Wolf Point Herald

Richard Frerich


Richard Lee “Dick” Frerich, 86, of Billings died Jan. 31, 2015.
The son of Fred and Mary, he was born in Clear Lake, Minn. As an infant, the family homesteaded to Poplar, where Dick grew up with his sister Mary Jane. He studied engineering at Montana State University and University of Montana, returning to Poplar to join the family wheat farmers.
He met Gwen Anklam in Culbertson and they married on Nov. 7, 1949. Together, they built their own home, raised three daughters and lived there until 1993, when he retired and they moved to Billings. For the past five years, they’ve resided at Morningstar retirement community. They celebrated 65 years of marriage in November.
He was an active member of the Catholic Church, Holy Name Society and the Cursillo movement.
Always a deep thinker with an engineer’s mind, he designed and built a four-wheel-drive tractor by connecting two tractors. His creative skills led him to making his own blends of homemade wine and numerous remodel projects on the family home. He was an accomplished bowler and skilled cribbage player.
Many happy hours were spent boating and waterskiing on the Poplar River and Nelson Reservoir. It was a challenge to keep up with his reading habit as he averaged three books a week. His talent and love of music has been passed down to all his children and grandchildren. He was a caring friend and a good neighbor.
He was a man of few words, but many dimpled smiles and silly antics. You may not remember what he said to you, but you remembered how he made you feel.
His sister preceded him in death.
Survivors are Gwen; daughters, Ann Berg, Mary Lee Smith and Connie Schulz; five grandchildren;  and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass was held Friday, Feb. 6, at St. Thomas in Billings.

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Bernadine Torgerson

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Bernadine Ruby Torgerson, 83, died Feb. 4, 2015, in Billings.
She was born on the family farm south of Dagmar Nov. 23, l931, to Elsie (Henke) and John Miller. She attended Sunny Hill Grade School and graduated from Medicine Lake High School in May l950.
She loved living on the farm, helping her dad with the farm work, helping her mother with the cooking and she enjoyed playing with her older sister Eunice and younger sister Maxine.  
On June 29, 1950, she married Victor Torgerson at the Volmer Church and was a devoted wife for 64 years. They had four children, Russell, Mavis, Stuart and Debbie.
She was a farm wife who worked hard from sunup to sundown. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, cooking, baking, canning, gardening, traveling, raising chickens and helping with the baby calves. She enjoyed bringing dinner out to the field during harvest and was always ready to give a hand in moving from field to field. In the spring, she loved taking her children down to the creek to see how high the water was and pick flowers. She also enjoyed playing softball on the Volmer ladies team and later bowling in Medicine Lake.  
Vic and Bernadine loved to dance and they would glide over the floor so effortlessly. She was a keeper of memories, faithfully keeping a diary all her married life. She loved having company and always had bars or cake ready for anyone that dropped by.  
She lovingly took care of her mother and also neighbor Louie Gladue.
She was a member of the Big Sky Church of Froid and their womens’ group. She was a member of the Volmer Helping Hands Club and belonged to the Women of the Moose. She and Vic enjoyed following their children and grandchildren in their school activities. They were faithful Medicine Lake Honkers fans.
In 2004, they moved to Williston, N.D., where they both enjoyed their new home, gardening and their apple trees. In September 2014, they moved to Aspen Meadows Retirement Home in Billings. Bernadine enjoyed her time there and felt like a queen being pampered by all.
She was preceded in death by an infant brother, Lloyd; and sister, Eunice Torgerson.
She is survived by her  husband, Victor; son, Russell of Dagmar; daughter, Mavis Johnson of Bismarck, N.D.; son, Stuart of Dagmar; and daughter Deborah Frank of Billings; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandsons; and her sister, Maxine Tucker of  Surprise, Ariz.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. Pastor Len Shatkus will officiate the service at the Volmer Lutheran Church in Dagmar, with interment in the Volmer Cemetery.

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Rita Louise Longchase


Rita Louise (Youngman) Longchase, 81, died Feb. 1, 2015.
 She was born Dec. 28, 1933.
She was married to Joseph Alfred Foote and from this union four children were born: Myrna Foote, Albert Foote, Sr., Laura Foote and Kiefer Foote.
She married George DeMarrias and from this union came Frank DeMarrias, Georgia Yellow Hawk, George Jr., James and Denise.  
She attended Fort Peck Community College and graduated at 50 years old. She encouraged continued education for all, no matter what age you are. “You are never too old to learn.”
She was a very good maker of star quilts and had many of them all over the world. She always went out of her way to help out, especially cooking for the people. She was one of the few women who still cooked traditional foods.
She lived by the Dakota values: respect, compassion, caring, sharing, honesty and humbleness.
She was preceded in death by her sons, Keifer and James; and daughter, Laura.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Poplar Cultural Center. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point was entrusted with the arrangements.

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Jeff Todd


Jeff Todd passed away on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at the Billings Hospital.
He was born on May 2, 1957, to Patty Bauer and the late Elliott Todd at March Air Force Base, Riverside, Calif.
He went to various schools but graduated from Frasier High School in 1976 as valedictorian.  After graduation he went to truck driving school in Albuquerque. N.M., but that wasn’t for him. He tried his hand at construction and plumbing and became a master of both.
He had various relationships, but when he met JoAnn Clampit, she became the love of his life.  They married and to this union they adopted Aubrey.
He worked construction and plumbing for many years, sometimes with his brothers, Ken, Wade and Tim. At one time, he and his brothers all worked construction in Arizona.  He also worked for Fort Peck Housing Authority as a carpenter and plumber. He was still working for a local businessman remodeling homes up until he became too ill.
In 2010, with an inheritance from his father, Elliott Todd, he designed and started building a home for JoAnn and himself on land given to them by JoAnn’s father, Frank Clampit.  The home was not completed because of a dispute over the land.
He is survived by his wife, JoAnn; daughter, Aubrey; sisters, Teri Long of Nashua, Tonya Thomas of Wolf Point; brother, Tim Todd of Wolf Point; and mother, Pat Bauer Arthur of Wolf Point.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Ken and Wade Todd.
There will be a celebration of his life on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.

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Phoebe Owens-Melbourne


Phoebe Ann Owens-Melbourne, 58, died Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, at the Poplar Hospital in Poplar.
She was born in Poplar July 29, 1956, to Allison Lone Fight and Thomas “Turby” Melbourne. Phoebe attended school in Brockton, where she met the father of her oldest children, Patrick “Boy Boy” McKay II. At age 15, she married Patrick in Wolf Point. They later moved to San Francisco, Calif., for a couple years and later divorced. They had two children, Patrick H. Mc-
Kay III and Theresa Allison McKay.
She also lived in Wyoming for a while where she obtained her GED and also worked at a soap factory. After all her traveling, she moved back to Montana in 1987. Since then, she raised her granddaughter, Autumn, whom she took as her daughter.
In 1989, she met and dated Keith Olson. They had one son, Daniel Ray McKay.
She later met and married Lawrence D. Hamilton Sr. up until his death. From this union, came Lawrence D. Hamilton Jr.
She enjoyed going to church and listening to her gospel music. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family.
She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A big part of her life was her son, Daniel Ray McKay. He was born with medical problems and she cared for him up until his death. They were inseparable.
Later on, in her life she met the love of her life Denny C. Owens Sr., whom she was married to 17 years.  
She is survived by her husband, Denny C. Owens Sr.; sister, Theresa Sun Rhodes; sons, Lawrence D. Hamilton Jr. and Patrick H. McKay III; daughters, Theresa A. Brown and Autumn Arthur; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Gerald G. Melbourne; and a son, Daniel Ray McKay.
A funeral service was held Monday, Feb. 2, at the Cultural Center in Poplar. Interment was at the Riverside Catholic Cemetery. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel of Wolf Point was entrusted with the arrangements.

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