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
Donnie Jean Horacek, 74, of Billings, who had owned Don’s Courthouse Conoco, died Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Home.
Born in Rush Center, Kan., to Jerry and Bessie Horacek, he lived much of his life in Lewistown.
Survivors include seven children, Elizabeth Moore, Kim McChesney, Tonya Patterson, Steve Horacek, Don Paul Horacek, Jonathan Horacek and Spencer Horacek; 18 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Services were pending. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:20
Julie (Miller) Haugen, 68, died Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings after a short illness.
She was born in Plentywood to Harold and Karen Miller and graduated from the Deaf and Blind School in Great Falls. She married Lynn Haugen in 1973. After several years in Riverton, Wyo., they moved to Billings.
Survivors include a son, Tony Haugen of Billings; four grandsons; two stepgrandchildren; brothers, Glenn Miller of Pinch, W.Va., and Larry Miller of Elkview, W.Va.; and a sister, Virginia Held of Puyallup, Wash.
Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:20
Reny Madden Roma, 45, who operated Gordy’s Casino with her husband, died Feb. 2, 2013.
She was born Jan. 28, 1968, in Butte to Bert and LaVonne (Guay) Madden. She attended Whittier School and then moved to Billings and graduated from Senior High School in 1986. She married Gordon “Gordy” Roma in August 1987.
She earned a real estate license and was an agent for AAA Realty. Later, Mr. and Mrs. Roma opened their own business, Gordy’s Casino.
She had been a two-time cancer survivor.
Survivors include her husband; children, Sydni and Conner; parents; and brother, Holt Madden.
Services will be at noon Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Knights of Columbus hall. Michelotti Sawyers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Donations may be sent to the Hub, 515 N. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101; or the Salvation Army, 2100 Sixth Ave. N., Billings, MT 59101.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 19:29