Family News

Major Keith H. Johnston, U.S Army Retired,  81, of Libby

Keith Johnston was born in Los Angeles, California on February, 1940. He grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico, and attended the University of Mexico where he was the president of his Fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. Upon graduation, Keith was immediately drafted into the United States Army. He became an officer and went to flight school where his live for flying was satisfied. He did two tours of duty in Vietnam and earned three Bronze Stars. After 20 years in the military Keith retired and moved to California. He worked as consultant in communications for Los Angeles County and the City of Long Beach.

In 1991 he met his wife Ellen who was born and raised in Montana. They were married in April, 1993. Travel was always on their agenda. Keith and Ellen especially loved cruising, which took them to many parts of the world. Their plans to retire at the beach were changed when Keith and Ellen purchased the Huckleberry House Bed and Breakfast from Ellen’s Brother Bob and sister-in-law Jessie. They found that they loved being innkeepers. They enjoyed the countless guests who came through, and they also enjoyed spending quiet time on the porch of their beautiful home in Libby.

Keith passed away suddenly on November 21, with Ellen at his side. He is survived by Ellen and two daughters from a previous marriage, Lisa Thompson and husband Alfred, and granddaughters Victoria and Olivia; Linda Johnston and granddaughters Megan and Sydney, and grandson Zachary. Remember ace donations may be made in Keith’s memory to the Combat Control Foundation

No services are planned at this  time

Joy A. Scott, 77, of Libby

Joy A. Scott, 77, of Libby, Mont. passed away Saturday, November 19, at the Libby Care Center of natural causes.  She was born January 13, 1945 in Eureka, Mont. to John William and Clara (Beaurdy) LaRoque.  She graduated from Columbia Falls High School. Joy married Lloyd A. Scott in Columbia Falls on January 17, 1964.

Joy was a hard worker and that was evident from a young age. In her youth, she began helping her mother care for 2 sisters who were born with severe health issues and were unable to care for themselves.  Following the loss of her mother, Joy stepped up and took over full care of her sisters and continued that until her health prevented it.  She also managed the Record Rack for the Krull’s. She and Lloyd had a place on Bull Lake where they parked their camper and spent time together and with family. That was a special place for her and she always said that someday the grandkids could have it. Joy also enjoyed sewing and she was an excellent cook.  She had quite the collection of cookbooks!  However, her greatest joy was found in being with her family. She is forever in their hearts and will be missed by them all. Joy was preceded in death by a son, Thomas Scott; parents, John and Clara LaRoque; 3 brothers; and 1 sister.

Survivors include her husband Lloyd of Libby; sons Timothy A. Scott of Libby, Tyler J. (Lisa) Scott of Columbia Falls, and Travis D. Scott of Missoula; grandchildren Isaac Scott and Mac Scott; sister Lena LaRoque of Eureka; and numerous nieces and nephews.  Services for Joy will be 1 p.m. Saturday, December 3, 2022 at the Schnackenberg Funeral Home Chapel, 422 W. 2nd St, in Libby. Interment will follow at the City of Libby Cemetery.  Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home. Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

Carl T.

Martin, 87, Of Troy

Carl T. Martin, 87, of Troy, Mont.

Passed away September 5.

Services for Carl will be Wednesday, December 14, at 12 p.m. at the Milnor Lake Cemetery in Troy.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.

Virgil J. Totten, 82, of



Virgil J. Totten, 82, of Libby, passed away Wednesday, November 30.  Visitation will be 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, at Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.

Birthday Celebration for Norma Vinson turning 90 Years old

Sunday December. 11th at The Hidden Chapel 1207 Utah Ave. from

1 P.M.—3 P.M.

Janes “jan” Marie Dirkes, 73, of Libby

Janese “Jan” Marie Dirkes was born September 23, 1949, in Scott City, Kansas, and passed peacefully on November 21, at home near Libby, Montana. She is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Dirkes, of 55 years, along with their three children and families: Sean and Wendy, and grandchildren Shyla and Jacob Dirkes; Mike and Zheng, and grandchildren Sara Stoker and Bryan Dirkes, as well as her two great-grandchildren Natalie and Cameron; and Holly and granddaughter Kesche Luna, and son-in-law David Luna, Jr.

Although she was born in Kansas, she grew-up in Longmont, Colorado. She and Bill dated the summer after she graduated high school and were married soon thereafter on November 4, 1967. She and Bill moved back and forth between Colorado and Montana three times before finally settling in Libby in 1973.

Jan wasn’t a typical stay-at-home mother to her three children. She was actively involved in their daily lives, especially when it came to their education experiences. Jan volunteered to drive the lone school bus between Libby and Three Lakes Christian School (near Savage Lake, outside of Troy) every school day for 3 years. At this same time, she also served as the school clerk and occasional substitute teacher.

Jan volunteered for many years at Libby Convalescent Center. She would do hair permanents for the ladies and play chess with the men at the Convalescent Center. Jan was also an Avon door-to-door salesperson for many years. She worked at Benjamin Franklin in the Libby Shopping Center (when it was next to Henry’s) for several years. She graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in June of 1990 from Flathead Valley Community College. Jan held leadership roles and was very active in the Libby Diabetic Awareness and Support Group. She also managed the office for her husband’s construction business for many decades.

Jan enjoyed traveling both across the U.S. and internationally. Jan and Bill traveled to Cyprus, England, France, Ireland, Canada and Mexico. They visited almost every state in the U.S. while traveling together in conjunction with Bill’s work in the construction industry.

Jan thoroughly relished her morning coffee & Bible studies with Bill, was an avid reader, and enjoyed numerous hobbies including gardening, canning, cooking, sewing, needlepoint, knitting, and crocheting. She was always ready with a smile and a laugh for family and friends. Her quick wit and sense of humor were some of her hallmark qualities. She was also fiercely loyal, honest and strong-willed, as well as compassionate and steadfast. While not perfect, she was perfectly honest that she loved God and knew that her eternal resting place would be with her heavenly Father who loved her unconditionally. She did not wish to be mourned but wanted to be celebrated. To honor this, the family will hold a celebration of life next year when the flowers in her peace garden are in full bloom.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Jan’s charity of choice, the Voice of the Martyrs @