Francis Skierka

Francis Leo Skierka

CUT BANK - Francis Leo Skierka, 23, died Saturday, Feb. 25 as the result of an avalanche accident while snowmobiling in the Kalispell area.

The family will greet friends and family from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at O'Connor Funeral Home, and Rosary is there at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Mass is 10 a.m. Thursday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Traditional Catholic Church, 2200 Smelter Ave., in Black Eagle. Burial will be in St. Joseph Novitiate Cemetery, Round Top, N.Y. Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Francis was born Oct. 3, 1988, in Flushing, N.Y. and raised on the family ranch near Glacier Park. He loved the great outdoors and was always involved in some adventurous activity. While growing up, he enjoyed riding anything that had a motor under it, checking cows on his motorcycle, mountain climbing, fishing, predator hunting and any kind of mechanical work involving four-wheelers and motorcycles. He was very capable of fixing things and even built his first pickup from parts and pieces at age 15. After completing school, Francis went on to work for Swenson Farms in Cut Bank. He loved traveling, especially trucking grain, and always had a big smile and wave for anyone who passed him. Weekends would find him snowmobiling or camping in the mountains or motorcycling with his brother, Mike, along Cut Bank Creek. He had an attracting personality and was always lending a hand to the neighbors.

Francis married the love of his life, Andrea Milacek, on July 10, 2010, in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Together they started their life residing at Swenson Farms where they anticipated the arrival of their first baby, due in April. Francis was a loving and devoted husband and will be sorely missed by Andrea and everyone.

Survivors include his loving wife, Andrea; parents Leo and Sharon Skierka; loving sisters Maria and Angela; and brothers Joe (Donna), Chris (Bethany), Mike, Jerome, Paul and Matt, all of Montana. Also surviving are his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ed and Patty Milacek; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Marina, Rebecca, EJ, Eric and Evan Milacek, all of New York.

Donations may be made to Immaculate Heart of Mary Traditional Catholic Church or to Francis Skierka Family Memorial at Stockman Bank of Cut Bank, 125 W Main Street, Cut Bank, MT, 59427.

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Published in Great Falls Tribune on Feb. 28, 2012