The Billings Outpost

Sheryl Stephens

Sheryl Stephens, 60, died of cancer on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013.

She was born July 30, 1953, to Rose (Stephens) Long and Gordon Stephens.

Survivors include her mother; a daughter, Jenifer Rose Stephens; a granddaughter; a brother, Mike Stephens; and sisters, Kathy Anderson, Trish Fowler and Brenda Byrers.

A celebration of her life will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Moose Lodge, 131 Calhoun Lane in Billings.

Memorials can be made to RiverStone Hospice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 September 2013 18:57

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Leo James Kerber

Leo James Kerber, 83, a graphic artist, died Aug. 24, 2013, in Columbus.

He was born in Jamestown, N.D., on Dec. 11, 1929, to Joseph and Marie (Emo) Kerber. He attended his first year of school in Windsor, N.D. The family moved to Burlington, Wash., for their father’s health, and Leo Kerber attended school through eighth grade.

He finished his freshman year of high school at St. John’s Academy in Jamestown. After graduating from high school in Shakopee, Minn., Mr. Kerber attended art school in Minneapolis and began his career in graphic art at an advertising agency in Los Angeles. He spent the next 20 years as a graphic artist at Miller Western Wear and then as a graphic artist at U.S. West in Aurora, Colo.

When his Montana nieces were little girls, Leo and his brother Joe often traveled from Denver to vacation in Montana, where he spent hours drawing characters for their entertainment. His cartoons, entitled “Kerber’s Corner,” were published in a Denver publication called Life on Capitol Hill.

After retirement, he and his brothers moved to Montana. They moved to Columbus in May 2013, to be closer to family, due to his failing health.

Survivors include brothers, Joseph of Columbus and Tony of LaHabra, Calif.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Billings, with burial in Columbus.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:57

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Kathy Feist Martinez

Kathy Feist Martinez, 56, who worked at Albertsons on North 27th Street, died in Billings on Aug. 21, 2013, from complications related to diabetes.

She was born Aug. 12, 1957, in Cutbank, a daughter of Daniel and Patty Feist. She lived in Billings and Great Falls her adult life. In spite of a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes in her senior year of high school that required an extended absence, she was co-salutatorian. In the late ’80s she graduated with honors from the College of Great Falls as a paralegal.

Survivors include her mother, Bernie Feist of Great Falls; sisters, Danette Curry of Hot Springs, Deanna Curtiss of Glendive, Laurie Mathis of Zellwood, Fla., Patty Feist of Pueblo, Colo., and Debbie May of Missoula; a brother, Don Feist of Plains; and a grandson.

The planned a private celebration of her life. Dahl Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Donations may be made to Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter or the Diabetes Association.


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 10:08

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Ronald George Rafferty

Ronald George “Ronnie” Rafferty, 73, an ironworker, died Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at his home.

He was born Dec. 5, 1939, in Miles City to George and Marguerite Rafferty. He moved to Seattle, Wash., and married Barbara “Bobbie” Kuhlman on Jan. 29, 1966. The family moved to Billings in November 1978.

Mr. Rafferty worked on old cars and did home improvements.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Troy, Sean and Aaron; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol and Susan of Portland, Ore.; and a brother, George of Florida.

Services will be at Cremation & Funeral Gallery at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Graveside services will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 10:07

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Joan E. Hurdle

Longtime Billings activist Joan Hurdle, 81, a former state legislator, died Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, of abdominal cancer.

She was born in Glendive on Aug. 21, 1931. She had lived on the West Coast at various times but had lived in Billings for the past 27 years.

An educator, politician and environmentalist, Ms. Hurdle was known for speaking her mind on issues affecting the Billings community, the state of Montana, the nation and the world. She served on numerous local and regional boards and was a frequent contributor of letters to both the Gazette and Outpost over the years.

Elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 1994, she served four consecutive terms representing District 13, which largely consisted of the Billings South Side and neighborhoods near downtown. In the Legislature, she fought for citizens who lacked access to lobbyists and large corporate conglomerates to represent their interests. She was a champion of women’s rights as exemplified in her work as a leader in the League of Women Voters and involvement in the National Organization for Women.

She once wrote, “The whole purpose of life is to learn how to make the world a better place, to have justice and democracy, to have everyone fed and housed, to have every child a wanted, educated and loved child, to have things, especially our planet, be truly beautiful.”

She was the granddaughter of Reginald Truman (R.T.) Hurdle, who served as the Billings city engineer in the 1930s. He completed the original land surveys in Billings, which were used in planning the layout of the city.

Survivors include sons, Duff Schoonmaker, Jon Schoonmaker and Neil Schoonmaker; and seven grandchildren.

Private family services have been held. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Donations may be made in her name of Joan Hurdle to any organization dedicated to the cause of caring for children anywhere in the world.


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:59

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Frank H. Fendrick

Frank H. Fendrick, 87, of Billings, who retired from Ryan Grocery in 1983, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.

He was born June 9, 1926, in Dickinson, N.D., one of eight children of Enhibert and Mary Kostelecky Fendrick. He attended Spring Creek School in Dunn County and married Margaret Kudrna on June 27, 1949. They moved in to Billings in 1951.

He was a charter member of St. Pius X Parish. He was a jack-of-all-trades who completed many handyman projects.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Sharon Halligan; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Visitation was Aug. 22 followed by a Prayers Vigil Service at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Pius X Catholic Church on Aug. 23. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.

Memorials in his honor may be made to the St. Pius X Capital Improvement Fund.


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:58

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Sharon Lane Uhrich

Sharon Lane Uhrich, 68, an administrative assistant for State Farm Insurance for 25 years, died Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in hospice care at St. Vincent Hospital.

She was born Dec. 14, 1944, in Graceville, Minn., to Daniel and Frey Lane. She was the third oldest of seven children: sisters, Gerrie Lane, Nancy Caulie and Marie Altrich; and brothers, Richard, Steven and Patrick.

After graduating from Clinton Graceville Beardsley High School, she attended Wahpeton Technical College in South Dakota. She married Ronald Uhrich on July 31, 1967, at Holy Rosary Church in Graceville, Minn. They had lived in Boise, Idaho, and Billings.

She was known as a prankster by her coworkers and had a zest for living. She had received care at the Butterfly home.

Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Andrea Arnold and Juliette Rodda; and four grandchildren.

Services were at Cremation and Funeral Gallery on Aug. 26. A memorial service will be held in Graceville, Minn.

Donations may be made to St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation to advance and support medical practice, research and outreach.


Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:58

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Lois (Tidwell) Watson

Lois (Tidwell) Watson, 84, who had worked in an insurance office for more than 25 years, died Aug. 20, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz.

She was born Jan. 1, 1929, in Burlington, Okla., to Harry and Helen (Veatch) Tidwell, the youngest of three children. She grew up on a farm and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She played on the school’s basketball team.

She married Fred Arthur Watson on April 6, 1947, Easter Sunday, at First English Lutheran Church in Cherokee, Okla. In 1957, the family moved to Fairfield, Mont. In 1963, the family moved to Great Falls, then settled in Billings in 1972.

Throughout their marriage, she worked alongside her husband custom combining, farming and then in the office of Old Northwest Agency/Watsons Insurance for more than 25 years.

She was a longtime member of Central Christian Church.

Survivors include a brother, Paul Tidwell; a son, E. Allen Watson; daughters, Rebecca deJongh and Sandra Hartman; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Central Christian Church, 1221 16th St. W. in Billings. A reception will follow. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:56

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Graham Dean Sims Sr.

Graham Dean Sims Sr., 84, a retired School District 2 employee who was active in Jehovah’s Witnesses, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.

He was born July 11, 1929, in Lovell, Wyo., to P.D. and Eva Sims. After graduation, he married Vera June Doerr on Oct. 17, 1950. Shortly after their marriage, he was deployed to Korea.

After the war, he worked in the uranium mines around Lovell until 1959 when he moved his family to Laramie, Wyo., to attend college. Upon completing his studies, the family moved to Billings, where he took a job at The Billings Gazette.

In the early ’70s, Mr. Sims went to work for School District 2 where he worked until he retired in 1989. It was also during the early ’70s that he began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He and his wife were active in the door-to-door ministry until failing health prevented him from doing so.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Dean, Wyatt and Morgan; daughters, Tammy and Judy; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Marion Smith and Ann Gist of Cody, Wyo.

Services were Aug. 26 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:55

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Cameron M. Sauter

Cameron M. Sauter, 50, of Billings, a roofer like his father had been, died of a heart attack on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.

He was born to Jacob and Patricia Sauter on July 28, 1963, the fourth of eight children. He graduated from Senior High School in 1981. He drove a black 1977 Trans Am in high school and got it running again a few years ago to share with his sons.

He helped with the family business, Montana Roofing. In 1982, Mr. Sauter went to work for Empire Heating, Cooling and Roofing where he first worked as a roofer then advanced to superintendent and estimator of the roofing division.

He met his wife, Angie, in 1987; they had two sons, Brenner in 1997 and Corbin in 1999.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Brenner and Corbin of the family home; and seven brothers and sisters, Chris Synek, Kevin Sauter, Debbie Porter, Lisa Joki, Jenny Sauter, Nathan Sauter and Joel Sauter.

Services were held Aug. 25 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, followed by a reception.

Contributions may be made to the Cameron Sauter Family Fund at any First Interstate Bank or mail them to First Interstate Bank, c/o Chris, 730 Main St., Billings, MT 59105. Condolences may also be sent to the family c/o Debbie Porter, 122 Yellowstone Ave., Billings, MT 59101.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:55

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