Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

November 2003 Obituaries

TYLER BENOIST
POLSON -- Tyler Evan Benoist, 14, of Ronan, died from injuries suffered in a fire at Pablo on Nov. 28, 2003. He was born June 27, 1989, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Phillip and Norma Lefthand Benoist. They moved from Minneapolis to Mobridge, South Dakota, and then to the Turtle Lake area near Polson in 1998. Tyler attended school in Polson, Ronan, and at the time of his death he was attending Two Eagle River School in Pablo. He was preceded in death by his father; a grandmother, Caroline Lefthand; and two uncles. He is survived by his mother, Norma Fox; brothers Christopher Lefthand, Phillip Benoist Jr. and Justin Benoist (all of Ronan), and James Quequesah (Spokane); sisters Leah Benoist and Charlene "Carly" Lefthand-Irvine (both of Ronan), and Melissa Benoist (South Dakota); and his grandparents, George Lefthand (Hot Springs) and Lillian Benoist (North Dakota). Wake services began on Dec. 1 in the Elmo Hall. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Dec. 3 in Elmo. Burial followed at the Dayton Cemetery.

K.M. BRIDENSTINE
POLSON -- K.M. Bridenstine died on Nov. 25, 2003, at home on Finley Point, Flathead Lake. He was born May 9, 1925, to Dr. I.J. Bridenstine and Ellenore Bridenstine in Iowa City, IA. K.M. is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty Jo (Staves) Bridenstine; son Martin E. Bridenstine and wife Debi (Bellingham, WA); daughters Rose E. Bridenstine (Polson) and Trudy J. Cady and husband Jay (Edmonds, WA); son I. Jay Bridenstine and wife Kris (Kalispell); six grandchildren; his twin brother, Keith Bridenstine (Stockton, CA), and a sister, Marajean Hueling (Columbus, OH). K.M. worked for the Montana Highway Department as an attorney; the Veterans Administration at Fort Harrison; and in private practice in Lake County, where his main emphasis was as a public defender. After his retirement in 1989, he remained at the family home on Finley Point. K.M. had a passion for jazz and was an accomplished tenor sax- and clarinet-man. He played for many years with the Don Lawrence Big Band in Kalispell. A private memorial is planned for a later date. Donations may be made in his name to the Polson City Library, at P.O. Box 820, Polson, MT 59860.

A.H. CHENEY
THOMPSON FALLS -- A.H. "Lon" Cheney, 86, died at his home here on Nov. 14, 2003. Lon was born and raised in Polson. He enlisted in World War II and served in the European Theater. He received the Purple Heart. Upon returning to Polson, he worked a series of jobs, including working on the construction of Kerr Dam. He married Virginia Rose McCleary on April 6, 1947. He worked with the Montana Fish and Game Department, serving as a fish and game warden from Nov. 1946 to Nov. 1973. He then spent six years as the sheriff of Sanders County. He was an expert gardener who loved animals, particularly dogs and horses. Lon was preceded in death by his parents, Alonzo and Ruth Cheney; his wife, Virginia; and a brother Forrest. He is survived by two daughters, Beverly and Ruthie; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Memorials in his honor may be sent to the Montana Animal Rescue Society (MARS), or the Thompson Falls Senior Citizens Center. A memorial service was held on Nov. 19 in Thompson Falls. Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

CLIFFORD E. CLARK
RONAN -- Clifford E. Clark died peacefully at his daughter's home here on Nov. 23, 2003. Preceding him in death were his parents, Leon and Mildred Clark (Waukegan, Ill.); a brother, Robert Clark; and a sister, Dorothy Hansmeyer. He leaves behind a son and his family: James and Marla Clark, and their children Tawnee (Helena) and Shawna (Seattle); two daughters and their families: Jeannie and son Tyler (Ronan), and Nancy VanOrden and sons Jason and Justin (all of Santa Clarita, CA); nephews and a niece; his good friend, Patsy White (Louisiana); and many other friends in Lucerne Valley, CA. He worked in air-traffic control in Guam and Saipan in World War II.

