Georgina Kay Woody, 71, of Libby
April 6, 1952 – June 2, 2023
Georgina Woody, age 71, went to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior on June 2, 2023, peacefully while surrounded by her family after a long, hard fought battle with cancer.
Georgina was born in Kalispell, Montana to Neil and Phyllis Bertelsen. She grew up and attended school in Libby with her 3 siblings Kathleen, Steven and Laurie. At a young age Georgina had a tender heart for animals. She was always bringing home stray or injured animals. She spent many days swimming and fishing in Flower Creek as a kid. She attended Libby High School where she participated in cheerleading. She worked at her family’s A&W where she was assigned as a carhop because cute girls brought in more customers.
After graduation she moved to Omak, Washington where she worked as a teacher’s aide and a lifeguard. She loved Omak and always made sure to return in the summer for the Omak Stampede. She moved back to Libby and met Dennis Woody in the summer of 1974. They were married in Reno, Nevada, on November 28, 1975, and together they raised their three children, Shannon, Alaena, and Jimmy. Dennis “Woody” and Georgina were opposites forming a perfect match, they complimented each other in all aspects of life.
Georgina enjoyed gardening, biking, skiing, softball, suntanning, traveling, attending rodeos and Christian rock/rap concerts, birthday parties, cooking meals for family gatherings and she especially loved the 4th of July and fireworks. She was no doubt a fun mom, grandma, aunt. and friend. She enjoyed having backyard barbeques with her family complete with bonfires and baseball games. She made everyone feel welcome in her home and she always made sure you were well taken care of. Georgina worked at the Libby Public Schools as a paraprofessional where she found many new “grandchildren” and friends. In 1994 Georgina started a support group in the basement of the old Assembly of God church. That little support group started with just her and one person, it then grew and grew and became her life’s passion. She ran Overcomers for almost 30 years faithfully and touched the lives of 1000s of people through that outreach. Every Monday you could count on seeing her leading worship, teaching bible study, and just being her happy uplifting self while spreading kindness and Jesus to all who attended. She was known for being a helping hand in a time of need, if she saw a need she would find a way to help. She was there with people loving them and supporting them in the depths of their trials and tribulations. She continued to lead Overcomers and support people up until her last days. She never gave up on anyone and always saw the best in people.
Georgina is preceded in death by her father Neil Bertelsen, her nephew, Steven Tyler Bertelsen, and many friends she lost throughout her life.
Georgina is survived by her loving husband Dennis Martin Woody, her children Shannon (Mariah) Woody, Jimmy (Brandi) Woody, and Alaena (Brent) Woody, all of Libby, her grandchildren, Kenny, Leera, Madisen, Ashlyn, Caden, Talan, Cy, Trishelle, James, Bella, Nolan, Evan, and Paisley. Her mother, Phyllis Bertelsen, of Kalispell, her sisters Kathleen (Yusef) Quidwai, of Omak, WA, Laurie (Mark) Salo, of Belgrade, MT, and her brother Steven (Deb) Bertelsen, of Libby, MT.
Georgina was a true example of living like Jesus did. Everyone who met her was blessed by her in some way. She left a lasting impact on this earth and we have no doubt that she is rejoicing in heaven. Arrangements are under the care of the Schnackenberg Funeral Home
Bob Payne, 83, of Libby
In Loving Memory of Bob Payne
Bob Payne, a hard worker, skilled entrepreneur, and resilient spirit, peacefully passed away at his home in Libby on June 4, 2023, after a valiant 18-month battle with cancer. His loss is deeply felt by his loved ones, but his memory will forever remain a source of inspiration and love.
Born on September 3, 1939, in San Mateo, California, Bob was the youngest child of Russell and Florence (Mo) Payne. Prior to his birth, during the Great Depression, Bob’s parents with his older siblings, Lois and Bill, had relocated to California in search of employment opportunities. In 1951, the family returned to the Troy area, where Bob’s father had been born. Bob graduated from Troy High School in 1957, and eagerly joined the family business—a post and pole peeling operation.
On May 1, 1964, Bob exchanged vows with his wife, Sharon Pellens. Over their 15 years of marriage, they were blessed with four children, LaSchell, Allan, Sharee, and Brian. Bob’s dedication to his family was unwavering, and he took immense pride in being a loving father.
Bob’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish his own log loading, hauling, and right-of-way business. Throughout his career, he designed and built logging machinery and tools, showcasing his exceptional talents as a machinist and craftsman. Bob’s work ethic was unmatched, and he continued working tirelessly until his illness forced him to retire.
Bob is survived by his children: LaSchell Lelm and her husband Mark, Allan and his wife Martha, Sharee Eschenbacher and her husband Dan, and Brian. He is also survived by his sister, Lois Morgan, and her husband Bob; his brother, Bill; thirteen grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren, with another on the way. Bob’s legacy extends beyond his immediate family, as he enriched the lives of countless friends and community members.
Bob possessed an unshakable calmness, even in the face of the numerous emergencies or calamities inherent in the logging business. He had a natural talent for problem-solving and was renowned for his ingenuity in creating custom logging equipment. With calloused hands that bore the testament of hard work, everyone else had to be careful when taking hot dishes as he passed them along.
While not widely known, Bob did have a fun side. One humorous incident remains etched in family lore when Bob playfully hung his mischievous young son Allan by the coat on the camp cookhouse wall and once taught his daughter the art of lake bottom skiing. He could always be counted on to bring home the best “steelies” and truck tire innertubes for his children, creating memories of joy and adventure. He led by example, offering guidance and support rather than unsolicited advice or criticism, except, of course, in the kitchen.
Generous with his time and skills, Bob happily shared his passion for hard work with his children. He built a special treehouse for his grandchildren. He held a deep appreciation for his sister’s voice; was the only person capable of matching his brother’s appetite for fried smelt; but would never eat bread crust. A slow and deliberate shopper, he took great care in selecting each and every item.
Bob Payne will be dearly missed, but his legacy of resilience, craftsmanship, work ethic and unwavering love will continue to inspire those who knew and loved him. May his memory forever be cherished in our hearts. A private family service is planned for July. Arrangements are under the care of the Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby. Memories and condolences may be shared online by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.
Deborah Jane Ryan, 74, of Libby
Deborah Jane Ryan Zwang made a hasty departure for the afterlife the morning of Sunday, June 4th from the comfort of her home in Libby, Montana.
Debbie was born in 1949 in Great Falls, Montana as the first of three children to Don and Marian Ryan. The Family soon moved to Missoula, where Debbie would attend Hellgate Highschool (class of ’66) with her brothers and go on to graduate in 1971 from the University of Montana with a Bachelor degree in Arts and Radio-Television.
Debbie was working at her Father’s Pharmacy, Don’s Drug, in Missoula, when she met a then intern, David J. Zwang of Libby, Montana. The two would soon be married and move to Spokane, Washington where she worked as a Supervisor for the Expo ’74 World’s Fair and as a Sales Representative for Crown Zellerbach Paper Co.
In 1977 the couple returned to Montana, where they would build a home, start a family, and share their love for the outdoors. In Libby, Debbie became an ever integral part of the Zwang Family business, Center Drug, with her unmistakable style and gifted presence, as well as enriching communities with her journalistic work for both state and local publications.
Debbie is survived by her husband David; son Douglas (Elizabeth, granddaughter Alianza), Bozeman, MT; daughter Margeaux, McCall, ID; brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, and generations of family near and far.
A future date for a Celebration of Life to be forthcoming.
