Swan Songs - February 2009
(Ruth) Audrey Christianson
(Ruth) Audrey Christianson, 83, of Crookston, Minnesota, died peacefully at her home, late Sunday evening, January 25, 2009.
Audrey was born at Rothsay, Minnesota, on April 23, 1925, the daughter of Reverend Emil and Geneva (Stenshoel) Salveson. She was baptized and confirmed by her father in the Lutheran faith, attended grade school and high school in Rothsay, graduating in 1943.
Audrey went on to attend and graduate from Miss Woods Academy (now part of Macalester College) in 1945, and taught Kindergarten in Crookston. Prior to her retirement in 1978, Audrey taught in Special Education for several years.
On June 27, 1947, she was united in marriage to Randolph “Randy” Christianson in a ceremony performed by her father at Hamar Lutheran Church in Rothsay. The couple settled on the Christianson family farm in Lowell Township where they farmed. On this farm, five miles west of Crookston, they raised their six children. They moved into Crookston on November 1, 1986. Randy died on November 27 of that year.
Audrey was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. She taught Sunday School for many years and also served for several terms as Sunday School Superintendent.
For over 50 years Audrey sang in the church choir. At Trinity, she actively participated in the Altar Guild, Trinity Prayer Chain, Women’s Guild Bible Study, the Befriender Group and served for several years on various organization church boards. She was a past member of the Sons of Norway, the Lowell Township Homemaker Club and Riverview Auxiliary.
Audrey was an avid Rummikub player and loved playing games with her grandchildren. Her memory will last forever, and she will be deeply missed by her family and many friends.
Loving family members include two sons, Lon (Nancy) Christianson of Eleva, WI, and Mark (Loni) Christianson of Fargo, ND; four daughters, Pat (Marcy Zietz) Christianson of Seeley Lake, MT, Sherri (Barry) Thune of Climax, MN, Heidi (Kerry) McJunkins of Lexington, KY, and Kim (David) Wagner of Fargo; 22 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Besides her husband, Randy, Audrey was preceded in death by her parents; an infant daughter; two brothers, Obert and Evan; and three sisters, Valborg, Charlotte and Barbara.
The funeral service for Audrey Christianson was held January 29, 2009, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, with Rev. Sue Eidahl officiating. Interment was in the Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston.

Charles Fredrick William Burmeister
Charles Fredrick William Burmeister, 83, of Seeley Lake, died of pneumonia Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, at St. Patrick Hospital, surrounded by family.
He was born June 12, 1925, in Woodhaven, Long Island, NY, the son of the late John and Anna Burmeister. He was the youngest of three siblings.
He graduated from Jamaica High School in 1943. After graduation, Charlie immediately volunteered for the Navy. He was assigned to Brown University in Rhode Island for flight school. With the war winding down, additional pilots were not required and Charlie was transferred to a submarine chaser off the East Coast. He obtained the rank of chief petty officer and received an honorable discharge.
After his discharge, he attended a college in New York City and graduated with an associate degree in electrical engineering in 1947.
On April 9, 1949, he married Marion Ruth Schmutz. Charlie and Marion lived on Long Island, N.Y., where they raised their two sons, Steve and Roger. Charlie coached Little League baseball and was a Boy Scout group leader. In 1961, the family moved to Doylestown, Penn., when Charlie was granted a large promotion working for Kolman Motors. In 1962, they adopted a Korean-American girl, Ann Kim, through the Pearl Buck Foundation.
Charlie worked in the electrical field of small and miniature motors. He worked for Philco-Ford building motors for top-secret missile guidance systems. He eventually found his place with Pittman Corp. for the past 14 years of his working career as a manufacturing engineer, retiring in 1988.
After retiring, Charlie and Marion moved to Montana where his gift of selfless volunteering continued as he donated his time and skills to organizations such as the Raptor Room, Alpine Artisans and other volunteer groups. Charlie would never refuse to help anyone.
He is survived by his wife Marion; son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Denise Burmeister of Doylestown, Pa.; son and daughter-in-law, Roger and Cheryl Burmeister of Missoula; adopted daughter Ann and son-in-law, John Curran of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Derek, Rory, Sierra, Ava Burmeister and Frank Baker; and numerous great and great-great-grandchildren.
Charlie was preceded in death by his brothers Eugene and Herbert.
Graveside services were held February 6 at the Western Montana State Veterans’ Cemetery, 1911 Tower St., Missoula. A service was held at The Springs on February 6 led by the Reverend Judith Anderson.

Virginia M. Thompson

Virginia M. Thompson died Saturday, January 10, 2009, at Deaconess Hospital, Bozeman, Montana.
She was born November 12, 1915 on her family homestead in Harding County, South Dakota, second daughter of Robert John and Verna [Schneider] Christiansen.
She received her elementary and high school education in Bowman, North Dakota after which she attended the University of Montana and St. Patrick’s School of Nursing in Missoula, Montana.
Virginia married Sam F. Thompson on 10 August 1935 in Kalispell, Montana. They lived in East Glacier and Great Falls, Montana before moving to Missoula where they resided until 1978. They subsequently resided in Alberton and Belgrade, Montana.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, and three infant children. She is survived by two daughters and one son: Carol Jo Thompson, Bozeman, Beverly Davis, Vinton, Virginia and Steven L. (Cheryl) Thompson, Seeley Lake; four grandchildren: Shari (Dan) Garnsey, Canton, Georgia, Scott Richmond, Gray, Tennessee, Susan (David) Nickson, Belgrade, Montana, and Sean C. (Michelle) Thompson, Salt Lake City, Utah; five great-grandchildren: Tim R. Clark, Quantico, Virginia, Elizabeth, Samantha and Nikki Garnsey, Canton, Georgia and Taryn Thompson, Salt Lake City, Utah; a sister-in-law, Katherine R. Christiansen, Dickinson, North Dakota; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Home, Bozeman, Montana. A memorial service was held at Peace Lutheran Church in Belgrade on Saturday, January 31, 2009 and a family memorial and inurnment will take place at Sunset Memorial Park in Missoula, Montana at a later date.
The family requests that memorials be sent to the American Lung Association or to a charity of one’s choosing.

Audrey Lockwood Koble
Audrey Lockwood Koble of Charlo, MT passed on from this world on February 5, 2009, due to complications from heart surgery. She was born December 26, 1926, to Frank and Olive Lockwood in Kimball County, Neb.
After moving to Montana, Audrey attended Ronan School from second grade through high school, graduating in 1944. She was a bookkeeper at AM Sterling Store in Ronan for a few years before her marriage to Frank J. Koble in 1950.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 46 years, and seven brothers and six sisters.
Survivors include two brothers, Don Lockwood and Darlene of Ronan and Richard Lockwood and Mardell of Missoula; sisters-in-law Maurine Lockwood of Kimball, Neb., Georginia Lockwood of Missoula and Florence Lockwood of Seeley Lake; and lots and lots of nephews and nieces, whom she loved also.
Also surviving Audrey are her four children and their families, Connie and Reg Neidigh, sons Jess and Cody of Conrad and Missoula; Randall and Lisa Koble, sons Shane, Shawn and Caleb of Charlo and Missoula; Jeanida and Pete Donovan, children Erika and Conrad of Helena and Washington; Marvel Carver, sons Colten and Zackery of Arlee.
During Audrey’s life, she enjoyed dancing and live music, especially waltzes, polkas and old-time fiddle music. She was very talented in quilting, creating beautiful family heirlooms that shall be forever treasured. She was always excited to go on any family adventure, such as picnics in the mountains, camping in any season, and flights in her nephew’s plane over the Mission Mountains and other destinations.
She always loved puzzles or games, and was a pro at solitaire. Her home was always open to guests and company at any time. She was known and loved for her spunky direct attitude and her witty sense of humor by all who met her. She will be truly missed and will never leave our hearts.
Our family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Community Rehab, Village Health Care and St. Patrick Hospital for their expertise, compassion, care and support they provided for Audrey.
Cremation has taken place; there will be no services as per her wishes. A graveside memorial gathering for family and friends will be held later this summer at the Ronan cemetery.

George O. Welch
George O. Welch, 82, of Seeley Lake, died Monday, February 16, 2009 at the St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. George went to be with his wife Betty, whom he has missed dearly since her passing in 1991.
He was born July 23, 1926 in Menoken, North Dakota to Robert and Cecelia Welch. George grew-up and attended schools in Menoken.
He joined the U.S. Army in August of 1944 until June of 1946.
He married Betty Dolton on August 20, 1960. He worked as a horse concessionaire in Glacier National Park where he met Betty who was a tourist from Chicago.
George woked as a Mehanic for the US Forest Service for many years. He was proud of his military service and also enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing pool.
He was preceded in death by his wife Betty (of 31 years) in 1991, 2 brothers; Robert and Donald, and 1 sister; Laura.
George is survived by; 3 brothers; Dave Welch of Renton, Wa., Richard and Roland Welch both of Hazelton, North Dakota, his 4 children; daughter, Betty (Tom) McCormick & granddaughters Mariah and Katie of Cut Bank, daughter, Mary Welch of Seeley Lake, son George Welch, Jr. (& Kris Martin) & grandson Samuel of Seeley Lake, and daughter, Joyce O' Halloran and family of Olivia, Mn.
A Memorial Service will be held later in the Spring at the Living Water Catholic Church in Seeley Lake.
Garden City Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Gladys Genene Jewell
May 10, 1937 - February 19, 2009

Gladys Genene Pearson Jewell, 71, a resident of Benton, passed away Thursday, February 19, 2009 in a local hospital.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Benton where she also served as WMU Director. She had managed the Mountain Stream Lodge.__
Mrs. Jewell was the daughter of the late Cecil Pearson and Ruth Campbell Pearson and was also preceded in death by her first husband, Paul Richard Shaw, Jr._
_She is survived by her husband, Donald Jewell of Benton; three children: Donna Brady and husband Charles (Chuck) Brady of Cleveland, Marcia Kennedy of Seely Lake, Montana and Paula Honey of Benton; two grandchildren: Christopher Green of Cleveland and Patrick Honey of Benton; one great-grandchild, Kaitlyn Green of Cleveland; sisters, Barbara Craig and husband, Joe Craig of Ocoee and Florence Martin of Benton; brother, Glenn Pearson and wife Betty Pearson of Cleveland; several nieces and nephews also survive._
_Funeral services were conducted February 22, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Benton with Reverend Robbie Speights officiating.
Interment was held on February 23, 2009 at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with a white dove release concluding the service.

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