The Billings Outpost

Denyta Rae McFarren

Denyta Rae McFarren, 63, of Billings, a store manager for McDonald’s, died Monday, March 11, 2013, at Billings Clinic after a brief illness.

She was born July 3, 1949, in Billings, the daughter of Manley and Olga Gauger and the youngest of five children. She attended Billings Senior High School. On Jan. 7, 1967, she married Donald McFarren.

She started at McDonald’s as a part-time hostess, working her way up to store manager.

Survivors include her husband; sons, Tony McFarren and Luke McFarren; three grandchildren; a sister, Darlene Sparrow; and a brother, Dwayne Gauger.

At her request, no services were planned. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:18

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George H. Stribley

George Henry Stribley, 95, a longtime Gates Rubber Co. employee who played golf until he was 91, died Sunday evening, March 3, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare after a brief illness.

He was born to Bert Lee and Nellie Dugan in Ardmore, S.D., on April 17, 1917, the youngest of four children. At age 5, he moved to Billings with his father and siblings.

His lifelong passion for golf began with caddying at Hilands Golf Club. He attended Fratt Memorial School and graduated from Billings High School in 1935. Mr. Stribley worked at the Laurel refinery until he was drafted into the Army in 1941.

He was a sergeant in the 41st Division and served in the Pacific Theater. He received an honorable discharge in 1944 due to malaria and returned to the United States. He briefly attended college in Chicago, but returned to Montana when the malaria reoccurred.

He married Charlotte McCahill on July 14, 1951, and he built a home adjacent to his father’s where they lived for nearly 57 years.

Mr. Stribley worked for Gates Rubber Co. for 33 years. He was a charter member of Lake Hills Golf Club and had five holes-in-one. His passion for the game continued through age 91, and he played his last real round with his wife still walking the fairways at Lake Hills.

He had received care from Grand Marquis Assisted Living.

Survivors include four children, Susan Irion, Peggy, Joe and Ann Tipton; five grandchildren; and two stepgreat-grandchildren.

A vigil service was held March 11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was March 12 at St. Thomas Church.

Memorials may be made to the George and Charlotte Stribley Pediatric Endowment through St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, 1106 N. 30th St., Billings, MT 59101; or First Tee of Montana, 821 N. 27th St., Suite 250, Billings, MT 59101.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:17

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Barbara Theresa Pearson Fritz

Barbara Theresa Pearson Fritz, 49, of Billings, who was sustained by her Catholic faith, died Saturday, March 9, 2013.

She was born Sept. 22, 1963, in Glendive to John Thomas Pearson and Dorothy Jane McCarthy Pearson. She had eight siblings.

Survivors include a son, Christian; siblings, Tina, Mary, Andy, John and Jim; and her ex-husband, Frank.

Vigil services will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, with memorial Mass at 11 a.m. March 15, both at Little Flower Catholic Church, 3411 Third Ave. S. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 902, New York, NY 10018.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:16

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Lucille E. (Crawford) Ringheim

Lucille E. (Crawford) Ringheim, 85, who had worked for several Billings businesses and was an active volunteer, died at her home on Monday, March 4, 2013.

She was born to Katherine L. (Skierecki) Crawford and Lexie (Leslie) W. Crawford on Aug. 26, 1927, in Scobey. Her family owned and operated the Cozy Café there for more than 18 years. She attended Scobey Public Schools and played clarinet in the band until her family moved to Billings, where she graduated from Senior High School.

She then attended Billings Business College, later completing a national secretarial certificate through Montana State University Billings.

She had worked at Johnson Motor Freight, Salt Creek Freight, Archie Cochrane Motors, Western Security Savings, Floberg Realtors and Johnson Ford Motor Co. in Laurel.

She had been married to Elmer Ringheim.

She volunteered for charity organizations after she retired, and she was a member of the Billings Professional Women, Billings Secretarial Association and the Yellowstone Lutheran Brethren Church, where she had served as treasurer and secretary.

She was a Cub Scout leader when her children were young and was active in the Broadwater School PTA. While working at Archie Cochrane Motors she was involved at the organizational level of the Billings Mustang Club, often taking part in rallies in the area.

Survivors include a son, Earl; a granddaughter; and a brother, Leslie W. Crawford of Atlanta, Ga.

Services were held March 11 at Michelotti-Sawyers Funeral Home, followed by committal in the family plot at Mountview Cemetery. Viewing was March 10.

Memorials are suggested to the Yellowstone County Food Bank.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:15

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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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