Harriet L. (Collins) Whearty, 90, who was one of the first Montana women to be ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, died Thursday, May 15, 2014, nine days after suffering a massive stroke at her home in Billings.
She was born Jan. 8, 1924, to Carrie and Francis M. Collins in Topeka, Kan. She learned piano from her mother. As a senior at Topeka High School, she was judged to be among the top student trumpeters in Kansas.
She played in the high school marching band and fell in love with the drum major, Raymond Whearty. They were married on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1946, at Oakland Presbyterian Church.
They worked in Pueblo, Colo., and in 1949 moved to Billings. Mrs. Whearty was a homemaker most of her life and volunteered for the Cub Scouts, Brownie Scouts and Girl Scouts. She gave her free time as activity director for two area nursing homes before finding her niche as her church’s secretary.
She was active in the Presbyterian Church her entire life. On April 21, 1963, as a member of First Presbyterian Church, she was among the first Montana women to be ordained an elder. In 1969 she became a charter member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. She was also a mainstay of the church quilting guild, which donated more than 200 handmade quilts for homeless shelters.
Survivors include her husband; three sons, Steven Whearty of Centralia, Wash., David Whearty of Billings and Bruce Whearty of Louisville, Ky.; and three additional generations of descendants.
Services were pending. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be given to St. Andrew Church, United Way, Red Cross, Food Bank or Habitat for Humanity.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:56
Joan Mossett Young, 84, of Billings, who had done product demos at Club Wholesale and shuttled rental cars for Hertz, died Friday, May 16, 2014, at Valley Health Care in Billings.
She was born Feb. 21, 1930, in Selfridge, N.D., the daughter of John and Barbara Kraft Mossett. On Dec. 17, 1949, she married Donald A. Young. Mr. Young died Nov. 3, 2008.
Mr. and Mrs. Young bought a retail clothing store in Libby in 1971. They ran the store until 1984 when they sold the business and moved to Billings to be closer to family.
The last five years of her life she was a resident at Valley Health Care.
Survivors include children, Lory Jennings of Billings, Bruce Young of Laurel and Bradley Young of Libby; a sister, Jean Henneberry of Billings; and three grandchildren.
Services will be at Cremation & Funeral Gallery at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 22.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:55
Alfreida Delaine McNabb, 77, of Billings, died May 14, 2014.
She was born March 24, 1937, one of four children of Alexander Charette and Edna Richards Charette in St. John, N.D.
She had once worked in a Woolworth store in Milwaukee, Wis. On April 30, 1958, she married Raymond Reed McNabb in Wolf Point. They had eight children, and she gave up a singing career to care for her children.
Survivors include Anthony and Clarice Charette of Wolf Point, Raymond and Lorna Jean McNabb of Buhl, Idaho, Lorna Peltier and Dennis Belgarde of Belcourt, N.D., William and Mary McNabb of Boise, Idaho, Donald and Laurie McNabb of Twin Falls, Idaho, Glenn McNabb of Billings, Genevieve and Chuck Hanson of Billings, Vivian and Darrin Waples of Colstrip, Sylvia Maldanado of Idaho, Alan and Roberta Ashley of Billings; adopted children, Al and Laura Charette of Prineville, Ore.; 29 grandchildren; and 20-plus great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:54
Thomas C. Zopfi, 70, who enjoyed team roping, fishing and hunting, died May 11, 2014, at his home in Worden.
He was born Aug. 17, 1943, to Raymond and Ruth Zopfi. He was raised in Osseo, Minn., and graduated in 1961 from Osseo High School.
He had been a member of the Minnesota National Guard and trained in Fort Knox, Ky. He moved to Montana in his late 20s.
He was married to Carol Grammens, who died July 25, 1987.
Survivors include a son, Austin Zopfi; brothers, Ken, Arn and Ron; and a sister, Rikie.
A celebration of life was held May 15 in the Pryor Creek Golf Course basement. Dahl Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:53
John William Feeley, 65, a land surveyor and Vietnam veteran, died May 5, 2014, after living with the effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and spending two weeks in intensive care at Billings Clinic.
He was born Dec. 16, 1948, at Rosebud Memorial Hospital to George V. Feeley and Marcella Deveny Feeley, the fifth of seven children. He rode horses and helped his father feed cattle as a child.
He attended school in Hysham and Billings and played catcher in Hysham Little League. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17, serving as a wireman and forward observer in combat in Vietnam. He was promoted to sergeant and received an honorable discharge.
He had worked in a variety of jobs, especially as a land surveyor. He excelled in journalism classes at Flathead Community College and belonged to the journalism club.
Survivors include Sandy Almond, Terry Skerritt, Pat Feeley, Tim Feeley, Martin Feeley, Mary Simons, Evelyn “Tiny” Cochran; a daughter, Marcy Anderson; and a grandson.
