Ronald George “Ronnie” Rafferty, 73, an ironworker, died Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at his home.
He was born Dec. 5, 1939, in Miles City to George and Marguerite Rafferty. He moved to Seattle, Wash., and married Barbara “Bobbie” Kuhlman on Jan. 29, 1966. The family moved to Billings in November 1978.
Mr. Rafferty worked on old cars and did home improvements.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Troy, Sean and Aaron; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol and Susan of Portland, Ore.; and a brother, George of Florida.
Services will be at Cremation & Funeral Gallery at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Graveside services will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 10:07
Longtime Billings activist Joan Hurdle, 81, a former state legislator, died Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, of abdominal cancer.
She was born in Glendive on Aug. 21, 1931. She had lived on the West Coast at various times but had lived in Billings for the past 27 years.
An educator, politician and environmentalist, Ms. Hurdle was known for speaking her mind on issues affecting the Billings community, the state of Montana, the nation and the world. She served on numerous local and regional boards and was a frequent contributor of letters to both the Gazette and Outpost over the years.
Elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 1994, she served four consecutive terms representing District 13, which largely consisted of the Billings South Side and neighborhoods near downtown. In the Legislature, she fought for citizens who lacked access to lobbyists and large corporate conglomerates to represent their interests. She was a champion of women’s rights as exemplified in her work as a leader in the League of Women Voters and involvement in the National Organization for Women.
She once wrote, “The whole purpose of life is to learn how to make the world a better place, to have justice and democracy, to have everyone fed and housed, to have every child a wanted, educated and loved child, to have things, especially our planet, be truly beautiful.”
She was the granddaughter of Reginald Truman (R.T.) Hurdle, who served as the Billings city engineer in the 1930s. He completed the original land surveys in Billings, which were used in planning the layout of the city.
Survivors include sons, Duff Schoonmaker, Jon Schoonmaker and Neil Schoonmaker; and seven grandchildren.
Private family services have been held. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made in her name of Joan Hurdle to any organization dedicated to the cause of caring for children anywhere in the world.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:59
Frank H. Fendrick, 87, of Billings, who retired from Ryan Grocery in 1983, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
He was born June 9, 1926, in Dickinson, N.D., one of eight children of Enhibert and Mary Kostelecky Fendrick. He attended Spring Creek School in Dunn County and married Margaret Kudrna on June 27, 1949. They moved in to Billings in 1951.
He was a charter member of St. Pius X Parish. He was a jack-of-all-trades who completed many handyman projects.
Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Sharon Halligan; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation was Aug. 22 followed by a Prayers Vigil Service at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Pius X Catholic Church on Aug. 23. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.
Memorials in his honor may be made to the St. Pius X Capital Improvement Fund.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:58
Sharon Lane Uhrich, 68, an administrative assistant for State Farm Insurance for 25 years, died Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in hospice care at St. Vincent Hospital.
She was born Dec. 14, 1944, in Graceville, Minn., to Daniel and Frey Lane. She was the third oldest of seven children: sisters, Gerrie Lane, Nancy Caulie and Marie Altrich; and brothers, Richard, Steven and Patrick.
After graduating from Clinton Graceville Beardsley High School, she attended Wahpeton Technical College in South Dakota. She married Ronald Uhrich on July 31, 1967, at Holy Rosary Church in Graceville, Minn. They had lived in Boise, Idaho, and Billings.
She was known as a prankster by her coworkers and had a zest for living. She had received care at the Butterfly home.
Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Andrea Arnold and Juliette Rodda; and four grandchildren.
Services were at Cremation and Funeral Gallery on Aug. 26. A memorial service will be held in Graceville, Minn.
Donations may be made to St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation to advance and support medical practice, research and outreach.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:58
Lois (Tidwell) Watson, 84, who had worked in an insurance office for more than 25 years, died Aug. 20, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz.
She was born Jan. 1, 1929, in Burlington, Okla., to Harry and Helen (Veatch) Tidwell, the youngest of three children. She grew up on a farm and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She played on the school’s basketball team.
She married Fred Arthur Watson on April 6, 1947, Easter Sunday, at First English Lutheran Church in Cherokee, Okla. In 1957, the family moved to Fairfield, Mont. In 1963, the family moved to Great Falls, then settled in Billings in 1972.
Throughout their marriage, she worked alongside her husband custom combining, farming and then in the office of Old Northwest Agency/Watsons Insurance for more than 25 years.
