Richard “Dick” T. Wernham, 77, Of Libby

Richard “Dick” T. Wernham, 77, died suddenly Friday, March 3, at the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby. He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, to Prof. Clifford C. and Sylvia (Allen) Wernham. Dick graduated from Penn State University.  He was active in Boy Scouts and the Civil Air Patrol.  Dick served in the Air Force, and after his military service, Dick became a park ranger with the National Park Service; working at Jewel Cave National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park.  While at Jewel Cave, he joined Herb and Jan Conn in discovering, exploring, and mapping previously unknown portions of the cave.  In Libby, Dick worked as a park ranger and a park manager at Libby Dam for twenty one years.

Dick was an EMT with Libby Volunteer Ambulance for thirty years.  He also volunteered with the Libby Girl Scouts as troop co-leader, the get what we forgot person, the haul the heavy stuff person, the move the cookies person (lots and lots of cookies), the always helpful person, and the always there for us person.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; and older brothers John and Joe.

Dick is survived by his wife Kathy Powers; daughter Becky; sister Evelyn Degen (Peter); brother Andy (Beth); and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, please consider volunteering with the Libby Volunteer Ambulance, or the Libby Fire Department; or contributing to Kootenai Pets for Life.

Services will be held Saturday, March 11, 2023, 11:00 a.m. at the Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

Walter Hiram Stephenson, 87, Of Troy

Walter Hiram Stephenson, 87, went to be with our Lord, on Friday, February 24, Walter was born on January 14, 1936, in Northome, Minnesota, to Hiram and Blanch Stephenson. He went to school in Troy, Montana, graduated in Orofino, Idaho, and was drafted into the army in 1958-1964.

Walter worked in Troy and Libby as a logger until he retired at 55, in 1988.  He loved to fish and hunt; he was excellent at it. Walter and his wife, Mary, enjoyed camping at Bull Lake, a lot. They also camped in Glacier Park with the Adkin’s and McDonald’s.  They’re favorite trip together, was driving to Alaska and staying with Monty and Shirley Hingley. Walt especially loved his family and home.

Walt is survived by his wife Mary; son Anthony; grandson Michael; granddaughters Jessica and Megan Stephenson; sisters Evelyn Hingley and Dorothy Giacinto; and numerous other relatives, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 27, 1 p.m. at Roosevelt Park, in Troy, Montana. Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

Kathleen Marie Briggeman (Lass), 79, Of Libby

Kathleen Marie Briggeman (Lass) passed away peacefully at The Hamilton Assisted Living facility in Hamilton, Mont. on March 3.

Kathy was born to Thomas & Eleanor Lass on March 13, 1943 in Beresford, South Dakota. She was the oldest of three children (sister Elizabeth and brother Tommy). Kathy grew up in Beresford and graduated from Beresford High School in 1961. After high school she attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education.

After earning her degree she moved to Oak Knoll, California where she began a teaching career and met Kenneth Briggeman while he was working for the Forest Service on the Klamath River. They got married on March 28, 1970 in Reno, Nevada. In 1971 they welcomed their first of three daughters, Vicki, followed by Amy in 1972 and Connie in 1973.  The family relocated to Arcata, California where Kathy was a teachers aid.  As the girls got older, Kathy became a stay-at-home mom until they moved to Libby, Montana in 1983.

Kathy was an educator in Libby, Montana for 19 years before moving to Hamilton, Montana. She then dedicated another 16 years to education at Hamilton School District where she made many friends.

Kathy had a knack for gardening, was a gifted quilter and loved to have coffee with her girlfriends. She was a loving wife, a devoted mother and grandmother, a proud Norwegian and always stayed a South Dakotan at heart.

Kathy is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Kenneth Briggeman. Her daughters Vicki (Dan) Hardtke of Woodbury, MN, Amy Harbrige of Hamilton, MT, and Connie Johnson of Hamilton, MT. She is also survived by six grandchildren; Shelby, Sebastian, Max, Katie, Alex and Maddy, and one great grandson; Noah.

A celebration of life will be planned, and the date and time will be announced in the near future.  Condolences may be left for the family at

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth–praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.  Blessed is that man who makes the Lord His trust… Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us.”  Psalm 40:1-4a,


– Submitted by Ruthanne Dolezal