Delores “Dodie” Smith, who had cared for 86 foster children, died March 14, 2014, at 12:20 p.m. of liver cancer.
She had survived lupus and lung cancer.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:12
Ivy Lee Barker Bernhardt, 82, who founded Bernhardt Seed & Chemical and Bernhardt Feedlot with her husband, died March 13, 2014.
She was born the only child of Harry Barker and Mary “May” Cummings Barker on April 28, 1931, in Billings. Her father was the oldest living World War I veteran in Montana at the time of his death in 1998 at the age of 105. Her mother had been a nanny for attorney Sam Ford, who later became governor of Montana.
She went to grade school at Roosevelt and McKinley and attended middle school at Jefferson and Lincoln. After graduating from Senior High School, she obtained a secretarial business degree from Billings Business College. Her first job out of college was for a local attorney and then on to Reporter Printing.
She married Robert James Bernhardt on March 21, 1953. They rented a farm on Hesper Road until they moved to their own place on Canyon Creek.
In the mid-1980s, they formed Bernhardt Seed & Chemical and Bernhardt Feedlot. They retired from both businesses when his health failed in 2003.
She had received care from Carol Heath at Rocky Mountain Hospice and Charli Clark at Synergy HomeCare.
Survivors include three children, Teri Davis of Shepherd, Tom Bernhardt of Stevensville and Todd Bernhardt of Billings; two grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
At her request, she was cremated without a service. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:10
Services were pending for Norvin Rohr, who drove trucks for 2.5 million miles in a 40-year career.
He was born Sept. 29, 1920, to Nels and Sadie Rohr in Crary, N.D. He left the family farm at a young age and worked his way west to Laurel.
He enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in England flying in B17s during World War II.
He married Lilian Welham in England in 1944. After he was discharged from the service in 1946, they relocated to Billings.
He spent most of his time training Labrador retrievers for competition in field trials. He enjoyed fishing and hunting.
After more than 40 years of driving trucks over the road, he retired from Peavy Flour. Mrs. Rohr died in 1989.
Survivors include a brother, Virgil; sons, Les and Roger; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration was planned for later, followed by a burial service. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:08
Kathy Miller, 85, who was a nurse before devoting full time to her family, died March 7, 2014, following a massive stroke on Feb. 21.
She was born Katherine Elizabeth Thielke to Lloyd and Anne Thielke on March 24, 1928, in Opheim. The family relocated to Chelan, Wash., during the Depression to run an apple orchard.
She graduated from Chelan High School in 1945 and signed up for a government sponsored nursing program. For four years she juggled classes and 48-hour call shifts on weekends at Whitworth College. She earned a bachelor of nursing degree in 1948, specializing as a scrub and operating room nurse.
In May 1949, she and Archie Vernon Miller eloped to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They then moved to North Dakota so he could attend college.
Mr. Miller became a department manager with J.C. Penney, and the family lived in Spokane, Wash.; Missoula; Grangeville, Idaho; Moscow, Idaho; and then back to Spokane.
Mrs. Miller taught Sunday school and was a Brownie, Girl Scout and Campfire Girls Leader. She was named Volunteer of the Year in Grangeville, Idaho. She also sewed dresses for her girls, and knitted sweaters, slippers and mittens.
She gave up nursing when the family moved to Missoula in 1959. In 1968, Mr. Miller became regional manager for J.C. Penney in Billings. In 1981, he became manager of the Eugene, Ore., Penney store. They lived in Eugene for four years until he retired early due to failing health. They moved back to Billings, and he died on March 22, 1986.
Mrs. Miller was a junior master in bridge and played in tournaments all around the West. She traveled and joined a dinner club that prepared foods from different countries. In 2004, she moved to West Park Village.
Survivors include a brother, Darrell Thielke of Stanwood, Wash.; sons, Robert Miller of Zumbrota, Minn., and Michael Miller of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; daughters, Annette Matz of Billings and Cyndie Landon of Denver; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life was held March 13 at the Elks Lodge. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:07
Services were held March 14, 2014, for April Joy Romero, 50, who enjoyed cleaning homes for her friends and painting news homes.
She was born April 23, 1963, the sixth daughter of Norma and Felix Romero. She attended Garfield Elementary School, Riverside Junior High School, and received a GED later in life.
She had been married to James Slevira, and they had two children, James Anthony and Selina Kennedy Rose. She also raised Leatina Cardona as her own daughter.
She lived in Ryegate and took care of two friends, Eva Hemminger and Carol Ratliff. She collected Betty Boop memorabilia.
Survivors include sisters, Janette Montoya of Salida, Calif., and Lucy Hernandez, Linda Kelly and Freda Castro, all of Billings; and a brother, Louis Romero of Ryegate.
Services were held at Cremation & Funeral Gallery with a reception following at the American Legion.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 18:06
Michael J. “Mike” Green, 46, of Billings, a welder who loved the outdoors, died March 7, 2014.
He was born Aug. 21, 1967, in Eau Claire, Wis., to James Green and Sonja (Behlke) Green. He spent his younger childhood in Whitefish. In adolescence, he moved with his parents to Williston, N.D., where he met Candace Stearns. They were together for 30 years, including 18 in Billings.
Survivors include Ms. Stearns, of Billings; sisters, Jeanne Klenz of Oklahoma and Dawn Reining of Florida; father-in-law, Wesley M. Stearns; and brother, Wesley C. Stearns.
A celebration of his life was held March 11 at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:49
Joyce L. Nottingham, 92, died March 8, 2014, at Eagle Cliff Manor, where she had lived for the past 2 1/2 years.
She was born Feb. 16, 1922, in Gletworth, Saskatchewan, to Taylor and Marie Sykes. At the age of 8, the family moved to Sunburst and in 1934 to Chester. In 1938 the family settled in Fort Benton.
She married Ed Nottingham in Fort Benton on June 2, 1943. They resided there until 1981 when they were transferred with the Case Co. to Burley, Idaho. After her husband’s death in 1984, she returned to Billings with her daughter for a year and then to Fort Benton. In the late 1990s she returned to Billings to be near her daughter and son-in-law and resided at West Park Village.
Survivors include daughters, Raedene Stovall of Billings and Trudel Wiedemann of Tualatin, Ore.; a son, Kip Nottingham of Richland, Wash.; a sister, Opal Enquist of Great Falls; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A family graveside service will be held this summer in Fort Benton. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:48
Preston “Perry” Lyles, 66, of Billings, a custom home builder, died from complications due to cancer on Sunday, March 9, 2014.
He was born Oct. 4, 1947, in Billings. He graduated from Senior High School in 1966 where he was the Halfback of the Year and a two-year state wrestling champion in 1965 and 1966.
Mr. Lyles was a custom home builder in Washington state and Arizona before returning to live in Billings.
He had received care from St. Vincent Hospital, Frontier Cancer Center and RiverStone Hospice Home.
Survivors include sisters, Maude Magruder and Tracy Lyles; two brothers, Roy Lyles Jr. and Phillip Lyles; children, Preston Lyles of Billings, Lisa Guy of Peoria, Ariz., and Michael Lyles of Kalispell; and six grandchildren.
Services were March 11 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. A luncheon followed at Knights of Columbus.
Memorials may be sent to RiverStone Health Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:48
Ina Jeanette Knight, 92, who spent most of her working years in Alaska and had cooked for Gene Autry, died Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
She was born May 19,1921, in Meeteetse, Wyo., to Harry and Susan (VanBenthyson) Thayer. She was raised on the Pitchfork Ranch just out of Meeteetse.
She cooked for ranch hands and ran the post office for the ranch. She graduated from high school in Laramie, Wyo.
She married Vernon George Zickefoose and lived in the Red Lodge and Billings areas. She retired from the Alaska State Hospital and returned to Billings to be with her sons and their families.
Her cooking specialty was lemon meringue pie.
She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice, Valley Rehabilitation Center and Tender Nest.
Survivors include four sons, Vernon R., Giles, Robert of Billings and Gary Wayne of Salem, Ore.; a stepson, Jack of Hyannis, Neb.; a brother, Rodney Thayer of Oakwood, Ga.; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Services were March 10 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:47
Mark “Hoppy” Hamilton, 47, who had a passion for hunting and fishing, died March 4, 2014.
He was born Jan. 12, 1967, to Samuel and Betty Hamilton in Honolulu, Hawaii, while his family was stationed there, and relocated to Billings shortly after birth. In 1985 he graduated from Billings West High School and moved to Phoenix, Ariz.
He married Linda McMahon on July 3, 1989. They lived in Iowa for a short time before moving back to Billings.
Survivors include his wife (separated); two children, Brittany and Michael Hamilton; siblings, Gary Hamilton, Phinwe Hamilton and Elizabeth Davis; and his companion, Amanda Baxter.
Mr. Hamilton was active in local pool and dart leagues.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 15, at Cremation and Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:46