The following represents those members of the State Bar of Montana whose recent deaths have been communicated to us. Please let us know if you would like us to include a deceased loved one or colleague who is not listed here. Links to online obituaries are included when possible.
Click here to submit a memorial.
Thomas H. Schimke, M.D., J.D., died Jan. 2, 2019, in Park City, Utah, at age 76. He was a 1986 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. Obituary in the Missoulian.
W. Gene Theroux died on Jan. 19, 2019, at his home in Grand Forks, N.D., at age 93. He was a 1964 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law.
Sarah M. Power died unexpectedly at her home on Dec. 21, 2018. She was 62 and a lifelong Helena resident. She was a 1981 graduate of the University of Santa Clara Law School. She was a partner at Gough, Shanahan, Johnson and Waterman, where she worked from 1983 until her retirement.
Melody Kathleen Brown died on Dec. 19, 2018, at age 62. She was a 1988 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. She clerked for the Montana Supreme Court and worked for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, in private practice, and, finally, her dream job as a Montana public defender.
Russell Culver, the longtime Baker city attorney, died Dec. 2, 2018, at age 92. He was a 1950 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Russell Ayles LaVigne Jr. died in November at age 73 after a long, hard-fought battle with illness. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University in 1970, and served in the US Army JAG Corps from 1970 to 1974. He worked for Montana Legal Services Association fore over 20 years.
Stanley Michael “Mick” Finn died on Sunday, Aug. 19, at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula at age 70. Finn was a 1978 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. After clerking for Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Haswell, he joined the Missoula firm Datsopoulos, MacDonald, and Lind. He went on to earn a master's in tax law from Boston University School of Law in 1982 and practiced tax law for 26 years in Boston. Obituary in the Montana Standard.
Eileen Ann Larkin died on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at St. Patrick Hospital. She was 62. She graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2003. She was a Montana State Appellate Defender. Her family is establishing a scholarship for single mothers at the University of Montana Law School. Gifts can be made online at supportum.org/give, by calling Erin Lunde Keenan at 406-243-4319, or by mailing a check to the UM Foundation, PO Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807 and designating the gift as In Memory of Eileen Larkin. Obituary in the Missoulian.
Steve Browning of Tucson, Ariz., died on May 15 at age 77. Browning was a founding partner of Browning Kaleczyc Berry & Hoven, where he practiced until 2002 and worked as marketing director until 2014. He earned his JD from Indiana University in 1966. He entered the State Bar of Montana in 1983. Obituary at legacy.com.
Craig D. Martinson of Billings died May 12 at age 72 in Omaha, Neb. He entered the bar in 1975 and worked as an attorney in Billings for over 40 years. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Gregory Morgan of Bozeman died on April 29 at age 77. Morgan received his Juris Doctorate with honors from the George Washington National Law Center in 1971. Obituary in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Iris H. Basta, age 75, died on April 5, 2018 in Boise, Idaho. She entered the bar in 1992. She was a partner at Jackson, Murdo & Grant in Helena from 1997 until she retired in 2011. Obituary in the Helena independent Record.
The Honorable Russell C. “Swede” McDonough of Glendive, a Montana Supreme Court justice, delegate to the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention and a decorated World War II veteran, died from natural causes on April 3. He was 93. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Joseph Mayo Ashley of Helena died March 29, 2018, at age 81. He was born on April 15, 1936, in Miles City. He entered the bar in 1976. Obituary at Helena Funeral Home.
John North of Helena died March 1, 2018, at age 70. He was born on Feb. 4, 1948, and grew up in Bigfork. He became a member of the bar in 1973. Obituary in the Missoulian.
James Austin Swenson of Billings died Feb. 13, 2018, at age 73. He was born on March 31, 1944, in Silver Creek, N.Y. He entered the bar in 1988. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Kendall Link of Glendive died unexpectedly on Feb. 4, 2018, at age 60. He entered the bar in 1989. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Sarah Joan Allen Conley of Bellevue, Wash., died Jan. 15, 2018, at age 85. She was born on June 29, 1932, in Wallace, Idaho, and grew up in north-central Montana. She practiced in Great Falls from 1966 to 1972. Obituary at soliefuneralhomes.com.
Timothy John Patrick Flanagan of Denver died on Jan. 4, 2018, at age 67. He was born April 16, 1950, in Indianapolis and became a member of the bar in 1995. Obituary at legacy.com.
The Honorable Richard “Dick” Simonton of Glendive died on Dec. 26, 2017, at age 73. He was born July 7, 1944, in Wahpeton, North Dakota. He became a bar member in 1971 and served as a district judge from 1999 to 2017. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
John E. Corette III of Chevy Chase, Md., died Dec. 2, 2017. He was born in Butte on June 24, 1936, and became a member of the bar in 1961. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
Professor Larry Elison, of Bellingham, Wash., died Nov. 11, 2017. He was born on Nov. 11, 1932. He started his career at the University of Montana School of Law in 1962. Obituary in the Missoulian.
Carolyn Kembel Ennis, of Whitefish, died Oct. 20, 2017. She was born July 29, 1941, and was admitted to the bar in 1988. Obituary in the Billings Gazette.
The Honorable John L. "Jack" Peterson, of Butte, died Sept. 10, 2017. He was born in Butte on Sept. 11, 1933 and entered the bar in 1957. Obituary in the Montana Standard.
Jack Stone of Lewistown died on Aug. 13, 2017, at age 86. He was born on Sept. 8, 1930 in Nacogdoches, Texas. He became a member of the Montana bar in 1990. Obituary at creelfuneralhome.com.
Dale McGarvey, of Kalispell, died July 22, 2017. He was born April 1, 1927, and entered the bar in 1955. Obituary in the Kalispell Daily Inter Lake.
Howard Clive Greenwood died at his home in Layton, Utah, July 15, 2017, at age 81. Obituary in the Ravalli Republic.
Michael J. Rieley, of East Helena, died June 11, 2017. He was born in Missoula on July 16, 1949, and was admitted to the bar in 1979. Obituary in the Helena Independent Record.
James "Jim" Aiken, of Great Falls, died June 22, 2017. He was born April 11, 1932, and entered the bar in 1967. Obituary in the Montana Lawyer.
Stephen Frankino, of Helena, died June 29, 2017. He was born Jan. 13, 1959, and entered the bar in 1987. Obituary in the Helena Independent Record.