Tommy “Eddie” Roundface, 59, who was active in political and cultural affairs of the Crow Tribe, died April 10, 2012.
He was born March 30, 1953, in Pryor to Hannah Round Face and Peter George Old Crane, but was adopted and raised by his grandparents, Edward and Matilda Round Face. He belonged to the Greasy Mouth Clan and was a child of the Piegan Clan.
He received his Indian name, “Ishtaxxiwilaash” or “Gun That Has Fire,” from Edward Posey Whiteman Sr.
Mr. Roundface was a member of the Native American Church and participated in the Crow sweat lodge and sundance ceremonies. He was a member of St. Charles Catholic Parish.
He attended grade school at St. Charles Mission School and went to Edgar High School, where he played football and basketball. At age 17 He joined the Navy and acquired his GED. From 1971 to 1974, he served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:22
Anne (Stene) Pepple, 91, who worked as a nurse for many years, died in Butte early Friday morning, April 13, 2012.
She was born May 5, 1920, to Chris and Martha Stene, the youngest of six children. She graduated from Joliet High School in 1938 and after graduating from Billings Deaconess Hospital in 1941 became a registered nurse. Her first job as a nurse was in Big Timber.
She enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 and on Dec. 2, 1944, married Richard Pepple in San Luis Obispo, Calif. After serving as chief nurse with the 98th Field Hospital on Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan, she was discharged in 1946, returning to live in Illinois.
She worked as a public health nurse and in hospitals until Mr. Pepple died in 1954 in St. Elmo, Ill., where he taught high school. She then moved to DuQuoin, Ill., with her daughter, continued her education at St. Louis University and worked as a school nurse until she retired in 1981.
She then returned to Joliet and served on the Carbon County Health Board. In 2007, she moved to Butte to be near her daughter.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:17
Kate Johnson, 60, who had been a ranch wife and raised five children, died March 31, 2012, of a rare form of cancer.
She was born Anne Kathryn Cremer on Sept. 10, 1951, in Bremerton, Wash., to John Brody and Marjorie Lorraine Cremer (Ortwein). She had an older brother, Bob, and two younger siblings, Teri and Jack. She grew up on a ranch in Northport, Wash., near the Columbia River.
She was a lifeguard in her teenage years and was involved in cheerleading, basketball, beauty pageants and track. When she graduated from Northport High School in 1969, she held the school high jump record.
Following high school she attended Eastern Washington University. She married Robin in the fall of 1971.
They spent the first 10 years of married life running the Lazy E-4 Cattle Co. on Horse Prairie, near Dillon. In 1981 they moved to Billings. In 2005, she acquired the nickname “Bon” from a grandchild. In the fall of 2011, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:17
LeRoy Besel, 83, a farmer and rancher, died Saturday, April 14, 2012, at Horizon Hospice Home.
He was born June 18, 1928, in Farmer, Wash., to George and Elizabeth (Fox) Besel. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church on July 15, 1928, in Farmer and confirmed April 2, 1944, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Laurel.
His family moved to Billings in 1937. He attended Allendale Elementary School through the eighth grade, then stayed home to help his ailing father with the family farm. He later served as a member of the Allendale school board and participated in construction of the new Allendale Elementary School in the late 1950s.
He married Gladys Rupp in 1952 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Laurel. There he farmed, had a feedlot and raised registered Angus cattle. He was voted Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Laurel Jaycees.
Mr. and Mrs. Besel sold the farm in Laurel and relocated to Red Lodge and Luther. They purchased a ranch and continued to raise Angus cattle. He was a member of the American Angus Association.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:16
Services were held April 16, 2012, for Clifford Maynard Larson, who was a rancher and businessman.
He was born in Glenfield, N.D., to Walter and Anita Larson. At age 15, he left home, and eventually North Dakota, and ranched in towns in Montana, including Fishtail, Miles City, Ryegate and Worden. He ultimately resided in Billings, where he owned several area properties.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Gloria; daughters, Linda Larson Dahlman, Gina Garza Schlecht and Anita Larson; a son, Jerry Larson; and seven grandchildren.
Services were April 16 at Wicks Lane Baptist Church, 1605 Bench Blvd. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Gardens, followed by a reception. Dahl Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:15
Survivors were held April 18, 2012, for Ben F. Gerry, 85, who started the Ben Gerry Insurance Agency in Oregon.
He was born in Rochester, Minn., on Aug. 31, 1926, to Benjamin F. Gerry and Grace Lombard Gerry. Within the year, the family moved to Billings, and he graduated from Senior High School in 1944. He attended Eastern Montana College for one year before serving in the Navy from 1944 through 1946 and again in 1950.
He moved to Oregon in 1953, where he was an insurance investigator. He became the manager of the Lebanon Credit Bureau in 1956 and worked as an independent property and casualty agent for Roland King Insurance for 13 years. He started the Ben Gerry Insurance Agency in Lebanon in 1973, which eventually merged with Rhodes-Warden Insurance in 1990. He retired in 1993.
He had been president of the Lebanon Jaycees and was in the Lebanon Lions Club and the Wigwam Wisemen, a sports booster club. He was selected as Junior First Citizen in 1960 and Man of the Year in 1974.
Mr. Gerry was active in the Oregon Professional Insurance Agents Association, serving on the Board of Directors for many years, and as state president in 1982 and 1983. He was selected as Oregon Agent of the Year in the 1980s. He was a member of the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department, and was active in planning the Senior High Class of ’44 reunions.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:14
Kathleen (Whearty) Durkin, 57, who ran Ornamental Iron for eight years, died Saturday, April 14, 2012, in Billings.
She was born in Billings on April 24, 1954, and lived here all of her life. She worked as a bookkeeper for several Billings construction firms.
On May 24, 1975, she married Michael Durkin. They bought Ornamental Iron, and she kept books for their Billings shop until he died in 2002. She ran the business herself for eight years, then sold the business and property in 2010.
She volunteered to help elderly people with tax preparation and helped them confront insurance companies over unjust decisions.
Survivors include her parents, Harriet and Ray Whearty of Billings; and three brothers, Steve of Centralia, Wash., Dave of Billings and Bruce of Louisville, Ky.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 12:13
Wayne Beaner, 74, a retired draftsman and insurance agent, died April 7, 2012, after suffering a massive brain aneurysm on Feb. 4 at Valley Healthcare Center.
He was born March 22, 1938, to Leo and Ida (Lambertz) Beaner in Humboldt, S.D. After graduating from high school, he joined the South Dakota Air National Guard and was honorably discharged after two years of service. He attended Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and married Angela on May 2, 1959, in Stratton, Colo.
They farmed in eastern South Dakota, then moved to Brookings, S.D., where he attended South Dakota State University-Brookings. They later moved to Sioux Falls where he became a draftsman for Egger Steel and Gage Brothers. He also taught drafting at the College of Technology in Sioux Falls and joined the Knights of Columbus. Mr. and Mrs. Beaner were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
In 1976, Mr. Beaner transferred to Billings for Egger Steel. He was a draftsman for Montana Prestress and for United Prestress until 1986. He was working for CTA Architects when he retired.
In 1988, he became an insurance field agent for the Knights of Columbus. He held many offices within the KC organization, including Faithful Navigator and Grand Knight. He was a member of the 4th Degree. In 1998, he was elected State Deputy for the Montana Knights of Columbus. At the time of his illness, he was the Financial Secretary for Council 1259.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:15
Helen C. Christensen, 87, who announced on her 80th birthday that she was going back to work at Costco, died April 4, 2012, at Aspen View.
She was born Jan. 7, 1925, in Barber, the daughter of Elsie (Howard) and Harry Dakolios. She attended schools in Barber and in Ryegate. While still in high school, she married Earl Bartz.
The family farmed near Shawmut before moving to Denver to work in the car business with Mr. Bartz’s brother. They later owned a Buick dealership in Brighton, Colo.
After her husband’s death, she married Leonard Marcum, and they moved to Helena where he worked for the Federal Housing Authority until his death.
She later married Ret. Col. Chris (A.J.) Christensen. They were active in the Shrine, NILE and Elks Club. After his death, she moved to Billings to be close to family.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:14
Irene Oliver, 82, who worked in bookkeeping and accounting, died Sunday, April 1, 2012, at Amie Holt Care Center in Buffalo, Wyo.
She was born March 3, 1930, in Billings to Tom and Edith Bateman. She received a business degree and spent her professional life in bookkeeping and accounting.
On Aug. 10, 1959, she married Harold Oliver. They were involved in Christian Fellowship and she continued for a time after his death to host a Sunday fellowship meeting in her home.
Services were April 6 at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary with interment in Mountview Cemetery.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 09:13