The Billings Outpost

Gerald ‘Gerry’ Ellis

Gerald Hayes Ellis, 84, of Billings, who had been an agronomist at Montana State University and Colorado State University, died June 12, 2014.

He was born March 5, 1930, in Moore, the youngest of eight children of Hayes and Gertrude Ellis. He served in the Korean war from 1951-1953 and acquired a master of science degree in agronomy from Montana State University in 1961. He retired at CSU in 1994.

He married Alice (Christie) Ellis on Dec. 18, 1960.

Survivors include his wife; daughters, Gennette Hogan of Billings, Susan Williamson of Platteville, Colo., and Becky Johnson of Billings; a son, Kerry Ellis of London; nine grandchildren; a great-grandchild; three stepgrandchildren; two stepgreat-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild on the way.

Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:08

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Karen Marie Kragt

Karen Marie Kragt, 29, of Billings, who had worked for Montana State University Billings for approximately 10 years, died of cancer on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

She was born Nov. 15, 1984, in Missoula, one of three children of Jeffrey and Bernice Brandt.

She attended St. Joseph School in Rosemount, Minn., Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., and MSU Billings, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

She had worked most recently for MSU Billings as a statistician for New Student Services.

On Oct. 17, 2009, she married Joe Eugene Kragt. She had received care from Billings Clinic Cancer Center.

Survivors include her husband; parents; a brother, Barry Brandt; a sister, Camille Grundhauser; grandparents, Charles and Alice Wellman; and grandmother-in-law Grace Kragt.

Rosary and a visitation Vigil service were held June 15 at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Funeral Mass was June 16 at St. Pius X. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be sent to MSU Billings Foundation, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101; St. Joseph School Scholarship fund, 13900 Biscayne Ave. W., Rosemount, MN 55068; Cretin-Derham Hall High School, 550 S. Albert St., St. Paul, MN 55116; or the American Brain Tumor Association (to help Glioblastoma research), 855 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 550, Chicago, IL 60631.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:08

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Louise Kinsey Vinner

Louise Kinsey Vinner, 95, who had worked until age 85 as an oil secretary, died Thursday, June 12, 2014.

She was born in Glendive on Nov. 30, 1918, the second child of Lee Roy and Jessie (Case) Kinsey. Her mother died soon after her birth, and she and her older sister, Doris, were raised by Mr. Kinsey’s second wife, O’Delia Rinehart. The Kinsey kids grew to six girls and four boys.

She moved from Glendive to Billings in the mid-1930s to attend Billings Business College and earned a secretarial certification. She married Jack Irving Vinner on July 22, 1944.

Mr. Vinner died in 1992. In 2001, she met a friend and companion, Bill Rogers, at St. Vincent Rehabilitation.

Mrs. Vinner was an oil secretary at Marshall Wells Oil Co., quitting work to raise her children. She returned to work at the Executive Building, Boardwalk Travel, and finished her career at Montana Oil Resources.

She was known for her cooking, especially apple pies, homemade cookies and holiday fruit cakes. She had received care from Tender Nest Assisted Living and Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Survivors include a daughter, Jackie Bernier; a son, Mark Vinner; two granddaughters; four great-grandchildren; brothers, Don Kinsey and Bill Kinsey; and a sister, Margaret Hull.

A vigil was held June 17 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was performed June 18 at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral. Interment followed in Sunset Memorial Gardens. A reception was then held at the church.

Memorials may be directed to Martha Ozonoff, CA&ES Dean’s Office, 150 Mrak Hall, University of California, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616. Note Marvin Kinsey Graduate Award in the memo line of the check.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 10:07

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George Spencer Minder

George Spencer Minder, 58, who worked as an administrator in hospitals in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, died Monday night, June 2, 2014, after battling cancer for a year.

He was born in Sidney on Oct. 24, 1955, to Ruth and Joe Minder. He attended schools in Lewistown and Sidney, graduating from Sidney High School in 1974.

Mr. Minder graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with a bachelor’s degree in education. He taught and coached middle school and high school students for three years in Lima, then returned to MSU and obtained a master’s degree in public administration.

He worked as a director of human resources and chief executive officer at hospitals in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. At the time of his death, he was CEO of the Big Horn Hospital in Hardin.

He married Dawn Goebel on July 4, 1981, in Sidney. As newlyweds they backpacked across Europe for three months and later traveled to Fiji, China, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Mexico and Canada.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Clara of Hardin; a son, Phillip of Billings; mother, of Lewistown; and sisters, Carolyn Minder of Boise, Idaho, and Shelley Wiederrich of Helena.

Service will be in Hardin at 1 p.m. June 12 in First American Lutheran Church. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 23:03

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Ruth Heth

Ruth Heth, known for her paintings, has died.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Mary Batt, and husband, Clifford Heth.

Survivors include children, Diana Kay, Clifton Heth, David Heth of Texas, and Deborah Heth of Oregon; a sister, Miriam Foote of Kalispell; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 23:03

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Peter E. Decker

Peter Earl Decker, 88, of Billings, who had owned Briggs Distributing, died at St. Vincent Healthcare on May 30, 2014.

He was born Oct. 10, 1925, in Big Timber to Peter Earl and Della Scyphers Decker. He grew up in Bozeman and enlisted in the Marine Corps after finishing high school.

When his military service ended in 1946, he returned to Bozeman and graduated from Montana State University in 1950 with a degree in accounting and business. He married Mary Kay Archibald on Sept. 17, 1947, in Sheridan, Wyo.

He and two friends started a mobile accounting business in Bozeman, which was short-lived because he was called back into the military in Oceanside, Calif.

Once back in Montana, he went to work as a bookkeeper for Fred Briggs in 1951. Over time, he purchased the beer business from Mr. Briggs and retired in 1992. He remained involved in the business until he moved into the Vista at St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in 2011.

He had been a member of the Billings Jaycees, Kiwanis and the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple, where he was a member of the GI Drill Squad. He spent time on Canyon Creek in the ’70s and ’80s and at a lake in Minnesota.

Survivors include daughters, Karen Boyer and Susan Decker; sons, Ken Decker, Steve Decker and John Decker; a brother, Bob Decker; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 N. 27th St., at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 24. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Memorials can be sent to the Shriner’s Hospital, Al Bedoo Temple, P.O. Box 20673, Billings, MT 59104-0673; or the Pete and Mary Kay Decker Scholarship Fund at Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 23:02

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Geraldine ‘Jerry’ Viator

Geraldine “Jerry” Viator, 76, of Billings, a beautician who became a beauty school director, died June 9, 2014.

She was born May 7, 1938, to Ernest and Mable Myers and was raised in New Iberia, La. She spent her younger years providing for her three girls, and recently came to live with them and their families in Billings.

She enjoyed the simple things in life and spent her time gardening, painting, sewing, cooking and crafting.

Survivors include daughters, Marla Long, Phyllis Ditto and Ashley Robichaux; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a sister, Brenda Primeaux.

Services were June 11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. A celebration in Louisiana for family and friends was planned.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 23:01

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Charlotte Adams

Charlotte Dodd Adams, 97, of Billings, died while sleeping in her chair on May 23, 2014, her deceased husband’s birthday. She had been living in Moorberg Cottage at St. John’s Lutheran Home.

The daughter of Thomas Calvin Dodd and Harriet Jeannette Ritter Dodd, she was born in Gosport, Ind., on May 26, 1916. She graduated from Bloomington High School in Bloomington, Ind., went to secretarial school and then worked in Bloomington and Chicago, Ill.

When World War II broke out, she served as a Red Cross worker tending to injured soldiers stateside. After the war, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she did clerical work for the federal government.

On May 21, 1948, she married Robert “Bob” Adams. His job with the Pillsbury Co. took them to Indianapolis, Cleveland, Chicago and finally Minneapolis, where they lived for more than 30 years. She worked at the Indiana State Legislature and in the Special Education Department for Edina, Minn., schools.

In 1999, they moved to Billings to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law in Red Lodge. They lived in the retirement community at Mission Ridge on the St. John’s Campus.

Survivors include a daughter, Debbie Bratton; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

No local services were planned. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 11:41

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Ruth Marie Arensmeyer Bloedel

Ruth Marie Arensmeyer Bloedel, 84, who had owned and operated the Brunswick Bar in Hysham with her husband, died Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

She was born Jan. 8, 1930, to Ernest and Freida Arensmeyer, the eighth of nine children. She grew up in Choteau, where she graduated from high school in 1948. Soon after, she moved to Spearfish, S.D., to assist her sister Esther in caring for her young children.

She married Earl Bloedel on Jan. 7, 1951, the day before her 21st birthday. They had five children, including one, Forrest, who died at birth.

They moved to Billings in the late 1950s. In 1977 they moved to Hysham where they owned and operated the Brunswick Bar until they retired in 1992. They lived in Hysham until 2002 when they moved back to Billings.

She had received care from RiverStone Health Hospice Home.

Survivors include her husband; daughters, Cindy Menosky, Jeanne and Laura Robertson; a son, Bob; and three grandchildren.

Services were May 31 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery in Billings.

Memorials can be made to the RiverStone Health Hospice Care Home, P.O. Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 11:40

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Shirley Erickson

Shirley Erickson, 86, of Billings, a longtime teacher’s aide, died Sunday, June 1, 2014.

She was born in Minot, N.D., on Feb. 14, 1928, and grew up in Great Falls. For many years, she was a teacher’s aide at the Fratt School and Riverside Junior High School.

In retirement, she and her husband, Erick, traveled in their motor home to Alaska, Hawaii, Saskatchewan and many Western and Southern states.

She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Survivors include her husband of nearly 60 years; a son, Erick L. Erickson; a daughter, Karla M. Satchwell; three grandchildren; a sister, Dorothy Johnson; and a brother, Albert O. Schmidt.

Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 11:39

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