MISSOULA — Janice A. Bowen, 98, died in the morning, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at the St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at brothersmortuary.com.
Norma L. (Smith) Wirgau
HAMILTON — Norma L. (Smith) Wirgau died at the Valley View Estates in Hamilton on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at brothersmortuary.com.
Marjorie “Midge” Elander
MISSOULA — Marjorie “Midge” Elander, 91, of Missoula died Dec. 5, 2019 at Community Medical Center. A happy hour party is being planned and will be announced in a full obituary. Garden City Funeral Home is assisting with the cremation arrangements.
Robert A. Semple
HAMILTON — Robert A. Semple, 57, of Hamilton died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 of natural causes. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel.
MISSOULA — Richard Hunt, 94, of Missoula, died at his home on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. Cremation is under the care of Cremation Burial Society of the Rockies. Condolences for the family may be left at www.cremationburialsocietyoftherockies.com
Clyde N. Bakker
MISSOULA — Clyde N. Bakker, 97, of Missoula died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at his residence. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery is assisting the family.
Mary Ann Velin
MISSOULA — Mary Ann Velin, 88, of Missoula, died at Hillside Manor on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. Arrangements are pending and will be announced. Condolences to the family may be sent to cremationburialsocietyoftherockies.com
John W. Appelt
HUSON — John W. Appelt, 78, of Huson died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at St. Patrick Hospital. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery is assisting the family with arrangements.
POLSON — Donna Marie Lovich Rowold passed, as she said, “from the arms of a loving family to the arms of a loving Savior” on Dec. 5 in Polson. Born in Lorain, Ohio, on Oct. 4, 1952, she attended Concordia Junior College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Education degree.
Having met Paul Rowold in Ann Arbor, they married in 1975. Donna taught grade school in St. Louis while Paul attended Christ Seminary-Seminex. They moved to serve Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois, following seminary graduation in 1978, and then to Englewood, Colorado, in 1986, where they served at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. During these years Donna gave birth to three daughters: Faith Allen (husband Shawn) now in New York City, Katherine Rowold (husband Elias) in Polson, and Stephanie Haines (husband Cory) in Missoula.
During their 20 years at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Polson (1996-2017) Donna served as Minister of Music, organist and choir director. She made many contributions to Polson civic life, including directing the mass choirs of Palm Sunday Choral Festivals and co-founding the Flathead Flute Choir. Donna and Paul’s commitment to the Christian community in Palestine saw them lead numerous groups to the Holy Land.
Donna is survived by husband Paul, three daughters, two grandchildren, mother Betty Lovich and brother David Lovich (wife Dainty) of Atlanta, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Ronan. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Bright Stars of Bethlehem, Mission Valley Friends of the Arts, or Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at thelakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.
MISSOULA — Wayne Arthur Hedman, 80, passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday, Dec. 2, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in August 2018, he enjoyed a year of apparent remission until the disease returned unexpectedly, and with a quick vengeance.
Wayne was born in Whitefish on Jan. 25, 1939. As the sixth of seven children, his youth and early adult years were spent in happy if austere conditions. He enjoyed the outdoors and horses, music and sports. He worked summers and post-high school years as a log sawyer and on the railroad. He graduated from Whitefish High School in 1957.
In pursuit of less physically-trying work, he enrolled in the Pharmacy School at the University of Montana, and graduated in 1965.
Wayne married Helen Louise Lewis in 1961. They had a son, Nathan Lane in 1962, and a daughter, Whitney Claire in 1969.
After graduation from the University, he worked for four years at Ross Rexall Drug in Sandpoint, Idaho. Wayne and Helen came to Hamilton in 1969, where they purchased Bob Hall’s Bitter Root Drug. Through much work, foresight and determination, he brought a neglected, sleepy business to life, and created a thriving Main Street anchor business. He had a wonderful group of employees which were like family. Wayne loved people, and made his customers feel welcome from the moment they entered the front door, greeting them in his booming voice, and inviting them to sit for a cup of joe. His ability to remember names and faces was amazing. His handshakes and hugs were distributed liberally.
A key component to Wayne’s community involvement was his inexhaustible enthusiasm for volunteerism. He was active in numerous organizations — the Lion’s Club, Elks’ Club, Chamber of Commerce, Trapper Creek Job Corps, Resource Advisory Council, Montana Forest Restoration Committee, Bitter Root Land Trust, Bitter Root Historical Society/Museum, and countless others. He enjoyed the outreach process, and encouraged others to follow suit. He believed it was his responsibility to the town where he made a living.
