Family news


Albert Doleźal, 93, of Libby

Herman Albert Doleźal, 93, passed away on Jan. 10, after almost three years of compassionate care at Libby Care Center.  He was born April 8, 1927, in Cedar Rapids, NE; the oldest son of Adolph and Sophia Doleźal.

When Herman was 15, the family moved to Libby for work in the lumber industry.  He attended Libby High School, played basketball and football, and lettered in both.  He graduated in 1947 and that year played in the first Mont. East-West Shrine All-Star football game.  Herman served in the US Navy at the end of World War II.  He married Georgianna (Peggy) Boomer in 1949.  Herman was a life-long sports fan.  He enjoyed many seasons of hunting, ice-fishing, and gardening.  He was instrumental in bringing television reception to Libby through the Libby Video Club and he maintained the local TV translator systems.  Herman worked for 43 years at J. Neils; St. Regis; and Champion Lumber companies, and was active in the Libby Church of God, where he and Peggy attended for more than 60 years.  Herman loved the Lord and was active singing in the choir and serving as an usher.

Herman is survived by his devoted wife, Peggy, of 71 years; their children, JoAnn Armstrong (Gary) of Libby, Larry (Ruthanne) of Troy, and Dan of Coeur d’Alene, Ida.; grandchildren Joshua (Amy), Rachel, Ezra, Izaiah, Zachariah and Esther; and 9 great-grandchildren.  Services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2011 at Libby Church of God, 1007 Utah Avenue.   Interment with Military Honors will follow at City of Libby cemetery.  Visitation will be 1-7 p.m. at Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting


Irene Beller, 91, of Libby

Irene Beller, 91, passed away peacefully on Jan. 4, at her home in Libby, Mont. where she had been with all of her loving children the previous week.  She was born April 4, 1929 in Durant, Okla. to Travis and Lucy (Chandler) Wilkerson.

Irene was a high school graduate and a highly skilled basketball player during those years.  She was awarded a full-ride basketball scholarship but did not accept  Irene married Ernest Eugene Beller on Oct. 2, 1946 in Grayson County, Tex.  She and Ernie had previously lived in Libby for several years up until 2005. Irene later moved back to Libby with her daughter and son-in-law in 2018.  She worked at the Mardi Gras Lanes bowling alley in the 1960’s & 1970’s.  Irene was heavily involved in PTA while her kids were in grade school.  She was a lifelong member of the Southern Baptist Church and shared her faith with all.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband Ernest Eugene Beller, grandson Ryan Beller, sisters Eva Mae and Maggie, brother Travis, sister Bill (real name Willie Earlene), brothers J. Hugh and J.R., sister Juanita, and daughter-in-law Barbara.

Survivors include her sister Willena Cunningham of Perry, Okla; children Ernest Dwight Beller (Linda) of Mansfield, Mo; Denis Eugene Beller (Judy) of Las Vegas, Nev.; Travis Lester Beller of Libby; Robert Hugh Beller (Barbara Ann) of Three Forks, Mont.; Bonita Kaye “Susie” Meadows (Gary) of Libby; grandchildren Scott, David, Timothy, Melinda, Travis, Autumn, Barbara, Tyler, and Lance; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  She brought tremendous joy to her nieces and nephews—many of whom thought of her as their second mom, her grandchildren, and many other family and friends.

Irene held a huge presence in the lives of so many she touched and in her last days asked her children to give her love to all her family and friends.

Irene’s children will hold a celebration of life in Libby at a later date when it is safer to gather.  Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting


Valentine, 37, of Yaak

Matthew Edwin Valentine, 37, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Troy, Mont, on Jan. 4. He was born on Sept. 20, 1983, in Snohomish, Wash, but spent most of his life in northwest Mont.  As he grew up, he came to be generally known as “Matt” except for those – ahem – rare moments when someone in authority felt the need to rein in Matt’s high-spirited and unbounded enthusiasm for life by using his full name in a tone of extreme seriousness. This rarely lasted long, as Matt has a lopsided grin that could melt the chilliest of hearts and against which few, least of all his mom, were any match.

Thanks to his dad’s love of soccer, his early toddler experiences of walking often included a small ball at his feet, which later translated to a brilliant talent on the soccer field. As he grew from toddler to young boy, the family moved to Yaak, Mont, which has few soccer fields but many other opportunities to be outside. He spent countless hours with his older brother Ben and pals Haakon and Aaron roaming the woods of the Yaak: stalking whitetail deer, sneaking into Canada, riding home-made rafts down the river, swimming and camping. The hills and woods of Yaak became his backyard and the outdoors his playground. He loved it and accepted all its challenges.

High school brought Matt to Troy, with new friends, new sports and new mountains. One full-moon weekend just before the beginning of his senior year, he and a friend hiked up to camp at Leigh Lake, which sits at the base of Snowshoe Peak, in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. As they were descending back to their campsite on Aug. 4, 2001, Matt suffered a fall that led to extensive head and chest injuries, from which he never fully recovered. His mom has been his loving caregiver for the 16 years since he came home after his initial accident.

Matt is survived by his parents, Jim and Donna; brothers and sisters Hosannah, Benjamin, Marybeth, Sarah, Anna and Patrick; aunts Patty Valentine and Sherry Gibb; uncles Bryan Gibb and Steve Michalik and numerous other loving family and friends.

Matt’s parents would like to express their deep thankfulness, first to God, our Father in heaven, the giver and taker of life, and secondly to the many friends and family members who have stood with us in love and support, both now and throughout the many years since our son’s accident.

Matt was laid to rest in Boyd Hill Cemetery, under his beloved NW Montana sky, amongst a stand of beautiful old-growth Yaak larch. The family plans to have a gathering to celebrate Matt’s life with as many friends and family as possible later in the spring this year.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at


Brian Hoff, 57, of Libby

Brian Hoff, 57, passed away Jan. 6, 2in Colorado Springs, Colo after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born Mar. 20, 1963 in Minot ND to Melvin and Barbara Hoff.  In 1968 his family moved to Libby  where Brian grew up enjoying life in the mountains.  In 1981 he graduated from Libby High School and that summer left for the US Army.  His four years of service were spent in Germany and at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO.

It was in Colorado Springs that he met the love of his life, Marty.  They were married Jan. of 1987 and lived in Peyton, CO for ten years.  They then moved to the Cripple Creek, CO area, at the 10,200 ft elevation, into their hand built cabin of his dreams, where he continued to love living in the mountains.

Brian’s skill of carpentry, building, remodeling and mechanical wizardry benefitted numerous clients, friends and neighbors.  His honesty, loyalty and willingness to help are the definition of his life. There are numerous property owners who proudly display his log creations of swings, deer and benches.  His love of speed was perfectly at home on the trails where he ran snowmobiles, ATV’s and souped-up golf carts.

His father Melvin Hoff, preceded him in death in 2014.  Survivors include his mother, Barbara Hoff of Libby, his wife, Marty Hoff of Cripple Creek, CO, brother, Jeff Hoff and wife, Raina of Libby.  One nephew, Ethan Hoff and three nieces, Ashlyn, Kayla and Halle Hoff all of Libby.

Celebration of life will be planned post Covid 19.  To leave online messages of condolances or memories, visit Brian’s Tribute Wall on The Springs Funeral Services website    Click obituaries, then do a search for Brian Hoff.


Ronald J.

Massey , 67, of Troy

Ronald J. Massey passed away in his home in Troy, Mont. Jan. 14. He was born on Nov. 28, 1953 in Maywood, Calif.  to James and Mary Massey.

A graduate of Georgetown School of Dentistry, Ron established a practice in Southern California that included ownership of several dental offices. He sold his practice and moved to Troy several years ago, where he built a beautiful log home and was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures. Ron was known for his optimism, generosity, and zest for life. He will be deeply missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his friend Doreen Denning; brothers James W. Massey Jr. of Santa Maria, California; Daniel (Janan) Massey of Solvang, California; and David (Cindy) Massey of Helotes, Texas; nephews and nieces Eric (Jenna) Massey, Alissa Massey, LT. Michael (fiancée Gwen) Massey, U. S. Navy, and Meghan Massey, and great-nephew Lucas Massey.

The family would like to acknowledge with gratitude Doreen, his brother David, and the support from Kalispell Regional Healthcare Hospice caregivers.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at