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Constance Andrews 'Connie' Fichtler Hamlin

WHITEFISH - Constance Andrews Fichtler Hamlin, 77, passed away Friday, Jan. 16, 2004.

She was born Sept. 1, 1926, in Oradell, N.J.

Her mother was a teacher and her father was a professional baseball player. Her father died of pneumonia when Mom was 10. Her mother never remarried, supporting Mom and her two brothers, Wilfred and Richard, on her teacher's salary. Mom often spoke of the way the whole family worked to make ends meet. She continued to be a very hard-working and frugal person the rest of her life.

In the fall of 1944, Mom entered Oberlin College in Ohio, where she received a bachelor's degree in sociology. She was very proud that her roommate was one of the first black women to attend college.

In 1945, she met her first husband, Helmuth (Bud) Fichtler, who joined her at Oberlin, studying to be a minister. They were married Sept. 6, 1947.

Their first child, Christine, was born in 1949 in New Jersey. However, they soon left New Jersey for their first ministry, a small Congregational church in North Dakota. Mom was everything a minister's wife needed to be: gracious, a wonderful hostess, compassionate, always available and deeply involved in the church and community. Many stories were told of the roles she played in Bud's ministry. Their son, Richard, was born in North Dakota in 1953.

The following years were spent at churches in Montana - Big Timber, Glasgow and Missoula. The years in Glasgow were extra special due to all the friendships that were formed, many of whom are friends still.

In the 1970s she became a teacher for Head Start in Missoula and worked in the Early Childhood Education Program at the University of Montana.

In 1975, Mom met and married her second husband, Ward Hamlin. Her life filled with sunshine and warm climates - they became "snowbirds" and spent many wonderful years staying with her family in Montana during the summers, then traveling south in the fall.

Wherever they went, Mom was always active in some role that had to do with serving others at their various RV parks : welcoming committee, activities director, water exercise leader, an accomplished organizer - always looking out for the welfare and happiness of others.

For 28 years she enjoyed her life to the fullest until Ward's sudden death in 2002. Mom never quite recovered from his loss and spent her last year and a half here in Whitefish where she could be closest to her children.

Mom was a very caring and attentive grandmother. She was the first person to clean and bandage bumps and bruises and to fill empty stomachs. She loved spending as much time as possible with her six grandchildren, Tim, Ken, Alex, Andrew, Leah and Barry - she loved each of them so much. Always full of praise and encouragement, she strived to unlock the full potential in each; so certain they would succeed in their own way. She always greeted them with a warm smile and a big hug that subconsciously said, "I'm so proud of you."

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ward; brother, Wilfred; and her mother and father.

She is survived by her daughter, Christine, her husband, Irv Heitz, and son, Tim of Whitefish; son Richard and wife Katherine Fichtler and their three sons, Ken, Alexander and Andrew, all of Florence.

Connie was a person who knew God's grace and shared that grace all her life with whomever she met.

The family suggests memorials be sent to Immanuel Lutheran Home, 185 Crestline Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901.

Ken Oeleis

MISSOULA - Ken Oeleis, 48, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at Community Medical Center.

Ken was born Oct. 31, 1955, in Great Falls to Robert and Mary (Panos) Oeleis. He received his schooling in Great Falls, graduating from C.M. Russell High School in 1974.

He married LeAnn Pate on April 13, 1991, in Missoula.

He worked as a pressman for World Wide Press in Great Falls for five years, then as a bartender in White Sulphur Springs for one year, before moving to Missoula in 1982. He worked for Express Press for nine years. They were then purchased by Garden City Printing and he continued to work there until the time of his death.

Ken was a reserve deputy for the Missoula County Sheriff's Department for the past three years.

He was a member of the NRA and the Wilderness Society. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching the Oakland Raiders and the Florida Marlins. He also loved music and taking his boat out on the lake. He was a "jack-of-all-trades."

Ken was preceded in death by his parents; his older brother, Bob; his younger brother, Keith; his grandmother, Anna; and both of his grandfathers.

