KLTZ/MIX-93
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Obituaries

Tuesday, February 18th 2020

Keithe “Thor” R. Thorson

Keithe “Thor” R. Thorson died unexpectedly in his home February 9, 2020. Keithe was a vibrant 72 years old.

Keithe was born May 27, 1947 in Williston, North Dakota to Homer and Elaine (Larsen) Thorson. He had an older brother and younger sister.

Keithe was raised in Culbertson, Montana and graduated in 1965 from Culbertson High School. He enjoyed being on the basketball team and field and track. He also attended Glendive Community College before enlisting in the Army National Guard. After an honorable discharge, he worked for the State of Montana Department of Transportation as a surveyor. Keithe was known as a dedicated, hard worker in the various jobs he held such as a butcher and manager of the Glasgow Air Force Base grocery store, Vita Rich milk, Pepsi, Coke, and multiple meat cutting jobs before spending 31 years as Reynold’s Produce Manager. Concurrently, he and his wife, Ardell, were owners and operated the La Casa Motel for 21 years. Retirement did not suit Keithe so he worked as a groundskeeper for the Sunnyside Golf Club.

Keithe’s warm weather obsession was golf and he played the game whenever he could and wherever he could. He enjoyed organizing the Men’s Golf Ryder cup for 17 years and was a dedicated member of the Sunnyside Golf Club for decades. His 1987 Most Improved Golf Player from Golf Digest was proudly hung in his house. Keithe opened up the golf culture from being a quiet, reserved past time to the lively, party time it can be by pimpin’ his ride with a stereo and unique paint jobs like his turquoise, “Crazy Grandpa” to his current General Lee. He participated in many golf tournaments.

The same golf gusto was followed by his winter pool passion. Keithe and his partner in crime son Dan, along with close friend Don Anderson have been on the same pool league team since 1994. Other players have come and gone but the three remaining steadfast. Keithe also had yearly family wintertime ski vacations when his children were at home and later with his grandkids. Keithe was known to organize a ski trip or two with friends. He was an avid Denver Bronco and University of Montana Grizzlies football fan.

Keithe could be found most every Friday night at the Oasis playing cards. Many afternoons were spent losing at dominos to his wife, family, and friends. He found joy in his four legged family: Abbie, Snookie, and Duffer.

People mattered most to Keithe. Acquaintances could count on Keithe to offer a cheerful, helping hand. His friends can recount so many “Thor” stories that should provide a lifetime of chuckles and amusement.

Keithe is survived by the love of his life Ardell; daughter Deb Belleau; son Dan (Staci) Belleau; his grandchildren, Walter and Danielle Belleau; sister Darlene Portra; sister-in-law Neva Thorson; brother-in-law El Ray West; many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Keithe also had two daughters and four grandchildren from a previous marriage.

Keithe was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Elaine; brother Richard; parents-in-law, Earl and Babe West; sister-in-law Darlene West and brother-in-law Ken Portra.

Family will receive friends from 5 – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow, Montana. A Celebration of Keithe’s life will be 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2020 at First Lutheran Church in Glasgow, Montana, with Reverend Todd Wright officiating. Keithe’s family that you bring your ‘church appropriate’ stories of Keithe to share. Please bring a covered dish to the potluck at the Sunnyside Country Club following services. Condolences for the family may be left at bellmortuarymontana.com .

Monday, February 17th 2020

Darlene "Toots" Mae Murch

Darlene “Toots” Mae Murch, 82, of Nashua, Montana passed away peacefully surrounded by family February 12, 2020 at Valley View Home in Glasgow, Montana.

Toots was born June 11, 1937 in Albert Lea, Minnesota to Clifford and Jessie (Helland) Olson. Toots’ family moved to Montana and they ended up in Nashua where she met and married Walt Murch on October 29, 1955. They were married for 64 years and raised four children: Dave, her number one son, (Deby) Murch, Connie (Red) Whitten, Lori (Darryl) Kolstad and Peggy (Will) Lauckner.

Toots enjoyed life to the fullest and she had many talents: cooking, sewing and crafting. She enjoyed cooking Sunday dinner for her family. Toots loved having her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around. Toots enjoyed camping, fishing, and swimming every weekend, they would pack up the kids and off they would go for another weekend of camping. Toots welcomed everybody into her house with a welcoming smile and she would offer them a place to sit and something to eat.

Toots is survived by three of her four kids and their spouses; 14 grandkids and 24 great-grandkids.

