Thomas A. “Tom” Voorhees, 85, a longtime petroleum engineer and a golfer who shot six holes in one, died May 11, 2013.
He was born June 15, 1927, in a farm house in Hebron, Ohio, to Florence and Robert Voorhees. He graduated from high school in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in 1945. He joined the Naval V-5 program for naval aviators and spent about five years in the Navy, mostly as a co-pilot in four-engine land planes (PB4Y-2).
He graduated from New Mexico School of Mines with a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering in 1954. He was employed by Cardinal Drilling Co. as an engineer responsible for operating the 11 drilling rigs the company owned. He continued this employment until 1977.
In 1966, he married Carolyn Jo Kuchinski of Bridger. After retirement, they bought a home in Indian Wells in the California desert. They spent winters there and summers in Billings.
Mr. Voorhees was an avid golfer and had a single-digit handicap most of his life. A stroke in 2006 left him with impaired vision and ended his golfing days.
In 1989, Mr. and Mrs. Voorhees moved to Flathead Lake and built a home on a canal from the Flathead River. They moved into Mission Ridge in Billings in 2007.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn “C.J.” of Mission Ridge; a daughter, Susan Schurr of Remington, Switzerland; a son, Robert Voorhees of Durango, Colo.; four grandchildren; two great-grandsons; and a sister, Pat Rhoda of St. James, Fla.
A private graveside service in the Bridger Cemetery was planned. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary had charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:21
Carol Marie Davis, 80, of Billings, who raced stock cars with her husband in the 1950s, died Saturday, May 11, 2013.
She was born in Lead, S.D., on April 9, 1933. She was an only child, adopted by Ernest James Walker and Kathrin Marie (Adams) Walker. She married Earl Wayne Davis on Aug. 4, 1950.
Mr. and Mrs. Davis lived many places throughout the 1950s prior to settling in Billings. They raced stock cars in the 1950s, and in the 1960s and 1970s she assisted Mr. Davis on numerous home improvement projects. She was an accomplished electrician, skilled builder and decorator.
They participated with their children in scouting, baseball and camping.
Survivors include sons, Corey and Ken; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A private family service was planned. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:21
Robert William “Bill” Johnston, 74, a Korean War veteran and RV salesman, died in his sleep at 4 a.m. May 6, 2013, in his home.
He was born June 17, 1932, in Helena to Mary Roselda Coram and Andrew Wallace Johnston. The youngest of six children, he was raised in Helena and graduated from Helena High School in 1951.
The same year he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Navy Reserve and was on active duty in 1953-56, serving as a fire controller on the USS John A. Bole during the Korean War. He received an honorable discharge in 1957.
On June 2, 1954, he married Leona Pisk in Hollywood, Calif. When he returned from active duty, he and his brother Andy owned and operated their car business, Johnston Motors, and later added RV sales to the business.
He learned the product by using it, so he and his wife traveled the country, visiting Mexico, Arizona, California and Washington.
In 1973 he took his last drink and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
They moved to Billings in 1997 to be with their granddaughters, Chelsia and Cassidy.
Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Carmen Leach; two granddaughters; and a sister, Margaurite Wildey of Yucca Valley, Calif.
Services will be at 1 p.m. July 3 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home & Crematory in Helena. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of local arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:20
Norma Dorothy Fagan, 89, of Billings, a licensed practical nurse who was active in veterans groups, died Friday, May 3, 2013, at Grand Park Vintage Suites.
One of 13 children, she was born July 19, 1923, in Sydney, Australia. She married an American soldier, Robert Fagan, on Nov. 20, 1944, in Sydney. They had been married 69 years when he died on Feb. 19, 2013.
In 1947 they moved to Cut Bank and in the early 1970s to Billings. She had worked in Cut Bank and at Western Manor and Parkview Convalescent Center in Billings.
She was a member of Holy Rosary Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and the United Veterans Council, and she volunteered with Disabled American Veterans.
Survivors include a son, Royal of Billings; daughters, Colleen Wigen and Patricia Fagan, both of Billings; two brothers, “Mush” and “Cab” Woodbury of Australia; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass was May 8 at Holy Rosary Church and Rite of Committal was at the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary had charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:19
William “Bill” W. Kelly, 94, who founded two real estate companies in Great Falls, died of cancer on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Horizon Hospice Home in Billings.
He was born on May 20, 1918, on a houseboat at Lake Union in Seattle, Wash., to Leroy and Miriam (Lewis) Kelly. His boyhood years were in Los Angeles, Calif.
In 1935 he earned Eagle Scout award with the Bronze merit badge. He graduated from Los Angeles Junior College in 1941, earned a pilot’s license in a civilian pilot program and competed in air acrobatics.
During World War II, he was an air traffic controller in Anchorage, Alaska, Boise, Idaho, and Great Falls, where he married Alice Curry.
