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Local Obituaries

Selma (Toews) Olfert

Thursday, September 19th 2019

Selma (Toews) Olfert was born on December 16, 1923, the eighth child of Abram and Helena (Martens) Toews, two of the original homesteaders of Lustre, Montana. She had 2 brothers and 10 sisters (in order of birth: Anna, Abe, Tena, Lena, Sara, Martha, Rudolph, Selma, Mary, Elma, Linda, Viola and Bertha). Midwife Mrs. Baker was present at her birth on the homestead.

Selma attended the Lustre Bible School and then Glasgow High School. During and after school, she worked at Bowles Jewelry as well as serving Glasgow and Lustre homemakers. During later high school years, a close friend was hospitalized in Glasgow. Her surprise visit to serve him a milkshake, led to a long lasting relationship with Elvin. He recovered!

On March 28, 1946, she married Elvin Olfert. She and Elvin moved into their first home on the Olfert homestead which was a converted wooden granary, where they lived, remodeling and updating it for nearly 73 years until his death in December 2017.

Elvin and Selma had 3 children, Ken (Robin) of Seattle, Ron (Etta) of Lustre, and Jeanette Williams of Havre, who preceded both of her parents in death in March 2006. Selma has 9 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren. And she knew them all by name!

Selma was a busy wife and mother. She loved cooking (her zwieback and green bean soup were always hits) but also tending her garden, harvesting the produce and berries. She loved being outside taking meals to the fields, going to the hills for chokecherries and juneberries, and tending her flowers. Then in the later years she loved her sewing projects as long as her eyes could see and Elvin would thread the needle.

She was kind, hospitable, generous, and gracious. Each one of her children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren has special blankets or embroidered pillowcases she made for them. The Seattle grandchildren all have fond memories of picking rocks in the garden and then making zwieback with her!

She loved and asked about people, the kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren, taking a great deal of interest in their lives, praying for them each daily by name. During the last years, when her vision and hearing were failing, and she was alone in a room, she often would be singing, quoting Scripture, or praying for her family.

Selma understood forgiveness in a very personal way. First, needing forgiveness from her Heavenly Father, she then felt the need to offer it and receive it from those around her. This was a life-long process bringing her much peace and joy.

Her life verse was Galatians 2:20 and was quoted to almost all of her care givers, friends, and family. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Selma especially appreciated the care given by the staff of Valley View and Glasgow Hospital prior to her death. Not remembering all of their names, she called them “servants”. She passed away at the Glasgow Hospital on Saturday, September 14, enjoying the “party” of visiting children and friends.

Selma is survived by her siblings, Rudolph, Viola and Bertha; sons, Ken (Robin); grandchildren Jeff (Heidi) and their 2 children, Stephen (Carmen) and their 3 sons, Stacy (Scott) Rupp and their daughter, and Grant Olfert; Ron (Etta); grandchildren Landon (Mindy), and their 5 children, Dawson (Alicia), and their 5 children, Ronda (Anthony) Lind and their 4 daughters, Caleb (Becca) and their 3 children, and Dhana Olfert.

Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the Lustre MB Church in Lustre, Montana with Pastor Frank Lenihan officiating. Burial will follow at the Lustre MB Cemetery.

To honor Selma’s desire to give to others her many gifts of time and love, gifts may be sent may be sent to El Roi School in Haiti (www.elroihaiti.com) or a charity of your choice.

Leslie Loring (Sam) Kitzenberg

Thursday, September 19th 2019

Sunset Hills Funeral home

Leslie Loring (Sam) Kitzenberg died peacefully in his sleep at Evergreen Nursing Home in Hot Springs, MT on September 12, 2019. Sam was 72 years old and suffered the last several years from dementia. Sam is survived by his wife, Ronnie of Deer Lodge, MT; children Mark (Paula) Kitzenberg, Josh Kitzenberg, Samantha (Corey) Kitzenberg of Billings, MT and Jordan (Jake) Lowney of Draper, UT; grandchildren Katie and Cole Kitzenberg, Jackson and Lily Lowney; brother Kim (Mary) Kitzenberg and their children Kyle and Kristina Kitzenberg of Williston, ND. Sam is preceded in death by his parents Leland and Agnes (Thorstenson) Kitzenberg.

Born on July 25, 1947 in Williston, ND to Leland and Agnes Kitzenberg, Sam graduated from Plentywood High School in 1965 and the University of Montana in Missoula, MT in 1969 with a BA in Education.

He married Ronnie Gilman in February 1969 and they moved to Columbia Falls, MT where Sam began a career in education. Sam and Ronnie later moved to Williston, ND where Sam joined the family shoe business (H & H Shoes/Sam’s Shoes) from 1977 to 1990.

Sam went back to school and updated his teaching certificate which led him to a teaching position at Glasgow High School until 2005.

During his time in Glasgow, Sam fulfilled a lifetime dream of serving in the Montana legislature in both House of Representatives and Senate for a period of 14 years. Showing early signs of political ambition, he was elected Boy’s State Governor in 1964, and, from then on, it was full steam ahead! He was extremely proud of his many accomplishments while serving the people of Montana. His accomplishments include: establishing the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery, the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, MT and the Fort Peck Interpretive Center in Fort Peck, MT.

He also was instrumental in establishing the All-Day Kindergarten in MT. He was the presenter/champion of the School Bullying Bill and was a leader of the 4 for 2 Highway Campaign. Sam was tenacious on all projects he undertook and rarely took no for an answer, “anything was possible”. Riding around in his green Volkswagon Bug, proclaiming his faith on his license plate, “PRSEHIM”, Sam’s faith was an integral part of his life. He was a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and occasional Lay preacher. Anyone who knew Sam the least little bit, knew he chugged those 12 packs of Diet Pepsi like a thirsty man in the desert. Add a few turkey dinners in the mix, and he was a happy man.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, October 19 at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Deer Lodge, with a reception to follow from 12-3pm. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Sam’s life. In lieu of flowers, please share Sam’s memories at sunsethillsfuneralhomes.net . The family would like to thank the Evergreen Nursing Home in Hot Springs, MT, the Genesis Home and the Renaissance Assisted Living Home in Deer Lodge, MT for their continued quality of care they gave Sam.

Cecil D. Spear

Tuesday, September 17th 2019

Cecil D. Spear of Glasgow, age 78, passed away at Valley View Nursing Home on September 15, 2019. He was born on April 5, 1941 in Scobey, Montana to Florence (McCabe) and Donald Spear. He graduated from Opheim High School in 1959 and served in the US Marine Corp from 1961 to 1965. He was Honorably Discharge as a Corporal in August of 1965. Cecil then returned home to work on the family ranch.
In 1976 Cecil married Anna Lavey of Scobey. They later were divorced. To this union one child, Tara, was born. Cecil raised Tara in Opheim until she graduated in 1998. During this time, he worked for PRO-COOP. After he retired from PRO-COOP, he worked for Virgil and Travis Nelson on their family Farm/Ranch.
He remained living in Opheim until 2011. He then moved to Glasgow to be closer to Logan and Tara. This was a very special time in his life enabling him to have an even closer relationship with his daughter and son-in-law. Cecil was able to enjoy many family holiday dinners and BBQ’s with Tara and Logan.
In the community of Opheim, Cecil was very active and always had a smile on his face. His home was always open for anyone who wanted a cup of coffee or a hot meal. He loved cruising the town of Opheim with his best buddy, Jake Dog.
Survivors include his daughter, Tara (Logan) Hicks of Glasgow; sister, Eunice (Bill) Benjamin of Billings; and brother, Larry (Kathy) Spear of Roslyn Washington. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Florence Spear; grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Memorial services will be Friday September 20, 2019 at Bell Mortuary at 3:00 PM with Pastor Herb Sand officiating. Cremation has taken place; the family will have a private burial at a future date. A luncheon will be held following the services at the Elks Club.
The family would like to thank Doctor Anne Millard-Bradley for her wonderful care over the years and the wonderful nurses and Staff at FMDH. Also, a special thanks to the staff at Valley View Nursing Home for the amazing care they provided for Cecil.

Glyn M. Bjerke

Thursday, September 12th 2019

A celebration of life service for Glyn M. Bjerke will be 2:00p.m. Monday, September 16, 2019 at the Pleasant Prairie Lutheran Church south of Flaxville. Please note this will be an outdoor service next to the church. Cremation has taken place.

Glyn M. Bjerke, 85 died at the Daniels Memorial Health Care in Scobey on September 10, 2019.

Waller Funeral Home of Scobey has charge of arrangements.

Franklin B. Hill

Monday, September 9th 2019

Franklin B. Hill, age 85, of Nashua, Montana, passed away at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado on Monday, September 2, 2019 following a brief illness. Franklin was born July 1, 1934 to Byron and Bertina (Haugen) Hill in Nashua, Montana, the youngest of five children. He graduated from the Nashua School in 1953.

Franklin met his sweetheart, Joyce Rawe, in high school and they married on September 16, 1955.

In 1957, Franklin took over the Rawe farm. Farming was Franklin’s main passion, and it carried through until his death. Having a small herd of cattle gave Franklin enjoyment as well as the comfort of familiarity that he’d known since childhood.

Franklin’s interests included airplanes and electronics. These interests compelled him to earn a private pilot’s license and complete a home-study course in electronics. He and his wife were also founding members of the Evangelical church in Glasgow, Montana. In his spare time, Franklin liked tinkering with anything mechanical or with farm maintenance.

Preceding him in death were his parents and his siblings, Gladys-Rachel Naasz, Iner Hill, Lewis Hill, and Walter Hill.

Franklin is survived by his wife, Joyce; sons, Arnold Hill and his wife Ann, of Nashua, and Douglas Hill and his wife Robin, of Glendive, Montana, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Franklin’s Family Will Receive Friends from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at the Bell Mortuary Chapel in Glasgow. A graveside Funeral Service will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 12 in the Nashua Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Nashua Senior Center.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.

Philip Woodrow Turner

Tuesday, August 27th 2019

Philip Woodrow Turner, age 66, passed away of natural causes at his home in Nashua, Montana on Thursday morning, August 22, 2019. He was a dearly loved son, brother, and uncle.

Philip was born on December 5, 1952 at Francis Mahon Deaconess Hospital to Kenneth D. Turner and Marjorie Pehrson Turner. He was the 5th of 8 children. Philip received all 12 years of his education at the Nashua School and graduated in 1972. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Nashua. In approximately 1987 Philip accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at Assembly of God Church in Billings, Montana. He was so happy about the occasion.

He was a heavy equipment operator. His formal training of heavy equipment was obtained as a young man at Turner Construction Company. Philip worked in heavy equipment all his life and was especially proud of his First-Place trophy’s won at Heavy Equipment Rodeos at Glenrock Coal Company where he worked for approximately 10 years. Philip also appeared in the movie “Son of the Morning Star” when it was filmed in Billings, Montana. It was something he really enjoyed and was very proud of.

He loved all kinds of animals and would bring many of them home – even wild ones – much to his parent’s dismay. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved the outdoors and camping. He also had a keen sense of humor and was good at making us all laugh.

The name ‘Philip’ means “Lover of Horses” and his middle name ‘Woodrow’ means ‘house by the woods’. Both names fit Philip perfectly. He was especially proud to be named after his Uncle Woodrow Pehrson- who was killed in WWII.

Philip led a difficult life and fought the demons of mental illness. He self-medicated with drugs and alcohol, leading to abuse. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone who needed help. He did many good things for others and no matter what he was facing at the time, he always managed a smile and a laugh. One of the times Philip was really happy was while working for Beartooth Ranch as an outfitter, up off the Stillwater River.

Philip is survived by two children, his first daughter, Kathy Boyum Adkins and his second daughter, Michele Lynn Turner. Phil was married while living in Glenrock, Wyoming to Barb, Michele’s mother. Philip is also survived by his loving mother, Marjorie Turner; his brothers, Vern, Steven, and David (Janet) Turner; his sisters, Linda (Melvin) Novak, Wanda (Ron) Schodt, Patricia (Jerry) DeVille, his sister-in-law Maureen Turner; his two grandchildren, Hadynn and Gavin Adkins; along with many nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles. Bob Sprinkle was Philip’s lifelong friend from childhood & was like a brother to him. Philip was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Turner and brother Darryl Turner.

Memorial services will be Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Bell Mortuary at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Jeannie Bergstrom officiating. Burial will be in the Nashua Cemetery.

A luncheon will be held following the services at the Cottonwood Inn. Please bring your funny stories of Philip to share. Inurnment will take place at a later date. Memorials are suggested to the family towards defraying burial expenses.

Philip will be loved and missed dearly by all who knew him.

Darrell Phillip Nordhagen

Monday, August 26th 2019

Darrell Phillip Nordhagen

Darrell Phillip Nordhagen of Billings, age 89 passed away in Billings, MT, on August 21, 2019. He was born 10 July 1930 at Rural Westby, Montana to Arthur and Edna Stageberg Nordhagen. He graduated from Westby High School in 1948, and served in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1952 with an Honorable Discharge as Staff Sergeant. Upon entry into the USAF, Darrell passed a 2 yr college equivalency exam and was promoted to Staff Sergeant before he was old enough to vote. He was employed in Wolf Point and Miles City, Montana for three years. Then was a Civilian employee of the United States Air Force at Fortuna, North Dakota. He was then transferred to the Glasgow Air Force Base as one of the first employees there. In 1959 he transferred into the United States Post Office in Glasgow, Montana.

He married Darleen Isakson 15 August 1959 and they made their home in Glasgow. In 1962 he transferred into the Post Office in Plentywood, Montana and also farmed at Westby, Montana. In the winter of 1965 they moved to Opheim, Montana and began ranching and farming. They retired in 1989 and moved to Billings, Montana.

He was an active member of the American Legion, and was a Patriot with an “America First” attitude. During retirement he was a populist believing that the government and its policies had strayed far from the Constitution created by our Founding Fathers. He said he was not a leader, nor a follower—simply independent.

Survivors include his wife Darleen and three daughters; Darla (Jeff) Larson of Opheim/Glasgow, MT, Darlis Nordhagen of Portland, OR, Darcie (Tim) Knight of Lubbock, TX, and son, Daren (Shelby) of Phoenix, AZ. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Kayla Larson and her daughter Audrey, Jayme (Mark) Iddins and their children Brooklyn and Jackson and Bryan Larson, Azia, Dayne and Reeve Smith, and Braden and William Knight. His sister, Arlee (Dick) Chamblin of Mesa, AZ, Sister in-law Delores Nordhagen of Williston, North Dakota, Sister in-laws, Joyce Devoy of Glendive and Marlis Ziskin of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He was preceded in death by his parents Art and Edna Nordhagen and one brother Thomas Nordhagen, one Grandson, Michael Church Nordhagen, three Brother in-Laws, Walt Devoy, Chet Munger and Steven Ziskin and one Sister in-Law, Marie Ann Nordhagen.

Graveside services will be held on Monday, August 26, at 1 p.m. at the McElroy Cemetery in the Westby area followed by a lunch reception at the Westby Community Center. An additional reception for family and friends will be held in Opheim on Tuesday, August 27 from 2-4 p.m. at the Outpost Cafe. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

Darrell Phillip Nordhagen

Monday, August 26th 2019

Barbara Ruth Beil

Monday, August 26th 2019

Barbara Ruth Beil, age 99, of Glasgow, Montana, passed away August 23, 2019 at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, in Glasgow, Montana. Family will receive friends from 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, August 29 at Bell Mortuary. Funeral services will be held at 10 am, Friday, August 29, 2019 at the Bell Mortuary with Howard Pippin officiating. Burial will be in Hillview Cemetery, Hinsdale, Montana. A luncheon will be at the Willie Nelson American Legion Post #45 in Hinsdale following the burial.

Ruth was born on July 5, 1920 at 6 a.m. (a hot Monday morning) to James Chittick and Jessie Mae (Hill) Beil at their farm home north of Hinsdale.

“The year I was six our house was built and also the school I attended through 8th grade which Dad was instrumental in getting the school. At the time I finished 8th grade, students took state exams in order to pass into High School. I was pretty proud to come in second in all of Valley County. Graduates were invited to celebrate in Glasgow, which was exciting: we went to a movie, received awards at the High School, The Scottie Band played, and both the Governor and State Superintendent of Schools were there. While attending Hinsdale High School I lived at the dormitory during the week (I liked it) graduating in 1938. I attended Margaret Woods School of Cosmetology in Great Falls, Montana from 1940-1941. I owned the Hinsdale Shop from 1941-43.

World War II began and I felt very patriotic, but also wanted to get away from Hinsdale, so I joined the WAAC. I didn’t tell my parents until after I joined, but they thought it was ok. When I got told that I was going to Camp Monticello, Arkansas I thought it was the end of the world-but it was rather nice. One of the first things we had to do was run down a pig that was on the post to kill snakes. I didn’t run fast. This camp was built for Japanese Detainees, but our WAAC Detachment was first on the base. My first day there, I was given the job of waking the girls in my barracks. Even though I had borrowed an alarm clock, I slept right on. The officer in charge realized we hadn’t had much sleep the night before and so forgave me. The Mississippi River had flooded, so when it was time to leave, no trains could get through, so we spent an extra few days there. Most of us were afraid we’d be sent to “Cook and Bakers School;” - a few were. When word came that many of us would go to New York City to the Army Post Office, we were elated. The Army had taken over a twelve story hotel, the Collingwood, which was filled with WAACs, but it had no KP and some maid service. I worked in the section for mail that hadn’t been delivered. It was really exciting for a young Hinsdale, Montana native to get to the city. It took several days for some of us to go further than the end of the block. Of course, we marched to work. There were always free tickets for such things as plays, Metropolitan Opera and sports (that I wasn’t too interested, but did go once to Yankee Stadium over in Brooklyn). One summer we each had a week of R+R at Vassar.

At the end of the war, I didn’t have quite enough points to leave the service so was sent to Camp Shanks, near Nyack, New York. There I worked in the Identification Department where fingerprints and pictures were taken. We had German POW’s and Italian detainees come through: the Germans were very sullen but the Italians were happy-go-lucky. I was sent from New York to Camp Beale, California for my discharge, it seemed a little stupid, but that was the first time I had seen palm trees. After the discharge I stayed overnight in a hotel across from the Capital in Sacramento. Then it was home in a very old railway car. I believe, that was about January 4, 1946.

After staying with mother and Dad for a few months, I came to work in Glasgow. About 1949, a young woman came to Glasgow to organize a Beta Sigma Phi Group. It has been a very fine organization for young women. I was president a couple of times and made some very good friends. In 1951, another operator and I opened a beauty salon on 4th Street, where the Clansman once was. I operated that until 1962 when I had the chance to go into the in the Big “G” Shopping Center. (In 2007 Ruth retired at the age of 87.) In 1966, I joined the Eastern Star at Hinsdale. I have been quite active. I was Worthy Matron two times and have held several offices. In 1947 I was talked into joining Emmanuel White Shrine in Glasgow. I was sure I would never be very active, but was voted into office when I was on vacation and after that went to the east as Worthy High Priestess. I held that office for many terms and loved it. It was a sad time for many of us when we had to give up our charter.

I did not take a lot of vacations, but I had some very memorable ones: Mexico -1963, Lake Louise -1961, Vancouver and Victoria -1961, Alaska -1981, Florida (three times),the Tetons in Wyoming was great, Indiana, Seattle, Minneapolis several times, Glacier and Yellowstone Parks many times. In 2001 Dave and Lora graciously allowed me to accompany them to New York. The highlight was to hear Ginger solo at Carnegie Hall. That same year Gene, Evelyn and I went to Indiana to visit relatives and how glad we were to have gone then as so many of them passed away soon after.”

Ruth is survived by sister-in-law Evelyn Beil of Hinsdale, Montana; niece Lora Reinhardt (Dave) of Hinsdale, Montana; nephews, Fred Beil (Betty Lou) of Tenseness, Ed Beil (Dora Jean) of Hinsdale, Montana; Lester Beil (Mary) of Reed Point, Montana, Keith Beil (Myla) of Hinsdale, Montana, Jim Beil (Tori) of Nevada; many great-nieces and nephews; and great-great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jessie and James Beil; brothers, Lewis and Gene Beil; and great-great-nephew Dustin Beil.

She will long be remembered for her appreciation for the small joys of life and her determination to speak her own mind.

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