William F. Briney ’48 entered Chapter Eternal on February 14 at the age of 97. William served in the 10th Mountain Division as a combat skiing rifleman, and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his heroic service in Italy and Yugoslavia during World War II. He went on to graduate from the University of Montana after his military service, and worked in the mining, electronics, and aerospace industries.
He was on a team at Ryan Aeronautical Company that worked closely with the U.S. Government on researching and developing unmanned aerial systems and other classified projects. In 2016, William was awarded a certificate of appreciation and commendation from the major general of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for his military service and his civilian contributions to unmanned rocket technology.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis McQuaid Briney, and his brother, Frank E. Briney. He is survived by two nephews and his cherished step family, which includes his daughter, Wendy Pacek, and her husband, Denny Libby, of Leesburg, Fla.; his son-in-law, Andrew T. Reilley Jr., of Quarryville, Pa; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Zane C. Johnson ’53 entered Chapter Eternal on March 23 at the age of 81. After graduating from Missoula County High School, Zane remained close to home while attending college at the University of Montana, where he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps program. The year of 1958 was an exciting one for Zane, as he graduated from Montana, joined the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant, and married his college sweetheart, Liz Wilkins. Zane and Liz were stationed in Germany for three years before moving to Billings, Mont., to raise their children. He then moved to Denver to begin a 25-year career of federal service with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Zane remained a member of the Air Force Reserve for 28 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1996. He was president of the Yellowstone Kiwanis Club and was instrumental in opening the Special K Ranch that was operated by adults with developmental disabilities.
Zane is survived by Liz, his children, Mike (Kim) Johnson and Melissa (Alberto) Armendariz, and three grandsons, Bryce Johnson, Neil Johnson and Emilio Armendariz. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Gertrude Johnson, his brother, Lee Johnson, and niece, Janine Johnson.
Len Sargeant ’60 entered Chapter Eternal on March 23 at his Farmington, Minn., home at the age of 80. After earning degrees from the University of Montana, Len launched his teaching career in the Hamilton School District as an English and history teacher.
Len went on to work for the Boeing Corporation as a training analyst and researcher before serving as the western regional manager for McGraw Hill Corporation for a decade. He also spent five years as the executive director for the Montana School Boards Association. Len rounded out his career as a high school principal in Huntley Project, Mont., and Medford, Minn.
Len and his wife, Monica, did spend a year living in Bitterroot Valley in 2015, which gave him the opportunity to reunite with old friends and enjoy the company of his children and grandchildren.
Len was preceded in death by his parents, Harley and Mabel Sargent, and his sisters, Shirley Keith and Arlene Kennedy. He is survived by Monica, son Steve, daughter Sue, twin grandsons Jason and Justin, and half-sister Kathy Humphreys.