Berry, KY. David was a retired master sergeant with the U.S. Air Force and a veteran of three wars. He was active in his community with his church, Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch and the Kootenai Christian Camp. He is survived by his wife, Ruby A. Hamilton; his daughter and son in-law, Pamela E. and Raymond H. Cambre Sr.; five grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; his sister, Jean Wesland; and five nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on June 20 in St. Ignatius. Military graveside services followed at Mountain View Cemetery in Ronan.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Darrell Dean Hayes, 68, of St. Ignatius died on June 25, 2003, at Westside Nursing Home in Ronan. He was born Feb. 1, 1935, in Menlo Guthrie County, Iowa, the son of Florence (Armstrong) Hayes and Harve LeRoy Hayes. He lived there until he moved with his parents to Montana. Darrell served in the US Army as a young adult but was primarily a lifelong musician. He was a fiddler who played in the local dance bands most of his life. He was preceded in death by his parents, a baby brother, Edwin; brothers Glen and Boyd Burdett Hayes; and a sister Neva Elaine Crawford. Survivors include his sisters Sally Hubbard (Casey, IA) and Genevieve Kimmen (Adair, IA); a sister-in-law, Delores A. Hayes; nieces Katherine Dawson and Nelda Hayes (St. Ignatius), Sheila Hadley (Polson) and Debra Woodward (Missoula); and several other nieces and nephews. Graveside memorial services were held on June 29 in St. Ignatius.

POLSON -- Mildred Hossler, 92, died on June 7, 2003, at St. Luke Extended Care in Ronan. She was born on July 8, 1910, in Swanville Township, MN. She was raised in Minnesota and moved to Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, and worked for the National Park Service, where she met George Lester Hossler, whom she married on Jan. 13, 1940, in Minneapolis. They moved to Seattle during World War II and later to Alaska. They moved to Polson in 1954. She and Les purchased the Polson Machine Shop and operated that business until 1971. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Polson. She and Les were active members of the Masonic Lodge and the Shrine. Mildred was a 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star and Daughters of the Nile. She also was a very proud member of the Kitchen Band. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1997 and parents, Ellen Marie (Olson) Derx and L.A. Derx. She is survived by a cousin. A graveside service was conducted on June 10 at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson. Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210-2472.

POLSON -- Pauline Hughes, 88, died on June 4, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital here from natural causes. She was born on Jan. 17, 1915, in St. Charles, IA, to Frank and Agnes Conrin O'Leary. She moved to Danvers, MN, at an early age and attended school there. She graduated from Benson High School in Benson, MN. She married Lawrence Patrick Hughes on Dec. 9, 1935, in Danvers and they lived in Benson until 1947. They lived in various places before moving to Valley View near Polson. They farmed and ranched before retiring and moving into town. Pauline was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She was preceded in death by a son, Edward Eugene Hughes; two brothers and two sisters. She is survived by her husband, Lawrence (Polson); a daughter, JoAnn Emery (Williston, ND); three sons, Harold Patrick Hughes (Polson), Richard Anthony Hughes (Grand Rapids, IL) and Stephen Michael Hughes (Polson); 17 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on June 9 in Polson. Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

POLSON -- Viola Marie Brown Johnson died on June 8, 2003, from injuries sustained in a traffic accident near Charlo. At the time of her death, she was a certified nursing assistant at the Polson Nursing Home. Viola's loves included her large extended family, especially the younger children, fishing and camping, attending powwows, making people laugh, her friends and special times with all. In her earlier years, Viola was an enrolled member of the Wind River Arapaho Tribe. She later became an enrolled member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Viola is survived by her husband, Shane Johnson (Polson); her mother and stepfather, Myrna and Greg DuMontier (Valley Creek); her father, John P. Brown (Salt Lake City); her brother and his wife, Pascal and Andrea Adams and children Justin, Nadia and Halle (all of Arlee); and her stepsiblings Annie DuMontier, Kamiah (Anssi) DuMontier, Misty (Shade) Tanner and Robert ChiefStick (Toni Michel); her maternal grandfather Louis Adams; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Viola was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Nadine Adams, and great-great-grandmother Louise Vanderburg and her paternal grandparents Thomas and Martha Brown. A wake for Viola was conducted at the St. Ignatius Community Center. Funeral services were held on June 12 at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, with burial following at the Adams Family Cemetery at Valley Creek.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Wilma Ella Jones died on June 13, 2003, at her home here. Wilma was born Jan. 21, 1917, to Eugene and Vera Jefferson in Monroe Center, WI. Wilma was a school teacher in her younger years. In World War II, she worked in an airplane factory in California. She later worked as a beautician and as a dealer in Reno, NV. Wilma was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ed Jones, and her parents. She is survived by four brothers, Forrest and Joe Jefferson (Arkdale, WI), and George and Jack Jefferson (Arlee); three sisters, Crystal Freech and Jean Callahan (Rib Lake, NV) and June Coulter (Las Vegas); two stepdaughters, Barbara Jones and Margaret Jones; many nieces and nephews; and two grandchildren. Private family services will be held in accordance with her wishes.

POLSON -- J.M. "Jimmy" Kirwan, 91, of Polson, died on June 12, 2003, in Pahrump, Nev. Jimmy is survived by his son, Pat Kirwan (Pahrump), six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. A private family service is planned. Cremation will follow.

POLSON -- C. Wayne Mahugh, 85, died on June 5, 2003, of natural causes at St. Luke Hospital in Ronan. Wayne was born on Aug. 3, 1917, in Froid to Orville and Cressy Mahugh. Wayne had a long, successful career as a salesman and manager in California, Wyoming, Iowa and Missouri. He married Dora Burton on Sept. 26, 1938, in Creston. Wayne served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Upon returning to the Montana area he worked at Buttrey's, and sold Fuller Brush products and industrial lubricants. He was also employed in Kalispell, later relocating to Polson as owner-manager of Mahugh Ford. He also was the owner-manager of the Mahugh Implement Massey Ferguson Dealership. After a brief retirement, he managed the Cenex Co-op in Ronan. He enjoyed gardening and time spent at his Lake Blaine and Flathead Lake properties. He was active in the Christian Church, Kiwanis, soil conservation, was director of the Seeley Bank and was a charter member of the First Citizens Bank in Polson. He was preceded in death by a brother, Chet, and a grandson. He is survived by Dora, his wife of 64 years; sons Bryan Mahugh (Polson) and Larry Mahugh and his wife Nona (Anchorage, AK); daughter Gina Fulford and her husband Brian (Kalispell); three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and his brother, Les Mahugh and his wife Mary (Creston). A celebration of life was held on June 7 in Polson. Memorials may be made to the Polson Community Church or add a book to the Lewis and Clark Expedition selection at the Polson City Library.

POLSON -- Richard L. Matt , 27, of Ronan, died as a result of an automobile accident near Ronan on June 15, 2003. Richard attended schools in Ronan and Polson and graduated from Two Eagle River High School in Pablo in 1994. He attended Salish Kootenai College and graduated from the Building Trades Program in 1997. Richard worked for Jore, S&K Electronics and fought fires throughout the west. He was active in sports and enjoyed fishing, hunting, listening to music and spending time with his children and family. Richard was a member of the Salish-Kootenai Tribes. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Peter Matt and Regina Couture Matt; and two uncles, Thomas Couture and Kevin Thomas Matt. He is survived by three children, Isiah Matt and LaRissa Matt (both of Butte) and Alexis Matt (Ronan); his mother and step-father, Jody and Arnold Irvine (Ronan); his father, Louis Caye, Jr. (Elmo); his twin brother, Robert James Matt (Ronan); his sister, Anitra Janet Irvine (Ronan); aunts and uncles: Beverly and Wilbert Michel, Gerald and Selina Matt, Arlene and Frank Powell and Donata and Stan Healy; step-brothers Joseph, Ambrose, Gabriel and Mayuk Caye (all of Elmo); and numerous other relatives. Traditional wake services were conducted in Elmo. Mass was celebrated on June 19, also in Elmo. Burial was at Dayton Cemetery.

PABLO -- Edna L. Morigeau, 71, of Pablo, died on June 22, 2003, at St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson of natural causes. Memorial services were held on June 27 in Pablo. No other details are available.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Gary Bruce Orr, 51, died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism on June 1, 2003, at his home here. Gary was born on Oct. 29, 1951, in Missoula, to Alvin and Patsy (Traylor) Orr. Raised in St. Ignatius, he attended Mission schools, graduating from St. Ignatius High School before attending Montana State Univ. in Bozeman. After a couple semesters at Bozeman, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Okinawa, Japan. Upon his return from his military service, Gary completed his education by attending Univ. of Idaho in Moscow and finishing his B.S. in forestry from the Univ. of Montana. Gary had received many awards for his work in forestry. He was a forest manager with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for almost 20 years, working in Cortez, CO; Vernal and Ft. Duchesne, UT, before coming to work for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes where he has been the Forest Manager for the last seven years. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hiking, camping, fishing and helping his family brand. He also enjoyed landscaping and working on the lawn and garden. Gary also helped decorate the town of St. Ignatius for many years during the holiday season. Gary was preceded in death by his father, Alvin, in 1998. He married Kim Harrison on Dec. 18, 1981, and she survives him at the family home. He is also survived by his children Kiel and Kristi (St. Ignatius), Tami and her husband, Shane (Missoula) and Tawna and her husband, Clark (Maple Valley, WA); his mother, Patsy Orr (Warm Springs, OR); his stepmother, Jean Orr (Pablo); his brothers and sisters and their spouses: Tim and Peggy Orr (St. Ignatius), Anita and Shorty Matt (Moiese), Jerry and Kathy Orr (Ocean Shores, WA), Jeannie and Dean Seyler (Pinetop, AZ), and Sharon Orr (Warm Springs, OR); a stepbrother, Danny Morrison (Pablo); three grandchildren, Zoe, Sophia and Aidan; his dog, Cosmo; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews. A private family viewing and service took place on June 5. A memorial dinner for friends was held afterwards at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Cremation has taken place.

