MISSOULA — Marjorie “Midge” Elander was born Aug. 20, 1928 in Dwight, Illinois to Norwegian immigrants, Sarah and Peter Paulsen. She passed away gracefully on Dec. 5, 2019. The third of five children, Midge was in the first generation of her family to attend college, earning a degree in business and education at Illinois State Normal University. She met her husband, Jim Elander when teaching in Mazon, Illinois and they commenced their 67 years of marriage in 1952. Jim and Midge raised their two sons in Wheaton, Illinois. When her boys were old enough to stay out of trouble, she returned to work as a junior high typing teacher where she was always an advocate for progressive thinking and equality in education. She retired from a financial accounting position for DuPage County in 1990.
Jim and Midge retired to Missoula in 1992. Midge was an active member of the Missoula community, dedicating her time to the American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, Montana History Club, democratic political candidates and one lively Bunco group. She loved attending MCT plays as well as her granddaughter’s and then great-grandchildren’s events. Midge’s final years were spent living deliberately and independently, near her entire immediate family, and in the company of good friends of all ages.
She will always be remembered for her quiet leadership, playful spirit, sparkling aesthetic and purposeful work to create a more just and peaceful world.
Midge is survived by her husband Jim, brothers Olen (Barbara) Paulsen, and Harold (Irene) Paulsen; sons Eric (Terri) Elander, and Olaf Elander; granddaughter Chelsea (Seth) Bodnar, Rylee Sommers-Flanagan; great-grandchildren Davis, Margaret and Nora as well as many other extended family members for whom she was a loving presence and inspiration.
Midge's final wishes were for those whom she cherished to "keep smiling" and to honor her amazing life not with ceremony or sadness, but instead, with a celebration! A happy hour and sharing of memories will be held Saturday, January 25 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Missoula Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Midge’s name to the S.E.A. Change Initiative at the University of Montana Foundation or MCT (Missoula Community/Children’s Theatre).
MISSOULA — Donald Hiday went to be with the Lord on January 11, 2020. Donald was born on December 3, 1934 to Forrest and Clara Hiday of Missoula. Donald graduated from Missoula County High School in 1953. He served in the Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Donald married his high school sweetheart Beverly Pickens on April 7, 1955. They were blessed with 3 children and were together for nearly 65 years.
Donald, Beverly and family spent many happy years hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles, snowmobiles and four wheelers in the Seeley Lake area. For 30 years the family spent their time at their cabin on the Clearwater River. After retiring from Earl's Distributing, Donald and Beverly built their home in Seeley Lake where they continued to enjoy life in the mountains. The couple moved back to Missoula in 2012. In the fall of 2019, they moved into The Village Senior Residence in Missoula. In their years back in Missoula, they enjoyed attending services at the Christian Life Center with their many friends and family.
Donald is survived by his wife Beverley, sons Chance (Rosanne) of Missoula, Timothy (Valerie) of Polson, and daughter Kimberly Cowan of Basin Wyoming. Donald's pride and joy were his grandchildren and their families. They are Forrest (Miranda), Adam (Emily) and Cassandra Brewer (Nate) of Casper, Wyoming, Alex (Kelly) of Missoula; Brandon (Trisha) of Olney, Amanda Cowan of Billings, and the late Christopher Hiday of Polson. He was also very proud of his great grandchildren Easton, Cole, Jaydyn, Austin, Brantley, Ava, CamBree, Finley, Tucker, Jacob, and Nolan.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents Forrest and Clara Hiday, his brother Robert Hiday, grandson Christopher Hiday and nephew Craig Hiday. At Donald's request there will not be a funeral service. The family will have a celebration of life at a later date.
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colorado — Marvel Weggenman, 81, born on Oct. 20, 1938, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at her daughter's home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Marvel was born in Billings to Francis E. & Marvel A. Lowrance.
She obtained her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Montana in Missoula and her Master's Degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings. Marvel's job after receiving her Master's was in Lewistown where she established the first Head Start program there. Marvel, and her husband Mark, then moved to Helena where she worked for the State of Montana as a Community Organizer. Marvel established a myriad of youth programs including the Attention Home and the Youth Run Away program. These are still in existence today. Marvel loved helping people and as a Rehabilitation Counselor for years she did just that.
Marvel's true passion was caring for injured and orphaned animals and birds. She was the Founder & Director of the Flyaway Wildlife Center for over 40 years. Many people called her the "Bird Lady". She was a very compassionate, nurturing person.
Marvel was a beautiful and caring wife, loving mother, daughter, aunt, sister and great friend. She treasured her green house and enjoyed planting wild flower gardens. She also enjoyed identifying bird species and learning about their habitat. She loved a good murder mystery book and one of her favorite Authors was Rex Stout.
She is survived by her husband, Mark, whom she married Jan. 20, 1974; daughter, Laura (Michael) Troyer; several beloved nieces and nephews and their families, as well as several very special cousins. Her father, Frank Lowrance, her mother, Marvel Lowrance and her sister, Suzanne McCormick, preceded Marvel in death.
