The Billings Outpost

Annette (Meyer) Pierce

Annette (Meyer) Pierce, 81, who had managed the Naturalizer Shoe Store in Billings, died Jan. 9, 2014, at Valley Health Care Center.

She was born Annette Rose Worthington on June 16, 1932, in Wheatland, Wyo., to Harry and Serena Maybelle Worthington. She grew up in Wyoming and married Aaron Meyer on July 17, 1950, in Athol, Kan. They lived on the Meyer family farm at Athol, Kan., and managed the farm after the death of his father in 1957.

She held office jobs in Kansas and was the manager of the Naturalizer Shoe Store in Billings for several years.

Survivors include a son, Jay Meyer of Musselshell; a daughter, Jan Cates of Billings; brothers, Newt Worthington of Laramie, Wyo., and Marshall Worthington of Buffalo, Wyo.; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held Jan. 14 at Sunset Memorial Gardens. A reception followed at 4235 Murphy Ave. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to Valley Health Care Center, in care of Cremation and Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W., Billings, MT 59101.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:42

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Laura Hanna

Laura Louise Hanna, 85, who volunteered often and traveled extensively, died Jan. 6, 2014, in Billings.

She was born to Bert and Amy Gilliland of Phillipsburg, Kan., on April 7, 1928. After graduating from high school in Fountain, Colo., she married Earl K. Hanna.

The parsonage family lived in Erie, Platteville and Arvada, Colo.  Beginning at North Arvada Junior High in 1963, Mrs. Hanna touched innumerable lives as an office assistant and secretary, serving in similar capacities at Wheat Ridge Senior High and Everett Junior High schools before retiring in 1998.

During those years, she volunteered at St. Anthony Hospital, Ridge Home, Fletcher Miller School, Craig Hospital and as a deputy probation officer for the 1st Judicial District.

She had traveled through North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Upon retirement, she moved to Billings to be near her daughter and her family.

Survivors include a brother, Kenneth Gilliland; a sister, Yvonne Gibson; a son, Mark; a daughter, Kim Schmitz; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Donations may be made to RiverStone Health Hospice Services, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT  59101-4200.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:41

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Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Bruski

Geraldine “Gerry” Joyce Bruski, 88, who had been employed at St. Vincent Healthcare, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, after a brief illness.

She was born Nov. 15, 1925, the oldest of six children born to Arthur and Marie Clocksin. She was raised in Plevna, and in 1943 she graduated from Carter County High School in Ekalaka. She attended St. Paul Bible College in St. Paul, Minn., and married Sylvester “Ski” Bruski, her husband of 52 years, while teaching school in Plevna.

They lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota before settling in Billings in 1964. Mrs. Bruski was known for her cooking and baking, and she was also employed at St. Vincent Healthcare for 15 years.

Survivors include children, Dennis Bruski of Rapid City, S.D., Keith Bruski of Maiden and Lynette Cross of Billings; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sisters, Arlin Bartholomew of Summerfield, Fla., Evelyn O’Conner of Mitchell, S.D., and Marilyn Allbright of Lusk, Wyo.; and a brother, Ellis Clocksin of Rapid City, S.D.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at First Alliance Church in Billings. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to First Alliance Church.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:40

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Bessie E. McCallum

Bessie E. McCallum, 84, of Billings, died Jan. 7, 2014.

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

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:39

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Darline F. Rohrdanz

Darline F. Rohrdanz, 89, died Jan. 10, 2014.

Private interment was in Huntley Cemetery. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:38

Hits: 245

Virginia M. Moreland

Virginia Moreland, 80, of Billings, died Jan. 10, 2014.

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

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:37

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Patrick ‘Rick’ Sweeney

Patrick Charles Sweeney, 70, who had been a Judge Advocate General officer in the Air Force before going into private practice in Billings, died Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.

He was born in Billings on June 18, 1943, to Naomi and Charles Sweeney.  At the time of his birth, his father, a B-17 pilot during World War II, had been declared missing in action and would spend nearly two years in German prisoner of war camps before being liberated by the allies in 1945.

In 1946 the family moved to a farm outside of Hardin. The family moved into Hardin in 1953 and he graduated from Hardin High School in 1961, playing defensive lineman on the varsity football team.

He earned a law degree from the University of Montana in 1968. He worked during summer breaks on construction of the Yellowtail Dam south of Hardin. He married Diana Patrick, and they had five children.

In 1969, Mr. Sweeney entered the Air Force as a commissioned officer, beginning a 20-year career as a Judge Advocate General officer (JAG). He was stationed in New Jersey, California, Michigan and Greece.

After he and his wife divorced, he was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he finished his Air Force career as a lieutenant colonel and was honorably discharged.

He returned to Montana and went into private practice in Billings, first as a partner with Allen Beck and later as a sole practitioner.  In 1993 he married Lottie Blades, and acquired another son, Brett, whom he adopted in 2006. The marriage also brought a stepson into his life. They divorced in 2013.

Survivors include his mother; a brother, Kevin Sweeney; a sister, Nancy Keyes; children, Shana Silvestri, Charles, Michael, Darrel, Robert and Brett; a stepson, Seth Blades; and nine grandchildren.

Services were Jan. 11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Donations may be made in his name to Special Olympics Montana, P.O. Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:34

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Joseph Maheras

Joseph Charles Maheras, 76, a longtime Billings physician, died Jan. 10, 2014, of cancer.

He was born June 14, 1937, to Celia Argenta Miles Maheras and Peter John Maheras in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was raised on the family farm with five siblings.

He graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1955 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Chicago. He studied chemistry at the University of Oregon and received a master’s degree in chemistry from Idaho State University.

He entered medical school at the University of South Dakota in 1963. He married Mary Gugin on Aug. 20, 1966, and they both received their doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Washington Medical School in 1967. Internship and residency in internal medicine took them to Hennepin County General Hospital in Minneapolis.

During the Vietnam War, Dr. Maheras served in the Medical Corps as the surgeon for the 172 Infantry Brigade at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was discharged as a major in 1972 and returned to Hennepin County to complete the residency program.

The family moved to Billings in 1975, and he began his 36-year medical career at the Billings West Medical Center. He served at both St. Vincent Healthcare and the former Deaconess Hospital, and his practice led him from Billings West to the Broadwater Clinic to temporary retirement in 2005.

He then assisted until 2013 at the Sleep Center at St. Vincent Healthcare. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2008.

Dr. Maheras served in numerous leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America and received the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver Award, and the God and Service Award. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow.

He played the accordion, clarinet and concertina and sang for more than 30 years in the chancel choir of Grace United Methodist Church. He had recently joined the Big Sky Chorus. 

Since his initial retirement in 2005, he had been building a cedar strip canoe. It will be launched when warm weather returns.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Andrew and Toby; a daughter, Amy; three grandsons; sisters, Elaine, Ruth and Joy; and a brother, Ted.

A time of fellowship and greeting will be held at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Services will be at Grace United Methodist Church, 1935 Ave. B, at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, followed by a luncheon in the church Fellowship Hall.

Memorials may be directed to Doctors Without Borders or St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:32

Hits: 198

John Rea

John Herbert Rea, 71, of Billings, a designer, woodworker, mechanic and builder, died Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, from complications due to pneumonia.

The oldest of four children, he was born to John and Delores Rea on March 16, 1942, in Walla Walla, Wash. He graduated from Touchet High School in 1961.

He earned a degree in diesel mechanics from Oregon Technical Institute in 1964. He married JoAnne Hilde in 1975 and they lived in Touchet before relocating to Billings in 1976.

Mr. Rea worked in manufacturing and sales of trailers until he retired in 1995. He spent his free time designing and creating woodworking projects and camping.

In 2007, a spinal injury left him a paraplegic. He spent countless hours building historical wooden model ships while confined to his bed.

Mr. Rea was an active member of Billings Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Survivors include his wife, of Billings; mother, Delores Dodd Rea of Touchet; a brother, Robert Rea of Touchet; sisters, Joan McCracken of Queen Creek, Ariz., and Leisha Synoground of Kennewick, Wash.; children, Jonathan Rea of El Mirage, Ariz., Troy Rea of Layton, Utah, and Trent Rea of Kennewick; stepchildren, Jeff Hilde, Melodi Drake, Kurt Mende and Kent Mende; a foster daughter, Shellee Roberts; 26 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at Billings Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3204 Broadwater Ave., at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Arrangements are by Cremation and Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to Three Angels Broadcasting Network, P.O. Box 220, West Frankfort, IL 62896-0220.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:31

Hits: 349

Ronald R. Sanchez

Ronald Rafugio Sanchez, 55, who had most recently worked at Olive Garden, died Jan. 10, 2014, at his home in Billings.

He was born April 26, 1958, in Billings, the son of David and Phyllis (Ontiveros) Sanchez. He grew up in Billings, graduating from Billings Senior High School. He moved to St. Louis, Mo., in the ’90s.

Mr. Sanchez liked motorcycles and customizing cars. He worked for Associated Foods for about 10 years before working at Olive Garden.

Survivors include his wife, Carrie Ann; stepchildren, Sheila, Michael and Daniel Peltier; six grandchildren; father; and siblings, Dennis Sanchez, Diane Parrott, Ben Sanchez and Gary Sanchez.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Interment of ashes will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:31

Hits: 208

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