HAVRE DAILY NEWS                                                                Wednesday, November 3, 1999

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DEATHS

................

James J. Pasma, 66, Havre, died of natural causes Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1999 at his residence.

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NEWS ARTICLE

.............................

HAVRE DEMOCRATIC LEADER, ARTIST DIES

.......................................................................................

  A political era ended Tuesday afternoon in Hill County.

 

  Jim Pasma, 66, the long-time Hill County Democratic Central Committee chairman, died Tuesaday of natural causes at his Havre home.

 

  Pasma stunned his fellow Democrats in October of 1997 by announcing his resignation as county chairman after more than 32 years of dedicated service to the party.

 

  "My personal situation has deteriorated terribly in the past few months," Pasma said in 1997. "I'm resigning effective tonight."

 

  Time and health problems caught up with Pasma on Election Day.

 

  Debi Friede, the chairwoman of the Hill County Democratic Central Committee, said Pasma was more than a polotical ally - he was a friend.

  "Whenever I had a problem, all I had to do was call Jim," Friede said. "He believed in me more than I believed in myself."

 

  Patsy Sheldon, the central committee's secretary since 1988, said Hill County and the Democratic Party lost one of its best members.  "He really was Mr. Democrat," Sheldon said. "He also believed in helping women to get into polotics."

 

  Havre Mayor Phyllis Leonard said she has known Pasma and his wife, Virginia, for years. "(The Pasma's) have always been good friends and neighbors, not only to me and my husband, but to a lot of people," she said. Leonard said Pasma helped her to understand a little more about politics and how to play the political game. "I admired him for his deep belief in the political party," she said. "He was not discriminatory toward women. As far as he was concerned he felt women could do as good a job as men. He even told me that women do a better job because they pay a little more attention to detail."

 

  Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Chinook, said he has known Pasma for years ad has had political dealings with him for at least 25 years. "He was always a place where a person could stop and get some good advice," Jergeson said. "Even before I ran for the first time, I was always sure to pick Jim's brain and get some good advice."

 

  Pasma's other great passion in life was artwork.

  Havre artist Arlene Morgan said Pasma did a number of different subjects in sculptures. But one in particular sticks in her memory, she said. "He did one work that I really liked called "The Little Sheriff," she said "(The artwork) was a pugnacious little fellow."

 

  Pasma told the Daily News in 1997 that he was proud of how hard the party's members have all worked together in returning the Democrats to power in Hill County. All 21 political offices are held by Democrates in Hill County, he said. "I didn't do it all by myself," Pasma said. "You did it with me. I couldn't have done squat without you."

 

  Pasma, who har a hard time seeing most of his many supporters and friends at the meeting, encouraged the Democratic supporters to continue backing the party and its candidates in coming elections. "We will always be outspent by the Republicans by two-to-one," he said. "But we can out work 'em and out think 'em. We can damn sure out think 'em."

  Pasma said the party will have to continue working together to get the Democratic candidates elected.

  Pasma told the Daily News in a previous interview that the worst time in his 32 years was back in 1970 when the Hill County Democratic party was in serious trouble. The party was split in many factions during the trying time, he said. "I felt helpless in trying to get it back together," he said.

  Hard work by Pasma and his many followers through the years has helped many local and state politicians get elected.

  Pasma said his greatest accomplishment during his leadership  tenure was in getting more women involved in elected offices.  "That is the thing I tried to do the most and I feel I have made a contribution," he said.

 

  Pasma is survived by his wife, Virginia, two daughter, Victoria Kostelecky and Farol Ranes, and two sons, Zarren and Zane Pasma.

                                      -end-

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

................

JUST A FEW OF PASMA'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1946: Campaign worker for Anna H. Palmer, Democratic Candidate, Montana         House of Representatives.

  1965: Elected Hill County Chairman in October, Re-elected in 1967, 1969, 1979. 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989,                1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997.

   1967:  Elected as Secretary of the Montana Senate, Defeated incumbane Al Donahue and Chief Clerk of the               House, Walter Marshal. Elected to Montana Democratic Executive Board.

