Geraldine Rose Mihelich - January 14, 1940 - December 22, 2020
Geraldine Rose Mihelich
January 14, 1940 - December 22, 2020
Just a few weeks short of her 81st birthday, and after having lived at The Springs of Butte for almost two years, Geri died, peacefully, in her sleep due to complications from dementia and COVID-19. She was a proud 1953 graduate of Emerson Grade School and a just-as-proud 1957 graduate of Girls' Central High School. She always, and fondly, remembered her freshman year at Central. In 1953 the Maroons beat Butte High, 6-0, for the first time in 28 years.
Following her graduation from Girls' Central, she attended Western Montana College in Dillon for two years, before she embarked on a teaching career that would take her first to Shelby, MT and then to Billings, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Special Education at Eastern Montana College. After receiving her degree, she returned to Butte, where she taught, for a short time, at the Washington School on East Granite St. After her stay in Butte, she managed to find her way to Terry, MT where she served, primarily, as a substitute teacher.
Her life was not without its trials and tribulations, but through it all she endured. Finally, and after having lived in Denver for several years, she brought herself back to Butte where she began a successful second career working for the pre-Release Center and, eventually, for its Connections program. In her role at Connections she proved that she could fill beds with the best of them, and she kept at it until she retired at 70. She cherished her years with Connections and the relationships she created with her co-workers and with various parole officers throughout the state of Montana. It seemed that everyone in the state knew Geri. She was missed when she retired, and she will be just as missed now by those who knew her and laughed with her. Fittingly, Geri died where she belonged, in Butte, Montana -- always The Richest Hill on Earth.
She was preceded in death by her father, Tony Mihelich, and mother, Rose Mihelich, along with Aunts Elsie McCoy, Steff Toshoff, Evelyn "Tootsie" Shea and Helen Lynch and Uncles Albert Polich, Tony "Tots" Polich, Emil Ozanich, Jim McCoy Jack Lynch and John T. Shea as well as by cousin Gerianne Shea. She is survived by her brother Emil, her three sons, Mark Prater (Miquela), John Mihelich (Debbie Storrs) and Dean Prater, her two daughters Mona Rubino (Chris) and Angela Prater. Also, she is survived by various cousins, both male and female, seemingly scattered throughout the West.
Once our world is safe from COVID and once a sense of sanity returns, the family will have an appropriate memorial service for Geri. In the meantime, memories of her, and her smile, will live on.
Joan Beverly Richards
January 12, 1934 - December 21, 2020
The world lost a little spitfire when Joan Beverly Richards passed away on December 21, 2020 at The Springs of Butte after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and a short battle with COVID.
Her journey began on January 12, 1934 in Butte. She was born to Doris & Ed McGurk, joining big brothers Ed and Pat. Her little brother Terry joined a few years later. At the age of 5, her father passed away unexpectedly. Her mother married Leo Spetter and from that union; she was blessed with her sister Leeann and her brother Sam. Joan attended Sacred Heart and graduated from Girls Central.
On September 25, 1952 she married the love of her life, Ed Richards at St John’s Catholic Church.
Together they raised seven children. As a family they enjoyed camping, fishing & snowmobiling. Ed and Joan had many friends and spent countless nights playing cards with them. Ed and Joan had 34 wonderful years together before he passed away in 1986.
Joan was always up for an adventure. She enjoyed traveling, taking trips to Europe, Japan, and Hawaii. Her and her best friend, Pat Kane, enjoyed their trips to Wendover and getting into all sorts of shenanigans. She especially enjoyed visiting her children and grandchildren in New Hampshire & Oregon.
She was kind and welcoming to every person she encountered and never met a stranger. Always lending a hand when needed and never thinking twice about it. She was a great caregiver, taking care of her Mom, Dad Leo, aunt & her mother-in-law for many years.
Joan had many talents, she was a skilled seamstress, little miss-fix-it- always tinkering with a leaky faucet, a washer that wasn’t working quite right or scraping a ceiling to redo it.
Joan worked at Bernie’s Pharmacy later known as Bernie’s Hallmark for over 30 years. She made many lifelong friends there & really enjoyed her work. Everyone knew who “Joanie” was-she could find a present for anyone, for any occasion & was the quickest & best gift wrapper in town.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ed, son Eddie, her brothers Ed, Pat & Terry. Her mother-in-law Jean Richards, sister-in-law Shirley Keltz & son-in-law Ron Kinman.
