In 2021, we said goodbye to our neighbors, our friends, our family members. Some served their country in the military, some worked family farms, others raised children or taught others’ children. They were public servants, volunteers, and church leaders. They were the quiet ones who took longer to get to know. They were people who lived all sorts of lives, in all sorts of ways. We are richer for having known them.
(Editor's Note: The obituaries below were taken from the archives of the 2021 issues of the newspaper. We apologize for anyone missed, but please note, if an obituary was not submitted to the paper, the name of your loved one will not appear below.)
Richard Edward DeKay, 73, of Cut Bank, passed Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. He was a veteran and worked for the City of Cut Bank as water supervisor, retiring in 2020.
George R. Werth passed away in his home in Cut Bank, Mont., on Jan. 20, 2021. After visiting relatives in Montana for many years, George purchased a second home in Cut Bank. People who knew George knew of his generosity. He had a soft spot in his heart for children and the elderly.
Owen Leroy Bowker, 88, of Cut Bank, Mont., passed away peacefully Jan. 23, 2021. Owen was a longtime resident of Cut Bank for 56 years. He worked in the oil and gas industry and was employed by Phillips Petroleum for 24 of those years until his retirement where he remained a resident of Cut Bank.
Carolyn “Baby” Lake Barnes, 78, passed away on Jan. 24, 2021, in Kingman, Ariz., after a brief illness. Carolyn spent most of her years in Cut Bank. Carolyn’s family, especially Alan, her husband, and her children, were her world. She was full of compassion and hated to see people struggle; her door was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay. Carolyn truly loved people which was evidenced by all whom she “took under her wings.”
Gary Martin Nelson, aged 87, died on Jan. 27, 2021. He graduated from CBHS in 1952. And until recent years had often returned for class reunions.
Margaret “Maggie” Hall, 65, passed away on Feb. 5, 2021. Maggie would like to be remembered as loving life from the inside out, heart to heart. She believed prayer works wonders and that He (God) has done great things!
Delores “Dee” Sorum, 89, passed away peacefully on Feb. 13, 2021, in Mesa, Ariz. Dee married the love of her life, Don Sorum, in 1960, and they had 19 happy years together before he was killed in an accident in 1979. Dee worked at the Bank of Glacier County for over 30 years, retiring in 1993. Upon retirement, Dee worked part-time at The Smokehouse Deli, keeping everyone in line. Dee also loved getting together with her family, especially her grandkids and great-grand-kids. They were the apple of her eye.
Connie Joan (Orr) Marino passed away Feb. 18, in Lander, Wyo. Connie worked as a banker most of her life until she retired. After her divorce in 1983, Connie moved in with her sister Sherrie Smith in Cut Bank for a few years. When her sister passed away she move to Lander, to be closer to her daughter Christina Marino and her grandkids and great-grandkids in Lander.
Doreen Hester, formerly of Cut Bank, passed away in Sturgis, So. Dak., on Feb. 19. Doreen had moved back to South Dakota to stay close to family. Doreen enjoyed her life in Cut Bank where she was very active in her church and operating her own pet grooming business.
Steven Edward Triponey, 50, formerly of Punxsutawaney, Pa., passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 24, 2021. Most recently he served as the Emergency Nurse Practitioner at Northern Rockies Medical Center in Cut Bank. Studying medicine and caring for others was his life.
Joyce C. Jacobsen, 88, of Cut Bank, Mont., passed away at the Pondera Medical Center Extended Care Facility in Conrad, Mont., on Feb. 28, 2021. Joyce was happiest when she was playing music of the past on her honky tonk piano.
Gary Owen Bowker, 67, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Gary and his wife, Cheryl, moved back to Cut Bank where he began his career in the oilfield. After the Cut Bank refinery closed, the family spent the next 29 years raising their kids in Watford City, ND. The love for Montana brought him back to Rudyard which he called home for 15 years.
Janet Lynne Pourroy passed away peacefully on March 3, 2021, after a battle with multiple underlying conditions.
Donald “Don” M. Dormady of Kenai, Alaska passed away March 4, 2021, at the age of 63 due to complications from diabetes. He left a lasting impact on those who knew him. Don truly cherished all of his friends and family.
William “Andy” Preuss, 56, passed away late Sunday night, March 14, 2021. He definitely knew his way around cars and was always working on vehicles. Andy was a very hard worker, yet a man of few words. He was always helping someone. Even though he is gone, Andy continues to help people by the donation of his organs.
Deborah Mary Taft (Swarkowski) died peacefully at her home in Cut Bank, Mont., on March 17, 2021. In 1979, she fulfilled a dream by spending a year teaching and coaching basketball on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. In 1981, Deb received a kidney from her brother, Dave, and in 1987 she participated in the Sixth World Transplant Games in Innsbruck, Austria, winning three gold medals and one silver medal in swimming.
David Emmet Gibbons passed peacefully from this earth on March 22, 2021. Known and appreciated by many, he will long be remembered for his impressive work ethic, legendary ability on the dozer, and always having a smile on his face and a joke on his lips! Dave would generously donate his time and skills to those in need.
Ken “Huggy Bear” Hughes passed away peacefully in his sleep early March 25, 2021. Huggy’s true passion was sports. Ken traveled for KSEN, announcing area high school games live on the radio. Ken will always be remembered as generous and a true friend willing to go the extra mile to help someone in need. Later Hugs, moved his announcing of games to the sidelines, announcing for CBHS sporting events.
Gordon “Wayne” Torno, 89, of Billings, Mont., passed away Saturday, March 27, 2021, at Riverstone Hospice House, a week short of his 90th birthday.
On April 2, 2021, Clifford Caldwell passed away at home in Columbia Falls, Mont. Cliff touched many lives throughout his 76 years, and we will miss him - as husband, dad, grandpa, and friend. Cliff loved chatting with everyone….and everyone loved spending time with him. Cliff was diagnosed with brain cancer in late February. He faced the diagnosis with grace and courage, convinced that he had been lucky to have a great life.
Former Cut Bank, Mont., resident and physician, Dr. John “Doc” Wallace, died April 5, 2021 in San Diego, Calif., at 95 years of age. He was known for his adventurous spirit, a unique sense of style, and his passion for life. He made an indelible impression on those with whom he crossed paths.
Sheila L. Torgerson, age 78, peacefully went home to be with Jesus on April 14, 2021. Sheila worked at JCPenney’s for almost 30 years, the majority of that at the Cut Bank store. She was an accomplished seamstress, making her three daughters beautiful dresses. There was nothing she could not mend. Sheila was the most faithful and devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
Audrey Smith, 87, of Eureka, passed Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in her home of natural causes. She met her husband, Ken, on a blind date while in high school. Audrey’s priority in life was her family. She endured much heartache with the loss of her husband after 59 years, her son, Matthew, and her daughter, Callie.
I.C. “Cliff” Gronneberg of Bozeman, Mont., died April 26, 2021. Cliff was selected to be a member of an Honor Flight to Washington, DC, which was a great source of pride for him. He also took great pride in being 100% Norwegian.
Verna Mae Baughman, 89, passed on April 29, 2021. Verna was a homemaker and took in daycare, she loved children and had the biggest heart. Verna was known for her beautiful quilts she made by hand and her delicious cookies. She even earned the name “Cookie Lady.”
Leo L. Kimmet, 92, formerly of Cut Bank, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2021. Leo grew up on the family farm and made farming his life endeavor as well. After serving as a tank commander in the Korean War, Leo came home to the states and married Diane Kemmer on Feb. 14, 1953. They proceeded to grow their farm and their family. His family always came first and he always did everything in his power to ensure that they would live the best life. He set an amazing example of how to live a life of faith.
Robert Nels Marchion Sr. died on May 7, 2021. He was an active member of everything and anything his children were involved in. He was a dedicated member of the Moose Lodge and of the Lutheran Church. He was an avid collector of the odd and interesting, a history buff, and first-rate storyteller. He was a loving father, devoted husband, grandfather and great grandfather.
On May 7, 2021 well-loved Cut Bank resident Thad David Crane died in his home at 58 years of age. He served in the Navy over 11 years. After training as a radioman for submarines he became a communications expert for SEAL teams, visiting destinations not on the usual tourist routes. He was a good neighbor and a great friend.
Vickie L. Boyd, 71, of Cut Bank, Mont., passed away May 10, 2021 in Kalispell, Mont., surrounded by her family. Vickie was the Halloween costume maker for many of the kids on the block and was known as “the popsicle lady with the little dog.” Kids loved her as much as she loved them. Many people around town have been blessed by the prayer shawls/blankets that she has made, with the number being close to 100.
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