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Ekalaka Obituaries

Ekalaka Obituaries

About Ekalaka Funeral Home

Ekalaka Funeral Home, located at 12 Barrow Street, Ekalaka, MT 59324, is a trusted and compassionate funeral home serving the community of Ekalaka and surrounding areas. With a commitment to providing personalized and dignified services, Ekalaka Funeral Home has established itself as a beacon of hope and support during difficult times.

A History of Compassionate Care

Founded on a strong foundation of empathy and understanding, Ekalaka Funeral Home has been dedicated to helping families say goodbye to their loved ones with dignity and respect. With years of experience in the funeral industry, the staff at Ekalaka Funeral Home has developed a deep understanding of the needs of those who are grieving, and strive to provide a comforting and supportive environment for all who walk through their doors.


Address: 12 Barrow Street Ekalaka, MT 59324, Ekalaka, MT, 59324
Phone Number: (406) 775-6323
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Recent Funeral Home Obituaries

Deanna Hirsch - March 21, 1994 - April 08, 2022

Departed: 04/08/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Graveside Services will be Wednesday April 20th at 11:30 AM at Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka, MT with Corky Harkins officiating. Deanna Hirsch, 28, formaly of Ekalaka, MT passed away on Friday April 8, 2022, in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada.Deanna Marjorie Gail Hirsch was born on March 21, 1994 to Patrick James and Amanda Ann (Parks) Hirsch in Miles City MT, joining her sister, Amber.Deanna was a toddler when the family moved to Gillette, WY where her father, Patrick died in a car accident; bringing the family back to Ekalaka where she spent her next seven years, enjoying time with her Papa and Grandma Parks on the family ranch. Deanna loved horses and ranch life.The next move took the small family to Nipawin, Sask, Canada at Tobin Lake Resort. Deanna welcomed her sister Kathrine, and her little brother A.J. with open arms. Deanna was a happy child and loved making people laugh, she never met a person she didn’t like, and she loved swimming in the lake and nature.Deanna graduated from L P Miller High School in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer, leaving her in a wheelchair. She fought and won that battle, being cancer free until 2021. At the age of 27, her cancer returned with a vengeance.Deanna passed away on Friday April 8, 2022, leaving behind her Mother Amanda, her sisters Amber and Katie; her little brother A.J. and her step-father Vincent. Her grandparents, Dean and Gloria Parks; Albin and Velma Walcer; her grandmother Barbara Hirsch. Aunts and Uncles; Charles (Sandy) Parks; Spencer (Roberta Parks) Huether; John (Donna) Walcer, Mark (Chantel) Walcer; Aunts: Tiffany Hartl; Carol (Bill Rantala) Hirsch Stacie Hirsch and Hope French. And numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her father Patrick; and her grandfather Alvin Hirsch.Condolences and remembrances can be shared with family at
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Anabel Yates - October 30, 1924 - April 07, 2022

Departed: 04/07/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Service for Anabel E. Yates, 97, of Ekalaka, will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Pastor Steve DeFord officiating.Visitation will take place one hour prior to service. Burial will follow at Alzada Cemetery.Anabel Yates passed away at Dahl Memorial Healthcare in Ekalaka, Montana on April 7, 2022. Anabel was born October 30, 1924 in Belle Fourche, SD to Austin and Stella Westland Whitney. Joining the family later were siblings Beverly, Chester, and DeWilton. Anabel grew up and received her early schooling in Alzada, Montana. After the death of their mother, Anabel and Beverly moved to Ekalaka and continued their education. It was during this time that Anabel met her future husband, Byron Yates. Byron and Anabel were married September 9, 1942 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Following World War II the couple returned to Ekalaka for a time then relocated to California where they raised their two sons, Larry Robert and Jerry Austin Yates. Anabel worked many years for Dennison Eastman. Anabel was an avid bowler, loved cats and had an extensive collection of the critters. She could usually be found with a book close at hand.from the time she was a young woman. Following Byron's death in 1981, Anabel returned to Ekalaka where she made her home until the time of her death. Anabel is survived by her two sons, Larry Yates and Jerry Yates as well as grandchildren Sean Yates, Shannon Yates Plessel, Kelly Yates, Austin Yates, and Ashley Yates and several great grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Also surviving Anabel are four very special grandchildren: Randi Lovec, Eric Lovec, Alex Lovec, and Cory Lovec. Preceding her in death were her parents, Austin and Stella Whitney, husband Byron Yates, sister Beverly Cline, a grandson Jerry Yates Jr., and a special friend Emil Lovec.
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Kaden Montgomery - March 11, 2003 - March 19, 2022

Departed: 03/19/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: A celebration of life for Kaden Montgomery, 19, of Ekalaka, will be 1:00 pm, Friday, March 25, 2022 at the Carter County High School Gymnasium in Ekalaka, MT. Burial will follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery.Visitation for Kaden will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Carter County High School Gymnasium.Kaden passed away Saturday, March 19, 2022.Puddin Montgomery, or as some may know him, Kaden Christopher Montgomery was born on March 11, 2003 to Chris and Courtney Montgomery in Angola, Indiana. As a baby, Kaden was just the sweetest. He was always a happy, smiley fella. When he became a toddler was when his parents first realized this kid was going to be a hell raiser! He was always doing the craziest things. Driving his power wheels into bushes with his little sister riding along. Ramping his bike. Playing war with his nerf gun arsenal. Doing anything he could to annoy his siblings and give his parents heart attacks. On the complete flip side, he was also the sweetest, most caring, loving little boy. He never lost that as he grew into an adult. Although, he never lost the hell raiser side either!As Kaden grew into his teen years, he started to turn into the Puddin everyone came to know and love. He practically lived at the Fix ranch and definitely upped his daredevil game. He would take any bet whether he stood to gain anything or not. That’s how he got talked into bull riding. On multiple occasions when nobody was offering a crazy bet, he would go up to people and say “Hey, if you give me a dollar, I’ll eat a worm.” He was always looking to make someone laugh or to give someone a story they’d always have to tell about him. Puddin attended and graduated from Carter County High School in 2021. Anyone that knew him, knew the only thing he liked about school was giving all the teachers a hard time. He played a few sports over the years but he would’ve rather been out doing crazy stuff and living life. He played football his senior year because the football coach was finally able to talk him into it after seeing a video of Puddin flipping a big, round hay bale end over end. After high school, Puddin went to work in Miles City doing masonry work for some good friends. When work died down in the winter, he did some odd jobs until finding a spot with Choice Construction in Baker. He sure did have some great stories from that one! Puddin was never the career type. He just needed to make enough money to support his crazy adventures. Puddin was a one-of-a-kind soul from the beginning. He was a mama’s boy, dad’s sidekick, and sibling protector and he was so excited to become Uncle P in just a few short weeks. He made a lasting impression on everyone he met. There’s not a person that met him, even if only for a minute, that doesn’t have a funny or crazy story with him. He lived life to the fullest until the very end. He was loved more than he could’ve ever known. Life will always be a little less exciting without him. Kaden is survived by his parents, Chris and Courtney Montgomery of Ekalaka, MT; sisters, Raeleigh and Jaycie Montgomery of Ekalaka, MT; brothers, Braden and McCoy Montgomery of Ekalaka, MT; Great Grandma, Marilyn Montgomery of Fremont, IN; Grandparents Roger and Laurie Montgomery of Camden, MI and Cliff and Jo Griggs of Rhame, ND; aunts, Angie Ireland of Columbia, SC and Danielle (Corey) of Reading, MI; uncles Levi (Amber) of Angola, IN, Chris (Shonda) Albrecht of Rhame, ND, and Casey Albrecht of Elkhart, IN; cousins, Derrin Ireland, Ellianna and Lydia; numerous extended family, so many friends that couldn’t possibly all be named; the whole community of Ekalaka. Kaden is preceded in death by Great-great Grandma, Dorothy Mattern; Great Grandma, Sandy Sterns; uncle, Joe Montgomery; grandpa, Jack Montgomery.
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Erlend Laird - November 16, 1938 - February 21, 2022

