Florence (Corcoran) Gourley, 86, died Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, at the Northern Montana Hospital in Havre of natural causes. Her wake services began Wednesday at Rocky Boy Catholic Church, with her funeral service 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, at the Rocky Boy Catholic Church with Father Pete officiating. Burial will follow at the Rocky Boy Cemetery. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
Florence was born Feb. 27, 1925, in Rocky Boy, Mont., to Mary Rose (Kennawash ) and Joseph Corcoran. She was raised and educated in Rocky Boy, where she also met her husband, George Denny Sr. To this union, five children were born, George “Buster” Denny Jr., Vance, Vincent L., Bonnie and Gayle. They later divorced. She and George Slater were married and resided in Helena and Billings. They also divorced. She married John Gourley and lived in Montana, Idaho and Washington. Florence moved back to Rocky Boy in 1973 and worked at the Senior Citizens Center as a cook until she retired.
Although, there are many great-grandchildren and great-greatgrandchildren. Florence was the last remaining grandchild of Chief Kennawash. She loved to share her memories of her grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, and one could spend an entire evening listening to all her stories and experiences. Family was very important to Florence, and there were many summers that one would find many of her grandchildren or nieces or nephews staying with her for the entire summer. Florence enjoyed cooking for her family, working in her vegetable and flower gardens. While her eyesight was still good, she liked to make her star quilts and read. She liked to socialize and visit with family and friends and loved helping her friends, family and neighbors when she could. Florence especially loved her many grandchildren and always made them feel special when she saw them.
Florence’s greatest pastime was spending time with the love of her life, Shaylee St. Marks, her great granddaughter whom she helped raise.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sons, Vance Denny and George “Buster” Denny, Jr.; her sisters, Catherine Gardipee, Tammy (Corcoran) Frost and Margaret R. “Peggy” (Corcoran) Nagel; her brothers, Robert Alexander, Gilbert “Bingo” Alexander, Robert Corcoran, Richard “Dick” Corcoran and William L. Mitchell; her sons-in-law, Charles Deserly Sr. and Hector “Junior” Knowhisgun Jr.; her step-children, Elmer and Walter “Moose” Denny and Katherine (Denny) Moreno Hines; her aunt Cecelia Kennawash Houle; and her special companion Ervin Onstad.
Florence is survived by her one son, Vincent L. Denny of Rocky Boy, Mont.; her daughters, Bonnie Knowhisgun of Kirby, Mont., and Gayle Denny of Rocky Boy, Mont.; her grandchildren that she raised as her own children, Wanda (Dennis) St. Marks and Charles Deserly all of Rocky Boy; her sister, Mary Ann (Curt) Reum of Great Falls, Mont.; her step-children, Jimmy Lewis and Liz Denny of Rocky Boy; her brothers, Bert Corcoran of Rocky Boy, Kermit Corcoran of Havre and John Corcoran of Great Falls; step-siblings, Merle Belcourt, Robert “Sonny” Belcourt; Leoda Standing Bear, Eldis Geboe, LuAnne Belcourt and Linda Belcourt, all of Rocky Boy; her sisters-in-law, Delores Alexander and Lily Corcoran, both of Rocky Boy; a special niece, Margaret “Donia” (Jerry) Peterson of Great Falls; numerous nephews and nieces; 25 grandchildren; 59 great- grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren