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Local Obituaries

Robert F. Weasa

Posted (Monday, November 13th 2023)

Robert F. Weasa, 90, of Glasgow, Montana, passed away of natural causes on November 8, 2023, at Valley View Nursing Home. Bob lived at his home in Glasgow until last winter when he suffered a stroke and fought with all the cowboy grit he could muster to regain most of the mobility he had lost. Though highly independent and previously preferring to live at home, Bob greatly enjoyed the last nine months of his life at Valley View with the other residents who became his great friends.

Bob was born to Henry and Mollie Weasa on September 16, 1933, in Hinsdale, Montana where he attended school. Bob did well enough in his courses, had a good sense of humor, and got along well with his classmates, but he always preferred to be working outside with the horses.

With his talent for breaking horses and managing the land, ranching was in Bob’s blood. No stranger to hard work, Bob would cut down the diamond willow trees to make fence posts, help out at brandings, and doctor a bad hoof on the bull, besides the daily ranch work. Bob appreciated dogs skilled at herding cattle; even at the end of his life, he could not have said enough kind words about his dog, Buddy.

Those of us who knew Bob could attest to the fact that he was born with fiery red hair and at times his stubborn opinions would match it, but he was compassionate and kind. He enjoyed the lighter conversations, too, and had a playful sense of humor. When asked how he was getting by, he’d answer, “Finer than a frog’s hair.” Bob valued hard work, being responsible, making reasonable decisions, and treating animals with care. When his work let up, he would drive his old yellow pick-up to call on his friends and family. Bob enjoyed sitting and visiting over a leisurely cup of coffee without being in a hurry to get back home.

In 2002, Bob retired from ranching, sold the place, and made his home in Glasgow. During these relaxed years, he enjoyed visiting with friends and former classmates during meals at the senior center and Flips, and sharing meals with staff and other patrons at the hospital cafeteria. Bob was a sociable person, and by the time he had his stroke, the doctor who entered the exam room was a friend. He hosted many checkers games in the nursing home and took several laps around the halls each evening to get his exercise in.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Arthur Weasa and Henry Weasa; sisters Lorraine (Earl) Hellstern and Esther (George) Zeiger; nephews Bill Zeiger and George Zeiger, Jr.; nephew by marriage Joe Kruger; nephew by marriage Bill Kuki; and great-nieces Lynn Kuki and Denise Kuki. He is survived by his nieces Shirley Hellstern, Connie (Charlie) Nowell, Louise Kuki, Mary (Frank) Weirs, Evelyn Cornett, and Carol (Pete) Forbes, along with many great-nephews and nieces and great-great-nephews and nieces. You are invited to a gathering of Bob’s friends and family at the Glasgow Senior Center at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2023, to remember and celebrate Bob’s one-of-a-kind life. Condolences may be left for the family at bellmortuarymontana.com.

Gilbert Alonzo DeSonia

Posted (Monday, November 13th 2023)

Gilbert Alonzo DeSonia 84, of Glasgow, Montana, passed away peacefully the evening of October 9, 2023at FMDH surrounded by his family and significant other.

Gilbert was born on December 1, 1938, in Glasgow to Chub and Dora (Overland) DeSonia. He joined a brother Norman and later welcomed two sisters, Anna Lou, and Kay. He graduated from Nashua High School in 1956. He enlisted in the Army in 1958, was stationed in Germany and returned to Nashua in 1961. Gilbert attended a dance in the spring of 1961 and met the love of his life Marilyn Dalton. They married on October 30 of that fall. Together they raised five children: Ben Calhoun (1957), Billie Calhoun (1958), Bob Calhoun (1960), Ron DeSonia (1964), and Gail DeSonia (1974). They had 59 wonderful years together.

He worked for his father Chub (DeSonia Construction) for many years and was proud of their accomplishments: Valley View Home, Wolf Point Bank, Sherman Motor Inn, Richey School, Frontier School, Wolf Point South Side School, Outlook School, and the Scobey Hospital addition to name a few. He had a long successful career as a crane operator, working on many dams, bridges, and overpasses throughout the state.

Over the years he enjoyed dancing, cards, bingo, horseback riding, and most of all telling stories. Gilbert and Marilyn retired to Apache Junction in 1996, they enjoyed activities and made many friends and memories over the years. He returned to Glasgow after losing Marilyn.

Gilbert lived in Prairie Ridge and shared the last year with his loving significant other Marion Bailey. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren. He was a loving husband and companion, wonderful father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many. He loved to talk about anything and everything.

