The Billings Outpost

Glen Blackford

Glen “Bill” William Blackford, 71, who founded and operated Blackford Sprinklers, died Feb. 3, 2014, at Billings Clinic from complications of a heart attack.

He was born Aug. 30, 1942, to Glen and Eva (Nedens) Blackford in Hardin. He attended elementary school in Lodge Grass before moving to Billings during his high school years.

Mr. Blackford served in the Navy from 1961 to 1963. When he returned, he married Betty Walters in December 1963. They had a daughter and a son.

He worked at Midland Implement for five years before starting his own business. He operated Blackford Sprinklers until he retired in 2011.

On Aug. 30, 1993, he married Vonnie Dahms and became a stepfather to two more daughters: Angela and Stacy.

Survivors include his wife; children, Brenda Davis and Bryan Blackford; stepchildren, Angela Oakley and Stacy Schoeep; siblings, Caryl Davis, Byrl Blackford, Tom Blackford and Harley Blackford; and 11 grandchildren.

Viewing was Feb. 8 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Services were held there on Feb. 10.

Memorials can be made to the Billings Montana Veterans Administration Hospital, 1775 Spring Creek Lane, Billings, MT 59102.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:07

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Marvin Leroy Hays

Marvin Leroy Hays, 62, whose passions were hunting, fishing and trapping, died Feb. 5, 2014, at RiverStone Hospice in Billings.

He was born to James and Ruby (Huffman) Hays. He lived in Hardin, moved to Melstone and later moved back to Hardin.

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

Survivors include his mother, Ruby Hays-Jones of Vaughn; siblings, Wendell of Pompeys Pillar, Wanda of Pompeys Pillar, Marla of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Brenda of Billings; daughters, Linda Zuniga of Wapato, Wash., and Julie Spencer of Melstone; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Services were held Feb. 10 at the Community Center in Melstone. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:06

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Ruth Normand

Ruth Marian (Metvedt) Normand, 81, who had been coordinator for the Billings Parkinson’s Support Group, died in Billings on Jan. 8, 2014, of brain cancer.

She was born July 13, 1932, to Ole and Ida (Nelson) Metvedt on the family farm near Westby. Her family moved to the Missoula area in 1950 and she graduated from Missoula County High School.

While attending college she married Robert “Bob” Normand of Anaconda.  The family moved to Rapid City, S.D., and then to Hot Springs, S.D.

In 1964 they moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. Mrs. Normand ran the household, became active in local politics and returned to college, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1976. She then worked for over a decade as a tax preparer and office manager for H&R Block.

After retirement Mr. and Mrs. Normand moved to Billings. She served as a local and state representative for the National Federation of Retired Employees and as the coordinator for the Billings Parkinson’s Support Group until her illness.

Survivors include her husband; sisters, Alice Savageau of Linden, Wash., and Clara Wacker of Great Falls; sons, Steven of Billings and David of College Park, Md.; a daughter, Susan of Greenbelt, Md.; and five grandchildren.

An informal celebration of her life was held Feb. 10 at Cremation and Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:04

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David Clifford Miller

David Clifford Miller, 83, who was retired from Anchor Motor Freight, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, after an extended illness.

He was born June 24, 1930, to Ruth and Samuel Miller. He grew up on a farm in Lapeer, Mich.

Mr. Miller was skillful and versatile at fabrication, welding and mechanics. He worked for Coulter Sales as a truck driver and farm worker.  He later worked for Vesslys Apache Campers Trucking and for Grand Truck Railroad. He retired from Anchor Motor Freight in 1991. He and wife then made their home in Billings where he went to work for Keil Farms hauling grain and sugar beets.

He married Barbara in 1978.

Survivors include his wife; three sons, Michael, Mark and Victor; three daughters, Helen Wyse, Sally Veith and Sandy Holy; stepchildren, Charmaine, Roy, John, Frank and Bob Cooper, Sally Monn and David Miner;  a sister, Maxine Beattie; a brother, Daniel; 19 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visitation began Feb. 11. Services were Feb. 11, with the Rev. George Burgin officiating, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. A light luncheon and more visitation followed the service. A later memorial and burial will be held in Michigan.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:02

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Marianne Elizabeth Milne

Marianne Elizabeth Altmaier Garrett Milne, 83, who was head surgical nurse at St. Vincent Hospital for 27 years, died Feb. 8, 2014.

She was born at home in Bozeman on July 22, 1930, the fourth of six children born to Clarence John Altmaier and Mildred Elizabeth Taliman Altmaier. She was involved in dance, 4-H and sewed many of her own clothes.

During her 10th year, she developed osteomyelitis in her left arm, requiring more than 20 surgeries. She then learned how to write with her right hand, as she had previously been left handed.

She met a friend at summer camp for children with osteomyelitis, Bruce G. Milne, who later become her companion until his death.

In 1941, the family moved to Billings, and she attended Fratt Memorial School. She graduated from Senior High School in 1948.

She went to Carroll College and completed her degree as a registered nurse in December 1951. She was head surgical nurse at St. Vincent Hospital and also worked at Deaconess Hospital in the trauma unit and worked as a contract nurse in Billings.

One such contract took her to the set of “Walks Far Woman” where she was nurse to the movie cast for the duration of the movie. She also took her nursing skills to Wyoming and South Dakota.

On May 2, 1952, she married Donald E. Garrett. The marriage was later dissolved.

She sewed formals for dances and wedding attire and made baby clothing and needlepoint blankets. She had received care at the Sapphire Suite of Valley Health Care.

Survivors include daughters, Dianne Hauer, Judith Garrett and Michelle Henneberry; brothers, Tom and Duane Altmaier; Mildred Ann Altmaier, Mary Joan Dahl and William Altmaier; 11 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life was held at Dahl Funeral Chapel on Feb. 11.

Contributions may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:01

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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

Hits: 455

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

Hits: 480

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

Hits: 441

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

Hits: 485

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