|From the "Western News" newspaper in Libby, MT
David George Backen, 64, of Kula, Hawaii, died March 26, 2001, at Kahului,
He was born July 29, 1936, in Great Falls.
He had retired from Kiewit Pacific Construction as a heavy equipment
operator and worked part-time for Decoite Trucking. At one time he had
operated a logging business in Montana.
Backen attended Holy Cross Catholic Church.
He is survived by his wife Louise Miguel Backen, Kula; sons David Backen
in Montana; Raymond and his wife Tina in Colorado; and George Backen in
New York; daughter Charlotta Ost in Oregon; step-daughter Debbie and her
husband Raymond Shirai, Hilo, Hawaii, and step-son Guy and his wife Serena
Freitas, Kula; brothers Rodney Backen in Colorado; Gerald Backen in Idaho;
Dan Backen and Joe Backen in Montana and Jack Backen in Arizona; sister
Teddy Hyde in Idaho; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Services will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Holy Ghost Catholic
Interment will follow at a later date in Montana.
Former Libby businessman Donald Dean Leach, 89, died March 16, 2001,
at the Utah State Veteran’s Home in Salt Lake City.
He was born on April 27, 1911, at Kalispell, to Glen Dean and Nellie
As a young man he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a fire lookout
and on lookout tower construction. He also spent time in the Civilian Conservation
Corps, building roads through the mountains of western Montana.
He married Margaret Claypool of Kalispell in 1937 and moved to Libby
where he was a partner in the Kootenai Mercantile until he and Margaret
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on an Attack Cargo Ship during
World War II. He was discharged in 1945.
They lived at Kalispell and at Sidney, where they operated an A&W
Root Beer Drive-In until 1962, when Don went to work for the Holly
Sugar Corporation, retiring as stationary boiler engineer.
In 1994 they moved to West Valley City, Utah, to live with their son.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Edna.
He is survived by his daughter Joan, son Bill; sisters Neva and Mildred,
and many nieces and nephews.
Services were conducted on March 23, at the Community Presbyterian
Church in Terry and interment followed in the family plot in the Prairie
Candy S. Lindsey, 44, died March 24, 2001, in Las Vegas.
She was born Jan. 24, 1957, in Bountiful, Utah. Candy had lived in
Las Vegas since 1999, and was employed as a draftsman.
Survivors include her husband Vincent, Las Vegas; father Dale Terry
in Oregon; brothers Dale is Idaho and Chris in Utah; and sisters Chaleh
Read, Saudi Arabia; Dilaun Terry in Virginia, and Lois Hanson in Washington.
Private services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Davis
Paradise Valley Funeral Home in Las Vegas and a second service will be
conducted at a later date in Libby where the family has property.
Memorials may be made to the Arthritis Foundation or a charity of the
Malcolm A. (Beaver) Mason, 78, of Libby, died on Sunday, March 25,
2001, at the Veterans’ Hospital in Spokane.
He was born on Aug. 4, 1922, at Fresno, Calif., to Patrick and Charlotte
Beaver grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., where he attended school.
He served with the U.S. Army.
After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Palo Alto
where he worked with his father in the painting business.
He moved to Libby in 1952.
In 1961, Beaver returned to California where he lived until his retirement
in 1988, when he returned to Libby.
Beaver enjoyed remodeling jobs, gardening and fishing.
He was an active member of the Elks Lodge.
Preceded in death by his wife Frances in 1996, Beaver is survived by
son Mike Mason and his wife Jule, Libby; and a brother Alvin Mason and
his wife Dorothy in Minnesota.
Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Nelson & Vial
The Rev. W. Paul Wheeler, 58, of Libby, died Monday, March 26, 2001,
at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital following a long illness.
He was born on Oct. 27, 1942, at Winthrop, Wash., to the Rev. Walter
and Genevieve Wheeler.
Paul attended grade school in Twisp, Wash., and graduated from high
school at Grand Coulee, Wash. During his years in high school he was active
in sports, especially football and in music — singing and playing trumpet..
Following high school he was employed as a smokejumper for the U.S.
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest College in Kirkland,
Wash., and during his college years he was student body president and president
of the missionary society. He worked with the college public relations
team and served a missionary internship in Guyana.
While in college he met Anita Green and they were married on June 19,
1965. They ministered together for 36 years. Paul also continued his education
at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Springfield, Mo.
He pastored Assembly of God churches in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., Stoneham,
Colo.; Superior and Cut Bank in Montana, Gunnison, Colo., and Baker, before
coming to Libby in 1995.
He also spent some years in ministry at American Somoa.
A devoted husband and father, Paul spent time with his sons on the
football field, hunting and fishing and supporting school events.
Survivors include his wife Anita, Libby; sons Michael Wheeler and his
wife Candice, Kirkland; Steven Wheeler and Scott Wheeler, both of Libby;
his parents, the Rev. Walter and Genevieve Wheeler of Libby; siblings Arlene
Brewer, Kirkland; Genevieve Benintendi, Kirkland; Eunice Bloomer, Seattle;
Steven Wheeler, Gilroy, Calif., and Deedi Lloyd, Wilmington, N.C., and
numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Libby Assembly of God Church
with the Revs. Paul Goodman, Kevin Lindgren and Raymond Bache officiating.
Interment services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Woodlawn Cemetery in
Friends may call from 1-9 p.m. Thursday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral
Home and until noon Friday at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Paul Wheeler Memorial Scholarship Fund,
1108 Utah Avenue, Libby.
Former Libby and Troy resident Elfreda Ellen McDowell Day, 93, died
Jan. 29, 2001, at the home of her daughter Marilyn Day in Redmond, Wash.
Elfreda was born in McAllister on Oct. 26, 1906 to Mary Ellen Hughes
McDowell and Cypress Talley McDowell.
The McDowell family moved to the Troy area in 1911, settling on Lake
Elfreda went to elementary school at School House Lake, walking through
the woods to get to school.
She graduated from Troy High School where she was a member of the girls’
Elfreda married Charles Fritz and they had a daughter Leola. They were
later divorced and Elfreda married Royal Edward (Bud) Day in 1940 and moved
Elfreda was a homemaker, astute shopper and a good gardener. She loved
to fish, pick huckleberries and spend time oudoors and in the mountains.
She was a Democrat and a member of the Methodist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bud, two brothers and
She is survived by daughters Leola M. Fritz Fish and her husband Jerry,
Copalis Crossing, Wash., and Marilyn V. Day, Redmond.
At her request no services were held.
Former Libby resident Honora (Noania) Morin, 83, died March 18, 2001,
at Elliott Hospital in Manchester, N.H., after a brief illness.
She was born on Sept. 26, 1917, at Manchester, to Laurence and Mary
Woolner Casey. She attended McDonald Elementary School and Graduated from
Manchester Central High School.
Noanie was employed by Fleischer Shoe Co., in Manchester, prior to
her marriage to George Albert Morin.
The Morins lived for many years in Libby, where Al was the golf pro
at the Cabinet View Country Club. They were living in Spokane when Al died
in 1991 and in 1993 Noanie returned to Manchester to be close to her brother
Laurence Casey, who died in 1999.
She is survived by sister-in-law Edna Farley, Manchester; nephew Wayne
Casey, Canaan, N.H.; and nieces Patricia Rollins, Carterville, Ga., Sharon
Casey, Bangor, Calif, and Charlene Murray and Noanie Barry, both of Manchester.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Manchester and burial will follow
in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Elliot Hospital,
Fitch Pallative Care Unit, 1 Elliot Way, Manchester N.H. 03110.
Former Libby resident Irene Sahinen Shaurette Sullivan, 87, died
on March 23, 2001, at Gig Harbor, Wash.
She was born on Dec. 20, 1914, at Hancock, Mich., and grew up in Montana,
where she graduated from Butte High School.
While visiting her sister in Libby, she met Darrell Shaurette and they
were married in 1936.
They had two daughters, Lenora and Sherrie and lived in Libby until
Darrell died in 1973.
In 1978 Irene moved to Portland, Ore., where she met Theodore Sullivan.
They were married in 1993 and lived in Portland until August 2000, when
they moved to Gig Harbor.
In addition to her husband Ted, Irene is survived by daughters Lenora
Ferry, Dallas, Texas, and Sherrie Kilborn and her husband Ken, Gig Harbor;
sister Miriam Downey, Seattle; grandchildren Paul Carbone, Tonja Peterson,
Katrina Ferry, Jeff Kilborn and Kathi Kilborn, four great-grandchildren
and numerous other relatives.
Irene enjoyed life. She was a special Chrisian lady who loved everyone
she met and expressed that love in her private life, as a secretary and
as a community volunteer.
A memorial service was conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Chapel Hill Presbyterian
Church in Gig Harbor and a reception followed at the home of Sherrie and
Jill Crill, 66, died Saturday, March 17, 2001, at her home in Libby.
She was born in Reading, England, on Aug. 17, 1934, to Harold and Irene
Jill was raised and educated in England.
She married Harold Crill on Sept. 5, 1953, at Oxford, England, and
came to America with her husband and their family.
In 1967 they moved to Libby, where Jill worked for many years as a
nurse’s aide at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital.
She enjoyed gardening and crafts and particularly enjoyed being a mother
Jill was preceded in death by her parents.
Survivors include her husband Harold, Libby; her children, Michael
Crill and his wife Dena, Libby; Debbie Carter and her husband Greg, Lake
Oswego, Ore.; Carol Johnson, Spokane; Cheryl Chandler and her husband Lee,
Libby; Randy Crill and his wife Leona, Libby, and Terri Mahoney, Athol,
Idaho; brothers Michael Giles and his wife Margaret, Haywood Heath, England,
and Terry Giles and his wife Nancy, Great Falls; 11 grandchildren, six
great-grandchildren and dog Muffy.
Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Nelson & Vial
Memorials may be made to Hospice, in care of St. John’s Lutheran Hospital.
Esther M. McLaughlin, 88, died Monday, March 12, 2001, at her home
She was born in Minnesota on March 4, 1913, and was raised and educated
at Wilmar, Minn.
Esther worked in a defense plant during World War II and was a camp
cook for lumber camps in Minnesota.
She married John R. McLaughlin on Nov. 26, 1946, at Redwood Falls,
They came to the Libby area in 1969.
Her husband preceded her in death in 1991.
Survivors include her son Michael McLaughlin, Libby; and sister Adeline
Hemsey and brother Gordon Reibe, both of Wilmar, Minn.
Private arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Gary E. Pattie, 61, of Troy, died at his home on Thursday, March 15,
2001, after a long illness.
He was born at Williston, N.D., to Donald and Hazel Dailey Pattie and
came to Troy with his family.
Gary was raised and educated at Troy and entered the U.S. Army in 1958,
serving stateside and in Germany and Korea.
After returning from overseas duty he served as a recruiter until receiving
his honorable discharge in 1964.
He married Erna Klaussner in May 1961. They were divorced in 1972.
Upon his return to the Troy area, Gary was employed by the J. Neils
Lumber Company and later became an independent logger.
He married Velma Wallbridge on July 14, 1973, at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
An avid outdoorsman, Gary enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. He
also enjoyed gardening and spending time with his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter Briana.
Survivors include his wife Velma, Troy; son Michael and his wife Dawn,
Troy; grandchildren Austin and Dakota; sisters Donna Asbridge of Troy and
Pat McNulty, Libby, brothers Bill and Dan Pattie, both of Troy, and numerous
nieces and nephews.
Services were conducted at 2 p.m. Monday at the Troy Church of God
with the Rev. Gene Bushnell officiating.
Interment with military honors followed at the Troy Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Former Libby resident Anna Taft, 85, of Mukilteo, Wash., died on March
She was born in Deer Park, Wash., on July 21, 1915, to Robert and Anna
After Anna married Elmer Taft, they lived at Coulee Dam, where Elmer
was an engineer on the Coulee Dam project and Hungry Horse, where he engineered
They also lived at Palmer, Alaska, and Ketchican, Alaska, Bonners Ferry,
Sandpoint and Kalispell before moving to Libby in 1960.
Elmer was chief engineer for the Kootenai National Forest, working
out of the supervisor’s office.
Anna’s nursing skills were put to use as she cared for her parents
and her sisters Nora and Marge until their deaths. She was a born nurse,
and her hope was that when she died, she would be put in charge of the
At Libby she was involved with Christ Lutheran Church, a sewing circle
and bridge club. She was known for her Norwegian Christmas cookies and
wonderful fruit cakes.
She knitted beautifully, and made Norwegian afghans for members of
Her husband Elmer, son Larry, two sisters and five brothers preceded
Anna in death.
Survivors include daughter Beverly Browne and her husband Sam, Mukilteo;
granddaughter Michelle Browne, Portland; and grandson Craig Browne and
granddaughter Carrie Browne, both of Mukilteo, and many nieces, nephews
After a memorial service, she will be buried with her husband Elmer
at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Coeur d’Alene Memorial Funeral Home
Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.
Memorials may be made to the International Assistance Program Box 18702,
Spokane WA 98228, or the Union Gospel Mission in Everett, Wash.
Former Libby resident Sherrie Joyce (Belangie) Ward, 64, died March
18, 2001, at her home in Cameron Park, Calif.
She was born on May 16, 1936, in Butte, to Ray and Kathleen Belangie.
Sherrie grew up in Libby, attending Libby schools and graduating from
Libby High School with the Class of 1954.
Sherrie’s social, outgoing personality was recognized early when she
was chosen high school Hi-Jinx Queen.
She was a loving, compassionate woman who worked in the nursing field
for more than 30 years, retiring from Folsom Mercy Hospital as director
Her giving nature carried over into after-work hours, when she visited
friends in convalescent homes and went out of her way to help them get
Blessed with a green thumb, Sherrie nourished everything that was capable
of growing, even weeds.
Family was the center of her life and she was an active parent, serving
as den mother, swim team mom and No. 1 admirer of her daughter’s baton
Her grandchildren were a source of great joy and happiness and they
called her the best grandma in the world.
Active in her faith, Sherrie was a past member of the Legion of Mary
and current member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Survivors include her husband of 44 years, Gene H. Ward; Cameron Park,
mother Kathleen Belangie, Libby; son James and daughter-in-law Korrie Ward,
Somerset, Calif.; son John Ward, Placerville, Calif.; daughter Patricia
Ward, Placerville, and grandchildren Rainy, Moriah, Dakota, Jessica and
A 9:30 a.m. Mass will be offered by Monsignor James Kidder on Thursday,
March 22, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3111 Tirra DeDios Drive, El
Interment will be at Westwood Hills Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Donna J. Burkett, 40, of Libby, died Monday, March 12, 2001, at her
She was born on Jan. 15, 1961, at Yaleville, Ark., to Frank and Linda
Donna grew up in Mansfield, Wash., where she attended school.
She married John Burkett in September 1977 at Mansfield.
They moved to Libby in 1979
Donna enjoyed crafts, walking and gardening.
Survivors include her husband John, Libby; sons Chris and Frankie Burkett,
both of Libby; daughters Pam Winter and her husband Steve, Libby; Laura
Burkett and her fiancee Aaron Hayes, Kalispell; and Kimberly Burkett, Libby;
parents Frank Melton, Libby and Linda Dubler, Libby, and step-mother Liz
Melton, Bonners Ferry, Idaho; brothers Jimmy Melton, Kalispell; Mark Melton,
Fort Collins, Colo.; Shawn Melton, Riverside, Calif., and Joe Dubler, Libby;
sisters Annette Reeves and her husband Niles, Syracuse, N.Y., and Sandi
Hendricks and her husband Nick, Spokane; and three grandchildren, David
and Amber, both of Libby, and Andrew, Kalispell.
Visitation was from 1-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Nelson &
Vial Funeral Home.
Graveside services were conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday at the City of
Arrangements are under the care of the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Edna N Kinney, 85, of Eureka, died Monday, March 12, 2001, at North
Valley Hospital in Whitefish.
She was born on March 27, 1915, at Eureka, to Ed and Nora O’Brien Smith.
Edna married Olin DeShazer on Jan. 7, 1933, at Libby.
In 1968 the longtime county residents bought a home in Eureka.
Olin preceded his wife in death in June 1978 and in February 1979,
Edna married Ervin Kinney.
She enjoyed playing cards and bingo, gardening and camping.
She was also preceded in death by a sister, Freda.
Survivors include her husband Ervin, Eureka; sons William DeShazer
and his wife Betty, Libby; Dan DeShazer and his wife Iva, also of Libby;
Robert DeShazer and his wife Pat, Eureka; Raymond DeShazer and his wife
Mary Ann, Eureka, and Gerald DeShazer and his wife Sandi, Polson; daughter
Shirley Straley and her husband Russell, Grand Coulee, Wash.; step-daughter
Sharon Peterson and her husband Ken, Eureka and step-son Gary Kinney, Libby;
brother Lester Smith and his wife Mary, Ukiah, Calif.; sister Audrey Anderson,
Salt Lake City; 20 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Services will be conducted at a later date.
