The Billings Outpost

Marvin A. Berg

Marvin A. Berg, 86, a rancher and a self-employed building contractor who also was a musician and appeared in a movie, died Feb. 5, 2014, at Aspen Meadows Nursing Home.

He was born Dec. 8, 1927, in Lewistown, the son of Almon and Inga J. (Sondeno) Berg. He was raised on the family ranch in Lennep and attended grade school there. He graduated from Harlowton High School in 1945.

He married Thelma Marie Hanson on Dec. 8, 1948, at the American Lutheran Church in Harlowton. Most of his years were spent ranching and as a self-employed building contractor.

Mr. Berg played drums with the “Berg Orchestra” and played the organ for parties and special occasions. He played the drums in the Harlowton Kiwanis Show for many years and with the Musselshell Mud Cats.

He played the part of the minister for the wedding scene in the movie “Heartland,” and he and his wife were flown to New York City for the premiere.

He had been named Volunteer of the Year by the city of Harlowton.

Survivors include his wife; children, Steven Berg of Billings and Myrna Mysse and Greg Berg of Harlowton; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at American Lutheran Church in Harlowton. The Rev. Jan Johnson will officiate. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials be sent to American Lutheran Church in Harlowton.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:00

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Larry James Monahan

Larry James Monahan, 64, a Vietnam veteran who had worked at numerous jobs, died in Billings.

He was born Dec. 4, 1949, in Glasgow to Robert Henry and Dorothy Meyer Monahan. The family moved to Red Lodge when he was 3 years old and relocated to Billings in August 1957.

He attended Little Flower Catholic School for eight years and Central Catholic High School for one year before transferring to Billings West High School, where he graduated in 1969. He played first base in Babe Ruth League.

After graduation, Mr. Monahan joined the Army. He was deployed to Vietnam on Nov. 18, 1970, and returned on Feb. 2, 1972. He was assigned to Company A, 548th Engineer Battalion, and built roads for troops coming in. He worked a rock crusher to provide road materials. He spent six months of R&R in Australia.

He received an honorable discharge in February 1972 and had earned the National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Mr. Monahan had driven trucks for several trucking firms as a furniture mover. He also did warehousing, painting and refinishing work.

He was with Elaine Miller for 10 years before her death on March 11, 2007. He was her primary caretaker through her illness and last days.

In 2012 he was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and struggled with this illness until his death.

Survivors include his mother, Dorothy Monahan Emmett; brothers, Brian Monahan and Michael Monahan of Billings; a sister, Colleen Mayo of Yuba City, Calif.; stepbrothers, Doug, Stacey and Trent Emmett; and stepsister, Denise Emmett.

Services were at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Remains were interred in Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery. A reception at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6774 followed interment. 

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:40

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Karen Marie Thorbrogger

Karen Marie Thorbrogger, 76, died Feb. 3, 2014.

Survivors include a daughter, Karla Moretto; a brother, Robert Shindel of Fontana, Calif.; and three grandchildren.

Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:39

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Lelah Ritz

Lelah Avis Ritz, 83, died Saturday night, Feb. 1, 2014, of congestive heart failure and leukemia.

She was the first child born to the late William and Amanda Bell on Feb. 23, 1930, at Dunn Center, N.D. She was raised on a farm and graduated from Dunn Center High School where she played on the girls basketball team.

She went to Mankato Commercial College, then worked for the Dakota National Bank for five years. In 1952 she married Ted Ritz. After five years they moved to Billings.

Mr. Ritz had his own business selling cleaning supplies, and he ran a car wash and sold tires. Mrs. Ritz kept the books and tended the household while he was away on his weekly routes.

Mrs. Ritz made quilts and was a member of the Catholic Daughters and Holy Rosary Church. She donated much of her spare time to working at the Saint Vincent DePaul Society writing checks and the bulletin and keeping books in order. In later years, she kept the books for her son David and his Little Job Guy business.

Survivors include two sisters, Doris Henderson and Norene Gunwall, both of Killdeer, N.D.; a brother, Leo Bell of Killdeer; five children, Janice Coffman, Corrine Kelly, David Ritz, Don Ritz and Randy Ritz; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation was Feb. 5 and will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, with a Vigil at Dahl Funeral Chapel at 6 p.m. Thursday. Services will be at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Feb. 14 with interment to follow.

Donations can be made to RiverStone Health Hospice or St. Vincent DePaul.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:39

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Calvin Foust

Services were pending for Calvin Foust, 89, who had worked in construction.

He was born Dec. 14, 1924, in Buffalo, S.D., one of eight children of Jessie and Ruth Foust. He enlisted in the  Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

He married Hazel Harms on Sept. 10, 2000. They spent the last three months of his life at Billings Health and Rehabilitation.

Survivors include his wife; brothers, John of Washington and Wayne of Miles City; and five stepchildren.

Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:38

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Garett W. Condrey

Garett W. Condrey, 39, a truck driver, died Jan. 26, 2014, in the home he shared with his girlfriend, Heather Langlois.

He was born July 18, 1974, in Bellevue, Wash., the son of Bud and Linda Condrey. The family moved to Clark, Wyo., when he was less than a year old. He attended Clark Elementary and Powell Middle schools before attending schools at Bridger and North Bend, Wash.

Mr. Condrey worked for GK Construction, Frost Construction and Mountain Construction before establishing himself with Wharton Asphalt. He married Brenda Jo Cox in 1998.

