Obituaries

Jacob Levi Yerger, 37, died Thursday, August 2, 2018 in Billings, MT surrounded by his family. Jake was born in Billings, MT on May 2, 1981 to Buzz and Debbie (Pardis) Yerger of Harlowton, MT. He grew up and attended school in the Harlowton and the Two Dot area.

Jake was married to Cerise Marr in El Paso, TX in 2005; they later divorced. Jake spent his life working on the ranch and at various other jobs. He was a professional sheep shearer and worked on crews that sheared all over Montana and in adjacent states and Hawaii.

Jake was kind hearted and a bit of a jokester. He worked hard his whole life, from boyhood on, easy going and always a pleasure to work with. He related well and had an affinity for all animals, especially sheep.

Jake dearly loved his step children: Anna, Izzy, and Eddie.

Jake is survived by his parents Buzz (Ken Jr.) and Debbie Yerger of Harlowton, sisters Connie (Greg) Davis of Yorktown Heights, NY, Kris Yerger (Roger Dereszynski) of Billings, MT, and Kaycee (Luke) Quinn of McCall, ID; grandmothers Victoria Pardis and Shirley Yerger both of Billings, MT; numerous Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and Cousins.

He was preceded in death by grandfathers Ken Yerger and Bud Pardis cousins Robby Pardis and Timothy Pardis.

Memorial Services for Jacob Levi Yerger will be held at Perkins Funeral Home in Harlowton, MT at 2:00 PM Saturday August 11, 2018. The service will be followed by a gathering at The Moose Lodge. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Memorials to American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202 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

He will be missed by all.

Gerald D. (Jerry) Boutsen 77 of Harlowton died early Saturday morning, February 3rd, 2018 at his home in Harlowton of natural causes. He was born May 3, 1940 in Harlowton the son of Michael M. and Hulda M. (Nilsen) Boutsen. The family lived in Judith Gap and then moved to a farm near Judith Gap. Jerry grew up working on the farm, and he received his schooling in Judith Gap. He later worked on the maintenance crew for the Burlington Northern Railroad. Later in life, he moved to Harlowton.

He is survived by one brother Thomas Boutsen of Scottsdale, AZ and one sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Terry Prongua of Hot Springs, MT. He is also survived by a niece, Angelica Prongua of Hermiston, OR, a niece, Michelle Boutsen and her daughter Avery, of Scottsdale, AZ, and a niece and husband, Cynthia and Chris Stangl of Saugus, CA and their children Chloe and Chase.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Graveside services for Gerald D. Boutsen will be held Friday, August 23rd, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Judith Gap Cemetery. 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

James A. “Jim” Moe, 75, passed away July 10, 2018, in Fort Benton, Montana after a heroic battle with a chronic illness. He was born on September 9, 1942, in Bozeman to Audun and Carol Moe, raised on the family ranch near Two Dot, and attended schools in Two Dot and Harlowton. He studied at Northern Montana College in Havre and spent six years in the National Guard before returning home to a lifetime of ranching.

Jim married Rosita Diekhans of Shonkin on May 24, 1965, in Fort Benton. They lived on the family ranches at Two Dot and Martinsdale for the next 36 years until a stroke forced his retirement in 2001. Jim and Rosita spent their post-work years at the new ranch near Vaughn before moving to Fort Benton in 2014.

Jim was an avid sportsman who loved hunting and fishing. He took several hunting trips to Canada and regularly fished for Pike and Catfish on Fort Peck reservoir. His family recalls large annual gatherings of friends at the ranch for the opening day of elk season. He loved sports; his favorite teams were the Montana Grizzlies, Boston Celtics, and Denver Broncos.

Jim also loved the mountains. He had an intimate knowledge of the Little Belts from Monument Peak to Mount High by running cattle and sheep on Forest Service allotments. He spent his first summer at the sheep camp in Haymaker when he was 12 years old. When the ranch sold the sheep in 2003, it marked the first time in over 50 years that the Moe family didn’t make that annual summer trip. He told colorful stories about the host of sheepherders and ranch hands that he worked with over the decades. He was well known for supporting the underdog and could be counted on to assist anyone who needed help. Ranch homes are never locked because ranchers know someone may need refuge. Jim lived by that philosophy. There was often someone extra at his dinner table or occupying one of the beds in the bunk house.

