Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

March 2006 Obituaries

ARLEE -- A member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Lester was born on Nov. 11, 1967, in St. Ignatius to Sam and Dorothy (Adams) Colman. Raised on the Flathead Reservation and in western Montana, Lester went to school in Ronan, Superior and Polson. After he completed his education he worked as a fisherman on the boats in Alaska and as a fire fighter for the tribe. It was here that he earned his nickname "Sawdust." Lester enjoyed being with his family and friends. He was an avid outdoorsman; he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Dorothy; a brother, Rick Lozeau; an uncle, Homer Colman; aunt and uncle Jack and Sugar Stiner; niece Nicole Colman and numerous cousins. Survivors include his daughter, Tiffany; his brothers and sisters Wayne (Debby Courville) Colman, Linda (Chuck) Zeiler, Amos Colman, Glenda (Bodge Whitworth) Colman and Arnold (Dernell) Colman; his aunts and uncles Alvin "Snuse" and Christine McClure, Cecile Lumpry and Russell Husband; as well as a large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A wake began on March 18, 2006, at the Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home in St. Ignatius, then moved to the Longhouse in St. Ignatius, where an evening prayer service was held. Funeral services were held in the Longhouse. Interment followed in the Jocko Cemetery in Arlee. Pallbearers were Charlie Bird, Bull Durgeloh, Joe Cahoon, Dave Kudlock, Jim O'Neill and John Green. Honorary bearers were Lyle Colman, Lance Colman, Carmen McClure, Aaron Felix, Gary Stiner and Marvin Colman.

PABLO -- Nadine Helen Couture, 68, of Pablo, died on March 8, 2006, at her home. She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Gary DuCharme. Survivors include her children, Wes Couture (Billings), Tammy Couture (Reno, NV), Ronnie Couture (Pablo) and Herbie Couture (Great Falls); 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Carol Tenney and Myrna Johnson (Polson); brothers, Harold "Bud" DuCharme (Polson), Ken "Mick" DuCharme (Seattle), Herb DuCharme (Evaro), Butch DuCharme (Los Angeles), and Toke DuCharme, Beeb DuCharme, George DuCharme, and John DuCharme (all of Polson). Wake services began at her home in Pablo. Rosary was recited on March 10 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment took place on March 13 at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson. Condolences

Charlo Dick died on March 21, 2006, in a car wreck. She was born on June 7, 1953. She was a member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. The Charlo name came from the last traditional chief of the Bitterroot Salish. Charlo was brought to Oregon along with her sister Wahneta and adopted by Vern and Velma Finke. She was the mother of Jennifer Bell and Autumn Rigelman. She had eight grandchildren. She is also survived by her mother Virginia Charlo; her three brothers Mike Charlo, Charlie (and Zelda) Charlo, Louis (Cindy) Charlo; sisters Tiny Charlo, Francine (Joe) Dupuis, and Sissie (Boge) Plant. She is preceded death by her father, Louis B. Charlo, Sr. She had recently moved to Cascade Locks. She had lived in the Mt. Tabor area all her life. A memorial service for Charlo was held on March 27 at Trinity United Methodist Church located at 39th and Steele. (Condolences)

POLSON -- Harold Gordon Gunlock, 89, of Polson, died of natural causes on March 6, 2006, at the Evergreen Care Center. Services will be held at a later date. The family requests memorials to the St. Joseph Retirement Center, 11 17th Ave. E., Polson, MT 59860. Born on May 21, 1916, in Columbus, ND, he was the son of Shell and Magdalena (Lena Schumann) Gunlock. After the death of his father in 1926, Harold and his older brother, Kenneth (now deceased), quit school to help their mother manage the family farm and raise the younger siblings. He hopped trains to California at age 15 in an attempt to earn money for the family. On July 1, 1936, he married his lifetime friend and schoolmate, Lillie O. Arneson. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year. The newlyweds moved to Bonners Ferry, ID, to seek work on the Chisholm Ranch as there was no work during the Depression in North Dakota. They made the big move to Montana in 1954, settling in the Post Creek area near St. Ignatius, and ran a dairy farm there for 40 years, dryland farmed and later raised beef cattle, before selling the home place and moving to Polson. Harold took many ribbons for his Percherons and Belgiums. They participated in many shows, parades and wagon trail rides. Harold was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Kenneth (previously of St. Ignatius); and many distant relatives and friends. He is survived by his devoted wife, Lillie (St. Joseph's Retirement Community, Polson); sons, Eugene Gunlock (Esther Anne) and Daren Gunlock (Debbie) (all of Polson); daughter, Sandra Gunlock Baker (Robin) (Lehi, UT); eight grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; brothers Wayne Gunlock (St. Ignatius), Merle Gunlock (Williston, ND), Leland Anderson (Burbank, CA), and Clarence Anderson (Anchorage, AK); sister, Phyllis Holte (Hayden Lake, ID); cousin, Elsie Nygaard (Ronan); other out-of state cousins; and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service took place on April 15, at the Senior Citizens Center in Ronan. The family requests memorials be made to St. Joseph's Retirement Community, 11 17th Ave. E., Polson, MT 59860.

