On Thursday evening, Aug. 4, 2011, at 9:50 p.m., Homer M. Berrum ended his struggles with Alzheimer's, completing his long goodbye, surrounded by his loving family who will forever miss his presence in this world.
The Guest Book is expired.
Born on April 24, 1930, to Ray and Mary (Korb) Berrum in Rib Lake, Wis., he grew up in Chippewa Falls, along with three sisters and one brother. He worked while in high school at a veterinary hospital, and it was there that Homer developed his lifelong love of animals, wildlife and the great outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and hunter.
Homer enlisted in the National Guard in 1949, transferred to the Army, and served in the Korean conflict till 1953. He was in the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, known as the "Rakkasans" a paratrooper unit, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB).
Homer hired on with the Soo Line as a brakeman in Wisconsin in 1953, and while on a visit to Yellowstone National Park, stopped by the Owl Bar and inquired about work in Livingston. He hired on with the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1954, and retired with the Burlington Northern in 1985. He was a proud member of the B.R.T. (Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen) and later the U.T.U. (United Transportation Union).
He married Eileen Remer on June 7, 1958, in Winsted, Minn., and moved his bride out to Livingston, where they honeymooned in the Crazy Mountains, floated the Yellowstone River, and spent a week in the Tetons. They made Livingston their home and raised their family there - a daughter, Penny, and son, Tom.
Homer's love for the outdoors led him to champion public lands and access to our streams and rivers, taking up the fight to keep special places open to the public. He participated in many capture and transplants of elk throughout the area, and hunted and fished his way across Montana up until his last days. He was always up for an adventure on the water. He passed on this outdoor ethic to his kids and grandkids, teaching them to never take these privileges for granted. He was a life member of the NRA.
Homer served proudly as commander of the VFW and was active with the American Legion on their honor guard, and at times, chaplain, always willing to participate at the family's request. He helped with the development of the Avenue of Flags displayed proudly on our veteran and national holidays in Livingston. Homer also was instrumental in helping develop collections for the Yellowstone Gateway Museum.
Quick with a smile, sharp wit, and amiable sense of humor, a jack-of-all-trades, and leader by his outstanding example, Homer will be sorely missed.
Survivors include his wife, Eileen; daughter, Penny (Mark) Baker; son, Tom Berrum; grandsons, Boone and Kory Baker; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be directed to Yellowstone Gateway Museum, 118 W. Chinook, Livingston, MT 59047; or to the Community Closet, 416 E. Park, Livingston, MT 59047.
A memorial service for Homer will be planned at a later date.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 9, 2011