MACo enhances the public service mission of counties by promoting integrity and providing proactive leadership while acknowledging and respecting Montana’s diversity.
Keith L. Benson (age 89) passed away in Helena on November 8, 2019. He was born to Ed and Cora Benson near Hogeland on September 1, 1930 – the youngest of ten children. When Keith was seven, his family moved to Harlem where he grew up and graduated from Harlem High School in 1949. He attended Northern Montana college for a time. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, he returned to Harlem where he married Genevieve Schmitt. The couple raised three children and developed many lasting friendships during their 62 years together in Harlem. They moved to Helena in November 2018 because of health reasons, and to be closer to family.
Larry Scanlan, 82, was called home to join our heavenly father in the evening of Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Larry was born in Fergus, Montana on May 5, 1937. The Scanlan family moved to the Kinsey Project near Miles City in 1940 to farm and ranch. He graduated from Custer County High School where he met the love of his life, Betty Lou Guidice. They were married Dec. 31, 1955. Larry was a Custer County Commissioner from 1977 to 1983.
Dave Gorton, 70, died July 23rd in Billings after a brief battle with cancer. Dave won election as the only Democrat on the Yellowstone County Commission in 1981, serving until 1987 while leading efforts to modernize county services to better serve residents. He was also elected President of the Breakfast Exchange Club of Billings in 1985. Before that he served as a Deputy County Attorney from 1975 to 1981, heading the Civil Division from 1978 to 1981.
Robert Keith “Bob” Phillips, 92, passed away peacefully at home on May 19, 2019, from natural causes, having lived his first nine decades without darkening the doors of hospitals or doctors’ offices. Born January 8, 1927 to Robert J. and Cora Geary Phillips in a log cabin at the base of the South Moccasin Mountains, Bob grew up on a ranch that remains in the family today, alongside older sisters Sylvia, Mary, and Kay, and twin brother Sam. Late in life, he would recall that his family didn’t have much when he was a youngster, but “didn’t know any better,” so “we were happy anyway.”
Lifetime Flathead Valley resident, Joe Arlee DeLong, passed away on Saturday, April 20, 2019. He was 89 years old. Joe was born on July 13, 1929, to Milton A. and Ruth A. DeLong in Somers. He attended elementary school in Somers and graduated from Flathead County High School.
On Friday, February 22, Lee LaBreche passed away suddenly at his home, taken away far too soon. Lee was born in Great Falls, Montana on June 9, 1963 and was adopted by Ellen and Moon LaBreche. Lee came from Moon’s family in Browning and was the precious boy that Ellen and Moon had been awaiting.
COLUMBUS — Charles (Chuck) Evans Egan passed away from natural causes on Feb. 7, 2019. He was the second son born to Harold and Cora (Loyning) Egan on March 19, 1935, in Dr. Adams’ Hospital in Red Lodge. Charles and Carolyn Heath were married June 10, 1961, with children Debbie, Michelle and Shawn born to this union. In 1967, Chuck and Carolyn relocated to Columbus where they raised their family and have resided since.