She is survived by her children: Teri Kinman, Michele (Lance) Hicks, Jodi (Frank) Toews, Paul Richards, Dori (Butch) Harrington and Jeff (Kim) Richards.
Joan was an amazing grandmother to 17 grandchildren: Rick (Tina) Johnston, Kurt (Stacy) Johnston; Angela Lyons, Keri Delugach, Alyssa Toews; Jessica Richards, Tracy Kendall, Michele (Olin) Erickson, Sara
(Nate) Lester; Claire, Aidan, and Anna Richards; Bryan Harrington, Heather (Randy) Sholey; JT (Nora), Levi (Andrea), and Zach (Abigail) Richards. She was blessed with 28 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Also surviving are her sister-in-law, Sheryl McGurk; her brother-in-law, Dave Keltz; brother-in-law Dan Remington her daughter-in-law, Susie Richards; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Joan’s family would like to thank The Springs of Butte for taking such great care of “Grandma Joan” especially Shelly, Ashleigh & Jeanine. She truly loved all of you. Also, a special thanks to Senior Solutions for taking care of “gramma”. You all treated her like your own.
MOTHERS HOLD THEIR CHILDREN’S HANDS FOR A LITTLE WHILE…AND THEIR HEARTS FOR EVER.
Due to COVID restrictions, there will only be a private family service at this time. Family will have a memorial service next summer. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Senior Solutions, Our Lady of the Rockies, or a charity of the donor choice.
DON’T GREIVE FOR ME FOR NOW I’M FREE
I’M FOLLOWING THE PATH GOD LAID FOR ME.
I TOOK HIS HAND WHEN I HEARD HIM CALL.
I TURNED MY BACK & LEFT IT ALL.
I COULD NOT STAY ANOTHER DAY,
TO LAUGH, TO LOVE, TO WORK OR PLAY.
TASKS LEFT UNDONE MUST STAY THAT WAY.
I FOUND THAT PLACE AT THE CLOSE OF DAY.
IF MY PARTING HAS LEFT A VOID,
THEN FILL LIT WITH REMEMBERED JOY.
A FRIENDSHIP SHARED, A LAUGH, A KISS,
AH YES, THESE THINGS I TOO SHALL MISS.
BE NOT BURDENED WITH TIME OF SORROW,
I WISH YOU THE SUNSHINE OF TOMORROW.
MY LIFE’S BEEN FULL, I’VE SAVORED MUCH.
GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD TIMES, A LOVED ONE’S TOUCH.
PERHAPS MY TIME SEEMED ALL TOO BRIEF.
DON’T LENGTHEN IT NOW WITH UNDUE GRIEF.
LIFT UP YOUR HEART AND SMILE WITH ME.
GOD WANTED ME NOW.
HE SET ME FREE.
Lewis Blaskovich - June 02, 1926 - December 19, 2020
We are all gifted in life with one talent or asset at which we excel. Dad was an artist, sometimes in black and white, other times in color. Our beloved father, grandfather, and friend, Lewis Howard Blaskovich, passed in the early morning hours of December 19, 2020 from Covid. We, his children, want to draw a picture of him for you with our history and our memories.
Mabel and Lewis Blaskovich were blessed with their first child, a son on June 2, 1926. He was the eldest of 4 children.They named him Lewis Blaskovich Jr. Dad later became known to family and friends as Junie. He lived his whole life in Butte,”a local kid,” who was raised on the flats.
Lou, Lewis, Louie, or Junie, was an artist early on, he drew comics but his passion for cowboys and the wild west took over. Eventually, his love for the outdoors gave new meaning to his canvas, wildlife. Many vacations were spent following the artist circuit with Ace Powell showcasing their talents. Dad also dabbled in portraits.
The Navy adopted Dad at age of 17 and took him from Butte during World War II. His ability to repair just about anything was honed in the engine room of the U.S.S. LST938, a landing ship that hauled soldiers and tanks. The boat took him throughout the South Pacific, Okinawa, Philippines, and Iwo Jima. The pencil, pens and acrylics would have to wait until he arrived back in Butte after his tour of duty.
Dad married Evelyn Geremia and they would have celebrated 73 years together this June 22. Geri and Lou lived on Second Street, Matt Street in Meaderville, and then 9th Street in the McGlone Heights. They started a family and didn’t stop until 8 children later. With the expanding family came the need for expanding space.
