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John Phyfield, March 10, 1966 - January 11, 2017

On January 11*, our most loved and needed son, brother and uncle, john F. Phyfield went home to heaven.

John was lovingly known as "Bubba" ever since he was a baby. John was born on March 10*, 1966 to Reggie and Rosie Phyfield. He was always teased that he was the last and largest addition to our family.

Bubba was 13 years old when our dad went to heaven. But somehow, through the years, Bubba stepped into dad's shoes. His level head always made us feel stronger.

John attended Butte Central, Carroll College and then adventured to Phoenix, AZ. Ultimately; John returned to Butte and worked for Northwestern Energy and Town Pump Corporate where he put to practice his strong work ethic and his heart in the many friendships he enjoyed.

Many people that knew John appreciated his candor. Bubba had a heart of gold, always giving and sharing. Bubba had a knack of making sure that everyone around him shared his smiles and his love. His laugh was infectious, and will live in our hearts forever.

John enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Not only did he share his talent of cooking a feast and delicious desserts with family and friends, he shared his laughter and art of telling humorous stories animated by his constant hand gestures.

John enjoyed working in his yard during summer months and decorating his home for the holidays. Bubba lived for Halloween and the 4* of July where he was always somewhat cautious not to burn down the neighbors’ bushes. His firework extravaganza will never be forgotten, and the big finale will continue to be lit by a cigarette in honor of Bubba.

John is preceded in death by his father, Reg, grandparents Steve "Nig" and Ann Matule and Frank and Marie Phyfield. John is survived by his mom, Rose, whose well-being was his number one priority. From Wednesday night dinners, to Super Bowl pools, to gambling trips, to Christmas decorating - he spent many memorable hours with Rose. A large void has been left.

He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law Terry and Steve McGree, brother Michael and sister Bonny, niece Lucy (Troy) Hansen and their children Keely, Brady and Ryley, niece Sarah McGree (Kruiz Siewing), and niece Samantha McGree (Jarret Rowling). John is survived by his cousins and very special uncle and aunt, Ray and Dodo Andrews. John is also survived by many very close friends, including Justin Thatcher and his family.

A vigil will be held Monday, January 16*, from 4-6 p.m. at Duggan Dolan Mortuary. Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, January 17*, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery following the Mass. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Shodair Children's Hospital in Helena, MT in John's name or please donate to a charity of your choice.

Go home safely, Bubba. It is okay now. We’ll see you when we see you.

JASON J. SILVER, April 29, 1978 to January 9, 2017

Beloved husband, father, son, and brother, Jason James Silver, passed away early Monday morning at his home in Butte. Jason made the whole world brighter just by entering a room. His wit, random comments, and creative antics would leave everyone laughing; anyone who knew Jason had a “Jason story.” Above all else he was a loving father, devoted husband, and loyal son who adored spending time with his family. 
He was born in Butte, April 29, 1978 to James and Debbie (Campbell) Silver. 
He attended Butte schools and graduated from Butte High School (1996). Jason earned his electrician’s license in 2014, finishing at the top of his class. He most recently worked for Arc Electric.
Jason married Lindsay (Wickman) in Missoula on September 30, 2006. Along with his beloved wife Lindsay, Jason is survived by his sons, Calian and Kade; his mother, Debbie (Harvey) Howe of Butte; father, James (Jim) Silver of
Butte; brothers, Jeff Silver of Washington, and Kyle Silver of New York; mother-in-law, Linda Greiner of Missoula; father-in-law, Daniel (Sheila) Wickman of Florida; sisters-in-law, Amy Wickman of Missoula, Meghan (Tom) McMackin of Oregon, and Danielle (Colby) Prosper of Missoula. Also surviving are his many nieces and nephews.
He was a passionate outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, boating, four-wheeling, and any outdoor activity; Autumn was his favorite season. He participated in competitive arm wrestling in his youth. Jason was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and belonged to the Public Lands and Water Association. Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be conducted at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 2100 Farragut Ave., January 14, at 11a.m. with Father Tom Haffey officiating. Reception immediately following the service at Quarry Brewing. Memorials in memory of Jason may be made to the Silver family education fund at    Express condolences at

Rita Melvin May 10, 1921 - January 7, 2017

Rita Agnes McGee Melvin passed away in the late evening of January 7, 2017 at Big Sky Senior Living. Rita was born on May 10, 1921 in Butte, Montana the fourth of six children to Margaret (Maggie) McCloskey of Creeslough, Donegal Ireland and Charles McGee of Falcarragh, Donegal Ireland.
Rita attended Saint Patrick’s Grade School and was the first in her family to graduate from high school doing so with 90 girls from Girls Central in 1939. Shortly after graduation Rita worked at Hennessy’s Department store from 1939 to 1948 as an office cashier, leaving Hennesy’s to work in the credit department of Butte Motor from 1948 -1958. In 1963 she returned to work to support her family in the account department at Safeway, leaving that position February of 1965 to begin a 20 year career in the payroll department at the Butte School District No. 1. She retired March 31, 1986.
Rita married John William (Jack) Melvin August 10th 1957 in St. Mary’s Church; this union was blessed with three children in rapid succession. Rita raised her children in the house in which she was born on Virginia Street and resided at this address “her own little nest” until the last eleven months of her 95 years. Rita was, kind, loving and accepting of all and welcomed people to her little home - always happy to have a full house when her kids were young and eager to offer a cup of tea and a treat. She was happy to later share her Bingo winnings with anyone who happened to stop in for a visit at Room 232.
After her kids “flew the nest”, Rita enjoyed going on Notre Dame trips, gambling junkets, and traveling near and far, a highlight being a trip to Ireland. Rita was active in the Saint James Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Hibernians, the Daughters of Isabella, and the Hennessy lunch club. The focus of her life was her devotion to God; praying and attending mass were the highlights of her day. Rita valued relationships wether it was in her role as sister, aunt, mother, grandmother or friend - one felt loved and appreciated. In addition to her parents, Rita was preceded in death by her siblings and their spouses; John (Cleone) McGee, Katherine Erickson, Margaret (Jim) Lynch, Mary (John) Cummings, Charlotte (Frank) Shields and also by niece Peggy (Joe) Leary and great nephews Danny Shields and Scott Piazzola.
She is survived by her children and their spouses; Margaret & John Mansanti, Bill & Danette Melvin and Joe & Sally Melvin, her grandchildren; Stephanie (Ryan) Donahue, Meghan (Sal) Giovenco, Johnny Mansanti, Kerra Melvin (Luke Rona), Hallie Rita Melvin (Rob Trewett) and Ross Melvin, her great grandchildren; Giovanni and Nina Giovenco, Norah, Coryn and Asher Donahue, her nieces and nephews; Cathy Duffy, Ed (Dorothy) Cummings, John (Helen) Cummings, Mike (Tami) Cummings, Patsy (Pat) Callahan, Frank (Wanda) Shields, Dan (Christelle) Shields, Tim Shields, Lyla Mckenzie, Lura McGee, Johnny McGee, Darlene (Harry) Keltz, Eileen Ross, Jimmy Lynch, Charles Periman and Joy Williams. Rita is also survived by several great and great-great nieces and nephews all of whom she loved. She also leaves her dear friends Bridget O’Neill (the last of the Virginia Street ladies) and her traveling companion Marie Cassidy.
Our sincere gratitude to those who made her last year an easier transition; Team Rita of Easter Seals Hospice, Jim and Ev Graham, Michelle and Madison Quilici, Raylene Kirk, Peggy (Pearl) McGowan, Kathy Pavlovich, and Sean Shields. Our thanks to all of her health care providers and to her spiritual support providers Fr.Patrick Beretta, Fr. Tom Haffey and Sister Mary Katherine Maloney. Also, thank you to all who called, came by to see her, sent cards or took time for a quick visit when she was “out and about picking up a few things.” Outside of praying, having a good visit truly made her day.
Friends and Family are welcome to gather on Friday January 13 for visitation at 4 p.m. followed by a rosary. Rita’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 14th. in St.Patrick’s the Rite of Committal to follow in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. A reception will be held following the internment at Front Street Station. There will be an opportunity for you to leave your favorite Rita memory on cards at the reception.
Memorials are suggested to Butte Community North 102 South Washington Street Butte, MT 59701, Butte Food Bank 10109 E 2nd Street Butte, MT 59701, or The Believe Sorini Strong Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 3417 Butte Montana 59702

Richard "Dick" Pickett January 5, 1943 - January 7, 2017

Look out heaven, there’s a new man strutin around and he means business! Richard Garrett “Dick” Pickett was born January 5th, 1943 and passed away on Serbian Christmas, January 7, 2017. He was born to Paul Pickett and Rose (Mumalo). When Dick was eighteen months old his Mom married Paul Duffy. Dick and his two older brothers were raised by Paul Duffy. Dick went to Greeley School It was a close neighborhood and the McClafferty, Lovshin and Finnegan’s were all considered brothers and sisters. He graduated from Butte High School in 1961. When it comes to boxing, there probably isn't anyone alive in Butte who knew the sweet science better than Dick. He was an avid boxer and won three championships in three different weight classes. Dick’s most effective method of passing on his love for the ring to others was being a coach. That was proven without a doubt in 1973 when the Butte native coached the Rocky Mountain Regional team to a national Golden Gloves title in Lowell, Mass. Pickett coached his team to the Montana Golden Gloves crown in Great Falls that year before taking his local fighters to Salt Lake City to win the title there too, sharing the trophy with Colorado. Out of 10 weight class championships, each state won five at the regionals that year in Utah, earning Pickett the honor to co-lead the Rocky Mountain squad to nationals Dick married Toni Carney and they later divorced. He later married Judy Chance and they later divorced He is preceded in death by his parents and brother; Ed Duffy. He is survived by his son; Jordan Pickett of Seattle, sister; Paulette (Pat) Maloney, brother; Don (Kathy) Duffy Colorado Springs, CO, step-children; Shawna Gilbert, Scott Gilbert and Curtis Gilbert, sister-in-law; Mary Duffy. He is also survived by his special friends; Judy Schieve, Jerry Miller and Gene Thatcher. Relatives and friends may call Wednesday after 11:00am in the Chapel of Duggan Dolan Mortuary. Funeral services will be conducted at 12:00pm in the Chapel. Placement of ashes will be in Mountain View Cemetery.

LEILA LEPPANEN, September 10, 1940 to January 7, 2017

Leila Leppanen, 76, of Butte passed away in her home on January 7, 2017.  Leila was born in Billings, Montana on September 10, 1940 to Edward and Inez Braunstadter.  The family moved to Butte in October of 1951.  Leila attended the Grant School and Butte High School. 

On December 5, 1959 she married Lyman Leppanen.  Together they raised two children and spent 48 years together.  Leila enjoyed spending time and cherished being a member of the First Presbyterian Church.  She made many wonderful friend in her church community.

Leila loved cooking for family and friends.   She helped raise many children that were not her own but loved them all as if they were.  She always had a cake baked or cookies made for the kids that kept her busy for many years.  Her own children's friends were always made to feel welcome in their home and usually loved to gather at the Leppanen house, more than likely for all the treats made available to them.   She loved holiday meals and spent many years preparing them for her entire family, finally passing that love down to her daughter who happily took over the task.  Nobody ever left Leila's house hungry or without leftovers!  Leila loved camping and fishing and spent many summers at Georgetown Lake with her husband and son who shared her love for the great outdoors.

Leila was preceded in death by her husband, Lyman, her parents, her sister, Karen, her mother and father-in-law, Werner and Aino Leppanen, her brother-in-law, Lyle Nelson, her sisters-in-law, Joyce Henschel and Lianne Evans and niece, Christina Gustavsen.  Survivors include her son, Ed Leppanen, daughter, Susan (Mike) Yelenich, grandchildren, Matt (Emily) Yelenich, Megan Yelenich, Kellie Yelenich, great-granddaughter, Lita, her sisters, Marlene (Cliff) Gustavsen, Marcia (Mike) Doto and Sheryl Nelson and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place.  Memorial services will be conducted Thursday morning at 11 o'clock in the First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Lanny Rounds officiating.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Butte American Legion, 4 1/2 Mile Vue Rd, Butte, MT 59701.  Express condolences at

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