Obituaries: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Billie Lou Eitel Brown, Gary Don Kelley, Vera A. Dilger, Mary Lane Batchelder

2011-11-28T20:12:00Z Obituaries: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Billie Lou Eitel Brown, Gary Don Kelley, Vera A. Dilger, Mary Lane Batchelder Ravalli Republic
November 28, 2011 8:12 pm

Billie Lou Eitel Brown

HAMILTON - Billie Lou Larimore was born Feb. 14, 1929 to parents Frank P. Larimore and Lola G. Smith Larimore in Columbus, Ohio. She lost her long, hard-fought battle to cancer on Nov. 25, 2011.

She is survived by her husband Kenneth Brown; daughter Judy Fitz (Jim) of Phoenix, Ariz.; son Martin R. ‘Rusty' Eitel (Patty) of Corvallis; sister Eva M. Graham (Daniel) of Hilliard, Ohio: sister Jill Dine of Clarks Green, Pa.; and brother Jack Larimore (Alice) of New Braunfels, Texas. The five grandchildren are Jamie B. (Fitz) Vickroy (Nathan) of Casa Grande, Ariz., Jay P. Fitz (Adriana) of Phoenix, Ariz., Jon M. Fitz of Phoenix, Casey T. Eitel (Kori) of Billings and Lacey M. (Eitel) Meuchel (Lucas) of Rochester, Minn. She also has six great-grandchildren with a seventh on the way. There are also several nieces and nephews.

She was a graduate of North High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1947.

She married Martin H. Eitel on Aug. 5, 1950 whom passed away on Sept. 10, 1988. They had two children; daughter Judy A. (Eitel) Fitz and son Martin R. Eitel (Rusty).

Marty and Billie moved to Missoula in 1951.

She was employed with Western Montana National Bank and Heinrich Flowers as a floral designer. She loved her flowers! Her garden was always in full bloom. She also enjoyed being a homemaker and modeled periodically from high school through her senior years.

The family enjoyed memorable years building cabins at Flathead and Placid Lakes among other outdoor activities. They enjoyed traveling.

Marty and Billie moved to Hamilton in 1978. She was very active with Garden Club, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Guild, DAV Chapter 17 Auxiliary, American Legion Post 47 Auxiliary, and was a member of Corvallis Methodist Church. She thoroughly enjoyed participating in the annual children's weekend at the Daly Mansion. She was her grandchildren's biggest fans, supporting and following them all their school years in sports and various activities. She was so proud of all her grandchildren and wished she could have been near all of them.

Billie remarried on Dec. 20, 1992 to Kenneth Brown. They met in Ohio while Billie was visiting family and no ifs, ands or buts about it. They were to live in Montana. No arguments here from Ken!

Billie loved gardening, sewing, crafts, bridge and pinnacle card clubs, fishing, anything outdoors, Grizzly football games, and being with family. She had such a zest for life and lived it to the fullest. She was blessed with many great friends who helped her keep her social calendar full. She had a very big, giving heart and would do anything for anyone.

There are not enough adjectives to describe her... kind, beautiful, classy... she kept her wit right up to the end. Can't express how much she will be missed and what a void there will be in the lives of the people who were fortunate to have known her.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday Dec. 1 at Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. A reception for friends and family will follow the services in the community room at the chapel. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. that same day at the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Missoula, 1911 Tower St., off South Ave. Condolences may be left for the family at

The family would like to thank the staff at the Marcus Daly Hospice. Even for the short time you had Billie in your care, she experienced care and compassion as if she'd known you a lifetime. What a remarkable program you have.

The family suggests memorials to Marcus Daly Hospice; 1200 Westwood Dr; Hamilton, MT 59840; Hamilton Garden Club, c/o Joane Cosper, P.O. Box 1121, Hamilton, MT 59840.

Gary Don Kelley

FLORENCE - Out of Texas, our wandering minstrel came. Out of this world he passed on Nov. 11, 2011. Gary Don Kelley was born on July 16, 1954, in Wichita Falls, Texas, but spent the last 45 years living in Montana within the mountains he loved and felt the most at home.

Gary was a magical being, full of love, light and laughter. His life was one long adventure that he shared with many. He traveled widely, and was always passionate about living life to the fullest. His love of learning led him to be a professional driver, mechanic, recording engineer, levy officer and the owner of multiple businesses.

His greatest talent, however, was music. He was a world-class guitarist and musician. The first time Gary picked up a guitar at age 14, he said it was like the part of him that had been missing was finally found. He went on to write and play hundreds of original songs. Completely self-taught, he became a master guitarist, played in multiple bands, graduated at the top of his sound engineering class and built and operated his own 24-track recording studio. His music was a part of his life in every way. For Gary, it was always about the meaning and truth of his songs and those who were lucky enough to hear him play will forever be touched by his light.

Gary's other interests include restoring cars, playing darts, watching NASCAR and riding his motorcycles. He spent as much time as possible out on his bikes, riding with his brother Danny, or anyone who wanted to enjoy the wind and sun on their face.

Gary touched many people profoundly and his friendships were life-long. He is missed so very much.

Gary is survived by his mother, Joy Kimball of Wichita Falls, Texas; his father, James Kelley and step-mother, Joan Kelley of Helena; daughter, Cassandra Caddell; son-in-law, Cory Caddell; grandson, Calen Caddell; granddaughter, Chaela Caddell of Missoula; brother, Danny Kelley and sister-in-law, Cindy Weinstein of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; step-brother, Tim Graff; step-sisters, Cindy Donnell and Debbie Bogle of Helena; and many more family friends and loved ones.

The family is celebrating Gary's life not with a service, but with remembrance and application of the wisdom and spirituality in which he believed.

In memory of Gary, donations can be made to the ALS Association, 1275 K Street, NW suite 1050, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Vera A. Dilger

MISSOULA - Vera A. Dilger, 82, of Missoula passed away Nov. 28, 2011 at the Village Health Care in Missoula.

Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton.

Mary Lane Batchelder

MISSOULA - Mary Lane Batchelder, 86, passed away in the afternoon, Monday, November 28, 2011, at her residence in Missoula. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory considers it an honor to serve the family. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at


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