Charles “Chuck” W. Ackerman, 62, who had a talent for repairing violins, died Saturday, March 14, 2015 in Billings of cancer.
He was born March 15, 1952, in Dickinson, N.D., the son of Earl and Rosella Ackerman and brother to Nancy Volesky, Denys Ackerman, Sandy Sadowsky, Dan Ackerman and Tom Ackerman. He lived the majority of his life in Billings.
He had a talent for building and repairing, especially violins. He also had a passion for preparing, cooking and catering food.
Survivors include his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.
A Vigil Service will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 27, both at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Inurnment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:00
Douglas Walter McGregor, 84, who with his wife founded and operated the Shiloh and Rimrock veterinary clinics, died March 21, 2015, after a long illness.
He was born April 15, 1930, to Floyd and Adeline McGregor. He grew up in Sheridan, Mont., and attended the University of Montana, where he met his wife of 59 years, Barbara Bartels.
They moved to Ames, Iowa, where he received a degree in veterinary medicine. In 1963 they moved to Billings, where they started and operated both the Shiloh and Rimrock veterinary clinics.
Mr. McGregor served as a signalman in the Navy during the Korean War during the first testing of the hydrogen bomb at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. He earned several medals and was honorably discharged.
Every year he held a family reunion and golf tournament called the McGregor Open, which he usually won.
He had received care from the Frontier Cancer Center.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Stephen, Byron, John and Mike; daughters, Kathy and Jennifer; 10 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.
A vigil was held March 24 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Memorial Mass was held March 25 at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Inurnment will be in Sheridan this summer.
Donations may be made to The First Tee Montana or St. Pius X Church, or charity of choice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:59
Duane Buettner, 91, formerly of Wolf Point, died March 15, 2015, at the Billings Clinic.
He was born Feb. 19, 1924, to Fred and Maude Buettner at their farm home 20 miles northeast of Wolf Point. He attended elementary school at Divide Rural School. In August 1937, he enrolled at Wolf Point High School.
After completing his junior year, he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide financial support to his parents. He returned to school a year later and graduated in 1942.
He joined the Navy in 1943 and served aboard a submarine that made four war patrols. He worked for the Montana Job Service in Wolf Point until December 1984.
Mr. Buettner married Lorentina Spitzer June 15, 1946. She died June 8, 2005. He had received care at St. John’s Lutheran Home and the Billings Clinic.
Survivors include four sons, Allan of Seattle, Wash., Loren of Bozeman, Darrel of Greeley, Colo., and Steven of Billings; one daughter, Vicki Eggebrecht of Malta; 10 grandchildren; one step-grandchild; three great-grandchildren; and a sister, Marjorie Dozier.
At his request, no services were planned. Private inurnment of ashes will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Wolf Point. Cremation and Funeral Gallery of Billings is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Home or to Family Services Inc., both in Billings.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:05
Louise Sampson, 87, who worked in banking for 32 years, died Feb. 26, 2015.
She was born in Roundup on Jan. 18, 1928, to Carl and Laura Howry but was adopted by Budd and Lottie Harrison (Mr. Howry’s sister). She attended school in Roundup and graduated in 1946.
She married James Elkins on June 4, 1949, moved to Billings, and had three children. After 17 years of marriage, they divorced. She married Paul Sampson in 1992.
Mrs. Sampson had a career in banking that spanned 32 years and retired from Wells Fargo Bank as an assistant vice president in January 1988. She knitted and crocheted quilts and afghans for her children and grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband; a son, James Elkins; a daughter, Jana McRae; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:05
Pamela “Pam” Joyce Kraft, née Kallen, 58, who worked for the Montana Department of Transportation before becoming a massage therapist, died March 6, 2015, in Billings of brain cancer.
She was born March 8, 1956, in Billings to Ted Kallen and Jerry Wetsch. She grew up in Hysham and graduated from Hysham High School.
She married Les Kraft in 1989. When he and some partners developed and operated the Billings Motorsports Park in the early 2000s, she was involved, helping out on many nights.
After working for the Department of Transportation for 28 years, she retired in March 2013 and became a massage therapist.
Ms. Kraft was an accomplished saxophonist and artist. She volunteered at the Billings Animal Shelter for many years and was a member of Victorious Word Church in Billings.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2014.
Survivors include her husband; a sister, Theresa Daem of Corona Del Mar, Calif.; mother, Jerry Wetsch of Hardin; and half-sister, Monti J. Wetsch of Billings.
A celebration of life was held March 13 at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:04
Yvonne “Vonnie” Marie Rist, 88, of Billings, who had been a secretary at many schools, died March 9, 2015, in Billings.
She was born Feb. 17, 1927, in Sioux City, Iowa, the daughter of Roland and LaVern (Holt) Robbins. Her father died when she was 2 years old.
She graduated from Senior High School in 1945. On Dec. 26, 1950, she married Severt R. “Bud” Rist at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings.
She attended Billings Business College and was a secretary at many schools, including Stewart, Nev.; Lander and Fort Washakie, Wyo.; Lincoln Junior High School in Billings; and a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
Mr. Rist was a coach and educator, and they moved to many places in Wyoming as well as Manhattan and Fromberg in Montana. They moved back to Billings in 1982.
She volunteered as an usher at the Fox Theater and was also a homemaker, bookbinder and landlord. She retired at age 80.
She was involved in Bible studies and prayer groups. She was a crosswalk guard, sports statistician, bus mother, chaperone, church cook and Eucharistic minister. She was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
She had received care from Parkview Healthcare and Highgate Senior Living.
Survivors include her husband; three sons, Matthew E. Rist of Deer Lodge and Michael K. Rist and John Q. Rist, both of Billings; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation was March 13-15. Rosary and Vigil were both March 15 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was March 16 at Little Flower Church. Committal was in Lavina Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Montana Rescue Mission or to a local charity of one’s choice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:04
Glenn Allen Clark, 72, a Navy veteran of Vietnam, died March 9, 2015.
He was born June 13, 1942, the son of Ray and Opal Clark. He lived his first 18 years in California. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy, serving for 20 years and earning the rank of chief petty officer.
He was a decorated Vietnam veteran who received the Navy Commendation Medal in 1967.
He married Barbara Jean Clark in Yuma, Ariz., on Dec. 18, 1976. They were together for 41 years and moved to Bozeman in October 1979. They moved to Billings in 2010.
Mr. Clark played cribbage and visited at the Eagles Club in Bozeman.
Survivors include his wife; eight children, Dora Felicioni, Kathy Cooper, Rocky Cooper, Guy Cooper, Arby Lamance, Carrie Burns, Laura Stevens and Allen Clark; 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Services were March 16 at Harvest Church in Lockwood. Inurnment followed in the Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel with military honors. Arrangements were by Heights Family Funeral Home & Crematory.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:03
Johnny Evan Lingle, 67, who had owned the café at the MetraPark racetrack, died at home at 2:35 p.m. Feb. 17, 2015, of metastatic lung cancer.
He was born March 4, 1947, to Evan and Leona (Bentz) Lingle in Glendive. He was raised in Circle and graduated from Circle High School in 1968.
He worked in the oil patch around Circle and Richey for 23 years. He moved to Sidney in 1990 to work at Holly Sugar and later as a saw hand at Sidney Millwork.
He and his wife, Marylin, moved to Billings in August 1992. A month later they bought the cafe on the backside of the race track at MetraPark. They owned and operated it for nine years, and during that time they managed the cafe at Billings Livestock Commission for 21/2 years.
They sold their cafe at the racetrack in 2001 and a few weeks later, he went to work at the Second Shift and cooked there for several years. He then started worked as a line cook at Billings Clinic cafeteria until his retirement in 2013.
He made leather rifle scabbards and shell belts and pistol holsters and shell belts for his family as well as himself. He made his own patterns by drawing them on paper first.
He was an avid gun collector and enjoyed target shooting.
Survivors include his wife, of Billings; a sister, LaWanna Moran of Billings; four children, Bo Lingle of Baker, Jamie Lingle of Bozeman, Jodi Grinsteiner of Banner, Wyo., and Callie Burman of Fort Drum, N.Y.; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and two stepdaughters, Lisa Rekdal of Shepherd and Kari Sinks of Sidney.
Services were held Feb. 21 at Heights Family Funeral Home & Crematory. A prayer service will be held at the cemetery in Circle at 2 p.m. Feb. 28.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 16:34
Kenneth “Kenny” William Harrison, 58, who enjoyed fishing, camping and boating, died Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, at his home in Laurel.
He was born in Billings to Raymond and Virginia Harrison on July 4, 1956. He was one of four siblings. He graduated from high school in Shepherd.
On Dec. 27, 1980, he married Katrina “Becky” Smith.
Survivors include his wife; mother; daughter, Krystal Harrison; sons, Kenneth Harrison and Keith Smith; four grandchildren; and siblings, Cindy, Richard and Monty Harrison.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 16:33
Chrystee Lea Ballan, 67, a homemaker and a daycare provider, died Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, at Billings Clinic.
She was born Aug. 11, 1947, in International Falls, Minn., the daughter of Margaret Lind and Frank Wilson.
She married David Ballan on June 25, 1966, and traveled extensively as an Air Force wife. They moved to Billings in 1982 after military retirement.
Survivors include her husband; sons, Andy and Tony; six grandchildren; a great-grandson; a sister, Kathie Todd; and a brother, Bill Lind.
Services were held Feb. 24 at Messiah Lutheran Church. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be made to Messiah Lutheran Church Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 16:28