Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

May 2005 Obituaries

ARLEE -- Rose C. (Keenan) Bacon, 83, of Arlee, died on May 12, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula after a short illness. Rose was born July 30, 1921, in Arlee; she lived her whole life in the Jocko Valley. She is survived by two sisters, Regina Veitinheimer and Mary Riekena; nine children, Gilbert Boles and Gladys McNutt (Sandpoint, ID), Gloria McCollum (Tacoma, WA), Elva Abrams (San Jose, CA), Judy Riekena (Arlee), Lee Mocko and Steve Mocko (Missoula), Leila Jackson (Ronan) and Charlie Bacon (California); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rose was preceded in death by two sisters, Ann Espinoza and Clara DuMontier, and three brothers, Harry Keenan, Art Keenan and Chuck Keenan. A celebration of life was held on May 16 at the Jocko Cemetery. The family suggests memorials be made to the National Cancer Society.

RONAN -- Kenneth "Ken" Ray Beauvais died on May 4, 2005. Ken was born May 13, 1951, in St. Ignatius to Alphe Lawrence "Bud" and Rose May Morigeau Beauvais. Many knew Ken as "Kenny." He had many friends all across the globe. He attended Ronan and the Ursuline schools at a young age, later attending Ronan High School. From there, he went on to cosmetology school in Billings, where he received a diploma on Sept. 22, 1971. He then became a very popular hairdresser in Ronan and Missoula. Kenny even had a few movie stars as clients. They would contact Ken, rent a motel room in Missoula to have their hair done and then fly back to Hollywood, all in the same day. Kenny enjoyed hiking, huckleberry picking, going for rides into the mountains, and taking pictures of everything that caught his eye. Ken enjoyed traveling to many places to view art, and he was very artistic himself; he took great pride in his beading. He loved being surrounded by all his nieces and nephews. Kenny was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Charlie. He is survived by a brother, Larry (Pablo); sister Pat (Jim) McAlpin (Ronan); sister Rose Beauvais (Ronan); several nieces and nephews, several great-nieces and nephews; one great-great-niece and another great-great-niece or nephew on the way. Memorial services and a dinner were held at the Ronan Alliance Church on May 21, 2005.

BILLINGS -- David Willis "Punky" Borris, 48, of Ronan, an environmental service director, died of pneumonia on May 11, 2005, at a hospital here. A funeral service was conducted at the Montana Expo Park Family Living Center in Great Falls on May 17. Burial was in Manchester Cemetery, Great Falls. David is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Borris (Ronan); his children, Candace (Mike) Dess (Havre), Cassie Gardipee, David Borris, Kodi Anne Borris (all of Ronan); sister Linda (William) Burrows (Florence); brother Jerry (Cleo) Lagerquist(Great Falls); two grandchildren, Amanda and Michael John Dess (Havre)' as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his brothers Eddie Lagerquist and Merle Carlson; his sister, Candace Borris; father Willis Borris; mother Elsie Belgarde; and one year ago, his son, Stephen Borris. David was born in Plentywood to Willis Borris and Elsie Belgarde on Jan. 7, 1957. He was the fourth of their five children. David's family moved to Great Falls. While he grew up there, he made many good memories and lasting friendships. David's life was filled with many trials but throughout he was most proud of his children. He was a hard worker and he provided for them when he was able. On May 11, 2005, due to declining health from diabetes, David lost his courageous battle with pneumonia at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings.

POLSON -- Arthur Richard Brueggeman died on May 26, 2005. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on Jan. 27, 1922, to Harry C. Brueggeman and Mary Conroy. He weighed three pounds at birth and could fit in his dad's hat. Art had a paper route and worked as an usher in theater as a young man. Art served in the Navy during WWII and was a survivor of the battle of Midway. He married his first wife, Melanie Basler, in Seattle, WA, on Sept. 4, 1943. They had seven children together and later divorced. On Jan. 9, 1957, he married Doris Jule Stinger. Through their marriage he was a father to Doris's four children. Art and Doris had three children together in their marriage. Art had a pilot's license and many stories to tell about flying the Mission Valley. During his marriage to Melanie he was a beekeeper. Art was very proud of being in the Ironworker's Union. After he retired from the union he was a bus driver for School District 30 for several years. God truly was the center of his life and it was reflected in everything he did and said. He was a strong advocate of Right to Life and switched to the Republican Party to support his belief after being a lifetime Democrat. Art enjoyed attending the Latin Mass for the past eight years. Art's family kept their promise to him as they cared for him at home during his courageous battle with cancer. Art was cared for in his home by his daughter Jule and granddaughters Lisa Brueggeman, Ashley Kenmille, Savannah Kenmille and Josephine Coffey. His great-grandchildren Dorissa Garza, LaBenza and D'Anja Charlo, Sharaeha McCrea and Kainin Coffey shared ice cream and candy with him and entertained him daily. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Melanie Martin, his wife Doris Brueggeman, sons Dan and Leo Brueggeman, grandchildren Richard Brueggeman and Surenya Charlo, and brothers Bill and Joseph Brueggeman. Art is survived by his daughters Anna Turney (Spokane, WA), Melanie (Bill) Buckless (Polson), Margret Arneson (Polson), Geneva White (Ronan), Debby (Tony) Adams (Pablo), Jule Kenmille (Pablo), Mary (Ray) Goudette (Spokane); and his sons, Mike (Jackie) Brueggeman (Spokane), Paul (Sue) Brueggeman (Polson), Leonard White (Monroe, WA), Doug (Jean) White (Fort Worth, TX), Art Brueggeman Jr. (Ronan); a sister, Mary Cannon; brothers George (Mary) Brueggeman and Bud (June) Brueggeman (all of Cleveland, OH); 47 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; and three great- great grandchildren. Wake services begin May 29 at the Ronan Indian Senior Citizen Center. Latin Mass was celebrated May 31 at the center with Father Martin Skierka officiating. Interment with military honors took place at the Ronan Cemetery.

POLSON -- Loretta M. (Deye) Conway, 93, died here on May 11, 2005. Loretta was born on Oct. 21, 1911, in Cincinnati. She was preceded in death by her husband George in 2001. The two never had children but after George's death, Loretta adopted the Gipe family and began a new adventure in her life at 90. Relatives still living in Cincinnati survive her. She loved and appreciated her faithful friends, Lucy Wells, Carl Waddell and Lynette Thornberg, who encouraged, loved and supported her consistently. Services were held on May 13 at Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. Burial followed at Lakeview Cemetery.

RONAN -- Velma Rose Gleason, 88, died on May 21, 2005, at St. Luke Nursing Home here. She was born on Aug. 5, 1916, in Potlatch, Idaho, to Arthur and Christina Burch. Velma married Mark E. Gleason on Sept. 24, 1934, in Colfax, WA. Mark's job took them to California, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Washington and Montana. After Mark's retirement, they moved to Ronan in 1972. Velma liked to walk and read and was a longtime volunteer at the Ronan Senior Citizens Center. She grew roses wherever she went, and in the summer she loved to pick huckleberries along the South Fork of the Flathead River. She will always be known as "Grandma Orange" to all her grandkids because she and Mark would bring oranges to them. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mark; son, Alvin James; one brother; and four sisters. She is survived by sons Larry and wife Alice (Ronan) and D. Ray Gleason (Washington, DC); four grandchildren, Gena Steindorf, Ron Gleason, Don Gleason and Kristine Bowman; 11 great grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. There are no services planned at this time. Memorials may be made to the Ronan Senior Citizens Center.

Derwin Fredrick Halvorson, Sr. ("Din"), 85, of Hot Springs, died on May 2, 2005, at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula. Din was born on Jan. 29, 1920, in Polson, the youngest son of Nora (MacDonald) and Fred Halvorson. Niarada, Lonepine, Hot Springs and the MacDonald Ranch were the places where he grew up. Din graduated from Hot Springs High School with the Class of '38, the first class to attend all four high school years together in the new school. On June 22, 1941, Din married Gladys Louise Dedrickson at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Missoula. Din was a member on the Nyah Grange and the Elks. He was a successful cattle rancher and a member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation, where he served as councilman and tribal representative from the Hot Springs area for approximately 12 years. Din was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Gladys; a brother, Louis; and a grandson, Jeremy. He is survived by his children: Derwin F. Halvorson, Jr., James J. Halvorson and Kim L. Halvorson, all of Hot Springs, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorial services and celebration of his life was held on May 14 at the Lonepine Community Hall in Lonepine.

POLSON -- Hazel (Harrel) Howell, 90, died on May 27, 2005, at Big Sky Care Center in Helena. She had been a resident there for two weeks. She was born on Sep. 25, 1914, to Otto and Sena Lee in West Union, IA. She graduated from Livingston High in 1931. She met Harry "Ted" Harrel and they married in Feb. 1941. After World War II, they moved to the family farm on Finley Point near Polson. While raising her family, Hazel was involved with the 4-H program, Rainbow Girls and Eastern Star, where she rose to the rank of worthy matron of the Polson lodge. Hazel had many hobbies and talents. She loved to crochet and made beautiful quilts. This talent was displayed when she worked for many years at Pauline's Apparel as the seamstress. After Ted died in 1962, she sold the family farm and moved to Polson, where she met and married (n August 1966) Van R. Howell. She lost Van in 1981, but she stayed in Polson until April 2003. She then moved to Helena, where she would be closer to her son and his family. Hazel was preceded in death by her parents; husbands; brothers Ralph Lee and Elmer Lee; and her sister, Violet Cloves. Hazel is survived by her children and their spouses, Georgine and Vic Hulme (Othello, WA), Donna and David Boyles (Troy, NY), and Duane and Shirley Harrel (Helena). She has nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on June 3 at Grogan Funeral Home in Polson with burial following at Lakeview Cemetery. The family suggest memorials to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane.

RONAN -- Alfred C. Kruse, 79, died on May 13, 2005, at his home here of natural causes. Military graveside services were conducted on May 18 at the Ronan Cemetery.

RONAN -- Louis Normandeau died from complications from a heart procedure on May 10, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital. He was born on Jan. 25, 1931, to Patrick Francis and Mary Irene Dubay Normandeau in St. Ignatius. He grew up on the family farm in Ronan and graduated from Ronan High School in 1949. He served two combat tours with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. On June 12, 1954, he married Lila Lea Nelson at Sacred Heart Church, where he was a lifelong member. He worked at a number of jobs, including warehouseman at Haines Wholesale Grocery, the U.S. Postal Service, and he owned and operated his own grocery store. He was a fuel distributor for Continental Oil Co. for 11 years. In the 1980s, he served as the work coordinator for the Young Adult Conservation Corps in Dixon. He retired in 1993 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs after working a number of years with forest fire control. In his spare time, he built houses, hunted and fished, trained horses, restored antique tractors, traveled and planted a few trees. He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Rupert, James, Edward and Harold; and one sister, Bertha. He is survived by Lila, his wife of 51 years; sons Steve (Rose) of Camas Prairie, Dan and Kevin of Ronan, Keith (Janet) of Idaho Falls, Idaho; his daughter, Ann (James) of Shepherd; two sisters, Rose of Aberdeen, Wash., and Ione of Polson; one brother, Henry of Ronan; 13 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted on May 14 at the Sacred Heart Church in Ronan.

POLSON -- C. June Ray, 69, died on May 22, 2005, at St. Joseph Hospital here. She was born on Sept. 13, 1935, in Oklahoma to Roy and Clara Barnwell. June grew up in Selah, WA. June was great cook and loved to play keno. She moved to Polson in August 1995. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 18 years, Louis, and her three kids, Griz, Sara Lee and Pride (all of Polson); two sisters, Lucy Wailer (Lynnwood, WA) and Dot Huff (Yakima, WA); and three daughters, Cindy Lanphear (Puyallup, WA), Lori Lewis (Burlington, WA), and Valerie Evans (Yakima); seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends. Cremation has taken place and at her request no services are planned.

POLSON -- Norman John Sagmiller, 84, died on May 10, 2005, at St. Joseph Hospital here. Norman was born on June 22, 1920, in Beulah, N.D., to John and Mathilda (Karlin) Sagmiller. He grew up on the family farm and attended schools in Oliver County, N.D. Norman joined the Civil Conservation Corps in the late 1930s. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and served in Africa and France. After his discharge from the military he returned to North Dakota and eventually moved with his parents to Finley Point near Polson in 1949 where he had continued to reside. Norman owned and operated the Junction Standard Station at the "Y" in Polson along with his brother Gerald. He later worked with his brother Kenneth at his mills, Westland Seed & Supply, in Ronan and Charlo until his retirement. Norman enjoyed gardening and working in his orchard. He always enjoyed his coffee group at the Finley Point Store. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. He was a member of the Finley Point Volunteer Fire Department before retiring. He is preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Delmont, Kenneth and Gerald. He is survived by his two sisters and their husbands, Lucille and Otto Buchmann, and June and Herbert Sorenson (all of Polson); and several nieces, nephews and other relatives. A memorial service was held on May 26 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, with military honors following the service. Private inurnment took place at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Finley Point Fire Department, Relay for Life or to the donor's choice.

POLSON -- Judy Stephen, 66, died here on May 25, 2005, of natural causes. Judy was born on Dec. 24, 1938, in Missoula. She was raised in Missoula and attended Hellgate High School there. In 1956, she married Richard Douglas Gavin in Missoula. They had two children, Kelly Ann and Michae. They were later divorced. On Oct. 25, 1958, she married Donald William Stephen in Missoula. They had one daughter, Janine Marie Stephen. In 1960, they moved to California, where Judy worked in the restaurant business. In 1972, the family moved back to Missoula, where Judy went to work for Bill Hainline, owner of the 4B's Restaurant on Broadway, and bartended for several years. In 1980, Judy joined Don who was working for Kiewit Co. and worked as a scale operator while they traveled through Oregon and California. The couple retired in 1994, and moved to Polson. Judy is survived by one daughter, Kelly Ann Iverson (Gresham, OR); a brother and his wife, John A. and Melody Bryan (Missoula); four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. No services are planned at this time.

RONAN -- Robert Dale Stevens died on May 5, 2005. "Bob" was born on March 6, 1930, to Jack and Martha Stevens in Salmon, ID. The youngest of 10 siblings, Bob spent his early years growing up in Idaho, and then moved to Portland, OR, after serving in the Navy. Bob's career in transportation management brought him to the Seattle area. Bob was married to Sandra for 35 years. They raised their family in Snohomish, WA, and in 1997 Bob and Sandi moved to Ronan. In 2001 Bob provided loving and compassionate support for Sandi during her courageous battle with breast cancer. Bob enjoyed fishing, gardening, bowling, dancing, playing the harmonica, his horse Rascal, his dog Rocko, telling jokes and tall tales, going to Mission Bulldog boys basketball games, coaching youth sports, and spending time with family and friends. Bob is survived by his Sandra; seven children, Betty and Bob Jones (Seattle), Jan Lindsey (Seattle), Jody and Mike Bass (Snohomish), Kris and Nate Mostajo (Snohomish), Michelle and Joe Strickland (Monroe), Brad and Kristen Stevens (Stanwood), and Craig Stevens and Kristin Rohfleisch (Missoula); 12 grandchildren, and one great- grandchild; and his loving brother; Don; and Lucille Stevens (Pocatello, ID); and several nieces and nephews. Services celebrating Bob's life were held on May 9. A graveside service was held in Salmon, ID, on May 10.