Local arrangements are by the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Lincoln County native Ruth L. Taylor, 62, of Kalispell, died March
10, 2001, in Missoula.
She was born on Jan. 17, 1939, at Eureka.
Her hobbies were gardening, jigsaw puzzles and photography.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister.
Survivors include her husband, Jim Taylor, Kalispell; five children,
Sheila Waughtal, San Francisco; Shirley Broden, Hayden Lake, Idaho; Joe
Gilder, Libby; Kenneth O’Grady, Kalispell, and Jerry O’Grady, Colorado
Springs, Colo.; brother Kenneth Cook, Rexford and sisters Patricia Gilder,
Kalispell, and Virginia Canida, Winston, Ore.
At her request, there will be no services.
Longtime Libby resident Rose E. Bitterman, 92, died Thursday, March
8, 2001, in Superior.
She was born on June 3, 1908, at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to Ernest and
Rose was raised and educated in Bonners Ferry.
She married Edwin Bitterman on April 24, 1926, at Libby.
The Bittermans raised their family in Libby. Ed Bitterman preceded
his wife in death in 1982.
Rose lived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for a time before moving to the
Mineral County Nursing Home in Superior last year.
She enjoyed doing handwork, crocheting numerous tablecloths doilies
and other items.
She was also preceded in death by daughter Audrey Weistaner in 1995.
Survivors include son Claire Bitterman and his wife Nancy, Alberton;
sister Corean Pehan and brother Art Mayer, both of Spokane; six grandchildren
and 10 great-grandchildren.
Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the City of Libby
Cemetery with the Rev. Linda Weistaner officiating.
Friends may call at Nelson & Vial Funeral Home from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday
and until 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Jennie Dorothy Desch, 82, of Kalispell, died at Brendan House on Saturday,
March 10, 2001.
She was born on May 5, 1918, in Big Arm, to Richard and Mary Jane Meyer
When she was four years old she moved to Polson where she received
her education, graduating with the Class of 1936.
She worked in many places, including the Polson Laundry, Kelly’s Grocery
and Mallory’s Grocery.
She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Polson.
On June 29, 1947, Jennie married Fred J. Desch in Hamilton. They moved
to Kalispell in August 1947, where they built their home.
Jennie was a member of Central Bible Church and active in Circle II.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, two brothers
and her husband Fred on March 20, 1997.
She is survived by sons Richard and his wife Linda Desch, Wolf Point,
and John and his wife Barbara Desch, Libby; grandchildren Jennifer Desch
and Andy Desch, Kalispell; Heidi and Daniel Desch, Libby; Matt Desch, Missoula,
and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Central Bible
Church, First Ave. E., Kalispell, with burial following at C.E. Conrad
Memorial contributions may be made to Circle II, in care of Central
Arrangements are under direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory.
Ida F. Evans, 79, died Monday, March 12, 2001, at Libby.
She was born on July 11, 1921, at Oswego to George and Bessie Stout
and came to Libby with her family as a small child.
Raised and educated at Libby, Ida graduated from Libby High School
with the Class of 1938.
She married Paul Evans on July 30, 1940.
Ida and Paul lived for many years in Libby, where they raised their
children, and where Ida was active as a leader in the Girl Scout program.
She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
loved and enjoyed her family, and was an excellent dancer.
Paul and Ida moved to Utah for a time and also lived in Spokane before
returning to Libby.
Survivors include her husband Paul, Libby; daughter Adrian Evans, Provo,
Utah; son Thurman Evans, Shingle Springs, Calif., and several nieces and
nephews, including Marvel Thompson and Judy Eby, both of Libby.
Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Interment will follow in the City of Libby Cemetery under the direction
of Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
Former Libby resident and longtime nurse Sylvia Edith Louden Bakken,
85, died Friday, March 2, 2001, at Heritage Place in Kalispell.
She was preceded in death by her husband Peter Bakken; daughter Judi
Parker; sister Clara Kendall; brothers Harold Louden and Cal Louden and
sister-in-law Betty Louden.
