Gerrit J. Hamilton
LOLO - Gerrit James Hamilton, 18, died Friday, April 7, 2000, in a bicycle accident on Highway 93. He lived most of his life in Lolo on Mill Creek Road.
Gerrit was born in Missoula on June 14, 1981, and went to Woodman School and Big Sky High School. He was active in sports, lettering in soccer. He would often make two 40-mile round trips to Missoula on his bicycle in order to participate in "two-a-day" soccer practices.
He was a freshman at the University of Montana. Gerrit was a passionate trainer and had no time for traditional diversions of other teen-age boys. His goals were to be the best snowboarder, downhill mountain bike racer and off-road motorcyclist that he could be.
In 1999, he won the Junior Expert Montana State Championship in both the dual slalom and downhill events as well as finishing 25th Junior Expert at the Deer Valley World Qualifiers in Utah. He recently finished second overall at the Downhill Bicycle Snow Race at Marshall Mountain.
As a motorcycle enduro rider, his ultimate goal was to be only the second Montanan ever to qualify as a Team USA I.S.D.T. Rider in the World Enduro Championships (his brother William was the first). During the 1999 National Enduro Qualifying series, he won four gold medals, earning the number "6" nationally in his class. No matter how well his results were, he was always sure they could have done better and would next time.
Gerrit worked part time for Mike Tingley's Suzuki and for Dorothy and Dennis McCrudden of Rices Inc.
The pride of his life was his 3-year-old nephew Kobe. He started training Kobe early and had already taught him to snowboard and "downhill" race on his tike bike. He looked forward to teaching Kobe all the activities that he enjoyed along with his brother Bill.
Although Gerrit has fallen short of his lofty goals, he will always be remembered for his steadfast persistence and his unfaltering friendship. Gerrit was the best son, brother and uncle we could ever have.
He is survived by his parents, Larry and Cheryl Hamilton; brother William, at the family home in Lolo; sister and brother-in-law Teralee and Nate Johnson and their son Kobe of Lolo; grandmothers Nina Stith of West Plains, Mo., and Sue Duncan of Wichita, Kan.; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends along with L.O.Y.D. (his "little orange and yellow dog").
The family suggests memorials in Gerrit's name to Team USA I.S.D.T. Rider Fund, c/o American Motorcycle Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147, or to the International Mountain Biking Association Trail Fund.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, April 10, at the Lolo Community Church at 3 p.m. with the family's good friend Alan Hill of Cheney, Kan., officiating.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.
SUPERIOR - Edna Jensen, 84, of Superior died Thursday, April 6, 2000, at Mineral Community Hospital.
She was born March 11, 1916, in Missoula to Edmund and Orize Cote, the eighth of 13 children. She attended school in Missoula and college in Great Falls to become a teacher. She taught school for 40 years in many Montana towns.
In June of 1947, she married Adolph "Rocky" Jensen, who survives her at the family home in Superior.
Edna was always active in the Catholic Church wherever she lived, as well as the Lady VFW, election board and numerous other community activities.
Auntie Edna's friendship, generosity, sense of humor and ability to always tell a story will be missed by all of us.
She was preceded in death by her parents. five brothers and a sister.
She is survived by her husband Rocky of Superior; brothers Gaspard (Agnes) and George of Las Vegas, Gene (Alberta) and Albert (Mary Ann) of Missoula; and sisters Belle (Herb) Petersen and Rosemarie Knuchel of Missoula; a brother-in-law, Harold Jensen of Thompson Falls; and many nieces, nephews and friends and former students who loved her.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, April 10, at 11 a.m. at Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Superior. Burial will be Monday at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Cemetery in Missoula.
Memorials may be made to the Edna Jensen Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o the Mullan Trail Bank in Superior.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Malletta Family of Funeral Homes, Livingston Chapel, 224 W. Spruce St.
RONAN - Dean Clairmont, 72, of Ronan, passed on peacefully at his home on Thursday, April 6, 2000.
He was born March 12, 1928, in St. Ignatius to Henry and Elsie Clairmont. He attended schools in Pablo and Ronan before marrying Nancy Lee Fisher on July 14, 1949. They spent the next 50 years together.
Dean worked at a sawmill in Dog Lake for three years, Kerr Dam for seven years and at Polson Ready Mix, retiring from there after 34 years. He also loved ranching in the valley, which he did throughout his life.
He was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He loved the outdoors, moose hunting with his sons, taking drives with Nancy and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Elsie Clairmont, and one brother, Bernard "Bud" Clairmont.
Survivors include his wife Nancy of Pablo; son Tom and his wife Sheila of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; son Vern and his wife Cyndy of Ronan; son Ken and his wife Cindy of Ronan; son Les and his wife Cheryl of Arlee; son Darrell and his wife Danna of Ronan; and son Dan and Jennie of Pablo; daughter, Lynda and her husband, Mel Brown of Ronan; daughter Gail and her husband Chuck Matt of Polson; and daughter Debbie and her husband Thom LaVeaux of Harlem; 47 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Henry "Boy" and Virgil, both of Ronan.
