Donald “Don” Eugene Buska, 86, died April 29, 2014, at home, hours after returning from the Big Sky Honor Flight to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
He and his wife, Mary Louise (Moore) Buska, had lived in Billings for 30 years, having formerly lived in Laurel and South St. Paul, Minn.
Mr. Buska was born Sept. 28, 1927, in South St. Paul to Vernon Avitus and Eltha Eleanor (Gill) Buska. He married on Nov. 29, 1947, at St. Augustine Church in South St. Paul.
Mr. Buska graduated from South St. Paul High School in June 1945 and was drafted into the Navy in December 1945. He served as seaman first class on a destroyer escort, the USS William Seiverling, and was honorably discharged in August 1946.
He was employed by Cenex in South St. Paul and Laurel for 46 years, retiring in 1991. He was scout leader of Troop 411 in Laurel; district chairman of the Many Waters District of Boy Scouts of America; and was at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Laurel.
He led Troop 411 on Absarokee Mountain Man Pack Trips and on three Charles E. Sommers Canoe Base Trips, and he attended two National Boy Scouts of America Jamborees as a leader. He was honored with the Scouting Silver Beaver Award and Catholic Scouters Bronze Pelican Award.
He was a member of the Yellowstone Woodturners of Billings and exhibited his work at MontanaFair.
Survivors include children, James S. Buska, William A. Buska, Thomas J. Buska, Jeffrey G. Buska, Donna E. Schmidt and Diane A. Connors; 14 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
The Rev. Steve Zabrocki will officiate at a private family gravesite ceremony. Interment will be in Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel. A social gathering in celebration of his life was held May 5 at St. Anthony Church Parish Hall in Laurel. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Memorials may be sent to the Rocky Mountain Hospice or the Boy Scouts of America.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:11
Faye (Julia Faye) Smith Sexton, 99, of Billings, died May 1, 2014. She had been a longtime resident at Eagle Cliff Manor.
She was born Aug. 14, 1914, at Beehive, the daughter of Sherman and Josie (Hawks) Smith. She attended school in Absarokee, graduating from Absarokee High School in 1933.
She married William P. “Bill” Sexton on Nov. 15, 1936, in Greybull, Wyo. They lived in the Billings area most of their lives. Mr. Sexton died Sept. 2, 2010.
Mrs. Sexton worked for many years at the JC Penney store on North Broadway. She was a skilled seamstress and worked in a number of crafts.
Survivors include a son, Ronald Sexton of Billings; a daughter, Bonnie Lundin of Yuma, Ariz.; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 8, at Eagle Cliff Manor, 1415 Yellowstone River Road. Private interment will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be sent to Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:09
Gordon Marshall Williams, 60, of Billings, who enjoyed the outdoors, died of cancer on March 17, 2014.
He was born to Raymond Joseph Williams and Marguerite Marie (Owens) Williams in Billings on Nov. 16, 1953. He was the third of four children.
He was a competitive swimmer throughout adolescence and graduated from Billings West High school in 1972, then from Missoula Tech.
Shortly after finishing school, Mr. Williams explored the world. Upon his return, he met his wife of 26 years, Alicia (Anderson) Williams.
They had three children, Jedidiah Gualberto, Jessica Denise and Kristin Jade, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service was held April 26 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:23
John David McRae, 83, who owned and operated a road and bridge construction company for many years, died of lung cancer on April 4, 2014.
He was born in Cornell, Wis., on Sept. 30, 1930, to William and Anna (Sotak) McRae. He joined the Army in 1947.
He married Rosemary Christensen in Billings on Dec. 31, 1953.
Mr. McRae owned and operated a road and bridge construction company before becoming a member of The Iron Workers Union until he retired.
He was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association and raised and raced quarter horses, creating a winning blood line.
He had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice and Unit 1 at the Billings Health and Rehabilitation Community.
Survivors include his wife, Rosemary McRae; a sister, Betty Wuckerpfinning of Chippewa Falls, Wis.; a brother, Bill McRae of Choteau; sons, Bill McRae, Don McRae of Billings and Doug McRae of Wright, Wyo.; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W.
Donations may be made to Montana’s Wounded Warriors, 100 Cooperative Way, Suite 100 Kalispell, MT 59901-2386 or to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2100 Overland Ave., Suite 111, Billings, MT.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:23
Grace Genearl Oswalt Moore, 88, a talented seamstress and a longtime state employee, died Sunday, April 27, 2014, at Morning Star Senior Retirement Facility in Billings.
She was born Jan. 13, 1926, in Huxley, Shelby County, Texas, to Joseph Littleton “Lit” Oswalt and Martha Ida Metcalf Oswalt. She was the eighth child of 14 in the family. She grew up on the family farm in East Texas.
She graduated in 1944 from Shelbyville High School with an interest in home economics. For most of her life, she sewed whatever was needed for friends and family. She also made crocheted afghans for children and grandchildren, quilted bedspreads and table runners.
She worked at the phone company as a newlywed and later with the State Board of Equalization, the Department of Revenue and then the State of Montana Liquor Warehouse. She retired after 26 years working for the same division.