Survivors include daughter Linda Ward and her husband Keith, grandson
Chad Ward and granddaughter Kristen Ward, all of Missoula; brother Bob
Louden and his wife Dorcas, Bigfork; sister-in-law Betty Louden and Bunny
Louden, Kalispell; brother-in-law Glen Kendall, Spokane, and many nieces
Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bethlehem Lutheran
Church in Kalispell with burial following at Conrad Memorial Cemetery.
Johnson Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Former Libby resident Edith Gertrude Shelley Carrell, 79, died on Feb.
8, 2001, in Colville, Wash.
She was born on Jan. 12, 1922, in Watford City, N.D. to Harvey and
Ethel Kenelty Shelley.
Her family moved to Libby where Edith attended Libby schools.
She married Charles Carrell at Libby, where they lived until moving
to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1956.
They moved to Colville in 1994 to be near their family.
Edith worked as a nurses aide and was active in her church, playing
piano and teaching Sunday school classes for many years.
She loved her family and the Lord and will be remembered for her sweet
Survivors include daughters Edie Peterson and her friend Don Arnott,
Rice, Wash.; Lynn McCain and her husband John, Colville; son Dwight Carrell
and his wife Gail, Phoenix; grandchildren Shawn and Cason McCain, Shelley
Krysinski, Gretchen Vining, Erika Lindquist, Jennifer and Joy Carrell and
great-grandchildren Melissa, Cameron, Christopher, Kerstin, Kortney and
She was preceded in death by her hudsband of more than 59 years, Charles
Carrell, in 1998, and by her sister Jean Shelley, in 1997.
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory was in charge of arrangements.
Burial will take place in the family plot at the City of Libby Cemetery.
Longtime Libby resident James Henry (Jim) Howarth, 82, who served with
the Army Air Corps’ 351st Bomb Group during World War II, died Sunday,
Feb. 25, 2001, in Spokane, where he has lived for the past eight years.
He was born on April 21, 1918, in Orient, Wash., the second of the
five children of James L. and Sophie E. Bailey Howarth.
An Arrow Lake Native American, Jim was raised on Kelly Hill. He attended
school in Marcus by walking across a railroad bridge spanning the Columbia
River. The bridge no longer exists.
He later lived with his grandparents in Marcus. His grandparents spoke
the Indian language of the Colvilles.
After attending school in Marcus for four years, Jim was placed in
a boarding school in Desmet, Idaho, along with two of his sisters. He remembered
the discipline as very strict and when there were no witnesses he said
he was beaten with a rubber hose.
Jim graduated from the eighth grade at the age of 15 and returned to
Spokane to live with his mother and step-father. He enrolled at Lewis &
Clark High School but quit school when he felt he was repeating work already
learned in boarding school. He again went to live with his grandparents
Prior to Jim’s arrival, his grandfather had given the 160-acre farm
to a son and had no stable income. Jim worked for area farmers to support
the family until 1937, when his grandfather died.
Shortly thereafter, although she had no medical problems, his grandmother
Jim enlisted in the Army Air Corps in Tacoma, Wash., in 1941 and was
eventually stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. Without formal
training, Jim was a gunner on a B-26 and in April 1943 was sent to gunnery
school. He trained on a B-17 and was transferred to England as a gunner
and operating engineer.
His crew was shot down on their 19th mission, close to Leipzig, Germany.
The bombardier was killed and the radio operator was injured, and even
though the plane went into a spin, Jim was able to put a chute on both
the radio operator and himself and bail out.
The radio operator died a month after being captured and when Jim landed
he injured his right leg and was semi-paralyzed from the hips down while
imprisoned for 12 months.
Because a PFF ship, containing electronic equipment, was shot down
about the same time, the Germans suspected Jim was part of that crew and
his interrogation was severe. While at Stalag Luft IV he was unable to
walk and other prisoners would carry him. His weight dropped from 165 pounds
to 117 pounds, but with the help of fellow prisoners who massaged his limbs,
Jim was finally able to walk with the use of homemade crutches.
The prisoners were moved from Stalag IV in February 1945. Jim doubted
he would survive after the first two days, as men who could not keep up
were taken away. Since he lagged behind he received more beatings than
the rest of the prisoners. They were forced to keep moving as the Germans
were caught between advancing Russian, English and American troops.
