HAMILTON — Bonnie S. Murray, 76, passed away Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, at Community Medical Center.
Bonnie was born Jan. 17, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan, to Russell and Lillian Smith. Bonnie was married to Lenard “Earl” Murray for 43 years. She worked for the Napa Valley Unified School District for over 35 years and was loved by all of the kids that she mentored.
Bonnie enjoyed cooking, quilting, reading, gardening, crocheting, watching movies and spending time with family.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Lenard “Earl” Murray; her parents, Russell and Lillian Smith; her brothers, Raymond and Ronald Smith.
Survivors include her children, Lori Murray of Hamilton, Lisa (Ray) Bennett of Victor and Raymond Murray of Blanchard, Idaho; grandchildren, Zach and Justin Murray, both of Hamilton, Alisha Bennett of Corvallis, Kylee Bennett of Victor, Tiffany and Jacob Murray of Athol, Idaho; brother, Bob (Deb) Smith; numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at 1 p.m., at the Big Sky Baptist Church, 201 S. 4th St., Hamilton. Interment will follow at the Riverview Cemetery. A reception will follow the interment at the Sapphire Lutheran Homes. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.
STEVENSVILLE — Jacquie Lyons passed away on Aug. 17, 2019, after an experience with cancer. She was surrounded by loved ones, at her home in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. She was 80 years old.
Jacqueline Lou Russell was born on Feb. 9, 1939, in Sioux City, Iowa. She grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jacquie moved to California in 1957 where she attended Chaffey College. There she met her first husband.
She began her elementary teaching career as Mrs. Pitcher in 1970 at Walnut Avenue Elementary and later Cattle Elementary, both in Chino California. In 1978, she met and married her beloved Ken Lyons. She taught as Mrs. Lyons until she retired in 1997. Throughout her teaching career, she earned the respect of her colleagues and the love of her many students.
After retirement in 1997, she and Ken moved to Stevensville.
Jacquie loved many things deeply and most of all her family, dear friends and her spiritual path that led her on a life journey filled with positivity and service. She was a spiritual mentor to many and she was dedicated to her “Wisdom Seekers” group. At her passing, she was the longest serving volunteer at Pantry Partners in Stevensville. In 2018 she was named Stevensville Volunteer of the Year and got to ride in a ‘54 Oldsmobile convertible in the Creamery Picnic Parade.
Jacquie was a voracious reader and loved all genres. She was a particular fan of multi-book, multi-generation sagas. She won ribbons and blessed friends and family with her beautiful crocheted afghans and projects. She was always extremely interested and knowledgeable about all that was going on in the world and was never hesitant to try new technology. For most of her life, she utilized her stunning voice to sing solos.
Jacquie is survived by Ken, her beloved husband of 40 years; her son, David (Lisa) Pitcher; daughter, Catherine Pitcher; step-son, Mark (Winnie) Lyons; and brother, Jim (Cindy) Russell. She was also the treasured and adored grandmother of Justin (Erica) Ridge; Justin’s parents, Tamara and Sande Ridge; grandson, Bradley (Marina) Pitcher; and grandson, Kurtis (Sarah) Pitcher. She also leaves behind nephews and nieces, Jim, Kelly, Jaime and Todd.
A celebration of her life will be held in the summer of 2020. Family and friends will be notified. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jacquie’s name to Stevensville Pantry Partners Food Bank, 3614 Alc Way, Stevensville, MT 59870, or the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Jacquie, we know that you are now singing with the angels! Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.
MISSOULA — Leora A. “Lee” Welch, 100, passed away in the night, Sunday, Sept. 1, at BeeHive Homes of Missoula. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.brothersmortuary.com.
DARBY - Phyllis Bartkowski, 79, of Darby, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, slipped away from us Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at the Marcus Daly Hospice Care Center in Hamilton with her devoted husband at her side. Our hearts are broken. She was born Sept. 22, 1939, in San Jose, California, daughter of the late Isaac (Ted) and Reba (Laverne) Baughman.
Phyllis was raised in California and in her senior year at Campbell High School met the love of her life, Clark Bartkowski. They were married Nov. 23, 1958, at St. Martin’s Church in San Jose and began their 61-year journey working and raising a family in the Bay Area. They moved to Darby in 1995 and built their dream home on their cherished Elk Ridge Ranch, where they spent so many happy evenings on their deck porch swing, watching the sun set over the Bitterroot Valley.
Phyllis was a member of the St. Philip’s Altar Society, the Hamilton Garden Club, and the Friends of Darby Library. She volunteered at the Darby Bread Box and was active in St. Phillip’s parish activities. She dedicated her life to her husband and children and was known for her cooking, baking, entertaining and quilting skills. She made every holiday special, and every day a holiday for her family.
Phyllis is survived by her adoring husband, Clark, of Darby; daughter, Tracy McGibben, of Missoula; son, Greg and wife, Janine Tunay, of Portland, Oregon; daughter, Lara Poncia and husband Colt, of Redwood City, California; six grandchildren, Clarke and Colleen McGibben, Cole and Adam Bartkowski, and Logan and Abigail Poncia; her siblings, Kathryn DiBenedetto and Robert Baughman; her sister-in-law, Linda Dodds, of Darby; and brother-in-law, Kent Bartkowski, of Hamilton; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Phyllis and Clark’s love story is powerful and inspirational. Their children and grandchildren are forever grateful for the true gift of the example of love and devotion they have provided for over sixty years.
A celebration of Phyllis’ life will take place at St. Francis Catholic Church in Hamilton on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 11 a.m., with reception following at 12:30 p.m. in the Pastoral Life Center. The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Marcus Daly Hospice Endowment Fund, 1200 Westwood Dr., Hamilton, MT 59840, or the Darby Bread Box, 206 East Tanner Ave., Darby, MT 59829. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.
HAMILTON - Larry Leroy Neely, age 82, died on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. He was born in Monahans, Texas, to Roy and Zelma Neely and was the oldest of five children.
After graduating from high school he attended a two year business college. After college he joined the U.S. Army and spent time in Germany. When he got out of the service Larry started his horse training years and had many accomplishments. One of his horses ran in the Kentucky Derby. Larry also had a career at the Ravalli County Bank in Hamilton and served on the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years.
Larry is survived by his step-children, Rocky Skaw, Howard (Cynthia) Skaw, Jody (Rudy) and Leslee (Mike) Depee; and his brothers and sisters, Darlene Birney, Jerry Neely, Ross Irene Gumm, and Steven Neely.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. at Daly Leach Memorial. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.