  1971: Elected Hill County State Committeeman and re-elected in 1973, 1975, 1977,.  Elected to State executive             Board. Re-elected 1973 and 1975.

                                     -end-

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BILLINGS GAZETTE                                                                              Thursday, November 4, 1999

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MR. DEMOCRAT

Havre activist is dead

By CHARLES S. JOHNSON

Gazette State Bureau

HELENA - Montana's Mr. Democrat, Jim Pasma of Havre, died of natural causes on Election Day.

Pasma, ill for years with kidney disease, was found dead at his home when his wife, Virginia, came to take him to the polls to vote shortly before noon on Tuesday.

 

Pasma, 66, was a fixture in Democratic politics statewide and in Hill County for nearly four decades, working on the campaigns of Sen. Lee Metcalf and the presidential campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy, among many others.

 

Rep. Ray Peck, D-Havre, noted the irony of Pasma dying on Election Day after all of his work over the years to get people to vote.

 

"He was a tremendous organizer," Peck said, noting that Hill County always won a state Democratic Party award for having the most dues-paying Democrats per-capita of any county.

 

"We've lost one of our greatest activists, probably of the past century," state Democratic Chairman Bob Ream said Wednesday, "It will be felt by everybody in the state."

 

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., offered his condolences and said he relied on Pasma's advice and counsel, adding: "To me, he will always be Mr. Democrat."

 

Former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams has referred to Pasma as "the northern star of our party and we have guided our ship by his light."

 

Pasma was Hill County Democratic chairman for 32 years before resigning because of ill health in 1997. He helped build a Democratic Party powerhouse there, and at the time of his resignation, all 21 Hill County offices were held by Democrats.

 

Statewide, he was Democratic national committeeman for eight years, was elected as a state presidential elector for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and for several unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates. He served on the state party's executive board for 25 years before retiring in 1992 because of health problems.,

 

In 1992, Pasma was one of the first recipients of the national Democratic Party's Lawrence O'Brien Award in honor of his years of service to the party. In 1993, the Montana Democratic Party established the Jim Pasma County Effectiveness Award to be presented annually to a distinguished party worker or leader.

 

Peck recalled Pasma invented what was known as the "Republican auction" at Democratic Party events and it spread across the state. Pasma would have people bring 15 to 20 items for a raffle and then sell chances for them for $1 apiece to 100 or so people.

 

Pasma called it a Republican auction because "a few people make out like gangbusters and the rest get screwed," Peck said.

 

Another favorite Pasma saying, Peck said, "When those Republicans control Hill County, the pigs will fly over the Bearpaws too."

 

He was a sculptor and operated a pet store before his illness worsened.

 

The funeral services will be a 2 p.m. at the Havre High School auditorium, with burial in Highland Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Montana State University-Northern Scholarship Fund and the Dialysis Unit at the Northern Montana Hospital in Havre.

                       -end-

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GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE                                                                        Thursday, November 4, 1999

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STATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER PASMA DIES

By Peter Johnson

Tribune Staff Writer

...................................

  HAVRE - Jim Pasma, 66, a firey and fun-loving leader of Hill County and State Democratic politics for some 30 years, died Tuesday at his Havre home after a long fight with kidney disease.

  Pasma was known as a blundt and outspoken advocate of his party and as a keen political stategist and organizer.

  Democrats and Republicans Wednesday both lauded Pasmas's zest for politics and government service.

  Pasma, a pet store owner and accomplished Western sculptor, somehow found time to volunteer countless hours working for Democrats. "Jim earned the title of being Montana's 'Mr. Democrat' by never refusing to help a Democratic candidate," longtime Democratic activist Loe Lamson said. "But he also had a tremendous respect for anybody who would become politicaly involved, regardless of their political persuasion"

  Pasma was Hill County Democratic chairman 32 years, until he retired because of his health in 1967.

