In 2021, we said goodbye too often and too soon to so many of our family, friends, neighbors, classmates and casual acquaintances. They came from all walks of life and made contributions which will have a lasting effect on ourselves and our communities. We are blessed to have known them, if only for a short while.

(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.)

Mervin Lloyd Felton was lifted by angel’s wings into the arms of our Precious Lord on Feb. 16, 2021, at the age of 78. Merv was born May 7, 1942, in a tiny hospital in Wolf Point, Mont., minutes before his twin sister, Ginger. He delivered newspapers while attending college that became a 50-year career with the Great Falls Tribune. Merv married Diana (Goddard) Long on Aug. 30, 1980 in Shelby, after contracting her son to deliver newspapers. His life impacted so many people resulting in many wonderful lifetime friends and memories. One of Merv’s proud memories is the Pacific Sailfish mounted in his living room, caught in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Judith “Judy” Charlynn (Goforth) King, 76, of Valier, Mont., passed away June 7, 2021. Judy’s laughter would fill a room, and you always knew she was up for an adventure, trip, or a visit. Judy loved quilting, cooking, hosting events, swimming, walks, travel, and playing bridge. 

Judy was a Financial Advisor, and later in retirement, enjoyed working on the Census, as it gave her the opportunity to meet and chat with people from across the state. She was involved in the community with the United Methodist church, 4-H, Red Hat group, senior center, quilt guild, bridge club, and VADC.  She was particularly proud of her work on the Montana Tourism Board for over 20 years.

Jim Geiger, 98, passed away June 19, 2021, at Pondera Medical Center Extended Care in Conrad, Mont.  

Jim was born on the family farm June 29, 1922.  After high school he worked on the family farm until he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1942 where he trained to be a B17 bomber pilot. First Lieutenant Geiger and his crew flew 35 bombing missions in 93 days in the European Theatre.  He flew five missions in six days during the Battle of the Bulge.  He was a great man and not only lived in his country, he fought for it.

Mary Ann Sullivan, 87, passed on July 15, 2021. Mary Ann married James Sullivan in 1954 in Ft. Huemene, Calif., while James was enlisted. Jim was stationed in Japan and they lived there until 1956. The family moved to Browning for 10 years and finally to Dupuyer. Mary Ann was very involved in the Dupuyer community, St. Francis Catholic Church in Valier, and Holy Cross Catholic Church in Dupuyer.

Harold Joe “Butch” Struss, 71, passed on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. He was raised, attended school in Valier, and graduated from Valier High School in 1969. Butch went on to work various farming jobs until working for Onstad’s for 35 years. 

Butch loved going to church, bible study, and prayer groups. He enjoyed computers, playing computer games, and playing his guitar especially Johnny Cash.

Jim E. Powers, 92, passed away on Aug. 29, 2021, in Conrad, Mont. Jim was actively involved in many groups supporting the Valier community.

  Jim and Darleen enjoyed driving around the U.S. visiting family and friends, loving to travel to new places. Together they moved back into Valier in 2013, later spending the winters in the Horizon Lodge. Being married for 72 years, Jim and his wife, Darleen, spent every day on the phone to one another, calling multiple times to keep each other company.

Eugene (Gene) Emerson Stoltz, 93, of Valier, Mont., passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, at Logan Health Conrad. Gene grew up in Valier and graduated from Valier High School. Gene was attending the University of Montana when he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Japan at the end of World War II. 

Gene was a passionate golfer, an ardent U of M Griz fan and he loved words as both a reader and an author of six books. During his life Gene worked to extend the life of the railroad spur into Valier and to develop the Lake Frances Recreation Area. Gene and Patsy enjoyed traveling to follow the Grizzlies Football team which took them as far as Japan for a game against Army.

Gene was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grand-father. He deeply loved and cared for all his family and his friends.

To read the complete article, pick up a copy of this week’s issue or subscribe to the The Valierian, Browning Glacier Reporter, Cut Bank Pioneer Press and Shelby Promoter newspapers at http://www.cutbankpioneerpress.com/site/services/

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