The Billings Outpost

Thomas C. Zopfi

Thomas C. Zopfi, 70, who enjoyed team roping, fishing and hunting, died May 11, 2014, at his home in Worden.

He was born Aug. 17, 1943, to Raymond and Ruth Zopfi. He was raised in Osseo, Minn., and graduated in 1961 from Osseo High School.

He had been a member of the Minnesota National Guard and trained in Fort Knox, Ky. He moved to Montana in his late 20s.

He was married to Carol Grammens, who died July 25, 1987.

Survivors include a son, Austin Zopfi; brothers, Ken, Arn and Ron; and a sister, Rikie.

A celebration of life was held May 15 in the Pryor Creek Golf Course basement. Dahl Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:53

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John William Feeley

John William Feeley, 65, a land surveyor and Vietnam veteran, died May 5, 2014, after living with the effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and spending two weeks in intensive care at Billings Clinic.

He was born Dec. 16, 1948, at Rosebud Memorial Hospital to George V. Feeley and Marcella Deveny Feeley, the fifth of seven children. He rode horses and helped his father feed cattle as a child.

He attended school in Hysham and Billings and played catcher in Hysham Little League. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17, serving as a wireman and forward observer in combat in Vietnam. He was promoted to sergeant and received an honorable discharge.

He had worked in a variety of jobs, especially as a land surveyor. He excelled in journalism classes at Flathead Community College and belonged to the journalism club.

Survivors include Sandy Almond, Terry Skerritt, Pat Feeley, Tim Feeley, Martin Feeley, Mary Simons, Evelyn “Tiny” Cochran; a daughter, Marcy Anderson; and a grandson.

Services were pending. Friends were asked to remember him by honoring a veteran.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 22:52

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Hildegard Marie Gappa

Hildegard Marie (Lorsung) Gappa, 102, who had worked many years at the St. Vincent Hospital laundry, died May 5, 2014, at St. John’s Lutheran Home.

She was born on July 30, 1911, in Millerville, Minn., the daughter of Anthony and Anna (Kotschevar) Lorsung. At age 6, she lost her mother in the 1918 flu epidemic, and her grandmother helped to raise the six children. She attended Catholic schools in Millerville and graduated from St. Benedict’s Academy in St. Joseph, Minn.

She married Bill Gappa, and they moved to Montana for work and health reasons. They lived in Circle, Baker, Miles City and Harlowton before moving to Billings in 1953.

They were members of the St. Patrick’s and Holy Rosary parishes over the years. At the time of her death, Mrs. Gappa was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.

She had worked in the business office of a lumber company before going to work at the St. Vincent Hospital laundry. She had lived in St. John’s Lutheran Home since 1992.

She was an associate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and supported the Community with daily prayers.

Survivors include a daughter, Sister Mary Clare Gappa; a son, Bob Gappa of Tucson, Ariz.; two grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation was May 10-11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Rosary and Vigil were on Sunday at Dahl Funeral Chapel, and Funeral Mass was on Monday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Committal was in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Memorials in her name may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church or to St. John’s Lutheran Ministries.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:26

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Wilma Fisher

Wilma Vale Fisher, 90, who had ranched on Fly Creek with her husband, died May 5, 2014, at Grand Park Assisted Living.

She was born May 17, 1923, to Charles and Leone (Knapp) Sherod at their home outside of Lodge Grass. She married Richard “Bud” Fisher on Sept. 12, 1939.

They lived in Alaska, Wyoming and Montana before settling in Meeteetse, Wyo., in 1954.

In 1972, they began ranching on Fly Creek until they downsized and settled in Worden for the rest of their lives. Mr. Fisher died in May 2013.

Survivors include a daughter, Peggy Ellison; sisters, Betty Hamby and Bobbie Gilbert; eight grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.

Services are planned for June 7. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:26

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Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth "Betty" C. Hjelvik Taylor, 85, who was retired from the Alaska Department of Transportation, died May 13, 2014.

She was born Feb. 14, 1929, in Forsyth, the second child of Iver Math Hjelvik and Adela Schroeder Hjelvik. She graduated from high school in Sumatra, where she played basketball.

On Oct. 4, 1947, she married Max Belzer, and they had three children. They later divorced, and she married Eugene ?Gene? Taylor on June 30, 1978. He had three children.