Gilbert is survived by his children: Ben (the late Shelly) Calhoun, Bob (Dana) Calhoun, Ron (Karen) DeSonia, and Gail (Ryan) Fast; grandchildren: Cam (Jennifer Ly) DeSonia, Coleman (Melissa) Menke, Jackson (Anna, sons Landon and Asher) Menke, Kati Calhoun, Amanda Calhoun, Emily (son Jude) Eastburg, Adam (Jamie) Eastburg, Ethan Engstrom, John Engstrom, Abby Engstrom, Colten Fast, Mo Fast, Roman Fast; sisters: Anna Lou (Leo) Bergtoll and Kay K (Ron) Opp; numerous nieces and nephews and significant other Marion Bailey.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn; son Billie Calhoun; daughter-in-law Shelly Calhoun; brother Norman DeSonia and parents Chub and Dora DeSonia.

Cards and condolences may be left or mailed to the family at 519 6th Avenue N, Glasgow, MT 59230, or may be left at bellmortuarymontana.com.

A Celebration of Life/Memorial Service is planned for 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 24, 2023, at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow. There will be a reception luncheon following at the Cottonwood.

Betty D. Nelson

Posted (Monday, November 6th 2023)

Betty D. Nelson, age 88 of Glasgow, passed away on November 3, 2023 at FMDH in Glasgow. She was born on June 30, 1935 in West Point, Nebraska to Charles and Mary Stewart.

Betty leaves behind a son, Scott Nelson; daughters, Sally (Ed) Stein and Patty (Todd) Nelson; granddaughters, Deon (Cody) Dix, Jennifer (Storm) Jackson and Rachael (Jarid) Hammer; grandson, Steel Nelson; great-grandchildren, Ashlyn, Olivia and Buddy Jackson; great-great-grandson, Bo Lopez and a dear friend, Debbie Young.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings and a daughter, Joanna Hammer.

According to her wishes, Betty is being cremated. There will be a Celebration of her Life at a later date.

Lenore (Frisch) Olson-Hinerman

Posted (Monday, November 6th 2023)

Lenore Olson-Hinerman, 94, died November 3, 2023 at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital of natural causes.

Lenore Ardice Frisch was born July 17, 1929, the middle child of seven, to John and Sylvia (Borland) Frisch, the only one of the siblings born in a hospital, the original Glasgow Deaconess. They moved from their Hinsdale South Bench homestead to a farm NW of town when she was small. She attended Hinsdale schools through third grade, then moved with the family to a farm west of Glasgow where she particularly loved saddle and, when she was older, work horses. She also loved playing the guitar. She completed her schooling at GHS in 1947.

She married Stanley Olson in April 1949; they lived on their Larslan-area farm for the next 39+ years – farming, ranching, and raising five children. Although her husband, children, and later, their children were first on the list, Lenore also loved both vegetable and flower gardening. She enjoyed sewing clothes, even patching jeans; she embroidered and crocheted as well. Swathing hay and hauling grain from the combine to the granary were both farm tasks she anticipated eagerly, particularly in the later years.

Community service was an important facet of Lenore’s life. She wrote the Larslan News column for the Glasgow Courier and wrote and compiled “Since Homesteading Days – Larslan, Sunnyside, and Avondale”, a bi-centennial project. She was particularly proud of having been an E.M.T. for more than fifteen years. As a Red Cross volunteer, she also taught First Aid and CPR. She was a Four-Leaf Clover 4-H leader for seven years. For nearly thirty years she served as a school, primary and general election judge, and also was a notary public. Lenore, a longtime member of the Historical Society, was currently its vice-president, filling in for the president as recently as this past September.

Church service was equally valuable to Lenore. Her faith journey included the Wild Rose Mission at Fuhrman School, then Our Savior’s Lutheran at Larslan, and presently First Lutheran of Glasgow. She taught Sunday School and Bible School over thirty years. She served in various offices of ALCW and on both the local and conference church councils. She represented her congregation nationally in Moorhead and Milwaukee.

After Stan died in 1988, Lenore moved to Glasgow in the fall. Later she owned and operated Lenore’s Country Ceramics, a storefront business in Glasgow for five years. She had started her career in ceramics back in 1974 and truly became an artist in the trade, earning numerous state awards and even a national one. Her first ceramic shop began in her farm home basement and was there for 11 years. She was involved in leadership roles in both NODANA Ceramic Association and the Montana State Ceramic Association.

She married Ray Hinerman of Whitefish in 1995 and they lived in Glasgow. They very much enjoyed traveling – bus tours and with their travel trailer – throughout much of the U.S., even Alaska and Hawaii, as well as parts of Canada.

Preceding her in death were her parents, husband Stanley, two infant daughters, daughter Ginny Enman, daughter-in-law Rose Olson, brothers Fred (Virginia) and Robert Frisch; sisters Margaret (Wesley) Soper, Lillian (David) Gregoryk, and Kay Frisch. In-laws who have already passed include Donald Peterson, Dale Thorton, Gail (Doris) Hein, Ethel (Lloyd) Maki, Alice Hinerman, and Ilene Hanson.

Survivors are husband, Ray; sons, Daniel and David (Michele) Olson, step-son Neal Hinerman, and son-in-law Elliott Enman. Her daughters are Kathy (Leland) Smith and Karen (Joe) Bergtoll. Her sister Helen Peterson survives. The six Soper nephews called her second mom: Robert (Helen), John, Stanley, William (Suzanne), James (Abigail) and Theodore. Many other nieces, nephews and cousins also survive and were in her heart always.

Her precious grandchildren include Danielle (Ty) Hallock, Jason Palin, Christina (Michael) Wilson, Shane Smith, Eric (Becky) Palin, Joel (Lara) Smith, Bradley (Rhonda) Olson, Alana Zayden, Joey Bergtoll, Ryan (Nichole) Bergtoll and Shyla (Austin) Svingen. Her great-grandchildren are Tia and Gage Hallock; Dallas and Jeren Wilson; Elizabeth Nyquist; Joey Zayden III; Jake, Dylan, Ava, Abby and Lucas Palin; Riley and Annika Smith; and Calvin Svingen.

Other survivors are in-laws Sam Hinerman, Jim Hanson and Norma (Bruce) Grossman.

Lenore lived a long, busy, happy life. She will be missed by family and friends.

Lenore’s family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2023 at the Bell Mortuary. A Celebration of Her Life will start at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery. A reception will follow at the First Lutheran Church.

Gretchen (Nelson) Westby

Posted (Tuesday, October 31st 2023)

Gretchen (Nelson) Westby was born March 15, 1941, in Glasgow, Montana to Elsa and Clinton Nelson, the oldest of four children. She was the last person to complete 8th grade at the North Bench Country School. After she graduated from high school in Opheim and Montana State University, she became an RN and worked as a surgical nurse at the Billings Deaconess Hospital. She married Arlo “Bill” Westby on June 10, 1964, and they purchased the Westby family farm. Their first child, Karen, was born in 1966, and their son, Todd, followed in 1969. In 2004 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was a 19-year cancer survivor. Gretchen lived on the farm until the fall of 2021, when she moved to Prairie Ridge enjoying the relationships she had with the residents and staff, playing cards, and going to Bible study. She often shared, “This is the place to be.” Gretchen passed away peacefully on October 28, 2023, of natural causes.

Gretchen was very involved in the Opheim community and had a servant’s heart. She was dedicated to her church and volunteered to teach Sunday School, VBS, helped with church functions, served on the church board, participated in Ladies’ Aid, and did a lot of behind-the-scenes work. She was also an essential part of the formation of the North Valley County EMT and carried the pager for many years. She was in the Legion Auxiliary and helped with their various service activities.

Gretchen was a rock, a kind soul, and always someone you could talk to. She was a top-tier farmwife and a master at preparing large quantities of food for big crews and family gatherings, sometimes in a short amount of time. She summer fallowed, hauled grain, and helped feed cows. As a true caregiver, the list of people she helped in our community was long, including her husband, Bill, during his last few years. Many benefitted from her compassion, kindness, and gracious ways. She had a special way of making people feel important and had a naturally inclusive nature. She was an unconditional supporter, a voice of reason, and always found a way to be there for people. Her loving nature was never competitive, but she received the highest ranking from her grandchildren.

A life well lived!

Gretchen is preceded in death by her husband Bill; her parents Clinton and Elsa Nelson, her brothers David and Carl, and nephews Ryan, Clint and numerous loved ones.

Gretchen is survived by her daughter, Karen (Roger) Mayhall, her son, Todd (Lori) Westby, and her five grandchildren: Quinn (Madison) and Paige Mayhall, and Brooke, Blaire, and Ty Westby. She is also survived by Susanne (David Stubbs) Isakson and daughter, Faith. Other survivors include her sister Doris Moore, sisters-in-law Karleen (Roger) Kleeman, Lynette (Tom) Hagan, and brother-in-law Kerm Westby, and other family and friends.

Family will receive friends Friday, November 3, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow, Montana. Funeral services will be on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the Opheim Community Church in Opheim, Montana with Pastor Owen Childers officiating. Interment will follow at Lawndale Cemetery. Following the service, a luncheon will be served at the church. Condolences for the family may be left at bellmortuarymontana.com.