SUNSHINE NEWS

Here is the latest information from the Sunshine Chairman

Our Regional VP  Angelique Violette passed away Tuesday July 1 at her home in Polson. No services are planned at this time and per her request no flowers.  Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory.  Ann was a valued member of both the Missoula Iris Society and the American Iris Society and she will be greatly missed.

Sadly, our former member Hazel Richlie passed away recently. Her funeral will be
Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 2:00 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 830 South Avenue West.
Wayne and Hazel Richlie were long time active members.
  They worked hard
at the Fort Missoula Iris Garden, had the Iris tour at their gardens many times,
and Wayne was a hybridizer. Wayne passed away several years ago and
Hazel has lived with Alzheimer's the last of her years.


Alverta Mary Symes, 74, passed away at home on Wed. Sept. 3, 2014 surrounded by her family.
She was born on April 3, 1940 in Polson and grew up in Missoula. Alverta joined the VFW women's auxiliary shortly after high school and served in many offices for over 50 years. She was an active member of the Missoula Iris Society and served as a Master Iris Judge. She volunteered at St. Ann's Catholic Church and was a parishioner there for over 50 years.
In the summer, you could always find her rafting on the river when not creating miniatures with her friends and scrapbooking with her daughter. She never met anyone without a smile and a giggle and would always choose fun over pesky chores. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Alverta was a beloved wife, mother, sister and grandmother. She is survived by her husband Bob, children Todd and Tanya, daughter-in-law Lina, grandchildren; Garrett, Lucas, and Logan and brother Jim Craft.
A memorial service was held at St. Ann's Parish in Bonner, MT on Monday, Sept. 8th at 11:00 a.m. with Father Poole officiating. A reception followed the memorial at the church.
Condolences and memories may be left for the family at www.missoulafuneralhomes.com.


Carol Ann Johnson Barbian, wife mother, artist, sister and friend to all, was born April 28, 1944, in Brigham City, Utah.
She left this mortal world after a two-plus-year battle with cancer on May 24, 2015.  She was an active member of the Missoula Iris Society and a signature member of the Montana Watercolor Society. Carol liked to garden and always had visions of grandeur promised in the cataloges. She loved flowers, which she called her "soul Food", though they were candy for the deer. Burial was at West Weber Cemetary in Ogden, Utah. In leiu of flowers donations to Team Up Montana, the Cancer Compassion Fund.


Luther Ernest Lucero, 89, passed peacefully on Thursday July 16, 2015, at St Patrick Hospital.  All who knew him loved him, and he will be greatly missed. Ernie was born October 25, 1925 in Trinidad, Colorado and as a young child moved with the family to Riverton, Wyoming.  He was one of 12 childern 7 brothers and 4 sisters.   He served in the U.S.Navy aboard the USS Casablanca during World War II.  He was a long time member of the Missoula Iris Society and was a volunteer at the St Patrick Hospital for 25 years.  In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the local food bank. At his request there will be no service. Cremation is with Garden City Funeral Home.


Kenneth W. Baier, 75, former long time member of MIS, passed away on Saturday, January 30, at his home in East Missoula. He and his wife RoseMary had been part of the original members who helped start our public garden in Fort Missoula in 1981. We miss them both.


James “Pat” Ryan left this life on Sunday, July 3, 2016. He was 84. (Nov. 14, 1931 - July 3, 2016) He shared his colorful character and life with a loving wife (a saintly woman, in his words) Nancy May Ryan.  His four children include sons Richard, Joseph, and Keith Ryan (with his high school sweetheart Mary Ellen White) and daughter Erin Eileen Duane (nee Ryan). His stepchildren include Lorena Garza, Robert Shaw, and Darby Shaw.  Six grandchildren include Denis Peters, Robert Ryan, Jesse Ryan, Alana Garza, Emory Duane, and Isla Duane. Pat also dearly loved his daughter-in-law Bonnie Ryan and his son-in-law James “Jim” Duane.

