Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Eve K. Printz

HAMILTON - Eve K. Printz, 83, passed away on to heaven quietly at her home on Friday, Jan. 9, 2004. She spent her last two years at her home of 62 years on Daly Avenue in Hamilton. Care was provided by her husband of 64 years, Royal, and by her son Paul and daughter Sandra.

Eve was born on Sept. 13, 1920, in Beulah, N.D., the eldest of 14 children. Her parents were Eva Kohler, the daughter of North Dakota pioneers, and Wilhelm Mayer, a refugee of the Russian Revolution and a World War I U.S. Army veteran.

Eve spent her first two years of life on the prairie in a sod hut with dirt floors prior to moving to Almont, N.D., where she spent her youth. The Depression years required her family to move to the Bitterroot in 1937, where her father was under contract with Clarence Duus.

She met Royal Printz almost as soon as she arrived and they were childhood sweethearts. She would try a brief stint in the larger world in 1938 by traveling to Yakima, Wash., with a group of local youths from the valley who went there to experiment with their lives as agricultural employees, picking hops. However, her destiny was to return to the valley and to be wed on July 8, 1939, to the man of her dreams.

She began her family in 1941 with her son Douglas, followed by four other sons: Merrill in 1942, Paul in 1945, Jay in 1946 and Kenneth in 1949. Sandra, her only daughter, was born in 1948. She tragically lost a son Darrell, Merrill's twin, shortly after birth.

Eve had a long history of being the correspondent and spiritual support of a great many war veterans beginning with World War II with three of her brothers, Bill, Roney and Frank, who were engaged in combat in the Pacific and in the European Theater. Her brother Thaddeus was in Korea and later in Vietnam.

She also provided three sons to the Vietnam conflict, Paul and Jay of the Marines and Kenneth of the Army. Sons Merrill and Douglas served in the armed forces during the Cold War. She was also there for her grandsons, Jon Clarkson and Roderick Printz in the Navy and Steve Clarkson in the Army for the Gulf War of 1991. Her letters and support were always the most welcomed and cherished slice of love by these veterans to see them through.

Eve was a highly spiritual person and parishioner of St. Francis Catholic Church in Hamilton since the 1940s. Her devotion to God moved her to teach religion to children as a Sunday school teacher in the 1950s and lead her own children to worship every Sunday. The '60s and '70s found her engaged in active support of the parish and as assistant to Father Frank Burns for many years including his final ailing days during which Eve provided much of his care.

The '80s and '90s found her further involved in providing care to church laity and to other community citizens without regard to religious affiliation. She spent over five years as one of the main supporters and an attendant for Meals on Wheels.

She gave tirelessly her time, energy and emotion to help wherever she felt she was useful to anyone who asked. She had no enemies, and had a smile for everyone. In 1994, she was named First Lady of the Year by Beta Sigma Phi Soroptimist Society.

She was known throughout the city of Hamilton for her fast walks that she took for exercise on a daily basis, covering the town from one end to the other greeting and smiling at people as she went.

As a lover of animals, she knew the names and personalities of most of the dogs who guarded the yards of houses throughout the areas she passed. She was first to praise the owners of animals who took good care of them and the first to correct those who did not. Often she would claim animals as her own if they were mishandled or to be abandoned, otherwise she would find homes for them or personally take them to the Humane Society.

Throughout her life Eve knew the epitome of health, suffering only one time from a bout of flu, until a tragic series of physical calamities, including congestive heart failure, took her down several years ago.

With the aid of a pacemaker, close family and relatives, and her many friends, she spent her last years in quiet dignity surrounded by the love of those who knew her. Her heroic final struggle matched her life and in her last days she was blessed with the opportunity to give peace to those she left behind.

She was preceded by her sisters, Sylvia and Rosalie who died as infants; her brothers Joe, Roney and Bill; her grandson, Kevin; and her great-grandson, Forrest.

Surviving include her loving husband Royal; her children and their spouses, Douglas and Linda of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; Merrill and Raven of Denver; Paul, Jay and Jamie, and Sandra and Pete Clarkson, all of Hamilton; and Kenneth and Sharon of Missoula. Also surviving are her siblings: sisters Frances and Barbara, and brother Thaddeus, all of Missoula, sisters Josephine and Bernadine of Hamilton, Loretta of New Mexico and Jane of Detroit, and brother Frank of Washington state; 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A wake service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, at St. Francis Catholic Church. Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Francis with the Rev. John Darragh presiding. Interment will follow at the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton.

