John "Jack" Peter Smith was born Oct. 23, 1918, in Townsend to longtime pioneer ranchers, Leslie Smith and Alice (Joyce) Smith. He passed away June 20, 2011, at the Broadwater Health Center in Townsend.
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Jack lived a long healthy life, never letting anything get him down. At the tender age of 18 he was sent to another part of the ranch with just his dog and horse and was told to run the ranch, as his parents were busy helping the neighbors. He told of the many stories of putting up hay with just a sickle mower and team of horses and the derricks. Jack was just 7 years old when his dad put him on his first horse, Blackie, and sent him out with a herd of cattle to move up to the hills.
Jack was introduced to Lenore Matthis by friends, Earl and Pauline Webb. Jack and Lenore were married Sept. 28, 1944. They resided on the home ranch next to his parents, operating the ranch and raising six daughters.
Jack operated his ranch right up till he was 89 years young. He did everything from swathing hay to riding, calving the cows and even the flood irrigating. After he decided to let his daughters do the work he was still around on his four-wheeler every day, making sure we did it right. He got up at the crack of dawn and went to bed with the sun. Not a day went by that he wasn't out working.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lenora; daughters, Sally Young and Patricia Kolberg; adopted daughter, Martha Montgomery; grandsons, Michael Murfitt and David Stephens.
Jack is survived by daughters, Judy (Dan) Fowler of Hines, Ore., Karen (Brad) Murfitt of Helena, Mary (Marlin) Styren of Choteau, Jackie (Brian Kimpton) Smith of Toston. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Hilda (Josh) Pegg, Heather (Ben) Gaunt, JoAnne Kolberg, Jody (Ronnie) Nehring, Jill (Curtis) Deroest, Jeri (John) Ryan, Matthew (Lori) Stephens, Chris Murfitt, Luke (Kasha) Styren, Dylan Styren, Kelsey Kimpton, Melanie Kimpton; great-grandchildren: Kuereck, Noah, Pegg, Ben, Ella Gaunt, Skyler Kolberg, Kuree Marquedt, Jadin Knaub, Cassie (Mike) Burda, Aaron, Curtis Jr. Deroest, Larissa, Davyn Tatum, Gage Ryan, Charlie, Bayley Stephens, Kurtis, Coltyn Styren; and great-great-grandchildren, Weston, Cooper Burda.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 27, at the Townsend Fairgrounds 4-H building, with burial in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Broadwater Health Center; or to an organization of choice.
Connors Funeral Home assisted the family with services.
Connors Funeral Home - Townsend
212 Broadway Street
Townsend, MT 59644
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 23, 2011