Daniel F. “Boppa” Cypher, 76, who worked 37 years for Northwest Airlines, died from complications of chronic pain at Billings Clinic on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.
He was born in Saxton, Pa., on Oct. 10, 1937, to Jack and Nora Cypher. He served in the Army after attending trade school to become an aircraft mechanic. He retired after 37 years with Northwest Airlines due to disability.
His activities in recent years were limited by back pain.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Kathy Nitschke Cypher; daughters, Tammie Nelson and Jodie Wilson of Phoenix, Ariz.; four grandchildren; a brother, Ralph Carberry of Florida; and sisters, Snook Musser of Maryland and Susie Moser of Virginia.
A Celebration of Life was held Oct. 4 at Atonement Lutheran Church. Burial was in the Cypher Family Cemetery in Saxton, Pa. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be made to Montana Hope Project, P.O. Box 5927, Helena, MT 59604; or Handyman Ministries at Atonement Lutheran Church, 1290 Sierra Granda Blvd., Billings, MT 59105.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:45
Dennis Leistiko, 67, of Laurel, who had worked 15 years for the railroad, died Sept. 30, 2014, after a long battle with lung disease.
He was born to Otto and Mabel Leistiko on Oct. 6, 1946, in Caledonia, Minn., and the family then moved to Livingston, where he grew up and attended school. He married Melva Mosback on May 6, 1967. She died on March 23, 1991.
Mr. Leistiko worked for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a carman, transferring to Laurel in 1982. After 15 years with the railroad, he worked several other jobs, with the last for Ashland Farms.
He did customized carpentry and enjoyed the outdoors. He had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice and from a friend, Fredy Winters.
Survivors include daughters, Diane Standley of Billings, Michelle Kuper of Miles City, Debbie Kaufman of Helena; nine grandchildren; 18 great- grandchildren; and half-siblings, Don Leistiko of Liberty Lake, Wash., and Marcia Holland, Betty Bergsgaard, Eric Ostern and Cheryl Moore of Spring Grove, Minn.
Services were Oct. 6 at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:44
Avis L. Erickson, 89, of Billings, who had taught for many years in Miles City, died Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014.
She was born June 28, 1925, to Ernest and Leona Carbine in Windom, Minn. Her mother died 13 days later, and she was raised by her grandmother Hattie.
She attended school in Windom and at Miss Woods Teaching College. She taught first grade in Minneapolis and Wells, Minn., and taught kindergarten in Miles City for many years.
She married Ross Erickson on Dec. 21, 1947, in Minnesota. They moved to Miles City where he worked in First National Bank. In 1972 the family moved to Libby, then to Red Lodge and finally Whitehall.
They retired in Billings to be near their daughter, Kriss Anne Erickson, and son-in-law Thomas Paul Templeton, who both survive her. Later she and her husband moved to West Park Village. Mr. Erickson died in January 2010.
In August 2014 she moved to Parkview Healthcare due to worsening dementia. She also had received care from West Park Village and RiverStone Hospice.
Three days before her death, she whispered the lyrics to a song: “Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars, let me see what life is like on Jupiter and Mars.”
Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations can be made to Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter or RiverStone Hospice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:44
Duane A. Rehling, 65, a Vietnam veteran who also had been a salesman and drove a truck, died Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, after a lengthy illness.
He was born Sept. 28, 1949, to Richard and Lois Rehling in Billings. He attended school in Colfax, Calif.
At the age of 18, he joined the Army and served in the Vietnam War. After 20 years of military service, he retired in Fort Lewis, Wash., and then moved his family to Laurel to be closer to family. He drove a truck for many years and was also a salesman.
Survivors include a son, Duane M. Rehling; a daughter, Tammy Rehling-Wood; and six grandchildren.
Services were Oct. 6 at Laurel United Methodist Church. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:43
Terrance D. Luff, 71, a Vietnam veteran, died Sept. 23, 2014.
He was born Oct. 26, 1942, to Dale and Hazel Luff. Upon returning from Vietnam, he married Jeanne Vosen. They had four children, Terry, Traci, Tanna and Cody; and six grandchildren.
Survivors also include a sister, Trudy.
Services were pending. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:25
Lucille D. Joslin, 96, of Billings, died Sept. 27, 2014.
She was born on Dec. 23, 1917, in Hassin, Minn. She had received care from Edgewood Vista.
Survivors include children, Maureen, Patricia, Steve, Sue and Mary, and grandchildren.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 16:16
Louise E Hodges, 86, of Billings, known for her desserts, yard and flowers, died Sept. 23, 2014, at Billings Clinic.
She was born to Jack and Katherine (Sturtz) Romee on July 16, 1928, in Laurel. On Dec. 30, 1946, she married Albert “Bill” Hodges. He died in 1997.
She will be remembered for her tea rings, cinnamon rolls and Oreo cookie ice cream pies. She had prepared many large family dinners.
She had received care from Tendernest Assisted Living Facility and the Billings Clinic Intensive Care Unit.
Survivors include daughters, Kathy Nagel of North Dakota and Susan Hodges of Washington; sons, Bill Hodges of Hardin, Jeff Hodges of Washington and Pat Hodges of Oregon; 16 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a sister, Margaret Frazer; and a brother, Chuck Romee.
Visitation was Sept. 26 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Rosary and Vigil Service were at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 with Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Sept. 27, both at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. Committal was in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 16:19
James William “J.W.” Southworth, 58, a free spirit, died Sept. 24, 2014.
He was born Nov. 29, 1955, to James O. and Clara Southworth. He graduated from Laurel High School in 1974. He and Renee Norstrom married at that time and later divorced.
He began working at the rail plant in Laurel during the summers while in high school; it was the start of his railroad career with Burlington Northern. He was one of the few men who operated the jet-powered snow blowers that took him to winter locations across the region.
In 1987, he began working for Montana Rail Link, which was taking over the Yellowstone Division from the Burlington Northern. While there, he worked his way up to the position of assistant road master.
In 2000, he accepted a position with the Federal Railroad Administration as safety track inspector and relocated to Jacksonville, Fla. He later left the railroad because of ill health.
In his railroad career, Mr. Southworth taught Tom Cruise how to swing a spike mall and also appeared in the movie “Far and Away” with his railroad buddies. He was a carpenter and mechanic and restored vintage and hot-rod cars.
Survivors include his father, James O. Southworth and wife, Clarice; a brother, Ray W. Southworth; a sister, Tana Haddenham; and close friend and caretaker, Jeanne Bergan.
A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 at Park City Civic Center with a reception following. A cemetery placement of the ashes will follow.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 16:18
Ted Wayne Parod, 73, founder of the ALERT air ambulance and rescue program in Kalispell, died Sept. 27, 2014.
He was born April 11, 1941, in Oak Park, Ill., and grew up in Phoenix, Ariz., where he attended Sunnyslope High School. After graduation he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Steinborn, Germany, as a nuclear missile technician.
After leaving the service he attended Enterprise Junior College and then Troy State University in Alabama where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in history. He attended law school at Arizona State University.
Mr. Parod had flown thousands of hours in fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons and experimental aircraft. His career included offshore and bush flying in Alaska, search and rescue operations, aerial film work, law enforcement support and fighting forest fires.
He was both a civilian and military flight instructor, a check pilot and safety officer for the Federal Aviation Administration and a certified emergency medical technician. He received the Montana Outstanding Pilot of the Year Award and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the FAA.
The death of a logger in northwest Montana inspired Mr. Parod to establish aerial medical transport from remote areas inaccessible to ground ambulances. He founded Mountain West Helicopters in Kalispell and made presentations to civic organizations to encourage support for a hospital-based air ambulance program. Initially, he was on call for air ambulance runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The ALERT program is the nation’s second-oldest air ambulance program and the first to be based in a rural community hospital. After retiring from flying, Mr. Parod wrote several books and became a founding member of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. He eventually settled into ranching in the Columbus area, where he had resided for the last 10 years. He served on the board of directors for the Columbus Rural Fire District and the Farmers Union Trading Co. in Columbus.
Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Debbie; children, Jennifer Parod, Katie Hansen, Daniel Parod, Christopher Parod and Bobbi Parod; and two grandchildren.
At his request, no funeral will be held. A reception for family, friends and associates will be held in the Columbus Fire Department Community Room from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. Dahl Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Donations are suggested to the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 16:17
Dale Norman Kills Pretty Enemy, 61, who had been a boxer and boxing coach, died at 5:47 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, of an ongoing illness.
He was born on April 5, 1953, in Fort Yates, N.D., to Ella Mae (Flying Horse) and Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy Sr. He was given the Indian name “Pie San Hunka Sni,” or “Lame Pale Buffalo,” by his grandparents, Felix and Alice Kills Pretty Enemy.
He grew up on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Rock Creek area, also known as Bull Head, S.D. Upon moving to Montana in the early 1970s, he was adopted by the late Robert Round Face and became a member of the Greasy Mouth Clan and was a Child of the Greasy Mouth Clan. He came from a long line of Medicine men and was the third generation of the holy man Leon Kills Pretty Enemy (Hosi ka hipi, or “Message Bringer”).
He practiced the Native American religion and was a member of the St. Charles Catholic church of Pryor.
He attended Bull Head Day School through fourth grade, then St. Joseph Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D., through eighth grade. He graduated in 1973 from St. Paul’s High School in Marty, S.D. He earned an associate’s degree in engineering drafting from Haskell Indian Junior College.
He participated in track, baseball, boxing, softball, wrestling, basketball and in football as a linebacker. He was offered a football scholarship to the University of Nebraska but declined it and played briefly for the Haskell Indians.
He married Jolene (Whiteman) Kills Pretty Enemy in September 1974.
He was a boxing coach when his son Jason boxed for the Billings Amateur Boxing Club along with the late Melvin Weasel Boy Sr. and Jose Chavez. The boxing team made it to Kings Port, Tenn., and Prescott, Ariz., in 1989 and 1990 for the Silver Gloves Boxing Championship.
He was fluent in the Lakota language and understood the Crow language.
Survivors include his wife; children, Casey, Jason, Joelle, Trisheena, Chase Kills Pretty Enemy, Darrian Four Bear and Camila Chavez; 14 grandchildren; and siblings, Michael Kills Pretty Enemy of Bullhead, S.D., Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy Jr. of McLaughlin, S.D., Mary Helen Kills Pretty Enemy of Bullhead, Kris Kills Pretty Enemy of Indianhead, Md., and Clarice Kills Pretty Enemy of Rapid City, S.D.
Rosary was held Wednesday, Sept. 24, at St. Charles Mission in Pryor. Services were Sept. 25 at St. Charles Mission.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2014 16:15