Volker Gene Saier passed away April 8 at the Madison Valley Manor with his family by his side to say good-bye. Volker was born in White Sulphur Springs June 16, 1929, to Eugene Karl Saier and Pauline Luise Pfund Saier. At the time Gene was employed at the Holliday Ranch until Volk was 10 months old, it was then when they purchased the ranch south of Ennis. The family moved to Ennis in March 1930. Their ride of choice at the time was a Whippet, which ended up getting stuck in the snow on the Norris Hill. Volk's sister and brother were both born on the ranch.
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Volk learned at an early age to work hard by milking cows and feeding and taking care of the work horses. Volk met Lois Sannes in 1955 on the ski hill in Jackson, they were married May 19, 1956. After they were married they bought their first herd of cattle. Volk's parents then purchased land in the Centennial Valley for summer pasture. The first year owning the Centennial property a friend, Jimmy Shewmaker, helped trail the cattle into the valley. Jimmy knew the way as he packed supplies into Elk Lake Camp, then owned by Faye Selby. The drive took six days and back then when crossing Cliff Lake at the Neeley ranch the crossing fee was a bottle of whiskey. On the way they camped out and Lois did all the cooking.
When Volk was young his father taught all the kids to ski up Jack Creek. That was the beginning of his ski racing which lead to many accomplishments. They belonged to The Rocky Mountain Ski Association, which hosted many races on the Jack Creek hill. Volk was Montana Champion skier and was sent to Alta, Utah to compete in the Haraman Cup race. Volk and Lois raced at the head wall out of Red Lodge on the Cook City highway, they both took first and Volk ended up winning a couple years in a row. His ski racing was interrupted by his call to the Marines; Volk served four years in Korea. Before going to Korea his father bought him an Indian motorcycle, which he and his friends, Bud Angle and Harrison Saunders would tear up the road.
Volk ran cattle for many years on the Snowline Grazing Association south of Lima, before consolidating the summer grazing to the Centennial Valley. He loved his cattle, horses and dogs.
Volker is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lois; daughter, Kristy; son, Karl; grandson, Willy Richardson (Meghann Moran); great-granddaughter, Millie Grace Richardson; brother, Al Saier; brother-in-law, John Pierre Sonderer; six Sonderer nephews, Pierre, Tyson, Eric, Vance, Shane and Cy (whom spent many summers on the ranch); brother-in-law, Ron Sannes (Margret); sister-in-law, Avis Laray; nephew, Torr Brush (Leandra); niece, Nikki (Matt), and several great nieces and nephews.
Volker was preceded in death by his father, mother and sister, Christa Sonderer.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Ennis Ambulance or Madison Valley Manor Activity Fund.
A graveside service will be held at the Ennis Cemetery at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 12. A wake will be held at The Gravel Bar, Main Street, Ennis.
K & L Mortuaries
109 West Second
Whitehall, MT 59759
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 11, 2014