John Franklin Tebay, 89, of Bozeman, passed away quietly at home Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, with his family at his side. John, who was known to many as "Chooch," was a retired letter carrier from Billings.
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He was born March 27, 1921, the second child to Boyd J. and Nenah M. (Vaughn) Tebay and was raised in Whitehall.
Upon graduating from Whitehall High School where he was very active in football and basketball, John joined the Montana National Guard and went on active duty in September 1940.
He was a member of the 163rd Infantry Regiment, Montana National Guard, which was part of the 41st Infantry division known as the "Jungleers." John served in the New Guinea Campaign which took the division through Salamaua, Aitape, Hollandia, Nassua Bay, Wakde, Arare, Toem, and to Biak Island. He was discharged in August 1945. John was very proud of his service time and went to many Infantry reunions.
On Sept. 12, 1948, John married Marion F. Atkins in Whitehall. They made their home in Billings where five children were born and raised.
John loved kids and enjoyed being with them. On their many family outings, whether it be camping in Red Lodge, water skiing at Cooney Dam, snow skiing at Big Sky or vacations at Swan Lake, he always had a few neighbor kids tagging along.
Through the years John and Marion were very active in square dancing – and yes, the kids all dance!
John was a 50-year member and past master of Pryor Mountain Lodge 151 of Billings, a lifetime member of Scottish Rite, member of Albedo Shrine Temple, member of the Clown Unit, Billings Friendship Chapter 124 Order of Eastern Star, and a lifetime member and past worthy patron of Lily of the Valley Chapter 4 Order of Eastern Star in Bozeman.
After retiring from the United States Postal Service in 1976, John and Marion traveled to many places and countries with their close friends, Stan and Emily Stansell and Don and Pat Peterson.
They retired to their summer home at Swan Lake, where he was a member of the Lions Club, before moving to Bozeman.
John was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Elizabeth M. Tebay.
He is survived by his wife, Marion of 62 years; his five children, James B. (Susan Frasch) of Swan Lake, Janet M. (David) Dahms of Laurel, Richard D. (Cathy McEndree) of Laurel, Sandra J. (Gary) Slane of Bozeman, and Kevin S. (Lissa Fritzler) of Park City; grandchildren: Jamie S. (Alex) Shank of Big Fork, Nathan J. Tebay of Bozeman, Erin E. (Tyler) Garaas of Boston, Mass., David S. Tebay of Park City, John W. Tebay of Park City, Lindsay J. Tebay of Laurel, and William C. Tebay of Laurel; and one great-grandson, Rand F. Shank of Big Fork. John is also survived by his sister, Laura Ammerman of Butte; and several nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held Thursday, Sept. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Cremation & Funeral Gallery, 29 Eighth St. W., Billings. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at First Christian Church, 522 N. 29th, Billings, with a reception to follow at the church. Burial will be in Whitehall at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, and all are welcome.
Memorials may be sent to the Albedo Shrine in Billings or Rocky Mountain Hospice of Bozeman.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery, Billings. Condolences may be sent online to www.cfgbillings.com.
Cremation or Funeral Gallery
29 Eighth Street West
Billings, MT 59101
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Sept. 15 to Sept. 16, 2010