M.C. “Dutch” Powell, 89, who raised and trained horses for much of her life, died Aug. 7, 2013, at 1:10 a.m.
She was born on the Castle Rock Ranch north of Wolf Point on July 24, 1924, the daughter of Lillie Paulson and Thomas Simenson. She started breaking horses on the ranch and began riding bulls and bareback horses and competing on a bulldogging team at age 16.
She was the first of 12 young women to join the Girls Rodeo Association and traveled to rodeos with actors Slim Pickens and Ben Johnson. She later worked for the Harris Cattle Co. and, during World War II, she worked repairing damaged ships in the shipyards in Bremerton, Wash., for a work force called “Rosie and the Riveters.”
She then worked as a card dealer in Las Vegas dealing blackjack. She returned to Montana and bought the 7-9 Ranch near Wolf Creek from Gary Cooper, who returned to use the ranch as a retreat. After she sold the ranch, she started training thoroughbred race horses at tracks from the Midwest to the West Coast and Canada.
She married Buck Powell in New Mexico and took a break from the racing world to help care for her father in Wolf Point. There she waited tables at the truck stop and tended bar at Butz’s Bar.
After the death of her father, she went back to training horses. Toward the end of her career, she worked for a decade as morning outrider at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz., coming back to Montana during the summer. After she no longer went to Arizona, she and her son lived on a small ranch outside of Helena.
She continued working as an out rider in the Montana circuit and was put in the Western Horseman for her superior horsemanship. She retired and spent her final years in Shepherd.
Survivors include a son, Scott Powell; daughter, Terri Desmond; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:49
Tillie Hoferer, 98, of Billings, a hairdresser who had been the proprietor of her own salon, died Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.
She was born Aug. 11, 1914, in Creighton, Neb., the second of three children. She married Clarence Hoferer, and they had four children: Charles, Karen Luckey, Annette Kidd and Curtis. She also had six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Services were Aug. 13 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:47
Norman David Larson, 86, of Billings, a retired sales representative for Five Star Manufacturing Co., died at home on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013.
He was born June 19, 1927, in Red Lodge to Sally and Gus Larson. He grew up in Livingston and graduated from Park County High School.
He entered the Navy in October 1948 and was honorably discharged on Feb. 13, 1950. After leaving the Navy he worked in Alaska for several years. He returned to Montana and married Bonnie Ann Yancey on Sept. 3, 1953. They moved to Billings, where he worked for Dixon Paper Co. before taking a job with Five Star Manufacturing Co. He worked there for 25 years and retired in 1982.
He played piano, organ and drums and was an avid animal lover.
Survivors include his wife; sons, David, Larry and Gary; six grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.
In accord with his wishes, a private family service will be held and his ashes spread. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials are suggested to Big Sky Honor Flight, c/o Bill Kennedy, P.O. Box 35000, Billings, MT 59107; or to the animal shelter of your choice.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:47
Hazel V. (Cassady) Webster, 99, who had worked in a grocery store and as a secretary, died at Beehive Homes in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013.
She was born June 20, 1914, in Litchfield, Minn., to George and Helen Cassady, the fourth child born to the family of four girls and a boy.
She married Wendell A. Webster on May 17, 1933.
She had worked for Ryan Grocery in Billings in the late ’40s, and later for Lockheed Aircraft in California and the city of Klamath Falls, Ore.
After her husband’s death in August 1975, she moved from Klamath Falls back to Billings to be near family. Here she worked many years with senior citizens at the local RSVP office.
Survivors include sons, Jerry of Lincoln, Bob of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Dick of Portland, Ore.; 18 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Viewing and services were Aug. 10 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. The Rev. Tim Hathaway of Billings First Methodist Church officiated. Interment followed in Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be sent to Billings RSVP, 1505 Ave. D, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:46
Longtime Billings resident Fred Bierwiler, 85, who worked in banking and finance and was recognized for his service to the Boy Scouts, died Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, six months after a heart attack and subsequent complications.
He was born in 1927 and raised in Corning, N.Y. He worked with his father at Carpenter’s Bus as a driver before joining the Army at age 18. He started his finance career in Corning.
In 1959, the family moved to Helena, where he was promoted to finance company office manager. Three years later, he was promoted again and moved to Billings. He joined Midland Bank in 1967 and retired from US Bank 20 years ago.
Mr. Bierwiler was a lifelong member and leader with the Boy Scouts of America. He started a Cub Scout pack as soon as his firstborn son was old enough to participate and remained active until long after his children had left the household. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus presented him with the Silver Beaver, one of Scouting’s highest awards, for his service to the community for more than 35 years.
He and his wife, Valerie, traveled extensively in retirement and spent winters in Salome, Ariz., for 17 years. There they became oil painting artists.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years; sons, David, Michael, Terry, Scott and Amie Spendlow; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and a sister, Cynthia Nan Springsteen.
Services will be at Cremation & Funeral Gallery in Billings. A private family memorial will take place in Colorado.
Donations may be made in his name to the Billings Food Bank or RiverStone Hospice. A website is being set up at http://fred.bierwiler.com for those who wish to share thoughts with the family.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:43
Lois Arlene Wilson Ellingson, 78, died Aug. 7, 2013.
She was born in Great Falls on Jan. 21, 1935, a daughter of Edgar C. Wilson and Blanche Haefer Wilson. She married Ronald Willard Ellingson in Great Falls on June 15, 1951.
She made baby blankets for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and had read shelves of books.
Survivors include her husband; children, Deborah Mallard, Jeffrey Ellingson, Deena Topel, Dorene Nelson and Donald Ellingson; 12 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; and a great-great grandchild.
Services were Aug. 10 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Condolences may be sent to Topel Printing, c/o Richard Topel, 15 N. 22nd St., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:42
Merlin Don Boyer, 46, who worked at Knife River, died Aug. 4, 2013, in a motorcycle accident.
He was born Oct. 17, 1966, to Merlin and Sharon (Lacey) Boyer.
Survivors include his wife, Kam; children, Damian, Jeremy, Amber and Mercedes; two grandchildren; and a brother, Larry.
Services were pending. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
A memorial fund has been set up at Western Security Bank for the family in care of Merlin Boyer Memorial Fund.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:46
JoAnn Clara Heins, 65, who had worked as receptionist for the under secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon, died Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at RiverStone Hospice Home in Billings.
She was born to Victor and Margaret Franzen on a farm in St. Lucas, Iowa, on Dec. 17, 1947. She joined the Marine Corps the day she graduated from high school, June 7, 1966.
She married Michael Heins on June 29, 1968, at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. She was honorably discharged in December 1968, and the family moved to Billings in 1970.
She worked at St. Vincent Hospital for a short time and for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, retiring Jan. 3, 2008. She and her husband began attending St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in 2008.
Mrs. Heins was very involved in Big Sky Cum Christo after she made her weekend in October 1985. In 2009 she was the rector for the woman’s weekend. She and her husband were active in the Marine Corps League.
Survivors include her husband; daughters, Michelle McManus, Rene Heins and Suzette “Suzie” Heins; siblings, Bernard Franzen of St. Lucas, Iowa, Dorothy Hagemeier of Germantown, Wis., Stella Franzen of Denver, Colo., Richard Franzen, Ignatius Franzen of Otis, La., David Franzen of St. Lucas and Dennis Franzen of St. Lucas; and three grandchildren.
Vigil services were Aug. 2 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Memorial Mass was Aug. 3 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church with a luncheon afterward. Burial of ashes was in the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel.
Memorials may be made to St. Vincent Frontier Cancer Center, 1315 Golden Valley View Drive, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:45
Ella M. Maxwell, 92, who had worked alongside her husband on a farm, in construction and at a motel, died July 9, 2013, after a short illness.
She was born Feb. 16, 1921, in Fromberg to Millard and Pearl Daylong and has six brothers and sisters. The family later moved to Billings.
She married Leslie L. Maxwell on March 26, 1938, in Columbus. They farmed south of Laurel, and she helped in their construction business. They built and operated Maxwell’s Motel in Park City. After her husband’s death in 1982, she moved to Billings.
Survivors include children, Darlene Weinzetl, Jess Maxwell and Nola Michael; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and 28 great-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life was held Aug. 3 at the North Park Recreation Center in Billings.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:44
Henry “Hank” Luther Kastl Jr., 91, of Billings, who had been an auto mechanic and service manager, died July 30, 2013, at Butterfly Assisted Living.
The son of Henry Luther Kastl Sr. and Sarah Kyger Kastl, he was born Aug. 8, 1921, in Hominy, Okla. He spent his youth in the Midwest working on oil rigs with his father and with the Civilian Conservation Corps.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1941, right after Pearl Harbor, and served until 1946. He married Mary Ruth “Jo” Beall on Sept. 22, 1945, in Vancouver, Wash.
During the 1950s, they moved to Billings where he worked for the Pierce family as an auto mechanic specializing in Jeeps. He left Pierce for several years, opening his own shop alongside John Beurer’s on Montana Avenue, then returned to Pierce as service manager for the RV and trailer center, a job he held until he retired.
Mr. Kastl was an active Mason in Billings and spent time woodworking and as a recreational lapidarist. He had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include his wife; a son, David of Helena; two granddaughters; seven great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
Graveside services were held Aug. 5 at Sunset Memorial Gardens with a reception at Butterfly Homes, 77 Lily Valley Circle. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:42