Miscellaneous Lincoln County, Montana Obituaries

From the "Western News" newspaper in Libby, MT

Joel Dyer
Joel E. Dyer, 61, died Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2000, at his home in Libby, victim of an apparent heart attack.  
 He was born on Jan 7, 1939 in a Naval Hospital at Bremerton, Wash., to Robert and Clara Dyer.  
He attended schools in Idaho and after high school he joined the U.S. Marines, serving his country for two years.  
Joel met Patricia Barnhart in 1992 and they were married on June 15, 1995, at the Hitchiní Post in Coeur díAlene, Idaho.  
He was employed as a nurse, enjoyed gardening, fishing, cooking and baking. Joel was well liked and willing to help.  
Survivors include his wife Patricia Dyer, Libby; step-son Keith Barnhart, Shelby; sister Barbara Calvert and her husband Milo, Washtucna, Wash.; aunt Margaret and her husband Gene of Spokane, nieces Jewel Wise, Washtucna and Karolyn Tilse, Monroe, Wash., nephews Bob Calvert, Seattle, and Steve Calvert and his wife Amy, Oroville, Wash., and numerous cousins.  
Private family services will be conducted.  
Local arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  

Jerome Roberts
Former Libby resident Jerome Franklin Roberts, 93, died Sept. 26, 2000, at his home in Shelton, Wash.  
He was born on Nov. 15, 1906, at Waybay, S.D., to Fred and Minnie Gustafson Roberts.  
A Jehovahís Witness minister, Roberts pastored congregations in Shelton, in Pinehurst and St. Marieís Idaho and Wayne, Neb.  
He was a zealous advocate for the Kingdom of God, convinced it would solve all mankindís problems. He was truly loved by family and friends.  
He was preceded in death by wives Ethel Hanson and Delsie Mae Worsfeld.  
Suvvivors include son Lance and his wife Charlotte Roberts, Kennewick, Wash.; daughters Virginia and her husband Lawrence OíBleness, Libby, and Donna Dolton, Shelton; sister Rosie Stowe, Coeur díAlene, Idaho; six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.  
Services will be conducted at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in the Kingdom Hall in Shelton.

Allen Coffman
Allen L. Coffman, 83, of Libby, died Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000, at the Fort Benton home of a granddaughter.  
He was born on Sept. 25, 1916, in the rural Conrad area, where he was raised and educated. He married Mary Heun at Conrad in 1954 and they moved to Libby in 1962.  
Allen worked as a carpenter and lived in Libby until July 2000, when he moved to Fort Benton to live with granddaughter Kimberly Naeseth.  
Allen enjoyed woodworking, hunting, fishing and gardening.  
He was preceded in death by his wife in 1992, daughter Lorna and three granddaughters, Nikki Coffman, Linda Thom and Elizabeth Coffman.  
Survivors include daughter Cheryl Blinco of Libby; sons William Coffman, Great Falls, and Roger Coffman, Libby; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  
Cremation has taken place and a private family service will be held at a later date. Benton Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.  

Jim Kinder
James Kenneth Kinder, 57, died Saturday, Sept. 23, 2000, at his home in Libby.  
He was born on Nov. 15, 1942, at Scottsbluff, Neb., to Robert and Zetta James Kinder.  
He grew up in Warden, Wash., where he graduated from high school.  
He served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was maintenance supervisor at the Lincoln County Courthouse for 15 years.  
Jim enjoyed fishing, camping, playing cards, singing the auctioneerís song and making an annual trip to California.  
A faithful supporter of the Eagles Lodges and the VFW Posts in Moses Lake, Libby and Othello, Jim touched the lives of many people. He never met a stranger and a favorite expression was ďPretty good for an old share cropper.Ē He was a man of many talents.  
He was preceded in death by his parents and his lovely lady friend Edie Sams.  
Survivors include daughters Ronda Pryor and Elona Hale, Moses Lake, Wash., and Tania Sanchez, LaQuinta, Calif.; brothers Robert Kinder and his wife Nancy, Moses Lake, Jerry Kinder and his wife Karen, Warden, Wash., and Dennis Kinder and his wife Claudia, Othello, Wash.; six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.  
Viewing will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  
Services, with military honors, will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Milnor Lake Cemetery.  

Dorothy Palmerton
Dorothy Ellen Palmerton, 80, of Libby, died surrounded by her family on Friday evening, Sept. 22, 2000, at St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital.  
The youngest of five children, she was born on Aug. 18, 1920, in Denver, Colo., to Joseph Andrew Whitlatch and Eva Martha Brown Whitlatch.  
Dorothy spent her childhood in Roberts, Idaho, before the family moved to Ronan, where she graduated from high school in 1938.  
She married Clarence Worden Palmerton on July 18, 1940, at Pablo and they lived in Deer Lodge before moving to Libby in 1947.  
Dorothy worked as a cook in various Libby restaurants, including the Hi-Note Café.  
She was active in the Assembly of God Church and lived to serve the Lord and care for others.  
She was preceded in death by a son Richard Duane Palmerton in 1948 and her husband Clarence in 1999.  
Survivors include four sons, Daniel Palmerton and his wife Peggy, Portland, Ore.; Darrel Palmerton and his wife Reenie, Libby; Ken Palmerton, Mesa, Ariz., and Randy Palmerton, Libby; three daughters, Joanne Rosander and her husband Cisco, Portland; Sherry Seifert and her husband Steve, Whitefish; and Judy Bailor and her husband Claude, Kalispell; 14 grandchildren, Tina, Debbie, Danyle, Jason, Jennifer, Jessica, Jeremy, Rick, Angela, Kelly, Brianna, Trinity, Kimberly and Nicole, and eight great-grandchildren.  
Services were conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Libby Assembly of God Church with Pastor Paul Wheeler and Pastor J.E. Jacobson officiating.  
Visitation was from 4-8 p.m. Monday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  
The service was followed by a dinner at Wilkinson Hall.  

Frank Wright
Frank H. Wright, 83, of Troy, died Monday, Sept. 25, 2000, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.  
He was born on July 27, 1917, in Chaseley, N.D., to Asa and Hazel Bushnell Wright.  
Frank grew up in North Dakota and lived there until he joined the U.S. Army. While on his way to join the army, he passed through Troy and decided that some day he would like to live there.  
He married Fern Cook in Bowden, N.D., on March 21, 1941, and they traveled extensively and lived in various states, where Frank worked as a welder and mechanic on construction projects.  
He came to work on the Libby Dam in 1966 and moved his family to Troy. After the completion of the dam in 1976, Frank retired.  
A hard worker, Frank was good with his hands and enjoyed making tools for himself and others, creating several new tools through necessity. As a young man he enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing and hunting.  
He was preceded in death by his parents and twin brother Lee.  
Survivors include Fern Wright, his loving wife of almost 60 years, Troy; daughters Connie Graczik and her husband George, Troy, and Sheila Thill, Spokane; three granddaughters, Sharon Garrett and her husband David, Durham, N.C.; Fern Graczik, Spokane, and Jenny Clift and her husband Bret, Spokane; grandsons Jeff Thill and his wife Sunshine, Troy, and James Thill and his wife Deanna, Missoula; four sisters, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  
At the familyís request no services are planned at this time.  
Arrangements and cremation ar under direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory of Kalispell.  