JOSEPH 'JOE' CULLOOYAH
VALLEY CREEK -- Joseph "Joe" Cullooyah, 73, died on Nov. 22 after suffering an apparent heart attack while shoveling snow. Born March 9, 1930, in Arlee, to Louis and Felicite Cullooyah, he was raised in the Arlee area and attended school at the Ursuline and Jesuit schools. During childhood, Joe went many times with his parents and other members of the Arlee traditional Salish community on fall hunting trips to the Placid Lake area. Joe served two enlistments in the Army seeing extensive combat in Korea. He also served in Berlin. Upon his return he was a foreman for the sawmill in Libby for many years and later had his own trucking company. He was also remembered to be one of the caretakers for the Arlee Powwow Grounds. He was invaluable to the Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee, teaching Salish to people as a personal tutor, working on committees such as the History and Place Name Project and working with linguists for the betterment and preservation of the Salish culture and language. He also served on other committees such as the Elders Advisory Committee and had represented those Salish people who wished to have other Indian blood be counted for enrollment purposes when that issue arose earlier this year. He worked at many youth camps and events as a storyteller, historian, environmental and tribal consultant, including the Intertribal Youth Practicum, the American Indian Math and Science Camp, the annual Flathead River Honoring, various events at Blue Bay, at SKC encampments and the Reservation-wide Community Housing Development that was held up the Jocko and at the Agnes Vanderburg camp. Joe also enjoyed picking huckleberries in the Buckhorn area; fishing and hunting; and he had for many years enjoyed telling traditional stories in the Bitterroot (Hamilton). He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Paul Finley, Lawrence Finley, Charlie Finley, Adeline Joscum, Anastasia Quequesah and Ann Mary LeftHand. Survivors include his sister, Louise Finley (St. Ignatius); his aunt, Agnes Oshanee Kenmille (Pablo); and a large and extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A wake began Nov. 23 at the Foster and Durgeloh Funeral Home in St. Ignatius; it moved to the Salish Indian Senior Center in Arlee on Nov. 24. Funeral services were conducted on Nov. 25 in the Sacred Heart Catholic Mission in Arlee. Interment followed in the Jocko Cemetery with military honors. All tribal offices were closed on Nov. 25 in Joe's honor.

ANNIE ESPINOZA
ARLEE -- Annie Keenan Espinoza was born in the Finley Creek area near Arlee on Oct. 18, 1912, and died on Nov. 1, 2003, at the family home here. Annie was the oldest child of Pat and Mary Josetti Pokerjim Keenan. She was raised and educated on the Flathead Reservation and at the Ursulines Catholic School. She was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and spoke fluent Salish. Annie very seldom left the Jocko Valley. As a young girl she and her family traveled to Spokane in a covered wagon and returned to Arlee in a Model T. She worked very hard as a young woman, caring for her siblings, picking strawberries and apples in Hamilton and Arlee. Annie played basketball on the Arlee girls' team in 1926. Annie met Pablo Espinoza on his arrival in Arlee in 1924, then the two married in Sept. of 1933. Annie and Pablo farmed, ranched, raised children, foster children and grandchildren for 45 years until Pablo's death in 1978. Annie loved to grow flowers and plants, and to raise chickens and cows. She liked to pick flowers in the spring and chokecherries in the fall. She liked to dry deer meat for the Head Start children, and making coffee and frybread over an open fire. She was an accomplished beader and did beautiful hand embroidery. She was also a very good cook, apple pie maker and fruit canner. Annie loved four things: Family, nature, candy and the Lord. She was the matriarch of the Espinoza Clan. She was preceded in death by her husband and parents, and children Pablo "Sarge" J., Carl R., and Anita L. Hanson. She is survived by her children and their spouses: Patrick and Carmie, Ralph "Dib" Valerie, and Lolita L. and Drew Hendrickson; 25 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren; foster children Shawn A. Antoine Espinoza and Robert Sherman (whom she and Pablo took in when they were 18 months old), as well as James "Jumbo" Matt, Stella Weaselhead (deceased), Francine Mathias Dupuis, Marcie Mathias Carmen and Tony Mathias; five siblings: Clara Dumontier (Missoula), Mary Jenny Riekena (Ronan), Chuck Keenan (Arlee), Rose Bacon (Arlee) and Regina Veitenheimer (Missoula); and a cousin, Agnes Pokerjim Paul. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Nov. 5 in Arlee. Interment followed at the Jocko Cemetery near Arlee. Memorials may be made to the Arlee High School Athletic Scholarship.

FILLIS GREEN
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Fillis Green died here on Nov. 25, 2003. Fillis was born and raised in Ronan. She was artistic, well read and loved to dance and golf. In 1944 she graduated from Mission High School in Ronan. She worked for the Yakima Fruitgrowers Association, Yakima School District and for Boise Cascade. She retired in 1986. She and Lyle Green were married in 1971. Before he died in 1990, they enjoyed traveling together. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and a volunteer teaching assistant for Head Start. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle; brother Bob Blush (Ronan); sister Della Marden; and mother May Glandon (Yakima). She is survived by her children and their spouses, Gary and Molly Brison (Lakewood, CO), Barbara and Fred Kirk (Green Valley, CA), Gloria Reynolds (Kennewick, WA), Terrie and John Greiner (Kennewick) and Cyndi and Scott Powell (Medford, OR); her brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Ardell Blush (Oak Harbor, WA); sister-in-law Irene Blush (Polson); 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted on Nov. 28 in Yakima. Memorials may be made to the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice, 2108, W. Entiat Ave, Kennewick, WA 99336.

LILLIAN E. HARTUNG
PABLO -- Lillian E. Hartung, 74, died on Nov. 19, 2003, at St. Luke Hospital in Ronan from natural causes. She was born on April 27, 1929 at Polson, to Camille and Mary Bisson. Lillian lived her entire life on the Flathead Reservation, and her most joyful time was cutting Christmas trees and working in her garden. She also loved hiking. She was a member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dutch, in May of 1999; her sisters Billie, Geraldine, Jeanette and Helen; and a brother, Anthony. She is survived by her children, Billie Hartung, Leila Hartung, Joan Hartung Raymond, Sherry (Dave) Cheney and Mark (Theresa) Hartung; siblings Alice, Maryann, Juanita, Camille and Raphael; 11 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ronan on Nov. 22. Burial followed at Ronan Cemetery.

JACK HEGLIE
POLSON -- Jack C. Heglie, 85, succumbed to complications from bladder cancer at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula on Nov. 20, 2003 He was born April 24, 1918, in Portland, Ore., the only child of Catherine M. (Collins) and John C. Hegli(e). Jack received his formal education from Kenton Grammar School, Jefferson High School, the Univ. of Oregon and the Univ. of Washington. During World War II, he worked at Boeing, where he met Emily Lucille Jorgenson of Polson, whom he married on June 26, 1943. After the war Jack worked for Diamond Match Co. In 1971, he moved to Polson, where he worked in real estate, joining and eventually becoming a partner with Karlsgodt (now Edgewater) Realty before his second retirement. He once served as president of Western Montana Appraisers and as treasurer of the Republican Central Committee. He was a life member of the local Elks Lodge (BPOE 1695), where he served in various official capacities with the House Committee as well as held the office of treasurer. He enjoyed eating out, smoking cigars, shooting pool at the Elks with friends and tackling daily crossword puzzles. He was preceded in death by his father in 1925, his mother in 1980 and his wife of 50-plus years in 1998. He is survived by a son and a daughter: John (Polson) and "Deede" (Sonora, CA); and two grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Nov. 25 at the New Life Christian Center in Polson. A graveside service followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

ROBERT LYNN
POLSON -- Robert E. Lynn, 75, died at his home here on Nov. 8, 2003, of emphysema. Bob was born on Oct. 31, 1928, in Butte to Elmer and Ethel Dewey Lynn. He spent his childhood years in Missoula and Polson. He joined the Navy during World War II. After his discharge he returned to Missoula, where he attended the Univ. of Montana. In 1948 he married Harriet Grace Higbie. They moved to Valley View south of Polson, where they farmed. He then went on to manage the Dewey Lumber Co. In later years he worked as a sawyer. Harriet preceded him in death in 1975. Bob was very active in Polson Outdoors Inc. and served as a hunter safety instructor for more than 25 years. He was a private pilot and loved the outdoors. In 1978 Bob married JoAn Ellenwood. They resided on the west shore of Flathead Lake, where they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Oct. 28. He is survived by his wife, JoAn; sister and brother-in-law Pat and John Stokes; son and daughter-in-law Robert and Dianne Lynn (Kalispell); daughters and sons-in-law Dianne and Pat Swandal (Old Town, ME), Donna and Bob Morigeau (Palmer, AK), Colleen and Howard Myers (Palmer), and Julie Lynn (Polson); and stepdaughter Roxanne Reum and husband Vern (Polson); seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a nephew and three nieces. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

ALVERD MARCURE
CHARLO -- Alverd Richard "Shorty" Marcure of Charlo died on Nov. 7, 2003, in Yuma, AZ. Shorty was born on Oct. 8, 1928, to Allen Joseph and Blanche Rose (Bisson) Marcure. He was raised on the family homestead in Frenchtown. He spent his boyhood years working on the farm. He was an outstanding basketball player at Frenchtown High School, where he graduated in 1946. He also attended Montana State Univ. in Bozeman. On Dec. 4, 1949, he married Ellen Lucille Hilton. When his dad passed away in 1970, Shorty was appointed to fill his position on the board of directors for the Missoula Electric Co-op. He was subsequently elected and continued to serve on the board through the late 1980s. He held several occupations: postmaster, logger, grocery store and road construction company owner. Refurbishing old John Deere tractors, fishing and camping were his great loves. He also enjoyed camping. Shorty is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ellen; children and their spouses: Rick and Linda Marcure (Charlo), Jeanine Marcure-McCarthy (Helena), and Teri and Doug Fisher (Hood River, OR); six grandchildren; his brother, Biz Marcure; numerous nieces and nephews; and many special friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Shorty's name may be made to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, P.O. Box 329, Frenchtown, MT 59834; or Charlo High School Boys and Girls Basketball Program, P.O. Box 10, Charlo, MT 59824. Cremation has taken place and at Shorty's request no services will be held.

AUGUSTINE MATHIAS
ELMO -- Augustine Antoinette "Girl" Mathias died at her home here on Nov. 18, 2003. She was born Aug. 27, 1956, in St. Ignatius, to Tony and Vivian Mathias. She attended Intermountain College in Utah and Southwestern Indian Polytechnical Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. She later attended Salish Kootenai College. She was a true believer in her Kootenai tradition, participating in social gatherings and Kootenai ceremonies. She also enjoyed photography, cosmetic sales, beading, hunting and powwows. She is survived by her son, Baptiste "Bono" Mathias (Elmo); sisters and their spouses, Francine and Joe Dupuis (Pablo) and Marcia and Rob Carman (Ronan); grandmothers Adeline Mathias (Dayton) and Helen Charlo (Elmo); aunties Catherine Hamel (Pablo) and Margaret (Ken) Friedlander (Bonners Ferry, ID); her "best bud," Linda Michel; her dog, Mak; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Antoine and Vivian (Charlo) Mathias; a grandfather, Chief Baptiste Mathias; and foster mother, Annie Keenan Espinoza. Traditional wake services began on Nov. 19 in Elmo Hall. Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Nov. 21 in Elmo. Burial followed at the Dayton Cemetery.

JAMES McARTHUR
POLSON -- James Rulon McArthur, 57, of Polson, died on Nov. 27, 2003, in Las Vegas, where he was spending Thanksgiving with his family. He was born Jan. 29, 1946, in Seattle, to Rulon D. McArthur and Margaret Evelyn Chittick. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Janet Mason. He is survived by his wife, Irene (Polson); three children, Willard McArthur, Heather (Garnett, KS) and Aaron McArthur (Portland, OR); two sisters, Katherine Daniels (Eden Prairie, MN) and Jodell Haverfield (Lolo); another mother, Yvonne Bennett (Missoula); grandparents (adopted by love because they helped raise him), Willard Maughan and wife, Helen (Polson); and five grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Dec. 8 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Burial followed at Lakeview Cemetery.

LARRY OLSON
POLSON -- Larry Olson, 50, died in a vehicle accident on Nov. 12, 2003. He was born to Oscar and Marlys Olson of Kalispell. His family includes his wife, wife Debbie Olson, and son Sebastin Olson (both of Polson); Les and Patricia Olson (Elizabeth, CO), Alan and Miriam Olson (Kalispell); and ten nieces and nephews. A celebration of Larry's life was held on Nov. 17 in Kalispell. His pilot buddies are planning a fly-over in his remembrance at a later date. The family request donations to Flight for Cancer/Breezy Bob, First Citizens Bank, 213 First St. W., Polson, MT 59860.