  He served different positions on the party's state executive board starting in 1970, attending several national conventions, helped candidates from presidential to city council and was the party appointee to two legislative reapportionment committees.

  "Jim was the life and blood of the Democratic Party in Hill County for more than 25 years," said longtime state Rep. Ray Peck, D-Havre. "He tried giving the post up a couple of times, but nobody was as energetic and aggressive as he wanted."

  "Jim would often say, 'If Republicans ever carry Hill County, then pigs will fly over the Bear's Paw(mountains)'" Peck laughingly recalled.

  Hill County had the highest percentage od dues-paying Democrates in the nation at one time, said Lawson, a former state party executive director.

  Pasma accomplished that feat by recruting ordinary people, by involving them in campaigns and making county dinners entetaining he said.

  U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Pasma was not only a lifelong Democrat, but also "dedicated his life to Montana." Baucus added that he personally relied on Pasma's advice.

  "I am deeply saddened to hear that Jim has lost his life to disease," said former Gov. Stan Stephens, a Republican elected to the state Senatefrom Havre depite Pasma's efforts. "He was a consistent and strong advocate for the Democratic Party and recruited a lot of good people to government service."

  "If you were a Republican candidate in Hill County and were able to surmount the considerable campagns Jim put against you, then you knew you'd accomplished something," Stephens said.

  Montana Democratic Party Chairman Bob Ream called Pasma "one of the more influential Montana Democrats of the past century."

  Commissioner of Political Practice Linda Vaughey remembered Pasma as "an able political adversary" and friend.

  Vaughey said her late husband, Bill, was chairman of the Hill County Republican Party for several years when Pasma headed the Democrats. "They treated each other with respect and tried to cooperate on issues that would benefit Hill County," she said. Vaughey said she was one of the many women whom Pasma recruited into politics and that he strongly supported education when she served on the Havre School board. She said Pasma was a uncanny predictor of election votes and political futures - except for one time years ago that she never let him forget. He told her he'd met a young lawyer interesed in running for office and didn't think he'd ever win because nobody could pronouce his name. The candidate? Marc Raclcot, who went on to become a popular attorney general and gonernor. Vaughey said she thought it was ironic when she first heard Pasma had died on Election Day.

  "But then I remembered, as Jim stuggled with kidnay disease for more than 15 years, that I'd always see him exhausted on Election Day after his campaign efforts, and he'd tell me, 'Linda, this is going to be my last election.' Bur he'd always be back working just as hard the next time."

  Pasma stepped down as Hill County chairman in 1997, citing health problems, including a stroke that made it hard for him to see.

  But he still walked across the street from his home to a grocery to visit about current events with friends over a coffee counter, even Tuesday morning before his death, Peck said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

   FUNERAL FRIDAY

    The funeral for longtime Democratic

   leader Jim Pasma is 2 p.m. Friday at

   the Havre High School Auditorium, with

   burial in Highland Cemetery.

   Memorials are suggested to the Montana

   State University-Northern Scholorship

   Fund or the dialysis unit at Northern

   Montana Hospital in Havre

                       -end-

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THE MISSOULIAN                                                                                    Friday, November 5, 1999

=================================================================

Longtime Democrat Jim Pasma dies

 

By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian State Bureau

 

Montana's "Mr. Democrat," 66, died of natural causes on Election Day

 

HELENA - Montana's "Mr. Democrat," Jim Pasma of Havre, died of natural causes on Election Day.

 

Pasma, ill for years with kidney disease, was found dead at his home when his wife, Virginia, came to take him to the polls to vote, shortly before noon on Tuesday.

 

Pasma, 66, was a fixture in Democratic politics statewide and in Hill County for nearly four decades, working on the campaigns of Sen. Lee Metcalf and the presidential campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy, among many others.

 

Rep. Ray Peck, D-Havre, noted the irony of Pasma dying on Election Day after all of his work over the years to get people to turn out to vote.

 

"We've lost one of our greatest activists, probably of the past century," state Democratic Chairman Bob Ream said Wednesday, "It will be felt by everybody in the state."

