Claude Jerome Kiff

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Oct. 4, 1933 - July 13, 2010

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend died at age 76 after a courageous battle with lung disease. Jerome passed at his home on the ranch in Ringling on July 13, 2010.

He was born Oct. 4, 1933, in Helena to Herbert Claude Kiff and Jane Lucas Kiff. He grew up on the family cattle ranch in Ringling with his three siblings - John, Joan and Joel.

Jerome went to the Tip-Top School at the Lucas Ranch in Ringling, attended Holy Rosary in Bozeman, and graduated from Park High School in Livingston. To pursue his love of flying, he received his private pilot's license on Aug. 25, 1953, with the hope of becoming a commercial pilot. He then attended Carroll College in Helena before returning home to the ranch.

Jerome dedicated his life to working the family ranch and was pleased to watch it change with new technology. He wasn't afraid to try something new and experimented with cattle artificial insemination in the 1960s. In 1985, he began home-raising the ranch's bulls. Jerome was proud of his cattle, and as those close to him know, he had a special place in his heart for red Angus.

In November 1967, Jerome married Anna Lee Keefe at St. Anthony's Church in Missoula. Last year, they celebrated their 42nd anniversary. They lived and started their family on the ranch and had four children - Eddie, Larry, Lori and Helen.

Jerome enjoyed flying, watching his children and grandchildren's sporting events, military history, livestock auctions, horseback riding, attending the Carroll Saints football games, and eating his favorite Snickers Bar. He loved his dog, Boots, who rode with him everywhere by his side.

He was a member of St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, was on the parish council and the Ringling school board, and a member of Montana Farm Bureau, Stockgrowers Association, and the National Red Angus Association.

He was a great historian. Family and friends would call upon him to identify old photos and dates of certain events. It was a running joke that he couldn't remember what was for supper yesterday, but could recall in detail what happened in World War II.

Jerome is survived by his wife, Anna Lee; and his children, Eddie (Kari Jo) Kiff of Ringling, Larry Kiff of Bozeman, Lori (Kevin) Smith of Clancy, Helen (Juan) Castillo of Meridian, Idaho; grandchildren, Morgen and Jaren Kiff, Greysen, Olivia, Mya and Gavin Smith, and Gianna Castillo; brother, Joel (Renee) Kiff of Healdsburg, Calif.; brother and sisters-in-law, Reidar (Marga) Johnson, Jan Kiff, Margaret and Bill Bordner, and Kathy and Sam Gilder; and numerous nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John; and his sister, Joan.

Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Bartholomew's Church in White Sulphur Springs. Funeral Mass is at 1 p.m. Monday at the church, with burial to follow in Mayn Cemetery. Celebration of his life at the senior center for a coffee hour following burial.

Memorials are suggested by the family to the Meagher County Public Library.

Twichel Funeral Home assisted the family with the services.
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Twichel Funeral Home - White Sulphur Springs
103 E Garfield Street
White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645
(406) 547-3821
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on July 16, 2010