Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record

May 2004 Obituaries

MISSOULA -- Matthew E. Dooley, 71, died at St. Patrick Hospital here on May 8, 2004. He is survived by his wife, Colleen (Polson); four sons, Mark, Tracy and Dennis (all of Polson) and Mike (Bigfork); 10 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; four sisters; and three brothers. An Elks memorial service with military honors was held at the Mission Valley Elks Lodge in Polson on May 14

ST. IGNATIUS -- Joseph (Joey) Lloyd Kenneth DuMontier Jr, 15, of Ronan and Dixon, died on May 1, 2004, at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan of alcohol poisoning. He was born in Missoula on May 31, 1988, to Joseph "Bud" and Bernadette DuMontier. He was a freshman at Two Eagle River School in Pablo. He enjoyed hanging with his friends, listening to music, swimming and traveling. Joey had aspired to be a drummer for a rock-and-roll band and kept up on current events surrounding the music world. He is survived by his parents; his stepfather, Tim Atwin (Ronan); siblings and their spouses: Dalene Morrison (St. Ignatius), Kenny (Nadeen) Dumontier (Dixon), David "Rocky" Tevlin (Seattle) and Jesse Atwin (Pablo); as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Wake services began May 4 at the Foster and Durgeloh Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated on May 6 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the Jocko Catholic Cemetery near Arlee.

POLSON -- Joe Daniel Ellis died at St. Joseph Hospital here on May 20, 2004. He was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers; a sister; and a son, Patrick Bruce Ellis. He is survived by his wife, Billie (Polson); a daughter, Stephanie Lee Mendez (California); six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one brother, Roy Ellis, and his wife, Audrey (Santa Barbara, CA); and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on May 24 at the First Baptist Church in Polson. Interment with military honors followed at Lakeview Cemetery.

POLSON -- Merrill "Ted" Benjamin Hawley, 98, died of natural causes at his home here on May 19, 2004. He was born in Aurora, IL, on May 8, 1906, to Jerry and Mattie Jane Hawley. The family lived in Spokane and in British Columbia before moving to Montana. He married Luella Tyner on May 7, 1932. She died in 1998. Ted, who developed and owned oil companies, served many years on the Montana State Oil Commission, was a member of the Lions Club, Shriners, Masons and the Montechato Club on the east shore of Flathead Lake. Until just recently, he was still active building things, using his backhoe and riding lawn mower, and repairing motors. He enjoyed fishing, bird hunting, working in his shop and yard work. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; brother Russell; and sisters Frances and Evelyn. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Lois and James and Miller; a son and his wife, Merrill and Carol Hawley; six grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren. Graveside services were held on May 22 at the Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Earl Henderson was born to Arthur L. and Hazel Henderson on May 29, 1935. He died on May 14, 2004, in Chester, MT. He was born and raised in Havre and spent his last few years in St. Ignatius, where he enjoyed fishing. He was preceded in death by both his parents and his wife, Mary Lee Henderson. He survived by his four sons and their wives: Darren (Tina), Dalane (Jamie), Dwayne (Tiffany), and Destry; six grandsons; five sisters and their husbands, Kathryn (Bob), Shirley (Dell), Jeanette (Bob), Darlene (Bob), and Reno (Jim). Memorial services were held at the St. Ignatius Methodist Church on May 20.

MISSOULA -- Letitia Johnson died on natural causes here on May 16, 2004. She was born on Jan. 14, 1915, in Somers, the sixth child of Mary Jane and Weber Kleinhans. She attended schools in Somers and Kalispell. She received her B.A. in education in 1936. On June 28, 1942, she married Bernard "Ben" F. Johnson. They resided in San Diego until 1945, when they returned to the Johnson family homestead at Round Butte. She taught at Ronan High School and in Missoula. In 1962, she was hired by Missoula County High School as instructional materials director and librarian. Letitia earned her M.A. in 1963 at The Univ. of Montana, a continuing education degree in 1964 and received an M.A. in library science at California State Univ.-San Jose in 1972. She also gave free piano lessons to kids in the community and was a member of the Methodist Church. Preceding her in death were her husband; son-in-law, Tom Lautzenheiser; three brothers, Paul, William and Henry Kleinhans; and one sister, Jeanette Koenig Lussier. Surviving members of her family include four daughters and their husbands: Florence and Bob Pallett (Spokane); Lyn and Bob McKee (Hamilton), Lea and Gary Johnson and Karin Lautzenheiser (all of Missoula); 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; two sisters, Sara Fine (Kalispell) and Martha Pratt (Salem, OR); and several nieces and nephews. Memorial services were held on May 22 in Missoula.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Richard J. Keller, 57, died on May 10, 2004, at his home near St. Ignatius. Graveside services were conducted on May 14 at Calvary Cemetery in Ronan. (No other information given.)

