Family News

Lawrence Paul “Larry” Tong, 75, of Libby

Lawrence Paul “Larry” Tong, 75, of Libby, passed away at his home on Jan. 18, 2020.  He was born Feb. 27, 1944 in Stanley, ND to Ernest and Doris Tong. He attended school in North Dakota and when he graduated he worked on a cattle ranch until 1965. Larry packed up his saddle and his cowboy ways and headed for Wyoming. He wanted to see the mountains so he made a detour to Montana and never left.

Larry worked in the sawmills doing various jobs until he retired. He enjoyed training horses, team roping, rodeos, country music, Dutch-oven cooking, loved to hunt, and spend time with family and friends. He liked people and was well-liked. He was a member of the Libby Christian Church.

Survivors include his wife Peggy Tong; brother Darryl Tong, ND; son Shawn (Sarah) Tong, Kalispell, Mont.; three step daughters Cheryl (Ellis) Stapley, Lewiston, Idaho; Cassie Johnson, Denver, Col.; Robbee (Joe) Pennock, Troy, Mont.; seven grandkids and two great grandkids.

Services were at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Libby Christian Church. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnack

Penni Jo Smith, 72,

of Troy

Penni Jo Smith, 72, passed away, Dec. 31, 2019, at home from Multiple Myeloma cancer. She was born June 6, 1947, in Colorado Springs, Col. to Jerry and Mabel Metz.

Penni left Colorado at the age of 17, to elope with her true love Gary Smith, who joined the military. They started their life together with two $17 wedding rings and two paper bags full of clothes.  For 53 years, they traveled the globe together and finally put down roots in Troy, Mont. Since 1990, they called Milnor Lake their home. They made it an amazing place for their kids to live and visit over the years. Penni’s hobbies of love were bowling, fishing, horseback riding, and card playing. She had several four-legged friends along the way, including horses- “Doc and Flicker”;  dogs- Traveler, Gypsy, Mittens, Clancy, Little Bits, Tazz, Socks, Bandit, Petey, Callie, Rocket, and Happy.  Her love of animals was her pride and she always spoiled them rotten.

Survivors include her children Tami Hales, Gary Smith, and Brian Smith; five grandkids- Roshae’, Frankie, Abigail, Benjamin and, Maddy.

Any donations, upon her request should be sent to Kootenai Pets for life in her memory. Penni’s memorial service will be in the spring, where she and her husband Gary will be placed together once again, in their family plot, at Milnor Lake Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at


Jensen Cratty

Jensen Cratty was born on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Mont. He weighed eight pounds, two ounces and was 21½ inches long at the time of his birth. His parents are Trent Cratty and Elizabeth Heckathorn of Libby. He was delivered by Dr. Jana Hall.