Earl L. Lenci
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Great Falls —Earl L. Lenci, 81, of Great Falls passed away with his family by his side, on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at the Benefis Extended Care Center of natural causes.
Per his request there will be no public service. Private family services will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O'Connor Funeral Home.
Earl was born at home on March 10, 1933 to Louis and Ida Lenci of Black Eagle. He was raised and educated in Black Eagle and Great Falls. He graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1950.
In 1952 he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Korean Conflict. He attained the rank of Sergeant. Earl was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge. After his military service he served his apprenticeship and worked as a journeyman carpenter for Rustvold Construction. He was united in marriage to Charlene L. Kralich on April 24, 1954 in Black Eagle.
In 1958 he purchased Earl's bar. He operated Earl's bar until 1994. Earl sponsored many softball, pool, and dart teams. In 1960 his softball team won the state fast pitch championship. Earl was the Cascade County Tavern representative in the Montana Tavern Association. Bored with retirement, he went to work as the lunchtime host for Mark Grasseschi at the 3D International Supper club. He fully retired in 2004. After the death of his daughter Linda Peer in 2005, Earl and Charlene raised their grandchildren Joshua Peer and Jennifer Peer. They spent many days and evenings attending school activities.
Earl spent many days with his children fishing and hunting. He drew two coveted special permits. A moose and big horn sheep. He was an expert gardener and an even better gourmet cook.
Earl was a life member and the Junior Vice Commander of VFW Post 4669 in Black Eagle.
Earl is survived by his daughter, Vicki Tropila of Wrightwood, CA; sons Earl (Linda) Lenci Jr. and Garth Lenci both of Great Falls, and Keith Lenci of Auborn, WA; grandchildren Erin Lenci of Missoula, Josh Peer of Brighton, CO, Jennifer Peer of Bozeman, Lenci Tropila, Cade Tropila and Zeke Tropila all of Wrightwood,CA; and his dog Sadie.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 59 years, Charlene; brother Edwin Lenci; sisters Edith Strainer, Ethel Ugrin, Eleanor Topel, Evelyn Fargo, and Eloise Rustvold; son Brian Lenci; and daughter Linda Peer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Benefis Extended Care Center, 2621 15th Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 59405
Condolences may be left online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Mar. 21, 2014