Mullins Brown-Peterson, 103, of Troy
Betty Jane Mullins Brown-Peterson, 103, died on October 18 in Kennewick, Wash. Betty was born on the family homestead in Anatone, Wash, on May 8, 1917, to George and Eva Mullins. She was born premature and her mother died in childbirth. She was taken to Troy, Montana, by her grandmother and aunt (Lena Rives) to be raised. In the 103 years Betty lived in Troy, she saw many changes. The town was a mining town, a lumber town and a railroad switching station. She was raised in the rooming house (Rives Court) owned by her Aunt Lena, who also owned the Windsor Hotel, the Great Northern Bar, and the Log Cabin Tavern. Betty saw the town go from a vibrant town with restaurants (Jack’s Café & the Palm Café), a barber shop, shoe store, appliance store, bank, car dealership, theatre, several bars and hotels, and gas stations and repair shops, to the few businesses there today. She talked about when the Metler’s built the “Show Hall’ (Lincoln Theatre), the dance hall (Kensey’s Hall) on the second floor of the building where the Gambles store now stands, and the large dock where they used to dance at the ‘Linger Longer’. She told about Ben starting a band and needed a piano player so he went to June Burns’ dad to get permission for her to play (June was in high school). Betty
graduated from Troy High School in 1935. Her first date with Ben Brown was at the Linger Longer on Savage Lake. They were married in 1940 and they had 4 children. Ben and Betty built the Roadside Inn (now the Silver Spur) as Highway two was being constructed in front of it. (Before this the highway ran through town and crossed the Kootenai bridge by the now city park.) In December 1951 Ben and their oldest son, Lewis (Buddy) drowned in a Savage Lake boating accident. Betty raised her three children alone with the help of the people in the Town of Troy. She married Robert (Bob) Peterson in 1984. Betty was active in Takima Club, Friendly Club, Moose Lodge, and Eastern Star throughout her life. She was the Troy United Methodist Women’s secretary for 27 years. Last year she had the honor of lighting the town Christmas tree and getting a ride home on the antique fire truck and said she’d like to do it again next year. She is preceded in death by her husband, Ben; son, Lewis; and her second husband, Robert (Bob) Peterson. She is survived by her 3 children, Margaret (Margie) Grimm, Judith Nielsen, and Anthony (Tony) Brown; her grandchildren, Asyia Scott (Kirt), Bree Wolfe (Steven), J.J. Goldberg (David), Ben Grimm, Emily Brown (George), and Annette Abraham (Barry), and two step grandsons, Greg (Emily) and Dustin Johnson; 10 great grandchildren, Clara, Avery and Abby Scott; Holden, Hattie and Charlie Goldberg; Stephen and Reagan Wolfe; and Madison and Peyton Abraham. Viewing will take place at Schnackenberg Funeral Home 422 W. Second St., Libby from 5:30 to 7 pm on Thursday, October 22nd. Graveside services will be at 2 pm at the Libby Cemetery on Friday, October 23rd. Masks and distancing are requested at both venues. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.
Westfall, 80, of Libby
Bonnie Ann Barney Westfall, 80, passed away peacefully in the Libby Care Center on Monday, October 19. She was born in Helena on July 27, 1940 to Albert Burr Barney and May Catherine McCreanor Barney. She graduated from Libby High School in 1960 and worked for W. R. Grace until she retired. Bonnie married Don H. Westfall on December 4, 1970. The home they shared was a favorite for family gatherings. Their property on Terrace View was an amazing place to explore with their eccentric collection of antiquities that were strategically placed around their home and along their lengthy driveway. Bonnie’s lefsa was a staple at family dinners, as well as her dill pickles and pickled beets. Christmas was never without her rosettes, a deep-fried Norwegian cookie. Family was important to Bonnie. Camping trips were plenty with her sisters and their families; Horseshoe Lake and Yaak were a couple of their favorites. During the winter months, the families would take snowmobiling trips into the remote, beautiful parts of Lincoln County, often passing signs that read, “No Motor Vehicles Beyond This Point”. Bonnie and Don loved Montana and its rich history. They traveled to explore many old mining ghost towns and other historically significant locations. In whatever Bonnie created her artistic talent and perfection shown through. Ceramics were one of her specialties. Every Christmas she proudly displayed her beautifully detailed Christmas village that completely covered every surface in her dining room. Her nieces and nephews eagerly awaited the Christmas ornaments Bonnie sent them every year. Her talents were also evident in her intricate needlework Christmas decorations and doll making. Bonnie was a kind, loving and generous daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents Albert and May, sister Jane Mellem, and sister Catherine Kins. Bonnie is survived by her husband, Don H. Westfall of Libby; her sister Marjorie (Paul) Robinson of Osburn, Idaho; stepdaughter, Marie Bjorge Westfall of Missoula; stepson Scott Westfall of Missoula, and many nieces and nephews.
Richard H Wilkonski, 69, of Libby
Richard H. “Rick” Wilkonski, 69, formerly of Libby, died on Saturday, October 17, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla.