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Jan. 7 Deaths

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Chester Lee Covington


Chester Lee Covington passed away Friday, January 2, 2015 at Big Sky Senior Living.  He was born in New Raymer, Colorado September 6, 1925 to Chester Melvin and Vera Mary (Speed) Covington. 

Lee served in the United States Navy and Air Corp during World War II, went to inactive service in 1945 and was honorably discharged in June of 1947.  On September 14 of that same year he married his high school sweetheart, Bonita “Bonnie” Marie Kilzner.

Lee graduated from The University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science degree in both electrical and civil engineering.  He was a varsity letterman in cross country track and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.  He was a licensed Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor.  After his graduation in 1948 he and Bonnie moved to Dallas, Texas then to New Orleans, Louisiana where he worked as a field engineer with Western Union for a year.  The couple moved back to Wyoming where in 1950 he earned a degree in civil engineering. 

The family lived in various place in Wyoming where Lee worked as a hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Geological Survey.  The couple moved their family to Helena, Montana in 1953 where they started a 35 year career with the Montana Power.  They were transferred six times, starting as engineer in Helena and retiring April 1, 1988 as Manager of Division Operations and Budget in the general office in Butte.  While in Havre, Lee was President of the Lions Club and the Havre Blue Pony Booster Club.  He was also on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Director and a member of the Elk’s Lodge.  He was vice-president of the Lewistown Art Center, a member of the Rotary Club and the Elks as well as the Board of Adjustments.  In Butte he was a member of the Exchange Club the Elk’s and received an honorary life membership to the Northwest Electric Light and Power Association in 1988.



Lee was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 57 years, Bonnie, a son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Ila Covington, brother, Dwight Covington and sister, Patricia Jensen.  He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law: David and Barbara Covington of Missoula, Robert and Mary Covington of Fairmont Hot Springs, Todd and Katherine Covington of Springfield, Oregon, grandchildren, Shannon Covington, Somer Gardner, Brittney Snyder, Greg and Jennifer Springer, great-grandchildren: Everson Wetzel, Cameron and Troy Springer, Preston Covington and Gabriel Snyder. 

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place.  Memorial services will be conducted Friday, January 9th at 11 AM in Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home with Pastor David Andersen officiating.  Interment of ashes will take place at a later date.  Memorials may be made to the Shrine Hospital for Children.     

Anna Marie Porter


Anna Marie Porter passed away Thursday, New Year’s Day, 2015 at her home in Butte.  She was born in Washington, Pennsylvania to Oscar and Jeanette E. (Rogers) Wright.  The family moved to Butte in 1963 and Anna graduated from Butte High School.  She also attended Highlands College and worked as a bar tender at the East Side Athletic Club, the Pair-a-Dice and the Double Eagle Casino.  She also worked on the front desk at the Holiday Inn Express.  She enjoyed camping, hunting and crocheting, but loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Anna and Kenneth Porter were married in Butte on July 10, 2004 and he survives.  Also surviving are her son and daughter-in-law, Jeremy and Natasha Hayes of Butte, daughter, Nicole Hayes of Marian, Indiana, step children: Shawn and Bobbi Porter of Anaconda, Terrilyn Porter and Justin Pierce of Three Forks, Eron Porter of Butte and Amy and Aaron Hartford of Whitehall.  Grandchildren include: Olivia Hayes, Destiny Hayes, Addysan Hayes, Hunter Hayes, step-grandchildren: Stevi Porter, Shawni Porter, Jordan Warren, Rick Anzik, Tyler Anzik, Kaleb Porter, Katlyn Porter, Geoffrey Porter, Bryan Mapes, Anthony Porter and Cooper Hartford.  Great grandchildren include Akaya and Sophia Anzik.  Also surviving are her brothers and sister-in-law, Willie Wright and Kenneth Wright of Butte and Oscar and Dovie Wright of Copperas Cove, TX and her sister, Betty Jean Hooper of Butte as well as numerous niece, nephews and dear friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents Oscar and Jeanette Wright, her mother and father-in-law, Marie and Jack Porter, brothers, Bobby and Eddie Wright and a granddaughter, Samantha Muster.

Cremation has taken place.  Memorial services will be conducted at a time and place to be announced.      

Kenneth Lane Sandau


Kenneth Lane Sandau passed away Friday morning at his residence of natural causes.  He was born in Missoula June 16, 1955 to George and Phyllis (Sticht) Sandau and attended Missoula schools including Hellgate High School and Missoula Vo-Tech.  He worked at the White Pine Mill for over 20 years until its closure and in 1996 Ken moved to Butte where he worked as a G.I.S. specialist at the Bureau of Mines at Montana Tech. 

He and his wife Sharon were married in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho on November 5, 2004 and together they made their home here in Butte. 

Ken enjoyed fishing, camping and boating at Georgetown Lake and loved to golf. 

He is survived by his wife Sharon Sandau and son, Donny Sadau both of Butte, daughter and son-in-law, Stori and Matt Gray and son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Amanda Ahlquist all of Belgrade, his parents, George and Phyllis Sandau of Missoula, grandchildren, Kailey and Aubree Gray and Kaden Ahlquist, brothers Gary Sandau of Opportunity, Rod Sandau and his partner Alex of Opportunity and Brad Sandau and his wife Sue of Missoula.

Cremation has taken place.  Memorial services will be conducted at a later date.    

Joan Kohles Grondahl



Joan Kohles Grondahl passed away Saturday morning at Big Sky Senior Living.  She was born August 14, 1921 in Twin Falls, Idaho and entered the St. Alphonsus Hospital for Nurses Training in 1939.  She graduated as a registered nurse in 1942.  She joined the U. S. Army Nurses Corp in June of 1943 and her first assignment was at Fort William Henry Harrison.  She was sent overseas and served 30 months in Africa before returning to the United States in 1945. 

Joan entered the University of Oregon Nurses Program where she received a Bachelor’s of Science and Public Health Certificate.  She and Raymond D. Grondahl were married August 17, 1947 in Stevenson, Washington.  She worked as a Public Health Nurse in Columbia County, Oregon and the Grondahl’s moved to Butte in December of 1960. 

Joan volunteered at St. James Hospital and Home Health Agency.  She belonged to the A.A.U.W. and the Mineral and Gem Club.  She was a devoted wife and enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening.  Over the years Joan and Ray owned several Springer Spaniels which they hunted with.  It was fun to see and help name the new pups.  Joan also enjoyed weekly swims and lunches at Fairmont Hot Springs with her dear friends Laura Newman and Evelyn Alexander. 

Joan will be greatly missed by her nieces and their families, a nephew and dear friends Carol Larsen, Lori Cerise, Regina Cromer and members of the Cashell family.

Cremation has taken place.  Memorial services will be conducted Friday morning, December 19th at 10 o’clock in Gloria Dei Lutheran Church with Pastor Martha McCreight officiating.  A reception will follow at Big Sky Senior Living with military honors accorded by the United Veteran’s Council of Butte.  Interment of ashes will take place at a later date.  Memorials may be made to the Butte Emergency Food Bank, 1019 E. Second St. in Butte, the VFW Post # 1448, 1810 Lafayette, Butte or to a charity of the donor’s choice.  

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