Wednesday, October 30, 2002; Velma Lorraine Nichenko, Bobbie Joe Holland, Terry J. Conway, Judith Ann Clark, Betty Jean Eacker, Jamie Lou Meuret Shaffer, Esther Lebsack, John A. Paola, Leon N. Melton, Thomas J. Nettleton II, George W. Brand

2002-10-30T00:00:00Z Wednesday, October 30, 2002; Velma Lorraine Nichenko, Bobbie Joe Holland, Terry J. Conway, Judith Ann Clark, Betty Jean Eacker, Jamie Lou Meuret Shaffer, Esther Lebsack, John A. Paola, Leon N. Melton, Thomas J. Nettleton II, George W. Brand missoulian.com
October 30, 2002 12:00 am

Velma Lorraine Nichenko

1927 - 2002

STEVENSVILLE - Velma Lorraine Nichenko, 75, of Stevensville, died at her home on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002.

She was born in Darby, on Jan. 11, 1927, and was the daughter of Wayne F. and Ellen V. Overturf. She attended grade school in Darby and high school in Portland, Ore.

Velma married Andy A. Nichenko June 6, 1945. Andy was a career military man. They were stationed on many bases from coast to coast, including five years in Japan during its U.S. occupation. Upon retirement from the military the couple settled in Portland and continued to raise their family.

Returning to the Bitterroot Valley in 1975, Velma built a new life fashioned after her youth and a commitment to living off the land. For the remainder of her life she used a wood cookstove, made her own butter, cottage cheese, soaps, pet food, jams and jellies. Always steadfast in her daily work, she was charitable at heart and lent a helping hand to many.

Velma was a competitive league bowler for 25 years, active in PTA organizations at the children's' schools, active in League of Women Voters and cared for her aging parents. In later life, she was a caretaker for her late eldest son, Andy, who passed away in 1999 and her husband. She was a gardener, enjoyed sewing, quilting, rug making and she loved antiques.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Andy; sons Edward of Locust Grove, Ga., Kenneth of Bossier City, La., and Jeffrey of Stevensville; daughter Linda Nichenko-Randell of Portland; and seven grandchildren.

Private graveside services will be held at Sunnyside Cemetery.

The Whitesitt Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Stevensville is in charge of arrangements.

Bobbie Joe Holland

MISSOULA - Bobbie Joe Holland, 66, of Missoula, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002, at St. Patrick Hospital of natural causes, surrounded by his family.

He was born May 1, 1936, in Gowen, Okla., to John Clifford and Alice Lolli-Holland.

Bobbie married Sally Vitkus in 1956. They had three children; son Robert and daughters Debra and Kim. They later divorced and he married Carol Partney.

Bobbie spent many years working in the mines in Butte. Then he worked on many construction jobs as an ironworker. He later became disabled and spent the remainder of his life doing what he loved most, camping, fishing, enjoying the outdoors and being with his family and friends. He was loved by all and will be I dearly missed.

Bobbie was preceded in death by his father John Holland, his mother Alice Lolli-Holland and his wives, Sally and Carol Holland.

He is survived by his sister, Kathryn (Hank) Haly of Arkansas; his brother, Tommy Holland; his son, Robert (Vonda) Holland of Florida; his daughters, Debra (William) Wood of Missoula and Kim (Mike) Keast of Seattle; eight grandchildren, Jeremy (Lisa) Wood of Utah, Brandy (Kasie) Garner of Missoula, Jessica, Levi and Natausha Holland of Florida, Shawna Keast of Missoula and Madeline and Michaela Keast of Seattle; one great-grandson, Brady Joseph Garner of Missoula; and several nieces and nephews.

A public visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies chapel, at the corner of Reserve St. and Spurgin Road. Cremation will follow.

Terry J. Conway

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Terry J. Conway, 47, of Laramie, Wyo., and former Missoula resident, died Oct. 16, 2002, at her home.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the home of Catherine O'Brien, 269 Millbrook Road in Laramie.

