MISSOULA — Vera Myers passed peacefully at her home on Cloverdale Drive in Missoula on Sunday, Feb. 23. She was 93 years old.
Vera was born in Manhattan, Kansas to Philip and Bertha Tozzer on September 14, 1926. After Philip passed away when Vera was only a year old, Bertha and Vera moved to Cincinnati to be close to the Tozzer family.
Vera attended elementary and high school in Cincinnati. She excelled in her studies, and also played on her school’s softball and tennis teams. During high school, she worked as a clerk in a department store and served as a camp counselor in Maine for several summers. After high school, Vera was awarded a merit scholarship to attend Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
After graduation from Bryn Mawr with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she was accepted to graduate school at Ohio State University to study mathematics. In the 1940s, there were few women studying science and mathematics at a graduate school level, and Vera was often the only woman in her classes. Her intelligence and her determination helped her succeed in an era when women were not expected to be earning graduate degrees in mathematics.
At Ohio State, she met her future husband, Bill Myers. Vera first caught Bill’s attention when she was the only student who was able to successfully solve a particularly complicated calculus problem. After Vera graduated from Ohio State with a Master’s degree in mathematics, she and Bill were married at College Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati in 1951.
In 1952, Vera and Bill moved to Missoula to work in the Mathematics Department at the University of Montana. Initially, Vera and Bill lived on Beckwith Avenue, and moved to their current home on Cloverdale Drive in 1956. She and Bill had three sons: Bill, Chuck and Bob.
In addition to raising her three boys, Vera put her education in mathematics to good use and taught at the elementary, high school and university levels for more than 20 years. She also helped support her family with part time jobs, such as delivering the Missoulian newspaper. For many decades, Vera took wonderful care of her extensive flower and vegetable garden, and the multiple trees on the Cloverdale property.
Vera and Bill were avid travelers and loaded the three boys into a Volkswagen camper to explore the world during the summers when school was not is session. One of their first trips was to Europe in the summer of 1969. Vera loved sightseeing in the cities of Europe, as well as hiking throughout the Alps. Bill and Vera enjoyed the history and mountains of Europe so much that they spent a sabbatical year at the University of Geneva, Switzerland in 1973-1974.
After the boys left Missoula for college, Vera and Bill continued their adventures around the globe. Some of Vera’s favorite trips included trekking to the base of Mount Everest, sightseeing throughout Alaska, traveling in Australia and New Zealand, exploring the ancient wonders of Asia, India, and the Middle East, riding camels in Morocco, hiking in Patagonia, afternoon tea at Lake O’Hara in the Canadian Rockies, and visiting wineries in California’s Napa Valley.
When Vera wasn’t traveling, she was very active around Missoula and loved the outdoors. She cross country skied with Bill for several decades, often skiing over 10 miles in a day. Vera and Bill were a constant fixture on the ski trails at Lolo Pass. During the summers, she hiked with her friends on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to enjoy the beauty of Montana’s wilderness. She loved wildflowers and was able to identify many types of plants along the trail. Vera truly appreciated the flora and fauna on every hike and was generous in donating to programs protecting wildlife and nature.
Vera pushed the frontiers for female equality in the challenging decades of the 1960s and 1970s. She was actively involved with the League of Women Voters and was President of the Missoula Chapter for two years. She volunteered in assisting the voting process during Missoula elections. She also loved to play card games and played bridge on a regular basis with several groups of friends. She continued her passion for playing cards well into her 90s.
Vera was also a dedicated community servant. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered at St. Patrick Hospital in the intensive care unit for over a decade. She was always trying to help others in times of need.
Vera was a dedicated mother to her three sons. The respect for others, importance of education, strong work ethic, and the upstanding character and integrity that she passed to her children laid the foundation for their successes later in life. Vera was an extremely generous person and was always willing to spend extra time with students in her office after classroom hours or to assist a neighbor.
Vera’s family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Colette Graham and her family. Colette helped take care of Vera during the last two years of her life and was always an angel at her side. The visiting hospice nurses and personnel were tremendously generous in their kind care and support of Vera. Words cannot convey the extent of the family's thanks to the Missoula Hospice organization, and their efforts to make Vera's last months as comfortable as possible.
Vera will be dearly missed by everyone she touched in her life. Her spirit will always be there on the hiking trails and ski tracks that she frequented in western Montana. Vera's reflection will glow from every wildflower in the wilderness areas she loved. Her calm smile, her passion for helping others, her card playing, and her love for the outdoors will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Vera is preceded in death by her husband, Bill. She is survived by her three sons, and five grandchildren. A celebration of Vera’s life will be held at a future date.
MISSOULA — Albert L. Reitzel, 85, of Missoula, died at his home on Tuesday morning, March 24. Arrangements are pending and will be announced. Cremation is under the care of Cremation Burial Society of the Rockies.
William C. "Bill" Rathburn
FLORENCE — William C. "Bill" Rathburn, 68, died Friday, March 13 at his home in Florence. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com.
Janet M. Rathburn
FLORENCE — Janet M. Rathburn, 62, died Monday, March 23 at St. Patrick Hospital. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com.
MISSOULA — On March 21, 2020, our amazing mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Delores (Dee) went home to heaven in the arms of the angels.
Delores (Dee) Eve Harrison was born on Oct. 24, 1928 in Ipswich, South Dakota to John and Katherine Dosch. She was raised there on a farm with her two brothers and three sisters. She married Emil Hettick on Nov. 27, 1947. Emil and Dee had six children together. The family moved to Missoula in 1958. Emil passed away on May 16, 1970. Soon after Emil's passing, Dee started work at the University of Montana from where she eventually retired.
On July 24, 1971 she married Arnold Harrison in Missoula where they were married until Arnold passed on June 21, 1998.
After years had passed, she reunited with an old friend from South Dakota, Wilfred Kadlec. They spent their time traveling between Ipswich and Missoula, visiting family, as well as taking many vacations and cruises together. They split their time between Missoula and Ipswich until Wilfred passed away on March 8, 2015. Dee then relocated to Missoula to be near her children.
Dee was a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary where she spent many years volunteering for the organization. She was also a member of the Eagles. She was a devoted Catholic and member of St. Anthony's Parish here in Missoula. She spent many years volunteering at Holy Family where she tended to their flower gardens and served meals for gatherings at the church. While she was in Ipswich, she did the same at Holy Cross.
Dee was one of the biggest Montana Grizzly fans you could ever meet. She enjoyed many Griz football games, basketball games, and cheering on the Lady Griz! She also couldn't pass up a good deal and in the summer months, you could find her at garage sales.
If you knew Dee, you knew how much pride she took in her flowers. During her time in South Dakota she was a member of the garden club. She grew some of the most beautiful roses. If it was warm out, you could always find her in her yard, playing in the garden. She always said it came from living on a farm for all those years.
Dee never met a stranger she didn't like. She had so many wonderful friends here in Missoula and in South Dakota who she loved dearly. She loved her family so very much and Grandma Chickee, as she was known for her love of chickens, was a very proud grandmother and great grandmother. Her smile would light up the room anytime she could talk about them.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Don Dosch of Missoula, sister Rita LaVoie of Missoula, sister Gladys Braun of Aberdeen, South Dakota, husbands Emil Hettick and Arnold Harrison of Missoula, companion Wilfred Kadlec from Ipswich, South Dakota, granddaughter Lisa Glass of Missoula, grandson Timothy Wuori of Missoula, and great-grandson Tanner Glass of Missoula.
She is survived by her sons Gary (Joanne) Hettick, Mark (Sari) Hettick, of Missoula, Bob (Melinda) Hettick of Stevensville, Rick (Deb) Hettick of St. Regis, David (Lynn) Hettick of Seward, Alaska; daughter Nancy (Jim) Tribble of Missoula; brother Leroy Dosch of Missoula; sister Carol Heath of Great Falls; 20 grandchildren: Tom (Lynne) Hettick, Koli (Carlos) Morgan, Tim Hettick, Marley Hettick, Matthew Hettick, Michael (Anne) Hettick, Andrew Hettick, Jackie (Mike) Hanneman, Lexi Hettick, Jaiden Hettick, Kyla Hettick, Amanda Martek, Tonya Meier, Brenton Meier, Joey Hettick, Catelynn Hettick, Nicole Hettick, Kristopher Hettick, Peter Hettick, and David Hettick. 13 great grandchildren: Brittany Hettick, Daniel Hettick, Issac Hall, Noah Morgan, Kayli Morgan, Centauri Hettick, Gracie Hettick, Riley Martek, Ayden Western, Alyce Western, Ender Western, Kaylynn Reed, and Jordyn Bird. As well as numerous nieces, nephews, and dear friends here in Missoula and South Dakota.
Our family would like to send our sincere thanks to the Village Health Care Rehab department as well as Beehive Homes in Missoula for taking wonderful care of Dee in her last days. Special thanks to Dan, from St. Anthony's Catholic church for coming to see Dee every Sunday and give her communion.
A private family graveside service will take place and a celebration of Dee's life will take place at St. Anthony's Catholic church this summer (date to be announced).
If desired, memorials may be made by donating to Hospice of Missoula in Dee's honor.
HAMILTON — Joyce Chicoine was born in Fairview in 1930 and was the second child of three to Mildren and Charles Jas. The family lived on a small farm outside of Fairview on the North Dakota side. Her older brother Billy Jas (Florence) passed away a few years ago and her younger brother Ben Jas currently lives in Miles City with his wife Dorie.
She graduated from Fairview High School then moved to Billings with a cousin. While in Billings she met Bill Chicoine on a blind date and they later got married and had five children. Sons: Randal (deceased) lived in Seattle, Washington; Dudley (Chris) lives in Hamilton; Daughters: Joellen (Danny), Leeann and Laure live in California. She has six grandchildren: Kyle (Jeanine), Haley (Weston), Brett (Shannon), Sydney, Jaxson, Jordan. She has one great grandchild Logan Chicoine.
She became a teacher in emergency care for 20 years and later opened a health food deli in San Jose, California before returning to Montana in 1994 to care for her mother and step father. While in Miles City she organized and produced a Bluegrass Festival called "Music on Wings". In 1999 after her parents died, she set out on her own and fulfilled a lifelong dream to travel 13 states and Canada in her minivan. In 2000 she settled in Missoula, MT to be near her son Dudley and family. During this 20 year residency, she became active with WE Productions helping produce the Good News Variety Show for several years. She also was active in TOPS and volunteered with Missoula Aging, St Patrick Hospital and the Missoula Senior Center. For 10 years she was a free-lance writer for the Missoulian writing monthly columns on various topics. Her interests were family, friends, writing, music, traveling, gardening and walking.
She passed away on March 21, 2020 at the Marcus Daly Hospice Center in Hamilton. The family will hold a memorial service in her honor, for all of her family and friends at a future date.
HELENA — Helen P. Sowre, 91, of Helena, died March 13, 2020. No Services are planned at this time. Please visit aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Helen.
MISSOULA — John Corkran, 69, of Missoula died at St. Patrick Hospital. Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
Helen "Joyce" Chicoine
MISSOULA — Helen "Joyce" Chicoine, 89, died in the afternoon, Saturday, March 21, 2020, at the Marcus Daly Hospice Center in Hamilton. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at brothersmortuary.com.
Gordon R. Lemon
MISSOULA — Gordon R. Lemon, 69, of Missoula, died at his home Friday morning, March 20, 2020. Arrangements are pending and will be announced. Cremation is under the care of Cremation Burial Society of the Rockies.
Delores E. Harrison
MISSOULA — Delores E. Harrison, 91, of Missoula died on Saturday, March 21, 2020. A full obituary will follow. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
SUPERIOR — Paulette Seymour, 75, of Superior, died at St. Patrick Hospital on Monday morning, March 23, 2020. Arrangements are pending and will be announced. Services are under the care of Cremation Burial Society of the Rockies.
Virginia "Gin" Deneve
FLORENCE — Virginia "Gin" Deneve, 69, died Friday March 20 at her home in Florence with her husband by her side. Whitesitt Funeral home is assisting the family.
Bonnie Jean McDonald
MISSOULA — Bonnie Jean McDonald, 67, died at St. Patrick Hospital on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
MISSOULA — Harvey John Duffy (Red) passed away March 13, 2020 of natural causes. He was born on Sept. 26, 1952 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, son of Jerry and Bonnie Duffy (Sanders) of Missoula. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Georgia (Bison). Harvey is survived by his siblings, Debbie (Khanh) Tran of Missoula, Dawn Geiger (Duffy) and her partner, Bob Michalson of Stevensville, Jay Duffy and wife Jane Duffy of Missoula, Mark Duffy, Missoula, Anthony (Tony) Duffy of Lolo and Brenda Duffy of Lolo.
Harvey’s family would like to extend their gratitude and thanks to Missoula Health and Rehab and all of the staff for their caring and compassion during Harvey’s years there and during his illness. So many dedicated caregivers, nurses and doctors giving him special care everyday!
Harvey was a Veteran and was very proud of it and talked about it a lot. We will miss him, his pranks and his wonderful sense of humor. Love from all of us! A memorial will be announced at a later date.
The Rockies Funeral and Crematory are assisting the family with arrangements.