MALTA Bernard Jerome “Swede” Goodheart, 83, of Malta, an Army veteran of World War II, retired station agent for the Great Northern Railway and a state senator, died Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, at Phillips County Hospital of leukemia.
A vigil service was held Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Malta, and his funeral Mass was held Monday morning at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Interment was in the Malta Cemetery with military honors. B. J. was born Aug. 27, 1923, in Wagner, to Ervin and Mildred (Miller) Goodheart. He graduated from the Harlem High School in 1941. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and went overseas in 1943 with the signal engineers serving in the European area until his discharge in 1945. He married Lois Jean Baker August 10, 1946 in Harlem. Swede was employed as a station agent for the Great Northern Railway for 25 years, then sold life and casualty insurance until his retirement in 1985. He was active in politics, serving on the city council and than as mayor of Malta. He served two terms as state senator. He was appointed by Gov. Tom Judge as a member of the first Coal Board of Montana. Swede was concerned for the medical facilities within the community, serving as trustee and director of the Phillips County Hospital and Good Samaritan Retirement Home. He also served on many other boards and committees for fundraising. He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion and St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and was a fourth degree Knights of Columbus. For several years, he was St. Mary’s basketball coach. Swede spent 25 years refereeing football and was inducted into the Montana Hall of Fame. Swede lived a God-filled life, which led him to honesty, integrity and compassion. Survivors include his wife, Lois Jean of Malta; children, Dennis (Kathy) Goodheart of Billings, Douglas (Lori) Goodheart of Colstrip, Dianne (Kevin) Salsbery of Malta and Dawn Jones of Great Falls; 12 grandchildren, Danette (Jeff) Ross, Denny (Karen) Salsbery, Nathan Salsbery, Ryan (Janessa) Salsbery, Meghan (Scott) Bailey, Katy Goodheart, JoAnna (Al) Carlson, C.J. Goodheart, Garrick Goodheart, Erin, Parker and Morgan Jones; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Marie (Earl) McCracken, Beverly Richman and Carol Cornett; brother, Peter Goodheart; and brother-in-law Chuck (Eva) Baker. Adams Funeral Home of Malta is in charge of arrangements.