A rosary will be held Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m. and Mass will be held Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m. Both services will be held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ronan.
Pallbearers will be grandsons Chris Brown, Craig Brown, Jeremy Brown, Chad Brown, Jeff Clairmont, Jason Clairmont, Kenton Clairmont and Rick Eneas, with all remaining grandsons to be honorary pallbearers.
Burial will be at Ronan Cemetery, east of Ronan.
The family requests that donations be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Shrider's Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Eleanor L. Vaughn
LIBBY - Eleanor L. Vaughn, 77, former Lincoln County clerk and recorder and a state legislator, died Thursday, April 6, 2000, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
She was born in Troy, Idaho, on Nov. 12, 1922, the daughter of Carl Granlund and Annie Sandstrom Granlund. She was raised and educated in Troy, Idaho, graduating from high school there in 1940. Following her graduation, she attended the Kinman School of Business in Spokane. She married Ben Vaughn in July of 1942.
She came to Libby with her husband and family in 1950. She was employed by Lincoln County for 30 years, serving as Lincoln County clerk and recorder for 17 years. Following her retirement from county government, she was elected to the Montana Senate in 1986, and was re-elected for a second term. While in the Senate, she served as a member of the Senate Finance and Claims Committee and as chairman of the State Administration committee. She was instrumental in the development and completion of the National Guard Armory Building project in Libby and was also honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for her local governmental efforts regarding forestry.
She had been a member and past president of the Montana State Clerk & Recorders Association and a member of the Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee. She also had been a member and past president of the Libby Women's Club and a life member and past officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. She was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church. She served on the board of the Libby Senior Citizens Center and was named Libby Senior Citizen of the Year in 1995.
Survivors include her husband Ben at the family home in Libby; a daughter, Jan Vick and her husband John of Tacoma, Wash.; two sons, Ben Vaughn Jr. and his wife Vicki of Phoenix, and Jerry Vaughn and his wife Janice of Portland, Ore.; a sister, Bernice Sodorff of Spokane; two brothers, David Granlund and Floyd Granlund, both of Spokane; a sister-in-law, Laurie McCann and her husband Bob of Lebanon, Ore.; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Anderson.
Services will be Monday at 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church with the Rev. Robert Foote officiating. Private interment will be in the City of Libby Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society Multiple Myeloma Research, c/o Lincoln County Libby Unit, 609 Shalom Drive, Libby, MT 59923.
Arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Billie King Ridell
MISSOULA - Billie King Ridell, 98, of Missoula, died of natural causes Tuesday, April 4, 2000, at St. Patrick Hospital.
She was born Oct. 28, 1901, at home in Carlton to Robert F. and Harriet Draydahl King.
In her profession as a registered nurse, Billie worked at St. Patrick Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and in San Jose, Calif.
Billie was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a past Matron in San Jose, and an active member of the Immanual Chapter 54 Order of the Eastern Star in Missoula. Billie was also a member of the Daughters of the Nile for many years. Billie was very active in her chapter and community service.
Billie enjoyed life and lived it fully. People, children and animals were very special to her. Her mischievous smile, contagious laugh and the twinkle in her eyes let you know she lived a life of rich memories.
Billie was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters and eight brothers.
She is survived by her brother, Robert King and his wife Maxine of Granite Falls, Wash., and by numerous nieces and nephews.
Her family would like to express their appreciation for the care and kindness shown by Nightingale Nursing and the staffs of Grizzly Peak and Hunter's Glen. They would also like to thank Helen Miller, Anna Salvino and Jon Barlow for their love and friendship.
Because of their love for Aunt Billie, Dennis Washington, Billie's nephew, and his wife Phyllis made sure that she received special care and special attention.
Services will be at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at the First Presbyterian Church. The graveside ceremony will be at the Florence-Carlton Cemetery at 3:45 p.m.
Pallbearers will be Kevin Washington, Kyle Washington, Jon Barlow, Charles Miller, Walter Peschel and Todd King.
The family suggests memorials to the Eastern Star Estarl Fund and the Missoula Humane Society.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home.
EUREKA - Louise Garrison, 92, a longtime Tobacco Valley resident, died Saturday, April 8, 2000, at her home in Eureka.
She was preceded in death by her husband Homer in 1967 and by a son, Allen in 1989.
Survivors include a son, Miles Garrison of Eureka; a sister, Olive Owens of Kingman, Ariz.; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church. Interment will be in the Tobacco Valley Cemetery. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Monday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home in Eureka.
COLUMBIA FALLS - Lenora Geis, 81, passed away Thursday, April 6, 2000, at her home near Columbia Falls.
She was preceded in death by her husband Paul in 1991.
Leonora is survived by a son, Tim and Patty Geis of Columbia Falls; two grandchildren, Hallie and Paul Geis of Columbia Falls; a brother, Norman Southard of Ohio; and two sisters-in-law, Edna Southard and Barb Southard of Ohio.
A private family burial will be held Monday at Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia Falls.
Arrangements are by Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls.