Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

September 2003 Obituaries

POLSON -- Louis F. "Lou" Borchers Jr. died on Sept. 10, 2003, of an apparent heart attack while en route to St. Joseph Hospital here. He was born Aug. 15, 1931, in Great Falls, the eldest child of Louis F. and Leota Borchers. Lou graduated from Great Falls High School in 1949. He attended a trade school for one year before entering Montana State Univ. in 1950. He graduated with a baccalaureate in psychology in 1954. He married Caryl Wicks in Missoula; together they had three children. Lou was commissioned in the U.S. Army through the Montana State University ROTC program and served as an infantry lieutenant in Germany. He married Alice L. Dailey in Great Falls in 1984. He worked as a real estate agent in Great Falls, operated a family furniture store there, and operated a marina and developed family property on Finley Point. Lou most recently started the Flathead dock and pile barge. Lou was a longtime member of the Polson Elks Lodge No. 1695 and served as Exalted Ruler. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Jean; his brother, Dean; and a son, Louis R. "Randy" Borchers. Lou is survived by his wife, Alice; three children and their spouses, William "Bill" and Brenda Borchers (Polson), Brenda and Jim Harrell (Missoula) and Christine and Christopher Burke (Colorado Springs, C)); a stepson and his wife, Richard and Tracie Scherm, and daughter-in-law, Shirley Borchers (all of Polson); nine grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held on Sept. 15 in Polson.

CHARLO -- Clarence E. Clapper, formerly of Kalispell, died on Sept. 24, 2003, at his home here. He was born Jan. 5, 1930, in Kalispell to Neal and Renna (Bunyea) Clapper. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1949 and served his country until 1953. Survivors include daughters Thresa Clapper-Weaver (Kalispell) and Sarita Clapper (Charlo); his mother, Renna Clapper (Kalispell); brother Charles Clapper (Kalispell); sister Betty Evenson (Alaska); two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Graveside services were held on Oct. 1 in Kalispell.

CHARLO -- Vivian E. Coleman died on Sept. 12, 2003, at the St. Luke Extended Care Facility in Ronan. She was born Dec. 28, 1921, in Temple, N.D. In 1936, she moved with her parents, Stanley and Hazel Stipe, to the Flathead Valley. On Nov. 3, 1939, Vivian married to Wesley Coleman. They farmed in the Moiese Valley and later moved to their present farm in Charlo. She is survived by her husband, Wesley (Charlo); three sons and two daughters and their spouses: George and Becky Coleman (Polson), Blanche and Robert Dangerfield (Coaldale, Alberta), Larry and Anita Coleman (Charlo), Ruth and Patrick Estes (Yuba City, CA), and Harley and Sharon Coleman (Charlo); 17 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law Dick and Agnes Stipe (Charlo); sister-in law May Stipe (Ronan); numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Fern Munson; and two brothers, Harold and Dean Stipe. Funeral services were held on Sept. 19 in Ronan. Burial followed at the Ronan Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the St. Luke Extended Care Facility, 107 Sixth Ave. SW, Ronan, MT 59864.

RONAN -- Billie K. Shrider Findly, 57, died suddenly on Sept. 28, 2003, at her home here of heart failure. She was diagnosed in 1981 with systemic lupus erythematosus, which remained in remission for many years until recently. Billie was born July 30, 1946, in St. Ignatius to William J. and Kathryn (McDonnel) Shrider. She attended Carroll College and the University of Montana-Northern. On March 16, 1968, she married Alan J. Findly. They resided in Littleton, Colo., for 20 years and moved back to Ronan in 1999. Billie worked for Guardian Builders of Colorado, beginning in a part-time sales position, then advancing to business manager, head of accounting and corporate officer. She was active in St. Thomas More parish choir, religious education and prison outreach apostolate. She loved crafting and interior decorating and horseback riding. She was preceded in death by her father, William. She is survived by her husband, Alan; son, William; daughter-in-law, Holly; a grandson; her mother; sisters Mary Clanton (Lewiston, ID), Barbara Shrider (Pablo), Virginia Bergren (Omaha, NE), Linda Gray (Glasgow) and Jo Ann Cobb (Conrad); brothers Ronald and Robert (Ronan); and several nieces and nephews. Services were held at Ronan Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Oct. 4. Donations may be made to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

HOT SPRINGS -- Gladys Louise "Glady" Halvorson died on Sept. 24, 2003, at Evergreen-Hot Springs Extended Care Center. She was born on April 15, 1919, in Bozeman, the daughter of Ole and Jenny Johnson Dedrickson. She graduated from Plains High School and then attended Dillon Normal School, where she earned her teaching certificate. She taught in Hot Springs and other area schools. On June 22, 1941, she married Derwin Fredrick Halvorson in Belgrade. Glady was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Nyah Grange and was active in her community. She is survived by her husband, Derwin (Hot Springs); two sons, James J. Halvorson (Hot Springs) and Derwin F. Halvorson Jr. (Ronan); one daughter, Kim L. Shea (Hot Springs); three sisters, Marion Hollerback (San Diego), Mildred Pratt (Spokane) and Fern Lee Rigney (Butte); six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by one brother, Johnny Dedrickson; one sister, Lillian Halverson; and one grandson, Jeremy Jones. Memorial services were held on Sept. 28 at the Lonepine Community Hall.

GREAT FALLS -- William Patrick Irvine was stillborn on Sept. 30, 2003, at Benefis Hospital here. He was the son of Deanna Rose Marie Irvine of Ravalli. He was preceded in death by his grandmother Cheryl Gobert Irvine and is survived by his mother, Deanna, and her grandfather, William Pat Irvine; her great-aunt Marilyn Gobert (St. Marys), as well as an aunt, Desiree Lee Irvine, and uncles Anthony David Irvine, Joshua Patrick Irvine, Jeremy Cheyenne Irvine, Harley Olson and James Olson. Family services were held on Oct. 5 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

POLSON -- Mitchell L. James died on Sept. 9, 2003, at the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls from natural causes. Mitchell was born on Jan. 11, 1923, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to George and Alta James. He attended schools in Polson and joined the U.S. Army during World War II. Mitchell served in the Pacific Theater and returned to Polson after his discharge. He was an ironworker, a millwright, a rancher, and helped build a number of dams in the region. He enjoyed many activities in his younger days including football, boxing and riding rough stock in rodeos. He was most recently breeding miniature mules and teaching them to drive. He was also the longest and oldest member of the Polson VFW. He was preceded in death by his son, Cody; his parents; one infant brother, Leroy; a sister, Virginia Douglas; and a grandson, Drake Schaefer. He is survived by a sister, Eileen Reed (Polson); his children and their spouses, Carole and Keith Fredrickson (Spirit Lake, ID), Robyn Davis (Eugene, OR), Michelle and Fred Schaefer (Missoula), Mitchell S. James (Polson) and Thurston Tonya James (Hot Springs); 19 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives. A memorial service was held on Sept. 15 in Polson. Graveside military rites followed in Lakeview Cemetery in Polson. Memorials may be made to the Polson VFW.

RONAN -- Jene Baptist LaRocque died on Sept. 10, 2003, at St. Luke's Nursing Home here. He was born to Alfred "Fred" and Bertha "Berd" LaRocque on March 30, 1920, in Jordan. A World War II veteran, he served in the Pacific Theater. After trying his hand at business in North Dakota, he moved to the Mission Valley in 1958 and worked at the Plum Creek Lumber Mill in Pablo for 23 years. Jene enjoyed being around people and loved to travel with his wife. His hobbies included woodworking, whittling and dancing the schottische, polka and old-time waltzes. He played the accordion, harmonica, spoons, bones and electric organ. He loved to camp, fish, hunt and play cards with friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Freddie LaRocque. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Velma Isabell (Stewart); and four daughters and their spouses: Marilyn Marlys and Wayne Miller (NV), Janet Louise and Frank Arlint (MT), Nancy Jene and Paul Ketchen (TX), and Renee and Ernie Appelt (MT); 11 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. His ashes have been placed in New Town, N.D.

PABLO -- Shane A. Meeks died here on Sept. 29, 2003. He was born on Oct. 12, 1969, in Butte. Shane had a passion for history, and loved his job as a firefighter and being out in the woods and mountains. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry E. Meeks and Patricia L. Roberts Meeks Van Engen. He is survived by two brothers, Chad E. Meeks (Missoula) and Jason T. Meeks (Clinton); a daughter, Heather Dawn Meeks (Ore.); a son, Maximus Meeks (Mont.); his grandmother, Edith Meeks (Williams, Cal.); and several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Memorial services will be held at a date to be announced.

MISSOULA -- Sue Jean "Tommie" Mitchell died here on Sept. 26, 2003. Born July 6, 1959, in St. Ignatius to George Edward and Anna Catherine (Pierre) Mitchell. She lived to Polson as a teen and graduated from the Chemawah Indian School in Oregon before going to Salish Kootenai College. She married Tim Atwin; they later divorced. A member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes, she was known for making dolls and turtle rattles, her drawing ability and for writing several songs. She was preceded in death by her father, George, in 1978, and her stepfather, Malcolm "Chuck" Mitchell, in 2002, as well as several aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Survivors include her children, Jesse Atwin (Polson) and Jade Mitchell (Polson); two grandchildren, Anton Levey and Allyssa Nancy; her mother, Anna (Polson); four sisters and numerous half-sisters, half-brothers, stepbrothers and stepsisters and their spouses: Georgi Ann and Walt Allen (Polson), Lisa Romaine Mitchell (Polson), Phyllis Jamey Stallcup (Billings), Lori and Darrell Gross (Polson), Jamie Barnaby (St. Ignatius), Dave "Gabe" Quailtear (Kamias, B.C.), Brian Keith Mitchell (Polson), David Malcolm Mitchell (Pablo), Patsy Faye Mitchell (Polson), Miles Timothy Mitchell (Polson), Bill Mitchell (Polson), Charlie Mitchell (Missoula), Debbie Mitchell (Wyo.), Anne Catherine Pierre Mitchell (Polson) and Sheila Rae Mitchell (Elmo), Renee Mitchell and Louise Mitchell; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives throughout western Montana. A service was conducted on Sept. 27. Cremation has taken place according to her wishes.

MISSOULA -- Arthur H. Nelson of Polson died on Sept. 17, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital here, after a fall at his home. Arthur was born in Bemidji, Minn., on July 10, 1917, to Alfred and Henrietta Nelson. He attended school in Libby. Art joined the Merchant Marines and sailed the Great Lakes in 1936-1939. After Pearl Harbor he joined the Navy and served on a cargo ship. He married Geraldine Ashby in Winnemucca, Nev. He and Geraldine brought a small grocery store and gas station in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. After selling his store he moved on to work in the lumber industry. He retired from Plum Creek in 1979. He was preceded in death by his wife, a brother and his parents. He is survived by a sister, Alice Nelson (Bonners Ferry, ID); and four generations of nephews and nieces. Funeral services were held on Sept. 29 in Polson.

DIXON -- William "Bill" John Rodgers died in Horn Lake, Miss., on Sept. 9, 2003, from complications of cancer. Bill was born in Butte on April 3, 1933, and was raised as an orphan in Helena. On Jan. 19, 1957, he married Doris Mickelson of Dixon and they had five children - Theresa "Terri," Maureen, Keith, and twins William and Michael -- all of whom survive him along with his wife, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson. Bill was skilled in many fields, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, cooking, canning and telling jokes. Bill drew close to his creator, Jehovah God, in his final years and is now awaiting the resurrection into the coming paradise earth. As Jesus stated in John 11:25-26: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all. Do you believe this?" Bill was planning on returning to his beloved birthplace to finish out his remaining days in Dixon. His last wishes will be carried out by having his ashes scattered in the beautiful mountains of Montana. Memorial services were held on Sept. 19 in Nesbit, Miss.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Clyde Shipe, 74, of Polson, died on Sept. 22, 2003 at Boone Hospital Center here. He was born March 4, 1929, in Columbia, Mo., to John Oscar Shipe and Lucille McBaine Shipe. He graduated from Univ. High School in Columbia. In 1961 he graduated from the Univ. of Montana with a bachelor of science in forestry. He married Marjorie Ward on Jan. 1, 1956. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War. He was a forester for the U.S. Forest Service and a member of the New Providence Baptist Church in Columbia. He and his wife were members of the Paddle Wheelers Square Dance Group in Polson. Survivors include his wife. Majorie (Polson); three daughters, Kathy Shipe-Moon (Seward, AK), Vicky Tusler (Terry, MT) and Jacky Reeve (Graham, WA); a brother, Charles Shipe (Red Oak, IA); and four grandchildren. Services were held in Columbia.

LONEPINE -- Irene Ellen Ulvick died at her home here on Sept. 13, 2003, from natural causes. She was born on March 21, 1915, to Sayles and Ethel Johnston in Rolla, N.D. Irene grew up and attended schools in Rolla. She attended college in Minot, N.D., and graduated from the Univ. of Montana with a bachelor's degree in education. She married Lloyd "Ace" Ulvick on Sept. 29, 1938, in Rolla. She and Ace moved to Lonepine in 1948. They ranched in Lonepine and Irene taught elementary school in Battle Butte, Lonepine, Hot Springs and Camas Prairie. Irene eventually retired from teaching and continued living on the ranch. She enjoyed gardening, quilting and handiwork. She was preceded in death by her husband and a son, Lloyd Jr. She is survived by her son, Dan Ulvick and his wife Shonda (Lonepine); four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; three brothers, Sayles Johnston (Rolla), Harvey Johnston (Cando, N.D.), and George Johnston (Rolla); and two sisters, Martha Manikowske (Wahpeton, N.D.) and Mary Moomjan (Tustin, Cal.). Graveside funeral services were held on Sept. 26 in Lonepine.

MISSOULA -- Lillian Dee "Peg" Burgess Wipplinger of Ronan, died on Sept. 4, 2003, at Community Medical Center here. She was born on Oct. 13, 1931, in Perma, the youngest of nine children of Harry and Lorena Markle Burgess. She was a member of the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She graduated from Plains High School in 1948 where she was the Montana State Typing and Shorthand Champion. On Sept. 17, 1950, she married Herman Wipplinger in Plains. The couple lived in Everett, WA, for 16 years. In 1974 they returned to Montana, and in 1978 they purchased and operated the Pair-A-Dice Bar in Paradise. In 1980, Peg and Herman started Rainbow Construction, a highway construction firm. Following Herman's death in 1988, Peg continued to run Rainbow Construction; in 1991, she was awarded the Regional Small Business Person of the Year honors. She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Chari Wipplinger (Plains); two daughters and sons-in-law, Loretta and Charlie Hammond (Columbia, SC) and Leanne and Dennis Talbott (Dixon); one sister, Sal Petitclerc (Charlo); 10 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides her husband, Herman, she was preceded in death by five sisters and two brothers. Funeral services and burial took place on Sept. 8 in Plains.


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