Jason James Shaw, 32, of Billings, died Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.
He was born in Billings to Bradley James Shaw and Sheri Wyrick on March 4, 1980.
Survivors include his parents; grandmothers, Kathy Shaw and Janet Jones; sisters, Chandra Shaw, Katie McLees and Morgan McLees; and a son, Tayson Riojas-Shaw.
Services were Feb. 18 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:30
Lee C. Mills, 90, who had a long career in aviation, died Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at the Billings Clinic.
He was born in Sibley, Iowa, on May 30, 1922, to Doris Katherine Mitchell and Harley Mills. His parents subsequently divorced, and his mother married William Gustin and the family moved to Miles City in 1927.
Mr. Mills graduated from Custer County High School in 1940. He worked for Carl Brodston in Charlie Hatch’s garage as an apprentice auto body repairman, then moved in 1941 to Billings and worked at Lew Chevrolet garage in the body and paint shop.
In 1942, while working for Northwest Airlines as an apprentice mechanic and ramp attendant, he entered the Army Air Force and was assigned to the Mechanic School at Sheppard Field, Texas, and the Advanced Engine School at Chanute Field, Ill.
His service experience included 22 months at the air base at Jorhat in the Assam province in India. This base was involved in flying supplies across the Himalaya mountains to China over the route known as “The Hump.”
His assignments included ground crew chief responsibilities for the maintenance of a four-engine transport aircraft and flight engineer duties. He accumulated 652 hours of flight time and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), the Air Medal (twice) and the Presidential Unit Citation (twice).
Upon his rotation back to the States, he married Stella Leone on April 25, 1945. He was subsequently assigned to Homestead Air Base in Florida as a flight engineer instructor.
After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Mills lived in Billings while he went back to work for Northwest Airlines. After an assignment in St. Paul, Minn., he returned to Billings and worked for Gillis Flying Service, managing the shop and parts departments for 10 years.
In 1959 he was recruited by the Federal Aviation Agency as a field maintenance inspector and was assigned to Fresno, Calif., and Helena. In Helena, he participated with the Montana Aeronautics Commission in the establishment of a Flight Instructor Refresher Program, which became a national effort to reduce aviation accidents. He also developed a slide program that he presented to pilot groups in Western Montana. The program was demonstrated to Regional Headquarters, then sent to the 90 field offices and became a national program.
Mr. Mills also worked with the Montana Aeronautics Commission to establish an annual airplane mechanic refresher seminar. He was promoted to field office supervisor in Helena and after 12 years was transferred to Fargo, N.D.
After 27 years, he retired, and he and his wife moved back to Billings. They taught round dancing at state conventions and festivals in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Montana. He was a member of the St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, the CBI Hump Pilots Association, the Eagle Lodge in Fargo and the Elks and Moose lodges. He also made audio tapes of books for people with sight challenges, in addition to helping people learn English as a second language.
Survivors include a son, Stephen; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Services were Feb. 19 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Committal was in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:29
Clayton Michael “Mike” Mooney, 53, who worked at a family painting business for many years, died Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, of cancer.
He was born in Billings on May 1, 1959, to Harold and Blanche Mooney. He went to school in Elliston and then in Billings.
He worked at Mooney Painting Inc., a family business, for many years, and also at other jobs.
His pastimes included hunting, fishing and camping in Judith Gap. He also had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Survivors include his wife of eight years, Monica Chalman; her two children; his mother; two boys, Michael A. Mooney and Dylan L. Barker; a brother, Rock Mooney; and a sister, Jo Richardson.
Services were held Feb. 19 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations in his memory may be made to the National Federation of the Blind Montana Chapter at any US Bank location.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:28
Michael Stephen “Frenchie” French, 46, who had owned and operated a bar on Fort Peck Lake, died in Billings on Feb. 14, 2013, from a heart attack.
He was born in Malta on Nov. 3, 1966. At the age of 5, he was initiated into the Kiowa Gourd Clan by his grandfather, Jacob, and great-grandparents, Jane and Stephen Ahtone.
He graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1985 and attended Oklahoma University in Norman, Okla. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1996 at Eastern Montana College.
Mr. French married Nixie Wilcoxon in 1991. In 1996, he and his family moved to Salt Lake City where he pursued a master’s degree in social services. He practiced his counseling skills at Yellowstone Boys Home in Billings and as a social service counselor in Wolf Point.
He had worked for Mustang Tour Ice, the Eagle Nest Lounge, Granary, The Winner’s Circle, 1145 Club and Billings Deaconess Hospital.
In 2007, he and his mother became owners and operators of the Gateway on Fort Peck Lake. After the Gateway burned in October 2011, he returned to Billings Clinic as a kitchen supervisor.
He had attended several powwows of the Kiowa Tribe in Mountain View, Okla.
Survivors include his father, Alden French of Billings; a son, Steven of Glasgow; a daughter, Paris of Dickinson, N.D.; former wife, Nixie Gagne of Glasgow; and grandfather, Alvida French.
Visitation was Feb. 18 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Memorial Mass was Feb. 19 at St. Bernard’s Parish.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:27
The Rev. Martin Norbert Francis Fisher, 86, of Billings, retired chaplain at St. Vincent Healthcare, died Feb. 9, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare.
He was born in Dickinson, N.D., on Oct. 25, 1926, to Earl V. and Faith Bernadette (Brown) Fisher. He was baptized at St. Patrick’s Church in Dickinson and received the saints name of Martin when he entered the Benedictine Order at the monastery of Assumption Abbey in Richardton, N.D., in June 1944.
After he was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 1951, he spent 21 years working in educational apostolates in the Benedictine Community. He earned degrees from St. Pius X School of Music at Manhattanville College of Sacred Heart in Purchase, N.Y., in sacred music and from Notre Dame in liturgy.
He was sent to Bogota, Colombia, in 1968 to work in the educational apostolate of the Benedictines of Assumption Abbey. In 1972 he was sent on assignment in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.
In February 1983 the Holy See granted him permission to leave the Benedictine community and become a diocesan priest in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.
From 1987 until retirement, he was a chaplain at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings. He continued serving the diocese as a substitute priest until he moved to Bonaventure of Billings Senior Living Community.
He continued even there offering priestly and pastoral services to those in residence. He recently assisted the Rev. Joseph Ponessa in providing an English translation of the Psalms.
Survivors include a brother, Deacon Donald E. Fisher.
Vigil will be held at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14. Mass of Christian burial will follow at noon Friday, Feb. 15. Committal will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:34
Ryan Michael Eaton, 26, who started a T-shirt business with his brother, died early Saturday morning, Feb. 9, 2013, of cancer.
He graduated from Billings West High School in 2005. He continued his education at Montana State University Bozeman and later transferred to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles to complete a degree in graphic design.
After completing school, he moved back to Bozeman to start a T-shirt business with his brother Dallas. They started a company called United Luv.
On Dec. 20, 2011, Mr. Eaton was diagnosed with a rare cancer called synovial sarcoma. While undergoing treatment, he decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from United Luv to purchase iPads and tablets for patients at cancer treatment centers. His partner Dallas is continuing their mission.
Survivors include his parents, Vicki and Sheldon; brothers, Dusty and Dallas; fiancée, Katie Johnson; and grandparents, Betty and Bill Eaton.
The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Faith Chapel.
Donations may be sent to the United Luv project at 3215 Reimers Park Drive, Billings, MT 59102. All donations will go directly to local cancer treatment centers.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:31
Marylou Ann Welborn, 54, of Custer, who had lived on a farm with her husband, died at home on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
She was born March 26, 1958, to Ed and Rose Grammens. She grew up in Custer on the Grammens farm and graduated from Custer High School in 1976.
She married Scott Welborn on March 26, 1976. They moved to the Welborn family farm north and east of Pompeys Pillar in 1976. They were there for 22 years before moving back to Custer.
Mrs. Welborn loved gardening and also took on cleaning houses for people along with taking care of her family.
Survivors include her mother; brothers, Ed Grammens, Allen Grammens and Bob Grammens; husband; son, Brian; daughter, Kari Buller; and six grandchildren.
Memorial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Parish. Private graveside services will take place later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:32
Elma Lovina Zeller Jolley, 77, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
She was born Aug. 3, 1935, in Lovell, Wyo., to Elmer Leroy and Phebe Louise Wheeler Zeller. After growing up in northern Wyoming, she married Alan Dale Jolley on April 29, 1955. They moved to Billings in March 1965.
Mrs. Jolley earned an associate’s degree in nursing in 1968. She provided nursing services at St. Vincent Hospital, then worked as a private nurse until she retired in 1994.
Survivors include her husband; daughters, Marianne Stoddard, Janet Lloyd and Lisa Stevens; sons, A. Dale Jolley Jr. and Dan Jolley; sisters, Marian Brinkerhoff and Kaye Coppock; brothers, Brent Zeller and Max Zeller; 25 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Services were held Feb. 8 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Viewing also was held that day. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:32
Libby Roth, who had worked for the Federal Aviation Administration, died Feb. 7, 2013.
She was born in Bozeman to Leonard and Eula Eblen. She graduated from Gallatin County High School and Kinman Business College, then worked in San Francisco for a year before returning to Bozeman. She married Ken Roth, and they lived in Absarokee where he started his teaching career.
The family later moved to Billings, where Mrs. Roth worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for more than 20 years.
She volunteered for civic groups and her church. She played golf and bridge.
Survivors include sons, Len of Bozeman and Rande of Billings; and four grandchildren.
She requested that her body be sent to the WWAMI medical research program at Montana State University upon her death. Services are pending. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:18
Irvin L. Osborn, 86, of Billings, who had been a fashion illustrator for Hart Albin, died Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.
He was born Sept. 21, 1926, in Worland, Wyo., to Clyde and Alice Osborn. He was educated at Chouinard Art Institute and then worked as a fashion illustrator for Hart Albin for 24 years.
Survivors include cousins, Margorie Crusch of Joliet, Delores Mangler of Casper, Wyo., and Kent and Kathy Loveland of Worland, Wyo.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at Peace Lutheran Church, 1301 Ave. D in Billings. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:21