Eventually the prisoners of Stalag IV were liberated by the English.
They were processed through Camp Lucky Strike and after a 30-day leave
in Brussels, Jim took a furlough to England and from there found his own
transportation back to the United States on the USS Argentina.
Jim married Bridget Arnold in January 1946 and they had a child who
died 10 days after birth. They were divorced in 1948.
Jim worked construction in Alaska, where he invented the gravel spreader
used by the railroads.
He married Thelma Wiley in 1952 and they had a son James. They were
divorced in 1955.
In 1957, Jim married Lois McAttee and they moved to Libby.
Jim operated a successful logging company until 1967. He also worked
on the Libby Dam Project.
He purchased an automotive garage and parts store in Libby and he and
Lois also ran the VFW Club here.
Jim served as the Veterans Service Officer for Lincoln County and was
District Judge Advocate. In 1988 he was the VFW state convention chairman
and was a representative to the VFW national home in Missouri. He also
served as a service officer for the DAV and the American Legion.
Under Jim’s direction, the first mobile van service was started to
transport veterans from Libby to the Spokane Veterans Hospital.
In 1993 Jim and Lois moved to Spokane, where Jim continued to be an
advocate of prisoners of war and helped numerous POWs receive benefits,
many up to 100 percent.
According to a recent national VA report, Jim led the nation in securing
benefits for POWs and his involvement in veterans’ activities continued.
He was preceded in death by sisters Christine James and Bessie Cashion,
brother Robert, son Donald and step-son Clifton Totten.
He is survived by wife Lois, Spokane; son James C. Howarth, Spokane;
step-sons James Totten, Livermore, Calif.; Jerry Totten, Tumwater, Wash.,
and Virgil Totten, Libby; step-daughter Shirley Inman, Molalla, Ore.; sister
Alice Tanner, Hayden Lake, Idaho; brother-in-law Harold James, and numerous
grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Vigil services were held on Friday, March 2, at the Danekas Funeral
Chapel in Colville, Wash., and funeral services were at noon on Saturday,
March 3, at the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Kettle Falls, Wash.
Private burial was at PIA Mission Cemetery.
Robert A. Schmasow, 76, of Libby, died Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2001, at the
Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls.
He was born on Nov. 15, 1924, at Richey, to Arthur and Vesper Schmasow
and attended school at Nashua.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943, serving during World War II.
Following his honorable discharge Robert returned to the Great Falls
area where he was employed by the Great Northern Railroad.
He transferred with the railroad to Libby in 1955 and later worked
as a millwright for St. Regis Paper Company, W.R. Grace & Co., and
on the Libby Dam Project.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion
and the Carpenters Union.
Survivors include a step-daughter, Kathy Holder, Phoenix, Ariz.; brothers
Chet Schmasow, Great Falls, and Stan Schmasow, Wolf Creek; sisters Sadie
Lippert, Fort Benton, and Shirley Rounds, Tucson, Ariz., and numerous nieces
Interment services will be conducted later at Highland Cemetery in
Local arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.
I. V. Trevino
I.V. Trevino, 83, of Libby, died Saturday, March 3, 2001, at the Libby
He was born on April 25, 1907, at Alice, Texas, to Leonard and Elena
He was raised and educated in Alice and later worked there for J.C.
He married Adelina Flores in 1937.
Trevino served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, returning to
Alice after receiving an honorable discharge.
He worked with the city police department and went to night school,
earning his GED and later a bachelor’s degree in business.
Trevino and his family moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1951 where
he was associated for many years with the Corpus Christi Bank and Trust,
retiring in 1974.
He and his wife also lived in New Braunfels, Texas before moving to
Libby in 1985.
Adelina died in November 1999.
Trevino had a wonderful sense of humor and loved practical jokes. He
was devoted to his wife and was kind and generous, a true Southern gentleman.
A lifelong devout Catholic, he was a fourth-degree knight of the Knights
of Columbus and a longtime member of the Corpus Christi Lions Club.
Survivors include son Robert I. Trevino and his wife Lila, San Antonio,
Texas; daughter Lillian Martin and Ray Baenen, Libby; six granddaughters,
Tiffany, Erin, Lori, Leslie, Lisa and Lamar and three great-grandchildren.
Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at St.
Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Ray Hannigan as celebrant.
Interment services followed at the City of Libby Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.