Fred Losch dies at age 88
July 24, 1921 to April 23, 2010
ISLAND PARK — Frederick “Fred” Samuel Losch, 88, of Fallbrook, CA, died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, April 23, 2010. He was one of the last surviving members of the famed Black Sheep Squadron that served under Maj. Pappy Boyington in World War II. For many years, Fred spent summers at his Henry’s Lake cabin on the Slash E Ranch he once co-owned with Tom Cole of San Juan Capistrano, CA, but which Tom Cole now owns..
Fred was born on July 24, 1921 on the family farm in Pennsylvania near the small town of Larryville. He finished eight grades in a one-room schoolhouse, graduated from high school in Jersey Shore, PA. and attended Geneva College near Pittsburgh, PA.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Fred, like many other young, patriotic men of that day, volunteered to serve his country in its fight for freedom. He joined the Navy Air Corps the day after the attack. He had planned to join the Army, but the line around the Federal Building was too long and he was too eager to get down to the business of learning to fly a fighter plane. He was a member of the first class to train at a new base near Kokomo, IN. that was without permanent buildings or a proper airstrip. He learned to fly in a cow pasture.
Fred then earned his wings with the Marines at Pensacola, FL. and underwent advanced fighter pilot training in Jacksonville, FL. He trained with Maj. John F. Dobbin and then joined VMF-214 — the Black Sheep Squadron. He flew 28 combat missions, and on January 2, 1944 he shot down a Zero and damaged another over Rabaul. He went on to serve a second combat tour with VMF-211 after the Black Sheep were disbanded on January 8, 1944.
Fred married Jean Levering on November 1, 1947 in Los Angeles. He completed his college degree at UCLA. He then worked in the building materials industry and started his own company, growing it into a multimillion-dollar business based in Los Angeles.
After Fred retired, he and Jean spent May through October in their second home on the Slash E Ranch and the rest of the year in Altadena, CA. and then Fallbrook, CA. Fred and Jean hosted Black Sheep Squadron reunions at their Idaho cabin, and also traveled to reunions in other parts of the country.
In the last 15 years, Fred became concerned that public schools are not teaching students the history of World War II and other military conflicts, and a new generation of Americans is growing up with little or no understanding of how America has fought to keep its citizens free. He shared his thoughts about this in interviews on the History Channel that featured reruns of the 1970s television show, "Baa Baa Black Sheep," that dramatized the squadron's exploits during the war.
Interviews with Fred about his Black Sheep experiences are key parts of several books, magazine articles, and Web sites about World War II and the Black Sheep. For example Fred is featured in the books, “Once They Were Eagles,” by Frank E. Walton and “The Black Sheep,” by Bruce Gamble.
To set the record straight on many inaccuracies he believed the media has propagated about World War II, Fred wrote his own book in 2007, “Memories of a Black Sheep Squadron Fighter Pilot.” He donated all money from book sales to the Marine Heritage Foundation in Virginia.
Dr. Linda Dudik, a history professor at Palomar College, is in the process of writing Fred’s biography.
Fred was an expert fly fisherman who especially loved to fish the Henry’s Fork and the Madison River. He enjoyed bird hunting in Island Park and California. He enjoyed photographing the birds and animals with his digital camera. He loved to entertain and was an excellent cook, especially of old time rural Pennsylvania dishes. He truly never met a stranger and was always very gracious and generous to guests and to people who wanted to interview him about his military experiences.
No one left Fred’s company without having a deeper knowledge of history and a greater appreciation of how precious it is to be an American.
During the last several years, Fred shared many happy times wth a dear friend, Anna Amick, of Columbia, South Carolina, who works for the Celebrate Freedom Foundation. They shared a desire to promote patriotism and honor the military, and Anna was instrumental in adding a page to Celebrate Freedom Foundation's Web site that honors the Black Sheep Squadron.
Fred is preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 50 years, Jean, a daughter, Sally, brothers Paul and Neil, and sister Martha.
He is survived by his sons, Jim (Lynn), of Rescue, CA., John (Elizabeth), of Island Park, daughter Barbara (Luis) Nogueria, of Fallbrook, five grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and his dear friend, Anna Amick.
The family asks that memorial donations be made in Fred S. Losch’s name to Celebrate Freedom or to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can donate on line at www.celebratefreedomfoundation.org/donations.htm or www.woundedwarriorproject.org or by mail to Celebrate Freedom Foundation, 455 St. Andrews Road, C-1, Columbia, SC 29210; or Wounded Warrior Project, 7020 AC Skinner Pkwy, Suite 100 Jacksonville, FL 32256.
ISLAND PARK — Edward “Ed,” “Eddy” Ronald Roberts, 70, of Billings and a former Mack's Inn resident, passed peacefully on Thursday, April 22, 2010, at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings.
Ed was born to Elmer and Doris Roberts on Nov. 16, 1939, in Beech, N.D. He was the proverbial middle child, with an older sister Pat and younger sister Gail. They lived in several places including Island Park, Belgrade; Powell, Wyo.; and Billings. Ed graduated from high school in Powell.
Ed married very young, in 1957 to Mary Kranz. This union, while short-lived, produced four children: three girls and one boy. He was never single for very long as he was married an additional six times. He had one daughter with wife Cheryl Glasgow, his marriage to Mary Riddle produced another daughter, and he gained three stepdaughters with his marriage to Jeri Roberts. It seems he was always surrounded by girls, in more ways than one. His twinkling blue eyes with mischievous undertones and dimpled chin will be sorely missed.
Ed was very athletic throughout his years. We always loved to watch him run, as his style was to run on his tiptoes, a trait he passed to his children. We were always very proud that our daddy was a Green Beret in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s. He had paratrooper pictures for all of us to enjoy.
Ed lived in several locations throughout his adult life and was a jack of all trades. He was a lineman for Cable TV when it was first brought to Montana. He was quite the handyman and could build or fix anything. He sought perfection in all that he did. His travels had him living for the most part in Mesa, Ariz.; Mack's Inn; and Billings.
In Island Park, he had many friends and was a lively part of the Sunset Lodge - A-Bar- Pond's regulars — he helped build the ski lift at the resort. He also worked for Rex Prophet in the excavation and septic system installation and maintenance business.
He lived with his daughter Deb of Billings for the last few years, but enjoyed camping out at Deemo’s when he could. He had no problem hitching up his trailer, which he had fixed to perfection, and going wherever he wanted until his stroke incapacitated him last November.
Ed was preceded in death by his father.
He is survived by his mother, Doris of Apple Valley, Minn.; and his sisters, Pat (Don) Paul of Billings and Gail (Al) Strand of Burnsville, Minn.; his children, Deb (Kean) Christensen of Billings, DeAnna (Rick) Stratton of Roundup, Donna Kirkness of Roberts, Ron Roberts of Islip, N.Y., Robin (Bill) Maxcy of Fountain, Colo., and Roni Dawn Roberts of Idaho Falls. His surviving ex-wives are Mary (Herb) Gunsch, Jeri Roberts of Idaho Falls and Mary Riddle Roberts. He maintained a closeness that only he could with them.
He is also survived by, and will be missed by, his grandchildren, Kean (KC), Kameron and Kody Christensen, Desiree (Bill) Fjelstad, Rob (Candace) Medvec, all from Billings, Brandelyn, Britney, BreAnna, Jayde, Eddie, Christopher (Danielle) and Samantha, from various locations; great-grandchildren Whitney, Alexyss, Morgann and Kaleb, along with several wonderful nieces and nephews.
Our many thanks go to the staff at Eagle Cliff Manor, St. Vincent Hospital and Rocky Mountain Hospice for making Dad feel loved and helping him to peacefully pass to a life with the Lord.
As per Ed’s wishes, no services will be held, but we gathered at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at 3 p.m., Cherry Creek Community Center in Billings to celebrate his life in a fashion he would appreciate.
Memorials can be made to Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department.
ASHTON — Holly Elaine Goebel, 53, of Ashton, died Monday, May 17, 2010 in Ashton from injuries sustained in a one vehicle accident. She was born November 18, 1956, in Ashton to Edward "Bumps" and Darlene Grube Goebel.
She graduated from North Fremont High School in 1976. She attended the vocational college at Idaho State University in Pocatello, and graduated with an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering.
After the Teton Dam broke, she worked on the survey team to help determine what caused the dam to fail. She worked for local trucking companies as a truck driver. At the time of her death she was driving truck for Simplot Grower Solutions.
She was a member of the Ashton Community United Methodist Church. She loved to fish in the summers and put together jigsaw puzzles in the winter.
She is survived by her sister Linda (Steve) Johnson of Ashton, a brother David (LaDawn) Goebel of Ashton and eight nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and two nieces.
Funeral services will be held at 11a.m. on Thursday, May 20 at the Methodist Church in Ashton with Pastor Greg Lindsay officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the church prior to services. Burial will be in the Pineview Cemetery
under the direction of Baxter Funeral Home.
- Woman Killed In 10-Wheeler Accident
- FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho — A woman has died in a tanker truck accident on Idaho State Highway 32, Monday morning, May 17, 2010,
- Idaho Transportation Department had to close the highway for several hours because of the accident. It happened around 11:10 a.m. at milepost 17. Fremont County Sheriff's office says 53-year-old Holly Goebel was killed in the accident.
