WHITEFISH - George Waggoner died of cancer Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, peacefully at home with his family.
He was born Sept. 20, 1926, in Sunburst to Alexander "Al" and Gertrude "Gertie" Waggoner.
George attended grade school in Ferdig, Oilmont and Kevin and high school in Oilmont and Cut Bank, graduating in 1944. He graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School, Seattle in 1958.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 46 as a signalman first class aboard the USS Braxton. He was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.
George married Helen Marie Kraut on Oct. 15, 1947. They raised their four children in Cut Bank where George was president of First Interstate Bank until his retirement. Their home has been in Whitefish for the last 12 years.
Following his discharge from the Navy, he worked briefly in the Cut Bank oilfields. He then began an apprentice program under the G.I. Bill at Bank of Glacier County in Cut Bank where he started as a bookkeeper. He became executive vice president of the bank in January 1959 and was elected president in October 1959. He served in that capacity and as chairman of the board of directors of First Interstate Bank until his retirement Jan. 1, 1990.
George was a Cut Bank city councilman for two years. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cut Bank, serving as deacon and elder, choir member and director, building committee co-chair, finance committee and Mariners Club member. He was also a member of the Elks Club, Masonic Lodge and Scottish Rite. He served on the board of directors of the Memorial Hospital Association for 20 years, during which time a new hospital and clinic were built and the old hospital was converted to the nursing home.
He and Helen Marie were always active in the Cut Bank Country Club and the Whitefish Country Club.
George was devoted to his family, his community and his country. Music and dancing were a part of him. His beautiful tenor voice graced many a wedding and funeral. His had a fine sense of humor coupled with great compassion and love for his fellow man.
He is survived by his wife Helen of Whitefish; sisters Orva Cochran of Shelby and Ila Larson of Spokane; children Linda and husband Sarath Vidanage of Saratoga, Calif., Fred Waggoner of Whitefish, Susan Beyer of Missoula and Sheri and husband Gregg Glaspey of Whitefish; seven grandchildren, Heidi, Cory, Evan, Sarah, Myles, Sean and Dustin; and his great-grandson Phoenix O'Neill.
He was preceded in death by siblings Mildred Gertzen, Albert "A.P." Waggoner, Art Waggoner, Paul Waggoner and Marie Dahlen, and grandson Gary Johansen.
Celebration of his life will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at First Presbyterian Church, Whitefish. A reception immediately after is at Whitefish Country Club.
Austin Funeral Home is handling cremation.
Wyatt D. Partida
RONAN - Wyatt D. Partida, 10, of Ronan, passed away of cancer on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, at his home with his family at his side.
Memorial services are tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the Grogan Funeral Home, Polson.
Cremation has taken place. A full obituary will follow.
Marian M. Coffin
HAMILTON - A memorial service for Marian M. Coffin will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Hamilton First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Janet Malone officiating.
Mrs. Coffin passed away July 14, 2004, in Hamilton.
Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.
Arthur Duane 'Sarge' Reum
POLSON - Arthur Duane "Sarge" Reum, 59, of Polson, passed away on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, at St. Luke Hospital in Ronan from natural causes.
He was born Jan. 11, 1945, in Hayes, Kan.
He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.
He is survived by his mother Dorothy Reum of Polson; children Scott and Colleen; two grandsons; brothers Steve Reum of Ronan, Ronnie Reum of Polson, Fred Reum of California and Doug Reum of Polson; and sisters Frances Amaya of Polson and Velva "Honey" Hall of Missoula.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at Grogan Funeral Home. Burial with military honors will follow at Lakeview Cemetery.
Dilias Bell Dodgson Bennett
MISSOULA - Dilias Bell Dodgson Bennett, 84, passed away at her home on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004. She was going home to be with the Lord, surrounded by her family.
Dilias was born Jan. 4, 1920, in Butte to William "Babe" and Clara Truman Dodgson, a pioneer ranch family in the Big Hole River Valley. She attended grade school at Wise River and on many occasions rode her horse the six miles to school. She graduated in 1939 from high school in Butte. She then moved to Missoula and graduated from Modern Beauty School in 1940.
In June 1941, she married Milton Bennett of Alberton. They had five children whom they raised in Alberton until the family moved to Missoula in 1964.
Dilias was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother with a listening ear and encouraging advice to all. She was a wonderful cook and could fix up a picnic meal in no time to go on a picnic up Nine Mile or Fish Creek. She especially loved to fish and camp and loved the outdoors.
Dilias is survived by her five children, Judy and Bill Gardner of Soap Lake, Wash., Ron and Martha Bennett of Montesano, Wash., Gary and Ellora Bennett of Garfield, Wash., Sue Larson of Missoula and Bill Bennett of Missoula.
She is also survived by her brother, Claude Dodgson of Melrose; her brother-in-law, Hank Bennett and wife Vi of Billings; and Marion Smith of Spokane. She had 12 wonderful grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren along with countless nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1986 after 45 years of marriage.
At her request, there will be no funeral or memorial services. Burial will be held at the family cemetery in Dewey.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Partners in Home Care Inc., 2687 Palmer St. Suite 201, Missoula, MT 59808.
Ruby B. (Aznoe) Froebel
GREAT FALLS - Ruby B. (Aznoe) Froebel died of natural causes on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, at a Great Falls hospital.
She was born Nov. 4, 1922, in Great Falls.
Survivors include two daughters, Kandee Reiter and her husband Jack of Billings; Randa Froebel of Missoula; three grandsons, Jeff Reiter of Bozeman and Cody and Shane Siegle of Missoula; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Rita Cheek of Missoula, Arlene Harvey of Helena and Lee Whitehall of Tacoma, Wash.
She was preceded in death by her husband Fred and sister Vivian Cheek.
A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Brady Methodist Church.
SUPERIOR - John Murphy, 81, of Superior, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004, at his home of natural causes.
John was born on March 13, 1923, in Manchester, Lancashire, England, the son of Thomas and Nellie Hallas Murphy.
He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, N.Y., and New York City College.
He was married to Virginia Mae McCauley on Sept. 30, 1944, at the Naval Air Station in Astoria, Ore. He later married Ann B. Zaharko on July 2, 1965, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
He was a veteran of World War II, having served as a motor machinist second class in the U.S. Navy from 1942 until 1945.
He worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939, the Nybok Garage in Missoula and was a Montana Highway patrolman from 1956 to 1977. He then worked for Diamond International from 1977 to 1984 and was a justice of the peace in Superior from 1977 to 1979. He was also a proud member of the National Rifle Association.
In his earlier years, John enjoyed hunting and taking trips with his family to the mountains.
He is survived by his wife Ann B. Murphy of Superior; a son, Lee Murphy of Lakeside, Calif.; a daughter, Mary Murphy-Kellis of Tigard, Ore.; son Brett Murphy of Albuquerque, N.M.; son Kelly Murphy of Girard, Ill.; a stepdaughter, Paula J. Erickson of Missoula; and a stepson, Terry Zaharko of Missoula. Also surviving are 20 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of the Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies. Private family services will be held at a later date. His ashes will be buried at sea in the Pacific Ocean.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in John's name to the Mineral Community Hospital in Superior, Community Medical Center in Missoula or Partners in Home Care in Missoula.
Gordon L. Smith
MISSOULA - Gordon L. Smith, 74, lost his long struggle with multiple sclerosis on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, at Evergreen Care Center in Missoula.
Gordon was the devoted and loving son of Walter and Esther Smith, was an avid Grizzly sports fan and a lifelong Missoula resident.
Gordon was born June 9, 1930, at St. Patrick Hospital, attended Paxson Grade School, graduated from Missoula County Public High School in 1948 and attended the University of Montana (then Montana State University).
Gordon left college after two years to join the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the Korean Conflict, December 1951 to September 1954. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to the University and graduated with a business degree in 1956.
In June 1956, Gordon began working for AT&T, and was promoted to business office manager for Mountain Bell Co. in Missoula. He worked in this position until illness forced his retirement, serving 25 years.
Gordon particularly enjoyed pheasant and duck hunting, fishing and photography. He had a most infectious laugh, a kind manner and a strong devotion to Grizzly sports.
Gordon is survived by his son, Howard Alan Smith of Anaconda; cousin Rae M. Batch of Fort Collins, Colo.; and several aunts and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Esther Smith.
Gordon appreciated the company of friends and classmates in Missoula, who were particularly supportive of him during his illness, especially Warren Little. Additional thanks are extended to the staff of Evergreen Health Care Center for their kindness and compassion during his long illness.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the Missoula City Cemetery.
Elaine M. Harma
LIBBY - Elaine M. Harma, 64, a longtime Libby resident, died Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, at St. John's Lutheran Hospital of natural causes.
She was born Jan. 22, 1940, in Butte to Horace and Marie McClurg Dunn.
On July 25, 1959, she married Rodney Harma.
Survivors include her husband Rodney of Libby; son John Harma of Phoenix; daughter Sara Shuck of Libby; sister Beverly Finch of Friday Harbor, Wash.; brother, David Dunn of Spokane; and eight grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at Faith Bible Church in Libby. Visitation will be 1-8 p.m. Thursday.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson & Vial Funeral Home, Libby.
Douglas Kimmerle McLure
RED LODGE - Douglas Kimmerle McLure, 61, of Red Lodge, died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at Deaconess Hospital in Billings.
He was born May 24, 1943, in Missoula, to William R. and Beatrice Ruth (Franzman) McLure. He was raised and educated in Philipsburg.
Survivors include daughter Desiree Rene Garcia of Pasadena, Calif.; three grandchildren; sister Irene Marie McLure of Reno, Nev.; and two brothers, David L. McLure of Billings and William Park of Philipsburg.
Visitation will be from 9-10:45 a.m. Thursday at the Anaconda chapel of KT Riddle Funeral Homes.
Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church followed by interment at Philipsburg Cemetery.
Theresa June Stasso Weatherwax
DIXON - Theresa June Stasso Weatherwax, 59, went to join the Ancestors on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, in Missoula.
A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Theresa was born at Jette Lake, Mont., on Aug. 9, 1945, to Lassaw Stasso Sr. and Angelic Finley Stasso. Theresa was raised in the greater Elmo community and received her education at the Ursulines school in St. Ignatius, Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota and graduated from Pierre High School in South Dakota.
A dietitian by trade, she worked in the hospitals on the Blackfeet and Flathead reservations until her health forced an early retirement.
Theresa was a dedicated and loving mother, grandmother and wife. She enjoyed stick game, shopping and spending time with her family whether it was just visiting, picnicking or a good barbecue.
She was preceded in death by her first husband Isaac RedCrow; her second husband William Weatherwax; her parents Lassaw Stasso and Angelic Finley Stasso Skookum; stepfather Joseph Skookum; sisters Josephine Stasso and Lucy Buckskin; brothers Max Lassaw Jr. and Pete; stepsons Bumbum and Darrell; and a step-grandson, Kenny.
Survivors include her children, Quincy Weatherwax of Big Arm, Aldeanna Weatherwax of Dixon, Marlene RedCrow of Wellpinit, Wash., and Crystal and Cecilia Weatherwax of Dixon; sisters Mary and Louise Stasso of Arlee; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; stepsons Kenny, Marvin and Calvin; as well as a large extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews and friends.
A wake began at the Ksanka Cultural Hall in Elmo with a rosary Tuesday. The wake will continue until 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, when it will move to the Glacier Homes Community Building in Browning. Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Browning also. Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Little Flower Parish in Browning with interment following at the Willow Creek Cemetery.
Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Donald H. Schnaidt
KALISPELL - Donald H. Schnaidt, 91, died Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004, at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Donald was born June 9, 1913, in Parkston, S.D., to Henry and Bertha (Wiedman) Schnaidt.
In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he taught Morse Code and aircraft recognition.
He married Kathryn Zinzow in 1945.
Survivors include his wife Kathryn of Kalispell; son Mark Schnaidt of Whistler, British Columbia; daughter Martha Wheeler of Moorhead, Minn.; and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Daniel Wheeler of Moorhead.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the Buffalo Hill Funeral chapel.
Evelyn Jean Louise Gilroy
KALISPELL - Evelyn Jean Louise Gilroy, 86, died Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004, at Heritage Place in Kalispell.
She was born Sept. 6, 1918, in Lewistown to Wilbur and Dora (Lake) Ware.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bruce, brother Art Ware, sister Selah Swanser and grandson Dewey Holler.
She is survived by two sons, Art Gilroy of Moccasin and Dave Gilroy of Polson; two daughters, Bonnie Holler of Chicago and Trudy Eckley of Kalispell; 19 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Johnson Mortuary chapel. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Florence Nelson Hedrick
PABLO - Florence Nelson Hedrick, 91, died Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004, at Lily of the Valley, an assisted living home in Pablo.
Florence was born in North Dakota on Nov. 29, 1912.
She was preceded in death by her husband Myhre Hedrick in 2003.
She is survived by her daughter, Marilyn Ramsay of Polson; sister Alice Kirk of Cascade; grandsons Richard Ramsay of Point Roberts, Wash., Graham Ramsay of Broomfield, Colo., and Geoff Ramsay of Missoula.
Visitation will be 1-6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery.
Robert Carl 'Bob' Frach Jr.
KALISPELL - Robert Carl "Bob" Frach Jr., 66, died on Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
He was born on Feb. 28, 1938, the son of Robert Christian and Mildred Soderstrom Frach in Kalispell.
He was preceded in death by brother Buzzy Smith and sisters Eileen Graham Kair and Lois Enevold.
He is survived by his daughter, Lori Frach and grandsons Tomas and J.J. Weeks of Talent, Ore; son Robbie Frach of Kalispell; sister Sharon Hawk of Kalispell; and numerous other relatives.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Johnson Mortuary chapel. Burial will follow at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.