Verla P. Hawkins, 88, who had been a nurse for 35 years, died Feb. 22, 2014, at Canyon Creek Memory Care Center.
She was born Feb. 5, 1926, in Davis, Ill., to Arthur and Emma Meinert. She married Russell G. Hawkins on March 12, 1945. They had two children, Betty Miller and Gail Hawkins, who both preceded her in death.
She had worked as a nurse in Boulder, Colo., and at St. John’s Nursing home in Billings.
Survivors include five grandchildren, among them Becca Gahagan of Billings; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Services were Feb. 26 at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to Mount Olive Lutheran Church.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:51
Cody Ron Blaquiere, 35, of Laurel, who had worked nine years for the railroad, died Feb. 7, 2014, from complications of a blood infection.
He was born in Harlowton on Nov. 21, 1978, on his father’s birthday. He had worked nine years for the BNSF Railroad and the last three years in Laurel.
On March 17, 2013, he married Abby Stewart in Las Vegas at the Chapel of the Bells. They had known each other only as friends for 14 years when they reunited on March 17, 2012, and agreed to marry one year later on their “anniversary.”
Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Katie; sons, Jason, Tyler and Bridger; stepson, Chris; stepdaughter, Kaylene of Laurel; mother, Carol of Bozeman; father, Ron and stepmother Laura of Great Falls; sister, Brandi Reinhardt; stepsisters, Heather Mittan of Great Falls and Heidi Budd of Alliance, Neb.; and grandmother, Arlene Blaquiere of Harlowton.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Community Center in Neihart. Ashes will be placed at his father’s cabin in the Little Belt Mountains. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Contributions may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank in his name to a trust fund established for his children.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:43
Theodore “Ted” M. Dolney, 92, of Billings, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany for more than two years during World War II, died at RiverStone Hospice Home on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
He was born to Leo and Rose Dolney in Glenville, S.D., on Aug. 24, 1921. He was raised in Glenville and enlisted in the Army on April 9, 1941. He was captured in 1943 and remained a POW until June 1945. On Oct. 2, 1945, he was honorably discharged.
In 1954 he married Irene Schultz and they had three sons. After her death, he married Darlene Thiel on May 6, 1961, and they had a daughter.
Mr. Dolney owned the Homestead Café while living in Opheim. He worked for the Lower Yellowstone Rural Electrification Administration, retiring in 1983.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Gyle, Timothy and Lonnie Dolney; a daughter, Darla Miller; two sisters; two brothers; four grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A family gathering service was held Feb. 18 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services were Feb. 19 at New Hope Church of the Nazarene in the Billings Heights. Interment was in Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:43
James Dick, 79, died in his home on the evening of Feb. 5, 2014.
He was born to James William Dick and Mary Katherine Schaefer on Jan. 2, 1935, in Billings. His mother died when he was 5 years old, and he was taken in by his aunt, Maggie Castor. He was raised in Worden and attended Huntley Project School.
He married Ardella Mae Kraft in 1970.
Survivors include his wife; a sister, Mary Cattaneo; a daughter, Sharyl Zahn; sons, Roger Dick, Rodney Dick and Todd Dick; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services will be at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W., at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.
Memorials may be made in his name to RiverStone Hospice or Boys & Girls Club of Montana.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:41
Irene Knight, 88, who lived many years in Washington, died in her sleep at Canyon Creek Memory Care Center on Feb. 7, 2014.
She was born in Worden to Andrew and Anna Foos on March 25, 1925, the seventh of 11 children. She attended schools in Corvalis and Worden.
As a teenager, she helped run the family-owned cafe in Worden. At the age of 17 she joined her brothers Alec and Ted in Seattle and worked at Boeing Aerospace and Todd Shipyards during World War II.
She married Bill Knight on Dec. 26, 1945, and became a stepmother to Ron Knight. They had two more sons, Bob in 1950 and Buck in 1951.
She had worked at Bell Telephone, JC Penney and Metro Transit. She retired from the Washington state liquor stores. She was also a member of the Ballard Eagles Ladies Auxiliary.
After her divorce from Bill Knight, she married Dominic Mastro. He died of an illness. After years of being alone, she met Edward Purvis, with whom she shared a passion for travel and who introduced her to the world of horse racing. They lived in West Seattle until his death, and she then moved to Shoreline, Wash. In 2003 she moved to Billings to be close to her family.
Survivors include two brothers, Ted and Donny of Billings; a sister, Ruth of Seattle; a stepson, Ron of Spokane, Wash.; sons, Robert and Buck, both of Edmonds, Wash.; five grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great grandchildren.
A service will be held in Billings in May. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be made to the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:41
Kenneth S. Herem, 93, of Absarokee, a rancher who was active in rodeo, died Feb. 15, 2014.
He was born March 18, 1920, at the ranch of his parents, Osmond and Kathryn Herem, outside of Absarokee. He later took over a portion of the ranch, which was well known for the big red barn framed by the Beartooth Mountains with the K bar H brand on it.
He attended grade school at Butcher Creek and graduated from high school in Absarokee in 1938. On June 29, 1940, he married Lucille Hawks. They raised cattle, sheep and quarter horses.
Mr. Herem was a member of the Lutheran Church, Lions Club, Elks Club, the Broken Horn Stampede, American Quarter Horse Association, and Stillwater Wool Growers, of which he was director for 18 years. He served two terms as president of the Wool Pool.
He helped build the rodeo arena for the kids rodeo in Absarokee and furnished bulls and calves for the events. When he was in his teens and 20s, he rode in the Absarokee rodeos. He attended the Red Lodge rodeo for 83 years, sitting in the same seat each year.
Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Lucille; a brother, Irvin; a daughter, Sharlene Oltrogge; a grandson; and two great-granddaughters.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Absarokee. A luncheon will follow. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Memorials may be made to the Special K Ranch, the Absarokee Fire Department and Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:40
Thelma Shoemaker, 81, formerly of Texas and recently of Roy, died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Billings Health & Rehabilitation.
She was born Sept. 17, 1932, on the family farm near Cartwright, Texas. She was the daughter of Claude and Cleo Avery.
She lived in Texas most of her life and after her husband’s death she moved to the Lewistown and Roy area for health reasons and to be closer to her son.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Sgt. Major Billy B. Shoemaker Sr.
Survivors include three children, Lillian Patrice, Ward Whitney and Billy Bob Jr.; a niece, Rita Pickard; and several grand- and great-grandchildren.
Burial of cremated remains will take place in Texas. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:39
Harold Hanser, 83, who had been Yellowstone County attorney for 20 years, died Feb. 14, 2014, in Power’s Cottage at St. John’s Lutheran Home.
He was born at home on the family farm in Broadview on Aug. 16, 1930, to William and Helen (Benesh) Hanser.
He attended St. Patrick High School in Billings and graduated from Holy Rosary High School in Bozeman. He received a bachelor’s degree from Carroll College and a law degree from the University of Montana.
After a term as deputy county attorney and practicing law in the Derry, Hanser & Derry law firm, Mr. Hanser was elected as the Yellowstone county attorney, a position he held for 20 years. He put into practice his belief in social and restorative justice, becoming an advocate for women, children and victims of crime.
He served on the Montana Youth Council, Gateway House, State Bar Association, local and state DUI Task Forces, Board of Crime Control, Rimrock Foundation and St. John Lutheran Ministries. He was active in the Democratic Party. He had served in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the Army, retiring at a rank of lieutenant colonel.
His wife of 58 years, Marieanne, died Jan. 8, 2014.
Survivors include three brothers, William Hanser, Paul Hanser and Ralph Hanser; four children, Stephen Hanser, Stephanie Hanser, Jeff Hanser and Brett Hanser; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation was Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 18-19, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Rosary will be recited at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Vigil at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, with Funeral Mass at noon Friday, all at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral.
Memorials may be made to Angela’s Piazza or Gateway House.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:38
Glen “Bill” William Blackford, 71, who founded and operated Blackford Sprinklers, died Feb. 3, 2014, at Billings Clinic from complications of a heart attack.
He was born Aug. 30, 1942, to Glen and Eva (Nedens) Blackford in Hardin. He attended elementary school in Lodge Grass before moving to Billings during his high school years.
Mr. Blackford served in the Navy from 1961 to 1963. When he returned, he married Betty Walters in December 1963. They had a daughter and a son.
He worked at Midland Implement for five years before starting his own business. He operated Blackford Sprinklers until he retired in 2011.
On Aug. 30, 1993, he married Vonnie Dahms and became a stepfather to two more daughters: Angela and Stacy.
Survivors include his wife; children, Brenda Davis and Bryan Blackford; stepchildren, Angela Oakley and Stacy Schoeep; siblings, Caryl Davis, Byrl Blackford, Tom Blackford and Harley Blackford; and 11 grandchildren.
Viewing was Feb. 8 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Services were held there on Feb. 10.
Memorials can be made to the Billings Montana Veterans Administration Hospital, 1775 Spring Creek Lane, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:07
Marvin Leroy Hays, 62, whose passions were hunting, fishing and trapping, died Feb. 5, 2014, at RiverStone Hospice in Billings.
He was born to James and Ruby (Huffman) Hays. He lived in Hardin, moved to Melstone and later moved back to Hardin.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Survivors include his mother, Ruby Hays-Jones of Vaughn; siblings, Wendell of Pompeys Pillar, Wanda of Pompeys Pillar, Marla of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Brenda of Billings; daughters, Linda Zuniga of Wapato, Wash., and Julie Spencer of Melstone; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Services were held Feb. 10 at the Community Center in Melstone. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:06