Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
June 2009

Grace Patterson McComas
RONAN — Grace Patterson McComas of Ronan passed away peacefully in her sleep June 24, 2009. A Memorial Service will be Saturday, July 11 at 2 p.m. at the Ronan Alliance Church located at 519 Terrace Lake Road in Ronan.

Grace was born on the West shore of Flathead Lake October 20, 1916 to David and Mary Patterson. Later, the family moved to Jetty Lake, her childhood home. She married George Slater in 1934 and gave birth to a daughter, Jacqueline Dale in 1935. Seven years later, she gave birth to Gerald David Slater. Grace later remarried to Meryl McComas. They had a son, Michael Clare McComas, and a daughter, Lisa Marie McComas.

She worked as a cash clerk for the Flathead Irrigation in Ronan for many years. She was a member of the Confederated Flathead Salish & Kootenai Tribe. She was a past president of the American Legion and the Eagles.

She is survived by son, Mike McComas of Paradise; daughter, Lisa (Brett) Dillmann of Spokane, WA; a daughter-in-law, Lois Slater of Pablo; several grand children and great-grand children.

Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Meryl McComas; son Gerald Slater; daughter Jackie (Slater) Scottolini; asister, three brothers and her parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the St. Luke Nursing Home at 109 6th Avenue SW, Ronan, MT 59864-2634. Grace had expressed many times the need for transport for the nursing home. The gifts would go towards a van equipped to transport the residents.

Richard Dennis Couture
ELMO — Richard Dennis Couture, 76, passed away Saturday morning at St. Joseph Hospital in Polson.

Born in St. Ignatius on March 2, 1933 to Joseph and Susie (Andrews) Couture, he was raised locally before joining the US Marine Corps and proudly serving from 1952 to 1955.

He married Annette Reed in 1953 and they made their home in California before returning to the Crow Agency area where he worked for the BIA, St. Labre Indian School and at Pretty Eagle Catholic Church, and then retiring in 2002 and returning to his home in Elmo where enjoyed asking his councilman many things.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sisters Regina Matt and Mary Lefthand; brothers Roy and Tommy Couture and grandson Darius Couture.

He leaves behind his wife Annette of Elmo; children Gary (Elsie) Couture and Richard (Ann) Couture both of Crow Agency, George (Annie) Couture of Pablo, Debbie (Martin) Passes of Garry Owen, Susie Crooked Arm of Elmo, Coleen Couture of Ronan, Ramona (Dean) Bearclaw of Pryor, Rhoda Couture of Pablo, Kateri Couture of Ronan, and Joshua Couture of Crow Agency; brother Albert (Barbara) Couture of Parshall, ND; sisters Rita Cannon of Big Arm, Judy Phillips of Pablo, Rhoda Whithorse of Pablo and Aggie Lefthand of Polson; aunt Helen Charlo of Elmo; grandchildren Ashley Couture, Jaime Fredericks, Cindy White Clay, Garrell, Rochelle and Lloyd Passes, Sharmyne, Roni LaForge; great-grandchildren Robbie, Richard and Sharisa who he helped raise; and many other grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins who he also held dear to his heart.

A traditional wake began Saturday at the Elmo Hall with the Rosary being held on Sunday. A mass was held Monday with Fr. Charles Robinson, Celebrant. Interment followed in the Dayton Cemetery where military honors were presented.

Josie Messing
SPOKANE, Wash. - Josie M. Messing passed away June 4, 2009 after a three-year battle with cancer at the Sacred Heart Hospital.

She is survived by her parents John and Becky Messing and sister Kylee Messing all of Spokane Valley; grandparents Jean and the late Joe Ducharme and Wes and Maxine Messing; and aunts JoAnn Ducharme and Barbara Messing.

Josie loved her friends and was a very generous, caring girl. She will be missed by all and always remain in our hearts. A funeral service was held at Ball & Dodd Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

Anthony Cutfinger
ST. IGNATIUS - Anthony Joseph "Ten Bears" Cutfinger, Sr., 52, of St. Ignatius passed away Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at St. Patrick’s Hospital from complications of pneumonia.

Born November 10, 1956 in Browning to Rosalie Sarceeman and Gilbert Cutfinger, Sr., he was raised in Montana and throughout Washington and the Northwest.

He worked road construction and had made St. Ignatius and the Flathead Reservation his home for most of his adult life.

Tony has had many obstacles he went through. He enjoyed taking his wife on road trips, especially through the mountains where they spent all their time camping, swimming, fishing and hunting, and picking huckleberries. He always picked wildflowers of all sorts and bought roses of all colors for her. Playing bingo was our time to meet new friends - with Angela and Michael. He always enjoyed eating frybread, steaks, French toast and ice cream when the opportunity presented itself.

