Miscellaneous Montana Obituaries
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Margaret Ratchford, 86, died on Monday, Aug. 27,
2001, at the Westview Care Center in Sheridan, Wyo. She was born on March
7, 1915, in Smith Center, Kan., to Don and Nellie (Barrett) Clark.
Margaret graduated from Bigfork High School in 1935. She married Thomas H. Ratchford in November 1935. He preceded her in death.
She enjoyed gardening, collecting and refinishing antique furniture, music and singing, and most of all spending time with her family and friends.
She is survived by her son, Tom Ratchford of Missoula; daughter Helleen Taylor of Sheridan, Wyo.; four grandchildren; sister, Effie Holmes of Bigfork; brother, Pete Clark of Bigfork; and many nieces and nephews.
Cremation and burial has taken place. The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to the Arthritis Foundation, Rocky Mountain Chapter, 2280 S. Albion St., Denver, CO 80222 or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 1002, Kalispell, MT 59903-1002. Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Mortuary Crematory.
Jean Frances Warden
J.F. Warden, 336 N. Rodney St., Helena, died Monday, Sept. 3, 2001. She was born, Aug. 27, 1929, in Fort Collins, Colo.
J.F. is survived by her son, Alex; daughter, Dundee and friend, Don St. Clair; grandsons, Zachary and Lucas Warden; and her beloved dogs, Pandy and Jack. J.F. was preceded in death by her daughter, Rye; son, Spery; and husband, Scotty Warden.
In the early 1950s, J.F. was a reporter with The New York World Telegram and Sun where she met and married Scotty Warden from Great Falls, who at the time, was a studio supervisor with NBC in New York City.
In 1952, the couple decided to raise their children under The Big Sky where they both worked for The Great Falls Tribune. In the late 60s, the Warden family sold the newspaper. Scott and J.F. then moved their family to Helena where he was appointed Montana State Advertising Director by Gov. Forrest Anderson.
As Scotty encouraged the Hollywood movie makers to film their movies in Montana in the 70s, J.F. embarked in numerous activities including; freelance writing, teaching yoga, and creating fabulous concoctions in her kitchen. She also started The Montana Parapsychology Study Group involving over 200 dedicated people. She was also a member of the U.S. Psychic Search and Rescue Squad, which was particularly active in finding missing children. Momís greatest pleasures in the 80s and 90s, were hunting for oriental rugs and other treasures at garage sales.
Cremation has taken place, and there will be no funeral service at her request. A celebration of J.F.ís life will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Fort Harrison Service Club.
Dr. Rae Joseph Johnston
July 12, 1930 Sept. 1, 2001
Dr. Rae Joseph Johnston of Missoula, passed away Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001, while heli-hiking with his wife Joan in British Columbia.
He was born July 12, 1930, in River Rouge, Mich., to Joseph Joy Johnston and Margaret Rae Johnston. His father, mother and stepson Greg Peterson preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife Joan Johnston; sisters Shirley Zimmerman, Marilyn Moody and Sheila Little, all of Michigan; children Rod Peterson of Alberton, Brooke Hansen of Bigfork, Holly Mendenhall of Albuquerque and Kirk Johnston of Missoula; two grandchildren.
Rae graduated from River Rouge High School, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Medical School. He was an intern in Spokane, Wash. and completed his residency in Sacramento, Calif. before deciding to specialize in orthopedics. He completed his postgraduate training in orthopedic surgery at the University of Utah and Shrinerís Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He met his wife Joan in Salt Lake City and they moved to Missoula in 1965. He practiced orthopedic surgery in Missoula from 1965-1973 and Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery from 1974-2000. He was a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Pediatric Orthopedic Society, the North Pacific Orthopedic Society, the Montana Orthopedic Society, the Western Orthopedic Society and the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy.
He was an Amateur Boxing Champion and member of the Michigan State NCAA Championship Boxing team. At age 16, he was also 2-time Golden Glove Champion of Detroit. He was a noted high school and college athlete and scholar. He served in the United States Air Force in Japan as the Flight Surgeon for the Pacific Air-Sea Rescue Service.
Rae loved medicine and knew from the time he was in the 8th grade that he wanted to be a physician. He was fascinated by the West and after working his way through school headed out to explore and fell in love with Montana. He felt extremely lucky to have such a wonderful medical practice in Missoula. He loved his patients and never tired of helping them.