ST. IGNATIUS -- On March 31, 2006, with her family at her side, Amelia Harris left this world to join her husband Verne, her "sweetie" of 46 years. Amelia was a lifelong resident of Mission. She was born on Aug. 16, 1921, to Leo and Laura Rouillier. She attended local schools and graduated from Mission High School in St. Ignatius. After graduation, Amelia worked in the area until beginning in her career as a wife, mother and grandmother. Amelia married Verne Harris on March 13, 1950. The happy couple was later blessed with two daughters, Kay and Jo. In 1973, Verne and Amelia welcomed into their family two sons-in-law, Leo LaSalle and Lloyd Phillips. In the following years they felt blessed with the births of their grandchildren, Katie, Stacy, Jenny and Cody. Most recently, Amelia was thrilled with the birth of her great-grandchild Bridger, and at the time of her death, was eagerly awaiting the birth of two more great-grandchildren. Amelia found pleasure in the simple, but important, things in life. She never aspired to possess the "finer" things in life, but instead treasured the happy times she shared with her family. Amelia's love for children of all ages made her home a gathering spot for her daughters, her grandchildren and the many nieces and nephews that she always placed above everything else. As a devoted sports fan, Amelia supported the Cubs and rarely missed watching a fame. She faithfully followed the Mission Bulldogs and although she could no longer attend the games, she eagerly waited for the 10 p.m. news, a phone call or the morning paper to hear the latest scores. Amelia will be greatly missed by her daughters and their husbands, Kay and Leo LaSalle of Anaconda, and Jo and Lloyd Phillips of St. Ignatius; her grandchildren Katie and Matt Lowery of Lolo, Stacy LaSalle of Anaconda, Jenny and Lyle Cronk of Deming, WA, and Cody Phillips of St. Ignatius; and her great-grandchild Bridger Lowery. Amelia also shared great love with her nephews Bill and Tim Rouillier and niece Jill Hart and their families. She is also survived by one sister, Yvonne Frey; and four sisters-in-law, Emma Jean Rouillier, Jo Ann Rouillier, Joyce Bras, and Madeline Nelson. Amelia was preceded in death by her husband Verne; and by her brothers Paul and Sam Rouillier. In lieu of Flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to Lake Co. Bank in St. Ignatius to establish a scholarship fund in memory of Verne and Amelia Harris. Services were held on April 5 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Gertrude Gariepy Joy, 93, died of natural causes on March 9, 2006. She was born on Sept. 17, 1912, in Lambert, MT, to Norman and Mable Boyd. She graduated from high school in Richey, MT, in 1930 and went to work at the local bank. Fred Gariepy also came to work at the bank about the same time, romance blossomed and they were married on July 14, 1931. They lived and worked in Richey and Ronan before establishing Lake County Bank in March of 1945. Gertrude was kept busy with her young family during the first few years but found herself becoming very involved in many community activities. In the 1940s, she helped start the Campfire Girls program. She also was a member of the Catholic Ladies Guild, the local PTA and the Hospital Guild. Her services to the American Red Cross and American Cancer Society date back more than 50 years. She went back to work at the family bank in 1954 and worked there until her retirement in 1981. She also served on the Board of Directors of Lake County Bank. Gertrude had five children and she lost her beloved husband in October 1972. She found love a second time when she met El Joy.They were married in January 1981; he died in Oct. 1999. Gertrude's biggest love was gardening; her flowers and garden attest to her green thumb. She also loved fishing, hunting, crochet, knitting, playing cards and dancing. Gertrude was preceded in death by her parents, Norman and Mable Boyd; her first husband, Fred Gariepy; her second husband, El Joy; her brother, John Boyd; her sons Pete and Steven Gariepy; her daughters, Sharon Rider and Mary Lou Gariepy; her granddaughter, Cheryl Gariepy; and her great-granddaughter, Dawn Gariepy. She is survived by a son, Larry Gariepy, and his wife, Letty; daughter-in-law, Joanne Gariepy; son-in-law, Dean Rider; sister-in-law, Fern Boyd; and four step-daughters, Norma, Melva, Deanna and Doris. She has 13 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Mass was celebrated on March 15 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Interment followed in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mex. -- Thelma Augusta Maria Knopp Kelly, 86, of Carson, CA, and formerly of Montana, died of pneumonia and pancreatic cancer on March 18, 2006, at the home of her youngest daughter here. She was surrounded by her loving family. Thelma was born on Sept. 27, 1919, at the family homestead on Corral Creek in Dawson Co. to Frank Max Knopp and Katherine Wilhelmina Malhstedt Knopp. In 1930, her mother, Katie, died. Her father remarried in 1933 to Pauline "Polly" Mable Lofts. When drought caused Frank to lose his homestead in 1934, the Knopp family moved to Pablo because Polly had family in the Mission Valley. Thelma worked for the Almon Hocker family as she attended Ronan High School. Upon graduation in 1938, Hocker told her to "learn business" so she could always have food on the table. After working for other families in the Mission Valley to earn money for school, she started Great Falls Business College in 1940. After graduating with honors in 1942, she worked in Great Falls for a short time before moving to Long Beach, CA, where she became secretary to the marine engineer of Long Beach Harbor. During World War II, she was active with the Red Cross. With the war winding down, Thelma moved back to Montana and became the private secretary for Mr. Barnes at the Missoula Mercantile. While working at the Mercantile, she met another employee, Leonard Thomas "Tom" Kelly. They were married in 1947 in the Episcopal Church in Missoula.They moved to Kansas City, MS, and Denver, CO, as Tom pursued his degree in radio and electrical engineering. To help Tom get through school, Thelma began the first part of a long career of working for the federal government. After her children had "graduated" from 4-H, Thelma became involved in feeding programs for the homeless and making quilts for women and children in domestic abuse centers. She also helped assemble layette sets for needy women. She thoroughly enjoyed making hundreds of flannel baby sleepers for these women though her favorite program, "His House," a ministry of the Salvation Army. Because of her tireless and selfless giving to "His House," she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year by the Salvation Army. She loved to travel. Thelma's favorite pastimes included quilting, gardening, arts and crafts, and going to fairs. Her children, grandchildren, friends and relatives have many gifts made by the loving hands of Thelma. Her deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior sustained her through thick and thin. She was preceded in death by her parents and step mother; husband Tom; and brother Glen Knopp. She is survived by her four children: daughter Lynn Kelly (Polson), daughter Cynthia (Tim) Curran (Torrence, CA), and their children, Tiffany and Katelyn; son Timothy Kelly (Carson, CA); and daughter Patricia (Nelson) Walker (Albuquerque), and their children, Cashmere and Austin. Thelma is also survived by three sisters, Esther Hamel (formerly of St. Ignatius and now of Libby, and Punta Gorda, FL), Florence Hayden (Florence), and Joy DesRosier (Whitehall); one brother, Frank Knopp Jr. (Melford, WI); as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their children. Thelma's funeral service was held at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home on March 25. A memorial service was held on April 8 at the Harbor Christian Center in Wilmington, CA. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to one's choice of a homeless shelter, feeding shelter, a domestic abuse center, or a home for unwed mothers.

