Swan Songs - May 2009
Lois J. (Westdal) Ukrainetz
Lois J. (Westdal) Ukrainetz, 82, of Great Falls, a former bookkeeper, died of natural causes Thursday, April 30, 2009, at a local nursing home. Her Funeral service was held on Monday, May 4,
Lois was born in Ray, North Dakota, the middle child of Alvin T. and Leone E. Westdal. In 1934, the family moved to Great Falls and her parents found and bought a home from Nancy Russell at 1216 5th Ave. N.
Lois attended local schools, excelling in music and writing, graduating from Great Falls High School in 1944. In 1946, while on a blind date, she met a young, spunky hockey player named "Uke" (William) Ukrainetz. They dated, fell in love and were married in 1947.
In 1949, a son, Ron, was born. Two years later, Lois' father and Uke opened 'Uke's Sports', Lois' role at the new store was as a part-time bookkeeper until the birth of their second child, Kaye, in August of 1951. Lois became a full-time mom at that point.
In 1957, a daughter, Susie, arrived, followed in 1964 by another son, Terry. In 1965, Lois and Uke bought their first new house in Riverview with rooms for all the children.
During this time, Lois continued her love of music and occasional writing, but mostly dedicated her time to raising four children in a loving and devoted home.
In the years that followed, she became more active in church activities at St. John's Lutheran Church, her bridge club, knitting, sewing, and attending functions at the Country Club. Beyond all, Lois loved attending all her children's activities and numerous concerts and plays. One of her life's highlights occurred in the early '70's when she and "Ukie" were able to take a two week trip to Japan.
In 1977, while attending a party with friends on Lindbergh Lake, a new chapter began with the purchasing of Lindbergh Lake Lodge. For the next 25 years, 'the Lodge' became the love of her life for all the joy it brought to her family. These countless memories will live on forever.
Lois' humility, devotion to family, and love of life set the example for her children. Her published poetry and her love of history will live on, too. Through her efforts alone, the Lindbergh Lake Lodge is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Her poetry appears on the internet and in publication. And her legacy lives on through the eyes and heart of her loving and devoted husband, Uke, and activities and devotion of her four children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 62 years, Uke (William), her 4 children, Ron (Echo) Ukrainetz, Kaye (Dave) Muzzana, Sue (Kerry) Johnson, and Terry (Amanda) Ukrainetz; her 9 grandchildren, Jaime (Justin) Johnson Bailey, Travis (Devon) Stevenson, Courtney Johnson, Drew Johnson, Will Ukrainetz, Ryan Ukrainetz, Casey Ukrainetz, John Romenesko, and Dave Romenesko; her six great-grandchildren, McKayl Ukrainetz Bailey, Taetumn Bailey, Cruz Bailey, Emily Stevenson, Ashlynn Stevenson, Logan Stevenson; a sister, Vivian Milch; an aunt "Muggins" Casey, a sister-in-law Kay Larsen (Lethbridge, Canada) and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Leone Westdal, and a brother, Charles Westdal.
Memorials are suggested to McLaughlin Research Institute Alzheimer’s Research, 1520 23rd St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405 or C.M. Russell Museum, 400 13th St. N., Great Falls, MT 59401.
Condolences for the family may be left at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.

Marleen Austin Hamilton
Marleen Austin Hamilton, 74, of Missoula, passed away on May 4, 2009 at St. Patrick Hospital from complications of COPD.
Marleen was born on November 23, 1934 in Deer Lodge to Ruby Kimmerly and Edward Lee Austin She attended school in Deer Lodge. She married Martin “Spike” Hamilton in 1949, they were blessed with four children, and they later divorced. Marleen married Martin “Dale” Hamilton in 1960 and they were blessed with four children; they divorced in 1996.
Marleen was a volunteer at Loving Hearts Thrift Shop in Seeley Lake, the senior companion program, and reading to children at the library. Our mom was a gifted artist, writer, cook, and baker. She illustrated two books written by Elinor Williamson, “Unusual Friends” and “Miracle in the Mountains of Montana”. She also wrote and illustrated several children’s books of her own.
She was famous for her homemade pies and had an article written about her in the Missoulian by a reporter who stopped by Barneys Café in Seeley Lake and enjoyed a slice. She worked in restaurants in Seeley Lake, Smelterville and Kellogg, Idaho.
She was a loving mother to her eight children and always wished for them to be happy. She is home with the Lord and free from pain. We will miss her but take comfort in knowing we will all be together again.
Marleen was preceded in death by her sisters; Elsie Bauman, Valerie Weber, and Betty Hewitt and her parents. She is survived by her children; Mike (Shay) of Missoula, Patrick (Susan) of Townsend, Daniel (Pam) of Salmon Prairie, Cathy (Frank Watson) of Seeley Lake, Penny (John McDonald) of Missoula, Polly (Rick Carlisle) of Seeley Lake, Kelly Hamilton of Deer Lodge, and Jim Hamilton of Utah. She is further survived by 34 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 16th at 1 pm at Mission Bible Fellowship in Seeley Lake with Pastor Ken Wutzke. Cremation has already taken place. The family suggests memorials to American Lung Association. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

“Pat” Norman Bennett
“Pat” Norman Bennett, beloved son, brother, husband, father and uncle, died Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at his home in Ovando at the age of 75.
Born in Hettinger, N.D., on Jan. 14, 1934, Pat fought a heroic battle with inoperable brain cancer, often remarking that he was glad it was he who “has cancer instead of someone younger.” He was preceded in death by his father Palmer Ode, mother Alys Ingeborg Underland and stepson Dee Schroeder.
Pat is survived by his wife Diane (whom he married in August 1995); sister Dolores “Dixie” Harris of Anaconda; brother Dean Bennett (and wife Angela) of Ovando; stepfather Denzel “Dan” Bennett of Anaconda; Diane’s mother, Diane Rice of Philipsburg; and his divorced wife, Ruth Anderson (whom he married in 1961) of Anaconda. Pat and Ruth’s children include Vicky (Shawn) Weaver of Mountain Green, Utah, Gayle (Tyler) Martin of Bountiful, Utah, and Mark (Terry) Bennett of Kalispell. His stepchildren are Dareen (Jim) Byler of Manhattan, Daralee (David) King of Belgrade, Doris (Mark) Metesh of Philipsburg and Danielle (Dale) Larsen of Stayton, Ore.
After high school Pat joined the Army in 1954 and served until his honorable discharge in 1957. (While stationed in France he played tight end on his division football team.) He logged for a number of years before becoming an ironworker, working as a union member until his retirement. His athletic ability made him especially good at high--rise steel construction, and he worked on many major projects throughout the Northwest. He was a hard worker and an excellent welder.
After retiring he partnered with his brother Dean on their ranch near Ovando, a place whose beauty and wildlife he loved. Known for his generosity and kindness, Pat would readily help others before himself and often spoke of the sadness he felt that so many people seem to need someone to hate.
A memorial service, to be conducted by Pat’s nephew Brett Harris, will be held May 16 at 2 pm at the Ovando School gymnasium. A reception will follow. The burial service for family members and close friends will be held May 17 at 2 pm at the Philipsburg Cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorial offerings be sent to Guardian Angels (Cancer Society) in care of Dr. Judy Schmidt, 2835 Fort Missoula Road, Suite 301, Missoula, MT 5980

Robert L. Cherry
Robert L. Cherry, 85, of Seeley Lake, formerly of Sylvania, Ohio, died peacefully Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in his beautiful mountain home with his beloved wife Donna by his side. He was a tool and die maker for Jeep for 33 years, retiring in 1976. He was also a World War II vet having served overseas.
The son of Burt and Amy (Deay) Cherry, he was born Nov. 6, 1923. He married Dorothy Alice Beard in 1948. The union produced five children before Dorothy passed away in 1976. In 1987, he married Donna Hepler and together they built their dream log cabin home in Seeley Lake, overlooking the Mission Mountains.
He is survived by his wife Donna; children, Carolyn Cherry, Dolores (Scott) Seidler, David (Mary) Cherry and Annette (Doug) Marciniak; stepchildren, Kathleen Hepler (Don) Eckerson, Robert (Cathy) Hepler; grandchildren, Amy (Paul) Chasco, Sarah (Adam) McLeod, David Seidler, Catherine and Theresa Cherry, and Kelsey Marciniak, Jacob and Kimberly Hepler, Laura, Amy and Jim Hepler; step-grandchildren, Kristopher (Loretta) Seidler, Kyle (Mariah) Seidler, Kim (Buzz) Seidler-Cain and step-great-grandchildren, Patience, Liam, Austin, Dylan, Collier, Kaden and Kole. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren, McKayla, Ty and Coeen Chaver. In addition to his first wife, Dorothy, he was preceded in death by his daughter Kathleen McClusky; granddaughter Alexa Marie Marciniak and 10 brothers and sisters. He will be missed.
There will be a celebration of his life held on June 13 in Maumee, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to the Seeley Lake Senior Center

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