The Billings Outpost

Jeffrey Peila

Jeffrey Christopher Peila, 64, a veterinarian and cattle rancher, died April 29, 2015, of cancer.

He was born Dec. 25, 1950, to Martha (Sutton) and Joseph Peila in Denver, Colo. The eldest of eight children, he spent his toddler years on a ranch in Akron, Colo.

When he was 3, the family moved to Alturas, Calif., where they ranched for a few years before joining the rest of the family in Miles City.

They lived in a homesteaders shack on a ranch north of Miles City, with no running water or electricity but plenty of beef.

He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in Miles City and graduated from Montana State University and veterinary school at Washington State University. In 1976, he married Susan Herr.

Dr. Peila gained experience working for Doc Read in Ronan and Joe Vescovi in Roundup. He next built his first clinic in Forsyth, the Animal House Hospital.

In 1985, he moved to Shepherd, where he built a clinic and pursued his specialty in equine care. He cared for all kinds of animals, including treating an elephant’s foot once when a circus was passing through town.

In 1989, he and his wife began raising cattle, and the ranch on Mizpah grew into a massive cow operation over 20 years.

Survivors include his wife; six children, Marisa Stewart of Bozeman, Laura Dumas of Manhattan, Mont., John, Sarah Boucher and Alta, all of Miles City, and Joe of Denver; seven siblings, Joe, Matt, Julie Gee, Sam, Lucy Bragg, Barb Frohlich and Sallie Small; and 13 grandchildren.

Rosary was held May 6 at St. Bernard’s Parish, and Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 7, at St. Bernard’s Parish. A reception will follow at Shepherd Huntley Animal Care Center. Arrangements are by Heights Family Funeral Home & Crematory.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:31

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Brenna Farley

Brenna Ryenne Farley, 18, died in her sleep on April 18, 2015, in Shepherd.

She was born on Feb. 10, 1997, with her twin sister, Kacey Brey Farley, in Alamosa, Colo.

She loved to write poetry, paint, sing, laugh, debate and play softball.  She was 2015 Team Debate State Champion.

Survivors include her father, John Farley; mother, Suzi Farley; stepmother, Jessie Pinkerton; sister, Kacey Farley, Tiegan Farley, Jamisen Farley; stepbrother, Cody Cameron; stepsister, Sage Pinkerton; and boyfriend, Sage Livergood.

Memorial Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 23, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Billings. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be sent to 6930 Eagle Bend Blvd., Shepherd, MT 59079 or made at

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 15:18

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Carrie Ruth Smith

Carrie Ruth Brooks Smith, 57, of Billings, a branch manager for Zip Trip, died Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at Billings Clinic.

She was born Feb. 8, 1959, in Glasgow, one of three children of Elbridge “Bill” Paul Brooks Jr. and Grace Marlene Brooks. She graduated from Frazer High School and went to Northern Montana College.

Survivors include children, Sarah Cheatham of Casper, Wyo., Nathan Boedeker of Moore, Okla., and Jessica Boedeker of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 10 grandchildren; and siblings, Barry Brooks of Aurora, Colo., Twyla Sockness of Missouri and Doug Boedeker of Indiana.

Services and a reception were held Sunday, April 19, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be sent to Barry Brooks, 710 S. Granby Circle, Aurora, CO 80012.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 15:17

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Fern Bird Hat-Little Light

Fern Bird Hat-Little Light (Baashchiinbalaxitche – Sings Whiteman Songs Good), 78, of Pryor, who taught Crow culture, died April 4, 2015, at Billings Clinic Aspen Meadows after an extended illness.

She was born April 26, 1936, to Sampson and Cecilia Other Black Bird-Bird Hat. She grew up in Pryor, a descendant of Chief BellRock and Chief Bird Hat. She was educated in Pryor and received a GED from Missoula Training Program. She worked as a teacher’s aide, cook, homemaker and Crow culture instructor.

She received an associate of arts degree in elementary education in 1978 from Eastern Montana College. She also had attended Brigham Young University in Utah.

She taught Crow skills such as beading, language, making moccasins, sewing and so on. She was married to Andrew Little Light for 39 years, from 1975 until his death on Oct. 12, 2014.

She attended Catholic, Pentecostal and Native American churches, went to sweat lodges, and was a member of the Big Ear Lobe Society and a clan child of Ties the Bundle. She sang at churches in the Pryor community.

Survivors include sisters, Roselee B. Turnsback and Clara Big Lake; a brother, Chester Bird Hat; adopted daughter, Althea DeCrane; four grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

Viewing was April 8, followed by vigil, both at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services were April 9 at St. Charles Mission in Pryor with burial in Bird Hat Cemetery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:34

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Leo Antone Deichl

Leo Deichl, 71, a retired electrician, died of cancer on April 8, 2015, at his home in Billings.

The fifth of seven children, he was born to Frank and Clara Deichl in Feb. 27, 1944, in Billings. He graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School.

In 1964 he married Diann Mueller. He worked as an electrician until his medical retirement in 1984. He married Joan Holter in 1988, and they made fishing trips to Alaska, had a summer cabin in Saskatchewan, Canada, had a winter place in Arizona, near Lake Havasu, and managed rentals in Billings.

Survivors include his wife; children, Mark Deichl, Paula Jackson and Susie Lopez; stepchildren, Richard Simpson, Jim Simpson, Caroline Stewart and Felicia Stuart; brothers, Arnold and Bob Deichl; sisters, Eleanor Livingston, Juanita Blee and Veronica Marson; and 12 grandchildren.

A rosary service was held April 12 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services were April 13 at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:33

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Alan Hugh Black

Alan Hugh Black, 80, of Huntley, a farmer all his life, died April 9, 2015, in his sleep at the Rocky Mountain Hospice Center at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings.

He was born May 12, 1934, in Mott, N.D., the son of Donald and Kathryn Black. He moved to Montana when he was 4 years old with his family to the Huntley Project area. During his high school years, he was an active member of FFA and worked on his father’s farm and raised animals. He graduated from Huntley Project School in 1953.

On May 12, 1955, he married Shirley Black (Schaak) in Lewistown; they were married for 60 years. Shortly after they married, he went to work for his father-in-law (Dan Schaak) on the family ranch.

Mr. Black earned a pilot’s license and flew a Piper Cub. In 1965 he started his own farming business, growing sugar beets and corn. Years later he farmed a large wheat ranch operation.

After retiring he continued getting the garden ready for planting season and taking care of his yard.

Survivors include his wife; three children, Lori Black, David Black and Scott Black; a sister, Muriel Aanenson; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 1 p.m. April 18, followed by services at 2 p.m., at the Heights Family Funeral Home in Billings. Relatives and friends are welcome to visit with the family after the service. Burial will be at 1 p.m. April 20 in the Huntley Cemetery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:33

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Jeanette Haagenstad

Jeanette M. Haagenstad, 79, who enjoyed tending her flower garden, died April 11, 2015.

She was born in Hardin on March 8, 1936, to Alexander and Gustina (Gress) Bertram. She graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1954. She married Benjamin Henneberry on Sept. 19, 1954, and they had four children. On Feb. 14, 1981, she married Keith O. Haagenstad.

Survivors include a brother, Alexander Bertram Jr.; children, Terry Henneberry, Timothy Henneberry, Mary Krieger and Tina Christman; 17 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Viewing was April 14 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was April 15 at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:32

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Donald W. Olson

Donald W. Olson, 76, died in Billings on April 8, 2015.

He was born in Warroad, Minn., on March 19, 1939, the son of Helmer and Elsie Olson.

Survivors include his wife, Jo, of 39 years; two children, Stephen and Darla, both of Superior, Wis.; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Stan Olson of Duluth, Minn.; and a sister, Marilyn Sayler of Superior.

Graveside services were held April 13 at the Yellowstone National Cemetery. A reception followed at American Legion Post 4, 1540 Broadwater Ave. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:32

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Thomas J. Mason

Thomas J. Mason 63, of Billings, who had been an electrician for 25 years, died Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

He was born Dec. 7, 1951, in Hardin, one of five children of Truman and Mable (Darling) Mason.

He was an electrician for I.D. Corp. He liked fishing and watching his grandchildren play sports.

Survivors include a son, Robert Mason, and a daughter, Sheri Hilario, both of Billings; four grandchildren; and siblings, Alice Strecker, Terry Mason and Trudy Mason.

A gathering for friends and family will be held later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:30

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Robert ‘Bob’ Cantrell

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 16, 2015, for Robert “Bob” Cantrell, who had worked in real estate.

He was born in 1923. After graduating from Senior High School, he joined the Navy Flight training program at the University of Iowa. He received his Navy wings in Pensacola, Fla., and married Virginia Foster on May 10, 1947.

He joined his father and brother Don in the Cantrell Real Estate office in Billings, then he went to Marshal Salisbury Agency and finally to Cantrell Salisbury Agency where he remained for the next 40 years.

Mr. Cantrell was instrumental in purchasing the land where the Billings Rod and Gun club stands today. He was past president of the Board of Realtors. He was the Exalted Ruler of the Billings Elks Club from 1961-1962 and was a member of the Laurel Golf Club, Toastmasters Club and the Roaring ’20s old car club with his 1914 Model T.

He had received care from St. Vincent Healthcare.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Gary and Tom; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Elks Club, followed by a reception. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:30

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