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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

AGNES KINDT, August 1, 1912 to January 5, 2017

Agnes Kindt lived independently 103 of her 104 years and passed away Thursday morning at Copper Ridge Health and Rehab Center.  She was born in Butte August 1, 1912 to Anton and Amanda (Simola) Hakke.  She attended Butte schools and worked at the Montana Bakery when she was young.  Agnes loved to dance the  Schottische (Shoddish). She was accomplished in cross stitch and embroidery, she also enjoyed gardening and was great at that as well.  She was married and widowed three times in her life.  Her first husband, Laurie Hubacka, second husband, Moody "Reneau" McGaha and third husband Charles Kindt all precede her in death as does her son, Don Hubacka and two daughters-in-law, Sharon Dugdale Hubacka and Sharon Bond-Hubacka.  She is survived by her daughter, Debra Kindt of Butte, granddaughters: Lori and Doug Rosencrans of Snohomish, WA, Wendi Hubacka of Scottsdale, AZ, Cindi Haller of Kenmore, WA , Sharon's children, Mark and Judy Bond of Butte, Jill and Dan Sampson of Helena and Kirk and Robyn Bond of Australia.  Great-grandchildren include:  Brandon and Christina Rosencrans, Abby and Shaylen Haller, Brooke, Riley, Evan and Shea Sampson, Kelly, Brett, Kacy and Brock Bond, Jamie and Bobby Bond.
Cremation has taken place.  Graveside interment services will be conducted Friday morning at 11 o'clock in Mount Moriah Cemetery with Pastor Sandy VanZyl officiating.  Express condolences at

Ralph James McCaughey, July 15, 1939 to January 2, 2017

Ralph James McCaughey died peacefully on January 2, 2017 after a courageous battle with a long illness. Ralph was born on July 15th, 1939 to Ambrose and Lillian McCaughey. He attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School and graduated from Boy’s Butte Central in 1957.

Ralph married his high school sweetheart, Jean McLeod, in June of 1960. Jean preceded Ralph in death on June 21, 2015 and at that time they had just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. Jean and Ralph were blessed with five beautiful children who were their pride and joy.

Ralph had a successful career working at The Montana Power where he was a loyal employee for nearly 35-years and he made lifelong friendships with hundreds of his co-workers. He was a lifelong member of The Montana Power Butte Rats Bowling Team. Ralph served our country in the US Army after graduating from Butte Central.

Ralph loved spending time with his family on the Big Hole River, Flathead Lake, and more than any spending quality time with his children and grandchildren attending all of their sporting events. Ralph was an avid golfer and enjoyed golfing with his friends and family at Highland View as well as golfing numerous famous Montana golf courses. He was a loyal fan to all Butte sports especially the Butte Central Maroons. He loved his Notre Dame Fighting Irish and that legacy lives on in all of his children and grandchildren to include cursing and yelling at the TV during all Irish games.

Ralph had a tremendous amount of special and loyal friends such as his lunch crew buddies and his lifelong friendships with all his high school buddies. Ralph was blessed with having only one sister Sharon and they lost their mother at a very young age and so together they managed through many life challenges.

Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Jean, father Ambrose, and mother Lillian. Ralph is survived by sons Kevin McCaughey (Kim), Mike McCaughey (Julie), Paul McCaughey (Andi), and daughters Patti Driscoll (Joe) and Shauna Schrapps (John). Ralph is survived by thirteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The grandchildren are Krysee, Marcus, Katie, Megan, Cody, Zach, Robbie, Chelsey, Kelly, Stephanie, Matthew, Reilly, and Ethan; the great grand-children are Gracie, Ally, and Jasper. Ralph is also survived by his sister Sharon Hanley and his brother –in-law Jim Hanley as well as his numerous nieces and nephews. Ralph’s favorite walking companion Maddie the pup will sadly miss Ralph.

Friends are asked to join the family on Saturday after 10:00 am in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. Funeral Mass 11:00 am. Rite of Committal will take place at a later date. A reception will follow the Mass. Donations may be made to the Butte Central Catholic Community or Butte Food Bank.

William Matthew “Bill” Smith, July 10, 1929 to January 5, 2017

William Matthew “Bill” Smith, 87 Bill Smith passed away Thursday, January 5, 2017, in the company of his loving family at Big Sky Assisted Living. Bill was born at home in Butte to Matthew and Lulu Smith on July 10, 1929. He attended Webster Garfield and Saint Patrick's Catholic grade schools and graduated from Butte High School in 1948. Bill was a paper boy and a bowling pin setter during his school years, and worked for Murray Motors as a shop boy after graduation. He was drafted into the army in February 1951, serving in Fort Bragg, North Carolina for two years as a company clerk with the rank of corporal during the Korean War.

After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bill started to work as an apprentice pipefitter for the Anaconda Company. He learned his trade quickly, became a journeyman and worked for the Company until its closure in 1983. Bill married the love of his life, Theresa Shea, in September 1958 and they remained happily married for 52 years until her death in February 2011. An avid bowler, Bill bowled in several leagues and received many trophies, attesting to his prowess over the years. Bill continued to bowl well into his golden years, participating in the Arco Retirees and Senior Citizen leagues.

Bill and Theresa had three children, Jack , Mary Ann and Betsy and three grandchildren, Cody, Katie and Kelly Thom. Bill enjoyed many happy hours with his grandchildren, and no one was quite sure who was babysitting whom. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law John “Dago” and Mary Shea, sister and brother-in-law Helen and Stan Benny, brother-in-law Don Best, sister-in-law Bridgie Vercella, nephews Shawn Vercella and TJ Anderson, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Catherine and Ted Bury, son-in-law Doug Thom and daughter-in-law Rose Walker Smith. He is survived by his three children: Jack Smith of Dublin, Ohio, Mary Ann Thom and Dan Powers of Butte and Betsy (Chris) Hawe of Anchorage, Alaska; grandchildren Cody, Katie and Kelly Thom , sister Marg Best of Deer Lodge, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Judy (Dale) Schwanke of Great Falls; brother-in-law Jim Vercella of Butte and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff of Frontier Hospice and Big Sky Assisted Living for their excellent care and kindness and compassion, especially during Bill's final days. Friends are asked to join the family between 10 AM and 11 AM Tuesday morning at Holy Spirit church for visitation. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 AM. Interment of ashes will take place this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House (

MARIAN PICKEL, May 26, 1922 to December 30, 2016

Marian L. Pickel, 94, died Friday, December 30, 2016, at the Springs of Butte Assisted Living Facility.

She was born in Butte on May 26, 1922 to Clyde Reed and Elizabeth (Barrett) Reed. Her grandfather, Frank M. Barrett, a Union Civil War Veteran, came to the Montana Territory in 1866 in search of gold and lived for a time in the Highlands mining camp south of Butte. She attended local schools and graduated from Butte High School in 1940. She worked at the Sigman Meat Plant in Butte and also in Denver during World War II. She returned to Butte and worked at a variety of positions at the Safeway Division Office until she retired in 1983.

She married William Pickel in September, 1947. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill in December, 2006, her parents, and her brother Bill and sister-in-law June Reed.

She enjoyed cooking, sewing, traveling, and the many visits from her family. She lived at the family home on Grand Avenue for nearly 60 years before moving to The Marquis (now The Springs) Assisted Living Facility in 2012.  She was active in several local social organizations for many years. She was a member of Aldersgate Methodist Church

She is survived by her son Gary and daughter-in-law Sarah of Littleton, CO.; daughters Joan of Spokane, WA, and Gail Joyce and son-in-law Tom Joyce of Bonners Ferry, ID; grandchildren Jason Pickel of Orlando, FL. and Brian (Lisa) Pickel of Chandler, AZ.; Marica (Jason) Kinne of Auburn, WA; and great-grandchildren Avery Pickel; Jaden and Autumn Kinne; and close friend Lois Blanchette of Spokane, WA. 

Cremation has taken place in Butte.  Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date.  Express condolences at

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