(Editor's Note: The obituaries below were taken from the archives of the 2020 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. Feel free to contact The Valierian with additional names by Friday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m., and we will gladly include them in an article in next week's issue.)
In 2020, 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 affect on ourselves and our communities. We are blessed to have known them, if only for a short while.
The following individuals died in December 2019 but their obituaries didn’t appear until January 2020.
Alfred Vanden Bos, 78, died on Dec. 15, 2019. Alfred grew up on a farm and graduated from Valier High School before serving with the United States Marine Corps. After working several jobs in and around Conrad, he opened Pondera Appliance.
Albert Raymond “Ray” Keeler died on Dec. 21, 2019. He graduated from Valier High School in 1955 before eventually enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Ray worked as a lineman for much of his career and was very proud to have worked for Montana Power. Upon retirement, Ray and his wife, Bessie, traveled the country in their RV.
Tom Allen died on Jan. 9, 2020. Tom grew up working on the family farm in Valier. He worked as a custom cutter, oilfield hand, and truck driver. Following a car wreck that left him without the use of his legs, Tom found a home in Billings.
Walter Boumans, 90, died on Jan. 13. Walter served in the Army during the Korean War, working as a lineman. Following the war, he returned home to the family farm, where he stayed until his death.
John William Wendt, 72, of Ledger, died on Jan. 28. John loved farming and ranching and worked at the Department of the Interior. He was in the Air National Guard until retirement.
Claude Kieft, 82, died on March 5, following a long battle with cancer. Claude and his wife had four children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Julie Remington, 66, died on April 3. An elementary school teacher, she taught in Great Falls and Dutton while helping on the family farm. Julie was known for teaching her students both school subjects and skills such as confidence, and she loved being a mother and grandmother.
Jerome Holm, 67, of Brady, died on April 25. Jerome worked as a delivery driver for Schwan’s, a job he enjoyed, until he went to work for Mount View Co-op in Brady. Upon retirement, Jerome cared for family members and enjoyed traveling.
Jack Hurley, 73, died on May 14. A former Conrad track star, Jack joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Vietnam War. He purchased Flathead Electric, met his wife, Cheri, and eventually retired to Valier.
Thomas Dale Davis, 77, died on May 22. Tom was born in Conrad, the youngest of 13 children. He died with family at his side.
Claudette R. (Becker) Vanden Bos, 74, died on June 25, 2020. Claudette graduated from Conrad High School, and afterward she and her husband farmed near Dupuyer and raised two sons. The family later owned and operated Blue Sky Supply, Inc.
Larry Edward Stoltz, 79, died on Aug. 1. Larry attended college before serving a tour in Vietnam. He took over the family farm and he and his wife raised four children. He volunteered throughout the community, entertained friends in his shop, and spent inestimable time with his family.
Jim “J.B.” Nelson, 92, died on Aug. 6. Jim served in the U.S. Marines and in the Army. He attended MSU and became a land surveyor. He later served as mayor of Valier for 19 years. J.B. was known for spinning entertaining yarns for his family.
Leon Simpson died on Aug. 27. A former Pondera County sheriff, Leon enjoyed fishing and golf.
Larry Jensen, 73, died on Aug. 29. Larry served in the U.S. Navy and later worked as an engineer. He enjoyed woodworking and collecting trinkets.
Donovan “Donnie” Duane Weisgram, 81, died on Sept. 1. Don served in the U.S. Marines before moving to Montana to build guardrails along Hwy 2. He married and raised four children. He farmed while working at H-O Parts. Later, he worked along with his wife at the quilt shop. He volunteered his time in many local organizations.
Marion Leigh Woldstad, 89, died on Sept. 14. Marion served in the U.S. Army and later rode with the state brand inspector. He and his wife purchased a ranch in East Glacier, and he loved working with horses and cows.
LaLonnie Lea (Ingebrigtson) Stokes, 74, died on Sept. 28. LaLonnie and her husband raised two children, and after they started school in Valier, LaLonnie began working in the lunchroom. She also wrote the Valier news for The Valierian and volunteered with her church.
Shirley Ray (Denzer) Habets, 75, died on Oct. 3. Together, she and her husband farmed and ranched and raised their son. Shirley was a dedicated wife and mother, loved flowers and was known as an excellent cook.
Debra Gay (Driver) Gage, 64, died on Oct. 8. The mother of three, Debbi was a staple at Conrad High School, where she worked as an administrative assistant. The students loved her influence, and she enjoyed them. Debbi enjoyed camping, Griz games, and scrapbooking.
Ronald George Goff died on Oct. 12 at the age of 84. Ron worked at the Montana Chemical Company until he decided to move to Valier to give ranching a try. He and his family returned to his home state of Wyoming, where he finished out his career and enjoyed retirement.
Jacinta M. “Cindy” (Peters) Michaels, 64, died on Nov. 10. Cindy was a graduate of Conrad High School and worked as a dispatcher for the Toole County Sheriff’s Department. She enjoyed summers in Glacier National Park and was known as an excellent cook.
Florence Joyce (Foss) Larson, 91, died on Nov. 26, 2020. As a girl in Wisconsin, Florence cared for her younger siblings after her mother’s death while still attending school. Florence and her husband farmed near Ledger and raised two sons. She was known to be generous and loving.