Brendan Ray Rollin

Born: July 4, 2000
Died: October 24, 2020
Funeral: November 2, 2020

Brendan Ray Rollins, twenty years of Great Falls, Montana died Saturday, October 24 in the Sluice Boxes State Park. He was discovered by search and rescue teams from Belt Rural Volunteer Fire Dept., FWP, Cascade County Search and Rescue, Cascade County Sheriff’s Dept. with the assistance of Maelstrom AFB and many volunteers in the afternoon of Sunday, October 25. He and his friend had been camping in the park when a snowstorm began.

The cause of death was determined to be hypothermia.

Viewing will be Sunday, November 1st from 3-4 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, with a rosary at 4 p.m. Requiem High Mass will be offered by Fr. Martin Skierka at 10 a.m. Monday, November 2nd followed by burial at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery.

Brendan Ray Rollins was born on June 4, 2000 in Billings, Montana and moved to Great Falls with his family in 2011. Brendan “navigated” his way toward Heaven Saturday, October 24. He was homeschooled and after graduating he attended MSU. He attended the MSU College Community Choir with his brothers Dominic and Nathan and sang in Carnegie hall in New York. He was a violinist in the Great Falls Symphonia. After high school he worked at several jobs including North 40 and detailing airplanes. He had been planning to start a business with his friend. He was a devoted member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Black Eagle. He faithfully attended Sunday Mass and frequently volunteered to help at the chapel. A devoted son and loving brother, he never missed a chance to show his care. He loved flying and had his student pilate license. He was full of ambitions and dreams, loving adventure and aspiring to explore Alaska. He always loved hiking ever since he was young, going often with his dad and brothers, and now begins his greatest adventure.

He is preceded in death by his grandfather Robert Plumb and his brother Xavier Rollins. He leaves behind his parents, Kevin and Sarah Rollins and 9 living siblings: Dominic, Nathan, Hannah, Isabel, Joan, Stephan, “Heidi”, Danielle, and Anthony Rollins, paternal grandmother Doris Krenelka, Paternal grandfather Ray Rollins, maternal grandmother Kathleen Plumb, many aunts and uncles, cousins, relatives and dear friends.

Memorials or donations can be given to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Cascade County Search and Rescue, or Belt Rural Volunteer Fire Dept.


Bernice Anges Skierka

born: March 2, 1920
died: August 20, 2020
Funeral: August 27, 2020

Bernice Agnes Skierka was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Paul and Matilda (Beste) Biegalke on March 2, 1920.  She was the oldest of six children. Her parents moved to and homesteaded northeast of Chester where she was raised.

     Her elementary school years began at the Biegalke country school, north of Joplin. When the weather was good, they traveled by horse and buggy and many times walked the two and one-half miles to school.  As winter set in, her dad drove her and her brother Paul in a two-horse sleigh.  When Bernice began her ninth grade, her parents  took her to Shelby where she rode the train to Great Falls.  She was boarded at St. Thomas Orphanage in Great Falls where she could obtain a Catholic education from the Ursaline Sisters. 
     When Bernice was sixteen years old, she and her younger brother Paul (14) were helping their Dad thrash grain.  A threatening storm caused the horses to bolt and run away with the thrasher. Thinking the younger kids were on the thrasher, her Dad jumped into their Model T Ford to try and catch the run-away horses.  Feeling ill, he stopped in the middle of the field and sat on the running board.  Bernice and Paul ran to help their Dad.  When they arrived, he stood up and collapsed from a heart attack in her arms.
      After his passing, Bernice had to help her brother, Paul, with the farming.  In addition she assisted her mother with household duties and cared for her younger brothers and sisters, ages ranging from two to twelve.  
     Bernice and her family faithfully attended Mass and received the Sacraments at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chester.  After Mass on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, John Skierka asked Miss Bernice Biegalke to take a ride to the family homestead.  John was determined to find his bride at the Communion rail!  The following September 22, 1941 they took their wedding vows.  In the coming years, they were blessed with eight children.  In them, John and Bernice instilled the love of the true Catholic Faith and recited the daily family Rosary.  After forty-nine years of marriage, John passed away and Bernice continued to live on the family farm.
     On March 2nd of this year, Bernice happily celebrated her 100th birthday.  On this momentous occasion, she thoroughly enjoyed the company of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
     Recently her health began to fail. She offered up her sufferings patiently and resigned herself to God's Will.   Bernice passed away well fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother the Church.
     Surviving her are her children, Rita Bogner, Barbara Kalafat, Frederick Skierka, Reverend Martin Skierka, Sr. Virginia Maria, Veronica de Wit, Vincent Skierka, Leo Skierka, 56 grandchildren, and 105 great grandchildren. 
     Preceding her in death was her husband, John W. Skierka, brothers Paul and Francis Biegalke, sisters, Dolores Hortsch, Madonna Lovelace, Rosemary Montayne, three grandsons, Samuel and Anthony Kalafat, Francis Skierka, and one great grandson, Mark Lightner.