She was a longtime member of Central Christian Church.
Survivors include a brother, Paul Tidwell; a son, E. Allen Watson; daughters, Rebecca deJongh and Sandra Hartman; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Central Christian Church, 1221 16th St. W. in Billings. A reception will follow. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:56
Graham Dean Sims Sr., 84, a retired School District 2 employee who was active in Jehovah’s Witnesses, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
He was born July 11, 1929, in Lovell, Wyo., to P.D. and Eva Sims. After graduation, he married Vera June Doerr on Oct. 17, 1950. Shortly after their marriage, he was deployed to Korea.
After the war, he worked in the uranium mines around Lovell until 1959 when he moved his family to Laramie, Wyo., to attend college. Upon completing his studies, the family moved to Billings, where he took a job at The Billings Gazette.
In the early ’70s, Mr. Sims went to work for School District 2 where he worked until he retired in 1989. It was also during the early ’70s that he began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He and his wife were active in the door-to-door ministry until failing health prevented him from doing so.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Dean, Wyatt and Morgan; daughters, Tammy and Judy; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Marion Smith and Ann Gist of Cody, Wyo.
Services were Aug. 26 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:55
Cameron M. Sauter, 50, of Billings, a roofer like his father had been, died of a heart attack on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.
He was born to Jacob and Patricia Sauter on July 28, 1963, the fourth of eight children. He graduated from Senior High School in 1981. He drove a black 1977 Trans Am in high school and got it running again a few years ago to share with his sons.
He helped with the family business, Montana Roofing. In 1982, Mr. Sauter went to work for Empire Heating, Cooling and Roofing where he first worked as a roofer then advanced to superintendent and estimator of the roofing division.
He met his wife, Angie, in 1987; they had two sons, Brenner in 1997 and Corbin in 1999.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Brenner and Corbin of the family home; and seven brothers and sisters, Chris Synek, Kevin Sauter, Debbie Porter, Lisa Joki, Jenny Sauter, Nathan Sauter and Joel Sauter.
Services were held Aug. 25 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, followed by a reception.
Contributions may be made to the Cameron Sauter Family Fund at any First Interstate Bank or mail them to First Interstate Bank, c/o Chris, 730 Main St., Billings, MT 59105. Condolences may also be sent to the family c/o Debbie Porter, 122 Yellowstone Ave., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:55
Zachary Lee Lindsey, 20, who was preparing to attend Southwestern College in Oregon this fall, died Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in an accident.
He was born to Tobin and Pamela Lindsey on April 29, 1993, in Billings.
From an early age he played football, basketball and baseball. He was on a state championship team at age 10 in 2003. In 2004 he played with Wendy’s of Montana, a team that won state and went to regionals in Kelso, Wash.
In 2005 he played in the Northwest Regionals in San Bernardino, Calif. In 2007 his Junior Little League team won state and went to regionals in Beaverton, Ore. In 2006 he played for the Billings Blue Jays American Legion baseball team, which won district and went to state in Canada. In 2011 he played for the Billings Royals in the Northwest Regionals at Dehler Park.
He graduated from Skyview High School in 2011. For the past five months, he had been learning the remodeling business and working in the landscaping business.
He wrote songs with a band that had just completed a soon-to-be-released CD featuring him on the mic.
He planned to study the history of music and play baseball at Southwestern College.
Survivors include his parents; a sister, Alivia; and grandparents, Mayferd Allen and Betty Rae Lindsey.
Family and friends gathered Aug. 21 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 22 at Faith Chapel.
Memorials may be sent to the YMCA, 402 N. 32nd St., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 21:38
Sharon Marie Granlie, 65, of Billings, who had worked at Sysco Foods for more than 30 years, died at her home on Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, of cancer.
She was the daughter of Nick and Celia Huschka. She was looking forward to retirement from Sysco Foods.
Survivors include a son, Jason Granlie; a daughter, Stacey Collette; two granddaughters; and brothers, Marvin Huschka, Maynard Huschka, Melvin Huschka and Michael Huschka.
Services were Aug. 21 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 21:37
Robert F. Bares, 76, of Laurel, died Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
He was born near Beach, N.D., to Frank and Marcella Bares.
Survivors include his wife, Marlene; children, Craig and Denise Bares, Michelle and Brett Hamilton, Kim and Diane Bares and Bobbi and Simon Storey; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and eight brothers and sisters.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 22, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Parish Hall, 715 Fourth Ave. in Laurel. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 21:36