Ervin R. Leuenberger, 84, a longtime Billings resident, died in his sleep on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
He was born to Martin and Caroline (Loendorf) Leuenberger on April 4, 1928, in Vida. He grew up working on the family farm, then served in the Navy and received an honorable discharge in 1946.
He married Evelyn Stai on April 4, 1949, and they later divorced. In 1969 he married Patricia Myers.
Mr. and Mrs. Leuenberger traveled the country from Surprise, Ariz., to Bozeman and from Billings to Ferndale, Wash. He had worked in many jobs, from being a cowboy in Arizona to working for the Atomic Energy Commission in Las Vegas, Nev. He and his wife had lived in Billings since 1979. He had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include his wife; a son, Boyd; stepchildren, Kevin, Melaine and Kim; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
At his wish, no services were planned. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:44
Jean Keebler, 90, a Montana cowboy with Tennessee roots, died Sept. 2, 2012.
A longtime Carbon County resident, he was born on the family ranch east of Edgar on May 22, 1922, and was the last surviving member of his generation of the Keebler family. He was preceded in death by his father, Homer Keebler, and mother, Julia Keebler.
He attended school in Edgar and Fromberg and graduated from Fromberg High School. He married Kathryn Hodges on June 15, 1947.
Mr. and Mrs. Keebler lived and worked on ranches and farms at Edgar, Winnett, Sarpy Creek, Hysham, Fromberg, Bridger and Roberts. He worked as long as his health permitted.
He and his wife were married for 65 years and raised five children, Shirley Hines, Howard, Steve, JaLayne Obert and Greg; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and a great-great grandchild.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Rockvale Cemetery. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:44
Gerald “Jerry” Jacobson, 86, a World War II veteran who had several careers, died Friday, Aug. 24, 2012.
He was born May 25, 1926, to Edwin and Cora Jacobson in Devils Lake, N.D., as the eldest of four children. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy.
Upon returning from World War II, he worked his way to a position as meat department manager in Grand Forks, N.D. He also had careers in grocery store ownership, sales, construction and woodworking.
In 1946, he married Rosalie Schill, and they had six children. In 1988 he married Jackie Berg.
Survivors include his wife; children, Jeannette Allard of Fargo, N.D., Carol Stockdill of Billings, Jim Jacobson of Bridger, Gary Jacobson of Bridger; Rick Jacobson of Billings and Laurie Vredenburg of Powell, Wyo.; stepchildren, Vance Berg of Thailand, Sheila Schmidt of Meridian, Idaho, Ronnie Franzen of Dallas, Cheryl Gehrig of Denver and Steve Berg of Billings; a sister, Annette Ophaug of Lansing, Mich.; a brother, Edwin Jr. of Grand Forks; nine grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Services were Aug. 28 at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings. Military honors followed at Yellowstone County Veterans’ Cemetery in Laurel.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:47
Michael James Moats, 75, of Billings, died in his lawn chair at home.
His wife, Maxine, and a son, Tim, had preceded him in death.
Survivors include three daughters, Terri Demaray of Colstrip, Cindy Castro of Billings and Tina Meurer of Billings; 13 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson.
Services were Aug. 24. Inurnment followed at Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:46
Ruth Robinson, 93, who farmed and ranched with her husband, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at Butterfly Homes Assisted Living in Billings.
She was born Nov. 9, 1918, in Cohagen to John and Christine (Nelson) Flippin. She grew up on her father’s farm and ranch and graduated from Cohagen High School.
After graduation she worked in Miles City. On Sept. 14, 1941, she married Bruce Robinson of Cohagen. After five years in a trucking business, they bought a ranch south of Billings where they farmed and ranched for 42 years.
Mr. Robinson died of cancer in November 1988. Ten years later, Mrs. Robinson moved to Aspen View Assisted Living Home. Her daughter, Deborah Hake, died in 2006.
Survivors include nieces and nephews, including Freda Howey of Billings.
Services were Aug. 24 at Westside Baptist Church. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations in her name may be made to Westside Baptist Church, 323 S. 32nd St. W., Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:43
Mary Eudena “Dena” Roush, who had celebrated her 100th birthday in June with more than 100 friends and relatives attending, died in Billings on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012.
She was born June 14, 1912, in Dawson Springs, Ky., to John and Della Humphreys. As a young child, she moved to Casper, Wyo., where her father was an engineer on the Burlington Railroad. She married Manis Roush in Casper on Oct. 15, 1930. In 1954, the family moved to Billings.
Mrs. Roush was a charter member of the Montana Watercolor Society.
