Walter E. Hantsman, 84, formerly of Great Falls, died of cancer Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Bozeman.
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Memorial service is 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at Scottish Rite Temple, 1304 13th St So., Great Falls. A gathering with refreshments to celebrate Walters life will be downstairs afterwords, followed by a service at Highland Cemetery.
By his side were his high school sweetheart and wife of 64 years, Mary Anne (Black) along with their daughter, Barbara Hantsman of Bozeman. Walter was a life long member of the First United Methodist Church. Born Aug. 25, 1928, Walter was a third generation Great Falls native. He graduated from Great Falls High in 1946, and went right into the Air Force during World War II. After leaving the Air Force Walter began college at the University of Montana where he earned a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in education.
Walter had a positive impact on many lives during his life. In 1951, Walter began his career at the brand new West Junior High, where he taught math, P.E. and coached football, basketball and track. He then went on to be Assistant Principal and finally Principal at West Junior High. In his spare time he refereed football at high school and college level, officiated basketball and track meets. He is a member of the Montana Officials Association Hall of Fame.
In 1967, Walter began a new career in the insurance industry. He was a partner and successful insurance agent at Century Insurance Agency until his retirement in 1991. He was active in the Montana Insurance Education Foundation for many years and was president of that organization in 1978. He taught insurance courses at the College of Great Falls, as well. He was an active member of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Walter's commitment and time devoted to his community was commendable. He was a member of the Great Falls Chapter of Demolay receiving the Chevalier Degree, Legion of Honor Degree and Cross of Honor; Executive Officer for Montana Demolay; was an active member of the International Supreme Council; Past Master of Cascade Lodge #34; Past Master of the York Rite Bodies of Great Falls; a member of York Rite College; 33rd Degree in the Scottish Rite Bodies of Great Falls; served as the Secretary of the Great Falls Bodies for 10 years; was instrumental in the development of the Scottish Rite Language Clinic and a community resource for preschool children in need of speech therapy.
Walter was a past Potentate of the Al Bedoo Shrine Temple of North America; member of the East-West Shrine Football Board of Directors and he rode in Shrine parades proudly with Moto-Skil Tauf.
His other Masonic Affiliations included Red Cross of Constantine, Royal Order of Scotland, Royal Order of Jesters, York Rite College, HRAKTP, Purple Cross and KYCH.
Walter joined the Great Falls Lions Club in 1966, and held position of President, District Cabinet, Chairman of District Convention and District Governor.
Walter joined the Elks in 1956, served on the Youth Scholarship Committee for 15 years and was Elk of the Year in 1983.
All remembrances to benefit the Great Falls Scottish Rite Language Clinic or the Shrine Childrens Hospitals.
Condolences may be shared at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com
Published in Great Falls Tribune from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, 2013