We aren’t sure where he learned about the fine artistry of dynamite. The whole family and neighborhood benefited from this newly acquired skill. Using dynamite, mattresses, buckets, and conveyor belts, he along with his eldest son, Rick, blasted out our basement. Yes, the house shook some but in the long run, no one lost life or limbs. He did it later in the morning with respect for the neighbors, and us kids had one hell of a play area.
Just like his artwork, his career changed over time. Some careers were more exciting than others. Truck driver for F&S, Milkman for Butte Community Dairy, landscaper in the summer with Curly Spolar putting in many of Butte’s lawns. It was as a gas station attendant for Community Gas on Front Street where his 15 minutes of fame came twice in his life. Robbed and shot at two different times, Dad and his pistol became famous when during the second robbery he shot and wounded one of the robbers. Blood was found but they never did find the wounded robber. We all spent a great deal of worried nights praying he would come home from his graveyard shift. Dad eventually finished his careers working for Butte Silver Bow at the treatment plant.
For years Dad and Mom would spend their weekends square dancing with the Silver Belles and Beaus, wearing matching outfits that Mom made. Every wedding, one could find them cutting the rug. Some of us kids learned how to dance the old fashioned way by teetering on Dad’s shoes.
Mom was the schoolteacher and made sure we all graduated from high school, but it was Dad that taught us many skills. We all learned how to fish at his favorite spots Skinner Meadows and Berry Creek. We camped out under the stars, in a tent, rented travel trailers, and eventually he and Mom purchased a 5th wheeler. We hiked, and hiked and hiked some more. If you didn’t like to eat fish, sauerkraut and spareribs, pear pie or poveticia you went hungry. We learned how to groom a lawn, repair a car, gut a fish, solder, and hunt.
It was after us kids started to grow up and could learn to swear that Dad’s brush strokes changed. The unwanted became the “Dirty Louse”. It didn’t matter whether you were the kid that “hooked” his truck in the winter, the overheated Suburban in the desert on one of our many vacations, or a spilled glass of water. They were all dirty louses.
In between all of the births, careers, and keeping the truck running, he painted and painted, honing his talent of pen and ink and acrylic drawings, sometimes in his studio in the basement, and other times up at the lake.
He and Mom would spend a great deal of time at their cabin at Georgetown Lake. Many weekends were spent with the kids and grandkids spending the nights laying all over the floor as there never was enough beds. Dad adored his grandkids, and built them a tree house, complete with a fireman pole and an army climbing net.
Dad spent his remaining days after the death of our Mom February 2,2020 at the Springs Assisted Living. We were blessed when he moved to his last home. The staff adopted Dad as one of their own. Their kindness, compassion, tenderness, and humor kept Dad going through some extremely tough times. For this we can’t even begin to express our gratitude. Thank you seems so trivial in comparison for what they did for him and for us.
Dad, Grandpa, Lew’s picture hasn’t ended. It is still being created by his survivors Rick and Sue Blaskovich, Laurel, Shelly and Terry Wold, Butte, Meri and Marty Hovan, Las Vegas, Cathie and Dave Sheldon, Silver Star, Phil and Kathy Blaskovich, Butte, Christine and E.G. Leipheimer, Anaconda, and Frances and Paul O’Neill, Missoula, 21 grandkids, and 20 great-grandkids, his younger brother, Jim and Linda Blaskovich in Great Falls and sister Gayle Vires of Bothell, WA. Dad was preceded in death by his loving wife Geri, parents, Mabel and Lewis Blaskovich Sr. and sister, Betty Garwood.
A memorial mass will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Butte Food Bank, Butte Rescue Mission, St Jude’s Hospital or Samaritan’s Purse, as this was something our Dad would request, the care of others.
We are all currently thinking about Dad transporting to heaven at warp speed griping about how he never wants to do that again. He gets to heaven and runs into Mom in the parking lot because that’s as far as she got before she ran into someone she knew. He says once more, “Come on Ger, let’s go.” Like Shelly said, can you imagine the Christmas they will have? Merry Christmas Dad and Mom.
Bobbi Jo Elizabeth York
December 27, 2000 - December 19, 2020
From the moment Bobbi Jo Elizabeth York came into this world on December 27, 2000, we knew she was something special. Her fighting spirit (and maybe a little bit of stubbornness)was evident after surviving her first open heart surgery at 6 days old and her second at 17. She passed away on December 19th, 2020.