Jim was a lifelong Republican who was active in the Farm Bureau, Montana Stockgrowers, and Wool Growers Associations. Throughout the 1980s he was a Meagher County Republican committeeman. He loved to talk politics and enthusiastically studied current events and history.

Jim’s survivors include his wife, Rosita and his five children, James (Woo) Audun Moe of Seattle, Stevie (Ted) Jones of Martinsdale, Kari (Alex) Ceaicovschi of East Helena, Nels (Sadie) Moe of Vaughn and Dana (James) Gallaher of Fort Shaw. His sister Sonja Frampton of Glade Vallley, NC and his brother Richard Moe of Two Dot also survive as do numerous nieces and nephews. He has nine grandchildren: Cooper (TJ) Paulsen, Peyton Jones, Kendel Jones, Duel Jones, Evan Ceaicovschi, Simon Ceaicovschi, Christian Sprague, Brayden Moe, and Tannah Moe. He was excited to meet his first great-grandchild, from Cooper, expected on his birthday.

Memorial services for James “Jim” Moe will be Saturday August 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm in the   Perkins Funeral Home in Harlowton with committal in the Harlowton Cemetery. Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family. A gathering to follow at the Moose Club in Harlowton.

The family asks for donations to the Chouteau County Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 91, Fort Benton, MT 59442 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.

Florence L. (Lori) Miller 74 of Harlowton passed away Sunday afternoon, June 24th, 2018 in the Wheatland Memorial Healthcare of natural causes with her family by her side. She was born August 7, 1943 in Lewistown, MT, the daughter of Perry and Evelyn (Berry) Best. Being the second daughter born after six consecutive boys, she was the one who was most spoiled by her parents and siblings.   She was very family oriented and her whole life was spent with family. Where there was one you could always find at least 2-3 more. She received her education in Lewistown graduating from Fergus High School. She was united in marriage to Wayne Dahl in Lewistown in August of 1960 and they had three children, Anita, Barry and Calvin. They divorced and she married Charles LeRette and they had three children Barbi, Jodi and Tony. Chuck adopted Anita, Barry and Calvin, they later divorced. In 1977 she met John “Jack” Miller and in 1983 they were united in marriage and with his two daughters they made a family of 10.

She lived most of her life in Montana and always called Lewistown home. In her younger years she loved the water and camping with family. She was a cook and a bartender most of her life, cooking in the infamous Fergus Café and the Empire Café.

Raising 6 children didn’t leave her a lot of time for hobbies, but she was an avid reader and loved to play card games. In her last few years, she lived with her niece Gail McEuin in Billings where they would play Yahtzee every morning while having their morning coffee. She also loved her keno machines and playing Bingo on a regular basis.

She is survived by her children, Barry (Tracy) LeRette of Harlowton, MT, Calvin (Denise) LeRette of Missoula, MT, Barbara (Brian) Wohlk of Denton, MT, Jodi (Dick) Mardikian of Billings, MT, Anthony LeRette of Sheridan OR; step daughters, Crystal (Jim) Carlin of Moriarty, NM and Cindy Miller-Best of Butte, MT; 31 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jack, her oldest daughter Anita England, her parents, her eight brothers and one sister.

Memorial Services for Florence L. Miller will be Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in the Perkins Chapel in Harlowton, cremation has taken place. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the American Cancer Society 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

Melbie “Mel” Alan Holman 80 from Harlowton, MT. Passed away Monday June 4th, 2018 in Harlowton,MT from natural causes, with his daughter Leona at his side. Mel was born June 7, 1937 in Hamburg, Iowa to his loving parents C. Edward and Neta Holman. Mel attended school in Iowa, shortly after finishing school he moved to California. Mel leaves behind 3 children and 6 step children. Mel’s true passion was bull riding, horses, ranching, and wood working. Mel’s contagious smile and laugh would light a room. Once moving to Harlowton in 2000, Mel worked for the golf course and many other small jobs. Mel started working for the Senior Citizens Center where he became actively involved and well known within the community. In 2006 Mel married his high-school sweetheart Arla where they continued to reside in Harlowton. Mel had such an impact on the community of Harlowton, everyone always said he was an amazing man. While he worked for the Senior Citizen Center he got to know a majority of the community closely. He was always looking out for everyone’s best interest even if it didn’t work for him. There was never a day that he didn’t have a smile on his face. Mel retired from the Senior Center about 2 years ago, but that didn’t slow him down. You could always find him out in his shop making signs, furniture, Knick-knacks, or just messing around almost everyday after his retirement.  Mel loved his animals, his dog “pud” and his dog he leaves behind Chloe. Mel enjoyed spending time with his family, friends and dog. Mel always held a close special bond with his family, he was always the leader, the go getter, the pusher, and the achiever.  Mel was truly passionate about his life, and everything he did in it he did it with a purpose. He never gave up on anyone or anything that was thrown his way. Many people in the community and his family referred to him as “pops” simply because he took everyone under his arms, providing love, a roof over their heads if they needed it, food, rides, a friend, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, or just someone they could sit there with and say nothing too and just relax with. Mel will be greatly missed by many. This is not a goodbye, this is a “til we meet again.”

A Cowboy’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pause, mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon me. I ask that you will guide me in my life. Help me lord, to live my life in such a manner that when I make that last ride to the country up there, where the grass grows lush and the water runs cool that you’ll take me by the hand and say, “Welcome Home Cowboy”.

Mel is survived by sons: Rick and Larry in Nebraska, Kevin in California. Daughters: Dana in Iowa, Kim and Denise Holman in California, Tonya Adams in Florida and Leona Holman in Deer Lodge, MT. Grandchildren: Breanna (Corey) Roe in Anaconda MT, Rowan Fogerty in Bozeman MT, Luke Rhodes in Oregon, Ty Cameron, Mariah Cameron, and Jordan Cameron. Great-Grandchildren: Bella Cameron, Camden (Cam) Roe, K.C. Roe, Marilyn (MJ), and Victoria (Toots), and numerous other grandchildren, great - grandchildren, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Arla, and 3 siblings. 

No services will be held at this time, at a later date there will be a celebration of life for Mel. Cremation has taken place at his request. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family. 

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Wheatland Memorial Healthcare or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Perkins  Funeral Home, P.O. Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

Audrey Jean (Beauchot) Miller 82 of Harlowton left our world to once again be with Jerry

on May 31, 2018. Audrey was born on June 26, 1935 in Harlowton, Montana, a daughter of Frederick James and “Nellie” Ellen Minnie (Vezey) Beauchot. She was raised on the family ranch with her siblings, giving them a life time of stories that have entertained her family throughout her life. Audrey attended Harlowton Schools graduating from Harlowton High School in 1954.

Audrey married Gerald Miller on January 5, 1954 in Harlowton where the couple made their home during most of their married life. After being a housewife while raising their three children, she became office manager when the couple purchased The Times-Clarion newspaper in Harlowton in 1973 and worked in that position until they retired in 1999.

Audrey will be fondly remembered by her family for making holidays special, the most perfect tinsel on her Christmas tree, personalized pancakes for her grandkids, never losing a water fight with the grandkids (even when Jerry would help them cheat), and all the love she shared with all of us.

Audrey was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) in Harlowton.

Survivors include her three children: Debra Vanderhoof of Billings, Julie (Dennis) Swibold of Missoula, MT and Aubrey (Cloosey) Miller of Harlowton; sisters Darlene Murphy of Post Falls, ID and Evelyn Decker of Portland, OR; five grandchildren, Amy Vanderhoof, Kane Vanderhoof, Mindy Teini, Amanda Peck, and Colton Swibold; one great-grandchild, Olan Teini, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald, her parents, two sisters, Louise Bleeker and Wilma Beauchot, and two brothers, Frederick Jr. and Dale Beauchot.

Funeral services for Audrey J. Miller will be held on Friday, June 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Harlowton with committal to follow in the Harlowton Cemetery. Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Memorials may be made to the Activities Fund at Wheatland Memorial Healthcare Long Term Residence or the Harlowton Kiwanis Flag Program, 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

Lea, 63, of Shawmut passed away on May 10th, 2018 near her home. She was born May 20th, 1954 in San Jose, CA the daughter of Henry and Claire (Oubridge) Daggett. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and moved to Montana in 2008 with the AmeriCorps program. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, she started a wellness program in Harlowton and was the driving force in building the local community garden. She fell in love with Montana and decided to make her home in Shawmut.

She is survived by her three sons Kyle (Brittney) Crooks and Patrick Crooks all of Carpinteria, CA and Conner Crooks of Portland, OR; her mother Claire Daggett of Livermore, CA; brother Paul Daggett of Eagle River, AK; sister Patricia (Donald) Peed of Danville, CA; 3 granddaughters and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father and her brother, Peter.

At her request cremation has taken place and services will be held later in Santa Barbara. 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

Doris Lucille Murphy Rettke was born on July 6th 1922 in a log house east of
Winifred, Montana. She was raised in the Missouri River Breaks. She
attended Baker Springs School east of Winifred and graduated from Winifred
High School in 1940. She moved to Harlowton where she met and married John H.
Rettke. A few years later they started their little family, Nicky, Linda, and
Judy. Then ten years later David John joined the family.
They ran a dairy for a brief time and then ran the Standard Oil Bulk Station
in Winifred, the Standard Oil Station and the Cliff Apartments in Harlowton.
They also operated a small ranch south east of Harlowton. Her most important
job was being a homemaker. Later in life she worked for the Ranch Autel,
Harlowton Senior Center, Dr. Maxiner and the US Forest Service.
Her greatest joy was teaching Sunday school at the American Lutheran Church in
Winifred and Harlowton and the Assembly of God Church in Harlowton.

She wanted included in her obituary her greatest life changing event. This event was when she learned about JESUS and took him as her savior. She loved to share with people the simple way of salvation.
She had a great concern for her family and loved ones and did not want anyone to be lost.
Lucille was preceded in death by her husband John H. Rettke, family members:
John (Jack) and Mercy McLachlan Murphy, John A and Hazel Gilbert Rettke, Pat and Maxine Jaeger Murphy, Margorie and Jack Robinson, Helen and Frank Philp, Special daughter in law Patti Rettke. Special son-in-law Ken Lode, Alice and Elmer Scorby, Kathryn and Kenneth MacAskill, MaryLou & Ray Fredricks, Doris & Don Johnson, Great granddaughters Kezia Decker and Alisson Cass and great grandson Brian Blaquiere, Nieces Jennette Philp Brusch, Ann Scorby, niece-in-law Judy MacAskill, nephews Larry Scorby & Richard Johnson.

We have found it interesting to read, in many obituaries, of family members who we did not know were related to the deceased. Mom would like to have all the surviving offspring to the nieces and nephews to be mentioned as each one has given so much joy.  

Daughters and son: Nicole (Jess) Garfield, Linda Lode, Judith (Frank) Murphy & David Rettke.
Grandchildren: Ben (Patty) Blaquiere, Jay (Theresa) Lode, Barbara Cass, Susan (Will) Decker , Lura (Scott) Nuthak, Kenda (Bob) Biegler , Daniel (Alisa) Cass, Kyle Lode, Sarah (Sean) Griffin, Tyrell Rettke and Catlin Rettke,
Great-grandchildren:
Aaron (Samantha), Tess and Amy Blaquiere, Daniel, Molly and Caleb Lode, Timothy & Sean (Alayna) Cass, Hoyt (Maribel) Decker, Sonora (Josh) Schukar, Easton, Weston, Koby and, Keira Sue Decker, Alexander Hoffman and Scott and Blaise Nuthak, Emily, Jackson and Catalina Biegler, Andrew and Jacob Cass and Walker, Keegan Gunnar & Porter Griffin.  
Great, great grandchildren: William Alejandro Decker, Kayleigh Lucille & Kameron Lantz Cass and Lynnlee Raelyn Schukar. Aspen Fletcher (Blaquiere)

Brother John (Gay) Murphy,

Nieces & Nephews: Mike (Susie) & Brian (Becky) Murphy, Jackie (Ron) Murphy Naveran, Darlyn Buesch, Scott, Kerry, Kelly Murphy and Theresa (Tom) Murphy Ashworth, Jim (Billie) Philps, Robert (Fumiko) Scorby, Karen (Richard ) Hebl, , Ken (Chris) Johnson, Cathy (Pete) Frystak, Carol Bovee, Norma (Brad) Lehman, Steve (Nola) MacAskill, Donnie MacAskill, Kathy MacAskill & Dennis Jones, Willis (Kathy ), & John (Cathy ) , Butch & (Mimi ) Fredricks, Marilyn (Michael ) Vicchrilli.

Despite some rough spots in life it has been a great ride.   As 4 year old great-great grandson Willy Willy Decker said just moments after she passed away “It’s just not going to be the same without her!”   How true.

Funeral services for Lucille Rettke will be Friday, April 27, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. in Faith Chapel Assembly of God Church in Harlowton with committal to follow at Harlowton Cemetery. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to, Deeper Life Ministries 10241 Brea Canyon Road Fort Worth Texas 76108-4956 or to Faith Chapel in Harlowton. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com