VICTOR — Donald T. Berkley, 87, of Victor died Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 at his home of natural causes. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel.
Robert W. “Bob” Miller
MISSOULA — Robert W. “Bob” Miller, 94, of Missoula died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at The Village Health And Rehabilitation Center. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory is in care of arrangements.
Kenneth Charles “Ken” McVey
MISSOULA — Kenneth Charles “Ken” McVey, 64, of Missoula died Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 at his residence. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory is in care of arrangements.
Lindsay McLean “Mac” Baskett, M.D.
MISSOULA — Lindsay McLean “Mac” Baskett, M.D., longtime Livingston physician, passed away Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Missoula. Final details of memorial service plans are pending. To share condolences, visit: Franzen-Davis.com.
Loralyn R. Leiby
CORVALLIS — Loralyn R. Leiby, 72, died in the morning, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at the Kalispell Regional Healthcare in Kalispell. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at brothersmortuary.com.
Gisela J. Hood
HAMILTON — Gisela J. Hood, 82, died in the afternoon, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, at her home 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.
MISSOULA — Laura Johnson, 96, of Missoula, died at her home early Monday morning, Jan. 20, 2020. Arrangements are pending and will be announced. Cremation is under the care of Cremation Burial Society of the Rockies.
Marilyn Faye Armstrong
MISSOULA — Marilyn Faye Armstrong, 85, of Missoula died at The Village Health and Rehabilitation on Jan. 19, 2020. Services will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
POLSON — On Jan. 12, 2020, while surrounded by his loving family, Ralph Kain Campbell’s soul discarded his worn-out body and took flight to meet his Lord and rejoin the love of his life in heaven. Born July 29, 1927 in Long Beach, California, he divided the free time of his youth between the beach just a few blocks from home, and his father’s machining business where he witnessed the engineering and manufacture of numerous patented pieces of equipment for California’s booming oil business.
He excelled in school; was a standout on the track team running short-distance races, and as a percussionist, performed in the city symphony and claimed multiple titles in solo snare drum competitions.
In high school, a good friend set up his little sister, Janice Schwarberg, with Ralph on a blind, double date. On the way home, Ralph and Jan were riding in the backseat when their car was T-boned at an intersection. Their heads bonked together with a hearty clunk, but it was their hearts that seriously collided, and they loved each other from that day forth.
Ralph was conscripted into the Marines and based at Camp Pendleton shortly out of high school where he served in the medical corps. After the war he attended Pomona College, just a short drive away from Redlands College where Jan was studying to be an elementary school teacher. They both finished college in 1950, married on Aug. 5, and then made a honeymoon out of driving cross-country to Connecticut where Ralph attended Yale Medical School, specializing in pediatrics. Their first of five children soon followed and Jan devoted herself to raising their family.
Ralph did his residency at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, followed by medical practices in Pomona and Claremont, California, and teaching Pediatric Cardiology at LA Children’s. He has numerous stories to his credit of rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night (in his supercharged Studebaker Avanti, no less!) to care for an ailing infant.
It is no exaggeration to say that he saved several preemies and young children with his keen intuition for diagnosis, and loving devotion — even up all night sometimes performing manual resuscitation before the days of high-tech, mechanized incubators and monitoring systems.
On their annual summer vacation through the West in 1968, Ralph’s family stayed on Flathead Lake on the way to Glacier Park. Ralph was so smitten that he went back the very next spring with his eldest son and bought property. Just two years later he said the heck with the southern California smog and rat-race, and moved his family to a beautiful lakefront orchard on Finley Point.
The Montana chapter of Ralph’s life varied wildly from his suburban California life and he fully embraced it. His job titles ranged from: physician with the BIA, to starting the Lake County Public Health Department where he had the privilege of being the first Lake County Health Officer, to physician at the county jail. As a pediatrician, he was Polson’s first medical specialist and practiced in his own small office in town, as well as his in-home office.
He jumped into the farming business with both feet and the family farm eventually consisted of not only cherries, but a large section of apples, an experimental pear orchard, honeybees, a large vegetable garden, and the most delectable chickens and eggs imaginable! Along with other local growers, Ralph soon saw the need for a more adequate packing facility and became an investor and very instrumental in the establishment of Skidoo Packers, which was built on the south end of his property, presently the site of Flathead Lake Cherry Growers.
He was truly a pioneer in the organic farming business as well, even developing his own organic fertilizer company, Glacier Natural Products, Inc.
Ralph spent any free time he had with numerous volunteering efforts, including: two medical missions with Jan, in Ecuador and Belize, trustee on the district School Board, Secretary of the Montana Board of Pediatrics and numerous volunteer and leadership positions with local churches where he and Jan worshiped. Surely his favorite volunteer position was as percussionist for the pit orchestra with Port Polson Players.
Ralph also enjoyed recreating amongst his beautiful surroundings which he quite vocally marveled about so often — sailing, water-skiing, swimming, tennis, hiking, and keeping up his running skills in local races that he still excelled in even up into his late 60s.
After retiring from medical practice, Ralph poured himself into the field of nutritional science, something he always had a special interest in and so earnestly advocated to his patients. He became a contributing editor for The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and co-authored two books on child nutrition that are presently sold worldwide: The Vitamin Cure for Children and The Vitamin Cure for Infants.
Later in life, Ralph was profoundly changed by his faith in Jesus Christ and often quipped, “You just don’t get it, ‘til you get it!” His life transforming relationship with Jesus inspired him to serve those in need with compassion and, in his last few hours on earth, he couldn’t wait to get to heaven to see his Lord and Savior.
Ralph’s presence throughout his community, and in his family, will be sorely missed, not to mention his knowledge, talents, and extremely clever wit.
Ralph was preceded in death by his best friend and cherished wife of 67 years, Jan, and his beloved son, Ken. He will be missed greatly by his four adult children Claire (Tad), Lucy, Brian (Tricia), and Nancy (David) as well as his many grandchildren whom he adored, Thea (Bob), Samantha (Pete), Jackson, Lindsy, Charlie (Katie), Sean, Ben (Jenny), Jeremy (Nicole), and Anna.
A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held this summer in Polson. In lieu of flowers, Ralph would be honored if you would give a gift in his name to Port Polson Players (MVFA) or The Medical Benevolence Fund (medicalmissions.org). Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.
SEELEY LAKE — Marion L. Brechbill, 92, of Seeley Lake, died Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at the Immanuel Lutheran Home in Kalispell. Funeral Services are Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at 1 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, with visitation from noon to 1 p.m., and interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens. A light reception will follow in the Community Room. See full obituary in Seeley Swan Pathfinder.
POLSON — Hector Speckert, 88, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on Jan. 7, 2020, at the Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was born June 3, 1931, to Otto and Frassie Speckert in Marysville, California.
He grew up in Marysville where his family raised peaches and almonds. As a child he spent much of his time with his cousins and fondly remembered hiking Mount Lassen and riding horses with them. Hector was an avid skier in his youth, a skill he learned from his father, and he even went skiing while in his 70s.
Hector married Carole Bell and joined the Air Force in 1951. They were stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, until 1955. He and Carole later divorced. Hector then married Irmgard Platten in 1957 and moved to the Speckert Ranch on the south shore of Flathead Lake. There he raised potatoes, cherries, cattle and horses. Many people worked for Hector at the ranch over the decades, and if you worked with him for a short time or a few seasons, you always came away with a story to tell. Hector was a thoughtful man and took his time to make decisions, sometimes longer than he should have. He was a talented mechanic who loved attending auctions and over time amassed quite a collection of farm machinery and old cars. In his later years his favorite things were riding around the ranch, spoiling Wiley the corgi with treats and truck rides, and going for milkshakes and ice cream every day.
Hector was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Frassie, and his sister Bernice and her infant daughter. Hector is survived by four children, daughter Delpha (Joe) Henry of Marysville, sons Steven (Lynn) and Michael (Gay) and youngest daughter Susie (Jim) all of Polson. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Chloe and A. J. Henry, and Michael, Sophia, and Meghan Speckert along with extended family.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Polson Community Church located at 1814 First Street East, just south of St. Joseph Hospital. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at thelakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.
RONAN — Kevin Randal Templer Sr. was born Jan. 17, 1955, to Edward and Delores Templer in Billings. He returned to his Heavenly Father on Jan. 15, 2020, at the age of 64. He was the fourth child of nine. Ron, Coleen, Richard, Kevin, Brian, Lee, MaryJane, Cindy and Robert. He is survived by all of his siblings, his wife Arlene Fuqua Templer, two sons, Kevin Randal Templer Jr. and William Edward Templer, along with two daughter-in-laws, Victoria and Melissa. He was blessed with seven grandchildren: Zjani, Jason, Fortino, Sarah, Golden, Gracie, and Mason and two great-grandchildren: Lilith and Raphael. He was also called Grandpa by Shakira and G.J. Burrafato, and was Godfather to Renee Pierre. Kevin is preceded in death by his mother Delores and father Edward.
Kevin graduated from Polson High School in 1973. He joined the Navy right out of high school and was part of the evacuation of Saigon. After the military he returned home where he fell in love with Arlene Fuqua in 1975 and three years later on July 29, 1978, they were married. They moved to Missoula while Kevin attended a vocational school for diesel mechanics, and then moved to Casper, Wyoming, with their 4-month-old son Kevin Jr. Two years into their time there, it was necessary to return home to help his father-in-law, William (Arkie) who had been diagnosed with cancer. Living in the North Crow, at the Templer Cabin, they welcomed their second son William (Billy) and stayed there until a house fire on Dec. 28 and had to leave. After a few years living in Missoula while Arlene was going to school they were able to purchase their first home here in Ronan. Living there for 10 years, it was now time to expand and buy the log home on Hummingbird Lane. This would be his home from 1992 until 2017 when he then moved into the house Billy built on the same 40 acres.
Kevin worked for the City of Ronan from 1982 until his retirement as the public works director in 2012. He also served on the Ronan Fire Dept. for over 20 years, becoming Captain and even turning down the role as chief on a few occasions. As if he wasn’t busy enough with a full-time job, volunteering for the fire dept., raising not only his two sons, along with several other children who wandered onto his baseball field. He also worked on the Pioneer Days committee for over 25 years. After retirement he dove into his love of gardening, where he generously gave the fruits of his labors to all of his friends and family. He loved to be in the dirt, and was blessed with a green thumb that could grow anything.
Sports were his passion, maybe even obsession. He coached baseball for over 15 years. Played softball for many years and was the key figure in facilitating the building of not only the baseball fields in town but also the softball fields by the lagoon. He was a faithful fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even though he was a devout Catholic, Sundays were devoted to football.
Kevin was loved by all who knew him. He worked hard all of his life, even into retirement. He was kind, loving, patient, generous, and always cracked jokes right up to the last day. Our family and this community lost one of the great ones. He will be extremely missed.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at 2 p.m. at the Ronan Community Center. Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at shriderthompson.com. Arrangements are under the care of Shrider-Thompson Funeral Home.