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Rory Craig Fagenstrom

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Rory Craig Fagenstrom Obituary
Rory Craig Fagenstrom, 75, of Great Falls died of heart failure Sunday, Nov. 18, at a local hospital.

Per his wishes, there will not be a public service. His remains will be scattered at his beloved ranch with the ashes of his first wife and other loved ones.

Rory was born to Joan and Cregor Fagenstrom on Sept. 15, 1937, in Great Falls, Mont. He was the oldest of two boys; his younger brother Kerry survives him. He had two other siblings by his father's second marriage; Patrick Fagenstrom and Joyce Fagenstrom, both of whom survive him.

During his youth, Rory worked on the family's ranch in the Chesnut Valley South of Cascade. He moved to California with his father where he attended his senior year of high school at Pasadena High School. He attended college at Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of California in Los Angeles. He took up carpentry and worked in and around Santa Ana, Calif., as a journeyman carpenter building tract houses and Anaheim Stadium. It was in Santa Ana that he met and married his first wife, Jan (Chambers) Fagenstrom. In 1959, they moved back to Montana and raised two children, Steve and Leslie.

Rory was a Master Mason, and past Master of the Triangle Lodge in Great Falls. He was a member of the Scottish Rite, and was a drummer in the Pipe Band. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge in Great Falls. He and Jan were both active in Civil Air Patrol and enjoyed flying for many years. His other hobbies included reading, guns, computers, snowmobiling, motorcycling and tinkering on the many pieces of old equipment at the ranch.

Rory was known fondly as a "Wile E Coyote" for his genius mind (he was a font of useless information), and quirky personality. He was an extremely kind and generous man, never hesitating to lend a hand to a friend. He worked tirelessly most of his adult life to improve the family ranch, "Rory's Rockpile," that he so dearly loved.

Jan Fagenstrom passed away in April 2001. Rory married Tena (Buckley) Fagenstrom in June 2002. Rory and Tena loved to visit her family in California.

Rory is survived by his wife Tena; son, Steve Fagenstrom and daughter-in-law, Julie Fagenstrom; daughter, Leslie Tripp and son-in-law, Joe Tripp; stepson, Kevin McIntosh; stepdaughter, Rhonda Follis; his mother, Joan (Fagenstrom) Verstegen; brother, Kerry Fagenstrom; and grandchildren Daniel Fagenstrom, Michelle Fagenstrom, Jason Tripp, Amanda Tripp, and Samantha Tripp.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jan; and his father, Cregor.

Memorials are suggested to the Shriner's Hospital.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 21, 2012
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