Survivors include a son, Gary Manis Roush of Williamsburg, Va.; two grandsons; two great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.
A private service was planned at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be made to American Lutheran Church, 5 Lewis Ave., Billings MT 59101 or the Montana Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 3232, Billings MT 59103.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:43
Barbara J. “Barb” “B-MA” Varnes, 79, a lifelong resident of Billings who had worked at Mountain Bell as a switchboard operator and then First Interstate Bank, died Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.
She was born Oct. 1, 1932, in Billings, a daughter of Pete and Elsie (Klein) Honstein. She married John P. Varnes on Feb. 13, 1954.
At First Interstate Bank, she was the administrative officer for correspondent banking and business development until her retirement. She was a past president of Landmarks and Bright-n-Beautiful Billings and held board positions for Northern Plains Resource Council and its affiliate, Beartooth Alliance.
She spent endless volunteer hours supporting Northern Plains and Beartooth Alliance’s successful efforts to clean up the McLaren Mine tailings and Soda Butte River drainage, preserving a key waterway to Yellowstone National Park.
Cooke City was her summer retirement home, and she had received care from Horizon Hospice Home.
Survivors include a son, Kelly of Billings; a daughter, Sara; two grandchildren, who gave her the nickname of “B-MA”; a brother, Harold Englin of Mesa, Ariz.; and a sister, Mary Brown of Billings.
At her request, no services were held. Cards of condolence may be sent to the family home. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be sent in her memory to Northern Plains Resource Council, 220 S. 27th St., Suite A, Billings, MT 59101 or Horizon Hospice Home, c/o RiverStone Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:42
Werner Karl Schmitt, 74, who farmed and hauled sugar beets, died Aug. 23, 2012, in Billings.
He was born in Lustre to Ludwig and Charlotte Schmitt on Feb. 11, 1938. He attended schools in Lustre and graduated from The Lustre Bible Academy in 1956.
He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1956 and served through 1960. He married Sandy Malmin on Nov. 19, 1960, and together they had four children.
Mr. Schmitt farmed in the Lustre community through 1986 and also farmed in the Roy and Denton areas. He later moved to Billings and married Lois Reimche on Oct. 22, 1996. In Billings he hauled sugar beets and pulled triple-doubles.
He had received care from Billings Health and Rehabilitation and Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include his wife; children, Michael Schmitt of Winifred, Kimberly Logsdon of Great Falls, Russell Schmitt and Valerie Juhl, both of Billings, Darla Reimche and Deb Dees; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and brothers, Alfred Schmitt and Helmuth Schmitt.
Services were Aug. 28 at Evangelical Church in Glasgow. Interment was in Highland Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the church. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel of Billings and Bell Mortuary of Glasgow.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:41
Arline Estelle Nyberg DuVal, 101, died Aug. 19, 2012.
She was born March 4, 1911, in McVille, N.D., to Alice and Ernest Nyberg but lost her father to a farming accident when she was only 4. In 1920, her mother married Clarence Golberg, and they moved to Minneapolis. There they acquired a new family: Orville, Jean, Goldie, Art and later, Lorraine, who was born in North Dakota.
In 1931, she moved to Crookston, Minn., to be with her sister, Geneva, who was marrying Cliff DuVal. She married his brother, Frank, who was also known as Frenchy, on March 18, 1932.
The family moved to Red Lodge in 1939 and then to Billings. She mostly was a stay-at-home mother but worked a few summers at Nehi Bottling Co. and later for Creeks Building Maintenance.
She had received care in recent years from Billings Health and Rehabilitation.
Survivors include sisters, Goldie Rector of Washington, Utah, and Lorraine Sigourney of Brookings, Ore.; daughters, Sharon Oblander, Colette Todd and Debbie Kroll of Billings and Sandy Pirtz of Rock Springs, Wyo.; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 21:41
Thomas William Murphy, 38, who was once ranked as one of Montana’s top five poker dealers, died Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at home of a massive heart attack.
He was born Oct. 18, 1973, in Tucson, Ariz., to Kathy and James Murphy. His interests included outdoor activities and playing Texas Hold ’em.
Survivors include his mother, Kathy Devitt of Billings; father, James Murphy of Billings; daughter, Justina; son, Liam; brother, Paul Murphy of Seattle, Wash.; stepsister, Lindsey McDonnell of Billings; stepbrother, Sam Diemert of Dayton, Ohio; grandfather, Eugene Murphy of Billings; and grandmother, Laura Mattheis of Billings.
Services were Aug. 18 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Interment of ashes was in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 21:40