MISSOULA - Douglas Kerber, 49, died Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital.
Douglas was born May 14, 1954, in Evanston, Ill., lived and loved in his own driven and celebratory way. He grew up in Glenview, Ill., graduating from high school with an early '70s mellow, yet adventurous attitude. After flipping a coin, this Chicago boy chose Montana instead of New Mexico when he decided to head west to attend college.
Doug came to Missoula and studied at the University of Montana, majoring in art. He skied, tree-trimmed, tree planted, partied, played music and began creating a lifelong passion for Montana's beautiful outdoor getaways, finding special places to fish, swim, float and camp with friends.
Doug also traveled in Europe, bicycling through France and Germany. He joined an anti-nuclear weapons protest and began developing an ongoing appreciation for fine wines, jazz and gourmet foods.
Back in the States, he studied and worked at an electronics company in Oregon. Always a quick study, his inquisitive nature and bright mind enabled Doug to have his choice of careers and where to live. Lucky for us, he chose to move back to Missoula where he created his own car company, Evergreen Engineering. Once asked about the name, he replied, "It sounds better than Doug's Repair."
Doug's wickedly honest observations and dry humor have always made him the utmost fun to be with. This was discovered by the luckiest woman in the world, Ardis, who became Doug's wife in December 1991.
Doug continued to expand his Saab car business.
In 2003, Saab awarded him for the quality and expansion of his car business with a Richard Petty Raceway Package. As Doug loved fast cars, this was a perfect gift. Doug drove a certain amount of laps at the Las Vegas racetrack site and then true to his ambitious nature he paid for extra laps in his Sharpie car, reaching a top speed of 155 mph.
Doug was always an advocate for a clean environment and was the first car shop in Missoula to convert from cleaning solvents to the environmentally safe citrus cleaners. He also recycled waste oil to heat his shop.
Doug's zest for life ran the full range of pleasure including a quest for one of the world's best caviar, found in Glendive.
In 2002, he treated his family to a European vacation, sharing stories from his previous trip as we toured Austria, Italy, France and Germany.
He loved looking for new places to play in Montana, treating his family to beautiful outdoor vacations whenever he had the time.
Doug's kids, Adrian, Jenifer and Gabe were with their dad through every treatment and every medical episode. Doug, Ardis, Adrian, Jenifer and Gabe celebrated successes together and supported each other through the setbacks. We're a family, we're a team.
Doug's determination and strength of character showed itself most strongly in his battle with cancer. For the past 10 years, Doug and his doctor, Dr. Michael Snyder, were an unbeatable team that beat back lymphoma repeatedly to extend Doug's survival to twice the normal time anyone could hope to have.
We're so grateful and full of love for his sheer tenacity and bravery in his battle for survival. If strong will and family love alone could beat cancer, Doug would still be with us.
Here's a final toast to the best: To you, Doug, husband, father, brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, mechanic and friend. You accomplished so much in your life. You worked harder than anyone should ever have to work. We salute you and honor you. We love you so much.
Because we love you, we release you
We know you'll always be close.
You're in our hearts
You lead, and we will follow.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents.
Surviving are his wife, Ardis; sons, Adrian and Gabe; daughter, Jenifer; his sister, Nancy and husband Jim MacRae of Schellsburg, Pa.; his sister, Mary and husband Dr. Richard Krugman of Denver; his brother, John and wife Liz Kerber of Glendale, Iowa; father-in-law, Gerald and Lois Olsen of Sidney; sister-in-law, Elaine and husband John Shelburne of Ogden, Utah; sister-in-law, Louise and husband Ernest of Salida, Colo.; eight nephews; and four nieces.
Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at the University Congregational Church.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.
MISSOULA - Our beloved mom, Ila Blodgett-Lovell, 91, passed away peacefully at the Village Health Care Center on Jan. 27, 2004.
Our Mom was born Sept. 27, 1912, to Newman and Margaret Blodgett in Hamilton. Blodgett Canyon was named after her grandfather.
Mom, at the age of 14, met her future husband, Bill, when he came to apply for a job at her family ranch.
She married Bill Lovell on June 6, 1932, after graduating from Hamilton High School. They celebrated 65 1/2 wonderful years of marriage.
Mom was the ultimate mother and homemaker and was active in her church and community organizations. She was a volunteer for 35 years for the American Red Cross and a volunteer at St. Patrick Hospital. She was a recess attendant at the Lewis and Clark Grade School and poured out her love for all the children there.
She belonged to the Missoula Senior Citizens Center, AARP, Home Vale Garden Club, Retired Railroaders Association, Royal Neighbors and Good Neighbors Home Demonstration Club.
