Central Montana Obituaries
In memory of those we've lived with,
and learned with.
Our finest regards.
Bud Virgil Ortgies, 79, passed away on Monday, August 1, 2016 at his home in Lewistown. He was born to Herman and Freida (Stutt) Ortgies in Monticello, Iowa on January 9, 1937.
Bud graduated in 1955 from Anamosa High School in Iowa. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and honorably served from 1955 to 1959 as a radioman. In 1960, Bud went to Bismarck, ND as part of his career with Frontier Airlines. On September 15, 1960, Bud married Vonnie Olzweski and together they had two children: Brett and Derek. They moved to Lewistown in 1967.
Bud was called to work in Goodland, KS from 1974-1976 and a short while in West Yellowstone from 1976 to 1977. After returning, Bud started Lewistown’s first travel agency and operated from 1980 to 1985. Later, 1990 to 1993, he started and ran a weather school. Bud worked at the weather station in Lewistown, a short time in Alaska, and retired from the Billings Weather Station.
After retiring, Bud spent his time at his acreage along the Judith River. He loved hunting and fishing. He was a member of the Forest Grove Church, Elk’s Lodge, and Eagle’s Club. Bud was very proud to have helped his good buddy Tom Hartford in designing the Dash-Inn logo. One other goal Bud had, that will have to wait, was he always wanted to write a wild game cookbook.
Bud is survived by his wife, Vonnie of Lewistown, MT; sons, Brett (Shellie) and Derek (Traci) of Billings, MT; grandchildren, Ethan and Layne; brother-in-law, Bob Plath; nephew, Brian Plath and family; and niece, Tawnie Rubin and family. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, and sister, Beverly.
A Memorial Service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 28, 2016. Any donations made in honor of Bud can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Service and cremation arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Bud’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com
Hedley James “Jim” Arthur, 76
Hedley James “Jim” Arthur, 76, of Winifred, MT died surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer on Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the Central Montana Nursing and Rehab Center under the care of Hospice. He was born September 1, 1939 in Lewistown, the son of Hedley J. and Elizabeth “Tiny” (LaFountain) Arthur. He grew up on their ranch east of Winifred and attended grade school through high school in the Winifred area. Jim graduated from Winifred High School in 1957.
Jim served two years in the Army. His basic training was at Fort Sill, OK. Then, stationed out of Fort Hood, TX as an Electronics Communication Specialist, Jim spent 3 ½ months in France and Germany. After his discharge he worked as a brand inspector for two years and then for the BLM, Department of Interior out of Lewistown for 26 ½ years. After retiring he lived in Winifred, collected historic photographs and artifacts and traveled to antique gun shows, often with his Mother, Tiny. Jim was an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and learned traditional beadwork. He continued to live in Winifred and cared for his parents until their passing in 1992 and 1993.
In 2014, Jim went to live at Caslen Living Center in Lewistown, where he met many new friends. He enjoyed his time at Caslen and all the extra care he received.
Jim was instrumental in establishing Winifred’s Museum and Library. He was excited by the challenge of starting a museum from the floor up and contributed many volunteer hours during the planning stages. Without his enthusiasm for history, Winifred would not have a museum today. In May of 2004, he was elected by the City Council to be the first curator of the Winifred Museum. Due to health issues Jim retired as curator 2007, but continued to share his knowledge.
He was a well-known local historian and was instrumental in preserving much of Montana’s history, especially in northern Fergus County from the Missouri Breaks through the Winifred area. Jim was interviewed and provided significant historical context for the production of a film documenting settlements along the Missouri River entitled “Pride and Perseverance: Settlers in the Missouri River Breaks.” Jim wrote numerous historical books and articles. He published the first History of Winifred book in 1988 which was later used to compile the updated “Dog Creek Chronicles” in 2013. He was nominated for the Montana Historical Society Heritage Keepers Award and received recognition from the Winifred Museum for the preservation of history in Central Montana.
Jim was never married but all of his extended family and friends were extremely important to him. He is survived by three brothers, Larry (Shirley) of Winifred, Don (Elva) of Billings, Sid (Penny) of Bozeman; two sisters, Patsy (Bob) Simac of Winifred, Bea (Tony) Lunda of Shelby, and numerous nieces and nephews including one special niece Jodi DeMars and her family of Winifred. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother Tony, a nephew Travis Lunda, an angel niece, and a great niece Katey Arthur.
Graveside services for Jim will be Saturday, August 27th at 1:00 pm in the Lewistown City Cemetery with Military Honors provided by Winifred American Legion Post #120 and the US Navy Honor Guard. Cremation has taken place under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice and may be left with the Creel Funeral Home. Jim’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com