Obituaries

Robert L. (Bob) Ritchey 70 of Harlowton died Friday afternoon, September 27th, 2019 in Harlowton of natural causes. He was born April 1, 1949 in Everett, PA the son of Rev. George S. and Laura E. (Jackson) Ritchey. The family moved following the calling of his father and he received his education in Arizona, Maryland, Montana and Minnesota graduating from Long Prairie High School. He then moved with his parents back to Pennsylvania and worked in a dealership selling motorcycles. In the mid 1970’s he moved to Shawmut with his parents and he begin working for the Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter and EMT. He also was a member of the Shawmut Volunteer Fire Department. In the late 1980’s he was injured and retired moving into Harlowton.

He was Chairman of the Committee working on transforming the Shawmut School into a Community Center. He was always helping local ranchers with mechanical problems.

He is survived by one sister Sandra (Paul) Hilderman of Jefferson City, MT and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one infant brother and sister.

Funeral Services for Robert L. Ritchey will be Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Perkins Chapel in Harlowton with committal to follow in the Ryegate Cemetery. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Wheatland County Fire & EMS, the American Heart Association or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

Richard O. “Dick” Spencer 73 of Harlowton passed away September 22, 2019 in Wheatland Memorial Hospital with his family at his bed side. He was born November 26, 1945 in Nashville, TN, the son of Charles and Audrey (Stock) Spencer. The family moved to California where he lived and received his education in Westchester. Following his graduation from Westchester High School, he attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College where he would master his skills in welding. After his graduation he began working with the City of Los Angeles Police Department in their Civil Defense and Disaster Corps. After several years in L.A. he became a Quality Control Manager with Bell & Howell & Telos Medical before finding a home with J.G. Plastics Group. He would meet Virginia “Ginny” Karen (Casciato) in 1973 and later marry January 12, 1974. Together they would move to Burbank, CA. They bought their first home in Rialto, CA in 1986 where they raised their two children Carey & Brian Spencer. On June 27, 1995 he lost the love of his life “Ginny” losing her battle to cancer. He moved to Moreno Valley, CA and become neighbors to his sister Joyce Spencer. In 2008 he moved to Harlowton, Montana for health reasons and lived with his sister Joyce Spencer.

Over the years he enjoyed the countryside and peace. Also enjoying camping, fishing, four-wheeling, dinner parties and passing on his knowledge to the younger generation in town. Most of all he really enjoyed helping create and run the haunted house and Christmas Light show in Harlowton, MT.

He is survived by his sons Carey Spencer of Yucaipa and Brian Spencer of Redlands; sisters Joyce Spencer of Harlowton and Jean Dobkowski of Valencia. Dick had a wide range of friends in Harlowton

In addition to his wife he was preceded in death by his parents and brother George Spencer.

Funeral Services for Richard O. “Dick” Spencer will be held at graveside at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles, California 90068 at a future date. For any information please call Joyce or Carey Spencer @ (951) 259-7638

Any donations may be made to a charity of your choice or Wheatland Memorial Hospital @ 530 3rd St NW, Harlowton, MT 59036 or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

Hugh Z. Reynolds 99 of Ennis and former Harlowton resident died Wednesday evening, September 4th, 2019 in the Madison Valley Manor in Ennis of natural casues. He was born December 21, 1919 in Blooming Prairie, MN the son of James C. and Antha B. (Frye) Reynolds. He attended school in Judith Gap, Big Timber, Melville and Harlowton areas. He worked on ranches, trapped and logged in the Melville area until entering the U.S. Army on September 16, 1940 in Harlowton. He trained at Fort Lewis until shipping overseas on March 19, 1942, with Company D of the Montana 163rd Division, the first unit sent overseas after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Hugh was the last survivor of the group of 65 men from Harlowton that went to confront the Imperial Japanese Army in the islands of the South Pacific. He fought in the first successful campaign against Japanese ground forces at Sanananda in Papua, New Guinea in January of 1943 and again in northwest Dutch New Guinea in early 1944, making four combat beach landings before being wounded on Biak Island on the northwest tip of New Guinea in June 1944.

After more that five years of service during World War II, he returned to Harlowton to work and helped re-establish the local National Guard unit and served until retiring as a Major with 28 ½ years of service.

ON June 21, 1947 he was united in marriage to June Hereim and to this union three boys were born. He also spent many years in the bar business and metal building business.

He is survived by three sons Gary (Debbie), Darwin (Leslie) and Rick (Trina); five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife June, three brothers Raymond, Clifford and Dale and two sisters Mildred Ledger and Gertrude Harroun and earlier this year lost his soulmate Lydia Peterson.

A Memorial Military Service for Hugh Z. Reynolds will be Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Perkins Chapel in Harlowton, cremation has taken place.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Upper Musselshell Veteran’s Memorial or the Upper Musselshell Museum or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

John J. Kranz 84 of White Sulphur Springs died Sunday evening at his home of natrual causes.

Cremation has taken place and a complete obituary will be released when completed.

The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

 

Leonard “Pat” J. Mager

     Leonard “Pat” John Mager was born on September 19th, 1922 in Two Inlets, MN to Max and Clara (Schmitz) Mager. Leonard was one of 11 children. Although his given name was Leonard, his father nick named him Pat as he thought it fit better.  

     Pat headed west to Montana in search of better work. He began as a ranch hand baling hay and eventually took pack horses into the mountains in 1938.  In 1940 Pat joined the 163rd MT National Guard 41st Company D Infantry Regiment. He was only 17 at the time so he lied to join. He went on to Fort Lewis, Washington for training. He was given the job of firing boilers, water heaters and furnaces. Pat was not impressed with the work and jumped at the opportunity to join the 161st Army Infantry in hopes to see more action. The 161st was only accepting privates at the time so Pat pulled of his stripe and told them “here, shove it”.

     On December 6th, 1941 Pat’s company was put on a ship leaving from San Francisco headed to the Philippines on a troop transport. Pat recalled watching ships turn back to San Francisco on December 7th, but they weren’t told why. They were assigned as a machine gun company and they set up artillery all along the coast. Eventually they learned that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. On December 8th they arrived in Honolulu and were told to shoot anything they saw especially planes. His company made their way down the line of islands digging foxholes and bunkers all along the way.

     Pat’s first real taste of combat took place in Guadalcanal as his company helped to take over the Bloody Ridge. Pat led many missions as a Staff Sergeant including protecting ammo, securing smaller islands and even rescuing pinned down marines. Pat’s time in the Solomon Islands ended in Luzon where he was hit with shrapnel in the jaw and has his leg scrapped up from a sniper. Pat was sent to recover in New Zealand. He later was assigned as an MP in New Caledonia and was eventually discharged towards the end of the war. When Pat was interviewed many years later, he stated “I would do it all over again if I had to”.

     Pat returned to Montana and worked for 28 years on the railroad. He left Harlowton briefly to work in a steel and aluminum foundry. He moved back to Harlowton after he had aluminum poising. Pat loved watching westerns in his free time; John Wayne was his hero. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, he loved fishing with all his friends and family. He was excellent at woodworking and made many gifts for friends and family members.

   One fateful day, a beautiful Loretta Parks walked into the restaurant Pat was at. A mutual friend introduced them, and Pat went on to ask her on a date. On December 19th, 1945 in Park Rapids, MN Pat married Loretta in a double wedding with his brother Tony and his wife Joyce. Pat kept Loretta busy canning with his green thumb. He loved a good home cooked meal. If you came to visit and left hungry, it was your own fault. Pat and Loretta had 5 children: Jerry, Bob, Dean, Lorraine, and Sharon.

     Pat is remembered as having a sweet tooth and always having sweets stashed next to his chair that he would graciously had out to visitors. He had a big heart and a kind soul. He loved treating people at the local establishment to their favorite beverage. He was always a hard-working man who was devoted to his family.

     He is survived by his sons Bob (Deb) Mager and Dean (Sharon) Mager all of Harlowton, MT; daughters Lorraine Hinman of North Dakota and Sharon Mager of Harlowton, MT; 10 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

     Pat was proceeded in death by his wife Loretta Mager, son Jerry Mager, granddaughter Lilia Baltazar. 

     Friends are asked to make memorials to the Milwaukee Railroad Museum in Harlowton or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT  59036.  Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

Thelma B. Young 81 of Shawmut passed away Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 in Riverstone Hospice House in Billings with her daughters by her side of cancer. She was born July 18th, 1938 in Fairview, Montana the daughter of Cecil T. and Bertha C. (Freeman) Baxter. She attended school in Fairview and was a very smart student and an accomplished flute player, graduating from Fairview High School in 1956. She then attended Nursing School in Havre where she met James Young, Jr. who was stationed there with the United States Air Force. They were united in marriage and then spent 21 adventurous years as he served in the Air Force and the Navy. They lived in all four corners of the United States and many more. Upon his retirement in 1977 they moved to Idaho to the family farm where they lived and worked. She would go berry picking and cutting wood, so at the end of the day there was always a warm fire for winter days, fresh homemade bread and jam. She loved the farm animals and the outdoors. After his death in 1987 she returned to Montana and attended college to receive training as a teacher. She lived several places in Montana settling in Shawmut in the mid 1990’s.

She was an avid reader, loved playing many instruments, piano, flute and accordion but her specialty

was singing. She always made many friends wherever she lived and she loved them all.

She was a member of the Rebecca Lodge, Order of Eastern Star, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Royal Neighbors.

She is survived by her four daughters Mary Hyatt of Orting, WA, Celestia Cobia of Auburn, WA, Diane Call of Grace, ID and Evelyn Wiles of Hageman, ID; one brother Colin Baxter of Anchorage, AK; two sisters Virginia Fink of Fairview, MT and Barbara Hafemann of Hardin, MT; 8 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, 6 great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by her parents and one son Floyd J. Young.

At her request cremation has taken place and she will be committed next to her husband in Idaho.

The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

Carl K Berg Jr. 60, of Martinsdale, MT, passed away on July 25th, 2019 peacefully, at his home. Carlie was born in White Sulphur Springs, MT on June 14th 1959 the son of Carl Kay and Ardella Jean (Smith) Berg Sr. as the eldest of 3 children. He attended school in Martinsdale from 1st through 3rd grade, Butte for 4th grade; then on to White Sulphur Springs until he graduated high school. Carlie was united in marriage to the love of his life, Debra Ann Miller on July 3rd, 1991 in Harlowton, MT. Together they welcomed their son Michael on October 12th, 1992. Carlie worked construction in telecommunications for over 40 years, where he enjoyed running and operating any form of heavy equipment, and trucking. This career took Carlie and his family all across the United States.

He also enjoyed elk hunting, snowmobiling, and riding his motorcycle. A self-proclaimed “gearhead”, he always was looking for a project that involved mechanic work or welding. Carlie was also an avid collector of older Jeeps.

Carlie is preceded in death by his parents, Kay and Ardella Berg, and his wife, Debbie in 2014.

Carlie is survived by 2 sons Michael of Martinsdale and Chad (Michelle) Fiedler of Columbus, MT; 2 daughters Stacy (Kevin) Fiedler of Big Timber, MT and Jenny (Eric) Fiedler of Belgrade, MT; brother Ken (Kelli) Berg of Harlowton, MT; sister Cathie (Ken) Garoutte of Tucson, AZ; 4 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews; as well as his companion, Sharon Mager of Harlowton who had been his partner and support for the past few years.

Memorial Service for Carl Kay Berg, Jr. will be on Saturday August 3rd, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. in the Lennep Church at Lennep, MT, with a reception to follow at the Martinsdale Community Center. Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Martinsdale Community Center or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to family and friends for all their support and condolences.

Carl K. Berg, Jr. 60 of Martinsdale died Thursday, July 25th, 2019 at his home of natural causes.  Memorial Services will be Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. in the Lennep Church with a reception to follow.  At his request Cremation has taken place.  A complete obitiuary will be released when completed.  The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.