W. LaVerne Sandsmark
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses …
POLSON — Mom made her entrance into the world on Sept. 14, 1925, born to Otis and Iva Strickland in Altus, Oklahoma. She was the oldest, followed by brothers, Marvin and Don and sister, Jamie. Mom, at 92 years of age, peacefully left us on June 4, 2018, in Polson.
How can you tell a life story that spans 92 years in a few paragraphs? We can only list the highlights that were important to us: the years of watching her boys ( Jim, Denny and Tim) play baseball, and then again, later in life, watching them play softball; traveling all over the state cheering them on … thus her love for the Seattle Mariners was born. Then came years of stock car racing, again traveling throughout the Northwest watching Tim race. From that, her love of NASCAR was started. As long as her health permitted, Mom was in the stands cheering with the rest of the family. Mom was also an avid bowler and for many years bowled with the girls on Thursday nights. She loved those gab fests. Mom was a member of Eastern Star until her passing. She was a member in Ronan, then Kalispell when she lived there and then back in Ronan when she moved back to the valley. She loved the rituals and lessons of Star and it was a big part of her life for many years.
Mom was a master gardener, before there was a title of “Master” in Alicia Whitman gardening. Wherever she could find a little bare dirt, a seed was planted or a plant transplanted. She loved her flowers. Her favorite was the dark burgundy Hollyhocks that she grew around her little house on the farm in North Crow; or maybe it was the dinner-plate Dahlias that a certain grandson used for batting practice when he was in T-ball. (I don’t think that was ever forgotten or totally forgiven, either.) We can almost hear her and Grandad arguing in heaven on how to grow Begonias. They both loved them.
Mom worked almost all of her live, from the Polaris Missile Program in California, to Harbin Maxwell Real Estate, to a large Avon route in Charlo. She, with daughter Erin, operated a daycare in Ronan, then later with daughter Joyce, operated a daycare in Kalispell. After closing the daycare, Mom managed an apartment complex in Kalispell before retiring and returning to the Mission Valley. Mom lived in the Maxwell Apartments for many years before her last move to Polson Health and Rehab, at the age of 90.
Mom wasn’t too sure about moving into a nursing home and at first was very vocal about her move. Soon the staff and residents were like family and she loved it there. The staff was absolutely wonderful to her and treated her like a queen. We even joked about her high backed chair in the dining room being her throne. We couldn’t have picked a better home for Mom for her last three years. We are so thankful to each and every staff member for loving Mom as much as her real family.
Mom is survived by her last remaining sibling, her sister, Jamie (Tom) and family of California, and her five children, Joyce Schmitz of Ronan, Jim (Yvonne) Corbett of Ronan/Columbia Falls, Denny (Marie) Corbett of Whitefish, Tim (Lisa) Corbett of Ronan and Erin Jennison of Ronan. Through blood or marriage Mom also happily welcomed over 30 grandkids and close to the same amount of great-grandchildren. What a legacy to carry on.
Through the last few days of Mom’s life, as members of the family came to tell her goodbye, she managed to let them know that she loved them and they were special to her. By a gentle squeeze of her hand, a flutter of an eye or a soft sound, we knew that she heard each and every “I love you.”
We always had a big party for Mom on her birthday. Tom and Jamie would travel from California and we would make it a special family get-together. We decided instead of any services we will continue in that tradition and again meet in September in memory of Mom.
We please ask that any memorials to Mom be sent to the Ronan Senior Citizens Program in her name.
I’d stay in the garden with Him though the night around me be falling, but He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
David Alexander Sr. POLSON — On June 17, 2018, at 1:55 a.m. a man of much kindness, love and wisdom, a jack of all trades, peacefully made his final journey in the warmth of his home with his loving wife Jeanne by his side. Born on March 16, 1950, in Phoenix, Arizona, to Bert H. Alexander and Ruth E. Wood Alexander (both deceased), David Lee Alexander Sr., raised as a single child, lived his life to the fullest. David dabbled in a multitude of professions to include: cabinet maker by trade, builder of custom homes and lastly, a true law enforcement man. David began his career in law enforcement in Phoenix moving to Lake County in 1973. He began his career with the Sheriff ’s Office on Jan. 29, 1983, and retired in November of 2004. David was a proud man, he was an honorable man. Law enforcement was his essence, it was his second family. He began working as a jailer and when he retired he was the Patrol Sergeant. During this span of his lifetime, David had the opportunity to create many meaningful friendships that lasted a lifetime. He enjoyed many interests. No matter the challenge, he refused to be defeated and those within earshot might hear an “f-bomb” or two; he was a perfectionist, do it right the first time. He raced motorcycles, poured concrete, disassembled and reassembled many an engine. David loved to fish, especially at Hubbard Dam and if the pole didn’t work right, well that went in the lake too. The rides with his wife and the critters were the joys of his life. Most days he could be found parked at the scenic turnout with his fur babies enjoying a cup of coffee and apple pie. David was preceded in death by both his parents; his eldest son, David Jr; and Dandy, Bandit and Goober (his fur babies). He is survived by his wife, Jeanne; sons, Christopher (Amanda), Derek, Dennis (Nikki), Daniel ( Julie), and Donald (Kim); his numerous grandchildren - (10) with one on the way; and great-grandchildren (one), with one on the way; and his fur babies, Sparky (white boy), Sadie, Stella and Sarge. David would not want to forget his numerous close friends, John, Tony, Mitch, Lynn, Richard, and Bernie Alexander – same last name from his Native family and many others too numerous to list, but not forgotten. A man of few words and a heart of pure gold, David worked hard right up until the very end. He was very proud of all his accomplishments, plus he managed to keep all his fingers, we won’t talk about the toes. He worked hard all his life, to do right by himself and those he loved. His sons were his greatest accomplishments and he loved them all dearly. Services to be held at the family home on Saturday, June 23, 2018, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Polson Alliance Church, with a potluck barbecue immediately following at the family home. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at: www.lakefuneralhomeandcremation. com. The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory, Polson, is assisting the Alexander family with arrangements. Sylvia Lucara POLSON – Sylvia Vivian Lucara, age 95, passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at St. Luke Hospital in Ronan. Vivian was born on Aug. 8, 1922, in Red Lodge, Montana. She attended a one room school house in eastern Montana and graduated from Red Lodge High. She briefly worked in Yellowstone National Park before marrying Francis Joseph Lucara, who preceded her in death after 65 years of marriage. Vivian was a mother to four children, eleven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She had many stories, a self-proclaimed philosopher, mostly folk tales about each child and grandchild. She liked to tell stories. Vivian could put together a thought-provoking, fun and gracious poem with little or no effort. They are treasures. Vivian, known as the “goat woman of Polson” milked her goats for the family, grandchildren and people of Polson. She sewed the prettiest dresses, canned all the food they raised, cooked beautiful meals, all for the betterment of the family. Frank and Vivian’s life together (they were truly friends) was as full as anyone could imagine. Working side by side they inseparably built their life on a foundation of love, which included camping, fishing, hiking, exploring caves, and huckleberry, chokecherry and morel mushroom picking. Later all the grandchildren enjoyed these pleasures with them. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their hard work. Together they acquired a parcel of land with no trees or water and built a near paradisiac estate we have all enjoyed and utilized to the fullest for over 50 years. Vivian’s life was full; her faith and her hope for the future were genuine. She looked forward to Jehovah’s Kingdom under Christ’s rule to take place, where all mankind will live together in peace forever: Revelation 21:3,4. This hope, firmly grounded in God’s inspired Word, the Bible, she shared with all she met for over 65 years. She is survived by her son, Francis David Lucara; and daughters, Anita Peek, Lynette Dupuis and Vondanette Azzert. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at 2 p.m. at the Polson Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at: www.thelakefuneralhomeandcrematory. com. Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.