Dr. Robert L. Brockway, longtime Bozeman resident, passed away peacefully on May 15. He was 91-years-old.
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Robert was born during a February snowstorm in a sod house in Mildred near Fallon Creek in 1917. He spent his early childhood in Big Timber helping his father who ran the Sawyers Store, a local mercantile. Robert then moved to Bozeman to help establish the Bozeman Sawyers Store. He attended Gallatin County High School and graduated from Montana State College with a degree in fish and wildlife. He married Maxine Traver from Big Timber in 1942. In 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a master sergeant and medic in the 749th Tank Battalion. He earned the Bronze Star medal and various other honors in battles in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Ardennes.
After World War II, Robert continued his education in Minneapolis where he attained a dentistry degree at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Brockway set up his dental office in the First National Bank Building in 1949 where he practiced until 1982. His 33 years of dentistry brought him opportunities to build lasting friendships with his patients and those in his community. Robert never knew a stranger. He was a master at conversation and always took time to visit with people. His office was the hub of countless ongoing conversations about farming, ranching, hunting, fishing, skiing, the price of grain and, of course, golf.
Robert gave back to his Bozeman community through service. He taught fly-tying and hunter safety to youngsters. He helped establish the Riverside Country Club and Bridger Bowl Ski area. He was an active member of the Bozeman Optimist Club, Bridger Ski Club and Riverside Country Club. He belonged to Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity, The Montana Dental Association, White Shrine, Eastern Star and Masonic Lodge #18.
Robert enjoyed a rich and content life in his treasured Gallatin Valley playground. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, golfer, horseback rider and skier. He also enjoyed carpentry, gardening, woodworking and boating. One of his passions was in his many hours roaming the valley fields and hills collecting arrowheads and artifacts. His summers found him on the Riverside Golf Course or fly-fishing on the Gallatin River. His winters were spent at Bridger Bowl where he took pride in his designation as Bridger Bowl ambassador.
Robert is survived by his wife Maxine Traver Brockway and his two daughters: Lynn, of Indio, Calif. and Lori, who resides in Bozeman. He was the proud grandfather of Robert Hanley, of San Diego, and Travis Harding, of Anchorage, Alaska. He is preceded in death by his brother, Donald Brockway, of Seattle.
Dr. Brockway has requested that all memorials be sent to The Bozeman Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 1803, Bozeman, 59771-1803. Contact: maryjo@bozemanschoolsfoundation or phone 580-8305.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 18, 2008