Visitation for friends will be held from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.

The family suggests memorials to the Bitter Root Humane Association, 262 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, MT 59840, in memory of one of Eve's last thoughts: to check on "Meatball," the dog, to make sure he was not outside in the cold.

Vesper Lucille Hammond

MISSOULA - Vesper Lucille Hammond, 92, of Missoula, passed away from natural causes at the Edgewood Vista Care Facility on Friday, Jan. 9, 2004.

She was born June 3, 1911, in Marysville, Kan., the daughter of Estella Rachel and Alfred Edward Pike. She graduated from Marysville High School and Barne's Secretarial School.

She married Homer J. Hammond in Topeka, Kan., at 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 10, 1937.

The couple retired to San Diego, where they lived for 25 years, joining the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Airstream Trailer Group and traveling extensively throughout the United States and Mexico. One of her life's high points was a trip to Hawaii with her sister in 1963.

Vesper was a dear, sweet person who took great pleasure in caring for her family and friends and was loved by all who knew her - a perfect rose in the garden of life.

She was preceded in death by her husband Homer J. Hammond on Dec. 10, 1994, and by and a sister, LaRene L.J. Pike on March 4, 1994.

Her family includes a daughter, Pamela K. Marzialo of Missoula, son Denton R. Hammond, grandson D.J. Hammond and granddaughter Abby Hammond, all of Marietta, Ga.

Vesper will be taken home to Marysville, where private family graveside services will be held.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials in Vesper's name be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601, or on the Web at

Arrangements are under the direction of Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula.

Lucy M. Hellman

MISSOULA - Lucy M. Hellman, 79, a devoted mother and homemaker, passed away Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, at her home of natural causes.

Lucy was born on March 16, 1924, near Evaro, the daughter of Edgar Taylor and Sarah "Sadie" Jeans. She received her schooling in Missoula and worked for Boeing during World War II.

She married Henry Hellman on June 18, 1951, in Missoula. In 1956, they moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where they were foster parents for 20 years. They moved back to Missoula in 1976, following Mr. Hellman's retirement from the railroad. Following retirement they enjoyed spending summers at their cabin in Idaho.

She was a member of the Rebekahs and enjoyed knitting and spending time with her family.

Lucy is survived by her husband of 52 years, Henry Hellman of Missoula; daughters Nancy (Jim) Clampet of Post Falls, Idaho, and Leslie (Daryl) McDonald of Frenchtown; son Owen (Becky) Hellman of Anchorage; sister Opal Myers of Anchorage; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

As per Lucy's request, no services are planned. Interment will take place at Sunset Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.

Hazel I. Nichols

MISSOULA - Hazel I. Nichols, of Missoula, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, in Stevensville.

She was born in 1912 in Baker, Ore. She later moved to Great Falls where she met and married Cliff Nichols.

Hazel was a past president of the Flower Growers Club and a leader of her daughter's Girl Scout troop.

She was a bookkeeper for Great Falls Transfer Co. for over 20 years. Hazel was later the owner and cook at the Fireside Inn in Simms.

She was married for over 60 years and is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Chuck Bryson; two grandchildren, David Bryson and Diana Albergottie; and five great-grandchildren, Nicole, Daniele Jr., Alec, Gabriel and Nathan.

Private interment will be at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church Organ Fund, 202 Brooks St., Missoula, MT 59801.

Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.

Claude McCoard Leishman

ST. IGNATIUS - Claude McCoard Leishman, 88, died Friday, Jan. 9, 2004, on the way to St. Luke Community Hospital in Ronan.

He was born June 14, 1915, in Wellsville, Utah, to William and Isabelle Leishman.

On Nov. 20, 1944, he married Julia Roay in Los Angeles while he was still in the Navy. He enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 10, 1942, and was discharged Oct. 9, 1945, in Shoemaker, Calif.

During his youth he milked cows and raised hay and wheat. After his discharge from the Navy, he went back to farming in St. Ignatius.

In 1976, he quit milking cows and went into raising beef cattle, hay and wheat until his death.