She was born Nov. 12, 1954, in Columbus, Ohio, a daughter to Preston and Betty (Wilson) Conway. She lived in Ohio for four years and then moved with her family to Arizona. She grew up in Tempe, Ariz.

Terry graduated from the University of Montana and lived in Montana for 10 years. She later moved to Georgia and then to Fort Collins, Colo. Two and a half years ago she moved to Laramie.

Her interests included gardening and fishing and she loved animals and the outdoors. She will be remembered as a most giving and generous person.

Survivors include her life companion, Kate Inman, of Laramie; her parents Preston and Betty Conway of Mesa, Ariz; her brother, Robert Conway of Tempe; her sister, Linda Crawford of Las Vegas; and six nieces and nephews.

A memorial fund in her name has been established at the UNIWYO Federal Credit Union, 564 N. 15th St., Laramie, WY 82072 to benefit the Laramie Animal Shelter Foundation, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, and the Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C.

Judith Ann Clark

DEER LODGE - On Oct. 27, 2002, Judith Ann Clark lost her gallant fight against cancer of nearly five years.

Judy was born to Clarence and Rita Bauer of Cherryvale, Kan., on Dec. 21, 1938. She was raised and educated in southeast Kansas and married Gordon "Mickey" Clark on Dec. 1, 1956.

She lived in a variety of locations throughout the Mid-western and Western United States. Her husband served a career in the U.S. Air Force. She was the mother of five children and grandmother to eight grandchildren. She held a variety of jobs in her many locations ranging from bus driver to swimming instructor.

Judy became a permanent resident of Deer Lodge in August 1976. She served as a nurse's aid in the geriatrics ward at Warm Springs State Hospital and most notably as the activities director at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home. Also, for several years she was a volunteer tour guide at the Old Montana Territorial Prison.

Judy was an avid seamstress and became involved in quilting and found lots of solace.

Judy orchestrated the first Relay for Life in Deer Lodge in 2001. Her team, the Turtle Brigade, finished second in donations but avenged their loss with a victory at this year's Relay for Life 2002. Thanks Dewayne Waber!

Faith in God was very important to Judy. In 1998, she had a change of faith as she found comfort in and embraced Judaism.

A memorial service at the Butte Synagogue will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

Judy had a zest for life even during the hard struggles of chemotherapy. She maintained a high spirit and a wonderful outlook on life. She was a dedicated mother and faithful spouse. Her greatest accomplishment was the raising of her children. Those that knew her will miss her dearly and those that didn't truly missed out.

She is survived by her husband; five children, Vicki Uehling of Big Timber, Bruce Clark of Victor, Tony Clark of East Helena, Joe Clark of Fort Hood, Texas, and Mary Clark of Helena; seven grandchildren, Noah Uehling of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nick Uehling of Big Timber, John Clark of Fort Lee, Va., Sara Anderson of Helena and Alexandria, Rachel and Jolissa Clark of Fort Hood; and four brothers, Bill, Mike, Chris and Joe Bauer.

Judy was preceded in death by one grandchild, Andrew Cain Uehling; her parents; and one brother, John Bauer.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Western Montana Clinic and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and the Cancer Support Group.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at Jewell Funeral Home in Deer Lodge.

Memorials can be given to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Betty Jean Eacker

KALISPELL - Betty Jean Eacker, 67, died Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She was born Aug. 4, 1935, in Kalispell, to Daniel and Bessie (Hook) Kauffman.

Following high school graduation she married Robert D. Eacker. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include two daughters, Terry Eacker of Kalispell and Robin Kirkpatrick of Danville, Ill.; three sons, Ron Eacker, Ray Eacker and Michael Eacker, all of Kalispell; sister Ruby Mohn of Hamilton; 12 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Johnson Mortuary. Friends are invited to the Moose Lodge for a reception.

Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory.

Jamie Lou Meuret Shaffer

SPOKANE - Jamie was born on March 8, 1962, and will live forever in the hearts of her loved ones. She passed away on Oct. 25, 2002.

She was raised and attended school in Missoula. She spent some time in Yakima, Wash., and was currently residing in Spokane.

