Orville L. Zeeh, 94, a retired soil conservation agent for Montana, died Jan. 26, 2013, in Billings.
He was born May 28, 1918, in Wauzeka, Wis., to Albert and Nellie (nee Mary Blahna) Zeeh. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in Wauzeka. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating summa cum laude in 1940. He served in the Army for four years during and after World War II, serving in Europe and Japan.
He married Minnie Kiosse in 1943. They raised four children and lived in various communities in Wisconsin and later Montana.
Mr. Zeeh worked for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service after returning from the war. He retired as a soil conservation agent in Montana in 1973.
Survivors include four children, Eileen Landwehr and June Zeeh, both of Middleton, Wis., and William Zeeh and Nancy Bell, both of Billings; five grandchildren; and one great grandchild.
Services were Jan. 30 at Big Sky Bible Church. Graveside services followed. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:46
Stanley C. Witt, 86, of Billings, a World War II veteran who spent most of his working years in oil-related work, died Jan. 21, 2013.
He was born April 15, 1926, in Jordan to Samuel C. and Jennie (Gilchrist) Witt, and had five siblings. He graduated from high school in Bridger in 1944. On July 3, 1945, he married Lois Jewel Premo in Bridger.
Mr. Witt served in the Army during World War II in the Pacific Theater, specifically the Philippines and Japan.
He had worked as a roustabout and roughneck for the pipeline, then worked for 30 years as terminal superintendent for Cenex Pipeline in Minot, N.D.
The first eight years of retirement were spent doing volunteer work at churches, church camps, boys’ ranches and rescue missions with the Mobile Missions Assistance Program.
In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Witt settled in Billings.
Survivors include daughters, Penny Brock of Reno, Nev., Rena Morris of Dallas, Terry Vandenoever of Billings and Stacey Mendro of Williston, N.D.; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister, Pearl Langstaff of Billings.
Services were held Jan. 25 at Heights Baptist Church in Billings. Interment was Jan. 26 at Bridger Cemetery. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be sent to Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch, 296 Boys Ranch Road, Lampo, MO 65681.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:45
Carol Clark Romero Brown died Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. She had been a flagger for Local Union 98, a fire watch at Conoco and a baker at Rocky Mountain College.
She was married to Willard Romero, and they had five children: three daughters, Mary Vannoni of Phoenix, Ariz., Rita Romero of Billings and Bonnie Lucey of East Hartford, Conn.; and two sons, Willard L. Romero of Hartford, Conn., and Leonard Romero of Billings. Survivors include two sisters, Clara Clark of Elk Grove, Calif., and Mary (DuWayne) Wells of Hutchison, Kan.; a brother, Bob Clark of Billings; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
She was married to Ken E. Brown in October 1984, and he died July 4, 2003. They traveled frequently around Montana.
Mrs. Brown was active in the YMCA, the Red Hatter Sassy Lassies and several lunch groups with friends. She was an avid gardener and cook. She was active in church and made baby blankets for newborns.
She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.
Services were held Jan. 25 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Inurnment followed in Sunset Memorial Gardens. A reception followed, hosted by her children at the Elks Lodge/
Contributions can be made in her honor to Rocky Mountain Hospice or the Senior Citizen Center Meals on Wheels Program.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:44
Dolores R. Isern, 85, of Billings, who had worked for the City Hall engineering department and later at Burlington Resources, died Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.
She was born Feb. 19, 1927, in Denton, Texas, to Beatrice and Henry Rondeau, the youngest of three children. After she married Dick Isern, the family moved to Billings.
She was an avid bridge player and made many international trips.
Survivors include a daughter, Candace DeBar of Billings; sons, Eric Isern of Kennewick, Wash., and Kurt Isern of Cantwell, Alaska; and four grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Elks Lodge in Billings. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made in her honor to Langemo Cottage at St. John’s Lutheran Home, 2429 Mission Way, Billings, MT.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:43
Frank “Gar” Clem Jr., 53, who developed the EZ-KLEAN cleaner, died Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
He was born in Glasgow on Jan. 7, 1960, to Frank A. and Mary Ann Clem (nee Yassen). He attended school in Glasgow, then worked in Bozeman as a mechanic. He then lived in Billings and Belgrade, learning construction trades, particularly bricklaying, before he moved back to Glasgow.
There, he took instruction on the distribution of a cleaner that sent him all over the country demonstrating and selling the product.
He then set about developing a cleaner of his own. Thus was the birth of EZ-KLEAN, a gentle degreaser and general cleaning product.
Mr. Clem manufactured and sold his product over much of Montana and Wyoming and shipped it to customers as far away as New Jersey and Florida. While he ran the EZ-KLEAN business, he also did bricklaying jobs and worked for ABC Steel Siding in Billings.
He had been diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, then suffered from kidney failure starting in 2002. He began peritoneal dialysis in 2003 and suffered a heart attack. He struggled with his health in all the years after that.
After his father died in 2002, he took over the salvage yard in Glasgow that his father left behind, selling off antique, classic and junk vehicles for his mother’s benefit.
Survivors include his sweetheart, Marie Gefers, who moved to Montana from New Jersey in 2007 after they met in an online pinochle game.
He also is survived by his mother, Mary Ann Clem; and sisters, LaWana Grewe and Twylla Isakson, both of Glasgow.
Services were held Jan. 29 at Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow. A reception followed at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 19:03
Jamie “Jamesey” Jawort, 54, of Busby and Lockwood, who cared for foster children and worked as a certified nursing assistant, died Jan. 27, 2013, in the Billings Clinic.
Sestoto’rr’ (Cedar Tree Woman) was born Feb. 22, 1958, in Crow Agency, a daughter of James and Pearl Teeth Wolfblack. She graduated from Billings Business College in 1975. She remained close to her former husband, Tex Jawort.
She became a foster mother of countless kids – many of whom were special needs children – and worked as a nursing assistant. One of her last jobs was working at the Montana Rescue Mission store downtown.
Survivors include sons, Buddy Cruz, Justin, Adrian and Joram Jawort; sisters, Edith Firebear and Gladys Wolfblack; brothers, Clyde and Wesley Wolfblack; six grandchildren; and her extended family, including the Teeth, Wolfblack, White Dirt and Morrison families.
Wake services will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Busby Pentecostal Church of God. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Chapel of Hope Assembly of God Church in Lockwood. Private interment will be held at later. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:41
Elli Martha Louise (Tanke) Neurath, 80, died of cancer on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
She was born in Pommern, Germany, on June 14, 1932. She and her husband, George K. Neurath, immigrated to Billings in 1954.
Survivors include her husband of 60 years; sons, Rene Neurath of Stockton, Calif.; and Hansel Neurath of Ceres, Calif.; and a sister, Christa Schalk of Marina, Calif.
Services were planned for later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave, Suite 110, Billings, MT 59102.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:16
Linda “Lindy” Oblander, 70, of Ballantine, who ran the Lindy’s Scoop bar for 13 years, died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, of cancer.
She was born to Cody and Eldora Starr on Dec. 27, 1942, and was known as the “original red hat lady.”
She married Tom Oblander, who also was from the Huntley Project, and they raised their family on his family’s farm. After working at different jobs, she bought Lindy’s Scoop. After retiring, she helped raise her grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband; a brother, Don Starr; a son, Rocky Oblander; a daughter, Kim Wittman; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A private memorial will be held later. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Donations may be made to Barkemeyer Park, P.O. Box 101, Huntley, MT 59037.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:16
Services will be held Feb. 4, 2013, for Patricia Jane (Sexton) Willits, 90, a retired teacher.
She was born Feb. 18, 1922, in San Diego, Calif., the daughter of James Sexton and Gladys Bell Sexton. She witnessed the return of Charles Lindberg’s plane to San Diego after his historic flight.
She attended San Diego State College and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. She had a teaching career that ranged from nursery school to kindergarten and junior high school.
In 1945 she married William H. Willits. They were married for 55 years and spent most of their married life in Southern California.
She was an accomplished seamstress, collected dolls and built doll houses with items authentic to their period.
In 2005 she moved to Montana. She played bridge with friends at Mission Ridge. She had received care from Rita Hartman.
Survivors include a daughter, Cathie Cross; a son, Jim Willits; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Burial will be in Oceanside, Calif. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Mission Ridge chapel. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:14
James “Jim” Patelis, 85, an auto dealer service manager before moving to Billings, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, at St. Vincent Healthcare.
He was born to Christos and Marie (Philipp) Patelis on Jan. 22, 1927, in Bethlehem, Pa. His father died when he was 7 years old, and he and five siblings were raised by their mother during the Depression.
He started work at age 12 as a caddy at the local country club; at age 18 he joined the Army during World War II and served in the Pacific. He was assigned to the Amphibian Tractor Battalion and was trained as an automobile mechanic.
Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, he was hired as a mechanic at Hauser Chevrolet in Bethlehem and worked his way up to service manager. He continued his service manager career at Brown-Daub Chrysler dealership in Easton, Pa. He was also a part-time bartender for 20 years at the Holiday Inn in Bethlehem. He retired in 1996.
He married Patricia Hinkle on May 22, 1954. They were members of the Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church in Bethlehem. They moved to Montana in 2006 to join their son and his family.
He had received care from St. Vincent Healthcare, Aspen Meadows and Tender Nest.
Survivors include his wife; a son, Jim; a daughter, Christine Dunmyre of Billings; a sister, Connie; and five grandchildren.
Services were Jan. 21 at St. Pius X Church in Billings. A luncheon followed at the Elks Lodge. Rite of Committal with military honors was on Jan. 22 at the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be sent to Big Sky Honor Flight, c/o Commissioner Bill Kennedy, P.O. Box 35000, Billings, MT 59107.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:14