She married John “Jack” Winfield Moore on Dec. 23, 1947. They lived almost all of their 66 years together in Helena. They had three children, John Douglas Moore of Helena, Jacquelyn Moore of Cedar Hill, Texas, and Carolyn Villa of Billings; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Survivors include a sister, Bernice Lowell McGee, Wretha Ann Permenter, Clemmie Ruth Dean; and a brother, Billy Burk Oswalt Windham.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Cremation & Funeral Gallery at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 1. A gathering of family and friends will follow the service at Morning Star, 4009 Bell Ave. in Billings. Inurnment will be at the Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison where she will be laid to rest next to her husband.
Last Updated on Saturday, 03 May 2014 11:21
Vera Amy Stenehjem, 92, of Billings, who had been coordinator of outpatient services for the Montana Center for Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children, died April 17, 2014, at Canyon Creek Memory Care.
She was born to Clara and August Rogers on Sept. 4, 1921, in Alexander, N.D., the youngest of nine siblings. She graduated from high school there in 1939. She obtained a registered nurse degree at Trinity School of Nursing in Minot, N.D., and completed a public health nursing degree at the University of Washington in Seattle, with advanced studies in nursing care.
She worked in Public Health Nursing Services in Schenectady, N.Y., before marrying Ralph C. Stenehjem in 1943. While he was in the Pacific Theater in the Navy during World War II, she worked in the ammunition facilities in Grand Island, Neb.
The Stenehjems spent time in Williston, N.D., after the war. She worked as a public health nurse in Gallatin County. The family moved to Absarokee in 1950 where she worked as a visiting public health nurse.
When the family moved to Billings in 1959, Ms. Stenehjem became the coordinator of outpatient services for the Montana Center for Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children. She worked there for 22 years, retiring in 1981.
She was active in her church and could be the “Lefse Queen” for church bazaars. For more than 30 years she met with friends for prayer and Bible study. She and her husband served at the Tacate mission on the California border during the winter months.
She had spent the last 2 1/2 years of her life at Canyon Creek Memory Care.
Survivors include two daughters, Nancy Pence of Billings and Kathryn Grosshuesch of Casper, Wyo.; a son, Don Stenehjem of Seattle; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Services were April 22 at King of Glory Church in Billings. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials are suggested to Special K Ranch.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:24
Ryan Paul Raynock, 34, died Wednesday, April 16, 2014, of complications from open-heart surgery to replace a valve.
He was born in Billings, the second oldest of five brothers. He spent time in the Army and for the past 10 years had worked at Pizza Hut.
Survivors include his parents, Kenneth and Cheryl (Skalsky) Raynock; brothers, Chase, Dusty, Jake and Kyle; and grandmother, Mary Skalsky.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Broadmoor Drive with a reception to follow. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:23
Lewis Brueggemann, 84, of Billings, a lawyer who had argued two cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, died Tuesday April 22, 2014, at Valley Healthcare.
He was born Aug. 8, 1929, in St. Louis, Mo., the middle son of Ernst and Mardella Brueggemann. After graduating from high school, he entered the Army and was honorably discharged in 1956.
He then attended the University of Washington, graduating with a music degree. He was a music teacher for a few years, then graduated from LaSalle University with a law degree. He operated a private practice and wrote Native American law.
He was a brother of the Masons and past president of the Shriners brass band and a trombone player.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Bjorg.
Survivors include three daughters, Lou Ann Atkinson, Diann Seigle and Sue Ann Johnson; a brother, Ed; and five grandchildren.
Private family services were planned. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:22
Harriet “Peg” Lorang, 91, died in her home on Thursday evening, April 17, 2014.
She was born near Broadview on Dec. 7, 1922, to James and Louise (Lang) Carney, one of 14 children. In 1929, her family packed up their covered wagon and moved to Bozeman. The family later returned to Broadview because the school needed more students, and the Carney children filled the school. They settled in Billings in 1935.
In 1941, she met Nicholas J. Lorang, and they were married a few months later. They made their home in Lockwood in 1947, raising six children with an outhouse and an old wringer washing machine. Mr. Lorang died in 1983 after 42 years of marriage.
Survivors include brothers and sisters, Gertude Lorang, Marily Weeks, Marlene Henry, Alvin Carney, Merton Carney and Everett Carney; children, Sheryl Mortensen, Richard Lorang and John Lorang, all of Billings, Nicholas Lorang of Manchester, N.H., Gary Lorang of Shelby and Lynette Haas of Clancy; nine grandchildren; and a great–great-granddaughter.
Services were April 21 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:22
Marie Elizabeth Kortje, 88, a retired nurse’s assistant, died April 16, 2014, at The Billings Clinic after a short illness.
She was born Jan. 25, 1924, in Murdo, S.D., where she spent her early years and started school. The family moved to Lead, S.D., in 1933 where she finished her schooling.
She moved to Billings in her early 20s, married and had three children. She later moved to Portland, Ore., where she spent many years as a nurse’s assistant. After she retired, she returned to Montana, first to Butte, then to Billings.
Survivors include children, Wanita McQuiston of Billings, Rosemarie Steffen of Tucson, Ariz., and Dennis Driscoll of Middleton, Idaho; a brother, Ed Ecker of Bullhead City, Ariz.; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be at Cremation and Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:20