POLSON -- James T. Petersen died on June 11, 2003, at Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital from complications of pneumonia. Jim was born in Geyser on July 30, 1919, and grew up in Highwood. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Northern Montana College in Havre. During World War II, Jim served as a U.S. Navy pilot. After returning from the service, he married DeYota Hagestad on Sept. 15, 1944, in Pasco, WA. Jim earned a master's degree in education from the University of Montana. His career in education spanned over 30 years with over 25 years as an elementary principal in Great Falls. He retired in 1979, when he and De moved to Polson. Jim is survived by his wife; a son, Rohn Petersen, and his wife Kerry (Parker, CO); a daughter, Renae Chaulk, and her husband Robert (Brea, CA); seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. A private memorial service for immediate family is planned.

POLSON -- Ivan W. Pollman, 70, died on June 12, 2003, at the Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center here from cancer. He is survived by numerous cousins and friends. A memorial service was held on June 17 in Polson.

EVARO -- Theresa Mae "2D" Lozeau Rodriguez died on June 7, 2003, at St. Luke Extended Care in Ronan. She was born on Jan. 15, 1929, at St. Ignatius to Edward Ta'a Lozeau and Theresa Lillacelle Lozeau. She was a full-blood and could speak both the Flathead and Blackfeet languages. In her younger days she was known as "Queen of the Flatheads." She was raised by her grandparents Peter Charlie and Mataley. Her sister-in-law is Christine Jimmy of B.C. and her "special" sister is Clara Bourdon. Brothers and sisters preceding her in death were Alexander Lozeau, Thomas Alfred Lozeau, Mary Louise Lozeau Pierre, Rosalie Lozeau, Margaret Lozeau, Alice Lozeau, Agnes Lozeau, Edward Lozeau, Napoleon Lozeau, Thomas Lozeau and Annie Lozeau. Sons and daughters preceding her in death were Tommy Mahseelah, Billy Stanger, Robert Stanger Morigeau and Theresa "Telah" Hewankorn Piapot. Her surviving sons and daughters are Paul Mahseelah, Adrian Mahseelah, Ronnie Stanger (Adrian McKee), Anthony Plant, Jacqui Plant, and other step-sons and step-daughters. She also has many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren too numerous to list. She was born and raised in Moiese Valley and went to the old Moiese School. Later, she moved to the Mission Valley where she was a homemaker and was happy taking care of her many grandchildren. She was an avid outdoors-woman who could chop wood with the best of them. She had many hobbies such as hunting, fishing, and her personal passions were cooking big meals, beadwork, singing traditional stickgame songs and gambling. She was on the powwow trail most of her life in Montana, California and Colorado. Traditional wake services were held at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on June 9. Cremation followed in Missoula.

