The Billings Outpost

Robert E. Steele

Robert E. Steele, 78, of Billings, died Nov. 30, 2014.

He was born Aug. 18, 1936, the son of Velma and Wilson Steele. He had been married to Connie Steele.

Survivors include stepdaughters, Patsy Kline, Connie Deavila and Brien Steele; and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon Friday, Dec. 12, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars on State Avenue, then from 3-6 p.m. at Lee’s Saloon on South 27th Street for friends and a family gathering and food provided by Tami Myers and Lee Ash.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:43

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Robert Keith Collins

Robert Keith Collins, 91, died at Sweetwater Retirement Community in Billings on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. He had moved to Billings from Spearfish, S.D., in July 2012 with his wife to be near family.

He had been a mining engineer, working in many countries, primarily for Baroid Division, NL Industries. Before joining Baroid as a senior field engineer at the Colony, Wyo., mine and mill, he had worked for Kennicott Copper in Chile and for the U.S. Geological Survey.

He became superintendent of the Colony mine and mill in 1962 and later was manager of Wyoming Bentonite Operations, supervising plants in several locations and lignite operations in North Dakota. He had served as president of the Wyoming Mining Association.

In 1978 he became Baroid’s director of mining operations in Southeast Asia with headquarters in Singapore. He supervised barite mining and exploration projects in Thailand, Malaysia, India and other countries.

In 1981 he became director of mineral resource procurement for the Eastern Hemisphere, stationed in London, England. He supervised mining and milling operations and contracted for procurement of barite throughout Europe and in North Africa and Turkey. He moved to Houston in 1985 and retired in 1986, moving to Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills.

He flew a Cessna 182 airplane and he served as lieutenant colonel and commander of the Lookout Mountain Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Spearfish. He was a member of the Black Hills Model T Club, the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Naja Shrine.

Born March 23, 1923, in Faith, S.D., to Effie (Stenning) Collins and Floyd Collins, he lived with his family in Faith, Dupree and Hayti, S.D., and Dulce, Minn., before settling in Belle Fourche, S.D. He graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1941, served in the Army Engineers in North Africa and India in World War II, and graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1949.

He married Lorraine Hill in 1958 and the couple had three children, Laurie Moore of Billings, Robert Collins of South Dakota and Marian Rakestraw of Topeka, Kan. He also had four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Additional survivors include a brother, Harlan Collins of Vancouver, Wash.; and a sister, Audrey Kelso of Emblem, Wyo.

Services are planned in The Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:43

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Violet Fladmo

Violet Fladmo, 94, who had worked for Mountain Bell Telephone Co., died Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.

She was born Oct. 14, 1920, in rural Richland County to John and Ida Bernice (Lovely) Tveit, the second oldest of six children. She attended Sioux Pass rural school and graduated from Sidney High School with the  class of 1940.

She married John R. Fladmo on Sept. 21, 1940. She was employed by Mountain Bell Telephone Co. as a plant clerk while residing in Sidney.

She had lived at Westpark Village for the past seven years. She also had received care from RiverStone Home Health and Hospice House.

Survivors include children, Delores Crull, Diana Strand, Terry Fladmo and Gary Fladmo; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; a sister, Jane Warner; a brother, Larry Tveit; and a special friend, Eida Hooley.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:42

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George Benedict

George Benedict, 76, a retired professor of philosophy at Montana State University Billings, died in the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 2014, in Tacoma, Wash.

He was born July 6, 1938, to Dwain and Estella Benedict in Moscow, Idaho.  He was a graduate of Moscow High School and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow on a ROTC scholarship.

After active duty in the Navy, he had a brief career making poppies for disabled veterans at the Veterans Administration hospital in San Diego. He earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Idaho and a doctorate from the University of New York at Buffalo. His area of expertise was logic, and he was a Charles Sanders Peirce scholar.

He retired as a professor of philosophy at MSU Billings in 2004.

Survivors include a son, Craig Benedict of Bozeman; a sister, Carolyn Kasper of Washington; a grandchild; and a longtime companion, Renee Duval, and her sons, Kyle and Zachary, both of Billings.

Interment of ashes was planned for later. Edwards Memorial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to the MSU Billings Foundation, where Dr. Benedict was professor emeritus.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:16

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Larry Dillinger

Larry Dillinger, 76, of Billings, a longtime railroad employee, died Nov. 16, 2014.

He was born Sept. 8, 1938, in Zanesville, Ohio, to Mildred and Carl Dillinger. He worked for Burlington Northern Railroad for 35 years and served in the Air Force and Army National Guards for eight years.

Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Fern; children, Brian, Kelly Kinney and Richard; stepsons, Dean, Keith and Curt Ballew; a twin sister, Linda Shepherd; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was held Nov. 21 at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:15

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Gordon Bolte

Gordon Eugene Bolte, 82, who had owned and operated several businesses, died Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, at his home in Billings.

He was born Sept. 12, 1932, in Mankato, Minn., to Fred and Zelda Bolte.  He moved to Montana as a young child and graduated from Park County High School in Livingston in 1950.

He married Shirley Haymond, and they had four children: Michael, David, Shannon and Shelley. They were later divorced, and he married Anne Egan.  David, Avril and Daniel joined his family of children. He and Mrs. Egan celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary on Nov. 9.

Mr. Bolte was a rancher in his early years and ran the A&W Chicken Delight on Grand Avenue for several years. He had owned B&B Cold Storage and finished his career working at West Park Plaza and other venues where he and his wife had Nuts by Bolte, selling cinnamon roasted almonds and pecans.

Survivors include his wife, of Billings; children, Mike of Shepherd, Dave of Glenrock, Wyo., David of Billings, Shannon of Denver, Colo., and Shelley of Yuma, Ariz.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A family memorial will be next summer. Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:14

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Margie Dahrling

Margie (Margaret) Ibach Dahrling, 69, died at her home on Nov. 21, 2014, of cancer.

She was born April 8, 1945, to Frank Ibach and Margaret Mastel in Hazelton, N.D. They later moved to Billings, where she graduated from Senior High School. She married Joel Dahrling, and they later divorced.

Mrs. Dahrling worked for a few dry cleaners and had worked for Wetzels Quality Cleaners for 30 years until her health started failing.

She had received care from Rocky Mountain Hospice.

Survivors include her ex-husband; children, Shelly Roll, Brian Dahrling, Joey Dahrling and Jason Dahrling; four grandchildren; two brothers; and five sisters.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:14

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Joan Silvis

Joan Silvis, 80, who raised nine children and worked for 25 years at Sears, died Nov. 18, 2014.

She was born Nov. 6, 1934, to Earl and Clara Burgoon in Emporium, Pa., the oldest of seven children. She graduated from Cameron County High School and was briefly enrolled in nursing school.

She married Glenn W. Silvis on May 2, 1953. They traveled to several states and countries before retiring to Montana in 1974.

Mr. Silvis always wanted enough children to field a baseball team, and they had nine children, 23 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Silvis stayed home and raised the children until they moved to Montana. She then worked at Sears for 25 years, followed by jobs at Hallmark, Shopko and Ben Franklin.

She had been a member of St. Pius X Parish since 1974.

Survivors include her husband; children, Steve Silvis, Val Bradley, Pam Mulkey, Greg Silvis, Brenda Renken, Eric Silvis, Beth Roach, Mark and Todd Silvis; sisters, Marian and Beverly; and a brother, Jim.

Services were held Nov. 21 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 717 18th St. W.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:13

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Etola Cook

Etola Cook, 96, died Nov. 18, 2014, at Aspen Meadows in Billings.

She was the youngest child of Frank and Nellie Schallenberger, born Sept. 6, 1918, in Ekalaka. She was raised on a farm near Ekalaka and married to Lyman J. Cook on Dec. 15, 1938, in Baker.

In the spring of 1939 they moved to Gardiner, where Mr. Cook worked in Yellowstone National Park. They later moved to Oregon, where he worked as a logger and picked and bundled ferns to supplement their income. They moved to Billings in 1942.

Survivors include sons, Clinton Cook of Billings and Darwen Cook of Chico, Calif.; a daughter, Sharon Kolman of Helena; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A private family graveside memorial service was planned. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:12

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Valentine ‘Val’ Ott

Valentine “Val” Ott, 95, who built and operated the Big Dipper Drive-In, died in his sleep on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, at the RiverStone Hospice House.

He was born Jan. 21, 1919, in Estavan, Saskatchewan, Canada, the son of Felix and Mathilde (Michel) Ott. He was one of 13 brothers and sisters. In 1922 his parents moved the family to Fromberg and farmed until the end of the Great Depression.

Mr. Ott enlisted in the Army in 1940 and served at Honolulu before the Pearl Harbor attack. He returned to Montana after medical treatment.

He worked with the Northern Pacific Railroad in Laurel for 20 years. He also built one motel, then a second, an apartment complex, houses, a mini mall and two fast food restaurants, including the original Big Dipper Drive-In, which he operated until 1977. He retired at age 80.

He married Frances M. Schmidt on Valentine’s Day in 1942 and celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary this year. He had received care from RiverStone Health and RiverStone Hospice House.

Survivors include a son, Bob Ott; two grandchildren; a brother, Michael Ott of California; and a sister, Annie Rekdal of Billings.

Funeral Mass will be at noon Thursday, Nov. 20, at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, followed by burial in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Donations may be made to RiverStone Health, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101-4200.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 13:28

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