Swan Songs - December 2009
Florence Elaine Raisland-Fanning
2/12/1946 ~ 11/23/2009

Florence Elaine Fanning, 63, of Big Timber passed away Monday November 23, 2009 at the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber.
Florence was born February 12, 1946 to Ben and Edna (Nygaard) Raisland in Columbus, MT.
By many, Florence fulfilled a colorful and adventurous life. She always took the back road, calling it a 'short cut', which it never was.
Mom's passengers were always lost by her chosen route and alarmingly concerned if they would ever be found... but not Mom. She sat behind the wheel, without a care in the world, enjoying the scenery. Knowing that we'll get to where we needed to be in a matter of time.
Mom lived many places within the North West but ultimately moved back home to be with, and do what she loved most.
Nothing meant more to her than family, friends and a good game of cards...
Florence is survived by her father Ben Raisland, daughters; Dawn (Joseph) Perro and Edyna (Jay) Shaw, granddaughters; Cady Jo and Paige Shaw, brothers; Alvin (Marilyn) Raisland, Olen (Bobbi) Raisland, Glen (Karen) Raisland, sisters; Carol (Elmer) Schott, Nancy (Duane) Hanson, Una (Walt) Earl, Diane Raisland and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her special partner Harold Gehnert.
She was preceded in death by her mother Edna Nygaard Raisland and her husband, John Rooney.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held Saturday November 28, 2009 at the Big Timber Lutheran Church.
Arrangements by Stenberg Funeral Home

Nannerl (Nan) Nelson
Nan Nelson was born in Tacoma, WA on December 26, 1925 and passed away November 24, 2009 in Steilacoom, WA. She attended schools in Tacoma, including Stadium High School.
Nan married the love of her life, Mel Nelson. They moved from Tacoma to Swan Valley in 1972. They operated a grocery store, fuel supply operation and an aircraft repair business for many years.
Mel and Nan loved living in Swan Valley and were always active in community affairs. Nan continued those activities after Mel’s death in 1992, including volunteering with Meals on Wheels, reading to Swan Valley Elementary students, helping to make the important huckleberry ice cream for the Fourth of July festivities, and leading hymns at the Condon Community Church.
Nan is survived by her children, Judy Nelson of Steilacoom, WA,; John Nelson (Teri) of Auburn, WA; Leigh Nelson (Pamela) of Ephrata, WA; her sister Gen Hovey of Tacoma; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Nana dedicated her life to her family, her community and her church. A life well-lived. There will be a memorial service in Swan Valley in the summer of 2010.

Rosalee Phyllis Switzler
RosaLee Phyllis Switzler, 81, of Echo Lake area passed away on the evening of November 28, just one day before her 82nd birthday, at the Lake View Care Center in Big Fork Montana, where she was cared for from September 9 onward.
RosaLee Phyllis Stoskopf was born November 29, 1927 in Warroad, Minnesota to Alfred and Rose Stoskopf. She had two sisters, Theowen and Joan, brothers Donald and Bill, and half brother Overby.
She grew up on the family farm near Warroad and learned all about growing a garden, canning, and generally being self sufficient as a family through lots of hard work.
Following World War II she married Walter Styler in July of 1947. Walter built a home near Williams and they began raising a family there. In 1956 the family of six (four children) loaded up a few of their belongings in a 1947 Fraser and moved to Montana to seek new opportunity in the Swan Valley area after two of Walt’s brothers sent back reports of work available there. One more daughter was born in Montana, bringing the number of children to five.
RosaLee was an excellent cook and homemaker and is still remembered for her cinnamon rolls, lemon meringue pie, and fried bread dough on bake days, to name just a few. She made countless delicious meals with wild meat and gravy. She was also handy with a needle and thread and sewing machine, and there was always lots of clothing to either make or put patches on.
She enjoyed visiting with neighbours and friends at all times, and back before telephones, people stopped more often to visit it seemed.
Walter and RosaLee were divorced in 1968. Once the kids were all on their own, RosaLee worked for a season as a cook for an outfitter (Bud Smith) during the fall hunting season in the Bob Marshall wilderness. Once again her cooking was appreciated and she also got to see some new country.
She later married Mel Switzler in August 1989. Mel filled a void in her life in a wonderful way after a period of uncertainty and searching on her part. They travelled, went fishing, and enjoyed lots of things she had missed out on earlier in life while raising a family. Mel and RosaLee remained together, living in the Echo Lake area, until her passing.
RosaLee loved the simple things of life and especially liked family reunions and picnics that brought her family and friends together. More than anything else she was a hardworking, devoted mom, who asked very little for herself and devoted practically her entire life to the service of her family.
Survivors include her husband Mel Switzler, three daughters: Roselyn (Lynn) Carey of Seeley Lake, MT; Kathy (Silvestre) Rodriguez of Big Fork, MT; Cindy (Stan) Buresh of Fairfield, MT; two sons Jim (Jennifer) Styler of Highland, UT and Randy (Denise) Styler of Condon, MT; one sister, Theowen (Harold) Thortsen of Williams MN, Harriett Dagg of Chicago; 14 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
RosaLee was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Bill and Donald, half brother Overby, and one sister, Joan.
Cremation had been previously chosen by RosaLee and will be carried out by Buffalo Hill Funeral Home in Kalispell. A memorial service to honor and celebrate her life is planned at Bigfork Chapel Assembly of God at 290 Swan Highway in Big Fork at 2 PM Sunday afternoon December 13, 2009.

Aaron Christopher Carpenter
January 17, 1975 to December 9, 2009
We lost our Aaron to a car accident on December 9, 2009, and we will so miss his smirky little smile, quick wit and great sense of humor. He had great love for his two sons, Anthony Kapland of Iowa, and Tristan of Seeley Lake, Montana. He also leaves behind his mother, Melinda Carpenter Pyle of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; father, Doug McDonugh, of Florida; grandmother, Ula Carpenter of Seeley Lake, Montana; grandparents, John and Edna McDonugh, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sister, Corey Lyman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and many close aunts, uncles, and cousins. His son Tristan will continue to reside in Seeley Lake with his grandmother, Ula Carpenter.
The family of Aaron Carpenter wish to thank everyone in Seeley Lake for all the kindness, cards, and food. We are especially thankful to Pastor Wayne. A fund for Tristan Carpenter has been started at First Valley Bank in Seeley Lake, Montana.

Mickey Miller
Mickey Miller, 88, of Seeley Lake, passed away on Saturday, December 26, 2009, at her home, of natural causes.
She was born on May 30, 1921, in Memphis, Missouri, to John Henry Wall and Valley Dell John. Her birth name was Esther Luella Wall. She had her name changed to Mickey as a young adult.
On September 17, 1949, she married Steven Samuel Miller in Elko, Navada. The Love of her life. Her husband's career took them all over the northwestern states and upon his retirement she and her husband settled in the home they began building in 1952 in Seeley Lake, Montana.
In her early years after losing her parents she lived with Ma and Pa Gibbs and helped out on their Fox Farm called Genesee Ranch. She always spoke fondly of them.
Mickey was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She enjoyed gardening and tending to all her lovely plants. She enjoyed sewing, watching her grandchildren play and the ability to see nature in action everyday through her picture window in the kitchen. Her friends meant the world to her and she loved and cherished them all dearly.
Mickey was preceeded in death by her husband (Steven), parents (John & Valley); Ma & Pa (Gibbs); brother John Wall, and many dear friends.
She is survived by her sister Pauline of Yuma, Arizona; son Stan (Lynn) Brassfield of Boise, Idaho; grandson Brian (Norma) Brassfield of Boise, Idaho; granddaughter Kimberly (Ron) Johnson of Las Vegas Nevada; granddaughter Debra Brassfield of Seeley Lake, Montana. 8 great-grandchildren; Amanda, Jasmine, Victoria, Tony, Chris, Krystyn, Kenny, Montana; and one great-great-grandchild McKenzie.
Special thanks goes to Roy and Wila Dobric of Tucson, Arizona, she looked forward to your Saturday calls. Thank you to Scott Kennedy for being there for my granddaughter Debra and her children. And to Dr. Bekemeyer, for your years of loyalty and care.
Due to travel conditions a memorial gathering of family and friends will be held from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday May 1, 2010 at her home, 495 Cabin Lane, Seeley Lake.

Howard L Higgins
Howard L Higgins, age 74, of Seeley Lake, passed away at home on Christmas Eve from cancer.
Howard was born on May 16, 1935 in Norton Kansas to Eva and Walter Higgins. Howard graduated from High School and shortly thereafter enlisted in US Navy and served honorably.
Howard spent his working career working at the pulp mill and eventually become the Assistant Pulp Mill Superintendent. He spent 53 wonderful years married to Patricia; he was actively in involved in VFW Post 7992.
Howard loved fishing, hunting, camping, golf and working in his garden. He was involved in Little League and Senior League Baseball; he coached for 10 years when the boys were young.
Howard was preceded in death by his mother Eva and father Walter and one sister.
He is survived by his wife Patricia of Seeley Lake, two sons; Michael of Havre, MT and Thomas of Seeley Lake, he is also survived by two daughters Kelly of Seeley Lake and Shelly and her husband Tim of Stevensville.
He is further survived by eight grandchildren; Jenny, Terra, Justin, Kendra, Amy, Becca, Lana and Tessa and six great grandchildren; Dimitri, Vasiliy, Ivan Jr., Nikolay, Amber, and Jazell.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Judes Childrens Hospital. A graveside service was held on January 2, 2009 at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Missoula. A reception followed at the Chicken Coop in Seeley Lake.

Sadie (Miller) Kauffman
Sadie (Miller) Kauffman, age 96, of Kalispell (formerly of Condon), went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 28, 2009. She was born Nov. 15, 1913, to Daniel F. and Sarah (Coblentz) Miller in Bloomfield.
On September 22, 1940, she married Reuben S. Kauffman of Creston. In 1947, they moved to the Swan Valley where she resided until 2004. She then moved to Kalispell where she resided first at Prestige Assisted Living and later at Immanuel Lutheran Home.
She was a devoted wife and mother. She loved children and after raising her own, babysat for many neighbor children over the years. For a time she worked for the US Forest Service planting trees in the summer months.
Besides cooking, baking and sewing, she liked to take pictures and was known far and wide for the buggy-rim rugs she made.
She was a devout Christian and for more than 30 years she and her husband traveled the 60 miles to Creston to attend Sunday school and worship services at Mountain View Mennonite Church. The family also wishes to thank the staff at Immanuel Lutheran Home for the wonderful care they gave our mother during the last months of her life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Reuben S. Kauffman; daughter, Gwendlyn Kauffman; infant son Jere; her parents; five brothers and six sisters.
She is survived by one brother, Nathan Miller and his wife Kathryn of Sidney; son-in-law Paul Kauffman of Wolford, ND; two sons, Lowell and his wife Pauline of Missoula, and Nathan and his wife Fern of Condon; two daughters, Myrene Iverson and her husband Jerry of Long Lake, Minn., and Carol Kauffman and her husband Dennis of Lebanon, PA; 19 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service for Sadie at 1 pm on Friday, January 8 at Mountain View Mennonite Church, Creston. Visitation will be at Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home in Kalispell from 9 am to 6 pm on Thursday, January 7. Internment will be at the Creston Cemetery. A private family burial service will take place prior to the memorial service. The family suggests memorials be made to Mennonite Central Committee, or Gideons Bible Society.
Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for Sadie’s family. You are invited to go to www.jgfuneralhome.com to view Sadie’s guest book, offer condolences and share memories.

Taylor Lee Cearley
Taylor Lee Cearley, age 15, of Missoula, died as a result of a tragic accident on Saturday, December 26, 2009.
Taylor was born in Missoula on July 14, 1994, to parents Shawn Erb Cearley and Jim Cearley, joining her big brother Brannon.
She attended Bonner Elementary, Washington Middle School, and was a freshman at Hellgate High School. Taylor loved being a part of Hellgate with her cherished friends Ashlee, Teal and Hailey. She was an honor roll student throughout her academic career. Taylor enjoyed basketball, choir, volleyball, water sports, and the outdoors.
Along with her parents and brother Brannon, a senior at Loyola Sacred Heart, she is survived by little brother Colin; and stepmother Nancy Labbe; grandparents Gary and Alice Erb of Polson, Jim and Lois Cearley of Seeley Lake, Dick Labbe of Deer Lodge; great-grandmother Marie Gilbert of Deer Lodge; aunts and uncles Karie Erb of Colorado, Kim Erb of Colorado, Montana (Kip) and Cindy Erb of Florida, Rob and Deb Franck of Missoula, Ed and Joni Pauly of Oregon, Joe and Lindi Ryan of Deer Lodge, Rob and Eileen Asbury of Virginia, Joe and Patti Bignell of Hall; many cousins, extended family, and friends.
Taylor was very giving and had a wonderful heart. Her contagious laughter and fun loving spirit will be deeply missed.
Service were held Thursday, December 31. The family suggests memorials be sent to Bonner Elementary School in Taylor’s name.

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