HOT SPRINGS -- Peggy A. Koepplin died on May 10, 2004, from pneumonia at Clark Fork Valley Hospital. She was born on Aug. 1, 1932, in Niarada to Carl and Annie Blixt, the first of six children. Peggy married Delbert Koepplin on July 12, 1952, in Missoula. Her interests included homemaking, ranching, sewing, cooking, canning and gardening with a fondness for African violets. She is survived by her husband of 51 years; sons Wayne and Ronald Koepplin; daughter Jolene Koepplin Thornton; grandchildren Crystal Maedche, Rondel Koepplin, Dustin McClure and Dace Martinez; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Rodney, and sister Doris. Funeral services were conducted on May 15 at the Lonepine Hall.

ST. IGNATIUS -- Harold "Mickey" McClure, 85, died on May 2, 2004, at the Westside Care Center in Ronan. He was born on April 25, 1919, in Schley, to Frank and Mary Rose McClure. He served in the Army in WWII. He was married to Gertrude Matt for 18 years and together they raised three children and three grandchildren. Harold owned a gas station in Hungry Horse. He also worked iron worked and built fences. He moved to Great Falls in the early 1960s. He returned to the reservation in 1989. Mickey was a hard worker, an I.W. Union member, a good provider, and proud of his neat yard and being sober. He took his grandkids everywhere with him. After losing his wife, April and her family became his primary care providers until his health forced him to live in the nursing home. Mickey was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude; daughter Donna "Ida"; grandsons Chris and Marshall; and siblings Lindy, John, Pinto Robert "Bobby" and Harriett McClure, Katie Gebeau, Agnes Dumont and Clara Charlo. He is survived by his children, Edward McClure, April Zimmerer and Ken Gingras; his brother Alvin "Snuse" McClure; his grandchildren Opal McClure, Deliah McClure, Rachel McClure, Tiffany Zimmerer, Courtney Zimmerer, Susep Zimmerer; and great-grandchildren Kirsten McClure, Samantha McClure, Loran Bacon, Christopher Bacon and Landin Zimmerer. A traditional wake began May 3 at the Longhouse. Mass was celebrated on May 5 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment with military honors followed in the Jocko Catholic Cemetery.

RONAN -- Daniel Ray McLeod, 19, died sometime during the week of May 3, 2004. He was born on Nov. 27, 1984, to Sarah Jean McLeod. Raised on the reservation by his mother and many relatives, he enjoyed drawing, playing basketball and hacky-sack, going to the races and "mechanizing" on his bikes. He also liked the outdoors where he enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. He was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Mary and Aaron Palmer and Blanche Zumwalt. At the time of his death, he had been living in Ronan with Jackie (Aimsback) and Russell Burland and his brothers Don, Levi and Aaron. Daniel is survived by his mother, Sarah (Kalispell); a sister, April Jean McLeod (Charlo); his twin brother, Donald Ray McLeod (Ronan); aunt Sylvia Mae Aimsback and uncle Marvin E Gardipe (Charlo); brother-cousin Nakota J. Aimsback (Charlo); sister-cousin Laquita R. Aimsback (Evaro); foster parents Jacqueline Aimsback and Russell Burland (Ronan); brother-cousin Levi Thomas and Aaron Kaleb Burland (Ronan); grandfather Louis E. McLeod Sr. (Polson); and numerous other aunts, uncles and cousins. The wake began on May 11 at the Longhouse in St. Ignatius. Mass was celebrated on May 13 in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission. Interment followed in the Ronan Cemetery.

MISSOULA -- Scarlett Marlene Miller of Polson died on May 3, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital here from complications from surgery. She was born on April 19, 1943, in Anaconda, to Edward A. and Elizabeth Irene (Hoehne) Johnson. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Edward F. Johnson and sister Irene Johnson. She is survived by her husband, Dillard Cody Miller; two daughters and their spouses, Kristine Lynn and Colin Wolfenden (Polson) and Kandice Marie and Vance Walhood (Pablo); son Jay Jerome Thomas (Polson); four grandchildren and her faithful buddy, "Gert." She is also survived by a brother and his wife, Bill and Teri Johnson; a sister, Bonnie Davis (Anaconda); and an aunt and uncle. At Scarlett's request no services were held. The family will conduct the scattering of her cremains at a later date. Cards and memorials in Scarlett's name may be sent to Kandice Walhood, Box 686, Pablo, MT 59855.