POLSON -- Bertha A. Kimmel, 92, of Polson, died on March 26, 2006, at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center. Graveside inurnment was held on March 30 at the Lakeview Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home of Polson.

PABLO -- Esther Marie Logan, 45, went to be with the Ancestors on March 25, 2006, the result of an auto accident. Esther, the daughter of Christine Lozeau and James Logan, was born on July 9, 1961, in Seaside, OR. Raised primarily on the West Coast and in the Portland area she came back to the Flathead Reservation many times to see her large extended family before settling in Pablo, where she was attending college. She had just made the High Honor Roll at SKC. A peer and mentor in the Portland area drug and alcohol programs, she was well-known and respected within the community. She enjoyed hanging out with her friends and being with her family, as well as making people smile. She was preceded in death by her parents, Christine Marie Lozeau and James Logan, and a sister, Julia Green. She leaves behind her husband, Danny Gonzalez; and brothers and sisters James Logan (Portland, OR), Charles Logan (Polson), Derek Gibbs (Polson), Margaret Lozeau (Pablo), Maria Jackson and Rosanna Logan) both of Portland) and Serena Hill (Goldendale, WA); as well numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, aunties and uncles from across the Northwest, including Clara Bourdon, Pat Lozeau, Vicky Lozeau, Kenny Lozeau, Rosanna YellowHair, and Punkin and Dunner Parazoo. A wake was conducted in the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated on March 29 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church with interment following in the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius.

RONAN -- Thomas John Lyles, 20, was called home by the Creator early on March 11, 2006, from injuries sustained in a car accident west of Ronan. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Chuck and Carolyn Weivoda, who lost their son Chris in the same accident. Thomas was born on April 9, 1985, to John Lyles and Patty Swaney. The couple later divorced and Patty married Willie Stevens. Willie raised Thomas as his son and loved him as any father would. Thomas attended school in Ronan, where he made many friends due to his easy-going and affectionate nature. He also made friends with people much older than he was, and often went out of his way to visit with his elders and was respectful and courteous to them. He was a basketball player and we are proud to say he was a member of the Ronan Chiefs when they were the state Class A runner-up in his junior year. Thomas was a natural leader on the court and continued his love of the game after high school by playing in every pick-up game and 3-on-3 tournament he could get into. Thomas found something he loved more than the game of basketball when in 2005 he fathered a son with Vivian Black. Brian was the absolute joy of Thomas' life from the moment he entered the world, and it is hard to imagine a prouder and more devoted young father. Everywhere he went, he had Brian with him and we know it was Thomas' hope that Brian would grow up to share his love of basketball. We know that Vivian and Brian will miss him. Thomas is survived by his parents and his brother Joseph Stevens at the family home in Ronan; his sister Joanna Phillips and niece and nephew Erica and Jason of Kotzebue, AK, and Gary Baldwin of Anchorage. Thomas is also survived by his birth father, John Lyles, and three siblings in Swaledale, IA. His family at home includes his sile' Thomas "Bearhead" Swaney, his yaya' Dorene Vallee and her husband John Vallee; aunt Kim Swaney and cousins Jamie and Raymond, aunt Ruth Swaney and cousins Marianne and Catherine, and uncle Bill Swaney and aunt Dawn Thomas and cousins Kyle, Kale and Kayla. Extended family includes Virgie Woodcock, Andy and Rita Woodcock, Dorothy Woodcock, Gary Stevens, Lorraine Stevens, Laura Stevens, Bob Woodcock, Millie Woodcock, and Louella Heavy Runner and all their families. Thomas was a special young man who touched many lives during his brief time with us, and it is not possible to list all of the special friends and extended family members who were a part of his life. We do want to recognize Terry and Crystal Pitts and their sons Zachery and Zanen; Gene and Anna Sorrell; Karen McMullen and Bob Marcenich; Lorena Lawson and Eddie Ivanoff; Doug Allard; and Chuck and JoAnn Tellier and all their families. Wake services and visitation began at noon on March 13 at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Prayer services were held at 8 p.m. Wake closing took place on March 14, followed by burial at the family cemetery east of St. Ignatius. Pallbearers were William Croft, Lincoln Jore, Tyler Crockett, Mike Crockett, Chauncy Red Crow, Richard Jackson, Andy Samsel, and Chance Remien. Honorary pallbearers were Zach and Zanen Pitts, Doug Mays, and Thomas' many friends and classmates. A memorial service is planned at the Ronan High School at a later date to celebrate the lives of Thomas and Chris.


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