MSU Billings Alumni Relations

Class Notes Spring 2006

Mariann Underwood '55 and her husband, Jack, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their home in Billings.  They have three children and three grandchildren. Mariann is retired from a teaching career and Jack was the owner of J.A. Underwood Co.


Charlotte Dillon Moran '58 enjoys ranch life near Drummond, Mont.  She was a 'lost alum' until recently discovered in the Billings Central High School newsletter.  Charlotte has three grown children and spends her time substitute teaching, volunteering, works part-time for Recovery, Inc., gardens and does yoga.  Welcome back to MSU Billings, Charlotte.


Raymond '60 and Helen Hopkins Widenhofer '63 recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family cruise on the Rhine River in Germany.  Raymond taught at Billings West High and Helen was an elementary teacher and both are now retired.  They have two children.


Linda Beck '67 was recently awarded the Desiree Taggart Memorial Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in economic development strategic planning, team building and organizational development.  This Governor's Award is given in memory of the first director of workforce development in the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity and is presented annually.  Linda is director of business outreach and recruitment for Big Sky Economic Development Corp. in Billings.


Gerald Hopkins '67 was recently endorsed by the Lions Club of District 36 G in Eastern Oregon as governor.  Gerald and his wife, Mary, have visited 65 countries, often stopping in at Lions Clubs and presenting relief checks on behalf of his local club.  Gerald and Mary operate a small timber farm in Summerville where Gerald runs cattle and pursues his love of gardening and cooking.


Robert W. Moran '71 is retiring after fifty years-without a vacation or sick day-as library director for the Carnegie Library in Red Lodge. Bob was the assistant librarian and taught at Red Lodge High School from 1955 to 1965, when he became city librarian. Bob was a recipient of one of the first Fulbright Scholarships and studied in France for two years following his degree work at the University of Montana.


Ken Gilbertson '72 recently joined CTA Architects Engineers in Billings as the new courier.  Ken has a bachelor's degree from Eastern Montana College and a master's from Montana State University in Bozeman.


Bill Wolfe '72 has retired as managing executive for personal insurance with Hoiness LaBar Insurance in Billings.  Besides a career as a dedicated insurance agent, Bill was founder of Students Organized Against Risk, volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and as a one-on-one tutor with the HOST program.  He also served as a loaned executive with United Way and a board member of Friendship House.


Robert Kent '73 and his wife, Donna, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reception at the Quality Inn Homestead in Billings.  Robert retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1963, worked for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Miles City, then later retired from the U.S. Post Office in Billings.  They have five children, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


Jim Watson '73 has joined Hoiness LaBar Insurance of Billings as a commercial lines sales executive and licensed consultant.  Jim has been an agency owner for 18 years and has a total of 32 years of insurance industry experience.


Shirlee Quinn '74 and her spouse, Jere, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house in Red Lodge, Mont.  Shirley was an LPN at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, retiring in 1997 and Jere taught high school, owned an automotive business in Laurel, then worked for Hanser's Automotive in Billings, retiring in 2000.  They have four children and six grandchildren.


Pamela Seward '74 recently joined Stockman Bank in Billings as a commercial and consumer loan officer.  She has 25 years of banking experience and her responsibilities will include developing and servicing consumer and commercial loans and assisting clients with their lending needs.


Tony Smith '76 of Billings has earned the photographic craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America in recognition of his service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.  Tony also has a master's degree in photography, is a certified professional photographer and serves as Montana councilor to Professional Photographers of America.


Lee Benzinger '77 has joined Prudential Floberg Realtors in Billings as a sales associate.  He has 26 years of customer service experience in the automotive industry and is a graduate of the former Billings Vo-Tech which has since been incorporated into the College of Technology.


Dan Rust '77 of Bozeman was recently recognized by State Farm Insurance with the company's 2006 Community Service Award.  Dan has been a State Farm agent for 24 years and has taught the importance of insurance to Drivers Ed classes since 1982.


Cynthia Jessee '78 was recently awarded the Teacher in the Community award by the Billings Education Association for her work with the Riverside Middle School Builders Club.  Students in the Builders Club volunteer to make sandwiches for local shelters, do fundraising for the Dress a Child program, and provide gifts to teens in the family shelter at Christmas.


Matt Pawlowski '79 a former student and player for the EMC YellowJackets Football team in the late 70's recently won the National Championship for Division II football at Grand Valley State Michigan. Matt coaches the defense side of the ball.


Kathi Blumenshine '81 was honored with the Outstanding Nurse Award for 2006 by the Billings Clinic Foundation.  Kathi received her LPN certificate from the Billings Vo-Tech Center, now the College of Technology, in 1981.


Julie Wilson '81 was recently awarded the Golden Apple Award by the Billings Education Association for her devotion to her special needs students and her support of student teachers.  Julie teaches at Alkali Creek Elementary.


Sally Mercer '86 was recently promoted to senior financial associate at RBC Dain Rauscher in Billings.  She will assist in the solicitation and education of new clients and in the introduction of products and services as well as help clients to make appropriate investment selections.


Rick Wright '86 has joined JGA Architects-Engineers-Planners in Billings as a draftsman.  He has over 20 years experience with an emphasis on educational, commercial and religious projects.


Tony Barone '88 of the Billings Police Department was awarded the Spirit of Promise Award for his efforts to curb alcohol sales to minors.  The award was sponsored by the Roots of Promise, a project affiliated with the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh.  Barone said he shares the success of the program with the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force and area retailers involved in alcohol sales.  Since beginning in Billings six years ago, the program has spread to other Montana cities.


Shirley Knopp '88 was recently honored with the Billings Education Association's Teacher of the Year Award for her dedication to her students and support of her colleagues.  Shirley is a reading specialist at Billings Senior High School.


Kelly Holmes '89 recently joined Sutton's Sportswear in Billings as national sales manager for the Souvenir and Resort Division.  She was previously with Descente Golf and Sun Mountain Sports.


Karen Schott '89 has been elected to Northwest Farm Credit Services board of directors for a five-year term.  Karen and her husband operate 6,000 dry land acres near Broadview, Mont. and raise winter wheat, spring wheat, peas and lease pasture.


Angela Babby '90 does stained glass portraits of American Indians and decorative hand-painted wall designs.  Her work is on display at Blue Coyote Gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona and select Native American Indian art markets.  She did the decorative painting work at Toad 'n Willow and also the new Ashley Furniture Store in Billings and has done many private residences.


Patrick Cline '90 has been promoted to vice president of commercial loans at First Interstate Bank-West Billings.  He began his banking career in 1994 as a consumer loan officer with First Interstate Bank in Livingston.


Barbara Galusha Karst '90 and her husband, Clarence, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house at Laurel United Methodist Church and a family dinner at Laurel Golf Club.  Barbara retired from In-Care Network in 1997 and Clarence from the Cenex Refinery in 1995.  They have two children and one grand child.


Bev Ross '91 a premier agent with the Prudential Insurance Company of America in Billings has qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table.  Membership is based on excellence in customer sales and service.  Bev is also a trustee of the Montana State University-Billings Foundation.


Stephanie Miller '92 was the recipient of the 2006 Para educator-Teacher Team of the Year award along with her co-workers at Lockwood Elementary School.


Andrea Pluhar '92 has successfully completed the LOMA Accident/Life/Health Certification offered through the International Claims Association.  Andrea is claims supervisor with Employee Benefit Management Services, Inc. of Billings.  She joined EBMS as a claims examiner in 1999 and was promoted to claims supervisor in 2002.


Lori Heth '93 recently joined xpedx in Billings as sales professional.


Kevin Kraft '93 has joined the Shiloh branch of Yellowstone Bank as assistant vice president.  He received his MBA from the University of Montana in 2000.  Kevin handles consumer, commercial and real estate lending for Yellowstone Bank.


E. Alex Floate '94, received an MBA from Boise State University in May 2005.  He is currently employed by Syngenta Seeds as the credit manager for their North and Central American divisions.


Susan K. Bermes '95 recently joined New York Life in Billings as financial services professional.  She has over nine years experience in the financial service industry and is licensed for insurance and securities.


Jeffrey Cromwell '95 has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with a unit of the 2nd Battalion 300th Field Artillery of the Wyoming Army National Guard.  Jeff is a graduate of the College of Technology.


