RONAN - Ken Sagmiller, 73, of Ronan, died Monday, April 21, 2003, at his home after a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Ken was born to John and Matilda Sagmiller on July 12, 1929, in Hazen, N.D. He lived there with his family throughout the Depression, working the farm and raising cattle. In 1947, his family moved to Finley Point, where they had an orchard, raised cattle and farmed the land.
Ken met Margaret Eloise Jones in the summer of 1949, just prior to his being shipped overseas to Germany as part of the peace-keeping forces during the Korean War. They married in September 1952, when Ken returned to Finley Point.
Ken and Eloise lived in Los Angeles for a short period of time, but the call of the land and the beauty of the mountains brought them back to the Mission Valley.
Ken bought the Charlo seed plant in 1973 and began his own business, Western Seed and Supply. His uncommon business sense and commitment to the growers and agricultural community soon allowed him to expand his business to Ronan. He bought the Peavey Co. mill in 1978 and later opened a garden store in Ronan.
He built a state-of-the-art seed plant and renamed the business Westland Seed Inc. in 1985. He continued to be a leader in the agricultural community here as well as in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. He was active in many agricultural organizations.
Ken supported his church, Ronan Methodist Church, and his community as well.
He was a consistent supporter of the Fat Stock sales in both Ronan and Plains. He served on the fair board for 30 years, the St. Luke Hospital board for 12 years and was a founder of the Mission Mountain Golf Course. He was a leader in the community and gave generously to many charities and organizations.
Ken particularly enjoyed golfing and bowling, having been on leagues in both sports for over 20 years. He also enjoyed his annual fishing trip to Yakitat, Alaska, with his buddies and hunting with his friends and family.
Ken enjoyed people and was generous of heart and spirit to those he touched. His family was always important to him and he watched over them with loving devotion his entire life.
He enjoyed special love for Lorraine Bryant and her family for the last nine years.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents John and Matilda Sagmiller of Polson, his beloved wife Eloise and two brothers, Del Sagmiller of Beulah, N.D., and Gerald Sagmiller of Polson.
He is survived by his children, James Sagmiller and long-term partner, Rockey Day of Las Vegas, Dr. Kay Sagmiller of Medford, Ore., David and Renee Sagmiller of Ronan and Shelley Sagmiller Mills of Glasgow; and his grandchildren, Janelle Sagmiller of Seattle, Amanda Sagmiller of Spokane and Brooke Sagmiller and Dylan Sagmiller, both of Ronan. He is also survived by one brother, Norman Sagmiller, and two sisters, Lucille Buchmann and June Sorenson, all of Polson.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Ronan Community Center.
Memorials may be made to the Lake County Hospice.
Shrider's Mortuary of Ronan is assisting the family with arrangements.
Mae Ellen Christ
PINESDALE - Mae Ellen (Looney) Christ, 63, of Pinesdale, passed away on Saturday, April 26, 2003, in Victor, from a degenerative disease and dominant symptoms of stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. She was bed-ridden for about two years.
Mae Ellen was born on March 17, 1940, the fifth of six children, in Healdton, Carter County, Okla., to T.L. Looney and Elmira Virginia Turner who preceded her in death in 1965 and 1975 respectively.
She first married Deward David Lamb in 1956 and bore two sons, Deward Delbert in 1957 and Douglas Edward in 1958. She divorced him in 1961. Soon after she met Gerald F. (Phillips) Christ and married him in 1963. She bore him three more sons and two daughters over the next 14 years. They have lived in Montana since the end of May 1972 when they moved from Salt Lake City.
She was also preceded in death by her four older siblings, Loyd, Jester, Lester and Mamie, who was 17 years older than Mae Ellen, and by a grandchild, Brian.
Mae Ellen leaves behind her husband of 40 years; a younger brother, David Marion of Clarksville, Tenn.; sons Del of Salt Lake City, Doug of Missoula, Mark of Salt Lake City, Jared of Great Falls and Ben of Fargo, N.D.; daughters Virginia of Manti, Utah, and Miriam of Victor, all married; grandchildren Daniel Ryan, Angela, Lisa Marie, Sarah Ann, Misty, Dan, Brandi, Ashlynn Ann, Matthew, Shalee Ann, Cassandra, Chase, Adam, Haley Rose, Travern and Madison; and four great-grandchildren, Dustin Clark, Kevin, Evan and Quinn.
