Leionne Grace Martin Freebury, 93, who taught school before ranching and farming with her husband, died Oct. 2, 2012.
She was born Nov. 3, 1918, to Loran and Mathilda Martin on a farm near Steele, N.D. She started first grade in a one-room school and rode horseback or in a buggy with her sisters and brother. She graduated from Bismarck, N.D., High School in 1937.
In 1942, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Dickinson State University. She attended graduate school at Valley City State College in North Dakota and Friends University in Wichita, Kan.
One summer she worked with the war effort in a blanket factory in Seattle, Wash. Another summer she traveled to Eau Claire, Wis., and worked at another war factory.
After returning from Washington, she taught school in North Dakota and worked summer jobs. She eventually also taught school in Sidney, Cut Bank, Conrad and Devon.
She married George Freebury on July 20, 1952, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Steele, N.D. They spent 18 years cattle ranching and farming, beginning on the Freebury ranch north of Conrad.
In 1970, they moved to Conrad, where Mrs. Freebury owned and operated a pre-school and day care center for several years. In 1979, they started spending winters in Yuma, Ariz. She painted and sold many of her pieces in Arizona.
She was a member of Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad until moving to Billings to be closer to her daughter in 2000. She was a member of the Legion Auxiliary, Conrad Garden Club and the Homemakers Club. She was a 4-H leader and taught Sunday school for many years.
After moving to Billings, she joined King of Glory Lutheran Church. The last few years she resided at Sweetwater Retirement Community. She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include a daughter, Cheryl Bentley of Billings; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Jean Colton of Driscoll, N.D.
A small, private service will be held at Sweetwater Retirement Center for friends and the staff. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 3 at Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave., Suite 111, Billings, MT 59102; or to Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:50
Godfrey “Jack” Rogers, 89, of Billings, retired from Sweetheart Bakery, died Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.
He was born Feb. 20, 1923, in Beulah, N.D., a son of George and Martha Rogers. He served in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1944.
He had worked for Lloyd Lockren, Dick Popelka, Old Milwaukee and Sweetheart Bakery. He had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice and Dr. Frank Michels.
Survivors include sons, George Rogers, Donnie Rogers and Ronald Rogers; a daughter, Shirley Owens; 13 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson due in November.
Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be made to Special Olympics or the American Legion.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:59
Jeanette Marcella Knote, 88, of Billings, known for her cooking, died Sept. 29, 2012.
She was born in Maddock, N.D., on Nov. 7, 1923, to Helmer and Matilda Olson. She married Donald Knote on Sept. 26, 1942, in Maddock. He died in 2005.
She was known for her lefse, chocolate chip cookies, Swedish meatballs and cheese hot dogs.
Survivors include five children, Junice Wooten, LeRoy Knote, Russell Knote and Richard “Moe” Knote of Billings and Robert Knote of Dickinson, N.D.; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great- grandchildren; and siblings Mavis Ambers, Marlys Chrissis and Noran “Stanley” Olson, all of North Dakota.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Peace Lutheran Church in Billings. Burial of ashes will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:57
Nicholas Degel Jr., 87, who founded Degel Oil Co. in Glendive and started a Dairy Queen in Billings, died in Billings on Sept. 20, 2012.
He was born Dec. 8, 1924, the second of four sons of Nicholas and Katherine Degel, who were German-speaking immigrants from Hungary who settled in Glendive. His mother died when he was 5 years old.
He married Marilyn Ries on June 19, 1946, in Minneapolis. She died in 2001. They were longtime residents of Glendive.
In 1967 he moved his family of 13 children to Billings and started a Dairy Queen and café business until his retirement in 1991.
He was a longtime member of Holy Rosary Parish, St. Pius Parish, and was involved in community affairs through Kiwanis International. He attended weekly Mass as long as was possible. He was a Fourth Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus.
Survivors include 13 children: Mary Sue McNamara of Sacramento, Calif., Nicholas Degel of Orlando, Fla., Thomas Degel of Great Falls, James Degel of Seattle, Rosemary Tallon of Sacramento, Calif., Cynthia Matthey of Spokane, Wash., Jennifer Harn of Billings, Joanne Lowry of Sacramento, Adrienne Bjorndal of Billings, Jacqueline Degel of Redmond, Wash., Jeanne Winnick of Billings, Elizabeth Wynegar of Billings and Theodore Degel of Singer Island, Fla.; 35 grandchildren; and 37 great-grandchildren.
A vigil service will be held at Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave. at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5. Services will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 6 at St. Pius X Catholic Church.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:56
Cliff Seavey, 81, a home builder and cabinet maker, died Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana in Billings.
He was born to Paul and Dorothy (Ashmore) Seavey on May 3, 1931, in Smithland, Iowa, the oldest of the couple’s three children.
After graduating from Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa, he served in the Army. On Feb. 14, 1956, he married Kay Munger. The couple lived in Butte for a year while he worked as a miner, then in Loomis, Calif., for 50 years, where he worked as a professional home builder and cabinet maker. They moved to Red Lodge in 2008 and then to Billings in February of this year.
Survivors include his wife, Kay Seavey of Billings; a sister, Ramona Puls of Hoskins, Neb.; and Kristi Miller of New Dim, Minn., and Lori Schneider of Fallbrook, Calif.
Arrangements were by Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:55
Frederick Paul Huppert, 87, a contractor who worked with his sons building golf courses around the country, died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, while attending the homecoming football game at Billings Central Catholic High School, where his three sons and grandsons played football.
He was born Sept. 24, 1924, in Ismay to Fred and Mary (Foy) Huppert. He grew up in Mildred and worked on the family farm and ranch until the age of 17. His father died when he was 9 years old.
He built 30 to 40 houses in the Billings area, including the family home, before becoming a heavy earthwork contractor for residential and commercial projects. In his later years he worked with his three sons building golf courses around the country. He worked until the age of 84.
He married Josephine Marie Cunningham on June 16, 1952, at Sacred Heart Church in Miles City. He was a charter member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, a Third Degree member of Council 1259 and a Fourth Degree member of the Father Pauwleyn Assembly of the Knights of Columbus.
Survivors include his wife; a sister, Marietta Huppert of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth; children, MaryJo Gabiola of Emmett, Idaho, Fred Huppert of Billings, Greg Huppert, Celeen Woodbury of Whidbey Island, Wash., Nancy Huppert of Billings and Kevin Huppert of Billings; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Dahl Funeral Chapel, 10 Yellowstone Ave. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 13 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 717 18th St. W., with interment of ashes in Calvary Cemetery and a reception to follow at the church. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel
Donations may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, Montana Chapter, 3010 11th Ave. N., Billings, MT 59101; or St. Pius X Parish, 1717 18th St. W., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:53
Sally Georgia Grinsteiner, 64, of Billings, a certified drafter, died Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.
She was born July 2, 1948, in Billings to Selma Elizabeth (Peterson) Grinsteiner and George Adam Klupp Jr. She graduated from West High School in 1966. She later attended vo-tech school to become a certified drafter. She had a passion for painting.
Survivors include children, Dion, Brandy Jones, Farah Moullet and Harley Moullet, and eight grandsons.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:52
Caroline Iverson Ackerman, 94, a retired journalism professor who had been aviation editor for Life magazine, died Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Billings.
She was born Caroline Emilie Iverson on March 6, 1918, in Milwaukee to Jacob Engval and Ella Dorothea (Schmidt) Iverson. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1939 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and education. She worked as a classified advertising and business feature writer at the Milwaukee Journal, then applied for free flying lessons sponsored by the U.S. government. Rejected initially because she was a woman, she was called back when the school failed to meet its quota of males. She received a pilot’s license in 1940.
After receiving certification as a Civil Aeronautics Administration Ground School instructor in the U.S. Civilian Pilot Training program, she taught at the University of Wisconsin, Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. She also took advanced lessons in open cockpit and acrobatic flying. In 1941, she and one of her students made a flight to Alaska, a first in a 65-horsepower, two-seater airplane.
In 1942, Life magazine recruited her as an aviation researcher, developing picture stories, covering stories with photographers and writing captions. She was promoted to aviation editor at the age of 26, and continued in that position for the duration of World War II. She flew B-26, B-24 and B-17 bombers, as well as the first B-29 to come off the line in Wichita, Kan., during tours of military bases.
In 1947, she was released from her job after the soldiers returned from the war. She was hired by Shell Oil Co. in the company’s first program for public relations for women. She worked under the pseudonym “Carol Lane, Women’s Travel Director” and spoke to women’s groups about travel. She also wrote a syndicated weekly column, “Tips on Touring,” and appeared on radio and TV shows as a “travel expert.”
On Dec. 31, 1949, she married Leslie “Les” Ackerman in Wauwatosa, Wis. Shortly after marrying, the family moved to Warwick, R.I. In 1965, the family moved to South Natick, Mass., where she earned a master’s degree in journalism at Boston University in 1969.
Mrs. Ackerman joined Northeastern University as a journalism professor in 1971. She left in 1978 and assisted with communications development within the New England Synod of the Lutheran Church. She was editor of the New England Lutheran until she retired in 1992.
Mr. Ackerman died in 2001; in 2004, Mrs. Ackerman moved to St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in Billings.
Survivors include a sister, Dorothy Edwards of Baraboo, Wis.; a daughter, Karin Field of Matthews, N.C.; a son, Terry of Billings; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be in Natick, Mass., in the spring. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Donations may be made to St. John’s Foundation, 2429 Mission Way, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:51
Benjamin “Ben” Stiffarm, “Baas Thay” (Comes Over the Hill), 85, an elder of the A Ahinin Nation of Fort Belknap, died Sept. 18, 2012, of leukemia.
He was born in Hays on July 18, 1927, to Phoebe (Bell) and Alfonses Stiffarm. He served in the Army from Aug. 16, 1945, to Jan. 22, 1947, and was honorably discharged. He married Ida Della Robideau on Nov. 7, 1951, in Butte. They had lived in Oakland, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., for more than 40 years, then moved to Spokane, Wash., for 10 years and returned to Billings in 1999.
Mr. Stiffarm graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Evergreen State College in Washington state in 1978. He had worked for more than 50 years throughout the Pacific Northwest in leadership roles promoting the rights of American Indian people and communities.
He was a founding member of the Seattle Indian Health Board, Chief Seattle Club and United Indians of All Tribes. He supported the American Indian Movement occupation of Wounded Knee and worked with the federal and state governments and tribal nations on American Indian issues.
Survivors include his wife.
The wake started Sept. 20 in the double tipi at Lenore Stiffarm’s residence at Dry Lake in Hays. Rosary was Sept. 21, and Funeral Mass was at St. Paul’s Mission in Hays on Sept. 21. Interment was in the Stiffarm Family Cemetery, Dry Lake, in Hays. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 September 2012 20:03
Ezekiel “Zeke” Alexander Foottit, just over 3 months old, died in his sleep the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.
He was born June 13, 2012.
Survivors include his parents, Mark and Tricia Foottit; grandparents, Mike and Patti Noble; great-grandmother, Erma Kaeding; paternal grandparents, Marcie and Steve Foottit; and great-grandmother, Hazel Foottit.
Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at Holy Cross Cemetery. The procession will leave Cremation & Funeral Gallery at 9:30 a.m.
Donations may be made to the Ramsey Keller Memorial, 4456 Laredo Place, Billings, MT 59106, www.kisses2heaven.com, or any Yellowstone Bank branch.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 September 2012 20:02