In 1952 he started Bill Kelly Realty in Great Falls. Years later he established Cascade Land Corp. and annexed 650 home sites in southeast Great Falls. He also developed hillside home sites in the Bel View Palisades Subdivision. He was director and manager of Fidelity Savings and Loan from 1962-1979.
In retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Kelly traveled many winters to Palm Desert, Calif. She died May 4, 2002. He lived in Great Falls until 2007 and then moved to Sidney to be near his daughter Nancy and her family.
Mr. Kelly was a member of the Rotary Club, Elks Lodge and Sons of the Pioneers.
Survivors include daughters, Sherrie Morris of Clovis, Calif., Nancy Simonsen of Sidney and Carol Reiser of Genoa, Ill.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Services will be held later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made in his name to St. Vincent De Paul Society, 426 Central Ave. W., Great Falls, MT 59404; or RiverStone Health Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:19
Karen Saubak Murdock, 61, of Billings, formerly of Great Falls, died Friday, May 10, 2013, at her home.
Private family services are planned. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:18
James “Jim” Glen Bayne, 64, a military veteran and longtime science teacher, died Thursday, May 9, 2013, after a long battle with brain cancer.
He taught science for 25 years in Billings School District 2, including Lewis and Clark Middle School, where he was known for his unique teaching style and variety of animals in the classroom.
Survivors include his mother, Virginia Bayne of Livingston; a sister, Glenda Keeney of Livingston; two daughters, Erin Bayne of Portland, Ore., and Jennifer Cunningham of Billings; and a grandson.
His father, Glen Bayne, preceded him death.
No services were planned. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary assisted with arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:17
Claudine Francis, 82, who had lived in Montana since 1994, died Saturday, May 4, 2013, at her home in Billings.
She was born Oct. 18, 1930, in Los Angeles, a daughter of the late Wilfred and Theresa Anderson. She married Cecil D. Francis in October 1993 and they moved to Montana in 1994.
Survivors include her husband, Cecil D. Francis; a brother, Michael Anderson of Port Townsend, Wash.; Geraldine Krause of Monterey Park, Calif.; sons, Stephen Flores, Richard Flores and Patrick Flores; daughters, Christine Crump and Valerie Hewko; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 9, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 226 Wicks Lane. Flowers can be delivered to the church.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:48
William “Bill” George Darkenwald, 64, who worked 35 years in the electrical trade, died early Monday morning, May 6, 2013, of cancer.
He was born Nov. 28, 1948, in Billings, a son of Severyn and Ursula Darkenwald. He graduated from Billings Senior High School and married Dorene Ann (Evans) Darkenwald in 1968. They had two children, Greg and Jenny, before she died in a car accident in 1986.
He married Lucy Fernandez in 1990 in Billings, and they lived south of Billings on the family ranch, where they had horses and raised cattle. He went through an electrical apprenticeship and spent 35 years in the electrical trade, mentoring apprentices over the years.
Survivors include his wife; children, Greg Darkenwald and Jenny Gordon; two grandchildren; and siblings, Dan Darkenwald and Sue Ann Mullen.
At his request, no services were held. His ashes were to be spread on the family ranch. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:47
George Albert Tarmann, 92, a partner in Magic City Truck Service, died April 29, 2013, at Valley Health Care in Billings.
He was born on Jan. 3, 1921, in Minneapolis to Valentine and Elizabeth Tarmann. After graduating from South High School in 1938, he attended business school for one year. In August 1940, he enlisted in the Navy. On Dec. 6, 1941, he married Lorraine Moulton in Minneapolis.
He was honorably discharged from the Navy as a chief aviation machinist mate in August 1946. He then moved to Nampa, Idaho, where he first worked for Oliver Tractor Co. and later for Fox Intermountain Theaters as a projectionist.
In June 1949, he moved to Billings and worked for Wortham Machinery, Cummins Diesel and Consolidated Freightways. In 1959, he became a partner with Joe Dalley and Harold Garves in Magic City Truck Service.
After Mr. Dalley and Mr. Garves retired, the company’s name was changed to Magic City Mack. He sold the business and retired in November 1981.
For many years, he worked part-time for Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. He was a member of Little Flower Catholic Church. He served on the school board for Little Flower and Central Catholic High School and also was on the financial board for Little Flower, and was a lector and Eucharistic minister.
He was a founding board member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was a member of Lake Hills Golf Club, Knights of Columbus and the Elks Lodge.
Survivors include his wife; sons, Reed of Veradale, Wash., and Paul of Billings; a daughter, Mary Beth Krings of Bellevue, Neb.; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 9, at Little Flower Catholic Church. Visitation at the church will begin at 9 a.m., with visitation at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary prior to the services. Rite of committal with military honors will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice or St. Vincent de Paul.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:46