POLSON -- Stanley Ryan, 81, Polson, died on June 6, 2003, at Kalispell Regional Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother. Stan is survived by his wife, Edith LaVerne Ryan (Polson); a son, Dan Ryan (Pleasant Hills, CA); a daughter, Barbara Lynn Ryan Heftved (Polson); four grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on June 21 at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Polson.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Otto Louis Schoon, 92, of St. Ignatius, died on June 24, 2003, at St. Luke's Community Hospital in Ronan. Otto was born in Davenport, NE, on Sept. 30, 1910, to Harm and Louise (Tipker) Schoon, and was raised near Otis, CO, on the family farm. A farmer for many years, Otto worked in the Frenchtown and Charlo areas before going to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A skilled repairman, Otto fixed most anything that needed fixed for the Irrigation Project and after 35 years of service retired in 1984 at the age of 74. Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, John Saure; and a sister, Minnie Rider. He married his wife of 59 years, Esther Kienzle, on July 23, 1943, in Ronan. They made their home in St. Ignatius. Survivors include Esther; two sons and their wives, Larry and Barb Schoon (Pittsburgh, PA) and Anthony "Moe" and Linda Schoon (Pablo); a daughter, Betty Abrams (Aurora, CO); seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. As per his wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held on June 28 in St. Ignatius. The family requests that memorials be made to Zion Lutheran Church, the St. Ignatius Senior Citizen's Center or to a charity of your choice in Otto's name.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Heather Marie Shepard-Adams, 16, died on June 8, 2003, from injuries sustained in a car accident with her sister-cousin, Viola Brown Johnson. Heather was born on Aug. 25, 1986, to Andrea Adams and Arthur Shepard. She was lovingly known by many as "Auntie Hellers." Although she didn't have any children of her own, she was "auntie" and "mamma" to many children that she cared for as if they had been hers. She was preceded in death by her grandmothers, Nadine Adams and Beulah Brubaker; her cousin Shelley McLeod; and an uncle, Duane Bourdon. She is survived by her mother, Andrea Adams (St. Ignatius); her father, Art Shepard (Missoula); four brothers, Brendan Adams (Ronan) and Gabe, Vincent and Calvin Shepard (St. Ignatius); two sisters, Lisa Dunlap (NC) and Isabelle Pablo (Arlee); her grandfather, Louis Adams (Arlee); nine uncles; seven aunts; five sister-cousins; other cousins; and many friends. A wake was conducted at the St. Ignatius Community Center. Funeral services were held on June 12 at the Longhouse with burial following at the Adams family cemetery at Valley Creek.

HELENA -- Max F. Sommers, 77, of Polson, died on June 21, 2003, at Fort Harrison Veterans Hospital here. He was born on Feb. 9, 1926, in Roundup, to William and Maude Collins Sommers. Max served his country in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army. He is survived by a niece Margaret (Sommers) Maier and a great-nephew Andrew Maier (both of Missoula) and a great nieces Shelda Maier (New Jersey) and Leah Maier (Spokane). Graveside services with military honors were held on June 30 in Polson.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Ben Van Finley Squeque, son of Edith Regan and Ben S. Finley, was born March 6, 1945, in Tacoma, WA. He died on June 30, 2003. He attended the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius and Fife Grade School on the coast. He enjoyed fishing, tooling around, powwows and hunting. He spent the latter part of his years commuting between the Flathead and Puyallup reservations, spending time with family and friends. Ben was preceded in death by his dad; sister Lillian; brother Richard; his wife, Lily "Cherokee" Finley; a grandson and a granddaughter. He is survived by his mom; sisters Darlene, April, Laura, Lizetta and Gertie (all of Tacoma, WA); brothers Donald and Buster (Fife); eight children: Stacy Adrian (Bridgeport, WA); Byrdy, Darlene and Karen (all of St. Ignatius); Beverly (Ronan), Sonia (Tacoma, WA), Jamie (Missoula) and Ben III (St. Ignatius); as well as numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. A traditional Salish-Pend d'Oreille wake was conducted in St. Ignatius. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on July 3. Interment followed at the Jocko Cemetery near Arlee.

PABLO -- Dale Wilbur Thomas died on June 17, 2003, at his home here. He was born Nov. 6, 1932, in Jordan, MT, to Inez H. and Wilbur O. Thomas. Dale attended grade school in St. Ignatius and Valley Creek, graduating from Arlee High School. After graduation, Dale joined the Air Force and spent time in the Asian Theater. Although Dale was involved in many businesses including real estate, Thomas's Western Wear, ranching was his true passion. Keeping the Mission Valley Country Club grass and greens watered and mowed was Dale's pride and joy. After retirement Dale fixed many a bicycle around the neighborhood, worked on quite a few cars in his garage, mowed lawns, fixed neighbors' fences. Dale married Charlene Nequette on April 8, 1960. They were later divorced. Dale was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson. He is survived by six children and their spouses: Wes and Andrea Thomas (Ronan), Darla and Mark Pollock (Missoula), John and Francene Kelly (Ronan), Julie and Ron Zachariasen (Missoula), and Gyme Kelly and Mercy Kelly (both of Pablo); 16 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother and his wife, Ray and Joan Thomas (OR); sisters Charlotte Priddy (Dixon), Maxine Desasure (Pablo) and Beverly and her husband Willard Hill (Helena). The family would like to thank everyone at Hospice and all the nurses who made Dale's passing a loving and gentle family affair. Funeral services were held on June 23 in Pablo. Military graveside services followed at Calvary Cemetery in Ronan.


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