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Bernadine Redfern

Bernadine was born on April 17, 1921 to Philip and Anna Savidge on a ranch outside of Deloit, Nebraska.  She earned the nickname Bunny when as a child she attended a Harlem Globtrotters game. During the game, a player named Bunny, to her friends delight,  came off the court to give her a hug!  The nickname was the result and it  stuck with her the rest of her life. For her and her brother Harold and two sisters, Phyllis and Maxine (all deceased) life on the ranch was hard especially after her dad died from an accident with a horse when Bunny was only five years old.  Although the family worked hard to keep the ranch going, it was when their house burned down that Anna moved the family to town.  Bunny went to school in Ewing, Nebraska and after graduation from high school taught school in a one room school house for approximately three years. 


It was then that she traveled to Montana to join her sister Maxine in Butte.  There she took a job as a telephone switchboard operator.  It was the time when calls to friends and neighbors had to be made via the operator who connected parties by inserting a pair of phone plugs into the appropriate jacks.  Her claim to fame as an operator was to connect the actor John Wayne to the party he was trying to reach.  She used to smile when she told the story recounting how nice he was to her on the phone.  Her days as an operator ended when one summer she met Phil Redfern at a rodeo on the Butte Rodeo Grounds.  They were married on October 17, 1950. 


Together, Bunny and Phil settled on the ranch at the 9 mile, built their home and started raising kids.  Within five years Margaret Ann (Paul Koren), Tim (Maria), Mary Lou Henrikson (Paul), Sam (Linda), and Evelyn (Richard Odan) were born. While Phil worked the dairy and the ranch, Bunny stayed home to keep the fires burning and guide her kids through the rough and tumble journey of childhood. 

In the beginnings of their marriage and family, Phil left early in the mornings to milk the cows and didn’t come home until the last cow was milked at the end of the day.  It was Bunny who was the foundation of the family; there for her children whatever their needs.  It was she who attended the school plays, 4-H club meetings and events, and listened to the joys, triumphs, and dried the tears of her children. She didn’t drive until it was obvious that to support her kids she would need to learn to do so—and she did. She never complained.  To this day we are all amazed at her perseverance, patience, hard work, and never ending devotion to being a great mom and great wife.


She will be remembered as an excellent cook!  Her Sunday fried chicken dinners were legendary among the folks who would come to help during summer haying season.  Her bread, baked in batches of eight to ten loaves was grand champion quality.  The cookie jar was never empty of home made goodies.  She canned and preserved the produce from her garden to be enjoyed by family and friends throughout the winter.  She sewed, crocheted and as each of her grandchildren graduated from high school she made sure she had completed an afghan that they all still have and cherish. 


Bunny stayed in the home until Evelyn was in high school and it was then that she took a job as a Silver Bow County Home Extension Nutrition Aide.  In this job she used her expertise to visit families in their homes and teach them how to shop, cook and deliver the same nutritional meals as she did for her own family.  She did that job until the county ran out of money and then she retired.  Although she didn’t do it much, Bunny loved to travel and a highlight of her travels was to go to Hawaii to attend the wedding of her youngest.  We all were as delighted as she was when she pulled up the legs of her pants, waded in to the water and wiggled her toes in the sand of the warm Pacific ocean. 


Bunny was a great friend.  It wasn’t unusual to come home from school and find a neighbor sitting at the kitchen table asking Bunny for advice.  As her kids we may believe that our tendency toward leadership roles came from our dad, but our ability for compassion and caring came from our mom.  She was a devoted, God loving woman who made sure that the church was a major player in her children’s lives.  It was she who would whistle up the stairs, and snap the light on and off to wake us up on Sunday morning to attend church (8 o’clock mass during the winter and 7 am in the summer!). 


Our mom was adamant about a strong education for each of her children.  She and Phil struggled financially but she insisted we all attend Catholic grade school and high school, and college.  When asked what she was most proud of from her long, well lived life she said it was “getting all the kids through school.”  She was so happy when we all graduated from college and graduate school.  She never passed an opportunity to brag about her kids.  She was also proud of how she and Phil “held on to the ranch” though thick and thin; and how “Dad and I stayed together.”


Bunny was preceded in death by Phil and is survived by her children and their spouses, and her grandchildren Philip Henrikson, Emily and Melanie Koren, Cathy and Joe Redfern, Peter and Anna Redfern, James Odan, and her great grandchildren Tieg and Arlo Henrikson.  She is also survived by her beloved friends Pete, Darryl and Jocelyn, and caregivers Lolma, Brenda, and Jennie.


Our mom was a remarkable woman with such an abundance of love. We have her to thank for so much of what we have today – character, talents, values, integrity and the joy of family.  Although we will miss you Mom we are so happy you are home with Dad, at peace and enjoying your much deserved reward.  If anyone was ever meant to be an angel, it is you. 


Mrs. Redfern’s remains are in Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home where friends may call Friday afternoon after 4 o’clock.  Liturgy of the Resurrection will be celebrated Saturday morning at 10 o’clock in St. Ann’s Catholic Church.  Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery and memorials may be made to the Butte Emergency Food Bank. 

Elizabeth Larsen

Elizabeth Ann Larsen passed away Wednesday, February 4th at her home surrounded by her loving family.  She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 and it metastasized twice over the many years since her original diagnosis.  Bette put up a strong fight since her most recent diagnosis and beat the odds by surviving far longer than expected.  She was born in Butte August 5, 1930 to William Q. and Margaret L. (Malvey) Murphy.  She was raised in Butte and graduated from Butte High School in 1948.  She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in bacteriology and microbiology from MSU in 1952, went to work at Helena’s St. John’s Hospital and Shodair Children’s Hospital where she worked as chief technologist before returning to Butte to care for a relative and work at the community hospital.    With all this going on in her life she still had time to earn her commercial pilot’s license.   She and John Larsen were married in St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church on February 7, 1970. 

She worked at St. James from 1956 until 1971 when she decided to stay home with her two children.  She was active in many organizations including the PTA, the AAUW, the Butte Historical Society, the Butte Archives, St. James Axillary, The Genealogical Society, The Legion of Mary  and the Red Hat Society.  She was a loving and supportive mother who was involved with her children’s activities, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts basketball, baseball, softball, hockey and figure skating.  She enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling and camping as well as writing and recently completed a book she had hoped to someday get published, or at least be enjoyed by friends and family.

Besides her husband John, Elizabeth is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Teresa Larsen of Lewistown, daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Jeff Garber of Olympia, Washington, grandchildren: Terah Dayedes and Brityn Russell.  Also surviving are her sister, Renee Burns of Butte, nieces and nephews: Ray Jr., Caron, Paul, Mary, Mike, Tim and Karen as well as several great nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Ray Burns, brother and sister-in-law, William Michael “Bill” and Dolores Murphy, nieces and nephews, Candice, Kevin and Danny and brother-in-law, Ray Burns.

Cremation has taken place.  Liturgy of the Resurrection will be celebrated Monday morning at 11 o'clock in St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and a reception will follow at Wayrynen-Richards Community Center.

Elizabeth always lived by the motto, “Find Jesus in everyone you meet!” and with that in mind her family would like to thank all the medical people who helped, especially Dr. Thomas and the staff in the oncology department in Missoula.   The family would also like to thank the loving neighbors and friends who offered support throughout this time.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Butte Emergency Food Bank.

Area deaths for Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015

Elizabeth Hokanson, 95, died Jan. 29
Joanne Ervin, 66, 
Carl Smith, 66, died Feb. 1
Dorothy Kohler, 86, died Feb. 1
Jane Giecek, 70, died Jan. 28
Ann Marcille, 99, 
Franklyn Smith, 78

Luana Smyth

Feb. 2, 2015
Luana K. Smyth passed away Saturday morning in a local nursing home.  She was born January 18, 1931 in Heber, Utah to Orson A. and
Gladys (Sweat) Kohler.  The family moved to Butte and Luana attended local schools including the Greeley, the McKinley and Butte High School. 

Luana loved animals, especially her puppies, Skippy, Dolly, Dorothy and Boo.  She was quite athletic and was a formidable adversary at softball.  She was also an accomplished speed skater.   While working at the Old Murray Hospital she met her former classmate, Albert E. “Rusty” Smyth on a bus and they were united in marriage on October 28, 1950.  He was drafted into the United States Army the following year and Luana joined him in Grover, California for a short time.  Following his discharge they returned to Butte where while raising a family, Luana returned to nursing school and with straight A’s earned her L.P.N. nursing certificate.  She worked at St. James for well over 20 years until her retirement. 

Besides her parents, Luana is preceded in death by her oldest son, Ted who passed away in 1996 and her husband Rusty who passed away in 2011.  She is survived by her daughter, Teri Kippen and son Todd Smyth both of Butte, daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Jerry Kirby of Rock Hill, South Carolina, grandchildren: Brie Ridder, Andy Kirby, Amy Kirby, Jason and Nancy Kippen, Brian and Melissa Smyth, Eric and Tessa Smyth, Heather Gitt, great-grandchildren: Trenton Ridder, Kyler and Kamber Kippen, Bridger Smyth and Connor Smyth as well as several nieces, nephews and their families. 

Graveside funeral services will be conducted Wednesday morning at 11 o’clock in Mountain View Cemetery under the auspices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Mrs. Smyth’s family wishes to extend a profound and sincere thank you to the staff of Marquis Vintage Suite- Expressions for the loving care given to Luana during her stay.   Memorials may be made to Pintler Pets, the Chelsea Bailey Animal Shelter or Albert’s Angel Fund. 


Deaths for Jan. 31, 2015

Alice Guay, 87, died Jan. 27, 2015

Anton Bosch, 84, died Dec. 12, 2015 Posted from my iPhone using Joomla Admin Mobile!

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