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Lester C. Melton

ST. REGIS - Lester C. Melton, 87, of St. Regis, passed away on Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Mineral Community Nursing Home in Superior.

He was born on Nov. 7, 1915. During World War II he served in the Army infantry under Gen. George Patton in the European Theater.

On April 3, 1947, he married Lila Lee Bentley in Hardin. The couple lived in Scotts Mills, Ore., and in 1957 moved to St. Regis, where Lester lived since. His wife Lila preceded him in death in 1991.

He is survived by two sons, Lester C. Melton Jr. of Eureka, Calif., and Victor Lee Melton of Phoenix; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Regis Cemetery with the Rev. Tom King officiating. The Ray Welch American Legion Post 13 will provide military graveside rites.

Coffelt-Bunch Funeral Service in Plains is in charge of arrangements.

Gordon Dell and Dolores Dell

YUMA, Ariz. - Husband and wife Gordon Dell, 64, and Dolores Dell, 60, former Flathead Valley residents, died Thursday, May 22, 2003, near Ely, Nev., in an accident.

Gordon was born Oct. 5, 1938, in Flint, Mich. Delores was born Sept. 4, 1942, in Alpena, Mich. They were married in Alpena on Jan. 20, 1962.

Survivors include their children, John Dell of Kalispell and Jennifer Simler of Kamiah, Idaho; grandchildren Zaniel, Devon and Trenton Dell, Ashley Clarke, and Justina and Joelle Simler; Dolores' sister Kay Pitcher of Kalispell; other siblings in Michigan and California; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services are tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Mortuary in Kalispell.

William B. Taylor

HAMILTON - William B. Taylor, 73, of Hamilton, passed away Saturday, May 24, 2003, at his home in Hamilton after a courageous battle with cancer.

William Bernard Taylor was born on June 23, 1929, in Buffalo, N.Y., son of the late Arthur and Sarah Eagan Taylor.

Bill was a gentle, sensitive and intelligent man with a one-of-a-kind sense of humor and will be greatly missed by his loving family.

Survivors include his beloved wife Patricia; four daughters, Anne Landman, Susan Halttunen, Mary Dessanti and Carol Tufts; son Bill Taylor; nine grandchildren; brother Arthur Taylor; and sister Phyllis Pung. Bill also leaves behind his dogs Meeka and Zoey.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister Marian.

No formal services are planned. Private family urn placement will take place at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel.

Loris G. Stanhope

PUYALLUP, Wash. - Loris G. Stanhope, 96, of Puyallup, went home to be with her Lord on Thursday, May 22, 2003, at the Life Care Center in Puyallup.

Loris was born Nov. 11, 1906, in Bethany, Mo., the daughter of the late Curtis and Bertha Thompson Gillilan.

She was 8 years old when her parents filed on a homestead north of Baker. She attended grade schools and high school in and around Baker, working for her room and board while in high school. During the summers she worked on ranches and helped with the younger children at home.

Loris married Franklin Stanhope on Oct. 4, 1923. Five children were born to them in Baker. In 1939 the family moved to the Bitterroot Valley. Loris worked at the Bitterroot Cannery during World War II and then at the Bitterroot Laundry when it was owned by Charles Hartley and then for Glen Mitchel after he purchased it from Mr. Hartley.

In 1961 the couple moved to Pasco, Wash., where their two younger sons lived. Franklin passed away in November of 1961.

Loris worked as a cook for several years until she retired. She moved to the Seattle-Tacoma area when her sons moved there. She lived in an apartment alone until age 93, when she went to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Forrest Cearley, for almost a year. She then lived with her son Darrell and wife Geri Stanhope until June of 2002, at which time she went into the Life Care Center in Puyallup.

She was a wonderful cook and made the best pies. She knitted gloves, mittens, slippers, sweaters, caps and crocheted afghans, doilies and scarves. She was a wonderful mother, grandma, great-grandma and great-great-grandma.

We will miss her cheerful smile, her sense of humor and loving arms. She leaves a big empty space in our lives and hearts.

She leaves to mourn two sons, Darrell and wife Geri of Roy, Wash., and Merle and wife Verna of East Wenatchee, Wash.; daughter Frances Metcalf of Corvallis; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; 40 great-great-grandchildren; brother Dean and sister Ambyr Aldredge, both of Missouri; sister Norma and husband Tommy Mayo of Georgia; sister Roberta Corey and brother Kenneth, both of Colorado; sister Queen and husband Henry Markworth of California; sister Jean and husband Forrest Cearley and sister Peggy Benzing, all of Washington; and special friend Diana Jennings of Puyallup.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her sister Phyllis Cearley; sons Ralph and Orville; daughter-in-law Leona Stanhope; son-in-law Robert Metcalf; three granddaughters; one grandson; and one great-granddaughter.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.

Following the service Loris will be buried next to her husband at Corvallis Cemetery.

Kent Smith

ST. REGIS - Kent Smith, 67, passed away on Friday, May 23, 2003, at his home in St. Regis surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born on Oct. 20, 1935, in Philip, S.D., the son of Buford "Shorty" and Helen Pohle Smith. He grew up in Philip and graduated from Philip High School, where he was active in debate and athletics. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Denver and taught school for two years at Rapid City (S.D.) High School.

On March 18, 1956, he married Gail Ardith Shane in Denver. The couple moved to Great Falls in 1958 and Kent taught at East Junior High School. He received his master's degree in history from the University of Montana.

He was employed by C.M. Russell High School for many years as a teacher and chairman of the history department. He was also supervisor of student government at C.M. Russell until his retirement in 1986. For the next 10 years, he taught history at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the University of Great Falls.

During his career in education, he received many awards and citations including the Dufresne Award and Montana Teacher of the Year Award. While living in Great Falls, Kent was active in the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation and served as a lay minister. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and Great Falls Education Association, and also bowled for many years there.

In 1996 Kent and Gail moved to St. Regis, where he was an active member of the St. Regis United Methodist Church and served as a lay minister. His family was always his greatest love. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and go on fishing and camping trips with his family.

He is survived by his wife Gail of the family home in St. Regis; two daughters, Debbra Diane Guy and husband Robert of Woodinville, Wash., and Lanette Gail Smith-Harmash and husband Robert of Fort Peck; son Douglas Kent Smith and wife Ronetta of Nampa, Idaho; and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the St. Regis United Methodist Church with Pastor Judie Jacobson officiating. Burial will follow at St. Regis Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Partners Hospice and Palliative Care Services, 2687 Palmer St., Suite B, Missoula, MT 59802; or a charity of the donor's choice.

Coffelt-Bunch Funeral Service in Plains is in charge of arrangements.

Elmore Somers Smith

POLSON - Elmore Somers Smith, 91, of Polson, passed away at the Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center on Sunday, May 25, 2003.

Elmore Somers Smith was born to the Rev. C.E. and Clara Belle Smith on May 2, 1912, in Columbia Falls. His mother was born Sept. 11, 1872, in Clay County, Iowa. His father was born in Dickens, Iowa, on April 27, 1871. His father graduated from Upper Iowa University on June 10, 1897. He was ordained in the Methodist Church on Oct. 7, 1901. His charges in Iowa were Brownville, St. Angar, Hamkeye, Frederickburg and Postville. He and his wife Clara Belle Somers met in college.

In 1908, they loaded up the Model T Ford and moved to Columbia Falls.

Elmore is survived by his wife Dorothea; brother Everett Smith of Polson; sister Ethyl Harmon of Choteau; daughter Marlene Howell of Moiese; son Gordon Smith of Somers; three grandchildren, Patti Chevallier of Missoula, Rick Howell of Superior and Lynn Fullerton of Cheyenne, Wyo.; and seven great-granddaughters.

Elmore graduated from Hamilton High School in 1930. He sang in the boys quartet that won third at the State Music Festival. He played saxophone in the school orchestra, and played on the first string in football and basketball for four years.

He graduated from Intermountain Union College in 1934 with a B.A. degree and from the University of Montana with a master's degree in 1942. He was an instructor in the College Training Detachment (CTD) of the Army Air Force during World War II for two years. He taught physics. He taught a total of 40 years: two years at Lavina, two years in CTD and 36 years at Alberton.

He held memberships in the Montana Association of School Administrators, Secondary School Principals and Elementary Principal Association, and a life membership in the Parents Teachers Association. He was a charter member of UM's Phi Delta Kappa.

He helped organize the Alberton Volunteer Fire Department and was its first secretary for four years. Alberton had one telephone - in the restaurant. He went from house to house to raise $50 from 50 subscribers so that the telephone company would establish an exchange in the city. He was assisted in the drive by Harold Cole.

When he came to Alberton, he organized a Boy Scout troop and Cub pack. He was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award in scouting. He was one of several scoutmasters who went to Valley Forge, Pa., to attend the national jamboree in 1952. The Scouts traveled by special train and were gone for 30 days.

The National Pacemaker Award was given to the Alberton School. One school was selected from each of the states for its outstanding program of education and then superintendents from each of the states met in the Hilton Hotel in New York City to receive the award.

Elmore served two years on the Red Cross Board of Directors, two years on the Western Montana Boy Scout Council, seven years on the audio-visual board of the state Department of Public Instruction and 21 years as a church board member in Alberton. He taught Sunday school class and served one year as Sunday school superintendent, seven years as the state chairman of the Advisory Board of Health, 10 years as state chairman to the Northwest Accrediting Association, and five years as a member of the Montana High School Association representing Class C. He was president is fourth year.