POLSON -- Nancy E. Rice died on May 12, 2004, at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center here from a long illness. She was born on Nov. 25, 1955, in Covina, Calif., to Glen and Gayle (Schuch) Bailey. She was a college graduate of Brook's College of Design in Long Beach, CA, and earned an RN degree at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, CA She moved to Polson in 1993. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi. She is survived by her husband, Gary Rice; son Tyler Rice; her parents; sister Barbara Willis (Upland, CA); brother James Bailey (Glendora, CA); grandmother Elaine Curtis (Long Beach); and parents-in-law Dwaine and Tonie Rice (Hartford, MI). A celebration of life was held on May 16 in Polson. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Huntington's Disease Society or the charity of your choice.

POLSON -- Kelly Dean Salmonson, 45, died on May 18, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula from complications related to an extended illness. He was born on Dec. 14, 1958, in Great Falls, to Karl D. and Cora (Snider) Salmonson. He attended school in Missoula and graduated from Hellgate High School in 1977. He worked in Salt Lake City for a few years before moving back to Missoula and then Polson in the early '80s. He started the Animal House Gym and later changed the name to "The Firm," which he was currently operating. He loved motorcycles and was an avid sports fan. He also enjoyed sailing, golfing and reading. He is survived by his parents in Polson; a sister, Kathy Salmonson and Karl Keff (Seattle); a twin brother, Kyle, and wife Sai (Polson); two nephews; and numerous other relatives. Funeral services were held on May 27 in Polson. Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery.Memorials may be made to the donor's choice.

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- John "Jack" Allard Swanson died on May 9, 2004, at his home here from emphysema. He was born in Missoula. He spent his childhood in Potomac. He was a member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes and a great-grandson of Charles Allard who, with Michael Pablo, helped save the buffalo from extinction. Jack joined the Army and served in World War II in France and Germany. Returning to Montana, he attended the State Univ. in Bozeman. He married Pauline Davis in 1947. The couple lived in Tulsa, OK, where Jack attended the Spartan School of Aeronautics College; and in the San Francisco Bay area, where he worked in airline maintenance and supervision for United, Saturn and Trans America Airlines. The family spent several summers in England. He spent much of retirement playing golf and fly-fishing. Most recently, he enjoyed his computer and digital camera. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Pauline; two daughters, Cherie McKinney (Palo Alto) and Faith Morisoli (Wenatchee, WA); two sons, John A. Swanson (Half Moon Bay) and Mark Swanson (Pacifica); eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sister Gloria Shelton (Aurora, CO). Memorial services were held May 14 at St. Charles Borromeo Church.

POLSON -- Charles William Ward died here on May 11, 2004. He was born on June 18, 1916, to Bill and Alice Hawker Ward, whose family eventually numbered 15. He graduated from Darby High School in 1935. He married Elnora Herrin Baldwin of Helena on Nov. 23, 1946. He had worked as a butcher and a heavy-duty machine operator. Fishing was an important part in Charles' life, as was telling stories and playing cards over a "toddy." He also loved music and dancing. He was preceded in death by his wife and parents, nine sisters, three brothers and son Rory Charles. He is survived by his wife, Lena; daughter Ardith; son Lemont (Monty); his sister Glenrose Wylie; two grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service is planned for Aug. 14, 2004, at 1 p.m. at Daly-Leach in Hamilton with a reception to follow at the Catholic Community Center.

DIXON -- Flora Rose Davis Wimberley died at her home here on May 5, 2004, of cancer. She was born on Feb. 4, 1952, in Deer Lodge, to Glen and Margaret Davis. She married Donald Wimberley Jr. in 1969. She loved her garden and time shared with family and friends in the Avon and Deer Lodge areas. She was preceded in death by her parents; son Donald B. III, brother Skip; and stepmother Donna (Mrs. Bud Clark). She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Don; daughter and son-in-law Dawn Marie and Greg Fritts; son Dusty; sisters and spouses Margie and Harvey Gould, Pauline Mininger, Julie Martin, Verna and Dennis Lutz, Vickie and Tom Davis, Laura Clark and Lisa and Brad Shaffer; brothers and their wives, Sonny Jacobsen, Lester and Pam Clark and Lewis and Christy Clark; two grandchildren; mother-in-law Dene Wimberley; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A celebration of her life was held on May 16 in Avon.


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