Stevie Marie Barber

RONAN - Stevie Marie Barber, 21, of Ronan, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle from fire-related injuries.

Stevie was born Nov. 4., 1978, in Ronan to Dan (Scott) and Sharon Barber.

Stevie was a hostess at the Seattle Space Needle, had a CNA certification and was pursuing a career in interior decorating. While in high school, she was a YMCA summer counselor. She was employed by Jore Corp. when she moved to Seattle.

Stevie was a 1997 graduate of Ronan High and attended Salish-Kootenai College at Pablo for one year.

Stevie's beauty and outgoing personality drew people to her like a magnet.

Stevie enjoyed being with family and friends, camping, hiking, skiing and concerts.

Stevie was home to enjoy her family and friends for the holidays.

She is survived by her loving parents, Scott and Sharon Barber of Ronan; brothers Scott and wife Kim and children Mariah and Madison of Pablo, Shawn and wife Amy and children Lindsay and Braden of Ronan; many aunts, uncles and cousins too numerous to mention; and her 19-year-old cat, Mickey.

A celebration of Stevie's life will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Destiny Christian Center Church in Ronan.

Thomas Pritchard

MISSOULA - Thomas Pritchard, 67, of Missoula, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2000, at Riverside Health Care Center of natural causes.

He was born on March 20, 1932, in Missoula, the son of Bruce and Diane (Mulkey) Pritchard. Tom was raised and educated in Missoula and attended Missoula County High School. After school, he enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and was later honorably discharged.

Tom worked for the U.S. Forest Service, retiring after 26 years of service.

One of his greatest passions was his 1942 Seagrave fire truck. Tom also loved airplanes and working on automobiles. He will be remembered for his devotion to his friends and his love of children.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Gerry and Dicky, and his longtime partner Audrey J. Harris.

He is survived by five children, Ronald Pritchard of Vancouver, Wash., Larry Lester and wife Beverly of Anaconda, Heidi Brenner and husband James of Vancouver, Jon Pritchard and wife Annette of Molalla, Ore., and Chris Pritchard and wife Angela of Vancouver; five brothers, Sherman, Ronald "Tootie," Fritz, Bobby and John "Bingo" Pritchard; three sisters, Lolah May "Puss" Mann, Diane Wyatt and Sandra Hinson; 12 grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Visitation will be held on Monday, Jan. 10, from 4-7 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with burial to follow at Missoula City Cemetery. There will be a reception in the funeral home's community room following the committal services.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.

Jerolin C. Darsow

LIBBY - Jerolin C. Darsow, 90, died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000, at the Libby Care Center.

She was born Jan. 28, 1909, in Lynch, Neb., to Joseph Siffner and Filomena Voves Siffner.

She married Wilhelm "Bill" Darsow Jan. 29, 1927.

Her husband preceded her death in 1987.

Surviving are her four sons, Norman Darsow of Tacoma, Wash., Don Darsow of Kennewick, Wash., Leonard Darsow of Sarasota, Fla., and Richard Darsow of Libby; 10 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Services will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Nelson &Vial Funeral Home Chapel. Interment services will be in the City of Libby Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Margaret P. Geesen

KALISPELL - Margaret P. Geesen, 95, died Jan. 6, 2000, at Heritage Place in Kalispell.

She is survived by one daughter, Sandra Potter of Kalispell; one son, Parker Geesen of Scottsdale, Ariz.; four granddaughters, Carrie Sorenson, Jennifer Quantck, Lisa Prior and Anne Grabowski; three grandsons, Andrew Geesen, Eric Geesen and Christopher West; 16 great-grandchildren, Katherine, Grace, Christine and Garth, Abby, Madison, Jack and Nathaniel, Emma, Rachel and Charlotte, Alexandria, Natasha, and Parker, Madeline and Olivia; and one sister, Carletta Lintz of Johnson, Neb.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, at Johnson Mortuary Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Kalispell. Cremation will follow with burial at a later date in Ascension Cemetery in Orange County, Calif.

Ross O. Brillhart

MUSSELSHELL - Ross O. Brillhart, 90, of Musselshell died on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000, at the Roundup Memorial Hospital of natural causes.

He was born Aug. 16, 1909, to Ora and Mary Rehm Brillhart in Orrville, Ohio. He graduated from Orrville High School in 1927.

He owned a truck as a young man and hauled tires for Roadway Freight Co., mainly in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

He married Irene F. Clapper on March 4, 1937, in Marshallville, Ohio, at St. Michael's Reform Church parsonage. They operated a dairy farm at Orrville until moving to Montana in March of 1946 with their six children. They bought a ranch at Three Mile in the Bitterroot Valley. A year later, they moved to a ranch in Lolo, where they lived until 1968, raising Hereford cattle.

In 1968, Ross and his two sons moved to their current ranch in Musselshell. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Roundup.

Preceding him in death were his daughter Rita Brillhart in 1992, three sisters and three brothers.

He is survived by his wife Irene, sons Charles and Wayne and daughter-in-law Shirlee, all at the family ranch; daughters and sons-in-law Luella and John Lokemoen of Jamestown, N.D., Maxine and Corrie Vink of Polson, and Thelma and Jerrome Cole of Musselshell; grandchildren Matthew Lokemoen of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Anne Gebhardt of Aurora, Colo., Daniel Lokemoen of Seattle, Winston Brillhart of Luxembourg, Bentley Brillhart at the family ranch, Ross Johnson of Missoula, Rock Johnson of Pullman, Wash., and Randall Johnson of Hall; 12 great-grandchildren; brother Walter and sister-in-law Ellen of Orrville; sister Gail Weygandt of Canal Fulton, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society, or a charity of choice.

Tribute to Ross: A dedicated cattleman, especially to the Hereford breed. A true and honest friend. A loving father.

Visitation will be Monday, Jan. 10, from 5-9 p.m. at the Wier Funeral Chapel in Roundup. Funeral services will be Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church. Interment will follow at the Roundup City Cemetery.

Sophie Ellen Jensen-Vergin

KALISPELL - Sophie Ellen Jensen-Vergin, 83, died Friday, Jan. 7, 2000, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Ralph Livermore and Fred Vergin, her parents and several brothers and sisters.

She is survived by two sons, Larry Livermore of Kalispell and Bill Vergin of Kalispell; four grandchildren, Douglas Vergin of Kalispell, Tamara Carpenter of Corning, Calif., Heather Truscott of Kalispell and Jessica Danielson of Kalispell; four great-grandchildren, Brad, Meagan and Kristian Carpenter of Corning, and Siri Danielson of Kalispell; brother Hans Jensen of Deary, Idaho; sister Agnes Crawford of Gig Harbor, Wash.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Glacier Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Visitation will be 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday at Johnson Mortuary.

Boyd H. Gibbons Jr.

RACINE, Wis. - Boyd H. Gibbons Jr. died on Dec. 22, 1999, in Racine. He was 89.

Mr. Gibbons was born in San Diego on Aug. 26, 1910, and later moved to Los Angeles. He lived a full and exuberant life in business and public service.

For nearly 23 years, he helped his father and brother run the family Ford dealership in downtown Los Angeles, returning one-third of the profits (despite the Great Depression) to their employees.

He was active in the Sales and Marketing Executives Association of Los Angeles, serving as president in 1946. That same year, he and four other Los Angeles businessmen recruited a new candidate for the 12th Congressional District in L.A., and thus launched the political career of Richard M. Nixon.

After five years of running a purebred Hereford ranch near Darby, Mr. Gibbons moved his family in 1955 to Phoenix, where as the Shell Chemical distributor of anhydrous ammonia, he was a pioneer in the post World War II boom in Southwestern agriculture.

Mr. Gibbons served two governors of Arizona as assistant for industrial development to Gov. Paul Fannin, and as highway safety coordinator to Gov. Jack Williams.

Traveling 385,000 miles throughout 45 states, he was instrumental in attracting major industry to Arizona. He bettered relations between Arizona and Sonora with formation of the precursor to the Arizona-Mexico Commission, and organized the Arizona-Sonora exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

He encouraged Congress to authorize the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Arizona Legislature to mandate implied consent and use of motorcycle helmets.

