Adrian Eggen, 90, passed away peacefully at his residence in Big Sky on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.
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Adrian was born Jan. 22, 1922 in Bern, Switzerland to Jakob and Rosali Eggen-Gertsch. He was the youngest of six sons. His father died when Adrian was two years old and his mother and brothers managed to keep the farm and family together. Growing up, he helped his brother, Jakob, on the farm, mostly tending the cows during the summer months on the alp. He joined the Swiss Army during World War II. He was a very proud member of the rifle club and was a very sharp shooter. After World War II, he continued to help his brother on the farm in the summer. The other seasons, he was logging or helping his brother, Fritz, with the family bakery. He completed a specialized logging training in Switzerland before making his big voyage west to America.
In spring of 1953, Adrian and fellow Swiss loggers arrived in New York on the ship "Queen Elizabeth." He was employed by Wyssen Logging Co. in Idaho. A few years later, he returned proudly to Switzerland with two chainsaws in his backpack, which was quite impressive to his colleagues as there weren't any chainsaws like his around his mountain valley at that time yet. He stayed for the winter in Switzerland before returning to the U.S. permanently. He initially made his home in Idaho purchasing logging equipment and beginning his career as an entrepreneur during the 1960s. As the logging industry declined, he utilized his skills splicing cables for ski lifts throughout the U.S. Through work-related connections, he landed himself a job in Big Sky in the early 1980s. He became a legend in Big Sky, for his dedicated hard work helping to install most of the ski lifts at Big Sky Resort. Adrian was very happy working and residing in Big Sky. He made many life-long friendships.
Adrian enjoyed photographing wildlife and filming his job sites. He was a bachelor all his life and was a very outgoing person. He loved socializing. He liked to travel. He had a passion for Volkswagen Diesel Rabbits. He was known as "Grandpa" among many Big Sky employees. He managed to live on his own all the way up to his 90th birthday.
Adrian was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his brothers, Christian, Fritz, Hans, Arnold, and Jakob.
He is survived by several nieces and nephews in Switzerland, and his great-nephew Andreas (Aimee) Heimberg and their two children of Boulder, Mont. Adrian leaves behind his very close friends from Big Sky, Ambrose Locker, Meghan Coppola, Albi Birches, Tom Stetzner, Jerry Crans, Kris and Curtis Sundeen, and a very special friend, Monita Yep (Alhambra, Calif.). The exceptional care Adrian received from his friends, family, and wonderful hospice nurses, who all made it possible for him to stay at his home through his last days, is greatly appreciated.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, at Meadow Village Chapel at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the Huntley Lodge Dining Room at Big Sky Resort at 4 p.m.
An additional memorial service is planned to take place in Switzerland later this spring.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 19, 2012