Mildred "Millie" Barta Ezell, 86
Mildred "Millie" Barta Ezell, 86, died Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2004, at Heritage Place in Kalispell.
She was born May 28, 1918, in Dunn County, N.D., the daughter of Frank Trinka Jr. and Josephine (Tuma) Trinka.
She married John J. Barta, Feb. 11, 1935, in Dickinson, N.D. They had two daughters, two sons-in-law and a granddaughter when they moved to Polson. A few years later they made their home in Kalispell. John passed away, May 16, 1976.
She had been employed by the Dickinson Public School System to set up and assist with the first hot lunch program in the city school district. After the loss of John, she returned to work as a cook's helper at a school in Kalispell.
Millie married Tex Ezell, Jan. 19, 1979, in Kalispell. Together they enjoyed their retirement years. Tex passed away May 23, 2001.
She was preceded in death by her two brothers and their spouses, William and Margaret Trinka of Michigan, and Charles and Mildred Trinka of Arizona.
Millie is survived by two daughters, June Olson and husband, Harlan, of Williamsburg, Va., and Nadine Kainz and husband, Gerald, of Jamestown, N.D.; granddaughter, Rae Hart, and husband, Cliff, of Warrenton, Va.; great-granddaughter, Breanna Hart, of Burlington, N.C.; and grandson, Chad J. Kainz, of Chicago; three stepdaughters, Sylvia Harant of Black Eagle, Mary Ezell Taylor of Kalispell, and Tammy Ezell of Great Falls; six stepgranddaughters, including Kaylene Taylor of Kalispell; and several stepgreat- grandchildren.
Private family services and burial were held on Thursday, Oct. 28.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory of Kalispell, Montana.
Thomas Fredrick Johnston Sr.
Thomas Fredrick Johnston Sr., passed away in his sleep after a long illness on Nov. 13, 2004, at his son's residence in Kalispell.
Tom was born on March 27, 1925, in Penn Hills, Pa., the son of Thomas Johnston and Ida (Stein) Johnston. At an early age he and his sister were orphaned and needed to move to Pittsburgh to be raised by his aunt and uncle. Tom attended grade school, high school and Washington Trade School. While in junior high he met his only love, Jean Ewing.
Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy June of 1943. Other than basic training, Tom spent 2-1/2 years on board the DE198 (Lovelace) in the South Pacific. He was one of the original crew of the Lovelace (plank holder). During this time he engaged in many battles, including the Battle of Layte Gulf and the liberation of the Philippines. For this he was awarded three bronze stars.
After Tom's discharge, he married Jean in December of 1945. He soon began his career as a boiler fireman at creameries and high-rise office buildings in Pittsburgh.
In 1974, Tom and Jean moved to Montana to be closer to their grandchildren. He quickly started working part-time at Kalispell Regional Hospital, Baypoint Estates, and retired in 1991 at head custodian of Central School in Whitefish. In 1993 he retired from his second job as custodian of the Daily Inter Lake.
After retirement, Tom and Jean wintered in Key Largo, Fla. Soon Jean's health began to fail and he started his next career as caregiver.
Tom had many hobbies. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, building model ships and planes, and dabbling in Paint-by-Numbers artwork. He also enjoyed building a cabin in the Swan Valley and helping his son remodel their homes.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Stella; his wife, Jean, in December 2002; and his son, Paul, in November 2003.
Tom is survived by his son, Thomas F. Johnston Jr., and his wife, Terry, their children, Michelle Mitchell and her husband, Paul, of Kalispell, Jackie Johnston of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Andrea Johnston of Kalispell, his late son's children, Christine Johnston, Lisa Johnston and Paul Johnston Jr., all of Pittsburgh, and daughter-in-law Peggy Johnston of Kalispell. He also has many nieces and nephews scattered throughout the United States.
At Tom's request there will not be a visitation or service. A private family burial will be conducted at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery.
The family requests that any memorials be made to the Dialysis Clinic patient fund or the Kalispell Hospice. There will be a small gathering of friends and family at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the home of Tom Johnston Jr.
"So long old sailor, we will miss you, but Jean and Paul are waiting for you."
Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.
James Forman, 85
James Forman, 85, died Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004, at Brendan House in Kalispell.
He was born in Mabton, Wash., on July 31, 1919, to George James and Harriet (Massengale) Forman.
Jim graduated from high school in Ellensburg, Wash.
It was in Ellensburg that he married Anne Wanning, and started farming and raising their family. In 1951, James and his family moved to Moses Lake, Wash., where he worked for Odessa Trading Co. as a water well pump and installation specialist. He worked doing some major pump projects for the cities of Moses Lake and Ritzville.
Following the death of his wife, Anne, in 1970, Jim moved to Kalispell, where he married Ruth and went on to manage a local service station until his eventual retirement. Jim's last move was to live at Big Sky Manor in Kalispell, where he lived out his remaining years.
He loved living in the Flathead Valley area (and loved the beauty of the outdoors) where he was an avid fisherman and hunter. He will be remembered by all who knew him, and for his great sense of humor.
James was preceded in death by his parents; his wife's, Anne and Ruth; and a son, James Forman Jr.
He is survived by a daughter, Patricia Goodrich and husband, Ivan, of Moses Lake; three grandchildren, Joni Schur, Donna Sanders, and Scott Goodrich; five great- grandchildren, Katie, Shelby, Heather, Whitney and Brandon; and one sister, Louise Olen of Ellensburg.
Graveside services for James Forman will be held 2:30 p.m. today at C. E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery with Father Vic Langhans as celebrant.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the donor's choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory.
James Edwin 'Jim' Murphy
James Edwin "Jim" Murphy, former valley resident and his twin brother, Joseph Earl, were aboard a float plane missing since Sept. 20, 2004.
They were born Jan. 26, 1940, in St Paul, Minn., to Joseph and Lorraine Murphy. When the twins were three the family moved to Murphy Farm near Murdock, Minn. In 1946 the family moved to the Kalispell area.
The twins attended the one room Half Moon Country School until 1951 when the family moved to Kalispell. They then attended St. Matthew's Catholic school. They served as altar boys for several years. They attended Flathead County High school, class of 1958.
During their high school years they set pins at the Skyline Bowling Alley and became outstanding bowlers, winning several tournaments in the men's division.
At the age of 15, Jim won the local fishing derby. The story was aired by Paul Harvey. Mr. Harvey received the large bull trout.
During his high school years Jim joined the Army National Guard and later was on recall during the Cuban Crisis.
After graduation Jim moved to eastern Montana where he worked until he moved to Seattle, in 1960, where he went to work for Boeing. He had his first experience with unions when he joined the machinists union. In 1962, he moved to Sacramento, Calif., and started his first job as an ironworker, joining the Ironworkers Union 118; three years later he was elected to its board. During his career Jim served as president, business agent and business manager of local 118. Jim also served as president of the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction trade and vice president of Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.
During the 1990s Jim, along with his fellow workers, celebrated each Labor Day by serving food to the hungry at Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento. At that time Jim said, "I am distressed to see the young people and families who have not achieved the American Dream. Labor stands for compassion. There are people who are at the bottom of the rung. If we can't help them, we can't help ourselves." Jim was a very caring man, fighting for the rights of the working man.
In 1964, he met his wife, Bonnie Cope, and was married in 1965. On April 13, 1975, they were blessed with their daughter, Jamie. They lived in Elk Grove, Calif., until Jim's retirement. They then traveled until they found the home they wished to enjoy his retirement in overlooking Discovery Bay in Gardinier, Wash.
Some of the things Jim enjoyed throughout his life besides his Union work was working in politics, fishing, golfing, traveling to Ireland with his friend, Father Tom McQuire, whom he loved to challenge to a good discussion, working with his flowers, and cooking for his family and friends. Always a highlight in Jim's life was coming back to Montana to see his family and friends and attending his class reunions where he and his brother with their "Irish charm" entertained all who would listen.
"It will be the little things that we remember, the quiet moments, the smiles and although it may seem hard now, it will be the memories that help push away the pain and bring smiles back again, remembering two lives so important to so many."
Jim was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Murphy; mother, Lorraine Hendrix; and sisters, Barbara Velasco and Sharon Miller.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and daughter, Jamie, at the family home in Gardinier Beach; sisters, Patricia Sonstelie and husband, Dale, and Monica Wright of Kalispell, Cathern Murphy of Sedro Wooley, Wash., Jacky Thorson and husband, Chris, of Bremerton, Wash., and Pam Wingate and husband, Larry, of Whitefish; brother, Michael Hendrix, of Bremerton; nine nephews, and 13 nieces.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 20, in St Paul's Episcopal Church in Bremerton, Wash., with Father Tom McGuire and Father Randy Williams officiating.
A celebration of remembrance is planned for Kalispell next summer.
Joseph Earl 'Joe' Murphy
Joseph Earl "Joe" Murphy and his twin brother, James, along with three others were enroute from Sitka to Baranof Springs, Alaska, on a fishing trip when their plane disappeared.
The family would like to thank the people of Sitka who volunteered their services and resources. Their generosity and helpfulness has renewed our faith in humanity. Joe's brother, son, and nephews, along with many volunteers, conducted a lengthy but fruitless search of Baranof Island and surrounding waters.
Joe and Jim were born Jan. 26, 1940, to Joseph and Lorraine Murphy in St. Paul, Minn. In 1946, the family bought a farm in the valley near Kalispell where Joe and Jim attended Half Moon one room school. In 1951, the family moved to Kalispell. He finished grade school at St. Matthew's Catholic School and was also an altar boy.
While attending Flathead County High School he worked at the local bowling alley setting pins. He became an outstanding bowler. He also worked for Todd's Bakery.
In August, after graduating from Flathead County High School, he married his high school sweetheart, Gerry Heber. In 1959, they moved to Seattle where he worked as a baker and attended college to become a wireman.
He was a member of the National Guard and was on recall during the Cuban Crisis.
He moved his family back to Kalispell area and worked on the Libby Dam. In 1965, after his mentally disabled daughter was denied an education, he moved his family back to Washington where his daughter was able to receive her education.
He was inspired by Mike Mansfield whose hard work enacted the Education for All Bill in Montana. He became a lifelong Democrat.
Joe worked as a wireman out of Local 46 until he went to work for Puget Power as a substation wireman.
He was chairman of the mental health board and worked on many democratic campaigns. He always kept a close eye on the legislature and senate views so he could support disabled and working people's causes.
He was Kitsap County Democratic chairman from 1974 to 1978, then state Democratic chairman until 1981. This year he was political coordinator for Local 77 for the Kerry Edwards campaign.
Joe was a lifelong member of the Masonic Lodge and the Shriners.
He was very proud to be the father of four children and two foster sons.
Joe was a wonderful family man, having been raised in a large loving family. He was one of 10 children.
Joe was able to enjoy 20 years of quality fishing with his father. His mother taught him to be dedicated to his family and have a high work ethic for which he loved and respected her.
Joe was known for his smile and the twinkle in his eye. He never met a stranger and when he reached out his hand in friendship he also reached out in love and caring. Making the world a better place was very important. He had great faith in everyone. He was instrumental in family members and friends becoming wiremen. Whenever there was a need for help Joe was there with a lending hand. He was the mainstay of our family.
Joe and his brother, Jim, loved to do things together. Since retiring they had spent a lot of fun times together. Their faces always lit up when they were together. Joe and Jim will be missed very much by their families and friends.
Along with his father and mother, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Barbara and Sharon.
He is survived by his wife, Gerry, and daughter, Teri, at the family home; sons, Jimmy, Bobby, Joey and wife, Debbie, of Bremerton; sons, Trung and wife, Lana, Tin and wife Trang Pham of Kent, Wash.; 13 grandchildren, Jackie, Tyler, Joey, Katie, Timmy, Tommy, Lisa, Patrick, Danny, Lynda, Vicky, Jason and Michelle; his five sisters, Patty and husband, Dale Sonstelie, and Monica Wright of Kalispell, Cathern Murphy of Sedro Wooley, Wash., Jacquelyn and husband, Chris Thorson, of Bremerton, and Pam and husband, Larry Wingate, of Whitefish; brother, Michael Hendrix, of Bremerton; nine nephews, and 13 nieces.
The family will be gathering together for a memorial for our beloved Joe and Jim at 11 a.m. Nov. 20, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 700 Callahan, Bremerton.
May Marie Vance, 68
May Marie Vance, 68, passed away Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004, at Healthcenter Northwest in Kalispell after a courageous bout with scleroderma (CREST disease).
May was born June 30, 1936, in La Plata, N.M., to Marion Park and Muriel Leora (Kinnick) Coverdell. The family moved to Montana in 1946.
May finished Flathead High School in 1953. Then, on Aug. 1, 1953, she married Kenneth Lloyd Vance, the son of Julius (Jack) and Tillie (Henkie) Vance of Kalispell.
Ken and May started a family right away, but Ken was shipped out to Virginia with the U.S. Army in April 1954. May joined him in Virginia, but Kenneth was sent to Korea before the baby was born. After Richard Lee's birth in September, she returned to Montana.
In February 1956, Kenneth was returned to his family from military service. Gerald (Jerry) Wayne was born in October 1956 while they were living in Kalispell. In 1957, Ken and May moved to the country near Somers, where they raised the family. Cindy was born to them in March 1963. When Ken retired from the Daily Inter Lake in 1989, they moved to the Swan Valley.
May loved many things in her life. She enjoyed fishing, camping, and six grandkids. She loved her family and built an extensive genealogical record of the families of her life. May was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend who will surely be missed by all who knew her.
May was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Peggy Ann Coverdell; and her brothers, Elwood Vern "Jack" Coverdell, Arell LeRoy Coverdell and Robert "Bob" Eugene Coverdell.
May is survived by her husband, Kenneth Lloyd Vance; her children, Richard and wife Sylvia of Georgia, Gerald and wife Mary of Condon, and Cindy and husband Bob Otten of Kalispell; six grandchildren, Brandy Nelson, Austin Allen Vance, Kandy Ray Vance, Erica June Vance, Aaron Lee Vance and Zachary Ryan Vance; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to the Scleroderma Foundation, Attn: Donations, 12 Kent Way Suite 101, Byfield, MA 01922. The organization's web page is www.scleroderma.org.
At May's request, only graveside services will be held at Glacier Memorial Gardens by Buffalo Hill Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29. Ron Pierce will officiate.
Glen Maurice Gibler, 81
Glen Maurice Gibler, 81, former resident of Bigfork, passed away Nov. 7, 2004, in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Glen was born on Aug. 12, 1923, in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan. He spent his teenage years in Montana working on ranches.
While in the Coast Guard he met Blanche Westergaard. They were married in Dillon on Sept. 21, 1946.
Glen graduated from Palmer Chiropractic College in 1949. He established a chiropractic office in Sacramento, Calif., where he practiced from 1954 to 1987. They retired and moved to Montana and spent the last 16 years near their family in Bigfork.
Glen was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche Gibler, in 2003.
He is survived by daughter, Judith Gibler Conant, and husband, William Conant, and their children, Benjamin Conant and wife Aimee Tompkins Conant, and their children, Savannah Conant and Dustin Conant; Holly Conant Gray, and husband, Dallas Lee Gray, and their children, Korah Georgianne Gray, Colter John Gray and Ava Estelle Gray; Jesse Victor Conant, and wife, Melissa Turner Conant, and their children, Victoria Anne Conant and D'andre Dillon Conant; and Tristan Maurice Conant. He is also survived by a brother, Leslie Gibler.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Kingdom Hall, 100 Vista Drive in Bigfork, officiated by Dan Harding.