The Billings Outpost

Donna Giesick

Donna Giesick, 70, who worked in special education and was a foster parent, died July 25, 2015.

She was born Donna Seader on Jan. 21, 1945, in Hardin to Conrad and Katherine Seader. She graduated from high school in Hardin in 1963 and then from Hollywood Beauty College. After graduating, and with only $300, she opened her own salon in 1965, Chateau de Hair Fashions. It remained open for 12 years.

On June 28, 1974, she married Dennis Giesick. She wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and sold her business in 1977.

After her boys reached a certain age, she went to work in special education classes at their elementary school, Miles Avenue. Through Youth Dynamics, she and her husband became therapeutic foster parents. For the next 25 years, they opened their home to more than 50 troubled boys.

Survivors include her husband; sons, Eric Adam, Joshua Conrad, Shawn Christopher, Kasey and Travis; a daughter, Patti Fink; a sister, Dorothy Mayer; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and a lifelong friend, Sharon Kukes Day.

A celebration of her life will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 30, at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Guests are asked to wear her favorite color, blue, to the service. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Donations may be made to the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 13:29

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Larry Saksa

Larry Saksa, 53, died July 18, 2015, riding his Harley home to Roundup from Red Lodge.

He was born Jan. 1, 1962.

Survivors include four sons, Dustin, Gary, Derrick and Jesse Saksa; Cass Jasso; and a longtime friend, Margaret Morse.

Services were July 26 at Riverfront Park. A potluck meal was served. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 13:28

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Robert J. McRae

Robert James McRae, who had been a full professor, dean and department head at what was then Eastern Montana College, died in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, July 23, 2015.

He was the son of a sheepherder and spent the first months of his life with four siblings and his parents in a sheep wagon in the hills of Eastern Montana. His father died before he was a teenager, and he graduated with a class of 22 students from Garfield County High School in 1949. He studied math, physics and English at the University of Montana and worked with fellow students to create the “M” on Mount Sentinel.

At the University of Montana, he was a member of the Honor Society and joined the ROTC program. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army in 1953. Three years later he married Beverly Jean Pine of Missoula. They had two children of their own and adopted 11 children.

He earned a doctorate in physics in the late ’60s from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, then returned to Montana. He was hired at Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University Billings) as a college physics teacher.

Eventually he became a full professor, department head and a dean, and he held multiple titles on an acting basis within EMC’s administrative staff. Dr. McRae retired as director of Graduate Studies and Research before moving into emeritus status.

He was an expert in accident reconstruction, spending hours in his home office, or kitchen table poring over mathematical equations with reams of handwritten notes and a slide rule.

He helped establish multiple campus- and community-based Bible studies, including a local Intervarsity Chapter at EMC and a nondenominational community Bible study known as the Thursday Night Group.

He had received care from Valley Health Care.

Survivors include brothers, George McRae and Bruce McRae; a sister, Jackcee Anderson; children, Ross, Kendall, Quintin Kingfisher, Mary, Stuart, Anne, Sarah, Keith, William, Kathryn Meadnis and Emily; 30 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services were July 27 at First Presbyterian Church, followed by interment in Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park. A reception followed at First Presbyterian Church.

Donations may be made to the MSU Billings Foundation where two separate scholarships, including the McRae Service to Humanity Award, have been previously established.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 13:28

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Evelyn Anita Morris

Evelyn Anita Denniston Gilmore Morris, 58, of Billings, died in the early morning hours of July 21, 2015. 

She was born in Thermopolis, Wyo., on Aug. 26, 1956, to Bertha Moore and Lee Denniston.

Survivors include her mother, Bertha Herden; two daughters, Sheri Deon and Tina Blair; numerous siblings; eight grandchildren; and a longtime soulmate, LaVaugh Whitesel.

A celebration of her life will take place later. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 13:27

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Michael J. Moran

Michael Joseph Moran, 68, owner of Mike Moran Builders, died of cancer.

He was born in Great Falls on Sept. 16, 1946, the first child of Merrill Arthur and Mary Ellis (nee Scott) Moran. He graduated from Great Falls High School in 1964, then moved to Billings.

He graduated from Eastern Montana College in 1972 with a bachelor of science degree in education. He married Marlene Marie Meyer at St. Pius X Catholic Church on Dec. 29, 1972.

He was the owner of Mike Moran Builders and built many custom homes throughout Billings.

He was an avid collector of art, especially etchings by Ace Powell. Along with his passion for art, he enjoyed matting and framing the art himself. 

He was a charter member of the Absaroka Region of the Porsche Club of America. He enjoyed downhill skiing and travelling with his family.

A daughter, Katie, died in 1999.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Chad; a brother, John Moran of Missoula; a sister, Sue Moran of Salt Lake City; and a friend, Theresa Wehr.

Visitation was July 22 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 23, at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Committal will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Katie Moran Scholarship Fund through the Billings Area Catholic Education Trust.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:09

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Donna Jean Clark

Donna Jean Clark, 75, who had been a security video examiner for Kwik Way convenience stores, died July 19, 2015, at Billings Clinic.

She was born Jan. 10, 1940, to Cecil and Molly Collar. She grew up on the south side of Billings and attended Garfield School for nine years, missing one full year due to rheumatic fever. She also attended Billings Senior High School.

After leaving school, she went to work for Billings Wholesale Hardware. She married Richard “Dick” Clark on June 7, 1959.

After the children were in school, she  worked in the library at West High School. She earned her GED in the mid-’80s.

After leaving West High School, she put together mailers for different companies and then became a security video examiner for Kwik Way Convenience stores, which she could do from home.

She and her husband were season ticket holders to the Billings Mustangs. During the last six months, she met new friends at Billings Clinic Dialysis.

Survivors include her husband; children, Dean Clark of Billings, Debbie Kern of Lewistown and Doug Clark of Virginia; a brother, Richard Collar of Red Lodge; eight grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. July 27 at Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive.. A reception follows the graveside service. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Donations may be made to Greenview Church of God, 1227 Greenview Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502; or to Faith Evangelical in Billings.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:08

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Richard Deane Bell

Richard “Dick” Deane Bell, 87, a teacher, coach and school principal, died July 15, 2015.

He was born May 28, 1928, in Sidney to Adolph “Duff” and Emma Quilling Bell. He graduated from Sidney High School in 1946. He went to Havre Normal School for one year and at age 19 began teaching in a one-room school in Enid.

During the long, cold winter of 1949, he learned to play the piano. He played at the restaurants of his son, Todd, and at nursing homes after his teaching career. Other country schools he taught at were Moore and Ridgelawn. He earned a master’s degree in education from Montana Normal School in Dillon.

In the early 1950s at Lambert he taught seventh and eighth grades in all subjects and coached high school basketball and track. His team won the Class C District tournament in 1958, the first time in years. He received the Nick’s Picks Award in 1959 for Coach of the Year.

In 1959 he accepted the high school varsity Class B basketball coach position for one year in Circle. He subsequently accepted the elementary school principal position at Bo-Peep Elementary School in Circle, and was in that position five years.

He was elementary school principal in Bridger from 1966 until he retired in 1980. On May 25, 1991, he married Jena De Haven.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Deane Bell and Todd Bell; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a brother, Robert; and a sister, Betty Kay Bell Olson.

A celebration of life service was held July 21, at Cremation and Funeral Gallery, followed by a reception at Fort Rockvale. Burial was in Sidney Cemetery with a gathering for family and friends on July 22. Following the committal, lunch was served at the Assembly of God Church.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:07

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Clarence Wiberg

Clarence Alden “Lucky” Wiberg, 82, of Billings and Shepherd, who had been involved in many area businesses, died July 11, 2015.

He was born Sept. 22, 1932, in Minneapolis to Ingrid Johanna Borg and Alden Clarence Wiberg. When he was 6, his mother died, and his Aunt Thresa and Uncle Gunder Linge raised him and brought him to Billings on a family move for employment.

He married Leona Elsie Love on Feb. 6, 1952.

He had attended Broadwater School, Lincoln Middle School and Billings Senior High School. He was a veteran of the Korean War and had served as a cook at the Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He later became the first male cook for St. Vincent Hospital.

He and his wife owned the KFC-Jolly Boy Drive-In, Lucky’s Chick Inn and Fountain Drive-In. He was active with Civil Air Patrol, working his way up to major, providing a family environment for foreign exchange cadets and contributing CAP services for Search and Rescue.

He had been a salesman for American Tobacco (where he got his nickname) and for International Diamond Corp. He had been a traveling salesman for Lipton, bringing Wonder Bread to Billings.

He had been a partner in Barter Bank and Automatic Vending Services, purchasing the 17 Club. He had been chief executive officer of Bastian Wells and a security officer and stallman for Montana State Fair.

He built two homes in the Heights and developed the Crossroads Shopping Mall.

Survivors include his wife, Lee Wiberg of Billings; children, Deb Wiberg of Billings and Doug Wiberg, of Shepherd; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a half-brother, Ken Wyberg of Minneapolis.

A gathering of family and friends for a celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. July 26 at Heights Family Funeral Home & Crematory, 733 W. Wicks Lane.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:07

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James Mitchel Cain

James Mitchel “Mick” Cain, 66, an artist who worked in many media, died June 11, 2015, at the University of Colorado Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit in Aurora, Colo., following multiple brain surgeries.

He was born Nov. 27, 1948, in Jordan to James and Dorothea Cain and graduated from Sweetgrass County High School in Big Timber. He joined the Navy in 1968 and served on three aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War.  He married Lynne Rollman on Jan. 13, 1973.

He created lawn sculptures, paintings, wood carvings, cabinetry and, most recently, a front door for his son’s home. During his work, he broke bones and cut off three fingers on his left hand, and he invented many tools to help him complete his creations.

He graduated from Dawson Community College and Eastern Montana College and completed a master’s degree in psychology from Montana State University Billings in 1996. A family member said, “He was a true hippie, an animal lover, fiercely independent, and a man of few words (unless you brought up the government and the direction that this country is heading).”

Survivors include his wife; sons, Christian and Dan Cain; a brother, Timothy Cain; a sister, Jane Gorder; and a granddaughter.

Services will be at 10 a.m. July 25 at Rocky Mountain Community Church, 2832 Broadwater Ave., Billings, MT 59102.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:41

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Katherine Deichert

Katherine Deichert, 79, who helped the elderly in the community, died July 7, 2015.

She was born to Michael and Eva Jahner on May 20, 1936, at Selfridge, N.D., the 10th of 12 children. She married William Deichert on Nov. 5, 1952, in Bismarck, N.D., and then moved to Billings.

She enjoyed crocheting, antiques and dancing.

Survivors include her husband; a sister, Christene Fode; a brother, Ray Deichert; a son, Billy; daughters, Debbie Hartman and Eva Sharp; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

Services were July 11 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. Burial followed at Sunset Memorial Gardens, then luncheon at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:41

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