She taught sewing in 4-H, painted, crocheted, knitted and sewed for her friends and family. She and Mr. Taylor had lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, for many years. She had received care from Edgewood Vista, Yellowstone River of Care and Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Survivors include a daughter, Betty Jo Wellman of Billings; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and siblings, Elva Christiansen of Billings, Jean Lang of Musselshell, Joan McCaffree of Melstone, Bud Hjelvik of Melstone, John Hjelvik of Nye, Dorothy Smith of Des Moines, Iowa, and Mary Sherman of Choteau.

Services will be at the Community Bible Church of Musselshell at 11 a.m. Monday, May 19. Interment in Musselshell Cemetery will follow the service. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Donations may be made to the Friends of Musselshell School.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:25

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Michael St. Dennis

Michael J. St. Dennis, 46, who had worked in construction and roofing and on the Montana smoke jumping crew, died May 3, 2014, at Advanced Care Hospital.

He was born on July 27, 1967, in Helena, the son of Yvonne St. Dennis. He attended McKinley, Lincoln Junior High and Senior High schools and then joined the Job Corps in Darby. He resided in California and Missoula before returning to Billings. He was employed in construction and roofing jobs, worked for the sugar beet factory, Montana smoke jumping crew and was an in-home care nurse for a friend.

Survivors include his mother; daughters, Brekelle and Mariah; a son, Michael; a granddaughter; and a brother, Roy.

Services were May 10 at the Billings Praise Center, 516 S. 37th St.  Graveside services were planned for Missoula. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:24

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Marjorie Lyon Loos

Marjorie Lyon Loos died May 9, 2014, 93 years to the day after her birth in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1921.

Her husband of 62 years, the Rev. Joseph E. Loos, died in 2007. She and her husband had served a number of Montana community churches. She also had been an artist, greeting card designer, seamstress, knitter, school bus driver, small-plane pilot, horseback rider, soprano singer and French teacher.

She was a graduate in costume design from Moore Institute in Philadelphia and a graduate of Lower Marion High School in Pennsylvania.

Survivors include three sons, David of Billings, Joe of Missoula and Richard of Ely, England; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held in late August. The family can be contacted at 49 W. Meadow Drive, Billings, MT 59102. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:23

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Donald E. Baxter

Services will be Thursday, May 15, 2014, for Donald E. “Papa Don” Baxter, 62, who worked many years in the grocery industry.

He was born Feb. 20, 1952, in Billings to Phillip and Musa (Francisco) Baxter. His childhood was spent in Roundup and Harlowton, and he graduated from Harlowton High School in 1970.

He took a medical retirement in 2004 from Ryans-Super Valu. He had regular rehabilitation and made weekly visits with Special Transportation buses to the Billings Public Library.

He had received care from Billings Clinic.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann; a daughter, Joslyn Falcon; two grandchildren; his mother, Peggy; and the Aaby family.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Memorials may be made to the Adult Resource Alliance or the Billings Public Library.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:23

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Alden Michael French

Services were held May 3, 2014, for Alden Michael French, 73, who taught automotive technology for 23 years here.

He was born Jan. 23, 1941, to Alvida and Gertude (Nordgren) French in Scobey. He attended high school at the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, N.D., and graduated in 1959 from Billings Central Catholic High School.  He worked on a Montana highway road crew before entering the Air Force from 1961 to 1965.

In 1966 he married Levon Ahtone in Wolf Point. She died in October 2011. To this union were born Michael Stephen in 1966, who died in 2013, and Stephanie Jane in 1974, who died in 1988.

He received a college degree from what is now Montana State University-Northern in Havre. He taught in the Billings High School District and at Billings Vo-Tech for 23 years, retiring in 1994. He also surveyed for the state highway road crew, did some ranching, custom combining and commercial painting. 

Survivors include two grandchildren, Steven of Billings and Paris of Dickinson, N.D., and nine siblings.

Memorial Mass was held May 3 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:14

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Maynard Huschka

Maynard Huschka, 70, of Billings, a part owner of HCL equipment, died Thursday, May 1, 2014, of cancer.

He was born Nov. 16, 1943, in Dickinson, N.D., one of five children of Nick and Cecelia Huschka. He graduated from South Heart High School in 1962.

On Oct. 4, 1969, he married Rosemary Wanner.

He worked at HCL equipment for more than 35 years and was a part owner.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Todd Huschka and Leon Huschka; a daughter, Nicole Huschka; three brothers, Marvin, Melvin and Michael Huschka; and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at Cremation & Funeral Gallery from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, May 8, and services will be at 11 a.m. May 9 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery. A reception will follow at the Knights of Columbus where lunch will be served.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:13

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