RAYMOND RUNG
RONAN -- Raymond K. Rung, 87, died on Nov. 14, 2003, at St. Luke Community Hospital here of natural causes. He was born in Moore on Nov. 4, 1916, to Adam and Opal Rung. Ray and Grace Collins were married on Oct. 26, 1936, in Helena. They farmed and ranched in Buffalo until 1961, when they moved to Ronan. They ranched in the Round Butte area until retiring. Ray then sold real estate for Maxwell Real Estate for a short time. He is survived by his wife; daughter Joan Gordon (Coeur d'Alene, ID); two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Lorraine Chevy, and brother Robert. Memorial services were Nov. 20 at Shrider's Mortuary Chapel. Memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Washington State Chapter, 14310 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.

PHYLLIS SCHARR
POLSON -- Phyllis (Hartfield) Scharr died in Seattle on Nov. 24, 2003, from complications related to a liver ailment. Her soft-spoken voice has been heard throughout Montana universities, colleges and reservations, speaking out in public and teaching about health education in HIV/hepatitis prevention. It was her hope that she made a stand about the seriousness of preventing an unforgivable disease. Even in her final days, she was thinking how to use her own situation for others to learn from. Phyllis was born on Feb. 25, 1954, in Japan while her father served in the Air Force. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy Scharr, and her brother, Peter Hartfield. She leaves behind her parents, Morgan and Bernice Hartfield (Calif.); brother Tim Hartfield (Portland); children Grace Ann Countryman and Dosia Nordlund (both Tacoma, WA), Abraham Hartfield and Juniper Hartfield (both of Seattle), and Heather Olsen-Ostermiller (Billings); and seven grandchildren. Phyllis was an enrolled tribal member with the Karuk Tribe in California who loved beading, gardening and reading. It was her wish to be cremated and her remains scattered with her husband's ashes in Montana. A celebration of here life was held on Dec. 5 in Seattle. Another one will take place in Missoula at a later date. Her memorial may be viewed online at www.columbiafuneralhome.com.

BETTY THOMAS
RONAN -- Betty Andrea (Rider) Thomas died on Nov. 16, 2003, at Community Medical Center in Missoula. Betty was born Jan. 23, 1919, in Portland, OR. She was the second oldest of nine children born to George and Della May Rider. After her father's death when she was nine years old, she was placed in the children's home in Napa, ID, until she was 16 years old. Her mother later married Ray Fayle. Betty met Daniel E. Thomas in 1937 and they were married on June 23, 1939, in Roberts, ID. They lived in many states including Montana, Idaho, Utah and Alaska. Betty had a very rare disease that effected her eyes and ears which would have been an obstacle for most people, but she never let it get in her way. Despite her poor eyesight her house was always spotless. She was famous for her marvelous cooking and sweet smile. While livingÓ<Äharon Barnes and Coral Lockwood (and her husband, David -- all of Ronan); one son, Rex Thomas (Ronan); a brother, Raymond Fayle (MacKay, IL); 11 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; seven of her siblings; her daughter, Andrea Marcia Thomas; and her granddaughter, Heidi Barnes Martinez. The family suggests memorials be made to the National Federation of the Blind. Funeral services were conducted on Nov. 21 at the Ronan Christian Church.

JOHN VINSON
CHARLO -- John V. Vinson, 81, died at his home here on Nov. 23, 2003. He was born on March 8, 1922, in Big Arm, to Robert F. and Stella (Bower) Vinson. John served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Pacific Theater. He is survived by his longtime companion, Sally Petitclerc (Charlo); his son, Bryce (San Clemente, CA); two sisters, Jean Sullivan (Great Falls) and Amy Nelson (Lolo); and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on Nov. 29 at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. A military graveside service followed at Lakeview Cemetery.

