Howard L. Phifer, 81, a retired school custodian, died Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004, at a Great Falls Hospital of natural causes.
Cremation will take place and a memorial service will be 1 p.m. Monday at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Dennis Reese offici-
ating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery.
Howard was born on May 8, 1923, in Sidney to Roy and Kathie (Ogden) Phifer. Howard grew up in Rudyard and graduated from Rudyard High School. He was active in basketball in his school years. Howard was a U.S. Army World War II veteran. He served from 1944-1946, when he was honorably discharged.
Howard married Lillian Langel and the couple had four children. They later divorced.
On April 22, 1955, Howard married Margaret Terry in Great Falls. They resided in Havre, where Howard worked for Gamble-Robinson for several years. He also worked for Great Northern Railway in the rip track, Havre Cab Service, Missouri Valley Trails as a bus driver and then for Havre Public Schools as a custodian. He retired July 1, 1985.
Howard enjoyed hunting and fishing. In his younger years he enjoyed basketball. He loved to dance, visit with people and read Western books.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Russell; and son, Ron Phifer.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret of Great Falls; daughters, Debi Reynolds of Great Falls, Lily (Chuck) Girvin of Oakley, Calif., and Sharon Lahr of Lewistown; sons, Arn Phifer of Chandler, Ariz., and Dave (Sharon) Phifer of Lewistown; daughter-in-law, Betty Phifer of Havre; son, Bob Wood of Shelton, Wash.; daughters, Lila (Bert) Roberts of Kennewick, Wash., and Annie (Carroll) Nielsen of Havre; sons Jerry (Cleta) Wood of Dayton, Nev., Terry (Nancy) Wood of Wasilla, Alaska, and Mark Wood of Willow Creek, Calif.; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Howard's honor may be made to the Intermountain Children's Home, 500 S. Lamborn, Helena, MT 59601.