ELMO -- Anna Rita Tenas, 78, of Elmo, died on May 13, 2005, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Anna was preceded in death by her husband Tom; seven children, Doris, Tommy, Randy, Mary, Marcelene, Joseph and Nate; numerous sisters; and two brothers, Eneas and Gabe. Survivors include her children, Betty Nichols, Frankie Tenas, Annette Tenas and Vern Tenas (all of Elmo), Bernadine Tenas, Alvina Tenas and Ron Tenas (all of Dayton), and Tim Tenas (Turtle Lake). She is also survived by four sisters, Louise Andrew (Niarada) and Catherine Andrew, Marie Stasso and Diane Auld (all of Elmo); 34 grandchildren; and numerous great grandchildren. Traditional wake services were conducted at the Elmo Hall. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated May 16 at the Elmo Hall with burial following at the Dayton Cemetery.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Micah Dustin Wheeler-Van Ness was stillborn on May 2, 2005, at Community Medical Center in Missoula. He is survived by his parents Andrea Wheeler and Tracy Van Ness, grandparents Dennis and Gaye Wheeler of St. Ignatius, and Robin and Judy Van Ness of Polson. Great-grandparents are OA and Lilly Jones of Missoula, Edna Wheeler of St. Ignatius and Mary Collins of Ronan. Aunts and uncles are Marcell Wheeler-Kuchan (Kurt) of Galesville, WI; Brent and Shelly Wheeler-Burland of Polson; Hayley Wheeler of Cheney, WA; Richard Bingham of Idaho Falls, ID; Shane Van Ness of Missoula; and Wade and Jen Van Ness of Eureka. Special cousins are Andrew Wheeler, Lane Wheeler-Kuchan, Marina Wheeler, Rhett Burland, Autumn and Austin Burland and Matthew Van Ness. Mass of the Angels was celebrated on May 7 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery in St. Ignatius.

MISSOULA -- Ursula Marie Vincent-Thomas, 67, of Missoula, died at home on May 17, 2005, at 4:30 p.m. Ursula was born on March 23, 1938. She dedicated her life to taking care of others. She worked as a nurse at St. Patrick Hospital for 32 years. She enjoyed traveling to powwows and visiting with family and friends. Ursula was preceded in death by her father, John Vincent; her stepfather, Tony Joscum; mother, Adeline Squeque; great grandmother, Mary Koltome Finley "Sackwoman"; and sisters Mary, Christine, Tina, Mary Rose, Mary Louise, Virginia and Mable. Survivors include brothers Alex, Joe and Jim; sisters Judy and Melanie; children Mark, Deano, Monte and Terry; grandchildren, Michael, Ryan, Nichole, Hope, Sheldon "Beaver," Shanay, Isaiah, LaToya, Tiffany, Kayceshea, Dakota and Charlo; and great grandchildren, Kameron, Trinity, Kaleigh and Mike. Our mother also accepted the following children as her own: Charley Bird, Tim Harris, Nick Kammerer and ReaAnna Bear. Wake-funeral services began on May 19 at the St. Ignatius Longhouse. Mass was celebrated on May 21 at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Burial followed at the Jocko Cemetery.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Joseph David "Smokin' Joe" Weaselhead, died on May 5, 2005. Joe was born on April 20, 1980, in Spokane, WA. He spent his early years in Wellpinit, WA, and for the last several years traveled between the Ronan area and Wellpinit. At the time of his death he was living with his brother Loren Hernandez in St. Ignatius. On March 23, 2005, Shilo McDonald gave birth to Joseph Arlee Harry Weaselhead IV, Joe's son and the light of his life. He is survived by his father, Joseph Leo "Dusty" (Linda) Weaselhead (Ronan), his mother Deb Andrews (Wellpinit, WA), a sister Lisa (Wellpinit), brother Loren Hernandez (St. Ignatius), many cousins, aunts, uncles and all his "brothers and sisters" on both reservations and a large extended family. A traditional wake began at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius and concluded at the Spokane Longhouse in Wellpinit. Mass was celebrated in Wellpinit, as well, and burial was in the Sacred Heart Cemetery there.


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