The Billings Outpost

Wilbur Glen Eggebrecht

Wilbur Glen Eggebrecht, 91, of Billings, a rancher who with his brothers-in-law was the first to introduce and breed Charolais cattle in Montana, died Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Langemo Cottage at St. John’s Lutheran Home in Billings.

He was born Feb. 4, 1923, on the family homestead near Vida. He attended Wolf Creek school and graduated from high school at Wolf Point where he played football.

He rode saddle broncs and bulls in rodeos in Saskatchewan and Montana until he injured his shoulder. He married Kathleen Steffen in 1946, and they began to ranch in Vida.

Mr. Eggebrecht belonged to the Montana Stockgrowers, Elks Lodge, Soil Conservation, the Pro-Canadian Rodeo Association and the cowboy Turtle Association, which later became the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

When he was 65 years old, he and his grandson Mick rode horseback from his ranch in Vida to his daughter’s ranch in the Bear Paws near Chinook.

In 2003 Mr. and Mrs. Eggebrecht retired to Billings.

Survivors include his wife; three children, Helen Gullickson of Halliday, N.D., Steve Eggebrecht of Vida and Thomas Eggebrecht of Corvallis; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Services were March 18 at Vida Catholic Church. Interment was in the Vida Catholic Cemetery. Smith Funeral Chapels of Billings was in charge of arrangements.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:15

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Alice Elam Vandersnick

Alice G. Vandersnick, 97, who ended her working career at Outdoor Supply, died at Beartooth Community Healthcare in Columbus on March 17, 2014.

She was born to John and Bertha Elam in Gallatin Gateway on March 15, 1917, one of a family of five girls who have all lived into their 90s. She graduated from Absarokee High School.

She worked while raising three girls and one boy, working a day shift at the Von Ragsdale Store, and evening shifts waitressing at the Hamburger Hut and the Green Derby.

She was a member of the Absarokee Sewing Circle, as well as other civic and church clubs. She was a lifelong member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

She married Clarence J. Vandersnick in 1940. He died in 1997.

Survivors include a sister, Doris Atkins of Columbus; daughters, Jody Guptill of Hardin and Theresa Burkhart of Fishtail; six grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at St. Michael’s Parish in Absarokee with burial following in Rosebud Cemetery, Absarokee. Arrangements are by Smith Cashmore Funeral Home.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:14

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Oliver B. Dickey

Oliver “O.B.” Dickey, 86, who started Billings Washer and Heating, died March 15, 2014, in his home.

He was born to Roberta Busha and John Dickey on March 30, 1927, in Hanna, Okla. After moving to Montana, his family operated the ski lift and concession that is now Discovery ski area in Anaconda.

He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and worked on submarines in Pearl Harbor. After returning to Montana, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Feininger on May 2, 1947.

He worked more than 20 years for Montana-Dakota Utilities before dedicating his time to his own business, Billings Washer and Heating.  Upon retirement, he mastered the craft of making knives and making shot to reload his shotgun shells.

Mr. Dickey was a longtime member of the Billings Trap Club, Huntley Trap Club and Billings Rod and Gun Club. He and was also a member of Elks Club, Legion Club and was a Shriner.

Survivors include children, Cheryl Struthers of Boise, Idaho, and Mary Michelle Dickey of Vacaville, Calif.; a brother, K.E. “Tiny” Dickey of Auburn, Calif.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Vigil Services were Wednesday, March 19, at Dahl Chapel. Services will be at 10 a.m. March 20 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Interment will be in Mountview Cemetery with luncheon to follow at the church.

Memorials may be sent to Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:14

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Mike Kannegiesser

Mike Kannegiesser, 58, of Billings, was born Nov. 18, 1955, and died March 12, 2014.

He loved to hunt, fish, barbecue, smoke fish and visit. When he was no longer able to travel, he became quite a thrift shopper.

Survivors include two children, Jessica and Michael; his former wife, Pam; a grandson; a brother, John; and sisters, Sharly, Roxy and Raunie.

Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:13

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Delores ‘Dodie’ Smith

Delores “Dodie” Smith, who had cared for 86 foster children, died March 14, 2014, at 12:20 p.m. of liver cancer.

She had survived lupus and lung cancer.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:12

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Ivy Lee Bernhardt

Ivy Lee Barker Bernhardt, 82, who founded Bernhardt Seed & Chemical and Bernhardt Feedlot with her husband, died March 13, 2014.

She was born the only child of Harry Barker and Mary “May” Cummings Barker on April 28, 1931, in Billings. Her father was the oldest living World War I veteran in Montana at the time of his death in 1998 at the age of 105. Her mother had been a nanny for attorney Sam Ford, who later became governor of Montana.

She went to grade school at Roosevelt and McKinley and attended middle school at Jefferson and Lincoln. After graduating from Senior High School, she obtained a secretarial business degree from Billings Business College. Her first job out of college was for a local attorney and then on to Reporter Printing.

