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Loretta Barkhuff, 98, was born in Hardin, Mont. on Oct. 25, 1925 to Frank Dornberger and Frances (Philsifter) Dornberger. She graduated from Hardin High School in 1934 and kept the books for her family's service station, Dornie's Exxon.
Loretta met the love of her life, Kenneth Barkhuff, at a dance in Hardin. For his war effort, he left the family ranch on Sarpy Creek to build war planes for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, Calif. Not long after arriving there he called and asked Loretta's mother to bring her to California to marry him. They were married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Hollywood, Calif. on May 17, 1941. For her war effort she earned honorary Air Force wings as an enemy aircraft spotter.
Their first daughter, Lenora, was born in Long Beach, Calif. Not long after, Loretta packed up their life in California and moved to the Sarpy Creek ranch. They bought a home and service station/garage in Hysham, Mont. They were blessed with two more daughters, Lola and Marilyn, while living in Hysham. In 1958, they packed up their life and moved to Bozeman when Ken took a job with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. With a desire to "turn the soil" again, Ken asked for and received a transfer to the S.C.S. Plant Materials Center in Bridger, Mont. in 1973. They retired back to Bozeman in 1976.
Loretta loved her Sunday drives so they traveled and enjoyed visiting new places; visiting old friends. At 95, she enjoyed a trip to California with her daughter and two grandsons and was hoping to go again this spring. She loved sewing clothes for her girls; growing a garden and camping. She was a voracious reader and her flower gardens and cooking were unrivaled. Her favorite pastimes were puzzles, crossword puzzles and she loved to color.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 55 years, her two half-brothers, Lambert Dornberger and Andrew Dornberger; her brother, Frank Dornberger (Velma Currie) and an infant brother.
She is survived by her daughters, Lenora of Palm Desert, Calif. and Marilyn (Dean) Lindemulder of Bozeman. Grandchildren, Jaime (Shane) Unterthiner of Carpenteria, Calif., and their children, Jesse, Lily, Jack and Sophia; and Christopher Lindemulder of Bozeman, and Jason Lindemulder and his children, Hailee, Alexis and Chloe of Bozeman.
Loretta was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Parish for over 50 years. She will be an irreplaceable wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, we all love you and miss you but we will see you again in time.
A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at Holy Rosary Catholic Parish. Interment will be in Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Condolences may be shared at www.DahlCares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 17, 2013