Richard Bowman
Richard T. Bowman, 85, of Libby, died Monday, Sept. 18, 2000, at the Libby Care Center.  
He was born on Oct. 19, 1914, at Ryegate, to Thomas and Evelyn Bowman.  
He grew up in the Harlowton-White Sulphur Springs area, attending school in White Sulphur Springs.  
He joined the U.S. Army in February 1941 and served in the South Pacific during World War II.  
After receiving his honorable discharge in July 1945, he worked as a rancher  and logger and was later employed with the U.S. Parks Service.  
He loved to hunt and fish and moved to Libby in 1985.  
Survivors include sons Larry Bowman and his wife Bobbi, Troy, and William Demuary, Tacoma, Wash.; daughter Carolyn Erickson and her husband Roger, Tacoma, and sister Mary Evelyn Miller, White Sulphur Springs.  
Services will be conducted later in White Sulphur Springs.  
Arrangements are by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  

Raymond Dolezal
Retired Navy officer Raymond Edward Dolezal, 71, formerly of Libby, died Sept. 3, 2000, at his home in Bremerton, Wash.  
He was born on Sept. 14, 1928, at Dwight, Neb., to Adolph and Sophia Kohout Dolezal.  
Ray graduated from Libby High School with the Class of 1946, and served in the U.S. Navy 1947-1972, retiring as a lieutenant.  
He married Josephing Ewing on Nov. 30, 1956.  
Following his naval service, Ray attended Olympic College 1975-1976 and worked as an insurance inspector at Lockheed Shipyard in Seattle for 10 years.  
He enjoyed hunting and fishing.  
Survivors include his wife Josephine; sons John LeMarr, Oregon City, Ore.; Tim, Bremerton, and Raymond, Olalla, Wash.; daughters Rayetta Walch, Auburn, Wash., and Brenda Schmidt, Hockley, Texas; sister Marcella Miles, Minneapolis, Minn.; brother Herman Dolezal, Libby; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  
Memorial services were held at Central Kitsap Church of Christ in Bremerton on Sept. 7.  
His ashes will be buried at sea by the U.S. Navy.  

Bill Erickson
Longtime Libby educator William John Erickson, 90, died on Monday, Sept. 18, 2000, at St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital.  
He was born on Feb. 19, 1910, in Michigan, to John and Sophia Erickson.  
He attended high school in Butte before enrolling at the University of Montana in Missoula, graduating in 1935 with a bachelor of arts degree.  
In addition to baseball and track, Bill played varsity basketball and was active in Bear Paws, Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was president of Silent Sentinel.  
In the campus ROTC program, Bill was chosen major and was student commander of Scabbard and Blade, the Grizzly battalion.  
After graduating from UM, Bill came to Libby to teach social studies and coach basketball, football and track.  
He and Olga Wik were married in the summer of 1936.  
In the early 1940ís, Bill was called into active duty with the U.S. Army, serving as first lieutenant and later as captain, assigned to the Pacific area.  
He received service separation from the military as a major in 1946 and returned to Libby with his wife and two children.  
Bill was a career educator, serving as teacher, coach and administrator in the Libby school system for 34 years.  
An experienced pilot, Bill was a member of the Montana Aeronautics Commission and the Lincoln County Airport Board.  
He was active in the development of the Cabinet View Country Club golf course, and enjoyed golfing, fishing, woodworking and traveling.  
He is survived by his wife Olga, Libby; daughter Lynda Morford, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; son Alan Erickson, Miami, Fla.; granddaughter Amy Morford, Mesa, Ariz., and grandson Paul Erickson, Austin, Texas.  
Visitation is from 1-8 p.m. Friday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  
A celebration of Billís life will take place from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Cabinet View Country Club.  

Herbert Cook
Herbert H. Cook, 59, died Saturday, Sept. 16, 2000, at St. Johnís Lutheran Hospital.  
He was born on July 14, 1941 at Shelby to William and Gertrude Cook.   
He grew up in Shelby, where he received his early education. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Northern Montana College in Havre, and taught at Sunburst in 1972.  
He later came to Libby where he taught for 25 years at Asa Wood Elementary School, retiring in 1994.  
During the summer months, Herbert was employed as a park attendant on the Troy Ranger District by the U.S. Forest Service.  
He later returned to Shelby.  
Survivors include three daughters, Sheri Huffman and her husband Craig; Christi Quinn and her husband Dan, and Teresa Jenkins, all of Libby; son William H. Cook and his wife Sara, Libby; sister Juanita Suta and her husband Louis, Sunburst; brothers Jack Cook, Shelby, and Ivan Cook, Alameda, Calif., and 10 grandchildren.  
He was preceded in death by his parents.  
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and until 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  
Services will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Robert Foote officiating.  
Graveside services will be conducted at 3 p.m.  Thursday at the Valley View Cemetery in Shelby.  
Memorials may be made to the Herbert H. Cook Memorial Fund at Asa Wood Elementary School.  

Darlene Olsen
Darlene Louise Olsen, 58, died at her home in Troy on Friday, Sept. 15, 2000, of an apparent heart attack.  
She was born on Jan. 4, 1942, at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to Roland and Mollie Starr Obermayer of the Yaak River Valley.  
Darlene attended the Sylvanite School in the Yaak and Troy High School.  
She married Lloyd (Ole) Anderson in Coeur díAlene, Idaho, and they lived on Old Highway 2, where they raised five children.  
She married postmaster Jay Olsen of Troy in 1982.  
Darlene was an exceptional cook, cooking for many years at Jackís Café. She also worked at the Hemlocks, the Silver Spur and Beckís.  
She loved flowers, plants, gardening and sewing and was an accomplished quilter.  
Darlene was a dedicated homemaker and enjoyed collecting hummingbirds.  
She was a member of the Troy Church of God.  
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents and brother Jimmy Obermayer.  
Survivors include her husband, Jay Olsen, Troy; daughters Tami Anderson, Kalispell; Keri Anderson, Great Falls, and Alona Anderson, Whitefish; sons Tony Anderson and his wife Maggie, and Kevin Anderson and his wife Shelly, all of Troy; sisters Marie Joy Becquart and her husband Tom, Moyie Springs, Idaho, and Candie Foust and her husband John, Libby; brother Bill Obermayer and his wife Karen, Kalispell; step-father George Geiger, Troy; step-daughter Dorothy Simmons and her husband Barry, Clinton; step-son Harold Olsen in California, grandchildren Andy, Brittany, Tony, Alicia and Jayson and five nieces and nephews.  
Graveside services were conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Troy Cemetery.  
Local arrangements are by the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  

James Delcomte
Former Libby resident James J. Delcomte, 60, of Coeur díAlene, Idaho, died Sept. 8, 2000, at the Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur díAlene.  
He was born on March 16, 1940, in Hooper, Utah, to Emil and Leora Delcomte. Delcomte moved to Coeur díAlene from Libby, where he had lived for 30 years.  
He worked as a fork lift operator for Champion International at Libby and as a security guard for the Watson Agency in Coeur díAlene.  
He married Nancy L. Hunt, who survives at their home in Coeur díAlene.  
He is also survived by two sons, Edward Delcomte, Yakima, Wash., and Franklin Delcomte, Coeur díAlene, Idaho; daughter Rebecca Shearer, Post Falls, Idaho; brothers Dean Delcomte, Boise, Idaho, and Glen Delcomte, Kellogg, Idaho; sisters Lois Frost, Ogden, Utah, Helen Olenslader, Boring, Ore., and Lola Maxwell, Clearfield, Utah, and three grandchildren.  
He was preceded in death by son Joseph, sisters Jean Genta and Wanda Daily and brother Noal Delcomte.  
Memorial services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Friends Community Church in Post Falls, with Pastor Robert Hays officiating.  
English Funeral Chapel of Coeur díAlene is in charge of arrangements.  