She married Robert James Bernhardt on March 21, 1953. They rented a farm on Hesper Road until they moved to their own place on Canyon Creek.

In the mid-1980s, they formed Bernhardt Seed & Chemical and Bernhardt Feedlot. They retired from both businesses when his health failed in 2003.

She had received care from Carol Heath at Rocky Mountain Hospice and Charli Clark at Synergy HomeCare.

Survivors include three children, Teri Davis of Shepherd, Tom Bernhardt of Stevensville and Todd Bernhardt of Billings; two grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

At her request, she was cremated without a service. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:10

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Norvin Rohr

Services were pending for Norvin Rohr, who drove trucks for 2.5 million miles in a 40-year career.

He was born Sept. 29, 1920, to Nels and Sadie Rohr in Crary, N.D. He left the family farm at a young age and worked his way west to Laurel.

He enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in England flying in B17s during World War II.

He married Lilian Welham in England in 1944. After he was discharged from the service in 1946, they relocated to Billings. 

He spent most of his time training Labrador retrievers for competition in field trials. He enjoyed fishing and hunting.

After more than 40 years of driving trucks over the road, he retired from Peavy Flour. Mrs. Rohr died in 1989.

Survivors include a brother, Virgil; sons, Les and Roger; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration was planned for later, followed by a burial service. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:08

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Kathy Miller

Kathy Miller, 85, who was a nurse before devoting full time to her family, died March 7, 2014, following a massive stroke on Feb. 21.

She was born Katherine Elizabeth Thielke to Lloyd and Anne Thielke on March 24, 1928, in Opheim. The family relocated to Chelan, Wash., during the Depression to run an apple orchard.

She graduated from Chelan High School in 1945 and signed up for a government sponsored nursing program. For four years she juggled classes and 48-hour call shifts on weekends at Whitworth College. She earned a bachelor of nursing degree in 1948, specializing as a scrub and operating room nurse.

In May 1949, she and Archie Vernon Miller eloped to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They then moved to North Dakota so he could attend college.

Mr. Miller became a department manager with J.C. Penney, and the family lived in Spokane, Wash.; Missoula; Grangeville, Idaho; Moscow, Idaho; and then back to Spokane.

Mrs. Miller taught Sunday school and was a Brownie, Girl Scout and Campfire Girls Leader. She was named Volunteer of the Year in Grangeville, Idaho. She also sewed dresses for her girls, and knitted sweaters, slippers and mittens.

She gave up nursing when the family moved to Missoula in 1959. In 1968, Mr. Miller became regional manager for J.C. Penney in Billings. In 1981, he became manager of the Eugene, Ore., Penney store. They lived in Eugene for four years until he retired early due to failing health. They moved back to Billings, and he died on March 22, 1986.

Mrs. Miller was a junior master in bridge and played in tournaments all around the West. She traveled and joined a dinner club that prepared foods from different countries. In 2004, she moved to West Park Village.

Survivors include a brother, Darrell Thielke of Stanwood, Wash.; sons, Robert Miller of Zumbrota, Minn., and Michael Miller of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; daughters, Annette Matz of Billings and Cyndie Landon of Denver; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life was held March 13 at the Elks Lodge. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:07

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April Joy Romero

Services were held March 14, 2014, for April Joy Romero, 50, who enjoyed cleaning homes for her friends and painting news homes.

She was born April 23, 1963, the sixth daughter of Norma and Felix Romero. She attended Garfield Elementary School, Riverside Junior High School, and received a GED later in life.

She had been married to James Slevira, and they had two children, James Anthony and Selina Kennedy Rose. She also raised Leatina Cardona as her own daughter.

She lived in Ryegate and took care of two friends, Eva Hemminger and Carol Ratliff. She collected Betty Boop memorabilia.

Survivors include sisters, Janette Montoya of Salida, Calif., and Lucy Hernandez, Linda Kelly and Freda Castro, all of Billings; and a brother, Louis Romero of Ryegate.

Services were held at Cremation & Funeral Gallery with a reception following at the American Legion.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:06

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Michael J. ‘Mike’ Green

Michael J. “Mike” Green, 46, of Billings,  a welder who loved the outdoors, died March 7, 2014.

He was born Aug. 21, 1967, in Eau Claire, Wis., to James Green and Sonja (Behlke) Green. He spent his younger childhood in Whitefish. In adolescence, he moved with his parents to Williston, N.D., where he met Candace Stearns. They were together for 30 years, including 18 in Billings.

Survivors include Ms. Stearns, of Billings; sisters, Jeanne Klenz of Oklahoma and Dawn Reining of Florida; father-in-law, Wesley M. Stearns; and brother, Wesley C. Stearns.

A celebration of his life was held March 11 at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:49

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