He was a member of the Mineral County Search and Rescue Unit. He served three years on the Inland Empire Education Association and was president his second year. He was a certified American Red Cross first aid instructor. He was chairman of a committee that helped write the code of ethics for the School Board Association of Montana.

Elmore was the past master of the Masonic Blue Lodge and past high priest of the Royal Arch Lodge. He received the Degrees of the Scottish Rites and Consistory Rites, Commandry and Shrine Degree. He was awarded the 50-year pin of Masonry. He was associate patron of the Eastern Star at Alberton.

He has many awards from the Forest Service for his work in conservation education. He worked for the Forest Service in the summer for 28 years.

As per his request, no service will be held. Cremation and arrangements are by Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory.

Travis Dolphin

POLSON - Travis Dolphin, 34, of Polson, passed away at his home on Sunday, May 25, 2003, from a long illness.

Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with the Rev. Paul Rowold officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Travis Dolphin Memorial Education Trust Fund, c/o Edward Jones, 302 First St. W., Polson, MT 59860, for the education of Travis' children.

A full obituary will follow.

Cremation and arrangements are by Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory.

Lavon Jay Park

HAMILTON - Lavon Jay Park, 88, of Hamilton, passed away Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.

Jay was born on March 22, 1915, in Carey, Blaine County, Idaho, son of the late Albert Andrew and Ruth Dilworth Park. He spent his early years in Idaho working on several ranches in the area, tending to both sheep and cattle. His love of animals was something he carried throughout his life.

On Oct. 8, 1945, he married Sylvia Erickson in Elko, Nev. Soon after they married, they moved to the Bitterroot Valley, settling on a small farm at Lost Horse Creek and later moving to the Corvallis area, living on the Blodgett-Dye place on Hawker Lane. After 36 years there, they moved to Hamilton, where they have made their home for 14 years.

After arriving in the Bitterroot, Jay soon went to work for the U.S. Forest Service. His experience with animals allowed him to spend his days in the forest with pack strings carrying material and supplies to the various lookouts and other projects. He spent many days building and working on the many trails in the Bitterroot National Forest. He retired after 20 years of service.

Jay, like his parents, was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Survivors include his wife Sylvia of Hamilton; daughter Linda and husband Charles Neal of Whidbey Island, Wash.; son Don and wife Kay of Powell, Wyo.; five grandchildren, Doug and Barbara Neal of Whidbey Island, Darrin and Michelle Neal of Spokane, Amy and Miles Hauer of Seattle, and Andy and J.C. Park, both of Sheridan, Wyo.; and three great-grandchildren, Christopher, Alexander and Rebekah Neal.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Vila and Arvilla, and three brothers, Asael, Dee and Gerald. Jay was the last family member of his generation.

A service will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Hamilton Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Bishop Howard Recht officiating. Interment will follow at Corvallis Cemetery.

Friends may call at the church in the Relief Society Room on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until service time.

Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel.

Pauline Schrade

LIBBY - Pauline Schrade, 90, died on Friday, May 23, at St. John Lutheran Hospital.

Born in Grotzingen, Germany, on Sept. 4, 1912, she was raised and educated there.

She married David Schrade on Feb. 8, 1937, in Grotzingen. Pauline resided in Libby for the past 55 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1972, daughter Irene Bekker in 1998, a brother and two sisters.

Survivors include her son Richard Schrade and his wife Karla of Libby; son-in-law Gerald Bekker of Havre; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be 1-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. John's Lutheran Church followed by interment at the City of Libby Cemetery.

James N. Christensen Jr.

SULA - James N. Christensen Jr., 80, of Sula, passed away Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton.

James was born on Jan. 17, 1923, in Minden, Neb., son of the late James and Mary Jensen Christensen.

Following his high school education, he entered the U.S. Navy and served two enlistments totaling seven years. He began working for the National Park Service in Glacier National Park, and retired after 29 years of service. He was an aerial photographer for the U.S. Forest Service. He helped secure photos of practically every national forest in the Northern Region. He retired in 1973 and enjoyed living in the East Fork area of the Bitterroot.

James enjoyed bowling and was a member of the Moose, Eagles Lodge and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Survivors include his sisters, Betty Crowther of Tehachapi, Calif., and Mildred Prickett of Porterville, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his wife May Yount Christensen on Aug. 25, 1979.

No formal services are planned. Private family urn placement will take place at a later date.

Arrangements are by the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.

the life of: Monday, May 26, 2003; Lester C. Melton, Gordon Dell and Dolores Dell, William B. Taylor, Loris G. Stanhope, Kent Smith, Elmore Somers Smith, Travis Dolphin, Lavon Jay Park, Pauline Schrade, James N. Christensen Jr.
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