Bobbi Jo was unique and definitely not an ordinary girly girl, instead preferring to hunt with her Papa Joe and Papa Bob, (this year was girls 2, boys 0), boating with her mom or floating with her dad. She loved the annual Lake Powell trip with Auntie Jamie and Uncle Brian. She enjoyed learning how to crochet and bake with Grandma Bev and cross country ski with Brandi. She enjoyed most everything Grandma Char bought her, excluding the princess pink dress and accessories.
She worked very hard to purchase a brand new car only to prefer driving the big old orange Ford truck.
Bobbi Jo worked for Safeway and had a strong work ethic getting to get promoted into management. She rarely missed a day. Except for the occasional heart surgery! She was currently a student at Montana Tech. She was going to finish this semester with her Associates degree and join the apprentice electricians program.
Bobbi Jo is survived by her parents, Jodelle LeProwse (Ken Roth) and Bob (Holly) York, grandparents Joe LeProwse, Char (Joe) Warren and Bev and Bob York, aunts and uncles, Jamie (Brian) Skinner, Jon (Allison) LeProwse, Brandi (Israel) Green, and sisters Braydi and Josh Knight (Kade), Bryli and Brodie Arnold (Sawyer). Along with numerous other LeProwse, Conniston, and York family members as well as many cousins (Bridger Nichols or aka partner in crime) and friends. She was preceded in death by her grandma Norilee (Meeks) LeProwse and one of her favorites Uncle Steve LeProwse.
Although, 19 years was not nearly long enough we are forever grateful for our time with Bobbi Jo and will remember her kindness, but stubbornness, laughter, and spirit. Bobbi Jo we love you and we will all miss you a lifetime.
Friends may call Monday after 10:00am at St. Ann’s Church. Memorial services will be celebrated at 11:00am in the Church. Burial will be at a later date. Please observe all social distancing and face mask regulations. Memorials are requested to Action Inc. 25 W. Silver St., Butte, MT. 59701.
Surrounded by her loving family, Beverly Joyce McClafferty, a beautiful soul, joined the angels in heaven on December 10, 2020. Bev passed in her family home where she resided for over 70 years. She was born January 8, 1932 in Seattle to George and Odie (Hoar) Prescott. Bev was raised in Butte and Walkerville. She attended local grade schools and graduated from Butte High School in 1950. It was a proud day on May 31, 1953 when Bev became the first in her family to graduate from college with a nursing degree from Carroll College. Bev married Flurry Joseph McClafferty in Butte on August 21, 1954. This blessed union welcomed four children Diane, Dan, Barbie and Joe into their loving home.
Bev was a loving, caring person with a strong work ethic who immediately started working as a registered nurse at Saint James Hospital. She worked at Saint James for decades and loved her days in the maternity ward. Upon retiring from the hospital, Bev administered allergy injections to children at Rocky Mountain Clinic, her favorite job as a nurse.
Beverly was extremely resilient and conquered anything that came her way. She was very social and valued her many friendships. She loved parties, family gatherings and special occasions. Bev kept her mind active and sharp by keeping up to date on current events and she was continuously working on crochet and knitting projects.
Bev was preceded in death by her parents George and Odie, husband Flurry, sisters Diane, Vicki and Georgia. She lost a piece of her heart with the passing of daughter, Barbara, and son, Dan. Bev is survived by her daughter Diane (Steve) Henthorn, son Joe (Therese) McClafferty, son-in-law Steve Brown, grandchildren Chris (Rachel) Henthorn, Matt and Scott Henthorn, Brianne (Michael) Hawbaker, Micaul McClafferty, Gabe (Airika) McClafferty, Brittney and Sean Brown, grandchild-at-heart Sadiq Inuwa and great grandchildren Holly, Troy, and Daniel Henthorn.
The family would like to thank the compassionate, capable team at Senior Solutions Homecare and Hospice along with Dr. Siddoway and staff for their professional and loving care. A special thanks to Bill and Susie Rowling for their many years of devoted caretaking.
Being the first in her family to earn a college degree, Bev paved the way for many. She was the inspiration for the Butte Scholarship Initiative at Montana Tech. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Butte Endowed Scholarship c/o Montana Tech Foundation, 1300 West Park, Butte MT 59701 or online at foundation.mtech.edu/give.
Cremation has taken place and due to COVID-19 restrictions, services will be postponed until a later date.
Bev, Mom, Gramma, Auntie, Cousin and Friend - you are forever in our hearts.
Funeral services will be held at a later date.