Until Thanksgiving 2002, Mae Ellen was cared for in her home by her husband, until his health failed and he was hospitalized in Hamilton, then the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Helena, with a recurring cancer.
Since that time Mae Ellen had been cared for by her daughter Miriam in Victor, with some very helpful caregivers from Pinesdale and hospice volunteers.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Pinesdale Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.
Kenneth Dean Stromme
HAMILTON - The family of Kenneth Dean Stromme (Don Davis of KLYQ) lost a son and brother and the voice of KLYQ at the radio station doing what he loved best on Wednesday, April 23, 2003.
Kenneth is survived by his mother and stepfather Pat and Vic Maichel of Grantsdale; father Wayne Stromme of Portland, Ore.; brother Jerry Stromme of Las Vegas; and sister Candy Carpenter of Chesapeake, Va.
A service to celebrate his life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton, with interment following at the Lone Pine Cemetery in Darby.
The family suggests memorials to the "Don Davis Memorial," in care of KLYQ, P.O. Box 660, Hamilton, MT 59840.
Floyd David West
RONAN - Floyd David West passed away peacefully at home in Ronan from a heart condition on Wednesday, April 23, 2003, surrounded by loved ones. He was well-known in the Ronan area as "The Sharpener" and as "Bacho" to his grandchildren.
Floyd was born on June 14, 1918, to William and Jessie Vanzyverden West of Shaunavan, Saskatchewan. The family moved to Opportunity, Wash., near Spokane, in 1921. After his father passed away, Floyd moved to Sidney to live with his sister Naomi and graduated from high school while there.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Lenore Lincecum, on Nov. 2, 1940, in Tacoma, Wash. The couple lived in several Western states throughout the early years of their marriage and eventually settled in Walla Walla, Wash., where Floyd was a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary until his retirement after many years of service. He and his wife also owned and operated an insurance business while there.
After retirement, they moved to Redway, Calif., in 1980 and were there until moving to Ronan in 1992. Floyd and Lenore were active participants in the Senior Center Bread Basket program in Ronan and as ministers with Jehovah's Witnesses for many years.
Floyd was preceded in death by his father and mother William J. West and Jessie West Claymon; his brother, Frank West of Whitefish; and his sister, Jean Bradshaw of Yuma, Ariz.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Lenore Lincecum West; his sons, Bill West of Ronan and Wally West and wife Carol of Redway, Calif.; his brothers, Kenneth West of Yuma, Ariz., and Donald Claymon of Veradale, Wash.; his sister, Naomi Myhre and husband Bill of Sweet Home, Ore.; his grandchildren, Carrie Powell and husband Mike of Fortuna, Calif., Jeni West of Polson and Joel West of Ronan; three great-grandchildren, Amber, Justin and Brandon Powell of Fortuna; and numerous nieces, nephews and loving friends.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in St. Ignatius. A furnished buffet will follow.
If anyone would like to make a donation, the family would prefer they be sent to Hospice.
Aaron Thomas Crandall
BILLINGS - Aaron Thomas Crandall, 32, of Billings, passed away Thursday, April 24, 2003, at his home.
He was born April 27, 1970, in South Seattle. He graduated from Stanwood High School in 1989.
Aaron was an avid outdoorsman, loving fishing and hunting. He tied all of his own flies and was also an excellent archer.
He is survived by his father Patrick Crandall of Wenatchee, Wash.; his mother Dianna Baitsholts of Missoula; two brothers, James Patrick of Wenatchee and John Forrest of Missoula; a nephew, Gavin Forrest, and a niece, Maddison Rose, both of Missoula. Aaron's extended family includes Candice and her father Wes Schaff of Billings.
A memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Missoula, with the Rev. Joan Yetter officiating.
The family suggests that memorials be made in Aaron's name to the local DARE Program.
MISSOULA - Joseph Arbaczawski, 56, of Missoula, died April 8, 2003, at home.
He was born March 8, 1947, in New Jersey, the son of Jeanette and Joseph Arbaczawski. He was a graduate of Freehold High School in New Jersey, attended Trenton State College and then graduated from Indiana University.
He worked as a microbiologist for the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. He was founder of Robarb Inc. and was inventor of Crystle Clear water clarifier for pools.
He loved hunting, fishing, hiking, gardening, photography and doing small kindnesses whenever he could.
Survivors include his brother, Ronald Arbaczawski of Freehold, N.J.; daughter Laura Arbaczawski and grandson Armond Baker, both of Kansas City, Mo.
He will be placed to rest with his mother in Freehold. He will be greatly missed by all his lifelong friends - as they say good-bye to a shooting star.
Paul W. Daggett
LIBBY - Paul W. Daggett, 56, died Thursday, April 24, 2003, in Libby.
He was born on Sept. 4, 1946, in Spokane to Jack and Arlene Daggett. He came to Libby as a small child, where he was raised and educated, graduating from Libby High School in 1964. He later served in the U.S. Navy.
He attended nurses training in San Diego, graduating as a registered nurse. He did institutional and residential long-term nursing care while in San Diego.
He had been a self-taught chef since his teen-age years and had further developed his skills throughout the years. He later changed careers and worked as a chef in California, Seattle and for many years in the greater Miami area, working in many fine dining establishments.
He returned to Libby in 1998, where he and Debbie Loomis operated the Hidden Chapel Restaurant as well as develop, produce and market unique food products such as huckleberry butter and gourmet pasta.
He is survived by a son, Paul Daggett Jr. of Austin, Texas; his father Jack Daggett and wife Shirley of Libby; his sisters, Wendi Straer of Edgewood, Wash., Noni Mitchell of Spokane and Jenny Fredrics of Texas; a brother, Mark Daggett of Libby; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother in 1992.
Services will be 2 p.m. Monday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home chapel. Visitation will be 1-6 p.m. Sunday and until noon Monday.
Fern Norris Evans
PHILIPSBURG - A memorial service for Fern Norris Evans will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Philipsburg. Interment will be at the Philipsburg Cemetery and a reception will follow at the church.
Fern Norris Evans, 85, of Philipsburg, passed away Nov. 8, 2002, in Missoula at the home of her son.
She was born to Michael and Alida Norris in Maxville on May 9, 1917. She continued to live in Philipsburg among lifelong friends and family members.
On June 20, 1935, Fern married her husband Jesse Evans of Anaconda. Fern and Jesse celebrated 63 years of marriage before his death in 1998. Both Fern and Jesse were avid outdoorsmen, enjoying hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Together they owned and operated Evans' Repair Shop in Philipsburg.
Fern's gentle and caring manner touched many lives. She had empathy for all she knew and accepted life without any thought of making changes. Her contentment and acceptance of others will be remembered along with her sense of wit.
Fern is survived by her children and their families, Harold and Lois Evans of Imlay, Nev., Gerald and Nanci Evans of Missoula and Joyce and John Mullig of Surprise, Ariz.; her grandchildren, Stacey Nadeau, Vanessa West, Nichole Anderson, Janis Valencia and Julie Harris; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Mildred McArdle of Anaconda and Irene Smith of Seattle.
Along with her husband Jesse, Fern's two brothers, Walter Norris and Laurence Norris, preceded her in death.
Fern's kindness and generosity will be missed. She loved her home in Philipsburg and her many friends. "A small little pebble can make the most beautiful rings in the water."
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Partners in Home Care - Hospice, 2687 Palmer St., Suite B, Missoula, MT 59808.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.
Rollin J. 'Ron' DeMers
BUTTE - Rollin John "Ron" DeMers passed away Wednesday evening, April 23, 2003.
His remains have been cremated and graveside funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Missoula, with a reception to follow.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home in Butte is in charge of arrangements.