As much as Wayne adored people and the public eye, he found his peace in the woods, on the riverbanks, atop mountains, and with his menagerie of furry family members. He was a lover of all animals, wild and domestic, and surely had quite a welcoming committee to greet him at the Rainbow Bridge.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Edena Hedman, a sister, Barbara, and older brother, Cleave. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Helen Louise, son, Nathan (of Spokane, Washington), and daughter, Whitney (of Hamilton and New York City). He is also survived by siblings, D. Eugene, of Whitefish, Allan, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, sisters Carol and Joyce, of Whitefish. He has a large and loving network of extended family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to extend thanks and appreciation to the numerous friends who have supported him during his illness, and the compassionate caregivers at St. Patrick Hospital ICU and fifth floor. We will be forever grateful for your generosity of time and spirit.
There will be a Celebration of Life in the spring. Please consider donations in his honor to the Bitter Root Historical Society, Fox Hollow Animal Project, or to the philanthropy of your choice
WEST RIVERSIDE — Merle Ernest Clizbe, 82, of West Riverside, passed away peacefully in his home with family by his side, Dec. 5, 2019, of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Merle was born on March 2, 1937, to Willis and Mary Ellen Clizbe, in Mount Vernon, Washington. Merle married Annette Louise Young in 1954 and raised six boys together until 1985 when they divorced. On Sept. 2, 1986, Merle met Patricia Ann McLelland and they spent 34 years together, enjoying each other's company and in their retirement, traveling the United States meeting and making new friends along the way.
Merle had many dear friends and acquaintances in his life.
Merle started driving trucks at the age of 17 until his retirement at 73 years old. He loved all aspects of truck driving including logging trucks, long haul trucking, tankers and heavy haul trucking. He was known for his good work ethic. Merle won numerous safety awards and Driver of the Year for the state of Montana.
He was an avid gun enthusiast and collector, he loved power parachute flying, motorcycles, four wheeling, dirt bikes, snowmobiling, fishing, varmint hunting, airplanes, traveling and his favorite pal and side kick, Tilley.
Merle was very proud of the fact that his six boys are all successful, hard working and good providers for their families.
Merle is preceded in death by his parents, Willis and Mary Ellen Clizbe.
He is survived by his wife, in their home, Patricia Clizbe. Son, Kenneth Clizbe (Bonnie) Florida; Son, Richard Clizbe (Sandy) Washington; Son, Russell Clizbe (Susie), Missoula; Son, Tony Clizbe (Lorrie) Alberta, Canada; Son, Dan Clizbe (Becky) Arlee; Son, Dale Clizbe (Tina), Massachussetts; Stepson, Michael McLelland (Jennifer), Washington, and sister Laurel Jacobs, Washington. 19 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren with one on the way, one great great grandchild with one on the way, and many neices and nephews.
A special thank you to the Partner's Hospice Staff, Dr. Chet Wright, Dr. Michael Snyder, and St. Patrick's Onocology/Radition Staff.
HELENA — Sally was born in Missoula on Jan. 12, 1950, to Emory and Lorraine (Stahl) Wamsley and died Dec. 6, 2019, of cancer.
She attended grade school, Hellgate High School, and the University of Montana in Missoula.
Sally married Wayne Seiller and they moved to Helena. The marriage produced two children, Jason and Chelsea. The marriage later ended in divorce. Sally remained in Helena for the rest of her life.
A favorite part of Sally’s life included the years she was a stay-at-home mom. She loved spending time with her children and decorating her home for the holidays. Sally was an amazing artist who was consistently recognized for her skill and imagination. Throughout her life, she dabbled in many mediums and most recently, she enjoyed making books and covering them with clay covers.
Later in life Sally worked at Safeway. The friends she made there were very special to her.
Sally is survived by her children Jason Seiller of Helena and Chelsea Seiller of Tennessee. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Sandy and Paul Evenson of Missoula as well as several grandchildren.
Per Sally’s wishes there will be no funeral.
The family would like to thank Dr. Thomas Weiner and the entire oncology staff at St. Peter’s Hospital for their loving and expert care as Sally battled this dreaded disease for many years. Thank you also to Compassus Hospice, Jitana Bagomolny, Terrie Trettenbach and the many others who assisted with Sally’s care coordination.
Most especially, the family would like to thank Sally’s lifelong friends, Marian Collins and Marcia Graybeal, who made sure that Sally could remain at home and in touch with those she loved at the end of her life. Their care, love and strength not only surpassed any definition of friendship but also eased the pain and sorrow of Sally’s family members, especially those who live far away.
We miss Sally every day. We love her and find it difficult to think of this world without her. Rest in peace dear mom, sister and friend. We will meet again.
MISSOULA — Pamela Lynn Hoppe was born on Feb. 2, 1959, in Peoria, Illinois, to James and Mary Jo Hoppe. She entered heaven surrounded by her loving family at her son and daughter-in-law's home on Dec. 4, 2019, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.
Pam was the best mom, grammy, sister, friend, and preschool teacher ever. Her unconditional love for children was immeasurable. Her smile would light up the room, her love sparkled bright in her eyes and was always felt in the warmth of her hugs. She had an undaunted faith in God and truly loved all of God's children unconditionally.
The viewing will be held at Garden City Funeral Home on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. and will be followed by the Celebration of Life at 10:30 a.m. Please bring a written memory of Pam. In lieu of flowers, please bring a teddy bear which will be given to a child in memory of Pam. See Pamela Hoppe's Facebook page for a full obituary.
MISSOULA — Robert “Bob” Joseph Williams, 67, of Missoula passed away of cardiac arrest Nov. 28, 2019 in his home. Bob was born in Butte to Joseph and Joyce Williams. The third of seven children, and as the eldest son always took on responsibility but kept the fun and energy in every aspect of family life.
He grew up in Butte and was part of the Butte High School band. He could always be pointed out carrying the tuba with the dent or marching the wrong way at one particular football game. After high school graduation in 1970, Bob enlisted in the Navy and for most of his service was aboard the USS Coral Sea. He had many Navy stories, most especially about time served in the Philippines, Australia, and Vietnam. He was on the Coral Sea as it undertook the mission to help evacuate Saigon.
After his military service he returned home and married the love of his life, Judy Noel McDonough on July 17, 1978. Together they lived in Missoula and raised four wonderful children. Bob worked at the University of Montana for 27 years. He retired as the Custodial Supervisor of Residence Life in 2004. He was well known by the students and staff that lovingly called him “Sweet Ol’ Bob,” or SOB for short.
He was an active member in the Missoula Lion’s Club and was always busy organizing an event with his staff at the U of M. Whether it was planning the homecoming float; cooking two giant turkeys for a Thanksgiving feast for the dorms; grilling burgers and dogs for a summer BBQ; or just helping with the end of semester cleanout, Bob always loved helping out. He was a great cheerleader for his staff and was known to be quite the prankster at times.
As his children grew, Bob volunteered as a coach on their Little League, baseball, and softball teams. He ensured that they each did well in school and encouraged each of them to pursue what they were interested in whether it was video gaming and computers, journalism and teaching, or just being the funniest person in the room.
Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle. He always found a way to spoil his grandkids. He took them to swimming lessons, bought the fun (loudest) toys, and used any excuse to send them money to spend on whatever they wanted.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Judy Williams; daughter, Meghan Williams; parents, Joseph and Joyce Williams; sister Joellen “Peaches” Loch; nephew, Brent Rickert; niece Sara Loch; and brother-in-law Joseph Menicucci. Bob is survived by his sons Gabriel (Amy) Williams, Salem, Oregon; Zachary (Paige) Williams; Missoula; his daughter Loretta (Scott) Kane, Missoula; his grandchildren Courtney and Kolter Kane, Missoula; Harper and Finn Williams, Salem Ore.; his sisters, Karen (John) Rickert, Belgrade; Kris Menicicci, Belgrade; brothers Joseph (Lori) Williams, Helena; James (Cheri) Williams, Butte; Tom Williams, Ore., and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles that he loved so dearly.
Graveside service is at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Missoula on Dec. 11, 2019, at 2 p.m. There will be a reception following in the Burns Street Center, Missoula from 4-8 p.m. Cards and thoughts may be sent to the Williams Family at 321 West Spruce Street #1, Missoula, MT 59802.
MISSOULA — Peggy Ann Monaco, 80, of Missoula passed away on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.
Born Nov. 6, 1939, she was the daughter of the late Floyd Wisherd and Harriet Cary.