Departed: 02/21/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Service for Erlend Laird, 83 of Ekalaka will be 1:00 p.m., Friday, February 25, 2022 at the Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Pastor Larry Phalen officiating. Burial will follow in the family lot of the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka.Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. Friday at the Stevenson Funeral Home.Erlend passed away February 21, 2022 in Billings at St. Vincents Hospital.Erlend Dixon Laird passed away Monday, February 21, 2022 at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Billings after a short illness. Erlend was the son of Frank W. and Margaret (Pritchard) Laird, born at the ranch on November 16, 1938. He grew up on the ranch and graduated in 1956 from Carter County High School. He married TheaLou Powell on July 1, 1961. To the union, three children were born: Ande Kay, Robert Dixon, and Scott Ryan. Erlend enjoyed everything about his life on the ranch and in the air. His lifelong joy was flying. He went to college in Bozeman to learn to fly at nineteen years old and has been in the air ever since. He owned a variety of different planes over the years. He and TheaLou enjoyed hunting coyotes out of the Super Cub. He also shared his passion for flying with numerous students he instructed over the years. Erlend and TheaLou enjoyed woodworking together, making many family heirlooms. He made many lifelong friendships with his hunters as well as those he met through his faith.Erlend was an active board member of Southeast Electric, serving for 52 years, making him the longest serving board member. He was also on the Upper Missouri Power Cooperative board, traveling to Sidney for monthly meetings for over 23 years. Additionally, he served on Ekalaka Public School board for many years. Erlend is survived by his children, Ande Kay (Dennis) of Ekalaka, Robert “Bob” Dixon of Ekalaka, and Scott Ryan (Tammi) of Ketchikan, AK; grandchildren, Kelly Nathan (Becky), Amanda (Josh), Douglas, Brandon, Shannon (Keith), Melinda, Jake (Mikayla), Scotty, Chelsey (Jason); very special member of the family, Becky Erickson (Jeff), and children Jasmine, Justin, Bricon; great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Margaret “Georgie”; his wife, TheaLou, and his sister Bess and her husband Gary.
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Herb Kerr - December 09, 1947 - January 31, 2022

Departed: 01/31/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral service for George "Herb" Kerr, 74, of Ekalaka will be 1:00 pm, Monday, February 7, 2022 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Ekalaka, with Tom Stieg officiating. Burial will follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery.For those unable to attend live streaming will start 10 minutes prior to service at for Herb will take place one hour prior to the service.George Herbert “Herb” Kerr died January 31, 2022 at his home in Miles City, MT, surrounded by his familyHerb was born to George and Susan Kerr on December 9, 1947, in Belle Fourche, SD. He lived most of his life in Carter County, MT. Herb loved and excelled at sports, playing baseball, football, basketball and track in school. He loved the outdoors and spent time hunting, fishing, water-skiing and snowmobiling. He was also a long-time member of the Ekalaka Masonic Lodge No. 120 and the Shriners’ Sorrel Horse Patrol. Herb worked at a variety of jobs as a young man, including at local gas stations, as a ranch hand, and at the local telephone company. He worked at Southeast Electric Cooperative for 38 years, first as a lineman and later as the line foreman, retiring in 2011. He loved Willie’s Roadhouse, sometimes sharing it a little too much with his family and fellow linemen on road trips. Herb was a family man who married his high school sweetheart, Linda Cline, and had two daughters and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He made a mean Bloody Mary and hosted many beer and pickle nights. Herb’s motto was “wait and see”.Herb is survived by his wife Linda; daughters Leslie Kerr (David Hostetter) and Nikki Erlenbusch; grandchildren Brittany Raines (Casey Raines), Cade Erlenbusch, and Sienna Hostetter; great-grandchildren Mason Zamora, Brooklyn Zamora, Kamden Raines, Caleb Raines, Caiden Raines, and Bentley Raines; sister Mary Brewer; and numerous nieces and nephews. Herb was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Russell Cridland, Willard Cridland, and John Kerr; sister, Alice Crabtree; niece, Machelle Grimes.
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Douglas W. Marston - June 15, 1943 - January 14, 2022

Departed: 01/14/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Douglas Marston 78, of Ekalaka, will be 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 21, 2022 at Stevenson Funeral Home Ekalaka with Pastor Steve Deford officiating. Burial will follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed. From the Stevenson Funeral Home website, click Doug's photo and scroll below the obituary. The livestream will be available about 10 minutes prior to the service.Doug passed away on Friday, January 14, 2022 at the Benefis Health System Hospital in Great Falls, MT.Doug was born on June 15, 1943 in Miles City, Montana to Malcolm Douglas and Lucille (Welch) Marston. His first months of life were spent living in a dugout in the Powderville area and they then moved to Ekalaka, Montana. In 1945 his sister Sherry was born. In September of 1949 Doug entered Ekalaka Public Schools and graduated from Carter County High School in the spring of 1961. Following a year spent in a body cast as a result of back surgery, he entered Eastern Montana College in the fall of 1962. Doug spent some years working and others going to school. He found himself working many interesting jobs during this time. One of the more interesting jobs was teaching a year in a one-room country school in Willard. Doug finished his Bachelor degree in History and Political Science in the summer of 1972. Then in the fall of 1972 he married Penny Rae Keyser of Ronan Montana. Doug worked as a bartender in Billings until 1986.In the spring of 1986, Doug moved back to Ekalaka and went to work at the Mainstreet Market for Vernon and Linda Boggs and then Roger and Deb Kortum working seven months of the year for over 30 years. The other five months Doug owned and operated The Red Greenhouse. He enjoyed the people of the Ekalaka community and serving them and will always be remembered and appreciated for his ability to cultivate and provide beautiful and plentiful gardens. Garlic was his specialty enjoyed by so many in the Ekalaka area and beyond. Doug enjoyed providing a farmers market in Ekalaka for locals as well as traveling to Miles City, Montana. and participating in the farmers market there. Doug was proud of the fact that he usually came home empty handed having sold out.Doug appreciated his time in nature as an avid fly fisherman, excellent fly tier, gardening and bird watching. His love of the Dodgers, baseball card collecting and reading were also treasured pass times. Doug believed in playing an active role in his community and did so as a member of Ekalaka Lions Club, Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Montana Democratic Party and Montana Historical Society. He enjoyed and supported Montana Shakespeare in the Park and did not want to miss one. Doug is loved and will be missed by his sister, Sherry (Ivan Fats) Jardee; brothers, Bim (Jodeen) Marston, Jeff (Char) Venhaus. Nieces and Nephews Ivan (Bonnie) Jardee, Nate (Monica) Marston, Katie (Kris) Thatcher, Jason Schulz, Wilson Venhaus, Great-nieces and nephews Kylee and Kimberlee Jardee, Aubrey, Layne and Declan Marston, Reata, Carter and Cooper Thatcher.He is preceded in death by his mother, father and step parents Emil J. (Van) Venhaus and Lahoma Burch Marston. “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.) Henry David Thoreau.Doug has gone fishin!!
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David Rice - December 29, 1958 - January 05, 2022

Departed: 01/05/2022 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: A memorial service will be held for David on Saturday, January 22nd, at 10:30am, at the First Baptist Church in Ekalaka, Montana. Lunch will be served after the service.David passed away Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at his home in Ekalaka. David Wayne Rice of Ekalaka passed from this life to the next on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022. David was born on December 30, 1958, to Eugene Winfield Rice and Sylvia Jane (Carter) Rice. An older sister Janet was already in the home at that time. The family was living in Marmarth, North Dakota when David arrived. His parents divorced, and after his mother re-married, a half-brother, Shannon Brady was added to the family.David’s early life was spent on his grandparent’s ranch southeast of Ekalaka in the Long Pines. His grandparents were Ethan and Mary Carter. He started school at the one-room Carter School not far from the ranch. He subsequently attended schools in Rapid City, Spearfish, and Mission, South Dakota, and finally, in Ekalaka at Carter County High School. David identified with the class of 1977. In the late seventies and early eighties, David was enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He was stationed in Hawaii for most of his military service. David was a proud former Marine, and was pleased that he made his grandpa Carter, also a Marine, very proud of him.David married Deborah Ice on July 4th, 1978. To this union, one daughter DeAnna Lynn Rice was born. Some years later, they divorced.He held many jobs throughout his adult life. He worked as an auto mechanic in Rapid City and Spearfish. He worked for multiple ranchers throughout Carter County as well, but he was happiest when he was tinkering on cars and trucks. He also loved to clean up scrap metal piles for ranchers. Most of it was recycled, but some was repurposed to his delight. David loved cars. For much of his life, they were his hobby. Dodge Chargers were his favorite. He had a black one from the early 70’s when he returned to Ekalaka. David also loved animals, particularly dogs. He had a chocolate lab named Bear that died a couple of years ago. David missed her very much. He was convinced that Bear saved his life more then once when he was having one of his “episodes”. In recent years, David became one of the family at First Baptist Church in Ekalaka. He confessed faith in Jesus Christ, for which we are thankful. He will be missed.David is survived by his daughter, DeAnna Brooks of Las Vegas, NV, one sister, Janet Livingston of Wolf Point, MT, a half-brother Shannon (Tina) Brady of Ekalaka, and one niece, Tawnee Parks, also of Wolf Point. He was preceded in death by his father Eugene Winfield Rice, his mother Sylvia Jane Logan, and his grandparents.
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Kathy "Kate" Frye - May 15, 1953 - November 21, 2021

Departed: 11/21/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral services for Kathy "Kate" Frye, 68, of Ekalaka, will be 1:00 pm Friday, December 3, 2021 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Ekalaka with Tom Stieg officiating. Burial will follow at Beaverlodge Cemetery.
Family will receive friends for Kate from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at Stevenson Funeral Home with a time of sharing taking place at 6:00 pm.
Kate passed away November 21, 2021 in Spearfish, SD with her family by her side.
Kathy Faye Talkington Frye was born May 15, 1953 to Fallace and Eleanor Talkington in Superior, MT. As a baby, Kate traveled by train with her family to Carter County where she spent her childhood. Kate attended elementary school at the Alzada School and 1 year at the 5 Mile School north of Alzada, MT. She then attended Carter County High School in Ekalaka, MT.
Kate loved her family dearly, especially her children and granddaughter. Spending time with her granddaughter, Emerson, gave her great joy, whether they were watching Emerson’s favorite movies, reading books or playing outside. They also loved playing games together, Memory was their favorite.
Kate loved her flowers and flower beds, spending time outdoors taking care of them was one of her favorite things. She also enjoyed reading and listening to music (Country Western was her favorite). Backyard chats and visits on Main Street with friends is how she liked to spend her time. Some of her favorite times of the year were decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving and Sunday afternoons at the Carter County Fair listening to the locals play music. Hunting season was another time of the year that she looked forward to, whether she was working at the bar, the Main Street Market or the Guest House motel. Over the years some of those hunters came to be like family.
Kate enjoyed her dog Macy and loved when she got to dog sit for her friends and family, the more the merrier at Kate’s house.
Kate never met a stranger. She always greeted everyone with her beautiful big smile. She had a special place in her heart for the friendships she made while living in Camp Crook, Broadus and Ekalaka. She will be deeply missed by many.
Kate is survived by her children: Melainie Talkington; Brandon (Ann) Cornella of Spearfish, SD; Dylan Mulkey of Ekalaka, MT; son-in-law Corey Buer, and granddaughter Emerson Cornella. Siblings: Lindsay (Pat) Talkington of Choteau, MT; Monte (Carol) Talkington of Belle Fourche, SD; Rhonda (Jerry) Peterson of Belle Fourche, SD; Debra Mengel of Rapid City, SD; Toni Talkington of Riverton, WY; Terri (Allan) Buck of Ekalaka, MT; Vickie (Bob) Cole of Witten, SD. As well as many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Kate was preceded in death by her parents Fallace Talkington and Eleanor Talkington; brother Steven Wade Talkington; brother-in-law, Ray Mengel and nephew AJ Buck.
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Etta Dorene Mrnak - September 09, 1938 - November 09, 2021

Departed: 11/09/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Etta Dorene Mrnak, 83, of Ekalaka will be 11:00 am November 18, 2021 at Ekalaka Bible Church with Pastor Jon Champlin officiating. Burial to follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery.
For those unable to attend this service will be live streamed at
Visitation will be 10:00am-11:00am at Ekalaka Bible Church.
Dorene passed away on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Fallon, MT at her son's home.
Dorene was born on September 9, 1938 in Bell Tower, MT, the daughter of Mike and Etta (Wickham) Gross. She grew up and attended country school in the Bell Tower community until 8th grade. After her schooling she remained with and worked with her family on the ranch south of Ekalaka.
Dorene married the love of her life, David Mrnak on September 5, 1956 in Miles City, MT. They moved to Leadville, CO where their 3 children, Rod, Sheila and Sonia where born. They lived here until 1970 when they decided to make a change and relocated their family to Verndale, MN. David and Dorene opened an outdoor theatre in Verndale and then in 1978 sold it and moved to Eagan, MN. Here they owned and operated Mrnak Electric. Dorene also worked at Honeywell for several years.
Together they retired and moved to Ekalaka in 1997. Following David’s death in December 2020 Dorene and her favorite cat, Purdy, moved to her son Rodney’s home where she lived until her death. Dorene loved to playing cards, cooking, baking and spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a member of the Ekalaka Bible Church in Ekalaka. Her greatest joy in life was being married to her husband, David, for 64 years. Her family will cherish the wonderful memories and will miss her every day.
Dorene is survived by son, Rodney (Kari) Mrnak of Fallon; daughters, Sheila (David) Desrocher of East Bethel, MN and Sonia (Scott) Luedtke of Miles City; 8 grandchildren including Chelsea (Jake) Jovanovich, Amanda (Travis) Davis, Tony (Kelsea) Desrocher, Clinton (Cienna) Mrnak, Tina (Bance) Hulstein, Weston Luedtke, Dakotah Luedtke and Adrian Luedtke; and 5 Great Grandchildren, Madalynn, Ashlynn, Jackson (Tony Desrocher) Kaiya (Clint Mrnak), Rory (Amanda Davis), and Telden (Chelsea Jovanovich).
She is preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Etta; husband, David Mrnak; sister, Rosie Bell; brothers, Milton, Mike, Frances and David.
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Wesley Rogers - April 05, 1957 - October 28, 2021

Departed: 10/28/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Wesley Robert Rogers, 64, of Ekalaka will be held Saturday, November 6, 2021, 11:00 a.m. at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Pastor Jim Biswell officiating. Live streaming at go to Wes' page and scroll down below the obituary and it will begin 10 min. prior to the service time.
Prayers and Sharing will be Friday, November 5, 2021 5:00 p.m. at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka.
Family Receiving Friends will be Friday, November 5, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wesley passed away October 28, 2021 at the ranch south of Ekalaka of a sudden illness.
Wesley Robert Rogers was born on April 5, 1957 to Robert and Annabel Rogers in Kendallville, Indiana. He grew up on a farm and had a great interest in those activities at an early age. He graduated high school and headed off to college where he realized his interest was being outside and working with his hands. He transitioned to working on a construction crew, later spending 6 months in the woods of Colorado logging with mules. He dated Patricia Sloan during this time and they were married February 5, 1983. They moved to Colorado where he built his first house from the ground up. He built every house they lived in after that- in Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Even though he had a great love for building and making furniture, he also took pleasure in working the land. He enjoyed making a piece of land that used to produce next to nothing into a bounty, always with God’s help. He also enjoyed working with cows and taking care of them. While he endured frequent breakdowns, expensive equipment fixes, some drought and flood years, and sometimes cow trouble, he kept his ranching dream going, a dream that he loved to share with his wife and two kids, Branson and Alyssa. He loved spending time helping his kids as they began to create their own households. Wes was actively helping Branson build a beautiful, unique log home made out of logs and wood they sawed in the old National Guard Armory Wes built. (He put the Armory up because he had heard that a neighbor said that he would never get it built. He loved to prove people wrong.) He also helped Alyssa remodel her home in Kalispell.
Throughout Wes’s life, his main testament was his relationship with Jesus Christ. He believed he should be like Christ and actively portrayed how Christ loved his neighbor. There have been so many people Wes has touched with his kind and compassionate heart. He strove to love those who did not return the kindness, knowing it was what Christ wanted him to do even though it was hard. He gave so much time and care to the people that crossed his path and needed help. If he saw a need he did not hesitate to make a plan to meet it, often by making something or offering his time. He was very active in his church, being a board member of the Medicine Rocks Church for many years, teaching Sunday School, as well as preaching a few sermons when there was no pastor until allergies forced him to stay at home. When we first moved to this country back in June of 1999, Wes made a statement that is still true today. “God is doing the directing on the way things have been working out. We are just along for the ride. What a ride it is! It is great to be able to look back, to see how things have worked for the best, even when going through it your not sure where it is heading.”
Wes went to be with the Lord on October 28, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Patricia Rogers of Ekalaka, MT; their two children, a son, Branson (Joy) Rogers of Ekalaka, MT, a daughter, Alyssa (Riley) Barton of Kalispell, MT; grandsons, Isaac Barton and Titus Rogers; brother, Dr. Philip (Sherry) Rogers; sisters, Beth (Bruce) Banks and Barb (Tim) Stahl.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
Wes devoted his life to Christ and serving those in need throughout his community. In honor of Wes, please take the time to show those around you intentional “Acts of Kindness”.
A memorial has been set up through Medicine Rocks Church to help those in this area when in need.
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James Henry Powell - November 09, 1940 - October 21, 2021

Departed: 10/21/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Private Graveside Rites for James Henry Powell Sr., 80, of Ekalaka will be held at a later date in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka.
Cremation has taken place with the Stevenson Funeral Home of Ekalaka.
James passed away at his home in Ekalaka on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
James was born to Harry and Thea (Nies) Powell in Ekalaka, MT on November 9, 1940. He and his siblings were raised in Ekalaka. James enjoyed the ranch life so spent much of his life working the different aspects of the ranch.
James is survived by his brother Edward “Bud” (Stella) Powell of Ekalaka, MT; sisters, Sue (Johnny) Breding and Thea “Lane” (Wayne) Buck; children, Douglas Scott Powell Baird, Candice Powell, James Henry Powell, Jr., Mira Carrier, Wendy Barkley, Linda Xayasith, and Mollie Powell; four granddaughters and four grandsons.
Preceded in death by parents, Harry and Thea Powell; grandparents, Frank and Clara Nies, Effie and Orie Strain.
Condolences and Remembrances can be made at
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Peggy Tooke - March 27, 1937 - October 18, 2021

Departed: 10/18/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: A Private Funeral Service for Peggy Tooke 84, of Ekalaka will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at the Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka. Burial will be in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m., to 7:00 p.m. at the Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka.
Peggy passed away on Monday October 18, 2021 at the Dahl Memorial Hospital in Ekalaka.
Peggy was born on March 27, 1937 to Lester and Georgia (Crosby) Williams in Ekalaka, Montana. She grew up and attended country school in the Mill Iron area and later graduated from Ekalaka High School in 1955. After graduation she attended college studying in the secretarial field for one year. Returning to Ekalaka she reunited with Ernest Tooke and they were married on June 3, 1956. To this union two children were born, Carol and Tim. Ernie and Peggy raised their family on the ranch northwest of Ekalaka on the Miles City cut off road.
In the early 90’s Peggy began cooking for the Dahl Memorial Nursing Home in Ekalaka. She took great pride in taking care of the people here and only when she became ill in 2018 did she retire. Peggy continued to make Ekalaka her home where she cooked her famous caramel popcorn and cookies for the entire community. Peggy preferred to be on the go and did not shy away from hard work.
Peggy is survived by her son, Tim (Sandy) Tooke of Ekalaka,MT; daughter, Carol (Bob) Norwood; brother, Dave (Lynn) Williams of Ekalaka, MT; sister, Beth (Tom) Figg of New Mexico; sister-in-law, Andrea Williams of Miles City, MT; grandchildren, Braxton, Tyler, Kale, Kelsie, Toby and Lacey; twelve great-grandchildren.
Preceded in death are parents, Lester and Georgia; brother, Ellis Williams; sister, Jane Williams; great-grandson, Peyton.
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Janice Markuson - April 16, 1939 - July 05, 2021

Departed: 07/05/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral services for Janice Markuson, 82, of Ekalaka, are pending with Stevenson Funeral Home.
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Janice Markuson - April 16, 1939 - July 05, 2021

Departed: 07/05/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Mass for Janice Mae Markuson, 82, of Ekalaka will be Friday, July 9, 2021 at 11:00am Fr. Thomas Tobin will celebrate the mass with Rick Miske assisting at Stevenson Funeral Home Ekalaka.
Family Receiving Friends will be Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka.
Janice Mae Markuson, 82, passed away on July 5, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. She was born April 16, 1939 to Gus and Lima (Griffin) Malmquist, the youngest of seven siblings. They lived on a small farm/ranch on H7 creek about 20 miles NW of Ekalaka. Growing up there was no electricity or running water in the house and no telephone, so they relied on the radio for entertainment and if they hurried home from school they could sometimes catch the Lone Ranger if Gus wasn’t listening to the news!
Janice attended school at the O’Fallon Creek School through eighth grade. She often recalled the fun they had sledding off the hill behind the school and was grateful that she had good teachers. She particularly remembered missing a lot of school the winter of 1949, where fences snowed under and haystacks were half buried! She went to high school at CCHS in Ekalaka where they boarded out with town residents, as a lot of the country kids did then. She graduated in 1957.
Janice always loved being outside and especially riding horseback. In her teen years, she yearned for a flashy sorrel instead of her spoiled half Shetland! As it turned out, a neighbor kid had just such a horse and would ride by and visit. It’s unclear who fell for who first, but they quickly became quite a pair, and she married Milton T. Markuson on August 10, 1957. They then moved to the Markuson Ranch, where she lived the rest of her life. Milton and Janice had four children: Steven Lee, Karen Ann, Tyler Lynn, and Carla Rae. She often reminisced about the old days of haying, and how the modern equipment was sure an upgrade from the 1940s Little A tractor, though still seemed to be lots of work! Janice always enjoyed being able to be outside helping with whatever ranch work she could, and thoroughly enjoyed doing it from the top of a horse. She had a keen eye for pointing out buttercups and blue bells from that angle. In her later years, she was very stubborn about giving up the reins when her kids were certain she was too old to be riding. She was always certain she was much younger than her actual age!
Janice had a love for flowers and gardening and was an excellent cook. She was also very active in the community. She was on the school board for 17 years, helped run the Meadowlark Club for several years, and was also on the Carter County Republican Committee. She studied to be an EMT and volunteered with the Ekalaka EMTs for several years.
Janice followed her children’s activities and later the grandchildren’s, always caring and supporting through tears and laughter. She had a way of making kids feel special, especially her four grand-daughters and later her great-grandchildren. Her granddaughters used to argue about who was Grandma’s favorite, because they were each certain it was them! She was kind and gentle, incredibly strong and the epitome of grace under fire. That strength and resiliency built a legacy that will live on for years in her children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren.
Janice was survived by her husband, Milton; her daughter, Karen (Les) Kreitel of Ekalaka; granddaughters, Dana (Jake) Eshelman of Billings, Tara (Clay) Smith of Ekalaka, Jennifer (Logan) Bird of Volborg, and Ami (Matt) Nies of Ekalaka; great grandchildren, Maggie Eshelman, Ty and Quinn Smith, Allie and Tori Bird, and Kylie Nies; and sister, Ruth (Elmer) Nettleton of Helena.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, Gus and Lima; children, Steve (Brenda), Tyler (Robin), Carla (Troy), great granddaughter, Braelie; siblings, Donald, Jean, Norman, Richard, and Glenn.
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Josephine Roadifer - March 25, 1933 - June 01, 2021

Departed: 06/01/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Graveside service for Josephine Lilly Roadifer, 88, of Camp Crook, SD will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at Fairview Cemetery in Camp Crook, SD.
Josephine passed away June 1, 2021 in Gillette, Wyoming.
Josephine “Josie” Lilly Roadifer was born March 25, 1933, the daughter of William and Lilly (Christiansen) Berry. She grew up on the Berry Family Ranch, spending her first grade year with her maternal grandmother in the Bell Tower area. She went on to attend high school in Ekalaka, MT, graduating in 1951. She graduated from Black Hills Teachers College with a teacher’s certificate. She also spent some time studying veterinary medicine at Colorado State University.
On September 15, 1958 Josephine married Floyd “Frank” Roadifer in Ekalaka, MT. To this union five children were born: William “Bill”, Floyd Jr., Jo Ellen, Laura Mae, and Lee. They raised their family in the Camp Cook, Buffalo, SD area and Newell, SD before settling on the Berry Family Ranch in 1996. While in Newell she drove school bus for over 15 years. She was baptized into the Seventh-Day Adventist Church around 1966. Josephine was a member of the Diligent Doers Homemakers Club. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, reading and gardening. She cared for many animals throughout her life including horses, milk cows, cats, and poultry of all kinds.
Josephine is survived by her 5 children: William “Bill” Roadifer, Floyd (Kellie) Roadifer, Jo Ellen (Thomas) Geck, Laura Mae (Mike) Bennett, Lee (Sheryl) Roadifer; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and sister Nellie Mae Davis.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Floyd “Frank” Roadifer, Sr.; her parents William and Lilly Berry; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
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Lloyd Carroll - September 14, 1935 - May 25, 2021

Departed: 05/25/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Lloyd Carroll, 85, of Ekalaka will be 2:00 p.m. June 1, 2021 at Stevenson Funural Home - Ekalaka with Pastor Scott Kiehn officiating. Burial will take place in Beaver Lodge Cemetery. Reception to follow at St. Elizabeth's Lutheran Church in Ekalaka.
Visitation for Lloyd will be June 1, 2021 from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. at Stevenson Funeral Home - Ekalaka.
For those unable to attend, Lloyd's service will be livestreamed on the Stevenson Funeral Home website. The livestream will be available under LLoyd's obituary 15 minutes before the service.
Lloyd passed away May 25, 2021 at Billings Clinic.
Lloyd was born on September 14, 1935 in Ekalaka, son of Charles and Anna Ambrose Frye Carroll. He attended grade school in the Ogeechee area and in Ekalaka and graduated from Carter County High School in Ekalaka. Lloyd married Betty Loehding on July 28, 1960 in Ekalaka. The couple was blessed with four children, Llane, Maureen, Leigh, and Beth.
Upon graduating from high school, Lloyd worked for Bud and Edna Asbury. After Lloyd and Betty married, they worked for Willie and Gladys Bonefield in the Capitol area. They later worked for Wayne and Gladys Cox in the Webster community. In 1963 they moved to the Martin and Thelma Abel place on Harmon Creek. They have resided there ever since. The ranch gradually expanded with purchases from Bickels, Browns, Harkins (Figg) and Langley (Gundlach). A long-standing lease with the Woolston family on Sheep Mountain has served as pasture for a yearling enterprise. Lloyd was highly regarded in the community for his love for the land and his neighbors. A neighbor and friend, Jesse LaBree, wrote this about Lloyd on the occasion of the ranch’s 50th anniversary: “Lloyd could be visiting with someone or a group and notice what was happening outside the corral or in the area. He might see a kid having trouble with his horse, maybe about to have a wreck and run over and save the kid, or someone’s horse about to break the reins. Also, if someone was coming to a corral gate with hands full, he would be there to help them through the gate…he would be the first one there to help. He pretty near always went on a run. He is always willing to drop what he is doing to go help a friend or neighbor. He is the first one to get there in the morning and the last one to leave when the work is done.”
Lloyd served on the Dahl Memorial Hospital Board and the Carter County Fair Board. He was a former chair of the Carter County Chamber of Commerce and was an active member and former director of the Carter County Stockgrowers Association. Lloyd was a charter member of St. Elizabeth Lutheran Church.
Lloyd enjoyed following his children, grandchildren and extended families to their various high school and college activities. He and Betty treasured their trips off the ranch traveling to the northeastern states for fall foliage as well as Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and all over Montana. Trips almost always found a way of connecting with friends and relatives.
Lloyd is survived by his wife, Betty; his children, Llane (Sharon) Carroll of Ekalaka, Maureen (Curt) McCamish of Billings; Leigh (Vic) Hansen of Sheridan, WY; Elizabeth (Kevin) Bailey of Sheridan, WY; seven grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Anna, and 10 half-brothers and sisters.
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William Kenneth Talkington - August 09, 1951 - May 14, 2021

Departed: 05/14/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Graveside services for William “Bill” Talkington, 69, of Ekalaka, will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Beaver Lodge Cemetery, Ekalaka, MT. Reception lunch will follow at St. Joan of Arc Parish Hall to share memories and celebrate Bill’s life.
Bill passed away on May 14, 2021 at Billing Clinic.
Bill was born August 9, 1951 to Robert “Pat” and Nan (Elkins) Talkington in Baker, MT. He grew up and lived in Ekalaka where he attended the Big Hill school in Carter County until he moved with his mother and sister to the Whitefish area. Logging became Bill’s occupation of choice at a young age in western Montana. He operated cat and skidder, worked in sawmills and drove trucks. Bill was drafted into the US Army and was honorably discharged a short time later. He met and then married Deborah Niles on November 15, 1978. To this union Jesse, Sarah and Rebekah “Becky” were born. They raised the family in Birney for some time before returning to Ekalaka. In later years, Bill spent time traveling back to the Ashland saw mill and drove school bus for St Labre schools before settling into retirement which included hauling gravel, substitute bus driving, senior bus driving, and tinkering on various projects.
Bill deeply enjoyed fishing and hunting, and having a small garden, and loved to have his kids along for anything. He had a love for animals and could often be found with a small herd of dogs. He enjoyed cattle, horses, bum lambs, dogs, chickens and just about any critter. Many family memories include animals. He had 9 grandchildren he dearly loved and was especially close to Kalianna, Robert, Sierra, Jasmine and Justin.
Bill will be greatly missed by the community of Ekalaka and his family. Survivors include daughters, Sarah (Jay) Lambert of Billings, Becky (Jeff Herren) Erickson of Ekalaka; son, Jesse Talkington; sisters Nanalea (Kelly) Gundlach of Birney, MT and Gloria (Jim) Hutton of WA, and his grandchildren.
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Ray Mengel - December 15, 1948 - May 06, 2021

Departed: 05/06/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Ray E. Mengel, 72, of Rapid City, SD formerly of Glendive will be 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at the Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Tom Stieg officiating. Burial will be in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Ray passed away on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at the Hospice House in Rapid City, SD.
Ray was born on December 15, 1948 and was the son of Eldon and Christine (Jesfield) Mengel. He grew up in Baker, MT and graduated from Baker High School in 1966. Following high school, he attended Eastern Montana College in Billings, MT later finishing at Dawson Community College where he then graduated.
Ray married Deb Talkington on September 21, 1969 in Belle Fourche, SD. To this union two children were born, Troy and Chandra. Together they raised their family in Glendive, MT. Ray began working for the Montana Department of Transportation as a surveyor and fieldman. Later on in his career he became The District Administrator for Eastern Montana. One of Ray’s goals was to pave Highway 323 from Ekalaka to Alzada. In 2011 Ray retired and he and Deb continued to live in Glendive until 2019. They then moved to Rapid, SD to be closer to their children.
Ray was a sports enthusiast, especially basketball and football. His love for Eastern Montana sports had him traveling to various towns to watch games and attend district and state tournaments. Ray and Deb enjoyed traveling during their retirement. They attended Christ Church in Rapid City, SD.
Ray is survived by his wife, Deb Mengel of Rapid City, SD; son, Troy Mengel and Chandra Mengel both of Rapid City, SD; brother Bob Frank; sisters, Irene (Bob) Tolan and Joan (Mike) Bjarko.
He is preceded in death by his parents Eldon and Christine Mengel.
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Alice Carlisle - Unknown - April 17, 2021

Departed: 04/17/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Service for Alice May Carlisle, 96, of Ekalaka, Montana will be Tuesday, April 27, 2021 1:00 p.m. at Stevenson Funeral Home of Ekalaka. Burial will be in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka, MT. with Pasotr Jon Champlin officiating. Burial will follow at the Beaver Lodge Cemetery in Ekalaka. Reception to follow at The Events Center, Carter County Fairgrounds.
Visitation Monday, April 26, 2021, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 6:00 p.m. in the Stevenson Funeral Home- Ekalaka.
Alice May Bazil Carlisle of Ekalaka, Mt passed away April 17, 2021, just a few short weeks before turning 97 years old. Alice May Bazil was born on May 3, 1924 in Alliance, Nebraska. Her parents were Arthur Henry and Susan Marie Bazil. At the age of 3, her mother and step father, Moritz Kittelmann, moved their family to Carter County near the old Figg place, just off Conger Hill. They soon bought the place and moved about 4 miles south of Ekalaka. Alice and her siblings grew up on this place, going to the Buck County School. She was crowned the first Homecoming Queen of Carter County High School and graduated in 1941. Years later, the school became the Farmer’s Union where Alice worked as a bookkeeper during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The building burned down and a new station was built on the highway where she continued to work for a total of twenty five years. Alice worked a few years at the Ekalaka Town Office later in her life.
Alice was a child of The Great Depression and she had many stories about life during those years of hard times that plagued our nation. The depression years were tough, but the family enjoyed the life they had with neighbors and friends. As years passed, Alice became a great resource to many people in the community and family when they wanted information about Ekalaka and the surrounding area in her younger years.
After graduating from high school, Alice married Raymond W. Carlisle. Ray has the distinction of having the first single man draft number to be called in Carter County, and went into the Army to serve his country honorably in the South Pacific during World War II for six years. While Ray was in the service, Alice went to Washington and Louisiana where Ray was stationed for about a year. She returned to Ekalaka to live with her parents and worked at the Clerk and Recorders Office in the court house. It was at this time the family place came up for sale and Alice thought it to be a good investment. So she took a leap of faith and bought it, even though Ray was still in the service. They raised sheep, cattle, and quarter horses. Alice always did her share of ranch work, helping hay, and doing night watch during spring lambing and calving season. She loved growing a garden and lovely flowers, caring for her chickens, playing cards, being a 4—H leader for 10 years, a VFW Auxiliary member for over fifty years, an American Legion Auxiliary member for decades and attending sporting and community events. Most of all, Alice liked to cook. The loves of her life, her grandkids, thought she was the best cook in the world. Grandma’s house was their special place. She enjoyed having people stop for a meal and the coffee pot was always on at her house. Alice was always thankful for the life the Lord and ranch and given her and her family. She lived on the place until a few days before her death.
Alice is survived by her four children, Raymond Carlisle ( Susie), LaMesa, NM, William Carlisle (Janet) and Kyle Carlisle both of Ekalaka, Hollis Espy (Hugh), Forsyth, MT; eleven grandchildren; fourteen great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; sisters-in-laws, Vernalea Kittelmann, Ekalaka, MT and Lola Kittelmann, Butte, MT; and several nieces and nephews and their families.
Alice is preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Wesley Carlisle; parents Arthur Henry Bazil, Moritz and Susan Kittelmann; brothers and sisters-in-law, James and Melba Bazil, Charles and Hope Kittelmann; brother, George Kittelmann; sisters and brothers-in-law Frances and Pat LaBreck and Clara Bazil Farwell (Sherrill).
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Maurice T Overn - June 06, 1922 - February 26, 2021

Departed: 02/26/2021 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral services for Maurice Theodore Overn, 98, of Capitol, MT, will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 7 at Little Missouri Lutheran Church in Capitol, MT. Burial will follow at the Little Missouri Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.
Maurice passed away peacefully at Spearfish hospital on Friday, February 16, 2021.
He was born at the Overn Ranch homestead near Capitol, Montana, the son of Theodore and Clara Melum Overn, on June 6, 1922. He attended grade school at Capitol until eighth grade. Some of his teachers at Capitol School were Bob Brakke, Thelma Melum, and Ann Rehn. At the time of World War II, his oldest brother Jim, joined the Marines, and his younger brother Chester joined the army. Maurice then, also, joined the army, and was sent to be a part of Operation Avalanche; the Allied British and American invasion at Salerno, Italy. Although the Italians had retreated, the area was still firmly held by the German soldiers. It was necessary that the American and British troops had to land at Salerno without armillary support so that surprise would be complete, making the invasion even more hazardous. This invasion was necessary to cut off German holdings in southern Italy. Fierce fighting resulted along the beaches of Salerno. Maurice was an Army Staff Sergeant during the invasion of Salerno. During the battle, he became the highest ranking surviving officer in his division. He, too, was wounded and had to be carried from the battlefield by other soldiers. After the war he embarked from Naples, Italy on board the S. S. Pachaug Victory on August 14, 1945, and returned to dock at New York harbor. Many years after the war, his mother had still removed shrapnel from Maurice's wounds. He was awarded a ‘Purple Heart’ and a ‘Bronze Star’ for his sacrifices for his country, and his service for the freedom of his people.
After the war, Maurice did ranch work for Johnsons and Bonefields. Then he went to mechanics training in Fargo, North Dakota. Maurice later studied TV and small appliance repair. He did custom grain binding with a John Deere tractor and International grain binder for a few years. He worked at the Belle Fourche Sugar Beet factory, and also at American Colloid. In 1966, he moved out to Capitol to help his sister, Inez Rolph, run her ranch. He also worked for his Aunt Olive Price at her ranch at Capitol. Then, he began work as a custodian at Belle Fourche Schools. In later years, he owned the homestead where his parents had lived and build their home. Shirley Melum remembers that when the men of her family were sick, Maurice came to help her. The two of them saved a cow when they completed the caesarian birth of a calf. Grace Axemaker became his close friend and the two traveled together seeing many parts of the country.
Maurice spent his last years at Serenity Corners near Spearfish, and leaves behind those special care-givers, who became close to him.
Maurice was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Clara Melum Overn; his sisters Inez Rolph Johnson, Carrie (Quentin) Major, Lollie (Melvin) Odell, Clarice (Jimmy) Curry; his brothers James and Chester Overn; and is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
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David Mrnak - December 15, 1931 - December 24, 2020

Departed: 12/24/2020 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for David C. Mrnak, 89, of Ekalaka, will be 11:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2020 at Ekalaka Bible Church with Pastor John Champlin officiating. Burial will follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery.
Visitation will take place one hour prior to service.
For those attending, please adhere to social distancing guidelines provided by the CDC and MT Department of Health. To view the live webcast of David’s funeral service, please go to Stevenson Funeral Home website, click on David’s photo, select photos and videos. The livestream will be active 15 minutes before the service.
David passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family on December 24th, 2020 in Ekalaka, Montana.
David Charles was born December 15th, 1931 in Bowman, ND, the son of Henry and Olga (Munson) Mrnak. As a young boy he attended Ekalaka Country School through 8th grade. He graduated from Carter County High school 1949. David was inducted into the US Army on 1951 serving during the Korean War as radio repair stationed in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in 1953, he returned to Ekalaka. David married the love of his life Etta Dorene Gross in Miles City, MT on September 5th, 1956. Soon after they married they moved to Leadville, Colorado where David worked in the mines. While in the mines he became a Master electrician. They were blessed with 3 children, Rod, Sheila, and Sonia while in Colorado. In 1971, the family moved to Verndale, MN and owned an outdoor movie theater called the “Rand Drive In.” The family later moved to Minneapolis MN where David worked as an electrician for many years before he started his own company “Mrnak's Electric” with his son Rodney in 1991. David retired in 1997 and moved back to his home town Ekalaka, Montana with his wife. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, beating everyone in card games and spending time with his loved ones.
David is survived by his wife, Etta Dorene of Ekalaka; son, Rodney (Kari) Mrnak of Fallon; daughters, Sheila (David) Desrocher of East Bethel, MN and Sonia (Scott) Luedtke of Miles City; 8 grandchildren including Chelsea, Amanda, Tony, Clinton, Tina, Weston, Dakotah and Adrian; and 5 Great Grandchildren, Madalynn, Ashlynn, Jackson (Tony Desrocher) Kaiya (Clint Mrnak) and Rory (Amanda Davis) and baby Jovanovich on the way (Chelsea Jovanovich).
He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Olga; and his brother Keith Mrnak.
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Curtis Wilson - October 21, 1929 - December 17, 2020

Departed: 12/17/2020 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: A funeral service for Curtis Vernon Wilson, 91, will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 18, 2021 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Tom Stieg officiating. Burial will follow at Beaver Lodge Cemetery.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m at Stevenson Funeral Home.
Curtis Vernon Wilson passed away December 16, 2020 in Rock Hill, SC after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his family and received care from Piedmont Medical Center.
Born in Westbrook, Minnesota on October 21, 1929, he was the son of the late Oren Wilson and Jane Gladys Faulkner Wilson. He was a graduate of Westbrook High School and earned his B.A. English from Black Hills State College. He enlisted in the Navy September 10, 1948, served in the Korean War and honorably discharged August 20,1952 as a Petty Officer Third Class, Radarman. In 1955, he married Edna Louise Weaver in Walnut Grove, MN and they remained married until her death in 1996.
In 1964 they moved to Ekalaka, Montana where he taught English and was the school Librarian for 22 years at Carter County High School. He also owned a welding and radiator shop for many years. He retired from teaching in 1986.
Curt moved to Hardin, Montana in 2006 and enjoyed collecting and fixing fiddles of which he had many. He was known to bestow them upon promising young musicians. Bluegrass Festivals were another of his favorite pastimes where he could be found playing the fiddle, guitar, harmonica or banjo with friends. Another lifelong interest of his was collecting Native American artifacts of which part of his collection may be viewed at the Carter County Museum. In April 2015, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks recognized him or 50 years of teaching Hunter Safety classes. He was also a lifelong member of the VFW, Lions Club, and American Legion. ln April of 2020, he moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina to be closer to family.
He was predeceased by his parents, wife, his son James, his brothers Orman, Mylan, and his sister Annabel.
He is survived by his son William Wilson (Michele) of Rock Hill, SC; daughter, Rebecca Kjolberg (Robert) of Fargo, ND, Wendi Van Hoozer (daughter-in-law), and siblings, Leo Wilson (Shirly) of Mesquite, NV, Erma Olson (Ron) of Sun City, CA and Muriel Wilson (sister-in-law), of Mankato, MN., eight grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren.
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Joe Carey - May 16, 1938 - November 29, 2020

Departed: 11/29/2020 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: A Memorial service for Joe will be at 11:00 a.m., July 17, 2021 at the Event Center in Ekalaka, Montana Everyone is invited and very welcome. We want you to come prepared with stories and favorite memories about Joe. A Lunch will be held afterward.
Joseph (Joe) Patrick Carey, 82, was born in a log house on the Carey Homestead in the Chalk Buttes near Ekalaka, MT on May 16, 1938. His parents, Joseph Hugh Carey and Mildred Kortum Carey, his two sisters, Mary Ellen and Joan, thrilled to have a boy in their family. Sadly, his father Joe Carey passed away on the ranch of a sudden heart attack just eight days later. Mildred’s parents Walter and Iva Kortum and Mildred’s siblings helped her with the children while she was educated at Kinmann Business School in Spokane, Washington. After her graduation she moved to Miles City, Montana and went to work for Ed Love at Love Motor Company. The three children spent time with their grandparents as well as being in Miles City. Mildred married Wallace Badgett. Mildred was killed in an accident when Joe was 10 and after that the three children lived with their grandparents in Ekalaka.
Joe was always fascinated with cars and mechanics and acquired his first car from Charlie Dawson when he was in the seventh grade. This was his start of buying, fixing and selling used cars. He started working for Vernon Parks at Parks Standard in the eighth grade and worked there until the spring of 1960. Joe graduated from Carter County High School in 1957. He purchased his first new car in 1958 from Love Motor. It was a 1958 white two door Ford Fairlane with a Police Interceptor Motor. He was always up for a race and managed to win most of them. Known for his fast driving and fun ways in Ekakala, as well as Baker, he had lots of fun. He was always up for some mischief causing his grandmother, and later his wife, lots of angst at times. He also drove water trucks to rural fires and loved doing it. Many will tell of their wild rides in the trucks, no gully too deep, not hill too high, no tree too big. He continued this until his health would no longer let him do it. On June 18, 1960 he married Carole Curry and they moved to the Carey Ranch to begin their wedded life. Their first son Joseph (Don) Donald was born Nov. 13, 1962. In 1964, Joe sustained a very serious farm accident almost losing his right arm. After 3 weeks in Deaconess Hospital, having 3 surgeries and then therapy in Vallejo, California he gradually regained 75% use of his arm. They came home from California in the blizzard of 1964-1965. Unfortunately, they lost all their cattle in the terrible blizzard in mid-December. Their second son, Jon Patrick was born Jan. 3, 1965. Their ranch career was over and Joe began management of the Conoco Station and later the Conoco bulk business until 1970 when he sold it to Vernon Silvis. He then was in the well drilling business for a short while, worked for Dague Trucking for a few years, later acquiring his own trucks and doing his own business. In 1979, he started working for Vernon Preuss as undersheriff. He graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in 1981. He served one term as sheriff after Vernon retired in 1986. After this in 1991 he began to run his car and truck business very seriously, making friends with Palmer Norby of Sidney and Dennis Bettin in Sioux Falls, SD. He continued until he semi-retired due to ill health in 2015. Joe served on the Ekalaka City Council for three years and was Major of Ekalaka for 19 years. He often said, “No one ever calls the Mayor if they are happy.”
Joe suffered a major heart attack in October 1988 and dealt with serious health issues until his death. He was fortunate to have great medical care all those 32 years and qualified for many new cutting-edge miracles allowing him to keep going. He had it all, the balloon treatments, coronary bypass surgery, shock treatments for arrhythmia, heart monitors, and an abatement. He developed diabetes and gout and was still able to go on. His last three years took its toll and he passed away with end stage heart failure as well as Covid-19.
Joe and Carole were able to do quite a bit of traveling and Joe had 33 states and 3 foreign countries marked off his bucket list. They especially enjoyed Nashville, were in Savannah, GA on 9/11, New Orleans and Alaska. They traveled to California visiting his sisters, went to Texas to see Jon and Lynn, Oregon visiting Mary Ellen, Miami, the Bahamas and Key West, etc. All in all had a great time enjoying everything they saw and did. Joe and his fishing buddy Don Wade had many fun and successful fishing trips to Nipowan, Cananda. He always loved hunting. Joe loved his family and was very proud of his boys. He delighted in his grand and great grand kids. The older he became the more precious they all became to him. Joe lived a full life.
He leaves his wife, Carole, of 60 plus years; sons, Donald (Bonnie) of Billings, MT, Jon (Lynn) of Ekalaka, MT; grandsons, Trent (Mindy) Bellvue, NE, Joseph Donald (JD) Manhattan, MT; granddaughter, Samantha (Damon) Ceynar Glendive, MT; three great grandchildren, Kaeden, Karsen and Kalie Carey; step grandson, Kory (Tara) Koch and children Hunter, Owen and Lucas; sister Joan Carey Marshall and her three children, Kerri (Andrew Murray) Marshall, Dan (Aieta) Marshall, Matt (Sarah) Marshall; brother and sister-in laws Jim Curry, Wayne (Oxana) Curry, Candy (Bill) Loehding, Colleen (Les) Parks, BoBo (Lanelle) Curry, April (Joe) Potter, Dunie Curry Solander, Erwin Curry and all their children.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Mildred Carey; grandparents, Walter and Iva Kortum; sister, Mary Ellen Carey; brother in law Wes Marshall; uncles, Walter (Bud) (Edith) Kortum, Joe (Tippy) Kortum; aunts, Doris (Johnny) Willison, Nancy (Clayton) Holly, Joie and Marie Curry; father and mother in law; cousins, Chuck Holly, Jack Willson, George Boltz, Pat Carey, Jim Carey, Esmond Carey, Edward Smith, and Yvonne Kincheloe; and his sep-father Wallace Badgett.
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Owen "Skeet" Hedges - January 29, 1929 - November 03, 2020

Departed: 11/03/2020 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Owen "Skeet" Hedges, 91, of Ekalaka, passed away November 3, 2020 at Dahl Memorial Healthcare.
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Joe James Till - August 01, 1928 - October 30, 2020

Departed: 10/30/2020 (Ekalaka)
Obituary Preview: Funeral Services for Joseph Till, 91, of Ekalaka will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Ekalaka. Burial will follow at Beaverlodge Cemetery.
Visitation for Joe will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7 at Stevenson Funeral Home.
Joseph passed away Friday, October 30, 2020 at Dahl Memorial in Ekalaka. 'Joe, with older sister Betty, and younger brothers Jerry and Tom, grew up on the family farm a few miles east of Dupree. Based on stories shared by family and friends, it was apparent from a very young age that Joe would have a deep love of being outdoors, learning about nature, working with animals, and trying anything new that looked like fun. If it involved family or friends, that was even better. He attended and graduated from Dupree High School, where he formed his lifelong love of sports, playing his favorites, football and basketball, and graduating in 1948. After graduation, he worked for the Arledge family on Cherry Creek. Ranching and being a steward of the land was something that completely suited how Joe wanted to live his life, saying "I love it! Frustrating as hell at times but never boring." The ranching was interrupted for several years when he was drafted into the Army, as well as brother Jerry Joe received a Dependency Discharge when his father became ill and one of the boys was needed to run the farm. While helping his parents, he also worked for the neighboring Woodward family. It was during this time that he began dating a local girl, Alva Griffith, and they were married August 20, 1955. Their first child, Cheryl, was born in 1956, and shortly after, they moved back to the Cherry Creek area to work on a ranch. Several months later, his former employers, Joe and Geraldine Arledge, sought him out to manage their Cherry Creek ranch. This started a life-long friendship and working relationship between the two families. Two additional children were born during this time; Kaye in 1958, and Justin in 1959. In the fall of 1962, the young family moved to the Spring Creek Ranch at Mill Iron, MT, where they would set their roots and raise their family. When Joe Arledge passed away, Geraldine asked that Joe stay on as her foreman and oversee three of the ranches. Living on and managing the MT ranch, he also spent a good deal of time on the SD and WY ranches making sure they also ran smoothly. Over the years, Dad filled his time with many activities that he enjoyed. He worked as a field man for Belle Fourche Livestock, earning the respect and friendship of many. He also served several years on both the school board and the Track & Arena board. He coached the Mill Iron Jets basketball team, and followed all local sports teams. He and Grandma traveled many miles to cheer on the teams, whether they had kids on the team or not. He spoke fondly of the Mill Iron softball games. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family and friends. One thing Dad would never say no to the chance to go fishing, didn't matter when or where, and was privy to many secret fishing Joles. In order to be invited along, there were 3 rules every child, grandchild and great-grandchild learned quick: "Keep the tip up.", "Be quiet and don't splash in the creek!", and "Absolutely NOTHING you catch gets thrown back." Grandpa had a make-do attitude that led to many "prototype" inventions that either solved the problem or created laughter, maybe a black fingernail. We often heard "Well, it's good enough for this far out in the country!" Over the years, we learned many treasured lessons from Grandpa: work ethic, appreciation of the land and nature, helping your neighbors, the importance of family and loving what you do. Other lessons included the beauty in tranquility, the importance of power naps, appreciation of a good fat worm, and damn near every nail can be straightened. His wit was second to none, and he always enjoyed a good joke or story. Spending time with family and friends was a great joy for him and the more of them he could gather in one place, the better.
Joe is survived by his wife and partner of 65 years, Alva; children Cheryl Strub, Kaye (Mark) Sexton, and Justin (Rexene) Till; grandchildren Dek (Liz) Ginsbach, Desi (Bill) Rost, Tandy (Brent) Reilley, TJ Strub, and Trinity Till; great-granchildren Daniel and Ashley Rost, Hunter & Evelyn Ginsbach, Weston, Vera, Violet, and Woodrow Strub, Revyn, Attee Mae, and Tobyn Reilley; sister-in-law Virginia Till; numerous nieces and nephews. We would also like to consider as honoraries, all of Dad's friends who shared his life. To him all friends and neighbors are family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Elizabeth Till, son-in-law Bob Strub, granddaughter Taren Strub, his sister and brother-in-law Betty and Chet Mraz; brother Jerry, brother and sister-in-law Tom and Peggy Till.
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Services Offered

Ekalaka Funeral Home offers a wide range of services designed to meet the unique needs of each family they serve. From traditional funeral services to cremation options, memorial services, and celebrations of life, the staff at Ekalaka Funeral Home work closely with families to create a personalized tribute that honors the memory of their loved one. They also provide assistance with obituaries, death certificates, and other necessary paperwork.

Facilities and Amenities

The funeral home's facilities are warm and welcoming, providing a comfortable space for families to gather and pay their respects. The chapel is tastefully decorated and equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, ensuring that every service is conducted with dignity and respect. Additional amenities include a lounge area where families can take a moment to relax and reflect, as well as ample parking for guests.

Pre-Planning Services

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Ekalaka Funeral Home understands that planning ahead can be a wise decision for individuals and families alike. Their pre-planning services allow individuals to make informed decisions about their final arrangements, alleviating the burden from their loved ones during a difficult time. By pre-planning, individuals can ensure that their wishes are respected, and that their family is protected from unnecessary stress and financial burdens.

Grief Support and Resources

Losing a loved one can be an overwhelming experience, but Ekalaka Funeral Home believes that no one should have to navigate the grieving process alone. They offer grief support resources, including counseling services, support groups, and online resources, to help individuals cope with their loss. The staff at Ekalaka Funeral Home is committed to providing ongoing support to families long after the funeral service has taken place.

Community Involvement

Ekalaka Funeral Home is deeply rooted in the local community and is committed to giving back through various charitable initiatives and events. They believe in supporting local organizations and initiatives that benefit the community, and strive to make a positive impact on the lives of those around them.

Contact Information

If you're in need of compassionate and professional funeral services, or simply have questions about the services offered by Ekalaka Funeral Home, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can contact them at (insert phone number) or visit their website at (insert website URL). Their dedicated staff is available 24/7 to provide guidance and support during your time of need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an obituary?

An obituary is a written notice that announces the death of a person, typically including their name, age, date of birth and death, and a brief biography. It's usually published in a newspaper, online obituary platform, or funeral home website to inform friends, family, and community members of the passing.

Why are obituaries important?

Obituaries serve as a way to honor and remember the deceased, while also providing essential information to those who need to know about the funeral arrangements and services. They also help to notify people who may not have been aware of the person's passing.

Who typically writes an obituary?

In most cases, the family of the deceased or a close friend writes the obituary. Funeral homes and obituary writers can also assist with writing and publishing the obituary.

What information should be included in an obituary?

A typical obituary includes the person's full name, age, date of birth and death, place of residence, occupation, education, military service (if applicable), hobbies, interests, and surviving family members. It may also include information about the funeral service, burial, or memorial donations.

How long should an obituary be?

The length of an obituary can vary depending on the publication or platform. Generally, it's recommended to keep it concise and within 1-2 paragraphs. However, some online platforms may allow for longer tributes or stories.

Can I include photos in an obituary?

Yes, many publications and online platforms allow you to include one or more photos with the obituary. This can be a great way to personalize the tribute and help readers connect with the person who has passed away.

How much does it cost to publish an obituary?

The cost of publishing an obituary varies depending on the publication, location, and length of the notice. Some newspapers and online platforms offer free or low-cost options, while others may charge a fee based on the word count or size of the notice.

Can I publish an obituary online?

Yes, there are many online platforms that allow you to publish an obituary, such as,, or funeral home websites. These platforms often offer additional features like guest books, condolence messages, and photo galleries.

How do I submit an obituary to a newspaper?

You can usually submit an obituary to a newspaper by emailing or faxing the text to their obituary department. Be sure to check their submission guidelines and deadlines in advance.

Can I write my own obituary?

Yes, some people choose to write their own obituary in advance as part of their estate planning or as a way to reflect on their life. This can be a unique opportunity to tell your story and leave a lasting legacy.

What's the difference between an obituary and a death notice?

A death notice is a brief announcement of someone's passing, usually including only basic information like name, age, and date of death. An obituary is a more detailed tribute that provides additional biographical information and context.

Can I include humor or anecdotes in an obituary?

Absolutely! Obituaries don't have to be somber or formal. Including humorous stories or personal anecdotes can help capture the personality and spirit of the person who has passed away.

How do I handle sensitive information in an obituary?

If you're unsure about sharing certain details or want to protect privacy, it's best to err on the side of caution. You can omit sensitive information or focus on more general aspects of the person's life.

Can I include quotes or poems in an obituary?

Yes! Quotes, poems, or lyrics can add depth and meaning to an obituary. Choose something that resonates with the person's personality or values.

How long does it take for an obituary to be published?

The publication timeline varies depending on the newspaper or platform. Online platforms often publish immediately or within a few hours, while print newspapers may take several days or weeks.

Can I make changes to an already published obituary?

Sometimes it's possible to make corrections or updates to an already published obituary. Contact the publication or platform directly to inquire about their policies and procedures.

What if I'm not comfortable writing an obituary myself?

DON'T WORRY! Many funeral homes and online platforms offer assistance with writing and publishing obituaries. You can also ask a trusted friend or family member for help.

Can I include charitable donations or memorial funds in an obituary?

Absolutely! Including information about charitable donations or memorial funds can be a meaningful way to honor the deceased and support a worthy cause.

How do I share an online obituary with others?

You can share online obituaries through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, via email, or by copying and pasting the link into a message or post.

Will an online obituary remain available forever?

Policies vary among online platforms. Some may archive obituaries after a certain period, while others may keep them available indefinitely. Be sure to check with the platform for their specific policies.

Can I create a memorial website or page instead of an obituary?

Yes! Memorial websites or pages can be a beautiful way to celebrate someone's life and provide a space for condolences and memories. You can create one using online tools like or

What if I'm struggling with grief after writing an obituary?

Losing someone is never easy. Remember that writing an obituary is just one step in the grieving process. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for comfort and guidance during this difficult time.

Are there any specific guidelines for writing an obituary for someone who was young or died suddenly?

Sensitive situations require extra care. When writing an obituary for someone who was young or died suddenly, focus on celebrating their life and accomplishments while being mindful of the emotional impact on loved ones.

Can I republish an old obituary from years ago?

If you have permission from the original publisher or copyright holder, you may be able to republish an old obituary. Check with the source first to ensure you're respecting any existing rights or restrictions.

What if I need help finding information for an obituary?

DON'T WORRY! You can ask family members, friends, or former colleagues for input. You can also search online archives, public records, or social media profiles for relevant information.

Need a Eulogy?
Get a Personalized Professional Eulogy Written For Your Loved One

Writing a eulogy for a loved one you have just lost, can be both challenging and painful. Alongside the pressure of delivering a meaningful tribute in front of other funeral guests.

Let our expert Funeral Speech Writers create a heartfelt & personalized eulogy, that captures the amazing life and memories of your loved one.

Learn more about our Professional Eulogy Writing Service today, and see how we can help you.


About Jeffery Isleworth

Jeffery Isleworth is an experienced eulogy and funeral speech writer who has dedicated his career to helping people honor their loved ones in a meaningful way. With a background in writing and public speaking, Jeffery has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting heartfelt and authentic tributes that capture the essence of a person's life. Jeffery's passion for writing eulogies and funeral speeches stems from his belief that everyone deserves to be remembered with dignity and respect. He understands that this can be a challenging time for families and friends, and he strives to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Over the years, Jeffery has helped countless families create beautiful and memorable eulogies and funeral speeches. His clients appreciate his warm and empathetic approach, as well as his ability to capture the essence of their loved one's personality and life story. When he's not writing eulogies and funeral speeches, Jeffery enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and traveling. He believes that life is precious and should be celebrated, and he feels honored to help families do just that through his writing.