John Bernard 'Buck' Spooner
LEWISTON, Idaho - John Bernard "Buck" Spooner, 55, of Lewiston, passed away at his home with family and friends at his side on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004. John succumbed to cancer after a long and courageous battle lasting 10 years.
He was born Oct. 25, 1948, to Orville Lee and Lucile Patricia Ryan Spooner in Missoula. At age 9, John moved with his family to Clinton, where he and his seven brothers and sisters helped mom and dad on the family ranch. He was educated in Seeley Lake and Clinton public schools and later attended Hellgate High School.
John spent most of his working years in the timber industry. His first job was as a choker setter for Anaconda Industries at the age of 18 in the Missoula-Bonner area. Anaconda became U.S. Plywood and then changed to Champion International while John remained employed there for over 20 years.
When Champion closed its operations in the Missoula area John went to work as a dynamite specialist (powder monkey) for four years before going to work at Granger Co. at the Port of Wilma in Clarkston, Wash. He remained with Granger until his illness forced him to stop working.
John married Judy MacArthur in 1969 in Missoula. Four children were born to that union: Jeanna, Janet, John Jr. and Julie. The couple later divorced.
John then met and married Carole Bilyeu-Shuey after a 14-yearlong romance. John became a stepfather to Carole's three children, John, Jinny and Joey. Their union produced twin sons that did not survive infancy. John and Carole made their home in Lewiston for the last 15 years.
John dearly loved life and all it had to offer. His rich sense of humor never deserted him, even under the most trying conditions. John's life was a celebration and celebrate, he did. He found happiness at times when many would think there was little to enjoy. His smile and husky laugh were ever present and served as a platform that friends and family members could rely on in their own times of need.
The hallmark of John's life was his ability to find beauty in everything. John also loved and greatly enjoyed the outdoors. Every day lived and every hour worked was done in eager anticipation of the next campfire, four-wheeler ride, fishing trip or hunting experience.
John was determined to hunt this last season even though his health was quite compromised. The season, like John's life, was a great success, as he harvested a bull elk, which has now sadly become the last of many.
John succeeded in many of life's areas but his greatest accomplishments were as a loving husband and devoted father.
Survivors include his wife Carole at the family home; his parents Orville and Lucille Spooner of Clinton; his sisters, Mary Hettick and her husband Ed of Missoula, Barbara Moore and her husband John of Frenchtown and Brenda Spooner of Billings; his brothers, Russell Spooner and his wife Penny of Pierce, Idaho, Steve Spooner of Ronan and James Spooner and his wife Denise of Missoula; his children, Jeanna MacArthur, Janet Spooner, Julie Bagley and her husband Joshua and John Spooner Jr. and his wife Jeannie, all of Missoula; his father-in-law and friend, Francis Bilyeu of Missoula; his stepchildren, John Shuey and his wife Pat of Port Orchard, Wash., Jinny Berdine and her husband Dean "Les" of Missoula and Joey Shuey of Lewiston; numerous nieces and nephews; 19 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and Jessie Burns, a trusted and cherished friend and neighbor of many years
Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, with rosary being recited at 6 p.m., at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Sunset Memorial Cemetery immediately following the services.
Pallbearers will be Steve Spooner, James Spooner, Russell Spooner, Mary Hettick, Barbara Moore and Brenda Spooner. Honorary pallbearers will be Joey Shuey, John Shuey, Dean Berdine, Bill Spooner, Robert Bilyeu, Robert Pearson, Francis Bilyeu and Jerry Wilson.
Family and friends are cordially invited to attend a reception at Garden City Funeral Home after the graveside services, to reminisce about John and his many escapades. (I miss you Baby, C.)
Beryl McKinney Nelsen
LONGVIEW, Wash. - Beryl McKinney Nelsen, 84, died in Longview, Wash., on Nov. 4, 2003.
She was born July 9, 1919, in Darby to Terry and Grace McKinney.
Her husband Q.B. Nelsen preceded her in death on March 15, 2003.
Survivors include her brother, Merle McKinney of Hamilton; nephews Gordon McKinney of Darby and Larry McKinney of Salt Lake City; daughter Terry Williams of Longview and son Randy Nelsen of Carmichael, Calif.; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is greatly missed.
Raymond F. Wagner
RAVALLI - Raymond F. Wagner and his best buddy, his little beagle dog, passed away together in a car accident near Dixon on Monday, Jan. 12, 2004. Some of the color faded out of Ravalli that day.
He was born Aug. 28, 1921, in Forsyth to Harley Wagner and Monta Rhodes Wagner.
He came to the Dixon area as a young man and worked at the Green Mountain Mine on Revais Creek.
Ray joined the Navy in 1942 and was discharged in 1946. His service was spent primarily aboard the USS Saratoga.
He married Rose Palin in 1947. In the early '50s they purchased the Four Star Bar in Ravalli and operated it for approximately 30 years. This marriage ended in divorce but they remained dear friends.
Ray was a generous person and was always trying to help someone if they were in need or not!
He was an accomplished heavy equipment operator and enjoyed his trade.
Ray loved to play the board game Gimme Five with anyone who would play. You could say he was a serious player - he would play for hours and did not like to lose.
He loved auctions. There was nothing more fun to him than looking through the boxes of goodies he bought to see what treasures he could find. He enjoyed having yard sales in spite of all the hard work that went with it, knowing he had to make room for the stuff from the next auction he went to.
Always anxious to learn new things, he was a budding astronomer and member of the Mission Valley Astronomy Club. Ray enjoyed cookouts and sitting around a campfire telling stories of the old days and reciting old-time Western poetry. His favorite was "The Cremation of Sam McGee."
He enjoyed taking people gold-panning and watching people find gold nuggets in their pan that they didn't know he had put in there. He always wanted to make sure they found something. Ray also loved to dance and attend accordion jamborees.
He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his sister, Doris Moe of Hamilton; brothers Harold Wagner and wife Rita of Stevensville and Warren Wagner of Yakima, Wash.; two sons, Shannon Wagner of Dixon and Ken Wagner of the Seattle area; grandson Steven Wagner of Dixon; and great-grandson Byron Carpentier of St. Ignatius, whom he dearly loved.
Ray requested no formal services. Cremation has taken place. In the spring, his ashes will be buried in the Wagner family plot in Hamilton.
There will be a celebration of life gathering and dinner for all friends and family from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Dixon Senior Center.
Memorials or donations may be made to the Dixon Senior Center and/or the St. Ignatius Senior Center.
Wayne W. Robbe
EUREKA - Wayne W. Robbe, 73, of Eureka, died Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004, of natural causes at his daughter's home in Spokane.
Survivors include daughter Deborah Kaufman of Spokane; three sons, Mark Robbe of Spokane, Clyde Robbe of Butte and Gregory Robbe of Fairbanks, Alaska; two sisters, Lois Stroud of Eureka and Irene Turner of Canby, Ore., a brother, Almarion Robbe of Des Moines, Wash.; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the First Baptist Church in Eureka.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson & Vial Funeral Home in Eureka.
Edna M. Arhart
KALISPELL - Edna M. Arhart, 91, died Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, at the Immanuel Lutheran Home.
She was born March 18, 1912, in Woonsocket, S.D., to Theodore and Minnie (Luker) Feistner.
She married Paul Arhart on Jan. 19, 1939, in Lane, S.D. She was preceded her in death by her husband and sons Dale and Lloyd.
Survivors include daughter Carol Blake of Kalispell; three brothers in South Dakota; 10 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Services will be 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church with visitation an hour prior to services. Graveside services will be Tuesday at Fairview Cemetery in Lane, S.D.
Johnson Mortuary and Crematory is in charge of local arrangements.
William E. Burditt
MISSOULA - William E. Burditt passed away on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, due to complications of multiple sclerosis at the Fort Harrison Veterans Affairs Hospital in Helena.
Bill was born in Missoula on April 7, 1954, to Roy and Margaret (Solum) Burditt. Bill was raised in Missoula where he attended Franklin Grade School and Hellgate High School. He loved music and played several instruments including trombone, trumpet and tuba. He participated in grade school and high school band as well as jazz, pep, concert and marching bands.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1972 and served for 20 years.
Bill married Sherryl Rall on Nov. 24, 1972, and they spent many years living in California at the Naval Air Station Lemoore and Naval Weapons Center China Lake. He retired as air maintenance hydraulics chief. Following his retirement, Bill and his family returned to Missoula and enjoyed time with their extended families.
Special interests of Bill's have included drag racing, hunting, football, baseball and darts.
He was preceded in death by his father Roy Burditt and his nephew, Christopher Anderson.
Bill is survived by his wife Sherryl; his son, Richard Burditt, daughter-in-law Tina and their children Connor and Jacob; son Mathew Burditt; and daughter Aleesha Burditt of Minneapolis and her fiance Gibbran Lokeh.
He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Caroline Mendes; his mother Margaret; his sisters, Bonnie Donahue, Bette Jeanne (Ray) Brush and Barbara Jo (Shaun) Des Jardins; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at Garden City Funeral Home. The service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the same location. Burial with military honors will be at Missoula Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Eagles Lodge.
The family suggests memorials in Bill's name to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS Support Group, Missoula, in care of Nancy Good, 2006 Humble Road, Missoula, MT 59804.
Vera Grace Mercer
NOXON - Vera Grace Mercer, 70, of Noxon, passed away in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004.
Memorial services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Noxon Methodist Church. Dr. Mark Wendle will officiate.
Vera was born in Bloomington, Neb., on Aug. 27, 1933, and moved to the Yakima Valley of Washington in 1940. In 1949, she moved to Heron and married Ronald "Dude" Mercer on Oct. 3, 1950, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
She and "Dude" made their home in Noxon for their 53 years of marriage. She was a helping hand to many, helping with family and community projects. She enjoyed crocheting for her family and friends.
Vera is survived by her husband Ronald "Dude" Mercer of Noxon; three children, Bryan Mercer, George Mercer and Ronelle Helmbrecht, all of Noxon; three grandchildren, Jason of Salt Lake City, Kristina of Harpers Valley, W.Va., and Aaron of Noxon; seven great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Norma Riddle of Naches, Wash., and Darlene Gardner of Franklin, Neb.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Allen; five brothers; and one sister.
Arrangements are under the direction of Coffelt-Bunch Funeral Service of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Mabel Lenore Poston
KALISPELL - Mabel Lenore Poston, 98, died Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, at the Brendan House.
She was born April 30, 1905, near Georgetown, Minn., to Sivert and Anna (Strem) Iverson.
Mabel married Howard J. Poston in 1935. He preceded her in death in 1980.
Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Barron of Kalispell; son Michael Poston of Rockville, Md.; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at Johnson Mortuary, with visitation from 9 a.m. until service time. Burial will follow at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery.