Maffit, 77, Of Great Falls

On Wednesday, January 18, Wayne Maffit, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away at the age of 77. Born December 12, 1945 in Great Falls, Mont. Wayne graduated from Great Falls High School and went on to receive his associate’s degree from the College of Great Falls.

He served in the military on active duty for one year in Vietnam, as well as the Montana Air National Guard, retiring after 30 years of service. Ever generous with his time, he also served the Troy Volunteer Ambulance for 35 years and as Judge for the City of Troy. He was a founding member of the Troy Shooting Range, worked with Habitat for Humanity, and was a long-time and beloved member of Three Lakes Bible Church.

Prior to struggling with Lewy Body Dementia for the final years of his life, Wayne enjoyed the outdoors, particularly hunting, fishing, and camping. He traveled throughout Europe and stayed in Germany for a length of time, living in hostels and meeting new friends. On one occasion, he hitchhiked to Alaska with his black lab puppy, Max. When the mosquitoes worked Max over too much, Wayne zipped him up in his jacket and continued on his trek (as he would have done for anyone or anything).

He embodied both stoicism and warmth simultaneously; he was a pillar- a safe place. He was exceptionally knowledgeable, compassionate, and intentional. All of us- those that called him “Papa”, “Maffit”, “Grandpa”, “Wayne” – are thankful to have loved and been loved by such a (described by grandson, Billy) “stellar” human as Wayne Maffit. He was THE best hugger ever!

This “animal whisperer” is truly missed by his pup, Annabelle Wiggles and his two cats, Black Kitty and Yellow Kitty.

He is preceded in death by parents Everard (Corky) and Lorraine Maffit; brothers Jim and Terry Maffit; and daughter Lori Tierney. He is survived by his wife Sylvia Maffit; sister Gayle Holman; daughter Marcy Sturdevant (husband, Tim Sturdevant); sons Mike and Mark Laffoon (Marks’s wife, MaryAnn Laffoon); grandchildren Sarah Tierney, Billy Tierney, Patrick Laffoon, Noelle Symonds, Sophie Sturdevant, Emma Sturdevant, Gracie Sturdevant, Mellissa Laffoon; 6 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, should you want to donate, please consider Troy Volunteer Ambulance. (Post Office 641, Troy, Mont., 59935)

James Floyd “Jim” Pierce, 86, of Libby


James Floyd “Jim” Pierce, 86, of Libby, Mont. passed away November 7, 2022 at his home in Libby of natural causes.  He was born July 13, 1936 in Ashland, WI to George and Irma (Badgley) Pierce.  Jim graduated from Elma High School in Washington in 1954 and then enlisted in the United States Army.  The army sent him to the University of Montana where he graduated with a degree in Science Education.  Jim retired from the military with a rank of Major on June 17, 1976.  He taught ROTC in Guam and was also a driving instructor while there.  Jim owned and operated Jim’s Guns and Jim Pierce Realty here in Libby.  He also taught concealed weapon classes.  Jim was a Mensa member; a Master of Masonic Lodge; VFW Life Member; American Legion Member and an NRA Life Member.

On January 22, 1993, he married Leny Bapial in Angeles City, Philippines.  They enjoyed almost 30 years together during which they spent time in the Philippines with family and friends there as well as maintaining their home in Libby. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, George and Irma Pierce and a sister, Donna Dewy.  Survivors include his wife, Leny of Libby; daughter, Ivy Rose Pierce of Missoula, children from a previous marriage, Nikki MacMillan of Olympia, WA, Tracy Niles of Aberdeen, WA, Jim Walters and Bob Walters; 4 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; brother, Ronald Pierce; and extended family in the Philippines.  Arrangements were under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

Sidney B. Switzer, 88, of Libby


A lifetime Libby resident Sidney B. Switzer passed away on January 20, at the Libby Care Center. Bruce was born December 17, 1934 in the old Libby Hospital on second street with Dr. Cairn attending. His parents were Waneta and Earl Switzer of Libby who lived in the family home on Louisiana Ave. that was built around 1912. There were two older brothers, Roger and Don and two sisters, Shirley and Narma. Bruce attended school starting in the old grade School building that was located on the corner of Louisiana and Lincoln Boulevard and the old high school, graduating in 1954. Bruce was on the high school track team, running the 440 and he played football. Bruce worked at St. Regis Mill and later Champion Mill in between his Tours of Duty in the Army. Bruce took Basic Training at Fort Ord, California as a National Guard Soldier. Then on to Paris France. He did another Tour of Duty at Fort Leonard Wood, the US Antimony Mining and other mines, where he developed a real love for the underground mining. Bruce constructed his own mine shaft on a claim up Flower Creek Mining Co. but never hit pay dirt as the miners called it – eighty feet down in sold bedrock. Bruce was a member of the old Presbyterian Church on Lincoln Boulevard then moving to Vanderwood Road and in later years attending Christ Lutheran Church with old friend, Larry Knight. He was also a long time member of the Montana Historical Society. After retiring, Bruce enjoyed coffee time in the morning at Rosauers with friends and especially Thursday morning breakfast with the Christian Church men and good friends, John Knudson and Bill Armstrong.

Bruce was proceeded in death by both parents. Earl and Waneta Switzer, brother Roger Switzer of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, sister Shirley Mason of Bellingham, Wash. And sister Narma, and his good friends Larry Knight and Fritz Vignali.

Bruce is survived by several loving nieces, his-sister-in-law, HelgaSwitzer and nephews.

Thankyou to Ed Cosgrif, Bruces roommate who so patiently put up with his daily routines. We wish to extend out thanks to the good people of Bonner Couty Restorium, The Libby Care Center and Christ Lutheran Church for the care they extended to Sydney Switzer better known as Bruce. There is no funeral planned at this time.

Dolores “Dee” Marie

Fitzhugh, 90, of Troy

Dolores “Dee” Marie (Hoeffner) Fitzhugh, 90, was called home to be with our Lord, on Wednesday, January 18, at her home in Troy, surrounded by her family. Dolores was born on October 26, 1932, in Great Falls, Montana, to Gustave and Elsie Hoeffner.

Dolores graduated high school in Fort Benton, Montana. During her life she worked at JC Penny’s in administration, and was a caretaker of the Swanson Lodge for fifteen years.  Dolores was also a care giver to Ruby and Myrtle Swanson, who were very good friends of hers. She was accomplished at bead works and latch hook rugs!

Dolores was previously married to Robert Anthony Lee, who is deceased. She married Bob Fitzhugh in Virginia City, Nevada on April 18, 1979. Bob passed away July, 10, 2002.

Dolores was preceded in death by her parents Gustave and Elsie Hoeffner; husbands Robert Lee and Bob Fitzhugh; brother James Hoeffner; sister Dorothy Cummings; and son Jerome Lee.

She is survived by her three sons, Michael Lee, Mark Lee, and Joseph Lee all of Troy; grandchildren Dylan Lee, Taryn Hendricks, Jack Lee, Marc Dyakanoff, Celeste Armstrong, Lars Lee, Robert Lee,  Daylan Lee, Miah Folkerts, Jacob Folkerts, Jennie Nelson, and Johanna Winebark; and great-grandchildren Raven Lee, Lexie Lee, Tyler Lee, Kyrie Dyakanoff, Keenan Dyakanoff, Kalis Dyakanoff, Hudson Dyakanoff, Remington Lee, Elaine Folkerts, Claira Folkerts, Lenyn Nelson, and Carter Nelson.

A service for Dolores will be on Friday, February 3, 2023, 1:00 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Troy, Montana, with Visitation at 11:00 a.m.  Burial will follow at the Milnor Lake Cemetery. Services are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby, Montana.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

“You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them.  They cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You and were not ashamed.  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.  For the kingdom is the LORD’s and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:3-5, 27-28


– Submitted by Ruthanne Dolezal