Her humor, her moxie and her genuine compassion touched everyone she knew. She liked things that were so cute, gardening and cobalt blue. She had a ready laugh and a kind, generous heart She was preceded in passing by her eldest daughter, Bridgett M. Meuret; her mother Charlotte Marie Russell and her father James Edward Meuret.

She is survived by Larry LeMoine; her sons, Christopher James Shaffer and Domingo Montana Campos; her daughters, Iris Ann Leland and Lilly Ann Marie LeMoine; her sisters, Roxane Mathewson, Anjeanette Silver and Linda Kay Thomas; her brothers, Thomas Wilfred Meuret and James Edward Meuret; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She will be available for viewing from 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Spokane Cremation and Burial Service, 2832 N. Ruby, in Spokane.

A potluck memorial gathering will be held from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Shiloh Hills Elementary School Cafeteria, 505 East Stonewall Ave. in Spokane.

Services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church, 308 W. Pine St., Missoula. Interment will follow at the Missoula Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will then be held at the Joker's Wild, 4829 N. Reserve St.

A scholarship fund for Jamie's children has been established at Washington Trust Bank, Northgate Branch, 7815 N. Division in Spokane.

Esther Lebsack

LIVINGSTON - Esther (Weideman) Lebsack died on Oct. 24, 2002, of natural causes.

She was born in Grand Island, Neb., on Sept. 20, 1913, to German immigrants (the "Germans from Russia") Henry and Katherine (Hirsch) Weideman. Her mother died in 1918, after which her father remarried and moved the family to Wyoming and later to Montana.

Esther married Daniel Lebsack on Dec. 2, 1932, in Eaton, Colo., where they farmed for some years before moving their family to Montana in 1948. Dan began work for the Northern Pacific Railroad at Clinton near Missoula, and continued after they moved to Livingston in 1954. After coming to Livingston, Esther worked at Wilcoxson's Ice Cream store for years. Dan retired in 1975 and died in Livingston on Jan. 4, 1978.

Besides her husband, Esther was preceded in death by her sons Robert and Stanley Lebsack, daughter Jeannette Robb, her parents, five brothers, three sisters, one stepbrother and two stepsisters. She is survived by eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and several brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.

Esther was a longtime member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Livingston, a 25-year member of the Order of Eastern Star and a past worthy matron of Orient Chapter No. 6 in Livingston. She was a recipient of the Grand Cross of Color for the Order of Rainbow for Girls, was the first president of Park County Senior Citizens and was instrumental in organizing the Livingston Senior Center.

Esther was spunky, quick to smile and warm-hearted. She loved to read and excelled at her beloved word games - Perquackey, Scrabble and Word Search puzzles. We loved it when she cooked her special German cabbage buns and zucchini bread made from her own wonderful gardens. Esther, we are blessed to have known you, we love you, and we will miss you!

Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Friday at Franzen-Davis Mortuary in Livingston, with the Rev. Eric Thorson presiding and Eastern Star ritualistic services. Burial will be at Mountain View Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to any organization of the donor's choice.

John A. Paola

KALISPELL - John A. Paola, 89, passed away at Immanuel Lutheran Home on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002, in Kalispell.

He was born on July 8, 1905, in rural Kalispell, to Peter and Maria (Lozer) Paoli. John was raised in the Creston area and attended the Egan area schools.

He married Jennie Siderius on April 11, 1936, in Missoula, then lived in Bigfork and Kalispell their entire life together. John worked on the WPA project involving the "Going to the Sun Highway."

John had traveled most of the United States including Alaska, as well as Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Mexico. His favorite pastimes were fishing, hunting, gardening and woodcarving.

John was a longtime member of the Eagles and very active in the Bigfork Lions. He was known for his incredible wit, loved to entertain and was a wonderful host.

His parents, wife, one brother, one sister and a grandson preceded John in death.

He is survived by two daughters, Theora "Teddy" and Lauren Granmo of Kalispell and Shirley and Mark Schmidt of Whitefish; three grandchildren, John Granmo of Kent, Wash., Bryon and Adele Granmo of San Diego and Cynthia Granmo of Whitefish; one great-granddaughter, Tyfanie Granmo of Kent; and a special niece, Margaret Engberg of Kalispell.

Graveside services for John will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Glacier Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Mortuary.

The family suggests memorial gifts be given to the Immanuel Lutheran Home, 185 Crestline Ave., Kalispell, MT 59901; or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory.

Leon N. Melton

BIG BEND - Leon N. Melton, 82, of Big Bend, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002, at his home of natural causes.

He was born Jan. 10, 1920, to Twila Clothier Melton and Neal Melton. He attended Big Bend School through the 8th grade.

In 1938, he married Lois Mullis. Lois and Leon had two children, Nadine and Neal. They were married for 50 years. Lois passed away in 1988.

Leon is survived by two children, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He was a 50-year member of the Masons, past president of the Western Montana Stockman and enjoyed calf and team roping.

Friends may pay their respects from 4-8 p.m. Thursday at Shrider's Mortuary in Ronan. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Ronan.

Shrider's Mortuary of Ronan is assisting the family with arrangements.

Thomas J. Nettleton II

LAS VEGAS - Thomas J. "Tom" Nettleton II, 53, died Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002, of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Cemetery.

A full obituary will follow.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home.

George W. Brand

DEER LODGE - Dad was born Jan. 5, 1911, in Gold Creek, to Emma C. Weinrich and August "Gus" Brand. George was raised on the family ranch at Gold Creek, attended grade school in Gold Creek and graduated from Powell County High School in Deer Lodge in 1929.

In the winter of 1936 at age 25, working at the Gold Creek dredge in Pioneer, Dad lost his arm and almost his life.

On July 3, 1941, at Gold Creek, Dad married Mom, Virginia Smollack, of Deer Lodge. They celebrated their 50th anniversary on July 3, 1991, at the home of their son and daughter-in-law.

Rodeos and riding horses were always Dad's loves; riding at Gold Creek, Jens, Drummond and last at Helmville on July 20, 1949, when Mom said "no more." My brother Charles was born that day. He did continue to ride jump for three grandsons. Greg, who also rode saddle bronco.

In 1979, Dad and Mom sold the ranch and bought land north of Deer Lodge where he was able to have a couple of horses for the grandsons, nieces, nephews and anyone else who wanted to come and ride.

Moving to Deer Lodge gave Dad time to gold mine with grandson Bill and son Charles. They also enjoyed hunting together which Charles and Bill still do.

On Jan. 5, 1968, another grandson was born; Gerry spent time at Gold Creek and Deer Lodge learning to weld, horse shoe and boot jacks.

Mom passed away on June 23, 1992. Dad always said he was going across the river to be with Mom. On Oct. 27, 2002, he passed away at Colonial Manor in Deer Lodge.

Also preceding Dad were his parents Gus and Emma Brand of Gold Creek, sister and brother-in-law Louis and Dorothy Brand Donahue of Gold Creek, brother Alois "Al-Loy" Brand of Butte and sister Louise "Dolly" Brand of Deer Lodge.

Surviving are son and daughter-in-law Charles and Carolyn "Lyn" Speck Brand of Deer Lodge; daughter Gayla Brand Mentzer and Richard Hitt of Drummond; sisters-in-law Mrs. Alois "Dorothy Silver" Brand of Butte, Mrs. Bill "Bennie Lee Smollack" Smet of Deer Lodge and Lela Smollack Cain of Deer Lodge; brother-in-law Charles and Tina Smollack of Butte; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Marvel Smollack Johnson of Deer Lodge and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Charlotte Smollack Huss of Deer Lodge; grandsons Gerry and Terry Berg Mentzer of Drummond; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom Dad enjoyed having visit.

Rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Jewell Funeral Home in Deer Lodge. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Conception Church. Burial will follow at Hill Crest Cemetery. Luncheon will be held following services at the Broken Arrow. All are invited to attend.

Memorials may be to the donor's choice or Colonial Manor in Deer Lodge.

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