He is survived by his wife Julia of St. Ignatius; his son Paul (Shirley) of Pioneer, Calif.; son Aaron (Marci) of St. Ignatius and their children Shaun, Craig, Ginger, Kevin, Chad, Damon, Timothy, Adam and Tiffany; son Max of Three Forks and his sons Nicholas and Justin; and a great-grandchild Abbygail. Also surviving are his sisters Eva, Afton and Donna.

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Pleasant View Cemetery in St. Ignatius where military honors will be presented by McCarthy Post No. 106. A gathering at the St. Ignatius Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will follow the graveside service.

Foster & Durgeloh Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Josephine S. Ratzlaff

MISSOULA - Josephine Susan Ratzlaff, wife, mother, grandmother and adopted mother and grandmother to many, died peacefully at home on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004, after a short illness.

She was born April 9, 1930, in Reedley, Calif. She and her husband Vern moved to Fresno, Calif., and raised their four children before moving to Bakersfield in the late '60s where she lived for over 40 years.

Jo will be remembered by many who enjoyed her volunteer work in her church, her participation working in the educational systems and her work in various mission trips that allowed her to travel extensively throughout the world with her husband. She will also be remembered for her music, singing in the Family and Friends Gospel Singing Group for over 10 years.

Although living here in Missoula for a very short time, she already had many friends who made her last days an incredibly rich experience.

Jo was known by all as a compassionate and caring woman. She was always ready to help in any way she could even if all she could give was one of her famous hugs. She believed in her Lord Jesus Christ and particularly embraced his teachings in regard to loving others. Testimonies of examples of this will live far beyond her years.

She is survived by her husband Verner; her children, Jo Ann Harrington, Jonnathon Ratzlaff and Jeannette Mulhause; grandchildren Allison Ratzlaff, Mark Ratzlaff, Jeffrey Harrington, Jason Harrington, Nates Grant, James Ratzlaff and Julian Mulhause; and nephews Rik Fujioka and Tim Fujioka and their families.

Her oldest son, Micheal, preceded her in death in October of last year.

Visitation will be 1-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at Montana Cremation and Memorial Society, 3035 S. Russell St.

Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Christian Assembly Foursquare Church, 1001 Cleveland St., with viewing before and after services. There will be a light reception immediately following and all who loved her are invited to attend.

The family suggests memorials to Hospice of Missoula, 800 Kensington Ave., Suite 209, Missoula, MT 59801, whose many members made her last days an incredibly warm and loving experience for all involved.

Catherine M. Florin

MISSOULA - Catherine M. Florin, 79, passed away in her home in the company of her loving family on Friday, Jan. 9, 2004.

Catherine was born to William and Anna (Moore) Backer on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 1924, in Missoula. A self-described "tough little Irish girl," she attended St. Anthony's grade school and graduated from Missoula County High School. She became a longtime employee of AT&T.

Catherine married Henry J. "Hank" Florin on Nov. 8, 1947. They had two children, Ann and James.

Catherine loved to swim. She regularly visited western Montana's many hot springs and swam at the YMCA until last June. She and her family also enjoyed skiing and were part of Missoula's original ski community.

In 1968, she and Hank built a beautiful chalet-style home, which she decorated with impeccable taste. Their home became an ongoing project. She was a natural interior designer. Whatever she turned her hand to acquired beauty and grace.

Catherine was a Democrat. She was an informed citizen who scoured print and air media to glean the facts to support her opinions. She did not suffer fools gladly. She was blessed with lifelong friends because she herself was a good and trusted friend.

After Hank's retirement from the Missoulian, Catherine and he traveled to several areas of long interest to them both. Of course, the tour of Ireland stood out as her favorite.

Catherine is survived by her husband Hank; her daughter, Ann Florin Erickson and husband Bob Erickson of Hailey, Idaho; her son, James Florin of Missoula; her grandson, John Lucas Florin of San Francisco; and her brother, John Backer of Missoula.

At Catherine's request the cremation has taken place at the Dowling Crematory.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at St. Francis Xavier Church, located at 420 Pine St. in Missoula. A reception will follow at the church.

Dowling Funeral Home and Crematory of Hamilton is caring for the family.

the life of: Sunday, January 11, 2004; Eve K. Printz, Vesper Lucille Hammond, Lucy M. Hellman, Hazel I. Nichols, Claude McCoard Leishman, Josephine S. Ratzlaff, Catherine M. Florin
Send Flowers
Or call 888-579-7982 to order by phone.