The Billings Outpost

Roger Clawson

Roger Wayne Clawson, 73, a longtime Montana journalist and columnist, died Oct. 4, 2015, of multi-organ failure.

He was born in Hardin on Aug. 6, 1942, the seventh child of Clara and Harry Clawson. He grew up in Custer, graduating from Custer High School in 1960.

He was a National Merit Scholar and attended the University of Montana and Eastern Montana College. He graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., with a bachelor’s degree in English and a teaching certificate.

His first reporting job was with the Rock Springs, Wyo., Rocket Miner. He later owned a weekly paper in Bridger with a friend, Gary Svee. He also worked as a journalist in Albuquerque, N.M., and Peoria, Ill., before joining The Billings Gazette in the early 1970s. He eventually wrote two columns a week and became city editor. After leaving the Gazette, he wrote a weekly column for The Billings Outpost for 15 years.

Mr. Clawson relished the controversy he sometimes caused. Both his address and phone number were public knowledge. When he wrote against the wholesale killing of coyotes, an irate sheep rancher left a dead lamb on his doorstep.

Less controversial were his tales about the Old Poacher, his father, Harry Clawson. Beaver, antelope, deer and prairie chickens all appeared on the family table. Mr. Clawson and Mr. Svee also won the Alicia Patterson Award in Journalism for their coverage of coal development in Eastern Montana.

After leaving the Gazette, he formed his own publishing company, The Prose Works. With watercolorist Bernadine Fox, he produced a history of Pompeys Pillar as well as “Yellowstone Reflections,” an illustrated essay on canoeing the Yellowstone River. He also wrote a high school textbook of Montana history.

He had traveled to France and made many trips to Mexico and Central America. He canoed the Amazon, climbed Machu Pichu, sailed to the Galapagos Islands and explored the Arctic. He was also an avid birder. He was a 31-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Survivors include a son, Slade, and friends Sharie Pyke, Harry Moccasin and Fred LaBeau.

He was adopted into the Crow Tribe by Lorraine Real Bird Moccasin and named Bachee Baahchiilash, A Man of Good Fortune. He was a member of the Whistling Water Clan and a Newly Made Lodge kid. His Moccasin brothers and sisters include Nellevette Moccasin, Wayne Moccasin, Veda Rock Above, Joyce Moccasin, Helen Crooked Arm, Loretta Johnson, Lana Moccasin and Connie Moccasin. He is also survived by his Crow daughter, Amy Howe, and three grandchildren.

Rite of Christian Burial will be at noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Second Avenue North and North 33rd Street, with lunch to follow.

Donations may be made to the Yellowstone Audubon Society.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 18:41

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Scottie Ramsey

Scottie D. Ramsey, 37, a vice president of Little Horn State Bank, died in the early morning of Oct. 2, 2015.

He was born Sept. 19, 1978, in Minnesota to Terry Lee (Bergmann) St. Germaine. He moved to Great Falls in the third grade and lived with his father, Jim Ramsey. He participated in football, weightlifting and wrestling and graduated from Great Falls High School in 1997. He attended Montana State University Bozeman and transferred to MSU Northern in Havre where he attended on scholarship and played college football.

In 2003 he moved to Minneapolis with his girlfriend Amanda and worked for Kellogg snacks. They moved to Billings in 2005 and were married in 2007 on the Big Island, Hawaii.

Mr. Ramsey moved from retail to banking in 2006, starting at Wells Fargo and transferring to Western Security Bank. He found his calling in commercial lending when he began working for Yellowstone Bank in 2011. Ultimately he moved to Little Horn State Bank and became a vice president.

Survivors include a son, Bo Ramsey; his father; siblings, Frank, Remick, Elizabeth and Katy; grandparents, Bill and Nancy Ramsey and Dave and Sandy Bergmann; and a friend, Angela Meurer.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, in Great Falls at the Northwest Center, 2201 Northwest Bypass. Arrangements are by Heights Family Funeral Home and Crematory.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 18:40

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Judy Krumheuer

Judy Krumheuer, 66, an employee at Doc & Eddy’s Buffalo Palace Casino, died at home on Sept. 30, 2015.

She was born Julianna Judith Krumheuer on Nov. 18, 1948, to Bill and Mary Krkosa. The youngest of six children, she grew up on the family ranch in the Ballantine-Pompeys Pillar area. She attended school in Worden and graduated from Huntley Project in 1967.

After high school, she attended Billings Business College. She then began working at Billings Deaconess Hospital and eventually became a phlebotomist.

On Nov. 15, 1969, she married Gordon Krumheuer. After a couple of years, she resigned from her job to stay at home and raise their daughter. For many years, she volunteered at the elementary school. She provided homemade treats for her daughter’s classes, led the Brownies and Girl Scouts troops and chauffeured kids to and from dance and other events.

In 1993, she went to work at Doc & Eddy’s Buffalo Palace Casino. She was the designated “president” of the daily “Men’s Club” at the casino.

Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Shaundel; brothers, John and Dave; and a sister, MaryAnn.

Services followed by  a celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at Heights Family Funeral Home, 733 W. Wicks Lane. The Rev. David Reichling will officiate.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 18:39

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Robert ‘Bob’ Guckeen

Robert “Bob” Guckeen, 71, of Billings, who was retired from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, died Sept. 18, 2015.

He was born in Waco, Texas, on July 11, 1944, to Harold and Helen Guckeen. Years after moving to Montana, he graduated in 1963 from Central Catholic High School. He served in the Navy from 1965-68, afterward working as a laborer, then retiring from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

In 1981 he married Jeanne Waters of Richey. He had received care from St. Vincent Healthcare.

Survivors include his wife; children, Sarah and Tara, and Jason, from a prior marriage; three brothers, including his twin Vaughn Guckeen, Terry Guckeen and Michael Guckeen; three sisters, Carolann Von Eschen, Marcia Torgerson and Pattie Schumacher; and an aunt, Clara Still.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Heights Baptist Church, followed by burial of ashes at 1 p.m. in Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 19:52

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Jean Monforton

Jean (Hirschi) Monforton, 88, who worked on airplanes and gun barrels during World War II, died Sept. 19, 2015.

She was born July 16, 1927, in Richmond, Utah, one of 10 siblings of Leo and Pearl Bateman. She was married to Leo Monforton until his death in November 1990.

Her hobbies included painting, jigsaw puzzles, walking and arts and crafts. During World War II, at age 15, she was a “Rosie the Riveter” who worked on planes and also gun barrels for the Navy.

Survivors include sons, Gordon Hirschi, Wayne Hirschi, Jay Hirschi, Dick Hirschi and Jack Hirschi; daughters, Sherrie Wilson and Jill Nuss; 18 grandchildren; many great-great grandchildren; brothers, Bud Bateman, Denny Bateman and Dick Bateman; and sisters, Bonnie Sorenson and LaRee Burtock.

A graveside memorial service was held Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 19:51

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Margaret Crawford

Margaret Grenstiner Crawford, 90, who battled rheumatoid arthritis for many years, died at Aspen Meadows in Billings on Sept. 11, 2015.

She was born Sept. 22, 1924, to Anton and Helen (Vetsch) Grenstiner, the second oldest of eight children. She grew up on a farm in South Dakota.  She married Roy Crawford on Oct. 30, 1945, and they farmed, worked in the oil fields and later became business owners of the Club Bar in Dillon. They divorced in August 1977.

When she moved to Billings after the divorce, she worked at the Powder Horn and the War Bonnet Lounge. She was a member at Holy Rosary and St. Pius X Catholic churches and St. Patrick Co-Cathedral. She also was a member of Catholic Daughters.

She was struck with rheumatoid arthritis in her 20s but wasn’t diagnosed until age 35. Doctors told her to rest; she figured it was better to move. She said, “I had five kids; I couldn’t rest.” When she could no longer walk outdoors, she walked the long hallways at South Forty Apartments.

She was known for her homemade bread and rolls and said working the dough warmed her hands and loosened the stiffness. She had received care from Aspen Meadows.

Survivors include two daughters, Lori Albertson and Jannie Coyne; twin sons, Leroy and Royal; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Vigil will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at Dahl Funeral Chapel.  Memorial Mass will be at noon Oct. 16 at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral with a luncheon to follow. Inurnment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 19:50

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Ernest E. Faechner

Ernest E. Faechner, 87, of Billings, a longtime railroad employee, died Sept. 12, 2015.

He was born Jan. 28, 1928, in Box Elder. He served two years in the Army and was stationed in Japan.

He returned to Montana and worked for Great Northern Railroad, later Burlington Northern Railroad, for 40 years.

Mr. Faechner married Florence Graham on June 5, 1950, in Roundup.

Survivors include his wife.

Graveside services with military honors were held at Yellowstone National Cemetery. Smith West Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 19:49

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Adeline Donnes

Adeline “Toots” Jarussi Donnes, 100, a longtime Red Lodge resident and educator, died Sept. 20, 2015.

She was born Dec. 21, 1914, in Red Lodge to Lodovico and Carmela Jarussi, the seventh of 10 children. She graduated from Carbon County High School in 1932 and received a teaching certificate in 1934 from Montana Normal College in Dillon. She received a bachelor of arts degree in 1936.

From 1934 to 1938 she taught at the Tullock Creek school near Big Horn in Treasure County. She married James C. Donnes in Roundup in 1938.

Together, they operated Big Horn Mercantile; he was the mail carrier and she the postmaster. They also bought land in Treasure and Yellowstone counties and operated a Hereford cow and calf ranch near Custer. Even though Mr. Donnes died in 1969, she continued to own and lease the ranch until her death.

Mrs. Donnes returned to teaching, first in Boyd in 1944 and later in Red Lodge. She taught sixth through eighth grades at Roosevelt School, retiring in 1978 to her ranch in Custer.

In 1999, she returned to Red Lodge to care for her sisters, Lillian, Florence and Ernestine. 

Mrs. Donnes also had worked as a telephone operator, a clerk at Schwabs Drug Store, a substitute at the Red Lodge Public Library and as a secretary and bookkeeper for Principal Harry Field.

She was a member of the Montana Education Association, National Education Association and ADK, a teacher’s honorary sorority. She represented Red Lodge teachers at the annual delegate assembly in Helena. 

She was a Montana Democrat, active in both the Red Lodge and Custer Senior Centers and a member of St. Agnes and St. Mary’s Catholic parishes. 

She and her sisters donated the family garden land to Red Lodge Senior Citizens. The Red Lodge Senior and Community Center stands on that bequeathed property. The Center thrift store sustains the Center’s activities and is named Adeline’s Attic in her honor.

She had received care at the Willows.

Survivors include daughters, Louise Jenkins and Mary Jo Noser, who also pursued careers in education; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at St. Agnes with lunch following. Interment of cremains will be in the Custer Montana cemetery at 3 p.m. that day. Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel is assisting with arrangements.

Donations may be made to the Red Lodge Community and Senior Center, P.O. Box 1293, Red Lodge, MT, 59068; or to the Bereavement Ministry at St. Agnes Catholic Church, P.O. Box 1067, Red Lodge, MT, 59068.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 19:48

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James Franklin Nagel

James “Jim” Franklin Nagel, 79, who had a passion for music and hobbies, died Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.

He was born Jan. 16, 1936. He married Donna Wright in 1955, and they made their home in Billings.

His hobbies included gardening with his wife, Sunday drives, puzzles and genealogy. He also had a passion for music, having once played guitar as a member of The Westerners.

He had received care from Aspen Meadows.

Survivors include daughters, Susan Sherman and Jaime Carpenter; five grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Richard Nagel.

Services were on Friday, Sept. 11, at Mountview Cemetery. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 19:23

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Lynn Nemsgern

Lynn Marie Nemsgern, 67, who taught in Laurel and Park City for 23 years, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, at RiverStone Hospice House in Billings from pancreatic cancer.

She was born Dec. 23, 1947, in Townsend to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Meyer. She grew up in Townsend and Stevensville, graduating from Montana State University Bozeman in 1970.

She married Ron Massey, who was her husband for 25 years, and began her teaching career in Laurel. Later she moved to Park City where she helped start the public kindergarten. She taught for 23 years and later moved to Billings.

When she was in grade school she had to have brain surgery after having an accident riding a horse. This caused her to be disabled and have seizures in her later life. She was able to live a full and rewarding life through many years of therapy and care.

On July 13, 1996, Nick Nemsgern became her husband; Brenna Boyce from West Virginia, Misty Rockwell from Washington and Nick Nemsgern Jr. from Nevada became her stepchildren.

She was a member of Faith Evangelical Church.

Survivors include her husband; a sister, Trudy McLean of Whitehall; a brother, Jay Meyer of Stevensville; and a half-brother, Marvin Meyer.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to Billings Brain Injury Support Group, c/o Ian Elliot, 2512 Golden Blvd., Billings, MT 59102; Rainbow House, 925 N. 18th St., Billings, MT 59101; Epilepsy Foundation, 4351 Garden City Drive, Landover, MD 20785; or Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive, Billings, MT 59102-4599.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 19:22

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