He is survived by his wife, LeAnn of Missoula; his son, Walter (Helen) Crawford and children Kaytlynn and Drakken of Missoula; his daughter, Lisa (Jason) Marko and children Austin, Taylor, Patrick, Elizabeth and Zachary of Great Falls; son, Jeremy Oeleis of Missoula; his brother, Rodney Oeleis of Simms; his grandmother, Virginia Oeleis of Great Falls; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula, where funeral services will follow at 10 a.m. Saturday. A second service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Faith Center in Great Falls. Interment will follow at Highland Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to the Ken Oeleis Memorial Fund, in care of Missoula County Sheriff's Department, 200 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.

Dorothy Mae Billington

ST. IGNATIUS - Dorothy Mae Billington, 78, of St. Ignatius, passed away in her home Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, after a courageous battle with acute leukemia. Her life was filled with many adversities and challenges, but her strength of character, her hallmark, always carried her through. She has now rejoined the love of her life, El Dee Billington, who passed away in 1973.

Dorothy retired from Cenex in 1986, after 34 years of service. She remained on the farm in St. Ignatius where her green thumb and love of roses was obvious to all who knew her. She loved showing her rose gardens to everyone and took particular pleasure in showing them to strangers who just happened to drive by and stopped to see her glorious gardens.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Molly Sanders; her brother, Lester F. Sanders; and the love of her life, El Dee Billington.

She's survived by her three children, Kathleen Billington, Christie Sisco and Lester Billington and his wife Alita; her grandchildren, Jeff Bauer, Katie and Patrick Trottier, Ryan Campbell and Zack and Jake Billington; her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Alfred Walker; and her numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Garden City Funeral Home. Inurnment will follow at Missoula City Cemetery. A reception at the Orchard Homes Country Club will follow inurnment.

The family suggests donations be made to the Montana Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Vermont (Monte) Virgil Neumiller

MISSOULA - Vermont (Monte) Virgil Neumiller, 71, of Missoula, passed away Monday, Jan. 19, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital of a heart attack.

He was born Aug. 11, 1932, in Mobridge, S.D., to Christian and Bertha (Klein) Neumiller.

Vermont was married to Carol May Popham. She preceded him in death. On April 7, 1984, he married Diana Slenes.

Vermont worked for Highlander Brewery and several service stations before retiring from Sheehan Majestic.

Vermont belonged to the Moose Lodge and was a longtime bowler.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Wilbur and Earl Neumiller; wife, Carol May Popham; and one grandchild.

Survivors include his wife, Diana of Missoula; children and their spouses, Rick (Nora) Neumiller, Ken (Marilyn) Neumiller and Sue Rasley; grandchildren, Heath, Ben and Heather Rasley, Thomas, Ben, John and Sarah Trueax and Kendra Neumiller; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. Friday, Jan 23, with a memorial service at 2 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home. A reception will follow the service at the Eagles Lodge.

Honorary pallbearers will be Heath Rasley, Ben Rasley, Thomas Trueax, John Trueax, Ben Martello and Kevin Martello.

Family suggest memorial to the Moose Lodge, The Human Society of the Heart Foundation.

Thomas A. Roberts

HAMILTON - Thomas A. Roberts, 59, of Hamilton, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jimmy; and sister, Nancy Sherwin.

Surviving include his wife, Beatrice of Hamilton; daughter, Cheryl (David) Green of Hamilton; son, Thomas of Enfield, Conn.; grandsons, Leroy of Spokane and David (Janna) Green of Spokane; granddaughters, Tiffany and Lisa Green and Crystal and Alicia Nolan, all of Hamilton; two great-grandsons, Donny and Chasten Green; sisters, Sande (Mike) Schmidt of Georgia, Susan (Bob) Dickson of Connecticut and Marlene Roberts of Connecticut; brother, Fred (Elaine) Roberts of Massachusetts; mother-in-law, Frances Ledger of Montana; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the Corvallis United Methodist Church with pastor Mick Gray officiating. Private family urn placement will take place at a later date.

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

The family suggests memorials in Tom's name to the American Diabetes Association, 3203 Third Ave. N., Suite 203, Billings, MT 59101-1945, or the St. Patrick Hospital Cardiac Care Unit, 500 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.

Anna Wright

ANACONDA - Anna Veronica Wright, 95, of Anaconda, died Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004, after an extended illness.

She was born in Bozen, Austria, in 1908 and came to America when she was a small girl.

Anna married Fred Wright of McLeansboro, Ill., in the 1930s; he died in 1958 in California.

Survivors include her son, Carroll Wright of Anaconda; and sisters, Rena McKenzie of Daly City, Calif., Lilly Ryan of Anaconda and Lena Gentry of Helena.

At the end, Anna faced death in the same manner she faced life, with humor and courage. She will be missed by her family.

Cremation has taken place. No services are planned. Inurnment will be in Missoula at a later time.

Mary Belle Hileman


VICTOR - Mary Belle Hileman, 79, of Victor died at the Marcus Daly Palliative Care Center in Hamilton on Monday, Jan. 19, 2004.

She was born Feb. 2, 1924, in Natrona Heights, Pa., to Chauncey E. and Hazel (Lampus) Ekas.

After attending a business school, Mary worked in the offices of Allegheny Ludlum Corp. in Pennsylvania until she married Jim Hileman on June 8, 1945. Jim's work with Aluminum Co. of America took the couple to Cincinnati, Chicago and then to Pittsburgh.

Their retirement years began in the Bitterroot Valley in September 1981. Mary did volunteer work at the Victor School. She was a mentor and a paraprofessional for elementary school children.

Mary is survived by her husband, Jim of Victor; her three children, Linda Ann Fitzpatrick, James Craig Hileman and Anne Ainsley Hileman; and nine grandchildren.

Private services will take place in the spring.

Memorials are asked to the Victor School Foundation in Mary's name at P.O. Box 1047, Victor, MT 59875.

The Whitesitt Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Stevensville is in charge of arrangements.

Noral D. Foster

STEVENSVILLE - Noral D. Foster, 66, died of cancer at his home in Stevensville on Monday, Jan. 19, 2004, with his wife by his side.

Noral was born in Rexburg, Idaho, on June 10, 1937, to Stephen and Sarah Foster. They later moved to northern Idaho, where he attended school in Burke and Wallace.

After serving in the Army, Noral spent some time underground mining, then began a long career as a truck driver.

He married Janae Hellstrom on Feb. 10, 1961, in Elko, Nev.

Noral was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Janae of Stevensville; three daughters, Robin (Jeff) Stensgard of Rock Springs, Wyo., Gaylene Stolt of Missoula and Megan Connelly of San Diego; brothers, Tommy Foster of Sacramento, Calif., Morgan Foster of Osburn, Idaho, Joseph Foster of Ashton, Idaho, and Lloyd Foster of El Cajon, Calif.; one sister, Peggy (David) Self of Rathdrum, Idaho; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Cremation has taken place and there will be no formal service at his request. A private family service is planned for a later date.

Ann Cardozo Baty

WESTON, Ohio - Ann Baty, 91, died Jan. 6, 2004, of natural causes at her home.

She was born Ann Nunez Cardozo, March 25, 1912, in Big Timber to George and Harriet Cardozo. She grew up in Montana along the beautiful Stillwater River in the towns of Absarokee and Columbus.

Ann and her husband, Joe, moved to Weston, Ohio, in 1946 where they ran a small chemical company.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1974; her sister, Janette Sally of California; and her great-grandson, David James Tipton.

She is survived by her sons, George Baty of Weston, Ralph Baty of La Jolla, Calif., and Bruce Baty (Jeanne) of Missoula; and her sister, Frances Jones of Phoenix. She is survived by seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

A brother-in-law, two grandchildren and three nieces and nephews live in Montana: Harvey Baty of Dixon, Amy Baty of Missoula, Brian Baty of Bozeman, Don Baty of Stevensville, Doug Baty of Dixon and Carol (Baty) Detrich of Bozeman.

Memorial services will be held March 20 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

William A. Olson

POLSON - Visitation for William A. Olson, 91, of Polson, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Grogan Funeral Home in Polson. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Apostolic Pentecostal Church at the corner of Fifth Street and Eighth Avenue West in Polson, with Pastor Rud Knudson officiating. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Ronan.

William A. Olson died of natural causes Jan. 8, 2004, at the Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center.

the life of: Thursday, January 22, 2004; Constance Andrews 'Connie' Fichtler Hamlin, Ken Oeleis, Dorothy Mae Billington, Vermont (Monte) Virgil Neumiller, Thomas A. Roberts, Anna Wright, Mary Belle Hileman, Noral D. Foster, Ann Cardozo Baty, William A. Olson
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