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Glenn A. Sandefur

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Glenn A. Sandefur, 75, of Great Falls, a Navy veteran, died of natural causes Monday at a local care facility.
Services have taken place under the direction of Schnider Funeral Home, and burial will take place in Malta Cemetery at a later date.
Glenn was born Aug. 6, 1933, in Malta, the youngest son of Hub Sandefur and Anna Chanlund Sandefur. He attended schools in Malta, Hughesville, Babb (Camp Nine) and Long Beach, Calif., and he graduated from Malta High School in 1951. He worked on a track crew for the Great Northern Railroad until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1952.
He served three and a half years aboard the USS LSM 362 as a gunner's mate on a 40mm anti-aircraft crew, based at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Sasebo, Japan. After his discharge from active duty in December 1955, he continued to serve in the USN Ready Reserve until 1967. Glenn cherished his Navy days and he continued to be a proud American sailor for the rest of his life.
Glenn was a lifelong fan of country music and was a talented singer and guitarist. After returning home to Malta in 1955, Glenn spent his savings on a brand new Gretsch electric guitar and formed a band with his friends Jimmy Allen and Monty Monroe. The band tore up the Hi-Line honky tonks from Havre to Zortman to Glasgow for the next four years. After Glenn settled down, he continued to sing and pick that Gretsch whenever the opportunity arose. He especially loved to play and sing with his nephew Allen Sandefur at family campouts and gatherings. At 75, Glenn still picked a few notes on that well-worn Gretsch nearly every day.
Glenn met the love of his life Kathleen Kirwan in 1958. They married and in 1960 moved to Great Falls, where they raised three children. Kathleen died of scleroderma in 1990, and Glenn never remarried.
Glenn moved to a mountainside cabin near Huson in 1991. He made many friends in the area and was a well-known character at Larry's Sixmile and Huson Auto Body.
Glenn came back to the family home in Great Falls in 2004. He enjoyed spending time with his kids and grandkids and especially loved boating with his son-in-law R.J. and grandson Jake.
Glenn had a lifelong fascination with cars. He was a skilled auto body man and spent his entire career working for body shops in Malta, Havre and Great Falls. He worked for Bennett Motors for a number of years then worked more than 20 years with Bison Ford until his retirement. He restored and collected many classic cars, but he was most proud of his father's 1950 Buick which Glenn resurrected from a Malta junk yard and restored from the frame up. He was a member of the Skunkwagon Chapter of the Montana Pioneer and Classic Auto Club.
Glenn was proud to be a native Montanan and enjoyed Montana history. In his last few years, he logged thousands of miles driving around Montana, cruising the highways, exploring the Little Belts and the Missouri Breaks, and finding remnants of the old Benton-Helena wagon road.
Glenn is survived by his children, Hon. Dirk M. (Paula) Sandefur and Penny (R.J.) Haffner of Great Falls, and Pat (Molly Howard) of Missoula; his brother Arnold (Eileen) Sandefur of Kalispell; and eight grandchildren.
In addition to his wife Kathleen, he was preceded in death by his brothers Herbert and Richard.
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.

Published in Great Falls Tribune from Mar. 25 to Mar. 28, 2009
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