Rae had a true passion for Montana and all that it offered. He loved to explore and was always interested in finding new places to hunt, fish and hike with his dog, Remi. Some of his most memorable moments were spent fly fishing the rivers of Western Montana, especially Rock Creek and the Clark Fork. He loved the Rattlesnake and spent much of his time hiking or snowshoeing the various trails. The Bob Marshall Wilderness was also one of Raeís favorite places. For 35 years, he and his wife horse-packed with their children into the Bob. He was a true family man; devoted to his wife and children. He loved his new grandson and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of two more grandchildren. He was the rock of the family and will be missed and loved every day.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Bancroft.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Rock Creek Trust, in memory of Rae Johnston, P.O. Box 8953, Missoula, MT 59807, or to Shodair Hospital, Genetics Department, P.O. Box 5539, Helena, MT 59604-5539, or Mission Valley Pheasants Forever, P.O. Box 162, Big Arm, MT 59910.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cremation Society of the Rockies.
Charlie Enis, 60, of Lincoln died Sept. 6, 2001,
at St. Peterís Hospital in Helena.
Cremation has taken place. At this time, there are no public services to take place.
Survivors include his wife, Dawn Enis of Helena; his mother, Bertha Enis of Pontotoc, Miss.; brothers, Paul Enis of Pontotoc, and James Enis of Senatoba, Miss; and sister Laura Frances Crestman of Pontotoc.
Bonnie Lois Jepson
Bonnie Lois Jepson, 68, died of cancer Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001, at the Broadwater Health Center in Townsend.
Cremation has taken place. No services will be held.
Ed Mudd, 79, formerly of Bridger and Helena, died Sept. 8, 2001, at his home in Sunsites, Ariz.
Vigil will be held today at 7:30 p.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church in Pearce-Sunsites with a funeral mass on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at St. Jude Catholic Church. Burial will follow at the Pearce Cemetery in Pearce, Ariz.
Memorials are suggested to the St. Jude Catholic Church, Hwy. 191, Pearce, AZ 85625, or Charles W. Leighton Jr., Hospice, 319 W. Grant, Willcox, AZ 86543. Westlawn Chapel & Mortuary is in care of the arrangements.
Karen Christine Welch
Karen Christine (Nelson) Welch, 60, died Sept. 2, 2001, at her residence in Indianapolis, Ind. She was born in Missoula on April 22, 1941, to Thomas C. and Gerta (Carlson) Nelson. Her parents preceded her in death.
She married Marty Welch on March 24,1962. He survives. Survivors include daughter, Kim Burton; two sons, Thomas M. and Craig R. Welch, both of Indianapolis; two brothers, Mike and Donald Nelson, both of Missoula; two sisters, Julie Williams of Coeur díAlene, Idaho and Ruth Jones of Helena; and seven grandchildren.
She was a graduate of Missoula High School. She was employed for 23 years by National City Bank, retiring in 2000.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Sept. 22, at Our Saviorís Lutheran Church in Bonner, Mont. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Memorial Fund at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 445 E. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis, IN 46227, or the American Cancer Society.
Roger K. Larsen
Montana Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant Roger K. Larsen, 53, of 230 Riverfront Lane, died Thursday at his home of a probable heart attack.
Viewing is 8 to 10:30 a.m. today at OíConnor Funeral Home in Great Falls. His funeral will be at 2 p.m. today at the MANG Headquarters Building on Gore Hill, with burial in Highland Cemetery. A reception will follow at MANG.
Surviving are his wife, Bonnie L. Larsen of Great Falls; mother, Madge Larsen of Eugene, Ore.; daughter, Nicole Gardner of Great Falls; son, Larry Gardner of Great Falls; sisters, Karen Peal of Eugene and Marilyn Frederick of Canada; brother, Ron Larsen of Eugene; and one grandchild.
An infant son, Derek, died in 1972.
Additional survivors are daughter-in-law, Kelli Gardner of Great Falls; aunt and uncle, Shirley and Dale Larsen of Grantís Pass, Ore.; aunt, Eunice Larsen of Missoula; and 20 nieces and nephews.