 

Pasma was state Democratic national committeeman for eight years. He was elected as a state elector for President Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and previously for several unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates. He served on the state party's executive board for 25 years before retiring in 1992 because of health problems.

                 -end-

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OBITUARIES

...................

GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE                                                                          Thursday, November 4, 1999

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JAMES J. PASMA

  HAVRE = Longtime Havre-area Democratic party leader James J. Pasma, 66, died of natural causes Tuesday at his home. He had been in poor health with kidney problems for some time.

  His funeral is 2 p.m. Friday at the Havre High School auditorium, with burial in Highland Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Montane State University - Northern Scholorship Fund or thew dialysis unit at Northern Montana Hospital in Havre.

  Pasma was born Jan. 16, 1933, in Helena, and was adopted by Jay and Elsie Pasma of Havre in 1935. He attended Daniels and Burnham Elementry Schools west of Havre and later worked on ranches in Blaine and Hill Counties.

  In 1952 he joined the Marine Corps, serving in San Diego and Oceanside, Calif., Indian Springs, Nev., and Pearl Harbor. He was discharged in 1955 at the rank of sargent. The same year he joined the Army National Guard in Havre and became civic administrator for Troop E of the National Gaurd, serving until 1968.

  He married Virginia Shaffer Aug. 20, 1955, in Havre.

  Pasma became active in Hill County politics, managing the campaign of Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Harriette Miller, and assisting with the campaign of Democratic Sen. Lee Metcalf and John F. Kennedy's presential campaign. In 1965 he was elected Hill County Democratic Party chairman. He was chairman for 11 terms and was elected secretary of the Montana Senete in 1967. In 1968, he was on the steering committee for Robert Kennedy's presidential bid.

  He was elected to a number of political offices over the years, including Hill County Democratic State Committeeman, Democratic State Executive Board, Eastern District Delegate for the National Democratic Party's Charter Convention, and Montana Democratic National Committeeman.

  In 1968, he became founder and president of the Miss Montana Scholaship Pagent, which ran from 1968 to 1977 and covered 11 north and central Montana counties. He was appointed by the governor to the Montana Arts Council in 1980 and in 1992 recieved the National Democratic Party's Lawrence O'Brien Award. The following year the state Democratic Party established the Jim Pasma County Effectivness Award, to be presented annually to a distinguished party worker.

  He enjoyed old movies, gardening and collecting British royalty memorabilia.

  Survivors include his wife of Havre; two daughters, Ferol Ranes of Havre and Victoria Kostelecky of North Dakota; two sons, Zarren Pasma of Cailifornia and Zane Pasma of Wyoming; his biological father, Merton J. Starr of Fairview; a sister, Goldie Maze of Helena; three brothers, Stan Starr and T.J. Starr of Billings and Ed Starr of California; and six grandchildren.

                    -end-

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HAVRE DAILY NEWS                                                                            Thursday, November 4, 1999

=================================================================

JAMES J. PASMA

  James J. Pasma, 66, a resident of Havre, died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1999, at his residence of natural causes.

  Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday at the Havre High School auditorium with Leo Beardsley officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery.

  Pasma was born Jan. 16, 1933, at Helena, to James Budd Starr and Evelyn Starr. He was adopted in 1935, by Jay and Elsie Pasma of Havre. He attended Daniels and Burnham Elementry Schools west of Havre. He worked on ranches in Blaine and Hill Counties. In 1952, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp. He served at San Diego, Oceanside, Calif., Indian Springs, Nev., and Pearl Harbor. He was honorably discharged in 1955, as Sargent. After his discharge he immediatly joined the Army National Guard in Havre and became civic administrator for Troop E of the National Gaurd in 1955.

  On Aug. 20, 1955, he married Virginia Shaffer in Havre. He was honorably discharged as Master Sargent E-8 in 1968. He later became actively involved in the comunity. He was active in PTA while his children attended elementry school. He was also a Scout Master of the Boy Scout Troop 36 from 1955 to 1965.

  It was during this period that Pasma became active in politics, managing the Hill County campaign of Republican Harriette Miller and assisting with the campaigns of Democrat Senator Lee Metcalf and Presidential Canidate John  Kennedy.

  Pasma was elected Hill County Democratic Party Chairman in October of 1965, and continued to serve as chairman for 11 terms. . He was elected secretary of the Montana Senate in 1967. In 1968, he served on the Steering Committee for Robert Kennedy.

  In 1968 he was President and founder of the Miss Montana Scholaship Pageant which ran from 1968 to 1977, covering 11 north and central Montana counties awarding more than $40,000 in scholorships to young women.

  In 1979 he was elected Hill County Democratic State Committeeman and re-elected in 1973, 1975, and 1977. In 1971, he was also elected to the  Democratic State Executive Board and re-elected in 1973 and 1975. In 1974, he was elected Eastern District Delegate for the National Democratic Party's Charter Convention.

  In 1976, Pasma was elected Montana Democratic National Committeeman and re-elected in 1980.

  In 1980, he was appointed by the Montana Governor to Montana Arts Council.  In 1984, he was elected Presidential Elector for Mondale, 1988 for Dukakis, and in 1992, for President Clinton.

  In October of 1992, he was a recipient of the National Lawrence O'Brien Award in Washington D.C.

  In 1993, the State Democratic Party established the "Jim Pasma County Effectivness Award" to be presented annually to a distinguished party worker.

  In 1996, he was elected as a Presidential Elector for President Clinton.

  He devoted his political experience to bringing more women into the political process.

  His hobbies included politics, watching old movies, garden flowers, and collecting British Royalty Memorabilia.

  He was preceded in death by his parents, Jay and Elsie Pasma, a sister, Doris Mueller and biological mother, Evelyn (Starr) Weiss.

  Survivors include his wife, Virginia Pasma of Havre; biological father, Merton J. Starr of Fairview; daughters, Ferol Ranes of Havre and Victoria Kostelecky of ND; sons, Zarren Pasma of Cailifornia and Zane Pasma of Wyoming; a sister, Goldie Maze of Helena; brothers, Stan Starr and T.J. Starr of Billings and Ed Starr of California; a daughter-in-law, Renee Pasma of Havre; and six grandchildren.

  Memorials are suggested to Montane State University - Northern Scholorship Fund or the Dialysis Unit at Northern Montana Hospital.

                    -end-

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THE SENTINEL                                                                               Wednesday, November 10, 1999

=================================================================

JAMES J. PASMA

  James J. Pasma, 66, a resident of Havre, died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1999, at his residence of natural causes.

  Pasma was born Jan. 16, 1933, at Helena, to James Budd Starr and Evelyn Starr. He was adopted in 1935, by Jay and Elsie Pasma of Havre. He attended Daniels and Burnham Elementry Schools west of Havre. He worked on ranches in Blaine and Hill Counties. In 1952, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp. He served at San Diego, Oceanside, Calif., Indian Springs, Nev., and Pearl Harbor. He was honorably discharged in 1955, as Sargent. After his discharge he immediatly joined the Army National Guard in Havre and became civic administrator for Troop E of the National Gaurd in 1955.

  On Aug. 20, 1955, he married Virginia Shaffer in Havre. He was honorably discharged as Master Sargent E-8 in 1968. He later became actively involved in the comunity. He was active in PTA while his children attended elementry school. He was also a Scout Master of the Boy Scout Troop 36 from 1955 to 1965.

  It was during this period that Pasma became active in politics, managing the Hill County campaign of Republican Harriette Miller and assisting with the campaigns of Democrat Senator Lee Metcalf and Presidential Canidate John  Kennedy.

  Pasma was elected Hill County Democratic Party Chairman in October of 1965, and continued to serve as chairman for 11 terms. . He was elected secretary of the Montana Senate in 1967. In 1968, he served on the Steering Committee for Robert Kennedy.

  In 1968 he was President and founder of the Miss Montana Scholaship Pageant which ran from 1968 to 1977, covering 11 north and central Montana counties awarding more than $40,000 in scholorships to young women.

  In 1979 he was elected Hill County Democratic State Committeeman and re-elected in 1973, 1975, and 1977. In 1971, he was also elected to the  Democratic State Executive Board and re-elected in 1973 and 1975. In 1974, he was elected Eastern District Delegate for the National Democratic Party's Charter Convention.

  In 1976, Pasma was elected Montana Democratic National Committeeman and re-elected in 1980.

  In 1980, he was appointed by the Montana Governor to Montana Arts Council.  In 1984, he was elected Presidential Elector for Mondale, 1988 for Dukakis, and in 1992, for President Clinton.

  In October of 1992, he was a recipient of the National Lawrence O'Brien Award in Washington D.C.

  In 1993, the State Democratic Party established the "Jim Pasma County Effectivness Award" to be presented annually to a distinguished party worker.

  In 1996, he was elected as a Presidential Elector for President Clinton.

  He devoted his political experience to bringing more women into the political process.

  His hobbies included politics, watching old movies, garden flowers, and collecting British Royalty Memorabilia.

  He was preceded in death by his parents, Jay and Elsie Pasma, a sister, Doris Mueller and biological mother, Evelyn (Starr) Weiss.

  Survivors include his wife, Virginia Pasma of Havre; biological father, Merton J. Starr of Fairview; daughters, Ferol Ranes of Havre and Victoria Kostelecky of ND; sons, Zarren Pasma of Cailifornia and Zane Pasma of Wyoming; a sister, Goldie Maze of Helena; brothers, Stan Starr and T.J. Starr of Billings and Ed Starr of California; a daughter-in-law, Renee Pasma of Havre; and six grandchildren.

  Memorials are suggested to Montane State University - Northern Scholorship Fund or the Dialysis Unit at Northern Montana Hospital.

                    -end-

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FUNERAL SERVICE                     HAVRE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM  Friday, Novemeber 5, 1999 2 p.m.

=================================================================

In Loving Memory of

  James J. Pasma

      Born

Monday, January 16, 1933

    Helena, Montana

 

      Died

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

    Havre, Montana

 

     Services

Friday, November 5, 1999 - 2:00 PM

Havre High School Auditorium

 

     Officiating

    Leo Beardsley

 

      Music

   A Capella Choir

    Leo Beardsley

 

   Accompanist

   Marge Holt

 

     Burial

Highland Cemetery, Havre, Montana

 

  Pallbearers

George Noffsinger

Bob McLeod

Bill Thackeray

Rep. Ray Peck

Judi Gomki

Doughlas Braun

Gary Mueller

Barb Rathbun

 

Honorary Pallbearers

Rose Gore

Junnie Johnsrud

Eugene Hockett

Danny Oberg

Dorothy Bradley

Mel Gomke

Linda Vaughey

Harriet Miller

Rep. Toni Hagener

Kathy Bessette

Dolores Colburg

Mayor Phyllis Leonard

Bruce Nelson

 

  Ushers

Emily Mayer-Lossing

Charlie Gallus

Ranelle Braaten

Tom Farnham

          -end-

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HAVRE DAILY NEWS                                                                            Thursday, November 11, 1999

=================================================================

GRATEFUL THANKS

  for your memorial gifts, cards, flowers, food and enormous expressions of sympathy at the passing of Jim. We would like to give a special thanks to Leo Beardsley, Patsy Sheldon, Frank Payn and the Acappello Choir, VFW Auxillary, the Havre Public School System, and the Nurses at the Northern Montana Hospital Dialysis Unit.

  Virginia Pasma

  Zarren Pasma

  Vicky Kostelecky, Chris and Lindsay Belcher.

  Farol, Tim, Lexy, and Amy Ranes

  Zane, Ariel, and Sydney Pasma

               -end-

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