Survivors include his girlfriend; a daughter, Chelsea of Cody, Wyo.; father, Bud Condrey of Seattle, Wash.; mother, Linda (Condrey) Hoefer of Idaho Falls, Idaho; a brother, Brian of Clark; and a sister, Megan Bauwens of Edgar.

A celebration of his life was held Feb. 1 at the Clark Recreation Community Center in Clark, Wyo. Burial of ashes was in Clark Cemetery. A luncheon followed at the Rec Center.

Memorials may be made to the Chelsea Condrey College Fund, c/o Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave., Billings, MT 59101.

59101. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel and memories may be shared with the family at

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:37

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Robert ‘Bob/Beez’ Beesley

Robert “Bob/Beez” Beesley, 60, a coal miner who moved to Roundup in 2008 to help set up the Signal Peak Energy Mine, died Jan. 26, 2014, in McLeansboro, Ill.

He was born Feb. 19, 1953, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Richard and Geneve (Hickenlooper) Beesley. He grew up in Santa Cruz, Calif., and graduated from high school in Kanab, Utah.

Mr. Beesley was a cook for the Army in Germany during the Vietnam War. He was an expert marksman and was honorably discharged in 1972.

He married Wendy Despain on May 4, 1974, in Prescott, Ariz., and he worked with U.S. Motors as a machinist. In 1977 they moved to Price, Utah, where he worked for 23 years for Plateau Mining Co. He worked for San Juan Coal in Farmington, N.M., and then spent a year for Broadmeadow in australia.

They moved to Roundup in 2008. He worked in Australia for another year and had recently been working for White Oak Resources in McLeansboro, Ill.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Survivors include his wife, Wendy; children, Richard F. Beesley of Stansbury Park, Utah, Meri N. Conroy of Bozeman and Belgrade, Holly M. Davenport of Rapid City, S.D., and Ryan S. Beesley of Huntley; a brother, Russell; a sister, Elizabeth Good; brothers, John, Mark and Bruke; and 15 grandchildren.

Viewing and services were Jan. 31 at the LDS Stake Center on Wicks Lane in Billings. Interment was in Roundup Cemetery with military honors. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:37

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Viola Thompson

Viola Thompson, 99, who ran a service station with her husband and raised Pomeranian dogs, died at St. John’s Lutheran Ministries at the Vista on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

She was born Feb. 14, 1914, the daughter of Fred and Sue (Driscoll) Mandelkow in Pompeys Pillar. She attended Pompeys Pillar school until the fourth grade, then the family moved to Columbus for one year, then to Billings where she attended school until the middle of the ninth grade.

She met Elmer Thompson at Woolworth where they both worked. They dated for about five years before they were married on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 29, 1934. It was a policy of Woolworth that married women were not allowed to work, so she had to quit.

Mr. and Mrs. Thompson fostered some children until 1943. Their own daughter was born in 1939.

They raised Pomeranian dogs for many years and later shelties. They ran a Conoco service station at Terry and Montana avenues for more than 20 years.

Mrs. Thompson was involved in a shop at Level 3 in Billings. She made crocheted frames, Christmas ornaments and necklaces and shipped them to several states.

She joined the Rebekah Lodge with her mother and daughter, the only three generations to join at the same time. She remained a member for more than 55 years. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and served on the Council of Job’s Daughters.

Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Marchinek of Billings; a granddaughter; five great-grandsons; seven great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Betty Nelson of Billings.

Visitation was Feb. 4 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Graveside services were Feb. 5 in Mountview Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at First Alliance Church at Central Avenue and 19th Street West with a lunch to follow.

Memorials may be made to the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter, 1735 Monad Road, Billings, MT 59101.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:36

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Fonnetta A. Malloy

Fonnetta Anne Malloy, 48, died Jan. 27, 2014.

She was born Jan. 23, 1966, in Roundup.

Survivors include her mother, Ruby Anderson; father, Melvin Malloy; siblings, Channing Malloy, Lauren Malloy, Robert Warren, William Warren, Pamela Malloy and Melissa Lake; and a friend, Ed.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave. in Billings.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:35

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Robert M. Ross

Robert “Bob” M. Ross, 67, who had been executive director of the South Central Regional Mental Health Center, died Jan. 21, 2014.

He was born June 22, 1946, the second of three children of Robert M. Ross Sr. and Maxine A. Wiant, in Portland, Ore. He graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1964. A few years after high school, he moved to Billings with Laura Carrell. He was adopted into the Lillian Hogan Clan in his early adult years and became a member of the Crow Night Hawk Social and Dance Society.

He graduated from Eastern Montana College with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, then worked as a licensed clinical professional counselor.

He received recognition for his service from the National Alliance for Mental Illness and the Department of Corrections and Public Health and Human Services Advisory boards, among others.

He was executive director of the South Central Regional Mental Health Center for nearly 20 years. He was recognized as a Patriotic Employer and Honorary Cannoneer by supporting employee participation in the National Guard and Reserves and exemplifying the spirit of the Prairie Lightning Battalion.

Mr. Ross was of Scottish and Metis descent, and produced Native American-style art in the form of beadwork, carving and feather work. He had many pieces in the hands of dealers, collectors, museums and friends.

In 2008, Bob married Marnie. He had received care from St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, Colo.

Survivors include his wife Marlene; a sister, Becky; a daughter, Michele Luminato; a son, Steve; stepchildren, Tom Disburg, Paulette Alexenko and Tyler Disburg; five grandchildren; and three stepgrandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave. A reception will follow.

Donations may be sent to St. Labre Catholic Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Road, Ashland, MT 59003.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:04

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