From early childhood on, as singer, violinist, drummer, Mr. Gibbons was absorbed in his first love, music. At the age of 8, he conducted the first San Diego Junior Orchestra, and he performed numerous times on KFI and KHJ radio stations in Los Angeles as "the boy soprano." His jazz band, the "Beverly Hills Serenaders," played college and prom dances in the L.A. area.

Mr. Gibbons was practically a charter member (1938), and later president, of the Maestros of Pasadena, Calif., a group of musicians who gathered monthly to play for their own enjoyment. After retirement in 1974, Mr. Gibbons returned from Arizona to California, where he organized in Rancho Santa Fe a public jam session known as "The Frustrated Musicians," and helped inaugurate and stage the San Diego Jazz Festival.

Mr. Gibbons is survived by his daughter, Joanne Gibbons Wetzsteon of East Moline, Ill.; son Boyd H. Gibbons III of Racine; daughter Patricia Gibbons Leonard of Cincinnati; brother Warren W. Gibbons of Tucson, Ariz.; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Gibbon's wife of 58 years, Anita McLure Gibbons passed away in 1991.

Private memorial services will be held Jan. 15 at First Presbyterian Church in Racine. Mr. Gibbon's ashes will later be interned at the family gravesite, Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in San Diego.

Mary Dolores 'Dolly' Burt

WHITEHALL - The Heavenly Hosts have not only gained another voice to sing His praises, but also a smiling face with eyes that sparkle with a mischievous playfulness. Mary Dolores "Dolly" Burt went home to be with our Lord on Friday, Jan. 7, 2000.

Survivors include her husband, Jim in Whitehall; her children and their spouses, Jim and Patti Burt of Butte, Tom and Carol Burt of Anaconda, Sam and Teri Burt of Trout Creek, Bob and Katie Burt of Bonney Lake, Wash., Deb and Jim Wegeleben of Missoula, and Kathy and Bob Parsons of Spokane; 17 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place. Services will be held at St. Teresa's Catholic Church in Whitehall on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to a local hospice organization.

Phyllis Benbenek

MISSOULA - Phyllis Benbenek, 78, of Missoula, passed away on Friday, Jan. 7, 2000, at Community Medical Center of natural causes after a short illness.

She was born on May 22, 1921, in Chicago, the daughter of John and Helen (Polowczyk) Neugebauer. Phyllis was raised and educated in Chicago. She married Pantaleon Benbenek on Oct. 22, 1941, in Chicago.

Phyllis was a volunteer at the YWCA, Community Medical Center and RSVP. She was also a frequent visitor to the area nursing homes and shut-ins. Mom's proudest accomplishment was her children, grandchildren and great-grandson.

Phyllis is survived by children Althea Kwiek of Cicero, Ill., Leon Benbenek and wife Donna of Pleasanton, Calif., Michele Wojcik and husband Mel of Helena, and Lary Benbenek and wife Basia of Missoula; grandchildren Peter Kwiek, Julie Rysavy, Karen Rudd, Lee, John and Laura Benbenek, Steve and Mark Wojcik, and Hilary and Gretchen Benbenek; great-grandson Alex Rysavy; and a sister and brother-in-law, Genevive and Frank Boruch of Chicago.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 4-7 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home, with vigil services following at 7 p.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church with a reception following at the church. Committal services will be held on Wednesday at St. Ann's Cemetery in East Helena. Pallbearers will be Phyllis' grandsons and great-grandson.

The family suggests that memorials be made in her name to the YWCA.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.

Helen Peterson

LIBBY - Helen Peterson, 104, died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000, at the Libby Care Center.

She was preceded in death by her husband Herman in death in 1951 and a son, George Peterson, in 1997.

She is survived by five children, Raymond Peterson of Great Falls, Robert Peterson of Missoula, Alice Hill of Libby, Doris Spalinger of Castro Valley, Calif., and Toddy Mossey of Troy; 13 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 13 great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be at the City of Libby Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and until noon Wednesday at the funeral home.

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