Frederick “Fred” M. Drake, 78, of Libby

Frederick “Fred” M. Drake, 78, died on Thursday, July 9,  at his home in Libby surrounded by his loved ones.  He was born on June 22, 1942 at Dalles, Ore. to Alvin and Kay Drake.

Survivors include his daughter Connie (Aaron, Jr.) Brossman; son Chad (Chelsea Collins) Drake; and 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held in 2021. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at



Tamera Ann


61, of Libby

With profound sadness we announce the passing of Tamera Ann Kidder,61, our beloved devoted wife, mother, daughter, and friend to all.

She was born in Libby, Montana on May 27, 1959 and passed on July 11.  She graduated from Libby High School in 1977 continuing her journey living in Montana and Wyoming. While working and raising her family in 1994 she received an associate’s degree in medical coding. She was a domestic goddess and everyone who came in contact with her felt blessed and honored to have been touched by her.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 25 years Buck D. Kidder, mother Irene Beach, stepfather Al Beach, and a brother Mathew Bekier.

She is survived by her father Sylvester (Shorty) Bekier; stepmother Linda Bekier; sisters Roxanne Dentlinger & Theresa Otto; brothers Robert and Mark Beach and Martin and Patrick Bekier; children Brandy Kidder, Becky Kidder, James Bekier, Bobbie Scott, Paula Kidder, Buck D.A. Kidder, Cody DeWitt with several grand-babies, cousin, nieces, nephew and friends who became her extended family.

For 61 years we were all blessed by her loving light and giving spirit.  Now she will rest spending eternity with her soulmate.

Services were held graveside on Thursday, July 16 at Milnor Lake Cemetery. Due to Covid-19, a celebration and honor of her life will be held in the future when it does not put her friends, family, and loved ones at risk. In lieu of flowers please make a small donation to the Troy VFW where she was a member of the auxiliary and loved to volunteer. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at


Risley, 75, of Libby

Steve Risley, 75, a wonderful husband, brother, father and friend, passed unexpectedly but peacefully in his home, Sunday, July 12. He was born on October 13, 1944 in Libby, Mont. to Henry and Leone Risley.

Steve joined the US Navy in 1962 and served 4 years. He then returned to Libby and was employed at WR Grace for several years. He worked for St. Regis, drove a logging truck for several different companies and a handful of CDL jobs after that. He was a very hard worker and passed that trait onto his children.

Steve enjoyed the simple things in life. He was an avid reader, enjoyed going on road trips with his best friend, Duane, going on razor rides and was always game for telling stories over a couple cold ones.  He was the most kind, loving, amazing man and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Steve is preceded in death by his parents; Stuart and Leone Risley, his sister Katie Plaas and his wife Linda “Red” Risley.

He is survived by his sister; Carol VanZyverden of Spokane; his daughters Shannon and Rachel Risley of Seattle; his son Travis Risley of Libby; and his daughter Kami Plaas Risley of Libby.

A celebration of life will be announced at a future date. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at



Steven Bitterman, 52,

Dean Steven Bitterman, 52, died on Monday, July 13, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. He was born on March 14, 1968 in Libby, Mont. to Tom and Lola Bitterman. He grew up with his older brother, Dwain, in the house his dad and grandpa built. Dean loved playing Dungeons & Dragons, and he enjoyed Marvel Comics, especially Thor. He shared his interest in Norse mythology with his daughters. Dean was a talented storyteller and community theater actor. He graduated from Libby High School in 1986 and started working for the Forest Service.

Dean’s career took his family to Grangeville, Ida. in 1996 then to Hamilton, Mont in 1998. Dean eventually became the aviation officer for the Bitterroot National Forest. He went on fire assignments every year as a member of an Incident Management Team. His work took him to numerous states and even to Australia. In 2003, Dean helped with the Columbia Space Shuttle recovery. He retired from the Forest Service in December 2019.

Dean met Sonya during junior high. They started dating in 1993 and married on March 19, 1994. Throughout their 26 years of marriage, they shared in the raising of their two daughters and had adventures skiing, hiking, fishing, and huckleberry picking. He loved spending time with his family. Dean was a loving, kind, animated, intelligent, and beautiful individual who will forever be treasured and highly respected by his family.

Dean always supported and made time for his daughters. He would talk with them for hours, sometimes even forgetting about the dinner he was cooking and letting it burn. In addition to his unwavering support, he shared his love of literature with them, even making up stories and songs. Katelyn’s favorite stories were about Golden Bear. Dean also shared his love of science fiction and fantasy and always encouraged his girls to explore. Dean loved spending time outdoors. The family spent many weekend afternoons going for drives through the mountains, building campfires and making s’mores. Dean was skillful at strategy games and taught his girls how to be strategic players. Specifically, Dean was a formidable chess player and passed on his knowledge of the game to Beth. Dean loved sharing his wisdom with his daughters, who listened intently to his knowledge about physics, human nature, movies, and his adventures.

It was a joy to see Dean with his grandson, Griffin. All of Dean’s wonderful qualities were exemplified in grand-fatherhood. Griffin was captivated by “Alpa’s” energy, his animated expressions, and the special exchanges only the two of them shared. Their interactions were truly enchanting, and Dean was eagerly awaiting the arrival of his granddaughter so they could start building their own unique relationship.

In 2014, Dean was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Dean spent months fighting the disease and building up his strength before having a stem cell transplant. After the transplant, the disease was undetectable in his body, and his outlook was exceptional. Those following years were a blessing to his family. Dean was able to walk both of his daughters down the aisle, celebrated in their college graduations, and delighted in the joy of being a grandfather.

In April 2019, the cancer returned. Dean aggressively combatted the disease, undergoing multiple treatments regimens. He always believed he would beat his cancer, and he did everything in his power to buy more time with his family. On July 2, we received the heartbreaking news that his cancer had become too aggressive. On July 13, after a long and hard-fought battle, Dean passed away.

Dean is preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Lola Bitterman, and grandparents, Albert and Naomi Bitterman and Hazel Leach.

Dean is survived by his wife, Sonya, his brother, Dwain, his daughters, Katelyn Fischer and Beth Davidson, his grandson, Griffin Dean Davidson, his soon-to-be-born granddaughter, and his nephew and niece Casey and Emmaleah Allen.

A graveside service for family and loved ones will be held in the Libby Cemetery on July 20. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memories may be shared at


Evelynn Leah Kanan

Evelynn Leah Kanan was born on June 25 at home in Libby, Mont. She weighed seven pounds and 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Evelynn parents are Shawn and Charity Kanan. She is welcomed by her 2 sisters:  Lyla, Autumn and her 4 brothers: Micah, Josiah, Ezekiel and Rueben. She was delivered by Joyce Vogel, Licensed Midwife

Abel Brown-Lira

Abel Brown-Lira was born on July 9 at 5 p.m. at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Mont. He was eight pounds and 13 ounces and was 21 inches long at time of birth. He was delivered by Dr.Kelli Jarrett.