She was a member of St. Anthony's Church and Altar Society, and the Daughters of Isabelle. She was a past president of the Franklin Grade School PTA.
Her activities included, in her younger years, playing volleyball with the three musketeers, Ila, Lila and Twila, gardening with that incredible green thumb she had, planting flowers around their beautiful home and dancing at the Senior Citizens Center with her "Bill" and enjoying all the other activities the center provided.
But most of all, Mom loved being and going places with her family. She had so many wonderful friends that she dearly loved. She and Bill lived at the Village Senior Residence for several years and enjoyed that caring and beautiful place.
Mom was preceded in death by her loving husband, Bill, in December 1997; her parents, Newman and Margaret Blodgett; brothers, Clyde, Lawrence, Halley, Lyman, Max, Art, Dude, Ted and Bernard; her sister, Blanche; and her great-grandson, Ty Layton.
Mom is survived by her sister, Eileen Sheridan and brother-in-law Sylvester Lovell. She had five children and their spouses, Don (Pat), Peggy (Paul) Layton, Bill (Carole), Lauretta (Dan) Ekstrom and Robert (Susie).
She had 12 grandchildren, Diana, Don Jr., Pam, Dave, Paul Jr., Gary, Teresa, Kristen, Mark, Matthew, Sarina and Jennifer. She had 21 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
We want to thank the Village Health Care Staff for the tender-loving care she received the past 18 months. She was truly a flowering rose to all who had contact with her. She had such a big heart and was so sweet and loving that she was loved by all who knew her.
Oh, how we love and miss you Mom, Grandma, Granny, Nana, Nanners, Ila, Auntie Ila, and Hon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Missoula Memorial Rose Garden, or the charity of your choice.
A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at St. Anthony's Church with a reception to follow.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.
LIBBY - LaNora Blackburn, 68, died Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at St. John Lutheran Hospital in Libby.
She was born Feb. 23, 1935, in Lovell, Wyo., to James Blackburn and Phoebe Cowley Blackburn and was raised and educated in Wyoming.
Survivors include her children, Reavon Kershner of Roberts, Claudia "Dia" Lanman of Libby, Solomon Fransisco Joseph Juarez of Broomfield, Colo., and Dobert Bruce of Billings; her siblings, Amos Blackburn and Pearl Downer; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home chapel. Interment will follow at the City of Libby Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday.
Glenn R. Wright
DARBY - Glenn R. Wright, 90, of Darby, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004, at the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospice Center of natural causes.
Visitation will be Friday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Daly-Leach Chapel. Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home with burial to follow at Lone Pine Cemetery in Darby. A full obituary will follow.
Polly Alois Taylor Bunger
MISSOULA - Polly Alois Taylor Bunger died at the age of 96 late Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, at St. Patrick Hospital surrounded by family members.
She was born July 21, 1907, in Plainfield, Iowa. She graduated from Cornell College in Ames, Iowa, with a degree in education and came to Belfry to teach in the late 1920s. She had a grand adventure of some sort about that time that she often referred to but would never give details. Now we will never know!
During her first years in Montana she met her future husband, Donald A. Bunger, and they were married in 1932. They had three children and settled in the Bitterroot Valley.
She worked raising chickens on the family farm on the west side, helped run a cattle ranch up Skalkaho Creek, taught school in Darby, Grantsdale, Hamilton and was a school librarian in the Hamilton schools.
She was active in her church and devoted much time to charities and service organizations. She enjoyed gardening, camping, picnicking, political discussions, reading and square dancing.
She and Don moved to Missoula in 1993. She became active in the Methodist church, playing bridge and was a neighborhood fixture walking her little dog Toto around Greenough Park.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Sarah Jane Bright; grandson, Robert Kelley; and husband, Donald Bunger.
She is survived by her remaining children, Mary Sue Kelley of Missoula and Donald Bruce Bunger of Helena; her grandchildren, Cathy Henry, Ron Bright, Mary Jean Martin, Colleen Kelley, Derek Bunger, Tiffany Mazur, Jordan Davis Bunger, J.B. Davis Bunger and Jocelyn Davis Bunger; and great-grandchildren Harley Lysons, Kristi Henry, Jamie Kelley, Devin Kelley, Alexis Kelley, Jane Bright, Alex Mazur, Lucas Mazur and Eva Bunger.
An informal memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan 31, at 1407 Jackson followed by an open house until 5 p.m.
Memorials may be made in Polly's name to the Poverello Center or the Missoula Food Bank.