Pat was born on Nov. 14, 1931, in Robber’s Roost, Montana to Marion Kathryn Ryan and James William Ryan.  A descendant of early pioneer families (Mantha, Redfern, and Ryan), Pat grew up in the Ruby Valley towns of Laurin, Wisdom, and Dillon with his three younger sisters: Frances Gallagher, Shirley Nye, and Nora Meier.  Pat helped his mother provide for the family by holding various jobs throughout high school. Additionally, he served in the National Guard.

If you knew Pat, you’d agree that his sense of humor, his strong work ethic, and his kind heart were his trademark traits.  A skilled storyteller, Pat had an anecdote or tale to tell for any and every occasion. His warm personality and his ability to connect with people from any walk of life led him to make friends wherever he went.  He was a true Irishman, complete with wit, humor, and a trademark twinkle in his eye. Pat was generous, tenderhearted, and honest (almost to a fault at times).

A Renaissance man, Pat enjoyed a wide array of activities, crafts, and interests.  In his boyhood, he enjoyed geology, coin collecting, fishing and hunting.  Later on he developed tremendous skill in woodworking and auto mechanics, was an early member of the Frenchtown (Missoula) Rifle club, and was an exceptional bowler, water-skier, and pool player.  As an adult, Pat was a highly skilled neon-sign craftsman; his work can still be seen on many landmark buildings across Montana today.  He also discovered an aptitude for oil painting after moving to Wyoming, as well as stained-glass art and design.

Pat’s creativity and technical skillset found a lifelong outlet in his work as a Master Electrician.  His analytical and curious mind could build, deconstruct, and rebuild nearly anything — his wife had a long list of “honey-do’s” that kept him busy when he wasn’t hard at work as an electrician.

Pat was an active and longstanding member of the Moose Lodge of Missoula (#556), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (for over 60 years), and the Missoula Iris Society.  After retirement, Pat donated his time and energy building homes and doing electrical work for Habitat for Humanity in Park County, Wyoming. 

After over 50 years in Montana, Pat and his family moved to Evanston, Wyoming; the last 20 years of his life were spent in Powell, Wyoming.  He had a love of travel that he shared with his wife Nancy; they traveled all over the United States, Mexico, and Spain.  He also has many nieces, nephews, and dear friends spread (mostly) across the western United States that were important to him.  James Patrick Ryan, you are one of a kind and will be missed dearly!


Dorothy O. Alcaraz passed away peacefully at Hillside Manor, where she had resided for the past month. She was 96 years young. She was born Aug. 1, 1920 in San Diego, California to Milton Kinkler and Daisy Hildreth Kinkler. She was raised in San Diego and on a turkey ranch in Lemon Grove with three sisters, Thelma, Billie and Ethyl. Her younger sister Ethyl survives her.

Dot, as she was known by close friends and family, graduated from Grossmont High School in La Mesa, California and attended University of California at Davis for two years. She met her handsome partner for life at a carnival in tent city on Coronado Island when she was 18; she and Robert 'Bob' Alcaraz were married and raised seven children in their small National City home built by Bob and the Alcaraz brothers.

Dorothy was a homemaker all her married life and often donated her time to Starlight Center in Chula Vista, where son Bobby still attends. Bob and Dot loved camping trips with family and friends and in later years exploring their home state of California in their motor home. Dorothy continued to live in the family home after her husband Bob passed away, but when macular degeneration took her eyesight, she was forced to sell her home in 2005 and move to Missoula to live in her daughter's home. She continued to enjoy camping trips and motor home travel trips to Flathead with her daughter and grandchildren. She made many new friends with membership in the Missoula Iris Society and she took great pride in helping with the iris sale each year. Being a Southern California girl, winters weren't her favorite thing so it's no surprise she chose to leave us in the middle of our worst winters.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband Bob and children, Dorothy Ann, Joan, John and Richard.

She is survived by daughters Carolyn Addeo (Al) of Missoula, Linda Clayton (Tony) of Kalispell and son Bob Alcaraz of National City. She is also survived by grandchildren Sheri Wurth and Tim Wurth, and Jennifer Clayton, all of Montana Martin Heth of San Diego and Shawn Clayton of Las Vegas. She is also survived by nine great grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

There will be no memorial service at this time. Her cremains will be interred at Glen Abbey Cemetery in Bonita, California, in the Alcaraz family plot.