Services were pending. Friends were asked to remember him by honoring a veteran.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:52
Hildegard Marie (Lorsung) Gappa, 102, who had worked many years at the St. Vincent Hospital laundry, died May 5, 2014, at St. John’s Lutheran Home.
She was born on July 30, 1911, in Millerville, Minn., the daughter of Anthony and Anna (Kotschevar) Lorsung. At age 6, she lost her mother in the 1918 flu epidemic, and her grandmother helped to raise the six children. She attended Catholic schools in Millerville and graduated from St. Benedict’s Academy in St. Joseph, Minn.
She married Bill Gappa, and they moved to Montana for work and health reasons. They lived in Circle, Baker, Miles City and Harlowton before moving to Billings in 1953.
They were members of the St. Patrick’s and Holy Rosary parishes over the years. At the time of her death, Mrs. Gappa was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.
She had worked in the business office of a lumber company before going to work at the St. Vincent Hospital laundry. She had lived in St. John’s Lutheran Home since 1992.
She was an associate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and supported the Community with daily prayers.
Survivors include a daughter, Sister Mary Clare Gappa; a son, Bob Gappa of Tucson, Ariz.; two grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation was May 10-11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Rosary and Vigil were on Sunday at Dahl Funeral Chapel, and Funeral Mass was on Monday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Committal was in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Memorials in her name may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church or to St. John’s Lutheran Ministries.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:26
Wilma Vale Fisher, 90, who had ranched on Fly Creek with her husband, died May 5, 2014, at Grand Park Assisted Living.
She was born May 17, 1923, to Charles and Leone (Knapp) Sherod at their home outside of Lodge Grass. She married Richard “Bud” Fisher on Sept. 12, 1939.
They lived in Alaska, Wyoming and Montana before settling in Meeteetse, Wyo., in 1954.
In 1972, they began ranching on Fly Creek until they downsized and settled in Worden for the rest of their lives. Mr. Fisher died in May 2013.
Survivors include a daughter, Peggy Ellison; sisters, Betty Hamby and Bobbie Gilbert; eight grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
Services are planned for June 7. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:26
Elizabeth "Betty" C. Hjelvik Taylor, 85, who was retired from the Alaska Department of Transportation, died May 13, 2014.
She was born Feb. 14, 1929, in Forsyth, the second child of Iver Math Hjelvik and Adela Schroeder Hjelvik. She graduated from high school in Sumatra, where she played basketball.
On Oct. 4, 1947, she married Max Belzer, and they had three children. They later divorced, and she married Eugene ?Gene? Taylor on June 30, 1978. He had three children.
She taught sewing in 4-H, painted, crocheted, knitted and sewed for her friends and family. She and Mr. Taylor had lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, for many years. She had received care from Edgewood Vista, Yellowstone River of Care and Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include a daughter, Betty Jo Wellman of Billings; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and siblings, Elva Christiansen of Billings, Jean Lang of Musselshell, Joan McCaffree of Melstone, Bud Hjelvik of Melstone, John Hjelvik of Nye, Dorothy Smith of Des Moines, Iowa, and Mary Sherman of Choteau.
Services will be at the Community Bible Church of Musselshell at 11 a.m. Monday, May 19. Interment in Musselshell Cemetery will follow the service. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to the Friends of Musselshell School.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:25
Michael J. St. Dennis, 46, who had worked in construction and roofing and on the Montana smoke jumping crew, died May 3, 2014, at Advanced Care Hospital.
He was born on July 27, 1967, in Helena, the son of Yvonne St. Dennis. He attended McKinley, Lincoln Junior High and Senior High schools and then joined the Job Corps in Darby. He resided in California and Missoula before returning to Billings. He was employed in construction and roofing jobs, worked for the sugar beet factory, Montana smoke jumping crew and was an in-home care nurse for a friend.
Survivors include his mother; daughters, Brekelle and Mariah; a son, Michael; a granddaughter; and a brother, Roy.
Services were May 10 at the Billings Praise Center, 516 S. 37th St. Graveside services were planned for Missoula. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:24
Marjorie Lyon Loos died May 9, 2014, 93 years to the day after her birth in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1921.
Her husband of 62 years, the Rev. Joseph E. Loos, died in 2007. She and her husband had served a number of Montana community churches. She also had been an artist, greeting card designer, seamstress, knitter, school bus driver, small-plane pilot, horseback rider, soprano singer and French teacher.
She was a graduate in costume design from Moore Institute in Philadelphia and a graduate of Lower Marion High School in Pennsylvania.
Survivors include three sons, David of Billings, Joe of Missoula and Richard of Ely, England; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held in late August. The family can be contacted at 49 W. Meadow Drive, Billings, MT 59102. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:23