Stephanie Snellman Krueger '96 and her husband, Erik, have opened the Galt Manor in downtown Billings.  The Galt Manor is a newly renovated Arts and Craft prairie style vacation rental and one of Billings' original town site buildings.  Check out their web-site by clicking on Montana at


Bryce Shotwell '96 has earned his master's in social work from Portland State University this spring.  He is seeking employment as a therapist.


Case Haslam '98 of Billings has been elected treasurer of the Montana Chapter of the American Association of Fundraising Professionals for 2006.  Case is with the Montana Council Boy Scouts of America.


Matthew Chaney '99 an officer with the Billings Police Department was honored for his commitment to public safety by the Downtown Exchange Club of Billings at the 48th annual National Crime Prevention banquet.  Matt led the department last year with 28 drunken-driving arrests and was recognized for his skill at traffic accident and crime scene investigation.


Russell Nemetz '99 is the ag director for Northern Ag Network, a radio station headquartered in Billings.  He was awarded the Salesperson of the Year Award at the company's annual retreat in Bozeman.


Darryl Rensmon '99 of Helena has been elected president of Morrison-Maierle Systems Corp.  Darryl will retain his duties as chief information officer for Morrison-Maierle Inc. which has offices in Helena, Billings, Bozeman and Phoenix.  He has 25 years experience in computer-oriented work in the fields of engineering and information systems.


Darla Williams '99 was recently awarded the Golden Apple Award by the Billings Education Association for being a role model and mentor to her students and for her integration of technology in the classroom.  Darla teaches at Highland Elementary.


Steve Gardiner '00 was recently awarded the Golden Apple Award by the Billings Education Association for his dedication to sustained, silent reading, which has turned hundreds of teens into lifetime readers.  In addition to his classroom work at Senior High, Steve is involved in the school newspaper and yearbook and is a cross-country coach.


Scott Hatler '00 was recently promoted to market manager for the Eastern Montana region and is also director of insurance for First Interstate Financial Services.  In addition to his insurance duties he will manage trust and investment specialists in Billings, Red Lodge, Hardin, Great Falls, Colstrip and Miles City.


Lori Schwartzkopf '00 is a personal banker for the Wells Fargo downtown bank in Billings.  She has more than six years of experience in financial services with Wells Fargo.


Joe Degel '01 has been promoted to vice president and senior relationship manager for Wells Fargo Business Banking in Billings.  He joined the bank in 1997 and has worked with local businesses for several years.  Currently Joe is completing his MBA with the University of Montana.


Tonya Varner '01, a CPA with Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co. in Billings, has been promoted to account manager.  She specializes in auditing with an emphasis in commercial, construction, non-profit and benefit plans.  She is also a board member of United Campus Ministries, co-chair of the accounting committee for Relay-for-Life and Senior High youth advisor at First Presbyterian Church.


Stephanie R. Anderson '02 has joined HydroSolutions in Billings as a geographic information systems specialist.  She will be performing spatial analyses, remote sensing evaluation and mapping.  Stephanie has worked in the human services field for the past six years, but her areas of expertise are in math and environmental studies.


Brad Kooshian '02 has been promoted to inventory control and scheduling supervisor at Freedom Satellite in Billings.  He has been with the Freedom Satellite operations department since February 2005.


Pam Woodard '02 has joined Best Realty Inc. of Billings as realtor/marketing partner.  In the past she has owned and operated her own business.


Crystal Kuntz '03 has been recognized nationally for her work as a New Face of Engineering.  She is a civil engineer with Electrical Consultants Inc. in Billings and was nominated by the National Society of Professional Engineers.


Bridget Lambert '03 has joined the Billings Gazette as a customer service representative.  She previously worked for Target Corp.

Kim Peterson '03 has joined Best Realty Inc. in Billings as realtor/marketing partner.


Lynn Harper '04 recently joined Farmers Insurance as an agent in Billings.   She was previously district marketing manager and has ten years of sales experience.


Dana Hunt '04 has joined the staff of TLC Laser Eye Centers in Billings as a patient consultant.  She has six years experience in the medical field.


Jessica Ness '04 has joined Sutton's Sportswear as a corporate sales representative.  She will be involved in apparel and memento furnishings for businesses, schools, charities, government entities and organizations in the Billings area.


Tracey Tharp '04 recently joined Rocky Mountain Hospice in Billings as community liaison.  She was previously community relations director for Grand Park Vintage Suites.


Nicole Zimmer '04 has joined Century 21 in Billings as a realtor.  She has over five years of marketing and customer service experience in the medical field.  She is specializing in residential and new construction.


Jennifer Auer '05 of Billings has joined American Mortgage of Montana as a mortgage assistant.  She has a well-rounded experience in the real estate industry.


Rebekah Larson '05 has been promoted to store manager for the Wells Fargo Bank inside Albertsons at 2334 Central Avenue in Billings.  She joined Wells Fargo in 2004 and was most recently a personal banker.


Linda Musgjerd '05 has joined HKM Engineering Inc. in Billings as an IT/help desk tech.  She was previously employed with Bresnan Communications.


Scott J. Ragsdale, M.Ed '05 and Sandy DeStaffany, MS SPED, '05, were married in the Canyon Wedding Chapel south of Red Lodge, MT on July 25, 2005.  Sandy and Scott live in Palmer, Alaska where Sandy is employed by the Anchorage School District as a Special Education teacher at East High School and Scott is self-employed. The couple is working on multiple business enterprises.


Corrie Sommers '05 recently passed the AAMA CMA certification examination for medical assistants and is employed at Westpark Village in Billings.


Jeffrey Souza '05 was elected to the City Council of Garden City, ID in November 2005. He was the top vote-getter in the election, and was sworn in January 9, 2006 to a four-year term. He will chair the city's Parks & Waterways committee, act as a liaison to the Valley Regional Transit system, and serve as the mayor's alternate to Communities in Motion.


Marriages, Spring 2006

Brent W. Field ’03 to Kari L. Odermann ’02, 1/4/2006

Anne M. Kalamaja ’04 to Nathan A. Hoffmann, 1/6/2006

Tera M. Kenaston ’03 to Kevin J. Cunningham, 1/7/2006

Sara E. Schlemmer ’05 to Benjamin J. Mahoney, 1/7/2006

Vincent R. Feuerstein ’99 to Lindi B. Wade, 1/10/2006

Nicholas H. Lende ’01 to Christie A. Lund, 1/10/2006

Dorian A. Fournier ’70 to Allan S. Grainger, 1/21/2006

Deanne K. Wittman ’97 to Douglas E. VanZee, 1/21/2006

Holt Madden ’94 Kathy H. Maurer, 1/26/2006

Brian L. Kenat ’05 to Kayla M. Beach, 1/28/2006

Keith M. Bjorgum ’88 to Jody R. Bruins ’98, 2/2006

Jeri L. Bends ’03 to Donald E. Stewart, 2/14/2006

Leila E. Duran ’75 to Christopher M. Martinez, 2/14/2006

Kimberly J. Schreiner ’05 to Matthew L. Shanks, 2/17/2006

Heather E. Wilson ’00 to Walter J. Rollman, 3/9/2006

Ernest E. Nanez ’04 to Laura Turnsplenty, 3/17/2006

Gerald D. Hedges ’92 to Connie Holland, 3/25/2006

Douglas H. Welborn ’78 to Melissa L. Mallette, 4/7/2006

Catherine Y. Gartner ’04 to Mykal D. Jorgenson, 4/8/2006

Tiffany L. Ruffatto ’04 to Jose M. Mojica, 4/8/2006

Darci K. Beck ’02 to John P. Rogina, 4/15/2006

Stacie J. Hilderman ’02 to James K. Fellingham, 4/15/2006

Shaun K. Bell ’03 to Laurenda Maiden, 4/22/2006

Jim D. Boss ’88 to Stephanie S. Hyde, 4/22/2006

Orie R. Dosdall ’98 to Lori A. Hartford, 4/22/2006

Jill N. Pankratz ’03 to Kirk A. Bushman, 4/22/2006

Gregory L. Schwartz ’96 to Rachel A. Jablonski, 4/22/2006

Reid Armstrong ‘06 to Salishan Reno ’05, 5/2006

Heather Smelser ‘06 to Scott Blakesley, 5/2006

Stephen M. Hatzell ’99 to Katie C. Parker, 5/13/2006

Tanya L. Martian ’99 to John L. Watt, 5/13/2006

Alexis J. Urbaniak ’05 to Dennis J. Elliott ’04, 5/13/2006

Donald A. Wetzel ’99 to Kelsey D. Krueger ‘02, 5/13/2006

Alan M. Lich ’83 to Dana L. Ventling ’86, 5/20/2006

Michelle M. Black ’02 to Matt Brosovich, 6/2006

Daniel K. Brewer ’03 to Lauren Roseman, 6/2006

Brikotah L. Kelly ’04 to Trevor Styles, 6/2006

Bonnie Knapp ‘06 to Kelly Ramage, 6/200


Deceased, Spring 2006

Jeannette E. Francis ‘40, January 17, 2006

Timothy J. Glover ‘93, January 18, 2006

George L. Rogers ‘65, January 21, 2006

Carol D. Kurtz ‘48, January 22, 2006

Brian A. Cloud ‘82, January 27, 2006

Robert N. Stong ‘35, January 30, 2006

Martha L. McCoy ‘76, February 01, 2006

Judith M. Reifer ‘74, February 1, 2006

Doris B. Myron ‘38, February 4, 2006

Helen L. Ryan ‘61, February 6, 2006

Dorice E. Barrow ‘65, February 8, 2006

Dawn M. Ullman ‘96, February 9, 2006

Ernest Rhea ‘40, February 10, 2006

Troy J. Buckman ‘90, February 11, 2006

Bobbie M. Erden ‘99, February 14, 2006

Clayton H. Warner ‘58, February 14, 2006

Allene Lee ‘42, February 17, 2006

Kim O. Marttila ‘70, February 19, 2006

Edna Rice ‘29, February 23, 2006

Stephen E. Jalbert ‘72, February 26, 2006

Ivy M. Brubaker ‘30, February 27, 2006

Evelyn A. Evanko ‘34, February 28, 2006

Dwane M. Heintz ‘92, February 28, 2006

Mary A. Dundas ‘67, March 12, 2006

Gerald N. Polesky ‘57, March 17, 2006

Jeanne L. Robinette ‘70, March 18, 2006

James M. Cain ‘42, March 26, 2006

Clifford L. Jackson ‘70, March 29, 2006

Darlene S. Cayton ‘83, April 5, 2006

Eva R. Emmett ‘72, April 5, 2006

Margaret J. Sarrazin ‘38, April 7, 2006

Dorothy H. McGuire ‘54, April 8, 2006

Gladys W. Miller ‘69, April 8, 2006

Georgina M. Waite ‘74, April 10, 2006

Mary Ostwald ‘35, April 16, 2006

Helen G. Murphy ‘35, April 17, 2006

Frances Jones ‘40, April 19, 2006

Barbara A. Roof ‘43, April 19, 2006

Jeneane H. Janich ‘65, April 20, 2006

Lucille Stockton ‘35, April 22, 2006

Mary J. Rickner ‘57, April 24, 2006

Robert D. White ‘79, April 29, 2006

Eva H. Wollan ‘66, April 29, 2006

Donald L. Quigley ‘79, May 4, 2006

Ruth D. Harvey ‘49, May 5, 2006

Sharon C. Murphy ‘72, May 11, 2006

Joyce Lodge ‘37, May 12, 2006

Marlene J. Plenty Hoops ‘75, May 13, 2006

Bessie M. Hull ‘40, May 14, 2006

Carol J. Powalisz ‘90, May 14, 2006

Harold H. Draine ‘42, May 19, 2006

Phyllis Sullivan ‘38, May 21, 2006

Lucy Kennedy ‘76, May 27, 2006

Charles W. Johnson ‘49, May 28, 2006

Donald E. Schmaing ‘78, June 1, 2006

Michael J. Gerber 2002, June 15, 2006

Robert L. Hanson ‘88, June 15, 2006

Kathryn S. Hill ‘93, June 16, 2006



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