Preceding her in death is her husband Walt; daughter Connie Whitten; son-in-law Red Whitten; grandson Nick Kolstad; Parents Cliff and Jessie Olson; brother Chuck Olson; twin brother Donny Olson and sister Barbara Olson.

Toots will be remembered with smiles and laughter, she loved everyone she met and everyone loved her.

Services are being planned for sometime this summer. Bell Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be left at bellmortuaryglasgow.com.

Thursday, February 13th 2020

Johnny "John" Ray Turner

Johnny ‘John’ Ray Turner, 65, of Nashua, Montana passed away from Parkinson and Dementia at Glasgow, Montana at the Valley View Nursing Home on the morning of February 6, 2020 with his family by his side.

John was born on March 19, 1954 in Great Falls, Montana to Kermit W. Turner and Della (Dailey) Turner. He was the 9th child of the ten children born, he attended all 12 years of his education at the Nashua School.

John’s first job was working on the Roger Stebbens Ranch by Jordon doing farm work. He then worked at the Glasgow Air Force Base for Tumpane as a maintenance worker. He married Sherryee (Seiler) Turner on May 15, 1977. John did a variety of jobs: Corp of Engineers as a painter, Great Plains Supply building houses and for his Uncle Kenny Turner doing farm and ranch work. After this he went into business for himself a “John’s Woodworking”. He was a very gifted finish worker. He crafted planters, frames, bedroom sets, gun cabinets, doll houses and many other skills.

John was a Nashua Volunteer Fireman and retired after 20 years of service.

John and Sherryee were blessed with three children: twin boys, Adam and Duane born in 1979 in Glasgow and a daughter Trista Turner born in 1983 in Glasgow. John’s hobbies included fishing, hunting, camping, and gardening.

John is survived by his wife Sherryee; their children; six grandchildren; brothers Milo (Sandy), Art (Donna), Paul (Marketta); sisters Norma (Jim) Ebling, Della Cusati, Donna Burback; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kermit and Della Turner; half-sister Elsie Bacon, brothers Walter and Marvin Turner.

Services are will be announced at a later date. Bell Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be left for the family at bellmortuarymontana.com.

Thursday, February 13th 2020

Thomas "Tom" Albert Hickok

Thomas “Tom” Albert Hickok, 87, of Glasgow, Montana passed away on February 10, 2020 at Valley View Nursing home.

Tom was born in Saco, Montana on December 10, 1932 to Major B. and Sara B. (Kays) Hickok. He joined sisters Virginia and Sara “Barbara”, and brother Norman in the family home north of Hinsdale in the Genevieve Community. His brother Robert “Gordon” was born four years later. The family moved to a home in Hinsdale in 1938, and Tom attended 1st & 2nd grades there.

For the next years of elementary school, he lived with his Aunt Mae and Uncle George Hickok in the Opheim area and attended Bog Coulee, New Baylor and Opheim schools. He then started 7th grade in Glentana, but finished the year in Hinsdale when he went back to live with his parents in 1946. His years spent with George and Mae were filled with farm chores, fencing and herding sheep. The summer of 1946, when he was 13, he and his brother Gordon contracted polio, and Tom spent the next 2 years at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Montana. After being confined to a bed for the first year, Tom progressed to a wheelchair and was able to complete 8th grade while in the hospital. By June of 1948, he was able to use crutches, return home and graduate from Hinsdale High School in 1952.

After high school, Tom worked on his family’s farm, hauled cattle and also drove a mail route. In December of 1952, he began working as a bookkeeper at Markle’s Hardware store in Glasgow and spent 25 years there. In 1978, he took another bookkeeping job at Terry Chevrolet in Glasgow and worked there until he retired in 1985.

Tom married Mary Alice (Campbell) Hickok on December 10, 1954 at the Methodist Church in Glasgow. This was his 22nd birthday, as well as his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. Together, they raised five children: Sally born in 1958, Peggy in 1960, Mark in 1963, K.C. in 1966 and Kelli in 1973. They loved being parents, and also extended that love to the many children who came into their home for the daycare they provided.

The aftereffects of polio filled Tom’s life with many challenges, requiring him to wear leg braces and use crutches, but it never kept him from working hard, and he complained very little. After the death of Mary Alice in 1999, he began using a power wheelchair. He sold the family home in 2005 and moved to Federal Way, Washington where he enjoyed the temperate climate and companionship of classmates who lived in the area. One of these classmates, Carole Brown, had handicapped accessible living quarters in the lower level of her home, and Tom lived with some degree of independence, while still having assistance and friendship provided over his time there. When his health began to decline in 2016 he moved to Valley Health Care Center Billings, and in May of 2017, he moved back to Glasgow and resided at Valley View Nursing Home.

Tom will be remembered for his strength of character, work ethic, attention to detail, punctuality (which meant being 15 minutes early), and teasing, wry sense of humor. Along with his curly hair, he passed these attributes on to his children and grandchildren and lives on in the hearts and memories of everyone who loved him.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, parents, siblings and grandson, Cody Carlsen.

Tom is survived by his children: Sally (Les Carlsen) Hickok, Peggy Hickok, Mark (Nancy) Hickok, K.C. (Jennifer) Hickok and Kelli (Greg) Nybakken; grandchildren: Laramie (Ryan) Dean-Young, Jory Johnston, Jill Johnston, Jerica (Jack) VandeKop , Heather (Tyler Erickson) Hickok, Katy (Matthew) Heinert, Colter Hickok, Sara Hickok, Katelin (Taylor) Anderson, Hayley, Brianna and Cash Nybakken and 10 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Family will receive friends 5 – 7:00 p.m., Friday, February 14, 2020 at Bell Mortuary. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Bell Mortuary. A reception will follow funeral services. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Glasgow, Montana.

Monday, February 10th 2020

Rudolph Toews

Our dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather once said after a family gathering, "I am a rich man". He was not talking about money, but rather of relationships. He was always happiest when surrounded by his family, eagerly looking forward to visits from family members and hearing about family gatherings even when he was unable to be there. He died February 6, 2020, less than a week short of his 98th birthday.

He was born February 15, 1922 to Abram and Helena Toews in a farmhouse about 20 miles north of Frazer, Montana. The middle child of thirteen, he had one brother and eleven sisters. After elementary school he attended two years at Lustre Bible School and then went to high school, first in Glasgow and then Tabor Academy in Hillsboro, Kansas. When he was drafted, he spent two years in alternate service in Glacier Park.

Church activities played a large part in his life as a young person. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior, responding to an altar call during an evangelistic meeting when he was a teenager. He was baptized and joined the Lustre M.B. Church the following year and after that he said he always looked forward to Sundays when he could go to church. Music played a major part of his involvement in church; he was for many years the choir director of both the adults and children at Lustre M.B.

He and Clara Tieszen, his neighbor and classmate at Lustre Bible School, were married October 7, 1946, in the midst of a blizzard so severe that they were unable to leave for their honeymoon. They spent their wedding night in a hastily-cleaned-up attic room at the parental Tieszen home.

When asked, Dad said the happiest years of his life were the next 30 when he and Clara farmed, he drove school bus, milked cows, sold milk to the neighbors, and they raised nine children. They sent every one of the children to Lustre Christian High School and then to college or Bible school.

He also loved to write. He kept up regular correspondence with his children, two family round letters and his sisters. In 2002 as part of his retirement project he wrote his life story as a short book: This is My Story, This is My Song, quoting many songs that have been meaningful to him over the years.

About the time Rudy and Clara were thinking about retirement and turning over the farming operation to their youngest son, John, Clara began having symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as progressive MS and dementia. At first Rudy used travel as a way to continue family interactions. He bought a wheelchair-accessible van and made several trips to visit family, sometimes taking along two or three of his widowed sisters. Within a few years Clara became unable to travel and required full-time care, provided at first by Rudy and later by daughter Karen. During her last year of life Clara was in Valley View nursing home in Glasgow where she died in 1988.

On November 25, 1988, he married Frankie Kellar, from Tacoma, Washington. They moved into the house on the Tieszen homestead, enjoying gardening, landscaping and traveling. They took several major trips, both national and international – Lima, Peru, Paris, New York, Missouri and Arkansas -- always to visit or travel with family.

They were married almost 22 years when a tragic car accident claimed the life of Frankie. Dad moved into Nemont Manor, where he lived for three years before moving into Prairie Ridge Village where he lived until his death.

Even though he was not living in Lustre, Dad maintained a lively interest in activities there. For years he attended the annual fundraiser, Schmeckfest, held every March at LCHS and was often asked to be a ticket-taker/greeter because he knew so many people. He was known to be a valuable source of history about the community.

His life can be summed up in the words of a song that was particularly meaningful in his last year:
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love,
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Clara, his second wife, Frankie, his brother, ten sisters and a great-grandchild. He is survived by one sister, Viola Fast of Denver, CO; his nine children, Janet (Al)Berg, of Seattle, WA, Dennis (Eileen) of Billings, Leroy (Sharon) of Sullivan, MO, Eldon (Carol) of Miles City, Ellen Miller of Phoenix, AZ, Leon (Jeanne) of Meade, KS, John (Lavonne) of Lustre, Karen (Brad)Hallock of Bremen, IN, and Violet (Kenton)Vix of Minot, ND; 27 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Family Receives Friends Wednesday February 12, 2020 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Bell Mortuary

A funeral service will be held at the Lustre M.B. Church on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. followed by burial in the Lustre MB Church cemetery. The family requests that memorial donations be sent to the Lustre Christian High School.

Thursday, February 6th 2020

Carl "Dale" Wass

Carl “Dale” Wass was born August 13, 1948. It was a Friday the 13th, and he liked to remind us every time a Friday the 13th rolled around again. He passed away on January 27th, 2020 after a brave fight with cancer.

Dale is survived by his children Anna (Nathan) Talafuse, Janice (David) Barbee, and Luke Wass, and by seven grandchildren, Eric, Andrew, Payton, Gabriel, and Olivia Talafuse, and Kirra and Logan Barbee. These grandchildren were a significant joy to him and he could often be heard telling people he would have had grandkids first if he knew how wonderful they would be. He is also survived by siblings Arlin (Judy) Wass, Jan Spurgin, Orville (Virginia) Wass, Linda (Marvin) Frank, sister-in-law Percy Wass, thirty-seven nieces and nephews, and over seventy great nieces and nephews.

Dale is preceded in death by his wife of 36 years, Patricia “Patty” Craven Wass. Also by his parents Carl Alfred Wass and Mable Hegg Wass, his brother Myron Wass, his sister Charlene Sternhagen, brother-in-law Lee Spurgin, and nephews Douglas, Marcus, Arlin Dale, and Charles Sternhagen.

In addition to being a hero to his children, he also served in several heroic roles during his life including a cop, EMT, and Vietnam veteran. He worked as a self-employed sheet metal worker and later retired from NorthWestern Energy.

Dale was blessed with wonderful friends, and in his last few years handling his wife’s death, heart attacks, surgeries, and cancer, Dale would frequently comment on how blessed he was to have such wonderful friends and family to support him. His family thanks all of you for being that special support to him and to each of us.

Through all the medical trials, Dale kept his sense of humor. After having his cancerous eye removed, he attended his 50-year class reunion handing out bouncy ball and gumball eyeballs to his classmates telling them he would “be keeping his eye out” for them. His humor throughout his life was a hallmark of his character. He was a loyal friend, a supportive relative, a hard worker, and a loving father.

Funeral services will be held at Highland Cemetery in Glasgow, Montana on Saturday, February 8th at 11 am with a reception at the VFW immediately following.

Memorials can be made to the Glasgow VFW.
Glasgow VFW Post 3107
1222 US-2
Glasgow, MT 59230

Monday, January 27th 2020

Shirley Mae Nelson

Shirley Mae Nelson, 91, passed away on January 25, 2020 at Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow, Montana. She was born in Poplar, MT on December 30, 1928 to Charles and Edith Prior.

Shirley graduated from Poplar High School and married James Nelson on May 27, 1947. They had three daughters. Shirley and Jim farmed and ranched north of Brockton for 42 years before retiring and moving to Glasgow. She loved cooking, needle work and was active in various organizations.

She is survived by Linda and Tom Rutschke, daughter Mica Rutschke of Gilbert, AZ; Diane and Randy Dirkson of Glasgow, MT, sons Kevin Dirkson of Bozeman, MT, and Keith and Lindsay Dirkson (Quinten and Kaia) of Kalispell, MT; Mary and Kim Thompson, daughter Kacie Thompson (Trey) son Kyle Thompson of Bismarck, ND, great granddaughter Aaliyah Ostos of Vacaville, CA; and sister Donna Alzheimer of Choteau, MT.

She was preceded on death by her husband, Jim Nelson, granddaughter, Kalli Thompson, sisters Betty Scott, Molly Kapinos, and Glora Sayers.

Services will be held this summer at a family gathering in Glasgow, MT.

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