Alan “Al” Clair Oldham, who had been named Policeman of the Year and Deputy of the Year, died at his home on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.
He was born in 1930 to Frank and Edith (Murray) Oldham in Charles City, Iowa. He graduated from Immaculate Conception High School and came to Billings to work for his uncle at O.I. Lathing Co. He married Marion Virginia Gregory in 1951.
He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He and his wife moved to Paso Robles, Calif., where he was stationed at Camp Roberts Army Base. He served as a military policeman for 16 months at Pong Am Do, Korea. After his discharge, they moved to Billings.
He worked for the railroad before joining the Billings Police Department. He was a juvenile detective who was instrumental in organizing the Crime Prevention Program and appeared on the Crime Stoppers TV segment.
He retired in 1976 from the Billings Police Department and continued in law enforcement with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office for 15 more years.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus and Lake Hills Golf Club for seniors and served on the board of the Rimrock Credit Union for many years. He was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, which he served as an usher and Eucharistic Minister.
Survivors include his wife; daughters, Marilyn Hardy of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Debra Miller of Townsend and Patti Doble; son, Greg Oldham of Billings; 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation was Jan. 21, and Vigil Service was Jan. 21 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was Jan. 22 St. Bernard’s with a reception to follow. Private family interment was in the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery. Arrangements were by Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:09
Sue Carol (Gibson) Fortune, 71, died Jan. 18, 2013, in Lewistown.
She was born June 10, 1941, in Butte to Bill and Arlette Gibson. She graduated from Butte High School and attended Montana State University and Carroll College. She was married to Bob Fortune from 1963 to 1974 and had three daughters.
She had received care the past 24 years at the Montana Mental Health and Nursing Care Center.
Survivors include daughters, Debby Rickey and Bobbi Fortune; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; father, Bill Gibson; and brothers, Bill and Steve.
Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Burial will be at Philipsburg Cemetery at 1 p.m. Jan. 25. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:08
Evelyn Arlene Coil, 83, of Joliet, who had worked at Parmly Billings Library, died Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at RiverStone Hospice Home.
The daughter of Arthur and Josephine Angell, she was born April 28, 1929, in Carlton, Minn. At age 4 she moved with her mother and siblings to Poplar. Following high school she received a teacher’s certificate from Eastern Montana College.
She married Robert F. Coil in Poplar on Aug. 21, 1949. The couple lived in Culbertson before moving to the Coil Family Ranch near Cohagen in 1952. In June 1967 they moved to Billings.
Mrs. Coil had taught at the Coil School at Cohagen and for 24 years worked at Billings Parmly Library.
She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Miles City.
Survivors include three children, Dee McLellan of Joliet, Robert Coil of Vaughn and Connie Waples of Aguila, Ariz.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Interment will be in Mountview Cemetery. Services at Trinity Lutheran Church in Miles City are planned for later. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Miles City Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:07
Grace (Kikkert) Byrd, 92, who had been a cook in various Billings restaurants, died Monday morning, Jan. 14, 2013, due to complications from a fall.
She was the last member of the Kikkert family raised in the Dutch community outside of Rapelje.
She was born on May 13, 1920, to Nick and Grace Kikkert. Her mother died right after her birth, and all six children were “farmed out,” as she put it, to family and friends. She spent the first two years of her life with her Tante Winnie in Billings. Her father then brought the family back together and she met the only mother she knew, Nellie.
She started working when she was 14 and never quit until her late 80s. When she first came to Billings she worked at Pierce Packing. When her youngest child began school, she began her long career as a cook in the kitchen of New Western Manor. She eventually cooked in restaurants around Billings and was known for her steaks.
She married William H. “Billy” Byrd Jr. in 1944.
Survivors include sons, James and Gary of Billings; daughters, Mary Ann of Huntley and Linnell Rickaway of DeSoto, Texas; stepdaughters, JoAnn Mollett of Billings and Virginia Williamson of Missoula; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter on the way.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W. in Billings.
Memorials may be made in her name to Montana Rescue Mission, 2520 First Ave. N., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:07
Ralph Irvin Guy, 83, a Korean War veteran who also served in the Montana Highway Patrol, died Jan. 16, 2013, of lung cancer at home in Billings.
He was born Feb. 9, 1929, the eldest son of Fred and Katharine (Carroll) Guy in Merino. After he attended elementary school in Joplin, the family moved to the Fort Benton area, where he graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1946.
Mr. Guy enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Oct. 3, 1946, serving in the 3345th Maintenance Squadron as an airplane and engine mechanic. He achieved the rank of sergeant and earned the World War II Victory Medal as well as the Germany Occupational Medal. He spent most of his time in Fassberg, Germany, during the Berlin Airlift.
Honorably discharged from military service on March 25, 1949, at Chanute Air Force Base, he was drafted back into active duty on May 18, 1949. He served in the 343rd Bombardment Squadron and the 98th Bombardment Wing during the Korean War and earned the Korean Service Medal. He was again honorably discharged on Aug. 26, 1951, at Fairchild Air Force Base.
He was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was employed by Northwest Airlines until 1954 before beginning a 21-year career with the Montana Highway Patrol. He served first as a driver’s examiner in Great Falls, ultimately transferring to the traffic division in Billings in 1959. He retired in 1976.
He married Ruth Marilyn Beaver in October 1956. He left Montana in the early 1980s and was employed as a truck driver for Convoy Trucking in California. There he married Brenda Elam on Nov. 12, 1994.
They returned to Montana, first to Joliet, then to Billings in 2011.
Survivors include his wife; “baby sister” Andy; son, Bob Guy; daughter, Sherry; stepsons, John and Robbie Skinner; first wife, Marilyn Freitag; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were Jan. 23 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, followed by a reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Memorials are suggested to RiverStone Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101; or the Frontier Cancer Center, 1315 Golden Valley Circle, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:06
Albert J. Schiavon, 80, an ironworker, died Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare.
He was born on March 18, 1932, in Butte to Albert and Violet Schiavon. He spent his childhood in Helena and three of his high school years in Fairbanks, Alaska.
He returned home to Boulder for his senior year. He served in the Navy from 1951-1955.
After spending time in California, he returned to Montana and became an ironworker.
Survivors include a son, John; five grandchildren; and a sister, Beverly Urbaniak of Red Lodge.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:05
Lionel “Buck” Leonard Schneider, 85, of Billings, who worked many years for Carpenter Paper, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, after living the last 9½ years at Butterfly Homes.
He was born Dec. 9, 1927, to Karl and Carrie Schneider in Hanna, Wyo. He served in World War II and was honorably discharged in April 1947.
He had received care from Lincare and Rocky Mountain Hospice.
A celebration of life will be held at Butterfly Homes at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:05
Wendel “Russ” New, 73, of Billings, a meter/relay electric engineer technician throughout Montana and Washington, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.
He was born July 15, 1939, to Byron and Elizabeth New. He lived in Scobey until 1956, when he enlisted in the Navy for four years.
After he was discharged, he resided in San Diego, Calif., until 1965, when he returned to Scobey and married Barbara Veis on Sept. 10, 1965.
Mr. New worked for General Dynamics in San Diego, then for the U.S. Corps of Engineers in Fort Peck, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Fort Peck and Glendive and the U.S. Bonneville Power Administration throughout Montana and Washington.
He piloted his own plane.
Survivors include his wife; a son, Mike of California; a daughter, Wendy of Billings; two granddaughters; a sister, Honey Rogers of Helena; and a brother, Bill Richardson of Scobey.
Services will be held later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:04
John George Lang Sr., 60, of Billings, a heavy equipment operator and truck driver, died Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.
He was born Sept. 7, 1952, in Billings to Julius and Freda (Heit) Lang.
A 1971 graduate of Senior High School, he was a bull rider and an avid outdoorsman.
He worked as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver in Newell, S.D., and in Billings.
Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Karen Lang of Newell; children, Tara Kracht of Belle Fourche, S.D., Amber Lang of Yacolt, Wash., Megan Lang of Mitchell, S.D., and John (Megin) Lang Jr. of Belle Fourche; six grandchildren; and stepmother, Monica Lang of Billings.
Visitation was Jan. 17 at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Services were Jan. 18 at Michelotti-Sawyers.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:03
Cynthia Lee (Crawford) Henry, 66, of Billings, who lived most of her life in Cheyenne, Wyo., died Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.
She was born Oct. 31, 1946, in Cheyenne to John and Jane Crawford. She married Luis Chavez on Aug. 10, 1968, and they had three children. After their 14-year marriage came to an end, she married Fredrick “Ted” Henry on Jan. 31, 1984. He died in 2010.
They lived in Cheyenne until 2006, when they relocated to Billings to be near her children. She had received care from Sweetwater Assisted Living and from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Survivors include two children, Andrea Brucker and Greg Chavez, both of Billings; and five grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will take place in Cheyenne in the spring. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave., Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2013 12:18