Clyde E. Ross Jr, 57, of Libby
Clyde E. Ross Jr, 57, passed away Monday, June 5, 2023, at his home in Libby, MT. He was born to Clyde Sr. and Betty (Hutton) Ross in Libby, MT. Clyde was a current employee for the State of Montana, as an appraiser, and had previously been a long time employee of the Lincoln County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Services for Clyde will take place at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of the Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.
Charles L. Stewart, 85, of Libby
Charles L. Stewart, 85, passed away Thursday, June 8, 2023, at his home in Libby, MT. He was born on February 10, 1938, in Hamilton, MT. A service for Charles will be held on Friday, June 16, 2023, 1:00 p.m. at the Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby, MT. Arrangements are under the Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-10
– Submitted by Ruthanne Dolezal
Virnie Carrol Mack, 92, of Libby
Virnie Carrol Mack, 92, went to be with the Lord on December 13, 2022, in Libby, MT. He was born on September 6, 1930, to Francis (Frank) and Lucile (Fessenden) Mack in Glendive, MT. He attended grade school there until the family moved to Big Timber, MT, and because of his love for ranching; he left school to work on a ranch. At the age of 16, with his parents’ permission, he joined the US Army Air Force where he served in the United States and the Alaska Territory as a Sergeant in Spec Vehicle Operations. Upon completing his enlistment, he returned to the Big Timber area where he met and married Evelyn Goakey and together had three children: Larry, Linda and Lonnie. After a few years, they went their separate ways.
Virnie became an accomplished carpenter, he was taught by his talented father, and helped build cabins in Yellowstone Park. He then met and married Margaret Lovelace and together they made their home in Big Timber where they had four children: Cindy, Patti, Keith and Doris. In 1966 they moved to Libby and had three more children: Robin, Frank and Carol. After several years, they went their separate ways.
Virnie had several occupations that he was very good at: carpenter, rancher, farmer, and logger in which he was a carpenter at the Libby Dam for 8 ½ year.
In 1987, Virnie met his dancing partner for life. He married LaDonna Hilliard in 1989, and they honeymooned in Alaska, and together they built their home in Libby. As a couple that did everything together, they loved to play cards, dance, travel, fish, hunt, garden, worked up cedar into shakes, post and rails, pick huckleberries and pinecones, went to Oregon and Washington several times to get fruit and vegetables to share with the family, friends and the church. One of their most memorable things they loved to do was being Santa and Mrs. Claus for 30 yrs.
Virnie also loved to read western books, having his small herd of Red Angus cows, his chickens and his dogs. His other loves were family campouts and to do Karaoke, where he made 2 cd’s to share with family and friends.
Members of his family that have departed are his parents; son Larry Mack; daughter Linda Ewan; stepson Frank Hilliard; son-in-law Glen Peek; daughter-in-law Caral Hilliard; sisters Eva Reed, Fern Mack and Gloria Kowis; brothers Vern Mack and Fred Mack; grandchildren Tyler Michels and Chance Hilliard.
Survivors include: his wife LaDonna of 33years; children: Lonnie Ewan (RoseAnn), Cindy Peek, Patti Regh (Jim), Keith Mack (Betty), Doris Langley (Mike), Robin Henderson (Alan), Frank Mack (Pam), Carol Mack; stepchildren: Jim Hilliard, Diane Morris (Mike), Bryan Egland (Sue); Sister: Verna Gray (Ron); and Brother: Rick Mack (Tammy).
Grandchildren: Coral, Lonnie, Linda, Shelly, Jennifer, Josie, Jamie, Johnny, Amanda, Gregory, Morgan, Vicki, Lesli, Staci, Scott, Mar’Kee, Alysha, Andrea, Hunter, Amy, Christopher, Shane, Tianna, Garrett, Kylee, Tanner, Brianna, Peytonn, Reggie, Justin and Kirsti; Step Grandchildren: Shandi, Jason, Sean, Bryce, Jenny, Randy and Buddy; 71 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Libby Christian Church with Pastor Frank Mack and Pastor Phil Alspaw officiating, followed by a reception at the church. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.