Vernon Bennie Lautt

Libby, 78

Vernon Bennie Lautt passed away on Wednesday April 28, 2021.  He was born on September 6, 1942 to Ben and Katie Lautt in Hardin, Mont. where he grew up
and later joined the Army
to serve his country from 1960 to 1963.

After he was honorably discharged, Vernon met and married Coletta Nepper. They were wed on August 24, 1963.

Vernon was a worker and most people who knew him could vouch for that. He was a Union Laborer and came to Libby in 1967 to work on the Libby Dam; little did he know that was where he and Coletta would make their home and raise their children.

Vernon worked on the Libby Dam mainly as a
driller and a blaster, also known as a powder monkey, and later did other jobs as needed until the construction of the dam was finished.

He then stayed on as a union worker and worked road construction – we really cannot explain what all he did but we do know he did whatever they wanted. Vern loved to work and that proved him to be the best employee anyone would want.

After retirement he was stir crazy and took on some newspaper delivery jobs. He delivered for the Spokesman Review, Great Falls Tribune, Missoulian, the Daily
Interlake, and up to a few months before his passing he delivered for his daughter at the Kootenai Valley Record.

One of his favorite jobs he was working for the Libby Public Schools as “the guy on the lawn mower.” Vern loved mowing the school lawns and giving all the people a bad time.   He was a very quiet guy and really liked the tranquility of mowing the lawns. Those that knew him, knew he heard very little.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Katie Lautt, and a son, Wesley Lautt.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Coletta; daughter, Rhonda (Lee) Bothman; son, Rodney Lautt; grandsons, Thommas Lautt  and Brandon Collier;
granddaughters, Brittney Lautt and Paige (Riley) Jaynes; and eight great grandchildren.

Vern will be laid to rest with his son at the Custer Battlefield on May 28, 2021 in Crow Agency, Mont.

On Saturday, May 15, at 1:00 pm, the family would like to invite anyone who would like to share stories and enjoy a variety of
desserts which Vern loved
to the Fred Brown Pavilion.

Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. 

Online condolences and memories may be shared at  

Duane F.
Libby, 72


Duane F. Boyd, 72, died on Monday, March 29, 2021 at his home in Libby of natural causes.

He was born on May 21, 1948 at Fort Smith, Okla. to Frank and Iva Boyd.

Duane graduated from Porterville Union High School in 1966. He then graduated from Solano
College at Vallejo, Calif. in 1971.

He married Yvonne Merchant on June 27, 1968.

Duane was a machinist and worked in California from 1967 to 1972, and then in Oregon from 1972 until 1979.



He came to Libby in 1979 and worked in the Libby area until his

Survivors include his two sons, Jason Boyd and Brian Boyd – both of Libby; and grandchildren, Avery Boyd of Missoula, Donna Boyd, Akron, Ohio, and
Darrell Boyd (Kathy),  of Akron, Ohio.

Services were held on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Libby Christian Church.

Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. 

Online condolences and memories may be shared at:

Donald Lee Knauss
Libby, 80


Donald Lee Knauss, 80, passed away April 30, 2021 at his home in Libby, MT.

Don was born July 2, 1940 in Whitefish, Montana to Earl Lee and Clara Jane (Bigger) Knauss.  Don was the second of two children.  He grew up and attended schools in Whitefish and graduated from Whitefish High School with the
Class of 1959.

He enlisted in the US Air Force and served active duty as an Airman 1st Class from 1960-1964 and the reserves from 1964-1966.

Don’s skills were in radio and radar maintenance and electronic security systems. He was stationed in China and Formosa, then back in the US to work with minuteman missiles during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He was proud to have served his country and treasured freedom.

Don’s working career included the Great Northern Railroad in Whitefish;
Columbia Falls Mill; C&C Plywood in Kalispell;
Anaconda Aluminum Plant; and Glacier Park Service.  He moved to Libby and worked 28 years for the US Army Corps of Engineers at the Libby Dam as a powerhouse electrician, the last five of those years as a foreman of the electrical crew.

Don enjoyed his co-workers and challenges at Libby Dam.  He just loved his work! Don also owned and operated Knauss Electric for 30 years as a Master

Don had a real-heart for God, his country, family and friends.  He was an optimist and always grateful to live and work in Montana.  Don will always be remembered for being a hardworking man who never complained about anything in his life including health or hardships.  He just persevered through it.

He cherished and dearly loved his wife, Janet and all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Don had a genuine
appreciation of the great-outdoors, nature, mountains, rivers, animals and all that goes with it.  Hiking, hunting and fishing were a passion.  He was an avid reader and loved military history.  Fly tying was a
favorite hobby.

Preceding him in death were Don’s parents; brother Richard “Dick” Earl Knauss; and great-granddaughter Taylor Overton.

Survivors include
his wife Janet Knauss of 42 years; his six children:
Robert “Bobby” (Caryn) Knauss, Cathy (Sven)
Bergmann, Ronald “Ronnie” Knauss, Kelly (Andy) Bennett, Krystal Mires, and
Bonnie (Brad) Koch; fourteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A Graveside Military Honors Memorial Service was held on Friday,
May 7th, at the City
of Libby Cemetery.

Online condolences and memories may be shared at:

Memorials can be made to the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation as this cause relates to a grandchild.(


Last Wishes
for Personal Remains


Montanans have the right to make decisions about what happens to their remains after death, decisions that have legal priority over any of their survivors’ wishes.

In 2009, the Montana Right of Disposition Act was established.

This act allows Montanans 18 years of age or older, and of sound mind, to indicate what they wish to be done with their bodies or remains after death.

Persons can select one of four methods that allow legal authority for their wishes to have priority over the
preferences of survivors.

The first method is to make a prepaid funeral
contract with a licensed
mortuary. There are two types of prepaid funeral contracts recognized under Montana law: a funeral trust and a
funeral insurance policy. With either method, the licensed mortuary is the beneficiary. In return, the mortuary promises to provide the prepaid funeral goods or services specified in the contact.

The second method is a written instrument a person can type, handwrite or print out on their computer. The person and two witnesses –
all must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind – must sign the written instrument. Letters of last instructions, a will, a trust document, a
power of attorney, or a health care directive that contains specific instructions about the disposition of the deceased’s remains, will qualify as a
written instrument if signed by the deceased and two
witnesses, Goetting said.

The third method is an affidavit. A person can
authorize another person to control the disposition of remains in an affidavit signed before a notary.

The final method is a video, where a person can record which disposition
preferences are described.
A written confirmation
of the video’s existence and accuracy must be signed by two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age and sound mind.


More information about rights over remains is available at:


Paper copies are also available at local county and reservation Extension offices.


Courtesy of Montana State

University Extension