Larsen was born Nov. 13, 1947, in Williston, N.D., and graduated from Great Falls High School in 1965.
He attended Lane Community College in Eugene, University of Montana and College of Great Falls. He graduated from the Air National Guard NCO Academy in 1972, the U.S. Air Force Senior NCO course in 1982 and earned an associates degree in resource technology from the Community College of the Air Force in 1987.
Larsen married Mary Sissons in 1970 at Lewistown; they later divorced.
He enlisted in the Montana Air National Guard on June 21, 1965, as a data processing machine operator and graduated from the U.S. Air Force basic military training in January of 1966. He continued on as a traditional guardsman and was hired as a full-time personnel technician in July of 1968 with the Montana Air National Guard. He became the personnel systems manager in April of 1973 and personnel superintendent in July of 1981.
In March of 1995, he became the military personnel management officer for the Montana Air National Guard. In April 1998, he became MANGís first Command Chief Master Sergeant. As CCM he was responsible for advising the Adjutant General of Montana on all issues affecting the health, morale, welfare and quality of life for the 120th Fighter Wing and the 219th Red Horse Squadronís enlisted personnel. He loved MANG and had over 36 years of service to his country.
He held positions as the chairman of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard Enlisted Policy Council. He was executive director of Walleyes Unlimited for the State of Montana and was inducted into Walleyes Unlimitedís Hall of Fame in March. He also was a member of Ducks Unlimited, and was an active lobbyist for Walleyes Unlimited and MANGís scholarship fund.
During his 36-year service career he received numerous awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Humanitarian Service Medal and many others.
He was an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed fishing and had a special love for walleye, bird hunting, big-game hunting, boating and camping. On Nov. 4, 1978, he married his fishing partner, Bonnie L. Gardner, at Coeur díAlene, Idaho.
Larsen had an unending love for MANG, family and friends.
His father Carmen Larsen preceded him in death.
Memorials are suggested to CCM Roger Larsen Scholarship Fund at Russell Country Federal Credit Union, 810 1st Ave. S., Great Falls, MT 59401.
Kolin Ray Kemmerer
Kolin Ray Kemmerer passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, after a year and a half battle with cancer. He was born on May 25, 1960, in Missoula to Charles Gail and Helen Davis Kemmerer. His early childhood was spent in Great Falls and Libby. In 1970, his family moved to Helena. He attended C.R. Anderson School and graduated from Capital High School in 1978.
In 1980, Kolin married Vickie Lynn Knowles and their life together has been an interesting and happy adventure. Wherever they lived, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Harlem, and the Netherlands, they partook in the sights and the activities of the areas. With Vickie by his side, Kolin squeezed more living into his short life than most people twice his age.
Kolin had so many interests. He loved to backpack, camp, travel, mountain bike, sail, fly kites and his latest love, kayaking, which he continued to pursue right up until the present.
From 1986 to 1989, while Vickie was completing her degree in accounting, Kolin studied fish and wildlife management at Montana State University in Bozeman. Then in 1997, after having several occupations, Kolin graduated from Portland State University with a degree in elementary education. While he and Vickie lived in the Netherlands, Kolin was delighted to have an opportunity to teach at the International School in Amsterdam. He was about to begin his teaching career in Portland, Ore., when he became ill.
A year ago, Kolin and Vickie made the move back to Helena so they could be near their families, especially Kolinís brothers Kim and Kern. Kim and Kern shared the same love of adventures, outdoor activities and have supported him during this difficult period.
Kolin was a caring, patient and loving person who will be terribly missed.
Kolin is survived by his beloved wife, Vickie; his parents, Charles and Helen; grandmother Vera Hazemann; brothers Kim and Kern and Kernís wife Patty and son Joshua, all of Helena.
Services will be at St. Peterís Episcopal Church, 511 N. Park Ave., Helena, on Friday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local Red Cross in this time of crisis for our nation.
Albert M. Olsen
Albert Martin Olsen, age 79, of 8636 Green Meadow Drive, Helena, died Monday evening Sept. 10, 2001, at the Veteran Medical Center at Fort Harrison.
Viewing hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Retz Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Retz Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery.
Albert was born in Harrisburg, Neb., Jan. 1, 1922, to Albert and Doris (Speze) Olsen. He entered the United States Marine Corps in March 1942 and in September 1950, serving his country during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Albert was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after both sessions of service time, the last being October 1951. Albert married Joline J. Ferris in Nebraska on May 14, 1958.
He worked for the Anaconda Company and retired from Union Carbide. Albert loved his home and family. He also loved Momís home fried chicken. Albert had a beautiful sense of humor; he had given nicknames to all of his grandchildren.
He was a member of the VFW Post 10010, East Helena. His pastime hobbies were attending rodeos, panning for gold and attending football and baseball games.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Sid, Bob and Red Olsen, and one sister Georgie. Albert is survived by his wife Joline of Helena; sons Mike Olsen and his wife Gail of Concord, Calif; Ron Simonds and his wife Debbie of Helena; Al Olsen and his wife Robyn of Helena; daughters Sissy Wright and her husband Billy of Sacramento, Calif; Joyce Hale of Butte; Michelle Linz of Nevada; and Cherrie Hale of Sacramento; brothers Hank and Bill Olsen of Nebraska; sisters Mary Lewis, Reva Spiller and Lois Stanfield all of Texas; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Albertís name are suggested to an organization of the donorís choice.
Flora Marie Bluhm
Flora Marie Bluhm, 73, of Helena, passed away at Cooney Convalescent Home, Sept. 12, 2001, of natural causes.
Flora Marie, also affectionately known as FM, was born March 26, 1928, to Albert and Rose Bluhm, in Bertha, Minn. She was the youngest of six girls, and had an older as well as younger brother. FM grew up in Bertha and graduated from Bertha High School, second in her class, in 1946. While in high school, she enjoyed cheerleading and Friday night roller-skating.
While roller-skating, she met her first husband, Mervin Harris of Hewitt, Minn., and they were married in 1947. She had a daughter, Jeane, in 1948 and a son, Michael, in 1949. The family lived in Grand Marais, Minn. for two years, Wadena, Minn., for a few months, and then moved to Cut Bank in the fall of 1950. Her first marriage ended in divorce in 1960. In 1964, she married James Clark of Cut Bank and in 1969 they moved from Cut Bank to Williston, N.D. They were divorced in 1979.
FM worked for Buttrey Foods in Cut Bank for four years, starting in 1957. Then worked for the Montana Employment Service in Cut Bank for seven and a half years. She began working for the North Dakota Job Service in Williston in February 1969, and retired from there in March 1994.
In her adult life, FM was an active member of Assembly of God churches in Cut Bank and Williston.
In addition to roller-skating, she enjoyed traveling, bowling, camping, boating, water skiing, and motorcycling. She loved music, played piano and organ, sang in the choir, and sang solos at church. She also loved poodles and had several of them over the years.
FM was preceded in death by her parents, and three sisters, Lorna Bluhm, Elizabeth Mathews and Glennice Paukert.
She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Jeane and Ken Tschantz of Appleton, Wis.; son and daughter-in-law Michael and Grace Gardipee Harris of Clancy; sister Alverna Bolles of San Lorenzo, Calif.; brother Bill Bluhm of Minneapolis; brother-in-law Charles (Bob) Paukert of Hayward, Calif.; sister and brother-in-law Doris and Edwin Watkins of Minneapolis; brother and sister-in-law John and Joannie Bluhm of White Bear Lake, Minn.; grandchildren Brian Tschantz and his wife Jennifer of Neenah, Wis., Deann and Amber Tschantz of Appleton, and Tucker, Darby and Boone Harris of Clancy; and one great grandchild, Taylor Tschantz of Neenah.
A memorial service will be held in Bertha, Minn., prior to internment in the Zion Cemetery near Bertha. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, local Humane Society, or another charity of choice. Retz Funeral Home is in care of local arrangements.
Curtis Gwin, 84, of White Sulphur Springs, died Sept. 10, 2001, at Mountain View Medical Center of a myocardial infarction.
Curtis was born in Warm Springs, Va., April 1, 1917, to Charles and Grace (Price) Gwin. Curtis was a ranch hand for over 30 years. He formerly worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad.
Survivors include his brother, Herbert Gwin Sr. of Coleburn, Idaho, five nieces and one nephew.
Graveside services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 15, at Mayn Cemetery, White Sulphur Springs. Twichel Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements.