On a beautiful day on the highline (which he loved so much) Donald Strang saddled up and rode into his eternal green pasture. After a short bout of cancer his passing was very peaceful at Francis Mahon Hospital in Glasgow, with family and friends by his side. He passed this world exactly one year to the minute of his beloved oldest grandchild, WD, passing last June 14th.
The Guest Book is expired.
Donald was born in Bozeman to Newell and Annabelle on Aug. 7, 1941, and married his high school love, wife Judy, on May 14, 1959.
As a young man he was presented a national award by the Coca Cola Company. At the age of 21 he was honored to join the Bozeman Police Force also achieving honors from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. He was given the opportunity to head the city water department for several years eventually enabling him to purchase the Rosenberg place on Portnell Rd. He continued his custom haying in his wonderful new neighborhood of farmers and friends, and along with his dog Blue was seen around the Gallatin Gateway community where the farmers would gather for coffee regularly.
Don's greatest memories were the years he raised and trained his beautiful quarter horses for calf/team roping and was so proud of some that went on to be successful, even appearing in horse magazines. He was also proud of belonging to the "roping club" in Bozeman, roping and entering rodeos with them, and mentor, icon and friend Hup Davis.
Due to the growing population, Don pursued the opportunity to purchase farming and horse property in Townsend. He and his family enjoyed many years building new friendships there, as well as the privilege of riding and helping at the Iverson ranch. After moving there he did not stay retired as he was asked to "help" open and manage the new silo gas station at Wheat Montana Bakeries. He found giving out information and directions to tourists brought even new friendships and many returned to see him through the years. Oh yes, lets not forget his special friends in Three Forks and his loved "green caddy" from there.
After purchasing a horse haven in Malta, he and his wife actually, finally retired, in Hinsdale, where they learned the true meaning of retirement, and fellowship of a little village. Friendship of their new community and friends, brought happiness and relationships that are priceless. Once again he was helping with branding, shipping and shearing with local ranchers (a retired farmer's dream).
He and his family enjoyed the fellowship of Grand Avenue Christian Church (where he and his wife served in many leadership roles for many years), the Methodist church in Townsend and the Lutheran Church of Hinsdale.
The last few weeks of his life an opportunity arose that he wished he had been able to explore earlier, giving railroad employees transportation for PTI along the highline, meeting yet more wonderful friends, coworkers and an awesome boss.
Our family has already been comforted by the outpouring of wonderful tributes shared by people he touched throughout his life, " Don was a nice guy, that was always kind, you don't forget people like him," "I always used Don as the standard to measure other cowboys."
Being a graduate from the "new" (1959) Bozeman Senior High School, Don remained a fan of the Bozeman Hawks, Bobcats, Townsend Bulldogs, Malta Mustangs, Glasgow Scotties, the great Hinsdale Raiders and the NFR and PBR.
Many memories include celebrating his youngest granddaughter graduating from Bozeman Senior High, the week prior to his passing, at which time he reunited with many Bozeman friends and family.
Priceless memories were made at the Strang family reunion hosted by the Craigs at their beautiful cabin lakeside at Canyon Ferry, and a recent reunion hosted by his sister Esther in Billings.
Our Papa is survived by his high school love Judy, wife of 56 years, daughters Vicki (Rick) Harrison, Teri (Russ) Thayer, Staci (Monte) Anderson all of Bozeman. Grandchildren Max (Nichole) Lane and Riley Harrison, of Bozeman, Tawni (Justin) Jetter of Salt Lake CIty, Utah, Nikki (Todd) McGraw of Houston Texas, Matie (Dakota) Gary and EldaMae Allard and Annabelle Anderson of Bozeman. Sisters Esther (Dick) Strong and Betty Stratton of Billings and Linda (John) Craig of Helena. Cousins Barbara Farnes of Laurel and Howard Hersey of Utah, and many loved nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by parents Newell and Annabelle. In-laws, Max and Betty Puckett, cousin Bobby Hersey. Aunt Maude and Louis Hersey, Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Forrrest Goman, Aunt Jean Wilson and Uncle Tom, Grandparents Harry and Ruby Wilson, his "buddy" and Grandson Dub Harrison, God-son Dusty Cline and numerous friends.
Celebrations of Donald's life will be held Sunday, July 5 in Hinsdale at the Legion Hall at 2:30 p.m. The celebration in Bozeman will be held at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 2.
Condolences may be sent to Judy Strang and family at MVCC, 205 No. Tracy, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 21, 2015