Surrounded by friends and family, life-long rancher and horseman, John W. Moreland, formerly of Birney, Montana, and a resident of Big Timber since 1981, passed away of natural causes at Boulder Meadows Assisted Living in Big Timber on July 2, 2013.
John was born March 5, 1915 in Hardin, the fourth child of John W. Sr. and Sabina Elizabeth (Lizzy) Lane Moreland. John and his brothers, Cleo and Wilson, grew up riding and racing their Shetland ponies in the Hardin area until the depression forced the family to relocate to Sheridan, Wyo. in 1922 or '23. At a young age, John started breaking horses for the neighbors.
In January of 1932, by using the wrong year for his birth, John joined the Wyoming National Guard at Fort McKenzie in Sheridan, Wyo. He served his three-year term in the Remount Division of the U. S. Calvary at Ft. McKenzie.
In 1931, he had his first job with Warren Brewster at the Double Circle Ranch at Birney for whom he worked off and on for 17 years breaking many colts and as a cowboy.
During the summer of 1935 he met a young lady at the Quarter Circle U Ranch, Birney, by the name of Elta M. Holbert. On the eve of December 24, 1935 they were united in marriage in the Methodist Church in Sheridan, Wyo. After trying several kinds of jobs, the couple was back in Birney by 1939, and in the spring of 1941, they moved to Bull Creek on the Thompson homestead to work for Warren Brewster. It was here that four daughters were born. Joanne May arrived December 5, 1936, Marylee Muriel on January 30, 1942, Sharon Lynn on Oct 15, 1947 and Gladys Jeanne (known as Pat) on January 4, 1952.
In the spring of 1948, John and Elta bought the Charles Rice Ranch on Cook Creek near Birney, and the family made their big move. They ranched here until selling the place and buying the Sheep Mountain Ranch at Springdale in May of 1974. They remained at Sheep Mountain until selling it in the spring of 2002 when they retired to their home at Mallard Springs near Big Timber.
Upon retiring, John began raising good quarter horses. He filled his spare time by doing leather work, wood work and crafting knives. Lots of folks got to share in the fruits of all these hobbies.
John served many years as a 4-H leader in the Birney community. He served on the Birney school board, and twelve years as a Rosebud County Commissioner.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Elta; his parents, John W. Sr. and Lizzy; sisters Mary McIntosh and Melva Smith; brothers, James Cleo Moreland and W. Wilson Moreland.
Survivors include: daughters: Joanne (Bob) Hansen/Teague, Clyde Park; Marylee (Gary) Moreland/Temple, Billings; Sharon (Rogers) Carleton, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Gladys Jeanne "Pat" (Gerry) Dusenberry of Bozeman, sister, Jeanne (Bob) Noland of Big Timber. Grandchildren are Debra Taverniti, Bozeman; Jacque Hansen/Hernandez (Hector), San Jose, Calif.; Desta Dusenberry (Todd) Knotts of Dupree, Ohio; John Dusenberry (Christina) and Gene Dusenberry of Bozeman; Kindall Carleton (Eric) Drucker, Eueka, Mo. and Christa Carleton of Bozeman. Great grandchildren are: Jessica Taverniti (Pat) Hornbrook of Carlsbad, Calif.; Marca Taverniti of New Plymouth, Idaho; Jace Carleton Druker, Eureka, Mo.; Wade Elliot Knotts, Dupree, Ohio. There are many nieces and nephews all across the USA.
Dad was a cowboy and a cowman and had a special talent with horses. He rode a lot of them no one else wanted anything to do with. We all say "Thanks, Dad, for all the lessons well taught.
"Anyone whoever shook your hand will never forget you. God bless, and Happy Trails."
Viewing will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday July 7, 2013 at Stenberg Funeral Home, 215 Anderson Street in Big Timber, funeral services will be held 11:00 A.M. Monday July 8, 2013 at the Big Timber Evangelical Church, 302 Bramble Street, and graveside services will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday July 9, 2013 in the Elks Section of the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Memorials in John's name may be made to Hearts and Hands Hospice, PO Box 1337, Big Timber, MT 59011, Big Timber Evangelical Church, PO Box 696, Big Timber, MT 59011 or to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, PO Box 1569, Big Timber, MT 59011.
Arrangements by Stenberg Funeral Home.