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Roland Strutz

Mar 21, 1933 - Nov 25, 2023

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Great Falls, MT

On November 25, 2023, Roland "Rollie" Reuben Strutz, age 90, stepped out of this world, and into eternity. A celebration of life will be held at Harvest Springs Community Church, Great Falls on December 9, 2023, at 11:00 a. m. The service will be streamed online at harvestsprings. online. church. Rollie was born March 21, 1933, to Reuben and Rosalie Strutz. Rollie married his better half, Bette Lou Finestead, on July 2, 1955. Rollie graduated high school from Billings Senior. He then attended We...Read More

Obituary Source:https://www.oconnorfuneralhome.com/obituary/roland-rollie-strutz

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Lorena Ann Lauritzen

Sep 05, 1931 - Feb 20, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Lorena Ann Lauritzen, age 92, passed away peacefully in her home in the early hours of February 20, 2024. She is survived by her husband and the love of her life, Richard (“Dick”) Lauritzen; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and David Shotwell; son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Lori Lauritzen; grandsons, Derek Ditora, Erik Lauritzen and Andrew Lauritzen; step-grandson, Christopher Shotwell; step-granddaughter and step-grandson-in-law, Sarah Shotwell and David Provenzano; and great-step-granddaughter, Maple Shotwell Provenzano. Lorena’s greatest joy was her family. Lorena was born on September 5, 1931, in Hollister, California, the only child of Grace and Fred Wilson. She spent her early and teenage years in Hollister and Avenal, California. She attended Fresno State College and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business. During her college years, she excelled academically and pledged the Tri Sigma Sorority serving as its president during her senior year. Lorena met Dick Lauritzen at Fresno State College, and they were married on June 19, 1954, in Pacific Grove, California. Shortly after their marriage, Lorena and Dick moved to St. Louis, Missouri where Dick attended Medical School at Washington University and Lorena worked in the advertising department of a large electronics company. Their daughter, Lisa, was born in St. Louis, and their son, Jon, was born in Coronado, California while Dick was serving in the Navy. Upon Dick’s graduation from medical school and completion of his residency in General Surgery, Lorena and Dick moved their young family to Great Falls, Montana where Dick was a surgeon until his retirement in 1998. Lorena enjoyed the outdoors. She snow skied, played golf and tennis, rode horses, backpacked, and at Dick’s insistence, tried her hand at fly fishing. She was an amazing cook introducing creative dishes to her appreciative (mostly) family. Lorena loved playing bridge, engaging with her book club, and being an active member of her beloved PEO chapter where she served in numerous leadership positions. She also served as President of the Cascade County Women’s Medical Auxiliary. Lorena was known for her great intellect. Her knowledge of matters extended far and deep and her memory was infallible, even to her last days. She was a voracious reader and had a keen, quick wit. She was a loyal, caring friend. Beyond all else, Lorena was the best wife and mother. She will be missed terribly, but her family and friends are comforted knowing that Lorena had a long, wonderful life and made this world a better place. A celebration of Lorena’s life is being planned for later this year. Information regarding the service will be posted online at www.SchniderFuneralHome.com when arrangements are made. Lorena was a longtime supporter of the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. Anyone wishing to make a donation in her name is encouraged to do so to the Museum ((406) 727-8787/www.cmrussell.org).

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Richard Clark Johnson

Dec 25, 1928 - Feb 21, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Richard Clark “Dick” Johnson, 95, of Great Falls, passed away on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. He was born on December 25, 1928, in Eagle Grove, Iowa to Dr. Einer Charles and Lucille (Hinkley) Johnson. He attended public schools and junior college for two years at Eagle Grove. He attended Drake University in Des Moines where he completed his junior year as a Speech and Drama major with a minor in Music Education. Halfway through his senior year, Dick accepted an announcer/newsman position with KCID radio in Spencer. From there he moved to KVFD/AM/FM in Fort Dodge where he was a popular DJ. In June of 1950, Dick married Gladys Wilson in Harcourt. To this union four daughters, Karen, Donna, Joan, and Martha were born. Dick and Gladys divorced in 1970. In June of 1971, Dick married Claudia Arnold of Fort Dodge. They lived in Rochester until moving to Great Falls in the fall of 1971 where he accepted a position with the newly formed Montana Television Network News Division. He was the producer, director, and anchorman for three years. They later divorced in 1993. After he had moved back to Great Falls in 1994, he began his retirement career as administrative assistant to John C. Swartz, CEO of Big Sky Foods Trading, Inc. to operate the US side of the business. John and Dick were also members of the “Bunkhouse Bums Quartet” that had started in the 70s. He married Billie Ann Johnson of Great Falls in February of 1995. She was a local business leader and State Department of Revenue employee. Also in 1950, he began his long Barbershop Quartet career with the “Chord Huskers” quartet. He was a member of the SPEBSQSA, Inc since 1947. This was his first formally organized group that he sang with. They continued to entertain audiences all over the Midwest until 1971, when Dick moved to Montana. He went to Carroll, Iowa in 1953 as a specialist in program development at KCIM radio station. After three years, he moved back to Fort Dodge to work with Ed Breen at the TV station KQTV, later KVFD-TV. He held several positions, including artist/announcer, chief announcer, program director, news director, and special programs development. During this time, he wrote, directed, and starred in the “Uncle Dick’s Funhouse” children’s program. Dick began a long association with world famous composer/conductor, Karl L. King and the Fort Dodge Municipal Band in 1957 that lasted almost four decades. He was still active with barbershop groups, serving as chorus director, arranger, contest arrangement judge, master of ceremonies, and script and show director. Many of his compositions and arrangements were performed on the international contest stage with some of the top medalist quartets. This included three international champions, “Happiness Emporium,” “Pitch Hikers,” and “Renegades.” He had many hobbies as well These included hunting, fishing, camping, 4-wheeling in the mountains of Montana, Native American lore and dancing, composing and arranging music of all types, singing, mushroom and wild asparagus hunting, and flying. He would compose for concert band, barbershop, country western, and secular and church choir arrangements. He had a commercial pilot rating and was proud of his membership in antique aircraft groups. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and the OX-V Club. The latter only granted to pilots who flew (and survived) aircraft powered by the extremely unreliable single ignition engines, such as Waco-9 and 10, Curtiss JN4-D (Jenny) and the Curtiss Robin. Dick and Billie Ann had many diversified and stock holdings in the Montana and Idaho Area. He was a Mason, part of the Royal Arch and Council Degrees. He was also a member of the Knights Templar and Elk’s Lodge. Dick was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Great Falls until his passing. He is survived by his wife, Billie Ann Johnson of Great Falls; sister-in-law, Dorothy Johnson of W Des Moines, IA; children, Joan (Billy) Drewes of W Babylon, NY and Martha (Bob) Kersbergen of Fort Dodge, IA; grandchildren, Grace (Chris) Scheben, Amalia Drewes, Rose (Dan) Kelly, Scott McColley, Rachel McColley, and Matthew (Maria) McColley; great-grandson, Marshall McColley; and several nieces and nephews. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. E.C. Johnson and Lucille Hinkley Johnson; brother, Guy Allen Johnson; and children, Karen and Donna Johnson.

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William Lee Coyle

Jun 17, 1936 - Feb 24, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

William Lee “Bill” Coyle passed away suddenly at his home in Great Falls, on Saturday evening, February 24, 2024, with his wife Joyce at his side. Bill was born on June 17, 1936, to parents Edward and Lena Minette Coyle in Lewistown, MT, the youngest of six children. He spent his childhood in Lewistown and graduated from St. Leo’s High School in Lewistown in 1954. In 1956 he joined the United States Army, serving in Germany for 2 years. After his return from active duty, he married Joyce Yvonne Lindstrand in Lewistown in 1958. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Great Falls where Bill attended the College of Great Falls, graduating in 1962. He then went on to attend the Pacific Coast Banking School to earn a graduate degree in banking. He also attended banking coursework in various other institutions including the University of Notre Dame. During this time Bill and Joyce raised two daughters, Michelle and Laura, and a son, Michael. Bill then went on to spend most of his career in banking, as a vice president of Montana Bank and later vice president at First Interstate Bank, retiring in 1992. Following his retirement, Bill worked at the College of Great Falls serving as Vice President of Institutional Development, until 2000. After his retirement from the College of Great Falls (later the University of Great Falls), Bill served on the Board of Directors of both First Interstate Bank and the University of Great Falls. Many early summers were spent camping and fishing, with an annual weeklong vacation to Twin Lakes, Idaho. Bill and Joyce loved to travel and have been to many parts of the world on cruises and land tours with friends and family. He was a reluctant golfer but enjoyed playing in charity tournaments and participated in many other community events and fund raisers. He was especially proud of his home and yard and enjoyed woodworking, making much of the furniture in their home, building an addition, and doing numerous other home improvement, landscaping, and gardening projects. Bill was an active member of Holy Spirit Parish. In later years, Bill was a volunteer greeter at Benefis Healthcare. He had also become an avid sports fan watching Gonzaga basketball and both college and professional football at every opportunity. Bill loved visiting with his friends over coffee, catching up on local, regional, national and world news and events. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Lena; sisters, Jean, Dorothy, and Shirley; and infant twin brothers, Jim and Jack. Bill is survived by his wife, Joyce of 65 years; daughter, Michelle Coyle of Yakima, WA, daughter, Laura (Jim) Milos of Great Falls; and son, Michael (Melanie) Coyle of Syracuse, Utah; seven grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; as well as six great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice. If you knew Bill, you knew a friend. T The funeral service will take place on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

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Mary Helen Tropila

Apr 28, 1934 - Feb 25, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Mary Helen Tropila, age 89, passed away on February 25, 2024. Service details will be announced at a later date.

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William Lee Coyle

Jun 17, 1936 - Feb 24, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

William Lee “Bill” Coyle passed away suddenly at his home in Great Falls, on Saturday evening, February 24, 2024, with his wife Joyce at his side. Bill was born on June 17, 1936, to parents Edward and Lena Minette Coyle in Lewistown, MT, the youngest of six children. He spent his childhood in Lewistown and graduated from St. Leo’s High School in Lewistown in 1954. In 1956 he joined the United States Army, serving in Germany for 2 years. After his return from active duty, he married Joyce Yvonne Lindstrand in Lewistown in 1958. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Great Falls where Bill attended the College of Great Falls, graduating in 1962. He then went on to attend the Pacific Coast Banking School to earn a graduate degree in banking. He also attended banking coursework in various other institutions including the University of Notre Dame. During this time Bill and Joyce raised two daughters, Michelle and Laura, and a son, Michael. Bill then went on to spend most of his career in banking, as a vice president of Montana Bank and later vice president at First Interstate Bank, retiring in 1992. Following his retirement, Bill worked at the College of Great Falls serving as Vice President of Institutional Development, until 2000. After his retirement from the College of Great Falls (later the University of Great Falls), Bill served on the Board of Directors of both First Interstate Bank and the University of Great Falls. Many early summers were spent camping and fishing, with an annual weeklong vacation to Twin Lakes, Idaho. Bill and Joyce loved to travel and have been to many parts of the world on cruises and land tours with friends and family. He was a reluctant golfer but enjoyed playing in charity tournaments and participated in many other community events and fund raisers. He was especially proud of his home and yard and enjoyed woodworking, making much of the furniture in their home, building an addition, and doing numerous other home improvement, landscaping, and gardening projects. Bill was an active member of Holy Spirit Parish. In later years, Bill was a volunteer greeter at Benefis Healthcare. He had also become an avid sports fan watching Gonzaga basketball and both college and professional football at every opportunity. Bill loved visiting with his friends over coffee, catching up on local, regional, national and world news and events. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Lena; sisters, Jean, Dorothy, and Shirley; and infant twin brothers, Jim and Jack. Bill is survived by his wife, Joyce of 65 years; daughter, Michelle Coyle of Yakima, WA, daughter, Laura (Jim) Milos of Great Falls; and son, Michael (Melanie) Coyle of Syracuse, Utah; seven grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; as well as six great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice. If you knew Bill, you knew a friend. The funeral service will take place on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

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Hilda Grey Matheson

Jul 06, 1938 - Feb 20, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

The hearts of Kenny Matheson and family are heavy as we share the passing of our beloved “Nin.” Hilda became ill following routine surgery and eventually passed comfortably and at peace at Great Falls Clinic Hospital surrounded by her loving family on February 20, 2024. Hilda Grey Matheson was born on July 6, 1938, to Bernice and Braxton Sellers of Thomasville, AL. In her teen years her family moved to Montana to try something new. The winters were too harsh, and her family decided to move back to Alabama. It was at that time Kenny had met her at school and knew he couldn’t let her go back so he proposed, and they were married on June 6, 1954. Together they would be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year. After they wed, Kenny and Hilda spent 6 months in Alabama with her parents and 4 sisters. When they returned to Montana, they moved out to the farm east of Conrad where they later built their home and raised Stephen, Karen, Brian, Derek, and Sheri. Nin became a mother and caretaker from her early years and never stopped making sure her family was ok up until her passing. Over the years she worked occasionally in town at Country Charm and enjoyed making flower arrangements. Her grandkids especially loved it when she worked so they could go have lunch with her at The Lobby. She was an active member of Golden West and Pondera Valley Lutheran Church and served on the church council as well. Always enjoying being a seamstress, her love for quilting took off in the last couple decades. She especially enjoyed quilting with her daughter Karen and daughter-in-law Rona at their yearly quilt retreat. She found such joy in being in her sewing room and showing off her many (many) incredible creations. She is survived by her sister, Sharon Sisk, McIntosh of AL; her sweet husband, Kenneth Matheson; 5 children, Steve (Rona) Matheson of Conrad, Karen (Richard) Rouns of Helena, Brian (Stacey) Matheson of Conrad, Derek Matheson of Helena, and Sheri (David Myre) Fowler of Conrad. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and many others who she claimed as hers through the years. Hilda was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice Grey and Neal Braxton Sellers; sisters, Blanche (Bob) Reid, Nell (Max) Cain, and Laurine (Glen) Morse; and twin granddaughters, Grace and Mercy Fowler. A celebration of her life will be planned for this spring with details to follow. She was truly the most wonderful woman and her absence from earth will be missed beyond measure until we meet again in Heaven.

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Donald James Peters

Mar 23, 1942 - Feb 19, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Donald James Peters, born on March 23, 1942, in Pondera County, Montana, passed away on February 19, 2024, at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls. He was welcomed home by his high school sweetheart, Eleanor Peters, and their two sons, as well as his parents, Roland and Myrle George Peters. He is survived by his brother, Alan Peters (Sandy). Eleanor Peters, born on August 29, 1942, in Conrad, Montana, peacefully left this mortal journey on July 28, 2021, at Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau, Montana. She was preceded in death by her sons, her parents, Edmond Rose and Doris Rose, and her sister, Myrtl Rose, and is survived by her brother, Steven Rose (Corrine). These two were raised in Teton County, attending Choteau High, where they fell in love. They were married on June 1, 1959, in Great Falls, Montana, and moved to Bynum, where they built a life together and raised their boys. They would go on to be married for 62 years. To know one was to know the other. They pursued countless adventures, including ranching, waterskiing, riding motorcycles, and traveling. As they aged, Eleanor was a resident of Benefis Teton Nursing Home, where Don would spend most days eating and visiting with her. Eleanor’s care at Benefis Teton Medical Center was exceptional. The family would like to thank the staff for their wonderful care of Eleanor. Eleanor loved pretty things and a good prank. Nothing quite tickled her as much as being the mastermind behind a good prank or receiving a good scare. Donald had a mind for business and telling a good story. To hear Donald tell a story was almost hard to believe. One always wanted to be the one Donald was sharing his story with. They are preceded in death by their sons, Charles (Chuck) Peters and Clint Peters. They are survived by their sons, Mitchell (Elaine Peters) and Roy Peters, grandchildren Jamie Eshleman, Nathan Peters, Teague Peters, Nicole Henderson, and Amanda Coles, and great-grandchildren Lane and Chase Eshleman, Roland and Easton Peters, Amelia Peters, Gideon, Simon, Dawson, and Orson Henderson, and Mason, Brooklyn, Taylum, and Treyson Coles. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for May 28, 2024, at Stage Stop Inn in Choteau, starting at 4 PM. To to the family or in memory of Donald James Peters, please

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Judith C. Jonas

Jan 19, 1939 - Feb 22, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Judith C. Jonas, 85, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went to meet her husband, Al Jonas, in heaven for a long-awaited reunion on February 22, 2024. Al died on June 22, 2021. Judi had a long history of lung disease brought on by organ failure and further complicated by COVID. She passed away in her sleep at Hospice House in Great Falls, Montana. Judi was a child advocate and author. She developed a multi-sensory program to integrate children with processing issues into public systems. She wrote The Magic of a Child’s Brain and recently its companion book soon to be published. She belonged to many local organizations mainly focusing on child advocacy. She was also a member of the First English Lutheran Church of Great Falls. Judith was preceded in death by her husband, Al; and her mother and father Polly and Les Clark. Survivors include sisters, Bonnie (John) Harry of AZ and Debbie (Dave) Weller of AZ; children, Mark (Ashlee) Held of AZ, Pam of MT, Scott (Brenda) Held of MT, and Jeff (Ginger) Held of OH; 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, Toby’s House, or Helping Hands. A celebration of life will be held at a later time.

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Joy R. Wear

Oct 15, 1930 - Feb 19, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Joy R. Wear, 93, of Great Falls, passed away on Monday, February 19, 2024. Joy was born on October 15, 1930, in Exeter, Maryland to Orville and Idella (Chapin) Ringen. She went to work at Buttrey Foods before it became Albertsons for 25 years. She met and married Leon Wear. He passed away in 1993. She was a member of Vinyard Church. She loved gardening, cooking, and crocheting. Joy is survived by her daughter, Leah (Larry) Loomis and son, Norman (Myrna) Wear. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brother, Bob Wear. Condolences for the family may be shared online at www.SchniderFuneralHome.com.

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George Stafford

Jun 24, 1922 - Feb 21, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

George Stafford 101, of Great Falls, passed away at home on February 21, 2024. At his request, no services are being planned and cremation has taken place under the direction of O’Connor Funeral Home. A private burial of the ashes will take place at a later date. George was born on June 24, 1922, to Walter and Josephine (Slanger) Stafford. He attended local schools, starting at McKinley Elementary School, Paris Gibson Junior High, and graduating from Great Falls High School in 1940. George had completed his first year at The University of Montana when WWII broke out. He was inducted into service and had overseas duty in the South Pacific. He was in the Philippines when WWII ended and moved on to Japan as part of the Occupation Troop. He received his honorable discharge at Fort Lewis and was awarded the Philippine Liberation medal with one bronze star, the American Theater Campaign medal, and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal. He went on to complete his Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Montana and worked twelve years in the office of a builder’s supply firm. When the firm changed locations, George chose to stay in Great Falls, purchasing the Alberta Motel. In the 1960’s, he was elected President of the Great Falls Hotel-Motel Association, serving two consecutive terms. Upon retiring in 1980, George joined his brother Ralph at the family farm on the outskirts of Great Falls. In the later years, George travelled extensively, including several trips to Europe which always ended with a visit to his brother Frank’s grave in a Military Cemetery in Belgium. George is survived by his niece, Leslie Stafford. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Josephine Stafford; brothers, Ralph and Frank; and his sister-in-law, Barbara Rumford.

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