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Henry Vaskey

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Henry A. Vaskey

GREAT FALLS —Henry A. Vaskey, 83, of Great Falls, a rancher, died of complications from Alzheimer's Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at a local senior care facility.

A vigil service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Belt. A funeral liturgy will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Belt. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Hank was born on January 29, 1931, in Great Falls to Henry and Ada Fish Vaskey, and grew up in Raynesford. He graduated in 1949 from Fergus High in Lewistown, and attended MSU before joining the United States Air Force. He served during the Korean War, and spent several years in England, which was a source of great pride for him, as well as many good stories for his children and grandchildren. Upon his return, he married the love of his life, Dorothy Kercher, and they lived in Great Falls, Livingston, and Missoula while he worked for McLaughlin Construction as a bookkeeper for twelve years. Hank and Dorothy then returned to the family ranch in Raynesford where they raised their five children.

Hank was a Judith Basin County Commissioner from 1991 through 2002. During that time he served on the State Board of Mental Health and various other committees. He was a proud and dedicated servant of the communities he loved so well.

Hank's love of ranching and horses culminated in his passion for collecting western memorabilia, especially saddles. He spent at least forty years amassing an amazing old saddle collection that included rare pieces from around the world. Much of his spare time was spent restoring the saddles, and of course, discovering the "real gems" in antique shops and old barns all over the country. His other hobby was wood-working, especially carving ducks, fish and other favorite birds. He found great joy in finding the perfect piece of wood for his projects, and loved the quaking aspen from his own land the most.

He was a member of the Raynesford School Board, the Raynesford Volunteer Fire Department., Montana Stockgrowers, the Raynesford Shipping Association, and The Knights of Columbus.

Hank was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, taking great pride in the lives of his children and grandchildren. With an ever-present twinkle in his eye, he delighted in telling stories about his youth and sharing his knowledge of farming and ranching. Dad loved the land and taught us to do the same. Dad, you were the greatest.

Hank is survived by his wife of nearly fifty-nine years, Dorothy; sons Jeff (Patty) Vaskey of Raynesford and their children Doug (Monica) and Adam; Gordon (Donna) Vaskey of Denver, CO, and their children Grant (Molly), Lee, and Amy; Donald (Raoul) Vaskey of Anchorage, AK; Bret (Patti) Vaskey of Geyser, and their children Barton and Beau; and daughter Jean Vaskey (Kate) of Great Falls, and her children Griffith (Kelsea), Martin, Bennett, and Brady Moore; his dear sister, Lois Nelson, of Tiger Butte.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry G. Vaskey and Ada Vaskey, and brother-in-law, Roger Nelson.

Memorials are suggested to fund research and education on Alzheimer's at the McLaughlin Research Institute, 1520 23rd St S, Great Falls, MT, 59405.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com. SCHNIDER FUNERAL HOME

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Funeral Home
Schnider Funeral Home
1510 13th Street South Great Falls, MT 59405-4501
(406) 727-1368
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Aug. 24, 2014
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