She is survived by the love of her life Ron Merritt; three children, Cary Monaco and wife Ronnie of Chandler, Oklahoma, Kurt Monaco and wife Robin of Lolo, Cassie Monaco and husband Christopher Camut of Whitefish, two step-children Dan Merritt of Missoula, Rhonda Trickel and husband Chris of Lolo; 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; four sisters Shirley Horstman, Linda Stine, Nancy Ortiz and Carol Kover.
Peggy Monaco was a life-long resident of Missoula. Peggy was well known and loved by many in Missoula from her many years of dedication at the 93 Stop and Go and Walmart. Peggy's kind and humble nature, along with her infectious laughter, are what was embraced by many.
The family would like to express gratitude to St. Patrick Hospital and Dr. Stephanie Welch for the exceptional care, effort, and compassion they gave Peggy in her last days.
A celebration of Peggy's life will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at The Fraternal Order of Eagles 2420 South Ave W. Missoula.
LIBBY — Fred Nelson, 91, longtime Montana music educator and Missoula resident, died Thursday, Dec. 5 at Libby.
Fred was born Nov. 28, 1928 at Kalispell to Raymond Nelson and Martha O’Brien Nelson. He and his sister Evelyn attended grade school at Kalispell. At the time of their mother’s death in 1940, the family moved to Polson and then to Anaconda where he attended junior high and high school, graduating from Anaconda High in 1947.
Following high school, he worked at the Anaconda Company Smelter and later, for the BA&P (Butte Anaconda Pacific) Railroad and, being an excellent trumpet player, played numerous dance jobs throughout the area. Following his lifelong passion for music, he enrolled at the University of Montana in 1948 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. During his earlier musical foray in high school, he noticed the piano player in the dance band, a pretty Anaconda girl named Marlene Murray. They were married on St. Patrick’s Day 1951 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Missoula; this loving relationship would last for 61 years until her death in 2012.
They remained in Missoula where Fred finished his degree and worked part-time for the Montgomery Ward company. He also had a dance band (The Moon Moods) that was well known throughout the Missoula area. Fred and the band’s drummer Mel Rice would remain lifelong friends.
He served in the U.S. Army, serving stateside and overseas in Japan with the post-WWII occupational forces. Following his discharge from active duty in 1954, he accepted his first teaching job as band director at Polson Public Schools. During this time, he also earned his Master's Degree from U of M.
He came to Libby in 1957, accepting the position as director of bands and music department supervisor for Libby Public Schools. He remained there during a period of student growth years with baby boomers and the influx from Libby Dam construction. During this time, Libby became a Class AA school with student participation in music growing from 50 to nearly 500 students.
In the fall of 1971 he returned to Missoula, accepting the position as director of bands at Sentinel High School, continuing his passion for teaching music until retiring in June of 1987. He remained in Missoula where he was employed by Morgenroth Music Center as a sales representative throughout western Montana. He stayed actively involved in music education as guest conductor and adjudicator at many music festivals throughout the area and, for many years, as a private music teacher. He and Marlene enjoyed traveling both here and abroad during this time, much of it with good friends Mel and Charlotte Rice.
In the later 1980’s Fred, along with several other alumni of the UM School of Fine Arts, founded the U of M Alumni Band which remains a very large part of every homecoming celebration.
In November of 2013, he married Karina Hatch; they enjoyed dancing, traveling and many other adventures until her death in October of 2016. During his later years, he enjoyed residing at Grizzly Peak and the wonderful friendships he had with all who resided there.
Throughout his life, he remained a doting grandfather to Dale, Chris, Lisa, Jennifer, Caitlyn, Lindsey and Eduardo and great- grandfather to Lauren, Jesse, Eric, Isaiah, Zoey, Sophia and Sophie.
He was preceded in death by his wives and his sister Evelyn in 2012. Surviving him are his sons, Niles Nelson and wife Bobbie of Libby; Dale Nelson of Polson; and Grant Nelson and wife Marybeth of El Cajon, California.
A visitation for former students and friends in Libby will be Wednesday (12-11) from 3-8 p.m. at the Schnackenberg Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be Friday (12-13) at 11 a.m. at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula with a reception immediately following in the funeral home hospitality center. Committal service will follow at 2 p.m. at Missoula Cemetery. Condolences and memories may be shared online by visiting schnackenbergfh.com (in Libby) or gardencityfh.com (in Missoula).