WALTER WETZEL
HELENA -- Walter "Blackie" Wetzel, 88, died here on Nov. 8, 2003. Blackie was born to William and Henrietta (Veileaux) Wetzel on June 27, 1915, near Cut Bank Creek on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Blackie managed to overcome many barriers and became a star athlete in many sports. He completed his senior year at Shelby High School and went on to the Univ. of Montana. He also attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS. While attending the university, Blackie was taught by Mike Mansfield, who became his mentor and one of his closest friends. Mansfield and Blackie together were given the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the University of Montana in 1990. In 1938, he married Doris L. Barlow. They raised nine children: Marlene, Bill, Helen, Walt, Don, Mike, Sharon, Christine and Lance. Blackie was also an outstanding boxer and had the notion to try the professional circuit. While attending Haskell, he boxed a tri-state champion and won the bout. His boxing career reached an intramural apex when a six-foot, three-inch student named George Letz from Conrad challenged him. It was a very knock-down-drag-out battle, but Blackie managed to pull it off. He recalled hitting his opponent with a twisting jab that split his lip. The young, defeated student later changed his name to George Montgomery and went on to be a Hollywood celebrity and star. They remained friends for years. Other special interests and items that highlighted his life were being a drummer for a jazz band, dancing with movie actress Donna Reed, and being the Medicine Man in the movie "Grey Eagle," which was filmed in the Helena area. Blackie was also very proud of being the force behind the Indian Chief logo of the Washington Redskins pro-football team. At the beginning of World War II, Blackie applied for detail at Mather Air Force Base in Calif. He was hired by the Air Force as a property and supply clerk. He expressed an interest in being a pilot but a health issue kept him from attaining this goal. When Blackie returned to the Blackfeet Nation, he developed a strong interest in tribal politics. Chief White Calf gave him a rite of passage of the chieftainship and named him "Siks-a-num" -- "Blackfeet man" or "man of the Blackfeet people." Siks-a-num served as chairman of the Blackfeet Nation and was also elected president of the National Congress of American Indians. He became friends with President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, whom Blackie named "High Eagle." Blackie was preceded in death by his wife, Doris, daughter Helen, son-in-law Manuel White and granddaughter Susan. Surviving him are five sons and three daughters; 26 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Nov. 13 in Browning. Interment followed at Willow Creek Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 5293 Helena, MT 59604.

HERBERT YORK
MISSOULA -- Herbert John York, 77, died on Nov. 4, 2003, after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer. Preceding him in death were his parents, Otto Eddy York and Martha Venoy Cox York; his brothers, Ken and Frank; and a grandson, Cameron. Born March 16, 1926, in Miles City, Herb spent the first years of his life near Ashland. He spent the remainder of his youth in Stevensville. After his junior year in high school, he enlisted in the Air Force. On leave in July 1945, Herb returned to Missoula and married Merle Beckman of Anaconda. After the war, Herb was discharged at the request of the U.S. Forest Service to return to Montana to become a smokejumper. He jumped during the 1946 and 1947 fire seasons. He continued to work for the Forest Service during summers while attending the Univ. of Montana. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in wildlife technology and began researching for the Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service. His career in education included study at seven universities which resulted in a teaching degree and three master's degrees. While in school, he also worked at the Bonner mill and at the Anaconda smelter. Herb spent 33 years as a science teacher and guidance counselor at St. Ignatius High School. He was recognized with several honors for his teaching work. His physics class was honored as one of the top 10 in the U.S. He was honored by the state university system for excellence in teaching chemistry and by the National Biology Teachers Association as an outstanding biology teacher. This led to recognition by the National Science Foundation for a Presidential Award as Montana's Science Teacher of the Year in 1983. His most cherished award came in 1984, when the University of Montana declared him a Distinguished Alumni. The greatest love of his life was Merle, his wife of 58 years. Together they fought Merle's multiple sclerosis for 44 years. Retiring in 1985, Herb and Merle split their years between St. Ignatius and Tucson, AZ. They moved to Missoula in 1997, living at Grizzly Peak Retirement Community and recently at Riverside Nursing Home. Herb is survived by Merle; four children and their spouses: Gerrie and Bruce Hedquist (Albuquerque, NM), Randy and Marte (Missoula), John and Corey (Kalispell) and Steve and Kim (Polson); a special nephew, who in high school lived with Herb, Mike (Seattle); a sister, Bev, and her husband Ken Brown (Honolulu); sisters-in-law, Ralpha (Cottonwood, AZ) and Maggie (Superior); eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Nov. 8 in Missoula. Memorials may be made to the UM Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807.

OBIT ARCHIVE:

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