Dorothy Elizabeth Sayles
MISSOULA - Dorothy Elizabeth Sayles was taken to her heavenly home by God on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004, while she was at St. Patrick Hospital.
Grandma Dot was surrounded by family members at the time of her passage. The beautiful little Christian will be remembered by all who knew her by her smile, love and faith in God.
She was especially talented while she did her picture painting, flower gardening and cooking. Her expert knowledge of antiques was acquired when she and husband Bill owned and operated an antique business in Austin, Minn.
She was born in Flandreau, S.D., on Jan. 3, 1913. Her parents, with the three girls, Helen, Gladys and Dorothy, moved to Austin, Minn., when the girls were young.
On Sept. 6, 1930, Dorothy married William Cyrus Sayles and they had three sons, Robert Sayles of Clarkdale, Ariz., William R. Sayles of Huson and Creighton Sayles of Florence.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, her two sisters and their husbands, seven brothers-in-law and their wives, and a number of nephews and nieces.
She was the sole survivor of her generation of the Sayles clan. She was truly a "grande dame."
She is survived by her three sons and their wives, Robert and Marilynn Sayles, William and Mary Ellen Sayles and Creighton and Marcia Sayles. Numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nephews and nieces also survive her.
This sweet, smiling, caring, God-loving woman will be missed by all who knew her. However, God knew He had a gem and took her home with Him.
There will be a celebration of life service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Florence Carlton Community Church, 20075 Old Highway 93, with a reception to follow. Viewing will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Garden City Funeral Home. There will also be a service in Austin on Feb. 5.
Robert Bruce Easter
MESA, Ariz. - 8 a.m. Jan. 26, 2004, marked the passing of a truly remarkable man. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend, he will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.
Robert Bruce Easter was born to Florence and Harold Easter in Arlington, Mass., on May 23, 1924. In his adult life, he resided a brief time in Seattle and later mainly in Missoula.
He was extremely proud of his New England heritage and often reminisced about his wonderful childhood adventures in Boston, as well as his first job at age 16 as the assistant cook at the Appalachian Mountain Club on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. It was there that he acquired his love of cooking, and over the years he pored over hundreds of recipe books and became known as a gourmet cook to his many friends.
Desiring to become a teacher and a coach, he graduated from a college at Springfield, Mass., with degrees in political science and history. However, World War II had begun and he enlisted in the Army in 1943. He attended officer's training school and counterintelligence school and was assigned to become infantry commander serving with Company 1, 301st Infantry of the 94th Division form 1944 to 1946 as a first lieutenant in Europe.
He was recalled into the Korean War in 1950 as an infantry officer and served as a captain for the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division until 1951. Bob was awarded many medals, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and others. Bob was very patriotic and always had a firm belief in the good of his country and the freedom of America.
Bob loved Montana, where he could hunt, fish and also hike the peaks of beautiful Glacier Park. He constructed a log cabin on Lake Inez for his family and they all enjoyed spending their summers on the lake, where he taught his three children to sail, swim, canoe and fly-fish.
Involved in youth programs, he founded Missoula Aquatic and Athletic Club (MAAC). Bob served on the National Campfire Board and received their highest honor, the Luther Hawlsey Gulik Award. He worked closely with Native American Mrs. Big Sam to erect authentic tepees for Campfire Girls' Camp Watanopa at Seeley Lake. He loved the outdoors and was an avid sports enthusiast. In his youth, he was an active participant in hockey, tennis, football and golf.
A successful and respected businessman, Bob owned Toole & Easter Insurance Agency in Missoula, with branch offices in Butte and Billings. He retired in 1983 and moved to Leisure World in Mesa, Ariz., with his wife, Marilyn, in 1984.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn, 1404 Leisure World of Mesa; three adoring children; and six grandchildren: daughters, Pam (Arthur) Croci and Liz, Peter and Steve in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Andrea (Brian) Pilcher and Emily in Dillon; son, Bruce (Cynthia) and Clara and Austin in Seattle.
Also four stepchildren and three step-grandchildren, Paula (Tony) Niccum of Missoula, Russ (Tracy) White of San Diego, Brian (Janet) White and Jenae and Julianne in Missoula and Michelle (Walter) Ziebarth and Angel in Portsmouth, N.H., survive her.
Rob played saxophone and instilled in his children a love of music. He was a special fan of the Leisure Notes. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be sent to the Leisure World Recreation Office, 908 S. Power Road, Mesa, AZ 85206. Donations will be used for support of Leisure World's performing arts.
A memorial celebration of Bob Easter's life will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at Mariposa Gardens.