- The 10-wheeler she was driving was carrying a 3,000-gallon tank half full of liquid fertilizer. They said the truck was completely destroyed after sliding down the highway and coming to rest on the shoulder. Diesel fuel and fertilizer was strewn along the highway and hazardous-spill crews had to clean up the chemical.
David Albert Lalonde
ASHTON — David Albert Lalonde, 63, of Ashton, passed away on Sunday, May 16, 2010, from Alzheimer’s disease with his daughters by his side. He was under the care of Hospice of Southwest Montana in Bozeman, Mt.
David was born May 26, 1946 in Sidney, MT. He was the second son of Jay and Synove Lalonde. He grew up in Sidney where he attended Catholic Parochial school until eighth grade and completed his schooling at Sidney High. He was a devoted Catholic and served as an altar boy for many years.
He graduated from Western Montana College with a degree in business and P.E. He played football and baseball. He met Rayetta King while at college. They were married on August 16, 1969 in Dillon, MT. They moved to Ashton where he taught business and coached at North Fremont High School. They had three daughters.
David lived each day to the fullest. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, waterskiing, and was an avid golfer. He loved being around people and his optimistic personality was infectious. He will be remembered for always having a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
He is survived by his wife, Rayetta of Ashton; daughters Monique (Tomi) Lenz, JayLee (Corey) Packer, and Kristin (Ben) Lenz of Ashton; his brother Ron (Irene) Lalonde of Tacoma, Washington; and seven grandchildren — Dalton, KaytLynn, Bridger, Jordan, Carson, Emrie, and Peyton.
Catholic funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, 2010, at the Ashton LDS Stake Center, with Father Jose de Jesus Gonzalez officiating. The family will receive friends at a viewing Friday, May 21, 2010, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Baxter Funeral Home in Ashton. Just prior to the service, a viewing will be held from 10 -10:45. Interment will be at the Pineview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at the Bank of Idaho to benefit Hospice of Southwest Montana who took such excellent care of him.
Bernice A. Belnap Wilde
ASHTON — Bernice A. Belnap Wilde, 92, died at the Ashton Living Center on Saturday, May 15, 2010.
She was born in Salem on Jan. 27, 1918 to Olena Nettie and Augustus Ruben Belnap.
She spent her early years in Salem and Roberts. The family moved to Groveland, and Bernice graduated from Blackfoot High School. She was a faithful and lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She married Leonard Ray Wilde on June 14, 1936 in Blackfoot. Together, they had three children: Nola Lenice (Jack) Egbert, Ronald Lee (Mary Lynn) Wilde, and Sharon Kay (Richard) Marler. She loved music, singing, painting, gardening, and family gatherings. She supported pro-life activities. Most of all, she loved her family.
Bernice is preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; her brothers Ivan, Denis, Newell, and Martell; sisters Delma and Delsa, and her parents. She is survived by her three children, 12 grandchildren, and many beautiful great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at Bidwell Funeral Home, 555 North Yellowstone Hwy. in St. Anthony.
In lieu of flowers, do something heartfelt for or with another.
Timothy James Laux
ASHTON — Timothy James Laux, 35, of Ashton, died Monday, May 24 from accidental drowning at Mesa Falls. He was born February 20, 1975 in St. Anthony, to Richard and Ellen Marcinco Laux. He attended schools in Ashton and graduated from North Fremont High School. He then attended the University of Idaho where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in business and finance.
He was industrious and a hard worker. As a youth he ran a lawn mowing business in Ashton that touched many lives. He was a computer technician and worked both in Spokane and Boise. He had a trucking business in Fremont County for two years.
He was a member of the Ashton Christian Fellowship and had a personal relationship with Jesus. He was a gentle and tender-hearted man of great courage, love and faith.
He enjoyed being with family and friends, being outdoors and was an excellent water skier.
Tim is survived by his parents, Rich and Ellen Laux of Ashton, siblings, Richard (Charlotte) Laux of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Ann (Sean) Donahue of Spokane, Jonathan (Letta) Laux of Ashton, his grandmother Mary Marcinco of Ashton, two nieces, Ashley and Abby Laux, and nine nephews, Ben, Caleb, and David Laux, Aaron, Josh, and Nathan Donahue, Jonathan Paul, Sam, and Max Laux. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Richard and Myrtle Laux and maternal grandfather John Marcinco.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 28 at the Ashton Christian Fellowship, 784 North Baker Road, with Tim’s father officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 and Friday from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. both times at the church. Burial will be in the Ashton Pineview Cemetery
under the direction of Baxter Funeral Home.