Recent Obituaries

Kevin Lee Keith, 54, of Winnett passed away suddenly the evening of December 11, 2018 of natural causes. Kevin was born July 17, 1964 in Lewistown, the fourth child of Carl “Jack” and Verda (Rowton) Keith. He grew up in the Musselshell Breaks, attended Ross School and gained a knowledge and respect of ranch life at a very young age. He later attended school in Grass Range and Winnett, where he was very active in football, basketball and track. He graduated from Winnett High School in 1982, and liked to recount the story of how he competed in the state track meet, graduated and got married all within the span of about a week. Kevin and Cara, with baby Amber, relocated to Gallatin Gateway, where Cara attended MSU in Bozeman, and later welcomed Chase. Kevin managed the Squaw Creek Ranch in Gallatin Gateway as Cara completed her education. They were married just shy of 11 years before she passed away in 1994.

In 1995, Kevin and kids moved back home to Winnett, where he continued ranch work with Hans Marks and later on the Petrolia Lake Ranch. Kevin married Tasha Bohn in a midnight ceremony on New Year’s Eve in 2000. Kevin and Tasha welcomed Kaden, Charlie and Anna, and made their home on the Petrolia Bench. Kevin later transitioned into delivering liquid feed to nearly every cow in Petroleum and Garfield Counties, and also worked as a ditch rider.

Kevin enjoyed spending time with family, especially hunting and fishing, and was active in coaching his kids, whether formally or in the backyard. He was truly a selfless supporter of his family in all of their endeavors.

He is survived by children Amber (Jordan) Brien of Billings, Chase (Amber) Keith of Belgrade; Kaden, Charlie and Anna, all of Winnett; siblings Claude (Debbie) Keith of Bridger and Judy (Dan) Elliott of Three Forks; seven grandchildren Miles, Cara, Miri, Parker, Hailey, Avrie & Remi, along with many nieces and nephews.

Kevin was preceded in death by his parents and brother Clyde, as well as Cara and Tasha.

Memorial services will be Monday, December 17 at 2:00 pm at the Winnett High School gym, with burial at the Nordahl Cemetery in the spring. Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers memorials are requested to Tasha Keith Kids Trust at the 1st Bank of Montana in Lewistown, either contact Judy Sipe at 1st Bank of Montana at 538-7471 or leave them with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the Petroleum County Ambulance crew and all those who have shared kind words in this very difficult time.

John William McBurney 66 of Hilger passed gently from this world into the arms of his loving savior early Monday morning, December 10th, 2018 at his home after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer. Everyone witnessing his life at this time said how amazingly strong he was in this battle. He was a hard-working, loyal and honest man. He had a great sense of humor and always tried to use that to lighten things up for his family, friends and caregivers, even in the end. John was born July 28th, 1952 in Lewistown, MT the son of William (Bill) and Ethel “Snookie” McBurney. He went to grade school in Hilger, and graduated from Fergus High school. He was in the Army National Guards from 1971 to 1979, serving as a vehicle mechanic, his highest rank being a Buck Sergeant. He was also involved in the Jaycee’s. He met the love of his life, Sally Berg on a blind date and they married Aug. 16th, 1974. John worked at Central Feed for a spell while living in Lewistown. John’s true passion was working on the 3rd generation ranch with his father in Hilger where he spent the majority of his life. John had a good eye for quality in cattle as buyers often raved about how he took pride in the care of his livestock. John loved to observe wildlife. He enjoyed watching them on his ranch from the window of the house or when out in the pasture. John was blessed with two daughters who were his pride and joy. John loved his family, friends and grandkids, spending as much time as he could with them. He spent time teaching his daughters how to fish and hunt. He spent countless hours watching and supporting his kids and grandkids playing sports and performing in school activities. John was a volunteer firefighter with the Hilger Fire department for 30 years. John enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, camping, trapping, bowling, golfing, playing cards, practical jokes, and Pittsburg Steeler’s football. He became friends with pretty much everyone he met. He was always thinking of others first, always eager to lend a hand helping those in need and endlessly doing whatever he could to make the lives better for those he loved.

