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Writer-photographer Ralph Pomnichowski, 75, of Great Falls died Tuesday after suffering a major stroke.
Born June 23, 1944, in Wyandotte, Mich., to Ralph and Jean Gniadowicz Pomnichowski, he grew up and graduated from high school in Wyandotte. He came to Montana in 1962 to attend the UM School of Journalism in Missoula. His love of fishing, hunting and Glacier National Park kept him in the state. But he retained his love of the sea from watching ocean-going ships from his favorite park in Wyandotte and always dreamed of owning a vessel.
His memorial service will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 6, at Croxford Funeral Home with burial in Highland Cemetery.
Pomnichowski joined the Great Falls Tribune 1967 to begin his journalism career. He later was a field representative for U.S. Sen. John Melcher in Missoula and Great Falls, worked with friend Ralph Bidwell on the Sun Valley Sun in Augusta, and for Montana Farmers Union, positions that all required his research and writing skills. While with MFU he wrote a Centennial History of Montana Farms and Ranches.
He married Janet Haggerty in Great Falls in 1965. Daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, were born there in 1967 and 1969. The couple later divorced.
Pomnichowski married fellow Tribune staffer Barbara Mittal on Aug. 11, 1979, and together they shared nearly 40 years of interest in newspapers, books, history, genealogy and travel.
He was president of the Great Falls Newspaper Guild, chairman of the Cascade County Historical Society, a member of the Cascade County Tax Appeals Board and a volunteer with the Great Falls Genealogy Society. Later he reveled in fact-finding and campaigning for Jennifer’s service in the Montana Legislature.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara Mittal; daughters, State Senator Jennifer “JP” Pomnichowski and her husband, Bob Wall, of Bozeman, and Jessica Hansen and her husband, Richard Hansen, of Belgrade; granddaughters, Abigail, Lauren, Molly and Emma; an aunt, Virgie Lewinski, and uncle Rich Pomnichowski, both of Wyandotte, sister-in-law and her husband, Carol and Wendell Martinell of Great Falls.