Alphonsus (Big Al) Stiffarm, 94 years of age, passed away at the Hi Line Retirement Home in Malta, MT, on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Wake services will begin on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm and will be held at the St. Paul’s Mission Recreation Center in Hays, MT. Funeral Services will start at 11:00 am on Monday, February 3, 2020, and will also be held at the St. Paul’s Mission Recreation Center. Burial will follow at the Allie Young residence.
Alphonsus was born on June 2, 1925 at the Fort Belknap Hospital. His parents were Alphonsus Stiffarm and Phoebe (Bell) King. His grandparents were Lone Kill, Peter Stiffarm #1, John Bell, and Takes a Prisoner Blackbird. He was baptized in the Catholic Church on July 27, 2020 and was a devote Catholic.
Al got his GED, received a Graduation Diploma from the Welding Trade School with a Combination Plate and Pipe Course in Washington and worked there for 10 years. He received a Turtle Club award while working there because when working in the mine a large boulder fell from the ceiling and hit him in the head but luckily he was wearing a hard hat. He also received a Certificate of Completion from the Santa Clara Bartender’s School in 1968. That too he took very seriously. He was aldo employed by the Floyd Frey Ranch for 20 years.
Big Al joined the U.S. Army on July 15, 1945, and served in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged from the Army on September 19, 1953 at the Reception Center in Fort Lewis Washington. Durng his tour of duty he received the Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Occupation Medal (Japan). He returned to join the Army Reserve Corps to complete his remaining service obligation. He formally left the Army on February 9, 1957 as a Master Sergeant.
Alphonsus did not have any children. He and Erma Bear shared a loving relationship for many years. Erma’s family members included Charlie, Tom and Wesley, Family members proceeding him in passing were:
Sisters: Cecelia Kimble, Evelyn Morris, Catherine Halver; Brothers: Frank Stiffarm, Peter Stiffarm, Leo (Punch) Stiffarm, Daniel Stiffarm, Benjamin Stiffarm, and an infant Lester Stiffarm.
The family would like to thank everyone for their support, phone calls, and condolences through this time.