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Shelly Christiaens

Apr 08, 1963 - Nov 23, 2023

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Great Falls, MT

Shelly Frances Christiaens passed peacefully into the loving arms of our Lord on Thursday, November 23, 2023. Shelly was born April 8, 1963, in Great Falls to Tom and Judy Stack. The family moved to Butte before settling in Kalispell in 1973. Shelly graduated from Flathead High School in 1981, and later began her collegiate years at Western Montana College in Dillon. She then transferred to Northern Montana College in Havre to pursue a nursing degree. There, Shelly met her future husband and bes...Read More

Obituary Source:https://www.oconnorfuneralhome.com/obituary/shelly-christiaens

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Shirley Ann Kummert

Apr 16, 1941 - Feb 10, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Shirley Ann Kummert, aged 82, of Great Falls, MT passed away on February 10, 2024, from natural causes. Shirly was born in Jubbulpore, India. She grew up in Liverpool, England with her Aunt Gospel and Uncle Joseph. She was a member of the British Royal Air Force until she married Manfred (Fritz) Kummert of the US Air Force on May 4, 1962, in Witney, England. They were transferred to Glasgow AFB, MT for three years, Anderson AFB, Guam for five years, and returned to Montana at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls where they settled, raised their two kids, started a business, and retired. Shirley worked a full carrier as a key punch operator starting at Guam Telephone Company, Columbus Hospital, and Blue Cross Blue Shield where she retired in 2005. Shirley enjoyed music, with Jazz and Elvis Presley being her favorites. In her earlier years she sewed and knitted. Shirley loved the movies, had been an avid reader of mysteries, and enjoyed doing puzzles. She participated in the Sweet Adaline and Red Hats. Shirley enjoyed spending many summers at Holter Lake fishing, spending time on the boat with her husband Fritz, family, and friends. She enjoyed her time with family, and especially visits with her great-grand kids. Shirley is survived by her husband, Fritz Kummert; daughter, Sussie Thompson (Mike); son, Gary Kummert (Michele); grandkids, Sarha Kummert, Kortnie Baker (Seth), Korey Thompson, and Erich Kummert; great-grandchildren Lenora Baker and Bryan Baker; sister, Felicity (Ian) Thomas; nephews, Andy Ashton, Gordon, Ashton, Trevor Thomas; and niece, Rossi Thomas. She was preceded in death byher brother, Gladston Ashton; aunts; uncle Joseph; and parents. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal. As per her request, she was cremated and requested no memorial services.

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Sharon Faye Dieziger

Mar 03, 1936 - Feb 09, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Sharon Faye Dieziger passed away peacefully on February 9, 2024, at the age of 87. She was born on March 3, 1936, in Great Falls, Montana, the eldest child of Gordon and Lila McGowan. She received her education in Highwood, Montana, graduating from high school in 1954. She entered the nursing program in 1954 at MSU and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1958. (Go Bobcats!) On November 22, 1958, Sharon united in marriage with Delbert L. Dieziger at St. Ann’s Cathedral. It was the beginning of their 65 years together. From this union they had three children, Leslie, Linda, and David. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Sharon understood the satisfaction that came from working in the field of nursing and providing loving care to patients. She worked in healthcare for 38 years starting with the City County Health Department, from there she worked in the Intensive Care and Coronary Care Units at Montana Deaconess Medical Center. She then moved into management as Director of Nursing. She was instrumental in planning and developing several of the programs and departments, for example, Mercy Flight that today is part of the excellent comprehensive care at Benefis Health System. Many years were involved in continuing education, community, and state involvement, and Sharon received many honors and awards. She lobbied in Helena for healthcare for many years. Sharon remained dedicated to her profession by serving on the Benefis Health System Foundation chairing the scholarship program. Her accomplishments are too many to mention. After retirement, Sharon and Delbert did a lot of traveling and found that cruise ships were their favorite mode of transportation. Sharon is survived by her husband, Del; children, Leslie Goss, Linda (Don) Broughton, and David Dieziger; five grandchildren, Lacey (Adrian) Roylance, Sharlee (Casey) Hamilton, Kyle Broughton, Braden Dieziger, and Kendyl (David) Barnes; eight great-grandchildren; brother, Duane (Sharon) McGowan; and sister, Kathy (Dale) Dufresne. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents and son-in-law, Bill Goss. A viewing will be held on March 2, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Benefis Health System Foundation (1200 25th St S. Great Falls, MT 59405) or MSU Alumni Foundation College of Nursing (1501 S. 11th Ave. Bozeman, MT 59715).

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Louis Stephen Ball

Nov 14, 1948 - Feb 14, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Oh No Fluffy! On November 14, 1948, the world got a little brighter, and on February 14, 2024, it got a little dimmer. Louis Stephen Ball was born to John E. and Lois Margaret Ball. He was the third son and would be followed by five sisters. Side by side with his siblings he committed many offenses, fortunately the statute of limitations has expired, but the stories still bring laughter. Louie was drafted into the Army in January of 1969. He served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, United States Army, jumping out of a helicopter with 90 pounds of radio and gear strapped to his back. He was honorably discharged with a rank of SP5 after being injured twice, first in Tam Ky and later at LZ Professional. He came home with a National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge along with the two Purple Hearts, one less eye and a whole lot of shrapnel. Louie met the woman he would love for the rest of his life in 1972 at the Village Inn in Ulm. He married Catherine Lohof on November 9, 1974, and affectionately nick-named her Cat. There were snowmobile trips, square dances, and road trips; four-wheeler rides and rod-runs; ocean cruises and planes to Laughlin. Their favorite haunt morphed over the years from the Ulm bar, to the Longhorn, to the Little Chicago, and finally to the BECC. In his last weeks he said, “smartest decision I ever made was marrying Cat.” Louie trained and worked in the pump business, eventually starting Water Well Pump Service in 1978. He climbed down in a hole (some more spacious than others), set the pump, and climb back up. He wasn’t bothered by a little dirt, a few spiders, or the weather of the day. If the water quit working, he’d get it going, sometimes on the coldest or hottest day of the year. Louie’s kindness and generosity meant he didn’t always send a bill for everything he did and never for the hours he spent on the phone walking people through how to fix something. If Louie wasn’t working, he was playing. There are too many friends to name individually, some around for a few years and others around for his lifetime. He loved spending time with each and every one so as you read this, know your name is on the list and get ready to share the stories. Louie was the guy with a one-liner or witty comeback in every conversation. Louie was the guy who wouldn’t just ask what he could do, he DID what he could do. His trials and burdens were heavy but you’d never know it by the way he carried them. He enjoyed a good ribeye, a cold beer (or maybe an Old Grandad), and Nova on PBS. He loved to laugh and loved his wife with all his heart. If you knew Louie Ball, you were better for it. Louie was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lois Ball; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Martha Lohof; sister, Frances; and his dog, Sage (who was much more than a dog). He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cathy Ball; daughter, Carmen; granddaughter, Elayne; brothers, Frank and John (Carolyn); sisters, Mardie (Scott), Marian, Kathleen, Pauline (Bob) and Lois (Pete); brother-in-law, Dick (June); 16 nieces and nephews; and a host of great-nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Benefis Peace Hospice or the Wounded Warrior Project. Bring your stories and bring your memories to join the family for a celebration of life at 3:00 p.m. on April 27, 2024, at the Eagles Lodge in Great Falls. 10-4

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William Joseph Laux, Jr.

Mar 30, 1930 - Feb 18, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

William Joseph Laux, Jr. passed away peacefully on February 18, 2024, at the age of 93, in Great Falls, Montana, with his wife and son at his side. Bill, as he was known, was born on March 30, 1930, to William and Madeline (Saling) Laux in Omaha, Nebraska. His family moved from Omaha to Des Moines and then Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before finally landing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Bill was still in elementary school. He eventually graduated from DeLaSalle High School in 1948. Bill matriculated at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, also in 1948. After ‘four years by the bay’ he commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in 1952. He served on ships for a short time before reporting to flight school and eventually earning his wings of gold as a Naval Aviator in 1954. Bill was assigned to fly maritime patrol aircraft and logged most of his flight time in the PBM-5 Mariner, P5M Marlin, P2V Neptune, and C-47/R4D models. He also served tours as a ship’s navigator, a professor at the Naval Academy and later the National War College, and various staff jobs. The Navy sent him to Middlebury College in 1961 where he obtained a master’s degree in Spanish language and literature, and later to George Washington University, where he earned another master’s degree in business administration. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served both aboard ship and in flying roles during the conflict. Bill retired from the Navy in 1978 after 26 years on active duty with the rank of Commander. Following the Navy, Bill settled in northern Virginia and worked various jobs before becoming a Spanish teacher at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County. There, he met his future wife, Patricia, and they were married on September 28, 1988. They had one son together, Scott, born in October 1989. Bill transitioned back to the defense sector in 1987 and worked for a company providing analytic services for Naval Air Systems Command. He retired for good in 1997. In retirement, Bill volunteered for many years as a docent at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. He was also active in his church parish as a lector and eucharistic minister and was an ample donor to many charities and professional organizations in which he was interested. Bill was proud of his Naval Academy background and participated in as many Class of 1952 activities as he could. He loved to travel with Patricia and they visited much of Europe and the United States together, ultimately leading to a relocation in 2017 from Virginia to Great Falls. Bill subsequently enjoyed even more adventures in the American west and loved their new Montana community and life. Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia; son, Scott (Lisa); grandchildren, Maria and George; brother, John (Sue); and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters, Patricia and Margaret. He leaves an enduring legacy, and, as his Naval Academy class motto says- Tough Shoes to Fill. A visitation will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. It will be followed by a memorial vigil service at 6:00 p.m. A Catholic funeral mass will be offered on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit, immediately followed by interment at the Mt. Olivet cemetery and a luncheon at Holy Spirit.

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Gary Thorson

May 03, 1952 - Feb 15, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Gary “The Mayor” Thorson passed away on February 15, 2024, in Great Falls, Montana at the age of 71. Gary was born on May 3, 1952, in Great Falls, Montana to Alfred Thorson and Helen Osterman. He graduated from Great Falls Central High School and went on to be a painter. Once he retired, he became the Mayor of Hughesville, Montana. He enjoyed spending time fishing, hunting, baseball (Atlanta Braves), riding four wheelers and dirt bikes with friends and family, always working to keep Hughesville safe and a good place, spending time with family, and watching Star Trek. He is survived by his companion and honey, Lydia Nierenberg; daughter, Garri Jean (Max) Mauch; sons, Seth (Dani) Thorson and Josh (Janice Zigan) Skinner; sisters, Patricia Campbell, Kathy Thorson, and Connie Thorson; and thirteen grandchildren, including The Thorson Gang, Teagan, Tinsley, Taylin, Tristin, and Lawson, Emily Skinner, Austin Shanks, Olivia Bogner, Gavin Mauch, Izellia Zigan, Andy Driessen, Lauren Driessen, and Liam Perné. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred Thorson and Helen Osterman. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel. The scattering of Gary’s remains will occur in Hughesville at a later date.

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Shirley A. Alex

Jun 29, 1936 - Feb 17, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Shirley A. Alex passed away on February 17, 2024, in Great Falls, Montana. Shirley was born on June 29, 1936, in McCone City, Montana to Victor Puckett and Esterina Perry Puckett. Shirley spent many years as a Travel Agent in Havre, Billings, Great Falls, and Las Vegas. She was the owner of Havre Cycle. Her most memorable job was for Dr. Johnson. She volunteered with the elderly and enjoyed church, and her faith was rock solid. She was also an avid motorcycle rider, and she enjoyed gardening, loved to visit with everyone, and she was a great salesperson. Shirley is survived by daughters, Valerie Wilkerson, and Roquele (Kelly) Whitaker; son, Larry Dobson; brothers, Robert Puckett and James Puckett; 5 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and one grandchild. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel.

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Dean Antone Eystad

Jan 28, 1931 - Feb 18, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Dean Antone Eystad, 93, passed away on February 18, 2024. The family has entrusted Croxford Funeral Home with his care. Interment will be at Highland Cemetery. Dean was born on January 28, 1931, in Morris, Minnesota, to the late George and Elsie Violet Knott Eystad. He was born at home, the second of six children. George worked in construction, so the family moved to follow the jobs. It was pretty tough back then as no one wanted to rent to someone with six kids. They went through Glendive after the flood went through it and it was boulders everywhere. The family moved west of Anaconda, Montana, where George got a job working on building the Smelter there. They lived at 711 Victory Homes. Then it was on to Faragute, Idaho, where George got a job at the Faragute Idaho Navel Boot Camp. Dean went to Spirit Lake High School, where he finished 11th grade. Then, the family was on the move again. Dean followed in his dad’s footsteps and became a carpenter, and he and George worked on several jobs together. In 1948, Dean and George went to work on Canyon Ferry Dam. He was working on the bed rock, which was 80 feet down. One day, several gentlemen showed up and told him to report to military service. This time, he ended up in El Toro, CA and Kaneohe, Hawaii, serving in Pappy Boyington’s Black Sheep Squadron, Marine Fighter Squadron MAG 15 214. His military service was from 1952 to 1954. Dean landed in Great Falls, Montana to work at the East Base as it was called then, better known today as Malmstrom. He also worked in Glasgow at the time of the Earthquake that formed Quake Lake. He ran a truss company in Great Falls for a number of years. Dean and Marcia Louise Anderson were married February 25, 1956, in Helena, Montana by a Justice of the Peace for $5.00. They were married for fifty-one years. Preceding Dean in death was his wife, Marcia; daughter, Susan Renee; parents, George and Elsie; and his brothers, Jim and Chucky. HHH Surviving are brothers, Larry and Howard (Judy) Eystad, of Great Falls; sister, Patty Werner of Spokane, WA; stepson, Robbie Bodkins, of Monarch, MT; granddaughter, Chrissie Stengrimson, of Ft. Shaw, MT; and great grandchildren, Amara, Jordan, Trey, Terrance, and Tatem. Dean leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and friends. He said he was proud to be a “Boomer”, To to the family or in memory of Dean Antone Eystad, please

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Dr. F. John (Jack) Allaire

Mar 21, 1929 - Feb 13, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Dr. F. John (Jack) Allaire passed away on February 13, 2024, at a local facility. Jack was an internal medicine physician and took great pride in providing the best medical care to each of his patients. He took great interest in getting to know every person he met and did not accept time limits when visiting with patients. When he was five years old, Jack’s 26-year-old father died. Jack put himself through college and medical school at the University of Michigan by working summers at the Union Carbide foundry in his home of Sault St. Marie. While at the University of Michigan, Jack met Robin McPhail from Great Falls, and they married in 1953. Robin taught school while Jack finished medical school. After serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fort Knox, Jack completed his Internal Medicine Residency and taught Hematology at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. In 1961, they moved with three kids, Beth, Martha and John, to Montana, where Jack joined the Great Falls Clinic where Robin’s father, Frank McPhail was an OB-GYN physician. Robin and Jack added one more child, Cate, shortly after arriving in Great Falls. Throughout his career as an internist, Jack had an abiding interest in medical leadership and education. He served as President of the Montana Deaconess Hospital’s medical staff, Cascade County Medical Society, Montana Medical Association, and Montana Society of Internal Medicine. He also served on the board of the Montana Physician’s Service (Blue Shield) and was recognized by his peers with the Laureate Award from the Montana Chapter of the American College of Physicians. He held many other significant positions in organizations devoted to medical research and education. For a long time, Jack was the only oncology practitioner in Great Falls. Jack helped form WWAMI, a University of Washington Regional Medical Program that makes medical school more affordable for Montana students. He was also a commissioner to WICHE student exchange program, which allows Montana medical, veterinary, and dental students to attend school without paying out-of-state tuition. Robin’s father, Frank McPhail co-founded WICHE in 1952. Jack loved sports. He was a tailback in high school and lived for Wolverine football. He and Robin returned to Michigan for games when they could and made it to Pasadena for several Rose Bowls. Thankfully, he was able to watch Michigan win the national championship before he died. He was a devoted CMR sports fan and held season tickets for Rustler football games for decades. He and Robin rarely missed their grandkids’ sports events, school programs, and recitals. In retirement, they traveled to 40 countries, and Jack made it a point to visit medical facilities and schools wherever they ventured. Robin and Jack also tutored elementary school kids at Mountainview for 20 years. Jack was predeceased by his wife, Robin; father, Francis John Kaine, Sr.; mother, Laura Cone; and both brothers, Ronald Allaire, and JB Allaire. He is survived by his children, Elizabeth Best (Michael), Martha Watson (Jeffrey), John Allaire (Patricia), and Cate Dolbinski (Steven); grandchildren, Matthew Best (Cali), Sydney Best (Joel Villalobos), John Moore (Amanda), Zachary Moore, and Jack Dolbinski; and great-grandchildren Wilder and Hayes Best and Kaylin Moore and Milo Villalobos. He will be greatly missed. The family is deeply grateful for the love, patience, and kindness shown to Dad and Mom by the talented and incredibly hard-working staff at East View and Grand View over the past many years. You have become family to us. Instead of flowers, please consider donations to the Food Bank or Preservation Cascade for the Historic Tenth Street Bridge project.

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Janet Ada Bielen

Dec 24, 1934 - Feb 15, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Janet Ada Bielen, 89, of Great Falls and Fort Benton passed away peacefully at home of natural causes on Thursday, February 15, 2024. She was born December 24, 1934, in Zurich, Montana, later growing up in Shelby, Montana. She graduated from Shelby High school in 1953 and married her high school sweetheart, Ronald Bielen on February 6, 1954. Both hard working Montanans, they raised four children in communities throughout Montana. Ron’s work for Buttrey Foods as a meat department manager took them from one end of the state to the other. Janet always joked that they lived in a town only long enough for her to get unpacked and settled. In 1973, Ron retired from Buttery’s, and they moved to Big Sandy where they opened their first grocery store, Ron’s Food Center. In 1977, they bought another grocery store in Fort Benton and later downsized to L&R Meats. Janet ran the bakery at L&R where for years she made soup, sandwiches, and pastries for many community members. She was a special favorite with most of the kids in the school system as a sandwich and donut maker. Much to the chagrin of the community, Janet retired from the bakery in 1996. Mom and Dad had worked together for nearly 40 years. They made many special friends in the communities where they lived. Janet’s hobbies included golf, ceramics at Marilyn Lehman’s studio, cross stitch and crafting with her neighbor Joyce Cassidy, and spoiling her grandchildren and great grandchildren. “Gigi” as she was known to the great grandchildren was usually as mischievous as the kids. Janet was preceded in death by her loving husband of 66 years, Ronald L. Bielen in 2020; her mother, Helena Malek; father, Ray Mignault; brother, Robert Belcher; and sister, Marie Fanning. She is survived by her brother, Marvin (Carol) Belcher; her children, Lori (Robert) Henderson, Larry (Diane Ray), Diana (Allen) Unghire, and Donald (Karyn) Bielen; eight grandchildren; and 21 great grandchildren, A joint memorial service will be held for Ron and Janet at Hillcrest Lawn Mausoleum, on Friday June 14 at 11:00 a.m. The final resting place will be at Valley View Cemetery in Shelby, Montana. The family is requesting memorial contributions be sent to Fort Benton, City Improvement Association (CIA), Box 313, Fort Benton, MT 59442. In the memo please stipulate: Old Fort Benton Bridge in Memory of Ron and Janet Bielen.

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Amy Brainard Anderson

Jun 09, 1952 - Feb 07, 2024

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Great Falls, MT

Amy Brainard Anderson was born on June 9, 1952, and passed away peacefully surrounded by family on February 7, 2024. Amy grew up in Chinook, MT where she graduated from High School. She attended college at Northern Montana College and met her love John, they married on December 8, 1973. Over the next 50 years they worked hard and created a life together on the family farm East of Brady. While operating the farm, Amy worked different side jobs to provide extras for her family. They had two daughters, Lisa and Sara. She was always cheering them on and encouraging them to do anything they put their mind to. She taught both of them along with the community kids preschool. She was a devout Catholic and involved in the church in many ways. Amy was one of the best cooks, seamstresses and crafters. She crafted with many mediums from ceramics to yarn. She enjoyed any sewing challenge, with her creativity she could sew anything. Amy enjoyed her flowers, garden, and canning. We will all miss her treats and incredible meals. Her grandkids were her joy in life, and she fulfilled the title of Granny with everything she had. Amy enjoyed the time she spent with them on the farm teaching them her skills. She enjoyed her four-legged grandkids just as much, spoiling them when she could. Amy is survived by her husband, John; daughters, Lisa (Scott) Muilenburg of Lockwood, MT and Sara Anderson of Boise ID; grandchildren, Zane, Tyson, Beau and Quinn; sisters, Susan (Harold) Moos, Nancy (Dick) Stang, Joan (Jim) Williams, and Mary Edwards; brother, Mark (Joyce) Brainard; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Per Amy’s request, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers please donate to a memorial of your choice.

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