Our dog Casper he took on long walks, he loved doing yard work for anybody that needed help and also loved the holidays to decorate our home and yard, and everything had to be perfect. He enjoyed cutting and drying meat. Der and Hays tried to teach him a little Salish. He loved going to basketball games and baseball, but went to the NBA Basketball or the Griz in Missoula when it came or watched them faithfully on TV. His favorite pastime was spending time with his wife, kids, grandkids, brothers, uncles, cousins and friends. He will be missed by his wife, Casper, his-in-laws, kids, brothers, grandkids.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Marilyn; brothers Gabriel Cutfinger, Julian Guzman and Christopher Cutfinger; sisters Patsy BigSam, Jeanie Belcourt, Rosalyn Cutfinger and Anna Marie Cutfinger; aunts and uncles Marianne and Ed Costilla, Theresa Sarceeman DaBrea, Sally BigBeaver and Edwin "Redman" LittlePlume; niece Chloe Cutfinger and nephew Anthony "Tone’" Cutfinger.

He leaves behind his wife Karen (Adams) Cutfinger of St. Ignatius; children Melvin "Champ" (Tamesha) Fisher of Helena, Gabriel Timentwa Cutfinger of Omak, WA and Tonya (Irving) Timentwa Cutfinger of Coulee Dam, WA, Nathan (Brianna) Cutfinger of Polson, Tiffany (Peter Aimsback, Jr.) Cutfinger and Anthony "TJ" Cutfinger, Jr. all of St. Ignatius, Brayden Cutfinger of Arlee, Angela and Michael Matt, Antoine and Kirby LaChance and Joshua (Stacey) Pepion all of St. Ignatius; brothers and sisters Alvin (Deana Wilson) Guzman of Lapwai, ID, Gilbert (Aleen Vesta) Cutfinger, Jr. of Lapwai, ID, Reuben (Tracy) Cutfinger of Polson, Rosanna Big Beaver Fisher, Rosemary Bautista and Keela (Joe) Smith - Cutfinger; aunts and uncles Kenneth Old Person, Earl Old Person, Earl Blackweasel, Maynard (Linda) Kickingwoman, Ruby Hall, Thomas Wall, Edith Old Person, Jessie Cutfinger, Ernie Cutfinger, Lulu Old Chief, Fred Old Chief, Joseph Old Chief, Jr., Windy Old Chief, Thomas Old Chief, Marlene Old Chief, Geraldine Old Chief, Roseanne Old Chief, Joanne Old Chief, and Deborah Old Chief; father-in-law Eneas (Julia) Adams; sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws Evelyn (Mike) Moran, Dale (Maxine) Adams, Delbert (Cherylann) Adams, David Adams, Derwin (Wendy) Adams, Darrell Adams, Debbie Adams and Nelson BigSam; grandchildren Cedrick, Mekya, Jayceon, Isimya, Gabriel, Alahna, Michael, Jesse, Isaiah, Isabella, Lauraya Zeyle Cutfinger, Uriah and Bryanna Steele, Isaiah, Josiah and Jordan Matt, Helen, Emmanuel and Alexis LaChance, Laney LaChance and Jurnie Pepion; close nieces and nephews Stacy Auld, Tara Cutfinger, Michelle Cutfinger, Jessica Cutfinger, Reuben Cutfinger,II., Paige Korodi, Brittiany Cutfinger, Carter Cutfinger, Brad BigSam, Debbie BigSam, Brian BigSam, Gwen BigSam, Ellen BigSam, LaToya BigSam, Meggan Fisher, Michael and Mitchell Guzman, Becky and Danny Belcourt; close friends Chad Russell, Bruce BigSam and Paul BigSam as well as his loyal sidekick Ronnie "Hays" Lumpry and many other relatives from the Blood Reserve, Blackfeet and Flathead Nations.

A wake began Thursday evening at the Longhouse in St Ignatius with Rosary being recited on Friday in the Longhouse. Wake closing was Saturday in the Longhouse with Mass following in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. As per his request cremation will follow the Mass.

Juanita M. Jacobson
RONAN — Juanita M. Jacobson, 68, born Feb. 2, 1941 in Arlee, passed away at her home on Monday, June 1, 2009.

Raised in Arlee, she went on to become a nurse and traveled many places in Montana before returning to the Ronan area about 20 years ago.

Juanita had a great love for her family and friends. To Juanita no one was considered a stranger. Everyone was always greeted with a warm welcome. She enjoyed crossword puzzles, visiting friends and family. She enjoyed sitting around her kitchen table drinking a cool one. She was truly loved by us all and will be greatly missed by all.

A proud member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, she was preceded in death by her sister Jeannie Irvine and parents Henry Matt and Mary Christine Gingras.

She is survived by her children Yvonne Hanic and Daniel Hanic both of Belle Fourche, SD.; Diana Taylor of Ronan; Donna Adams of Butte; Jimmy Pierce of Ronan; Dennis Pierce of Ronan and Mary Rudd of Ronan; 18 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; and her siblings Carol Finley of Ronan; Jim Finley Wonder of Ronan; Jan Michel of Pablo; Patty Grandchamp of Hayes; Linda Vandiver of Salt Lake City; Barb French of Lincoln; Karen Little of Pablo; Willow Diaz of Hot Springs; Christine Wingender of Hot Springs; Pete and Randy Windgender both of Waldo, Ohio; and Richard and Carol Matt both of Sacramento as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A traditional wake began Tuesday at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius in the Longhouse. Wake closing began Thursday in the Longhouse and Mass followed at the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission.