The Billings Outpost

Marlene Ruth Sandvig

Marlene Ruth Sandvig, 76, of Billings, a longtime bus driver, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare.

She was born Aug. 31, 1936, to Frank and Ruby VanCampen in Columbus. She went to school at Mountain View country school south of Columbus on Huntley Butte and graduated from Columbus High School in 1954.

She married Walter J. Sandvig.

She had been a telephone operator in Livingston and Billings. She drove a school bus for Western Transit in Billings, then moved to Opheim and drove a school bus there. After returning to Billings, she drove MET Transit buses for many years – her favorite route was the Grand Avenue Express.

Survivors include a son, Scott Sandvig; a granddaughter; a great-granddaughter; and a sister, Frances J. Fox.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 15, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to Special Olympics Montana, P.O. Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403; or the Disabled Children’s Fund.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:15

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Klemens Johnson

Klemens Joel Johnson, 89, a World War II veteran who spent much of his working life in construction, died Feb. 25, 2013, at the Advanced Care Hospital in Billings.

He was born in Myers on March 8, 1923, to Herman and Elida (Pearson) Johnson. He graduated from Hysham High School in 1942. After high school, he enlisted in the Army and fought in Europe during World War II, earning a Purple Heart while serving under Gen. George S. Patton.

He married Arlene Dinsmoore on June 25, 1949, in Billings. While the couple never had children, they helped raise a nephew, Doug Dinsmoore.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson lived in Hysham and Missoula before settling in Billings. Like his father and much of the Johnson family, he worked in construction. He also spent time in the late 1940s working as a mechanic at his brother Albin’s car lot.

In his later years, he tinkered around his “ranchette” on 72nd Street, fiddling with his car or fixing his buildings.

Survivors include his wife and a nephew, Doug Dinsmoore of Gillette, Wyo.

Military services and interment were held March 1 at Fairview Cemetery in Hardin. Services were March 2 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Billings. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:37

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Thomas Meyers

Thomas Meyers, 73, of Billings, who ran Buffalo Chips Indian Arts for 35 years, died Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Billings.

He was born Dec. 5, 1939, in Toledo, Ohio, to Chet and Evelyn Meyers. He was raised in Maumee, Ohio, and graduated from Maumee High School. Afterward he served in the Marine Corps.

His passion for Native American traditions and dancing motivated him to move to Billings, where he established and ran Buffalo Chips Indian Arts for 35 years.

He had a passion for woodworking and classic cars.

Survivors include his wife, Debbie; a sister, Shirley; sons, Thom Jr. and Nathan; and daughters, Wendy, Dana, Heather and Cassie.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 8, at Michelotti-Sawyer Mortuary and Crematory. A reception will follow at the Elks Club.

Memorials are suggested to St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004 or at

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:32

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Darrell Robert Brist

Darrel Robert Brist, 69, who had been an accountant for lumber mills in Darby, died at his home in Lockwood on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.

He was born in Kalispell on June 22, 1943, and grew up in Missoula. After completing school, he moved to Hamilton, where he was an accountant for the lumber mills in Darby.

He and his family had a cabin in the Swan Valley. In 2000, he moved to Laurel and married Cheryl Storey. They went camping, horseback riding and fishing.

Mr. and Mrs. Brist had cared for many foster children. He played guitar, fiddle and steel guitar.

Survivors include his wife; children, Curt Brist and Shannon Wingham; a sister, Cheryl Otten; and many grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held March 3 at 3600 Gold Buckle Circle in Billings. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:31

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Florence N. Wodnik

Florence N. Wodnik, 84, who had managed the Meals on Wheels program for the Yellowstone County Council on Aging, died Sunday, March 3, 2013.

She was born June 12, 1928, in Carson, N.D., and was raised in Bismarck, N.D. As a teenager, she played the violin and appeared on local radio with a popular Bismarck musical group.

Later, she graduated with honors in home economics from North Dakota State University. She married Frank, and they were together for 60 years until his death in 2010.

After all six of her children were through college, she earned a master’s degree from Eastern Montana College. She worked with the Yellowstone County Council of Aging, eventually becoming manager of the Meals on Wheels program.

She and her husband had traveled to Europe, China, Russia, Africa, Iceland, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. She had lived in Billings for nearly 55 years.

Survivors include six children, Rick of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Andrea Floyd of Lynnwood, Wash., Alane Smith of Butte, Bob of Everett, Wash., John of Marion, Iowa, and Joe of Helena; 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Services were March 6 at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Interment followed in the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery. A luncheon was held at Mission Ridge.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:30

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Louise K. Dabner

Louise K. Dabner, 75, who had been a partner in an auto parts store, died Friday, March 1, 2013, from medical problems related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She was born in Hardin on Aug. 5, 1937, a few minutes after her twin sister came into the world. She was the youngest of eight children of Ben and Nellie Feller of Hardin.

After working in the automotive parts industry and being a partner in a large auto parts store, she finally retired for a while.

On Sept. 27, 1957, she married Tom Dabner. They moved to West Yellowstone and spent more than 20 years there. Due to medical problems, they moved to Reed Point for six years, and the need to get closer to medical facilities caused them to return to Billings.

Mrs. Dabner was admitted to St. Vincent Healthcare on Feb. 25.

Survivors include her husband; daughters, Kathy L. Dabner and Keri Kankovsky; two granddaughters; and brothers, Benny Feller of Canby, Ore., and Raymond Feller of Billings.

Services were held March 6 at St. Bernard’s Parish. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:29

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Dennis Harold Edwards

Dennis Harold Edwards, 70, who had been a dean at a California College, died Feb. 21, 2013, at Billings Health and Rehabilitation Center after a short battle with lung cancer.

He was born Oct. 7, 1942, in Harlowton to Harold O. and Eva E. Edwards. He attended Harlowton schools and was a star contributor to several championship football seasons.

Soon after graduating in 1960, he married Dorothy DeBuff and enrolled at Eastern Montana College. Shortly after the birth of his first son, he received a bachelor of science degree in history, speech and drama in December 1964. He moved his family to Ceres, Calif., where he began his teaching career. Two years later, he moved his family to Susanville for a teaching position at Lassen High School.

The following year, Mr. Edwards received a fellowship to Utah State University where he received a master of arts degree in political science. The family returned to Susanville, and he taught political science at Lassen College for 12 years, serving several years as department chairman.

In the spring of 1982, he accepted a position as dean of humanities at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif., and went on to become dean of instruction. He retired in 1995 and moved back to his hometown.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Daniel of Elk Grove, Calif., and Douglas of Sacramento, Calif.; a brother, Mike of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and four grandchildren.

Dahl Funeral Chapel handled arrangements. At his request, no service has been held, but a memorial will be held later this year.

Donations may be made to RiverStone Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101 or to the Railroad Museum, Harlowton, MT 59036.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:28

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Lyle William Allard

Lyle William Allard, 60, of Billings, a retired fish and wildlife biologist, died at Billings Clinic on Tuesday Feb. 26, 2013.

He was born in Williston, N.D., on July 10, 1952. He was raised in Thermopolis, Wyo., and joined the Navy when he finished high school. He completed two tours during the Vietnam War, then moved to Cody, Wyo., where he worked as an outfitter and a guide and participated in the Cody Night Rodeo.

After many years in Wyoming, Mr. Allard received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Montana State University. He was then hired by the U.S. government as a fish and wildlife biologist and spent his working years in Vernal, Utah; Bozeman; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and Salt Lake City.

Upon retirement he moved to Billings and volunteered for the Department of Veterans Affairs transportation department.

Survivors include his wife, Patti Allard; children, Thomas Tenderholt, Calico Allard Colvin and Ryder Allard; two grandchildren; parents, Louise Allard and Paul Allard; brothers, Art Allard, Eddie Allard and Larry Allard; and a sister, Carrie Allard Cohoe.

Services were held March 2 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 March 2013 14:37

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Jacob Glen Power

Jacob Glen Power, 8, of Jordan, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in an all-terrain vehicle accident.

He was born July 13, 2004, in Billings.

Survivors include his parents, Ashley and Hank Ward of Jordan; brother, Wyatt; grandparents, Matt and Natalie Power of Rock Springs; grandmother, Marcie Ward of Miles City; and great-grandmother, Norma Ballensky Power.

Visitation was Feb. 28 and services were on March 1, both at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Graveside services were March 2 at Fairview Cemetery in Hardin.

A memorial fund has been set up at Valley Federal Credit Union in Billings. Memorials may also be made to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, second floor, Princeton, NJ, 08540 or

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:26

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Delena Katherine Havens

Delena “Kitty” Havens, 91, of Billings, who had won many awards for her paintings, died Feb. 20, 2013.

She was born in Danville, Va., on Oct. 15, 1921, to Mardgie Dell and James Henry Thompson. She graduated from Maury High School in Norfolk, Va., and Strayer Business College in Washington, D.C.

She married Robert Fordham Havens in Hampton, Va., in 1942. She had worked at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and in the Ohio public school system. She retired in 1976, and Mr. and Mrs. Havens divided their time between their Ohio farm and retirement communities in Florida and Arizona. They moved to Billings in 1986 to be close to their daughter.

Her paintings won many awards at art shows, and she was known for her mastery of the technique of reverse painting on glass. She also traveled with her husband and with the Friendship Force.

She had received care from Highgate Senior Living.

Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Dianne Havens Stanley; three grandchildren; and sisters, Lillian Hinds and Martha Foster.

Services will be held in Southhampton, Long Island, and in Norfolk, Va. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Donations may be made to Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County, 505 Orchard Lane, Billings, MT 59101,

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:05

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