Ruth Hammond
Ruth Marie Hammond, 62, of Libby, and formerly of Hazen, N.D., died of emphysema on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000, at the Libby Care Center.  
She was born Dec. 19, 1937, in Mercer County, N.D., to Emery and Joyce Christensen Stephens.  
She was raised and educated in rural Oliver County and graduated from Hazen High School in 1955.  
Ruth married Benjamin Amelsberg in 1956 and Roy Hammond in 1988,  
A well liked caregiver in Spokane and Missoula, Ruth enjoyed her work and loved her family, her cat, wildlife, camping and the mountains.  
She will be missed by her family and friends.  
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter, Cheryl Mace.  
Survivors include her husband, Roy Hammond, Libby; grandson Jesse Coughlin and his wife Lori and great-grandchildren Shyla and Kyla, all of Spokane; sister Betty Morgan, Bismarck, N.D.; brothers Gene and his wife Mona Stephens, Great Falls, and Lloyd and his wife Katie Stephens, Newport News, Va.; special friends Cathy Woods, Missoula, and Terry Wren, Yakima, Wash., and numerous nieces and nephews.  
Service will be conducted at a later date.  
Local arrangements are by the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  

Ruby Willett
Ruby Elberta Willett, 64, of Libby, died of apparent heart failure on Friday, Sept. 8, 2000, at her home.  
She was born on March 12, 1936, in Mount Vernon, Wash., to Elmer and Vivian Hildebrand Hadland.  
She grew up at Monroe, Wash., and married Arthur Willett on Feb. 28, 1955, in Coeur díAlene, Idaho.  
They lived throughout the states while Art served in the U.S. Air Force.  
They came to Libby in the 1970ís, left for a time, and returned in 1991.  
Survivors include her husband Art Willett, Libby; sons Jeff Willett and Jerry Willett, both of Libby, son John Willett, Chehalis, Wash., and daughter Jennifer Koehler, Libby; brother Gerry Hadland, Nuevo, Calif.; 11 grandchildren and numerous relatives and friends.  
Services will be conducted at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Libby.  
Local arrangements are by the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.  

Robert Cunningham
Robert Clark Cunningham, 74, of Libby, died Aug. 17, 2000, at the Libby Care Center.  
He was born on Feb. 12, 1926, at Hysham, the first son of Jess and Faye Clark Cunningham.  
He attended Hysham schools, where he participated in the band program and played basketball.  
After graduating from high school in May 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served until September 1946.  
He attended Montana State University in Bozeman, graduating in June 1951 with a degree in agricultural economics.  
He married Marilyn Orcutt in Miles City in September 1950 and they were involved with the family farm and ranch properties at Hysham.  
Bob was also an auctioneer and in 1957 he was named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Midland Empire.  
Bob and Marilyn had four daughters, Laura, Robyn, Noelle and Alene.  
In May 1970, Bob married Gay Lucas in Cody, Wyo., and acquired four sons, Brian, Tom, Greg and Kevin Lucas.  
Bob and Gay owned the Town & Country Café and Lounge in Hysham and later established a crop adjusting and insurance business, which they managed at the time of Bobís death.  
They moved to Libby about four years ago.  
Preceded in death by his parents, Bob is survived by his wife Gay, Libby; four daughters, four sons, eight grandsons, nine granddaughters and one great-granddaughter. He is also survived by his brother Bill.  
A memorial service was conducted at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, in the Hysham Park at Hysham.  
Memorials may be made to the Libby Care Center of the Montana Athletic Club.  

Helen Israelson
Longtime Lincoln County resident Helen Israelson, 85, of Breckenridge, Colo., died Aug. 23, 2000, at the Columbine Manor in Salida, Colo.  
Helen grew up on the Fortine ranch of her parents, Oscar and Clara Winkley.  
After she married Fred Israelson they farmed at Eureka and logged throughout Lincoln County, at Eureka, Ural, Warland and Libby.  
They moved to Port Orchard, Wash., in 1970.  
Helen was preceded in death by her son Pete Israelson in 1969 and her husband Fred Israelson in 1985.  
She moved to Breckenridge in 1995 to be with her daughter.  
She is survived by daughter Suzie and her husband Jerry Rawles, Breckenridge; five grandsons, Mark Israelson and his wife Helen, Kodiak, Alaska; Scott Rawles and his wife Jacque, Fairplay, Colo; Kirk Rawles, Durango, Colo., Chris Israelson, Kodiak, and Mike Rawles, Breckenridge; three great-grandchildren, Zach Rawles, Fairplay; Chris and Claire Israelson, Kodiak; sisters Allis Purdy, Eureka, and Harriet Paulsrud, Kirkland, Wash.; and brothers Phil Winkley, Spokane, and Frank Winkley, Kalispell.  
A memorial service was conducted at the Father Dyer Methodist Church in Breckenridge on Aug. 26.  
Interment followed a graveside service at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Tobacco Valley Cemetery.  

Rev. William Kliber
The Rev. William John Kliber, 70, who began his long career as a Methodist pastor in Libby, died Aug. 30, 2000, at his home in Missoula, after a short illness.  
He was born on Aug. 3, 1930, in Buffalo, N.Y., to William F. and Celia Kliber.  
Bill grew up in Buffalo, graduating with honors from Bennett High School in 1948.  
He also graduated with honors from Syracuse University with a double major in English and Bible and a double minor in history and philosophy. He earned a masterís of divinity from Yale University in 1955 and a masterís of theology in 1968.  
He was ordained a deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1953 and an elder in 1955.  
He was in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1947-1952 and was a U.S. Air Force auxiliary chaplain from 1956-1957.  
Bill came to Libby in 1955 and served as pastor of the Libby Methodist Church from 1955-1958.  
He married Marynell Shafter on Dec. 30, 1959 in Missoula.  
He founded, built and was pastor of the Christ United Methodist Church in Great Falls and was Methodist campus pastor and director of the Wesley Foundationís Faith and Life Community at the University of Montana in Missoula.  
He was active on numerous church boards throughout his life and was also active in community and civic affairs.  
He is survived by his wife Marynell, Missoula; daughter Kristin Larsen and her husband Craig and their two children Erika and Kaitlin in Baudour, Belgium; sons Brad Kliber and his wife Linda, Whitefish, and Drew Kliber and his wife Heather, Salt Lake City, two brothers and a sister,  
A celebration of the life of Bill Kliber will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the University of Montana Theater with the Rev. Peter Shober officiating.  

Allene Roden
Local artist Allene Roden, 73, died on Aug. 25, at her home in Libby.  
She was born in Yale, Okla., on Dec. 30, 1926, and lived through the Great  Depression helping her father, an oil field mechanic, work on cars at an early age.  
She used to sit on the steps of her grandmotherís home and listen to her uncles and great-uncles talk about the Civil War and the Oklahoma land rush.  
Later she accompanied her father as he made his rounds at the veteransí hospitals, visiting World War I veterans.  
When Allene married Dave Roden in 1944, she found her lover, husband and best friend. Married 36 years, they raised two children and affected the lives of hundreds of people, including Bob and Barbara White and their children.  
Allene learned to cut and polish rocks to make jewelry; she mined sapphires in Montana and Pecos diamonds in New Mexico. She loved to fish, especially fly fishing, and learned to tie her own flies  
In 1960 she learned to paint, sharing her gift and inspiring many others. When she was in her 50ís she started college, earning a 4.0 average in advanced art classes.  
In her 60ís she learned to operate a computer and in her 70ís she became involved in family genealogy.  
Survivors include daughter Ellen Martin, Spokane; granddaughter Amy Smith and her husband Tony, Hawaii; sister Margie Roland in Florida, great-grandchildren Tabapha Grey, Trisha Smith and Connor Smith, all of Hawaii, and nephew James Alton Roland Jr., in Georgia.  
Services were conducted Monday, followed by internment at the City of Libby Cemetery.  
Arrangements were by Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.

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