The Billings Outpost

John David McRae

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

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Grace Genearl Oswalt Moore

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

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Vera Stenehjem

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

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Ryan P. Raynock

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

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Lewis Emery Brueggemann

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

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Harriet Lorang

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

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Marie Elizabeth Kortje

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

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Frank McIntosh

Frank W. McIntosh, 79, of Billings, who founded Frank’s Welding and Machine, died early Thursday morning, April 10, 2014.

He was born Feb. 19, 1935, the oldest of three boys of George and Barbara McIntosh in Forsyth. The family moved to Billings when he was about 12 years old.

He graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School in 1953, then served in the Army. After his return to Billings, he married Josephine Kessler on April 19, 1958.

He worked for the Exxon refinery for 18 years. In 1973 he started his own business, Frank’s Welding and Machine, which he operated until his retirement in 1996. He and his wife then spent 12 years traveling in their motor home.

Survivors include his wife; four children, Arnie, C.J., Valerie and Daryl, all of Billings; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life is planned for a later date. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 16:17

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Maria Nilsen

Maria Bernice Nilsen, 38, who had worked for Planned Parenthood, died in a motor vehicle accident at about 1:30 p.m. April 13, 2014.

The daughter of Teresa Cox and Larry Nilsen, she was born Feb. 22, 1976, in Miles City.

She had an associate?s degree in accounting.

Survivors include a daughter, Destiny Lachelle Nilsen; two granddaughters; her parents; a paternal grandmother, Rose Mary Nilsen of Lewistown; a sister, Stephanie Nilsen; and a brother, James Nilsen.

Services were April 16 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Shepherd. Refreshments followed. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 16:16

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Vance ‘Jeff’ H. Holbrook

Vance Harold Holbrook, 95, who saw some of the most severe combat in World War II, died April 11, 2014, in Billings.

He was born July 30, 1918, in Milbank, S.D., the third of four sons of Weslay R. and Emma Holbrook.

He served in the 3rd Infantry from 1941 to 1945. Though never wounded, he made five different beach landings, marched across northern Africa, sailed to Sicily, on to Italy where he fought at Anzio, marched across Europe and ended up in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

Upon his return he followed in his father’s footsteps, going to work for Standard Oil. He eventually went to work for Mutual of New York and finally with Colonial Life Insurance. He continued working well into his 80s.

Mr. Holbrook was an Eagle Scout, and a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He spent several years as Santa Claus at Rimrock Mall.

Survivors include a brother, Gale Holbrook of Rapid City, S.D.; children, John, Dan, Kathy Petersen and Bob; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild on the way.

A vigil was held April 14 at Dahl Funeral Chapel, preceded by the Rosary.  Memorial Mass was April 15 at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Arrangements were by Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 16:14

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