Amanda Kaye Kekich
WEST YELLOWSTONE - Amanda Kaye Kekich was born on Dec. 17, 1972, in Hackensack, N.J., to Brian and Janet Kekich. She graduated from Sentinel High School in 1990 and went on to graduate cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Montana State University in Bozeman in 1996.
Amanda ("Mandy") had recently accepted a third grade teaching position with the American Overseas School of Rome and was scheduled to leave for Italy this August. Mandy had just completed her second year of teaching at West Yellowstone School in West Yellowstone. Last summer, she taught English as a second language at Wanli International School in Ningbo, China, with a group of teachers from the University of Montana. Mandy would liked to have said that she had mastered Chinese! She did, however, enjoy teaching Chinese language and culture to her students at West Yellowstone.
This summer she was enjoying her third season as a rafting guide with the Yellowstone Raft Company on the Gallatin River. Mandy's love of the Big Sky community kept her in the area for the past give years but she was excited about her new adventure in Italy. In winter, she was an avid skier. During the summer, when not rafting, she liked to hike, kayak, rock climb, mountain bike and play tennis.
Although extremely athletic, her interests were not limited to the outdoors. An accomplished writer, she won the Pilot Pen Journalism Scholarship for the State of Montana in 1989 and was a recipient of the Rafferty Scholarship for English Excellence in 1990. She also enjoyed languages having found French helpful in her encounters with tourists in the Big Sky area. This summer Mandy was studying Italian in preparation for her new teaching position in Rome.
Mandy was loved by all who knew her. Her smile was infectious, and her kind and generous spirit was endless. She was a shining light in many lives - whether meeting a new friend, playing with her nephew, teaching her students or being with the family and friends she loved. Mandy will be missed forever.
She is survived by her parents, Brian and Janet Kekich; her sister, Stacey and brother-in-law Michael Smith and their son Nathaniel, all of Missoula. Her grandparents are Audrey Beagle, Edward and Lois Nelson, also of Missoula and Mike and Betsy Kekich of Albuquerque, N.M. Her aunts and uncles include Carol and Gary Gullard, Chuck and Donna Beagle, of Missoula; Mike and Michelle Kekich of Albuquerque, N.M.; Robert Nelson of Phoenix; Steve Kekich of Fullerton, Calif.; Denise and Jim Meek of Valley Center, Calif.; and Kim Milosovich of Albuquerque, N.M. Mandy is also survived by many cousins.
Services will be held at Big Sky Chapel, in Big Sky, at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6, 2001, followed by a reception at the Huntley Lodge. Mandy's ashes will be scattered on Lone Mountain. An open house in Missoula will be held Sunday, July 8, from 2-6 p.m. at her parents home, 112 Rolling Green.
Norma M. (Schrock) Swanson
HEMET, Calif. - Norma M. (Schrock) Swanson, formerly residing at 412 North Ave. E., Missoula (1957-2000) died May 28, 2001, at the age of 88. Norma had recently sold her home and went to live with her son Chuck and his wife Bonnie in Hemet, Calif.
Her daughter Virginia, in Redondo Beach, also had Norma living with her sometimes so she could enjoy both places.
Norma was a graduate of the University of Montana, with a master's degree in Education. She taught at Russell School for many years until retirement at age 65. She loved teaching.
She had been married for over 50 years to Gunner Swanson who died at 72 in 1985.
We pray that she is with Gunner and the rest of her family again. She will be missed!
Milton R. 'Milt' Dykstra
HELENA - Milton R. "Milt" Dykstra, 62, passed away Saturday, June 30, 2001 at his home, 3469 Birkland Drive in Helena, of pancreatic cancer. Milton was born to Margaret R. and Milton J. Dykstra on April 7, 1939 in Thompson Falls. Milt spent his childhood in Montana and Nevada and graduated from Thompson Falls High School in 1957.
He is survived by his wife, Laura; children Cynthia (Damon) Liles, Dennis (Misty) Dykstra, and Carla Harding; seven grandchildren, Justin Stein, Jessica, Melissa and D.J. Dykstra, Brielle Harding, Amanda and Jack Liles; mother Margaret R. Dykstra, sister Alice (Dave) Douma , brother Howard (Marla) Dykstra and a host of extended family and friends.
Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, June 6, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Assembly of God, 2210 Dodge Ave., with Minister Dave Nealon officiating. Interment at Forestvale Cemetary will immediately follow the service.
Glen Alan Morris Jr.
MISSOULA - Glen Alan Morris Jr., 26, passed away from drowning, June 10, 2001.
Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Greg and Cookie Hanson; father, Glen A. Morris Sr.; brother, Brian J. Morris; two daughters and many cousins.
Memorial services will be at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 7 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1115 S. Reserve.
Garden City Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Glen was a roofer by trade, a chef's assistant and was cleaning windows with our company, Hanson and Hanson LLC.
Glen loved Montana. It was peaceful and beautiful, a great change of pace from his life in Livermore, Calif. He moved here May 11, 2001.
He enjoyed fishing, hunting, water and snow skiing. He was good at anything he tried including a very hard worker.
He was polite to people and everyone who met him was drawn to his outgoing personality.
He will surely be missed. We look forward to seeing him again in the Resurrection promised by our God Jehovah and son Jesus Christ. What a comforted hope we have and willingly share with others.
A special thanks to Search and Rescue, the Fire Department, police, sheriff and all the bystanders, eyewitnesses, including the young children who found Glen. Thanks! To all the friends at the various Kingdom Hall's, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
"A true friend is loving all the time." Agapi, Greg and Cookie Hanson
Douglas Michael Overman
PARADISE - Douglas Michael Overman, 53, of Paradise, passed away Sunday, July 1, 2001, as the result of injuries sustained in a one-car accident on Montana Highway 135 near Paradise.
He was born on May 9, 1948, in Spokane, the son of Gene and Alice Diede Overman. Doug worked as a brakeman for the Burlington Northern Railroad. After retiring from the railroad he purchased the Pair-A-Dise Bar in Paradise in 1989 which he owned and operated with his wife LeeAnn
Whether Doug walked into a small cafe or a stadium full of people not knowing a soul, when he left here was a story to be told. He always said that he lived the life of 10 men - and he did. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, LeeAnn Overman of the family home in Paradise; one son, Gerrod Douglas Overman of Plains; two daughters, Heather Ann Overman of Lewistown and Andrea Frye and her husband Doug of Post Falls, Idaho; his parents, Gene and Alice Overman of Spokane; mother and father-in-law Ed and Parlene Shear of Thompson Falls; one sister-in-law, Shelley Overman of Spokane; five grandchildren, Cody, Ty and Jesse May Overman and Paige and Morgan Frye; one nephew, Garth Overman and three nieces, Karly, Cassandra and Kayla Overman.
Doug was preceded in death by his daughter, Heather Lynn Overman, of Tacoma, Wash.
Visitation will be Thursday, July 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Coffelt-Bunch Funeral Chapel in Plains. Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 6 at 2 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Plains. Burial with military graveside rites by Horse Plains VFW Post #3596 will follow at Paradise Cemetery.
Ethel E. Masters
BERTHOUD, Colo. - Ethel E. Masters, 80, of Berthoud, Colo., died Monday, July 2, 2001, at the Berthoud Living Center in Berthoud.
Ethel was born Sept. 13, 1920, in South Sioux City, Neb., the daughter of Walter and Birdie (Church) Cramer. Following her high school graduation from South Sioux City High School, Ethel went onto work for the U.S. government where she calibrated instruments for airplanes for 30 years at the Alameda Air/Naval Station, retiring in 1974. Ethel lived in Richmond, Calif., until 1974 when she moved to Polson, living there until moving to Berthoud in 2000.
Ethel married Leland Eugene Masters in 1938. She was involved with the Women of the Moose and enjoyed her dog Muffy.
Ethel was preceded in death by her husband Leland E. Masters in 1997, her brothers Harry Cramer, William Cramer and Bobby Cramer and her sister Dorothy M. Walker.
She is survived by her brother Arthur L. Cramer of Phoenix, as well as nieces and nephews.
No services are scheduled at this time with cremation being held at Howe Mortuary and Crematory.
Memorial contributions are requested to the American Heart Association, c/o Howe Mortuary, 439 Coffman, St. Longmont, CO 80501.
James Monroe Grant
ELMO - James Monroe Grant, 94, of Elmo, passed away Monday, July 2, 2001, from natural causes in Big Arm.
James was a Montanan dust to dust. He was Scotsman, humorist, cowboy, philosopher, mule skinner, horse whisperer, story teller, sheep herder, logger, cowboy, family man, and friend in deed. Gentleman Jim is a legend in his Flathead Valley. The place will not be the same without him.
The Clan Grant motto is: Stand Fast. This stubborn Montanan and Scotsman "stood fast" to the end. We'll all remember this father, grandfather, and great-grandfather looking dapper in his Stetson hat, Pendleton shirt and slacks and round-toed boots. We'll think of him whenever we smell fried eggs, bacon and coffee. We'll remember his great Montana sedans and the bumper stickers that read "Scott within, pass with awe."
He was born April 29, 1907, in Helena to John Hector and Nellie Hannah Grant. The Grant family moved to Ronan in 1909, and to homestead at the "Mouth of the Big Draw" in 1911. Jim attended Dayton, Proctor, Eudora and Elmo schools. He went to Butte in 1923 and '24 and worked in the Bell Diamond Mine.
Jim came back to Flathead in 1924 and worked for various people including Ernie White, Joe Ferrell, and Kenneth McClain. He married his "beautiful schoolteacher bride," Rita McBride in the fall of 1928 while she was teaching at Reservoir Valley.
Jim and Rita moved to Spokane where Jim worked for Ohio Match and Metaline Falls Mill. They returned to Nirada where Jim worked for Ben Sickler until going to work for Louis O'Connell. The family lived in Hog Heaven for 10 years. Then they moved to a ranch near Hot Springs in 1940 in order for the kids to be closer to school. The family stood fast during the momentous times of the Great Depression and World War II. Jim ranched, trapped, and worked for various lumber companies (H.S. and Diehl). In 1957 they moved to Flathead Lake and Elmo. They inherited Grant Meadow, and its old homestead where he farmed Christmas trees and peat moss. He was still walking the meadow on his 90th birthday. Jim bunked in with Maggie and Dave Mortensen during his last three years of his life; he continued to enjoy his view of the great Flathead Lake to the day he passed.
All of his grandchildren will remember his Christmas, Ho, Ho, Ho and the soft brush of his cookie duster and his fireworks on the 4th of July.
He and Rita had five children and he considered their spouses as his own family.
He is survived by five children and their families: son Jim and Evelyn Grant of Columbia Falls and their children Donna and Doug McCann and family, Debbie Grant and John Konen, Kathy Grant, Jim and Brenda Grant and family; daughter Joyce and John Mangan of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and their children Janet and Dick McCart, Sue and Joe Smith and family; daughter Carol and Pat Hargrave of Hayden Lake, Idaho; daughter Barbara and Jerry VanLeuven of Spokane and their children Julie and Lowell Millard and family, Jeff and Cindy VanLeuven and family, Jill and Billy Browning; and daughter Vicky and Roger McLelland of Louisiana and their family Tassy Jackson, Jerry and Melissa Jackson and family and Heather and Kelly Jackson and family.
He is also survived by a sister, Catherine Huntley, of Ronan, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Happy trails to you, Jim Grant, till we meet again.
A private graveside service was held on July 3 at Lakeview Cemetery and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements were by Grogan Funeral Home, Polson.
Baby Makayla Rebecca-Marie Holm
HAMILTON - Baby Makayla Rebecca-Marie Holm passed away Thursday, June 28, 2001, at the Community Medical Center in Missoula.
She is survived by her mother, Cathleen Clouse, and father, John Holm; sister Brikael Hale, brother Kyle Moline, sister Sally Holm and brother Leif Holm, all of Hamilton.
There will be a religious graveside service Saturday, July 7, 2001 at 11:00 a.m. at the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. Pastor Jean Collins of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Hamilton will be officiating.
Dowling Funeral Home &Crematory in Hamilton is assisting the family with service arrangements.
Minnie C. Mahnken
DEER LODGE - Minnie C. Mahnken, 87, died Sunday, July 1, 2001, at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Deer Lodge.
She was born June 18, 1914, in Missoula to Peder and Mary Carlson. She attended Bonner and Missoula County High Schools. Minnie married Herman Mahnken July 9, 1932, in Philipsburg.
The couple made their home in Gold Creek. Minnie worked as a cook at the Master Mine and later as a clerk at various stores in Deer Lodge. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1977, sisters Mabel and Jeanette and brother Peter.
Survivors include two sisters, Evelyn Cadieux and JoAnn Sherlock; brother Dan Carlson and many nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be Monday, July 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge with Reverend Bob Dawson officiating.
Memorials: Colonial Manor Memorial Board.
Lon C. Brewer
SULA - Lon Brewer, 52, of Sula, passed away at his home with his family by his side after losing his fight against cancer on July 1, 2001.
Lon was born Sept. 21, 1948, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to Cliff Brewer and Alice Jolstead. He graduated from East Valley High School in the Spokane Valley in 1967. After graduation he went to Wyoming for a time and then to Seattle where he worked as a pipe fitter. In March 1969 Lon went into the Army and after a tour in Vietnam he was discharged in December 1970.
Lon married Laureen Moffatt in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on June 15, 1971. They resided in Spokane Valley where he worked for Spokane County Road Deptartment from 1974 to 1979 when he and his family then moved to Missoula. He worked several jobs which included truck driving, pulling green chain in a lumber mill and heli-logging before going to work for the State of Montana, Department of Transportation from June 1985 to April 2001. Lon enjoyed the outdoors whether at work or recreation. He loved all activities that included his family. Lon was known by his family and his many friends for his wit and his warm, friendly smile.
Survivors include his wife Laureen Renie of Sula; his son Allen and wife Terri and their four children Amanda, Josie, Anthony and Mike of Darby; his daughter Shantel and her son Trevor of Sula; two brothers, Rocky and Paul and a sister, Melody Goodrich, all of Wyoming; two brothers, Bob and Mike and a sister, Kathy Clark, all of Spokane; a sister, Mary Nickell of Ronan; many nieces and nephews; his father and step-mother Cliff and Edie Brewer of Pinedale, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by his mother and step-father Alice and Bob Jolstead.
A memorial service celebrating Lon's life will be held Friday, July 6, at 2 p.m. at the Darby High School gym with Pastor Dan Wagenmann officiating. Cremation will take place prior to the service. Private family urn placement will take place at a later date.
Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel and Crematory in Hamilton.
The family suggests that any donations be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Lon C. Brewer.
Thresa L. Ramberg
MISSOULA - Thresa L. Ramberg, 99, passed away Jan. 14, 2001, at Hillside Manor Care Center of natural causes.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 7 at 1 p.m. at the Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, 7405 Mullan Rd. A reception will follow in the funeral home's community room.
Sheradene 'Dede Rusinski' Paitson
MISSOULA - Sheradene "Dede Rusinski" Paitson, of Missoula, passed away June 29 in Missoula. She was born in Butte on Sept. 15, 1960, to Stanley and Sheridy (Lamb) Rusinski and attended Butte schools. She worked at the University of Montana and is survived by her daughter, Nichole Pride Paitson; Nichole's father, John Paitson; her mother, Sheridy "Debbie Lamb" McGaha; her father, Larry McGaha Sr., and her great-grandmother, Margaret Lamb.
Also surviving are her sisters and their families: Shaundel Zahn, Denise Fletcher, Monica Rusinski; her brothers and their families: Robert McGaha, Larry McGaha Jr.; her uncles, John Rusinksi of Anaconda and Frank Rusinski of Georgetown Lake; her cousins, Lamona, Margo, Mitzi and many others cousins, aunts and friends.
For our darling Dede, this world is but the vestibule of eternity. Every good thought or deed touches a chord that vibrates in Heaven. So, we know a whole symphony is playing for our precious Dede girl. We love you.
Sheradene's remains have been cremated in Missoula. A private memorial service will be conducted in Missoula followed by a memorial service in Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home in Butte, Friday at 11 a.m.
Roy Frankwin Gilbert
BRYAN, Texas - Roy Gilbert of Bryan, Texas, passed away on Feb. 2, 2001. He was born in Detroit on April 26, 1941. He graduated from Michigan State with a Ph.D. in economics in 1969. He taught at Texas A&M from 1970 through 2001.
Roy is remembered in Montana for his love of fly fishing on our local streams, especially Rock Creek where he spent his summers at the Elkhorn Campground. Big Roy will be remembered by a Memorial of Roy stories to be held at the Elkhorn Guest Ranch on July 12. For more information on the memorial call Rock Creek Fisherman's Mercantile, 406-825-6440.