Travis L. Engstrom (1973 - 2009)

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  • "I find that the tears still quickly well up as I read..."
    - Cara Barnes
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    - Heidee
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    - Barb Roesler Gilb
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The mountains of Cooke City, Montana, took Travis Lee Engstrom home last Saturday evening, Jan. 17, 2009, (5/9/1973 - 1/17/2009). It was a day blessed by the gods, crystal clear, the sun shining; he lived the day to the fullest surrounded by close friends and his loving wife.

Travis was brought into this world in Mohall, N.D., by his proud parents, Joan Hundley and Larry Lee Engstrom. He graduated from Mohall High School in 1992, where he excelled in all sports he was involved in.

He attended the University of North Dakota for five years and received his degree in criminal justice. He worked briefly in the juvenile system, yet the office could not contain Travis's free spirit. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks brought Travis to Helena, where he enjoyed working in the outdoors for five years.

In 2002 Travis moved to Bozeman where he began working in the ski industry. This offered Travis the opportunity to "work" in such places as the mountains of New Zealand as a Rossignol representative.

After wandering the world, Travis was one of the lucky souls who encountered his soul mate. While in the peaks of Jackson Hole in June 2005, Travis proposed to Kelly Marudas. In the couple's classic outdoor fashion, they were married on July 29, 2006, at the base of the Bridger Mountains on a perfect Montana summer day. One of Travis' dreams was to become a father, and his dream came true on Aug. 19, 2008, when his beautiful baby boy, Kaden Lee Engstrom, was born.

All who knew Travis were warmed by his caring and loving manner. He drew people in and touched the hearts of all whom he encountered with his huge heart. Travis was the kind of person you did not need to ask for anything, he just did everything he could for everyone he knew. If you needed it, you could have the shirt off of his back. Travis was a protector of all whom he knew and cared for.

The mountains ran deep in the essence of Travis. The summers were an agonizing waiting period until the first winter snowflakes began to fall. Travis loved the winter so much he had a snowflake tattooed on his right arm, and a quote saying "Without the possibility of death adventure would be impossible" on his left. He lived his life full throttle and inspired everyone around him 100 percent.

He was an animal lover who was accompanied by his faithful black Lab companion, Riley, for the last 13 years.

His last moments were spent doing what he loved, with whom he loved. He will be missed always by all who knew him. We love you, Trav!

Travis is preceded in death by his grandparents, Arlo and Wanda Hundley, Melton and Cecilia Engstrom.

His legacy is continued by his beautiful wife, Kelly and loving son, Kaden. Travis is survived by his parents, Joan and Larry; two half-brothers and two half-sisters; his in-laws, Lynn and Denny Marudas, and their son, Nick Marudas, whom Travis considered a brother.

A Web site is set up for friends and family to share stories and photos, and a link to the memorial established for his wife and son:

The family invites friends to celebrate Travis' amazing life at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graff (off of South 19th), Bozeman.

An additional service will be held in Mohall, N.D., at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Zion Lutheran Church.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service;
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Jan. 21 to Jan. 23, 2009
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