Donald "Don" Anton Pilgeram
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GREAT FALLS —Donald "Don" Anton Pilgeram, 88, passed away Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in Great Falls.
He was born on June 13, 1925, the only child of Hattie and Anton Pilgeram. Donald grew up on the family ranch south of Eden and attended Meisenbach School. He rode his horse to school and never missed a day. Donald was proud of his good grades and attendance and graduated from 8th grade with the 2nd highest test score in Cascade County.
Donald raised lambs in 4-H and sold them at a premium price. He used the proceeds to increase the ranch size. At an early age, just after 8th grade, he started taking over the ranch's daily operation.
He liked to dance and met his future wife, Vera Tax at an Eden dance. They married August 30, 1954 in Medicine Lake, MT. Together they raised 3 children and stocked their ranch with range cattle - Herford and Black Angus. They also diversified the ranch with laying hens and milk cows. Donald was well-known for quality Brown Swiss cows and sold them across the state.
In 1994, Donald and Vera received the Farmer's Union 100-year award for preserving and maintaining the ranch that had been in the same family for 100 years.
Donald was also a businessman and had several rental units in Great Falls.
Most of all, Donald loved the outdoors and felt closest to nature when he was on horseback checking cattle or fences. He loved the hills and trees on his ranch and early morning sunrises, this was his heaven on earth.
Donald is survived by his wife of 59 years, Vera; children Carmen (Greg) Bohn of Billings, Fred Pilgeram of Great Falls, and Carla (Larry) Blanchard of Great Falls; grandchildren Mitchell Bohn and C.J. Bohn both of Billings, Cody (Tami) Blanchard of Gillette, WY, Christopher (Brittney) Blanchard of Billings, Cade (Patricia) Blanchard of Havre, and Cord (Kayla) Blanchard of Las Vegas, NV; and great-granddaughters Zoe Blanchard, Paisley Blanchard and Holly Blanchard.
A visitation will be Thursday, June 5, 2014 at from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Schnider Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Red Butte Cemetery on Eden Road. Luncheon will follow at the VFW, 4123 10th Ave. S., Great Falls, MT. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Schnider Funeral Home
1510 13th Street South Great Falls, MT 59405-4501
Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 2, 2014