He is survived by his wife Sally of Hilger; daughters Christine “Chrisie” (Tahan) Wichman, and Jennifer (John Coslow) McBurney both of Lewistown; sisters Nancy (Melvin) Bawden of Lewistown and Ginger (Wayne) Eickhoff of Grass Range, MT; grandchildren Brock & Zack Hoots; numerous nephews and nieces; his beloved companion the family dog Lizzy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, uncle Douglas McBurney, aunt Jeanie Dodge Johnson, niece Bonnie Watson, father-in-law Don Berg and brother-in-law Donnie Berg.

Memorial services for John McBurney will be Saturday, December. 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Lewistown, cremation has taken place. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Memorials can be made to the Hilger Fire Department, Presbyterian Church or Hospice of Central Montana and they can be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences can be posted at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Holmes and staff at the Family Wellness Center, as well as the very caring staff at CMMC hospital, ER and the Hospice staff and caregivers that helped take care of John.

Betsy H. VanRaam 48 of Lewistown died early Friday morning, December 7, 2018 at her home of natural causes. She was born September 1, 1970 in Great Falls, Montana and lived in Lewistown with her parents Howard D. (Doc) and Kathryn H. (McCollough) Halverson. She received her schooling in Lewistown graduating from Fergus High School. She then went to Great Falls and attended the College of Great Falls. She then moved to Dillon and then to Butte where she met Vernon H. VanRaam and they were united in marriage on April 4, 1992 in Butte. They moved to Lewistown and she worked as a nurses’ aide at Valle Vista Manor, The Montana Center for the Aged and Shepherd’s Way Assisted Living. He preceded her in death in 2016.

She is survived by her son Russ of College Place, WA; companion Mike Johnson of Lewistown; Step-father Charles (Anna Marie) Dirkson of Hobson, MT; step-brothers Brian Dirkson of Sapphire Village, MT and Charles Dirkson of Whitehall, MT; step-sister Sharla LaFountain of Great Falls, MT; two grandchildren Sawyer and Rustyn and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by her parents and one brother Brian.

No Services will be held at this time for Betsy VanRaam, cremation has taken place at her request. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

William (Bill) Mittal 92 of Lewistown passed away Monday morning, November 26th, 2018 in Lewistown of natural causes. Bill was born on December 26, 1925 the son of Andrew and Mary (Vargo) Mittal on the Andrew Mittal homestead, established in 1913, twenty miles NE of Geraldine, MT. He grew up attending country school, graduating from Geraldine High School in 1945 and working on the family ranch and farm until joining the Marines, 1951-1953.

Bill was united in marriage to Grace Parrie in Great Falls, MT on August 26, 1956.  They raised three children while farming and ranching on the original home place.

He loved to hunt and sharing that with friends and family each year. Bill enjoyed branding, riding and working cows, especially when the neighbors joined together.

Bill retired in 1986 and spent time in Arizona, later returning to Great Falls and Lewistown, MT.

Bill is survived by his children, Cynthia (John) Satermo of New Town, ND, Cheryl Mittal of Lewistown, MT, and Janet (Taylor) Wind Set of Ennis, MT. Four grandchildren, Kelly (Steve) Lang of Epping, ND, Austin (Becky) Vandeberg of Detroit Lakes, MN, Jessica Mittal-Lohse of Missoula, MT and Dylan Mittal-Lohse of Lewistown, MT; three great-grandchildren, Alivia Lang, Blake and Kate Vandeberg; several nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Mary Mittal; two brothers Gerald and Robert; three sisters Ethel Nelson, Murriel Oakes and Irene Nelson.

Graveside Services for William Mittal will be in the Spring of 2019 in the Geraldine Cemetery, cremation has taken place. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to Hospice of Central Montana or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

Floyd Aaron Brower, 90, father, grandfather, partner, and attorney, passed away early Tuesday morning, November 13, 2018, in Roundup Memorial Hospital of natural causes. He was born Lloyd Aaron Brower on July 11, 1928 in Havre, Montana, the son of Martin and Eva Mae (Stokes) Brower. Floyd helped on the family ranch herding sheep. Floyd served in the Navy on the Admiral’s staff from 1946 to 1948 where he was on the boxing team and, once discharged, got his GED. He worked as an auctioneer, and he also went on to sell cars, ultimately becoming an owner of the Ford dealership in Chinook. After he sold the dealership, he went to Northern Montana College and then attended the University of Montana, where he studied law, graduating with a JD.

In 1960, Floyd married Mary Sweeney in Havre, where their son, Martin, was born in 1961. The family moved to Roundup in 1965, where their second son, Clay, was born.

Practicing law in Roundup for over 50 years, Floyd first worked for Thomas Ask and then set up his own law practice, Brower Law Firm. He served as County Attorney several times and acted as guardian ad litem for a number of children, helping those who could not help themselves. In 2015, the Montana State Bar recognized Floyd for 50 years of service, and he was still an active member of the bar.

Floyd belonged to the Elks Lodge and Phi Delta Phi, among other organizations.

He loved to fish and to ride horses, and Floyd was an avid endurance rider, a sport he started in his sixties and continued into his early eighties. Floyd was especially proud of his ride from the Colorado border to the Montana line and his ride from the North Dakota border to Browning, Montana. Floyd was funny, a fabulous dancer, intelligent, thoughtful—and a friend to more people than anyone knew. He will be sorely missed.

Floyd is survived by his son Clay (Laurie) of Glendive, MT; his grandson Jesse; nieces and nephews Russ, Ben, Mike, and Ken Stromberg, Shane Cook and Gayle Studt, Linda Fastje and Bonnie Pollock, Vicki Pfeiffer and Jim Sohm; and his partner Michelle Clement of Roundup, MT.

Floyd was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother Minnie, his son Martin, his sisters and their husbands Elaine Stromberg, Margie Cook, Selma Fastje, and Odella Sohm; and his nephews Pat Stromberg and Larry Cook.

At Floyd’s request, no memorial service will be held, and cremation has taken place. The Cloyd Funeral Home of Lewistown is assisting the family. Condolences and stories for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com

Jon Reeder Wicks, 68, of Lewistown, passed suddenly on Tuesday afternoon, November 6, 2018 at St Vincent Healthcare in Billings, surrounded by his family. Jon was born June 8, 1950 in Lewistown, MT, the son of Joe and Joy (Reeder) Wicks. He married the love of his life, Sandy Waltenbaugh, in 1973 in Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Jon was a hard-working, honest man. He was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and friend. Anyone that met Jon loved him, unless they were dumb enough to make him mad. One of his greatest passions was cars, especially old cars.   He loved to rebuild and race them. He loved the ranch that he owned and operated with his family. He loved to fish and camp and just to be outside. He also loved great music.

Jon was the rock for many people and he will be greatly missed.

Jon is survived by one daughter, Lori (Rick) Wicks Martin; his mother Joy; one brother Jim (Mary); one sister Jan (Rick) Waltenbaugh all of Lewistown; grandchildren Berkanna (Cody) Wicks Johnson, Summer Elmore and Clayton Elmore; great grandchildren Milo, Rhett and Cade Johnson and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father Joe and his beloved wife, Sandy.

There will be a celebration of life ceremony for Jon in early June and the public will be notified.

Cremation has taken place at his request with the Cloyd Funeral Home assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to Hospice of Central Montana, Lewistown Drag Racing Association or the charity of their choice and they may be left at Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

Larry L Brewington 79 passed away at his home in Lewistown on Thursday, November 1, 2018 of natural causes. Larry was born on October 15, 1939 the son of Roy and Lola (Bruflat) Brewington, in Judith Gap, Montana, where he grew up on the family ranch east of Judith Gap. He graduated from Judith Gap High School in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Wasp until his discharge in 1960. Upon being discharged on the east coast, Larry attended and graduated from barber school as a Master Barber and established his first barber shop, The Western Barber Shop, in Lynnfield, MA. His clientele included athletes from the Boston Red Sox and Bruins. After twenty years, Larry returned to his beloved state of Montana. He spent a short time in Billings before moving to Lewistown where he established and operated the Post Office Barber Shop until his retirement in 2010.

Larry was a lifetime member of the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple in Billings, serving as the secretary/treasurer for the Lewistown district. He worked tirelessly to get local children the medical care they needed through the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Spokane, WA, for over forty years.

Larry enjoyed golfing, camping in the Snowy Mountains, and spending time with his family and friends. Larry was also an avid hunter spending countless days with Roy and Lola, his children and family members hunting deer, elk and antelope in the Judith Gap area. His hunting achievements were proudly displayed on his barber shop walls and each had a story Larry would share with his customers. He will be missed by all.

Larry is survived by his sons Scott (Casey) Brewington of Helena and Glenn (Alison) Brewington, of Boise, ID; daughters Bethany Brewington of Salem, MA and Lori (Tim) Grenier of Georgetown, MA; sister Helen Conroy of Judith Gap; seven grandchildren, one great grandson, numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Lola Brewington of Judith Gap and his wife, Mary Brewington of Lewistown.

A private memorial service for Larry Brewington will be held at a later date, with committal in the Harlowton Cemetery with his wife Mary. Cremation has taken place, the Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

The family wishes to thank everyone for their condolences and prayers at this

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Central Montana Shrine Transportation Trust, Shrine Crippled Children’s’ Hospital, or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

Duane Paul Phillips 69, longtime resident of Hilger, MT, died Tuesday afternoon, November 6th, 2018 of natural causes at the Central Montana Medical Center.   Duane was born March 22, 1949 in Great Falls, Montana to David and Helen (Munski) Phillips. His family moved to Hilger when Duane was three years and he lived in Hilger for the remainder of his life. He attended numerous rural schools in northern Fergus county while his mother taught at those schools and he graduated from Winifred High School in 1967. After high school he took automotive and engine classes in Denver, CO and at Northern Montana College in Havre. He then worked as a mechanic for most of his life with some time spent in construction and truck driving.

Duane served as a member of the Army Reserve for several years. For 35 years he operated an independent business in Hilger, “Hilger Auto Dynamics”, before retiring in 2013. His business card stated that “we don’t work on anything that does not have the dimmer switch on the floor”.           

Duane enjoyed working with his friends and his customers and there was rarely an automotive issue he wouldn’t take on. He was known for going out of his way to help others when there was need of his expertise. He enjoyed exploring the nearby mountains on his ATVs, especially the Kendell and Maiden areas, as both sets of grandparents came to this country as miners from Wales and Poland. Duane was especially attached to his uncles’ ranch in the North Moccasin Mountains near Kendall. He had great interest in, and substantial knowledge of, Central Montana history.           

Duane is survived by his brother Tom (Elaine) of Hilger, Dwight (Kathy) of Bozeman, and sister Margaret (Len) Miller of Ephrata, Washington, as well as numerous nephews and nieces and numerous cousins, including his cousin Ken (Cindy) Munski of Lewistown with whom he shared many interests including working on older cars and trucks, Model A’s, and the Munski cabins in the Judith Mountains. In addition, Duane is survived by a legion of friends from the Hilger, Roy, Lewistown and Winifred area who were always willing to lend support.           

No Services will be held for Duane Phillips as he requested. Cremation has taken place and committal will be in the Central Montana Memorial Gardens near his parents. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

The family asks that any memorials in his name be made to the Hilger Home Demonstration Club, for upkeep and improvements to the Hilger Community Garden or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

Duane’s family would like to express sincere gratitude to the Hospice of Central Montana staff for the excellent quality care he received.