Marvel was truly an amazing and interesting woman. She will be deeply missed by family and friends. May the memories of her remain in our hearts. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of her life will be held in Helena, Montana later this summer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials donations may be made to foundationforanimals.org (formerly the Mikal Kellner Foundation). Click "donate" button and it will allow the opportunity to designate in memory of Marvel Weggenman by typing in the message box.
Arrangements are by Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation, Centennial, Colorado. Please visit HoranCares.com to share condolences and memories with the family.
MISSOULA — Faye LaVonne Kuethe, 92, passed away at the Missoula Health and Rehabilitation Center with family by her side on Nov. 26, 2019. Faye was born Feb. 17, 1927 in Waverly, Iowa. At age 20 she married Edgar Kuethe. They had four children: Jolynn, James, Jill and Jacqueline.
Following Edgar's death, Faye lived in Arizona and California before settling in Missoula in the mid-1980s to be close to family. An accomplished seamstress, Faye worked for years doing alterations and custom sewing. She often created her own clothes as well as clothes for her grandchildren. In her later years she split her time between caring for her grandchildren, sewing, shopping, watching westerns on TV and being a Senior Companion.
Faye was preceded in death by Edgar Kuethe, her husband of 23 years, and Jolynn Bates, her eldest daughter. She is survived by her children, James (Maria) Bates, Jill (Tim) Giesler and Jacqueline (Peter) Walther as well as nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Rosetta Assisted Living - Missoula and Missoula Aging Services for their care during the last five years. Thanks also to Missoula Health and Rehabilitation, Hospice of Missoula and the staff at Community Hospital for their care during the final weeks.
MISSOULA — Mark Franklin Wolfe, 61, peacefully passed away of heart failure at Saint Patricks Hospital in Missoula on Dec. 20, 2019. He is predeceased by brother Kevin Kelly Wolfe, father Jefferson Franklin Wolfe, and mother Frances Kelly Wolfe. He is survived by his sisters Karen Wolfe-Dodge (Doug Dodge), and Diane McCormick, nephews Joshua McKay and Jesse Tripp, nieces Adea Wolfe and Celeste McCormick, as well as a great-niece Zaydee Tripp. Mark was born in Missoula July 26, 1958 and graduated from Stevensville High School in 1976.
After high school, Mark began a life of adventure; traveling to Mexico, Central America and Columbia. He lived with the locals, learning their customs, experiencing their food, and living simply; hitchhiking back and forth between these countries and the US for several years.
During his summer travels he was introduced to the rafting community and was hooked. He worked a couple winter seasons at Crested Butte, so that he could ski. In 1981 he landed in Yellowstone and worked late summer through fall. Then he and 4-6 friends headed to Whitefish.
Mark supported himself as a cook, a busboy, and then waiter at Grouse Mountain Lodge. He mastered all the slopes of Big Mountain and much of the surrounding back country. In the summers he spent time on Whitefish Lake in his small sailboat, floating the waters of the Colorado, Selway, Snake, and other western rivers, as well as hiking and camping in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Around 1999 he moved to Polson to take over his parents’ residence. He began carpentry full time. Unfortunately, the demands of his work were hard on his beat-up skiing body. Additionally, the winters were difficult due to damage to his feet and hands caused by hypothermia years earlier when his sailboat capsized. In the end, the years of hard living took their toll. Mark lived life on his own terms.
A celebration of life BBQ/potluck will take place in Polson on July 25. Read details in June on the online website hosted by Garden City Funeral Home at gardencityfh.com/obituary-listing. Additionally, see the website for a slideshow of Mark’s life.
In lieu of flowers please visit one of the following websites if you are 18 years or older and do not have a Living Will. Do this for family members, if not for yourself. It is simple, fast, and some states only require two people to sign as witnesses. It then can go into a database for easy access, and it is free!!! legalhandle.com/living-will-form.html or eforms.com/living-will/
HELENA — It is with great sadness that the family of James C. Olson, 80, announces his passing on Saturday, Jan 4, 2020, in Helena after a battle with dementia.
Jim was born Dec. 18, 1939 to Clifford and Cecilia in Poplar. He graduated from Poplar High School in 1957. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army for over a year and transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves for seven years when he met and married Grace MacDonald from Wolf Point. After being honorably discharged he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Montana State College, Bozeman. In 1984 he moved his family to Missoula where he began his twenty eight year career as a Farmer’s Insurance agent.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Cecilia, and sister Jean. He is survived by his wife Grace of 55 years; his four sons John, Rob (wife Vicki), Rick (wife Megumi), and Scott (wife Maribeth), eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Apple Cooney Rehab of Helena and their incredible Hospice staff.
As per his request there will be no service. Jim's ashes will be spread at meaningful locations throughout the travels of his family.