Stephen "Steve" Ferda, 95, of 20 3rd St. N., a longtime Highwood resident and farmer, died of natural causes Friday at Peace Hospice.
Visitation is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at O'Connor Funeral Home. Funeral Mass is 11 a.m. Thursday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fort Benton, with burial in Riverside Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Dorothy E. Ferda of Great Falls; daughters Kathleen (Cal) Nelson of Fort Benton, Pauline (Al) Merenz of Great Falls and Susan Sands of Littleton, Colo.; sons Timothy Ferda of Great Falls, Phillip (Laureen) Ferda and Joseph Ferda of Highwood and Leo Ferda of Ridgecrest, Calif.; sisters Helen Gervais of Cascade, Alice Nilsen of Great Falls and Margaret Bedenbender of Oceanside, Calif.; nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Susan Ferda; brothers Michael Ferda Jr., and John Ferda; and sisters Mary Blais, Ann Workman, Elizabeth Carlson and Pauline Ferda.
Steve died June 2, 2006, at Peace Hospice, surrounded by his family.
Steve was born Jan. 1, 1911, to Michael and Susan (Cizmar) Ferda, in Stockett, the fourth of 10 children. In 1915, his father homesteaded on Highwood Creek, moving the family there. Steve grew up there and attended local area schools.
In 1928, the family moved to the Charles Whitney homestead. In 1947, Steve married Dorothy Wendland of Rudyard. Together, they lived on the Lyng place on the Highwood north bench, and raised seven children. He retired in 1978 and moved into the town of Highwood, but as all farmers at heart do, he stayed involved in the farm operation, daily weather forecasts, grain prices and crop conditions. Steve was a member of St. Jane Frances Catholic Church in Highwood and was also a member of the Farmers Union Co-op.
Steve enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting and especially his grandchildren. He was an avid Highwood sports fan, attending many basketball games and following them in the newspaper or the on the radio.
Steve was a most loving and caring husband and father. He instilled in his children the importance of an education, honesty, hard work and family values. Steve left a legacy of love; we will miss him.
Memorials may be made to the Highwood scholarship fund; Peace Hospice; or to a charity of the donor's choice. Condolences may be sent online to www.greatfallstribune.com/obituaries