The Billings Outpost

Paul Van Cleave

Paul Van Cleave, 75, of Billings, a power lineman, died Sept. 26, 2013.

He was born in Bison, S.D., to Earl and Florence (Palmer) Van Cleave on April 12, 1938. He attended Prairie City School, then enlisted in the Army and was awarded a Good Conduct Medal.

On Dec. 29, 1962, he married Toni Eide in Sturgis, S.D.

Survivors include his wife; children, Cristeen Stone of Humble, Texas, Carla Van Cleave of Billings and Calvin JayEarl Van Cleave of Billings; brothers, Everett of Washington, John of Billings and Orman of Washington; sisters, Eilene of Rapid City, Joyce of Virginia and Carol of Bismarck; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held Oct. 1 at Cremation and Funeral Gallery. A reception followed at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles on Main Street in the Billings Heights.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 19:41

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Toni Lawhon

Toni Marie (Kallen) Lawhon, 59, of Billings, the retired postmaster in Forsyth, died Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at her home in Billings.

She was born Feb. 20, 1954, in Hardin, the daughter of Ted Kallen and Jerry Kallen. She graduated from Hysham High School and attended Billings Business College.

She worked as a bookkeeper for Don’s Car Wash and then drove a school bus for Billings Schools. In 1986, she started working in the Billings post office, holding several positions before she was promoted to postmaster in Forsyth.

After retiring from the U.S. Postal Service, she returned to driving a school bus and helped with merchandising and inventory. She was a business partner in Chickadee Tweets, a caramel business.

She created stained glass, dry floral arrangements and other crafts. She was an active member of Zoe Bible Church, where she taught art classes for children.

Survivors include a son Randy; a grandson; her mother, Jerry Wetsch; sisters, Monti Wetsch, Pam Kraft and Theresa Daem; and stepsisters Anjeanette Meuret Silver, Linda Meuret, Linda Gow and Jerry Lee Hale.

Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Zoe Bible Church in Lockwood, with a reception to follow. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 19:40

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Emelie Eliasson Jensvold

Emelie Eliasson Jensvold, 93, whose gift was taking care of people, died Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Billings.

She was born Sept. 11, 1920, in Roundup, the daughter of Bonsak “Ben” Eliasson of Norway and Gerda “Gertie” Solomonson Eliasson of Sweden. She was raised with five brothers on a homestead in the Sunlit Basin, north of Roundup. She attended Sunlit Basin School and graduated from Roundup High School.

On Jan. 20, 1940, she married Alvin Jensvold in Roundup. When he joined the Navy during World War II, she made a home for them in Houston, Texas; Berkeley, Calif.; Bremerton, Wash.; and Portland, Ore., working in department stores and the shipyards.

After the war, they bought a farm in Riverside, just outside Roundup. In 1951 they moved to Washington state, settling in Richland. Mrs. Jensvold was a Scout den mother, Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher at Richland Lutheran Church.

She cared for her mother and mother-in-law at the end of their lives, and she provided day care for the children of working mothers and maintained relationships with some of them into their adult years.

After Mr. Jensvold retired in 1969, they moved back to Roundup, where they renewed their connection with Zion Lutheran Church. She was active in the auxiliaries of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where she was treasurer.

Survivors include a daughter, Judy Shaw, of Ithaca, N.Y.; and two grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Zion Lutheran Church in Roundup. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Gifts in her memory may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, Musselshell Valley Community Foundation, or St. John’s Lutheran Ministries cottages.


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 19:39

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Myron G. Oakland

Services were held Sept. 21, 2013, for Myron G. Oakland, 75, of Billings, who died of cancer.

He was born Jan. 31, 1938, in Rhame, N.D., to Lawrence and Ona Oakland. He graduated from Rhame High School in 1956. He married Sharon Munari of Billings in 1959, and they later divorced.

Mr. Oakland joined the Army in 1960 and received an honorable discharge in 1966. He then moved his family to Yuma, Ariz., where he worked for Braden’s John Deere.

In 1973, he moved his family back to Billings where he worked for Tractor and Equipment for 29 years. He received many sales and service awards before his retirement.

Survivors include a daughter, Sherry Oakland Dompier; a son, Shawn Oakland; three grandsons; and sisters, Carol of Bowman, N.D., Linda Aasen of Rapid City, S.D., Joann of Omaha, Neb., and Carlyle Sunden of Billings.

Visitation was Sept. 20. Services were Sept. 21 at Dahl Funeral Chapel, followed by a luncheon. Interment was Sept. 22 in Bethany Lutheran Cemetery in Rhame, N.D.


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:11

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David McGraw

David McGraw, 41, of Billings, known for his smile and quick-witted responses, died Sept. 20, 2013.

He was born July 20, 1972.

Survivors include his parents, Butch and Connie; sisters, Dulcy and Dara; and children, Steven, Timothy, Miles, Dakota and Isiah McGraw.

Services were Sept. 23 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:10

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Sydney Drager

Sydney “Syd” Drager, 74, of Billings, who had worked as a truck driving instructor, died Sept. 11, 2013, at Billings Clinic.

He was born July 8, 1939, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to John Lively Drager and Patricia N. (Knudtson) Drager. He joined the Navy in June 1958 and served on active duty until 1962 and in the reserves until June 1964. In 1963, he married Ann Marie Dzierzynski.

After being honorably discharged, Mr. Drager worked as a produce manager for Safeway, a warehouse supervisor for Northwest Bedding and truck driver for various companies. He was a member of the Teamsters Union until he retired from his job as a truck driving instructor in 2003. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Survivors include a son, John Drager of Billings; a brother, John Drager of Osburn, Idaho; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren, all of Billings.

A private memorial service was planned. Arrangements were by Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:09

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Elmer Lee Maichel

Elmer Lee Maichel, 83, of Billings, who loved working in his yard, died Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare after a short illness.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Shirley Maichel; two children, Lloyd Maichel of Billings and Lyle Maichel of Seattle; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

At his request, no services were planned. Inurnment was planned in Willow Creek Cemetery. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:08

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Roberta E. Swan

GREAT FALLS – Roberta Evelyn Swan, 81, former chief deputy clerk of court for Cascade County, died Sept. 21, 2013, at Peace Hospice of cancer.

She was born July 8, 1932, one of four daughters of Roger L. and Bertha L. Williams, on the Ashelot Bench near Sun River. She attended high school in Simms and graduated as salutatorian of her class in 1950. She was an active participant in 4H and played the clarinet in the Simms Marching Band.

Upon graduating from high school, she took her first job at General Mills as a clerk. She married Robert Pfennigs in 1952, and they had two children, Kathleen and Robert. Her first husband was killed in a car accident in May 1954.

She married Gabriel Swan at our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on July 21, 1956. They had three children, Margaret, Rebecca and James.

Mrs. Swan stayed home to take care of her family until she took a job as chief deputy clerk of court for Cascade County in 1979. She retired in 1997.

She made rugs and was a skilled seamstress.

Survivors include her husband; sisters, Helen Duncan and Marguerite Dahl; children, Kathi Barton of Washington, Bob Pfennigs of Great Falls, Peggi Skjelset of Washington, Becky Swan of Billings and Jim Swan of Arizona; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren, with twins due in February.

Funeral liturgy will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with inurnment to follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of O’Connor Funeral Home.

Suggestions for memorials include Holy Spirit Church or Peace Hospice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:08

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Norma Diebert Friess

Norma Diebert Friess, 83, of Billings, died Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

She was born April 20, 1930, to Obe and Gladys Workman in Hysham, and she attended school there until her sophomore year. She then moved to Billings where she married Michael Diebert. They had three children.

Mr. Diebert died April 24, 1993. In 1997 she married Chester Friess.

Survivors include a sister, Helen Korber of Billings; sons, James of Marysville, Wash., and Richard of Minot, N.D.; a daughter, Dianna Burke; a stepson, David Seawater of the Philippines; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

At her request, no services were held. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Donations may be made to RiverStone Hospice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:07

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Harold Raymond Oak

Harold Raymond Oak, 89, of Park City, died at home on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, after surviving an aortic aneurysm, a heart attack and lower left leg amputation due to circulatory blood insufficiency.

He was born July 18, 1924, in Jamestown, N.D., to John and Pauline (Kercher) Oak. He graduated from high school in 1943.

He married Darline Helen (Steele) Oak on Dec. 6, 1945, in Moorhead, Minn., and they had seven sons. They lived in Jamestown, N.D., until 1967, then moved to Montana for his occupation as an operator engineer. He was proficient in construction as a crane operator, dozer operator, oiler and mechanic, making homes in Glendive, Fort Benton, Froid and finally residing in Park City in 1975.

Survivors include five sons, Willis, Jeffrey and Bradley, all of Park City, Darwin of Billings and Delfus “Duffy” of Laurel; a sister, Roxanne Carlson of Federal Way, Wash.; 15 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at the Park City Civic Center. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 09:41

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