Robert E. Duty
1933 - 2021
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Robert E. Duty

Great Falls - Former City of Great Falls Public Works Director, Robert "Bob" Eugene Duty, 87, passed away on January 20, 2021. No services are planned.

Bob was born May 28, 1933, in Cheney, Washington, to Amy Lillian (Nessan) and Lester George Duty where his father was an engineer for Geneva Steel. He joined siblings Donald, Doris, Marvin, and Jerry. Bennie would follow later to complete the family.

The family moved to Moore, Montana, in 1938. He participated in all school sports winning accolades in baseball, basketball, and football and graduated from Moore High School in 1951. He was drafted into the Army and served in Korea. Upon an honorable discharge from the active Army in 1955, he continued in the Army Reserves until 1961.

He met Arlene Maki of Cascade in 1956, while working as a lineman in the area. They were introduced by Arlene's friend, Lorraine Steffani who was dating Hank Grubb, Bob's roommate at the time. They married after her high school graduation June 28, 1957.

They relocated to Conrad, where Bob worked for the Montana State Department of Transportation for seven years. During that time, Vickie Lynn, Lindy Jo, and Rodney Jay were born. Upon moving the family to Great Falls, Bob worked for City of Great Falls as Street Superintendent and later as Public Works Director until he retired in 1987. Never one to sit idle, he worked a cornucopia of jobs including: City Motors, Interstate Specialties, Rainbow Carpet Cleaning, and Figgins Sand & Gravel. He and Arlene spent the remainder of their retirement as parents to Lindy's boys.

Hunting, fishing, and doing anything with his family such as cross-country skiing, running, boating, golfing, being Santa Clause, attending the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, tinkering and fixing things, and enjoying shop talk and beers with long-time work colleague and friend, Denis Karaffa, were among his favorite pastimes. A great love of his was baseball. Coaching as Rod made his way through Little League and Senior League, and then being a fan and announcing for the Great Falls Chargers. He continued as the number one fan of his grandchildren as they participated in their respective sports. His favorite football team was the Cleveland Browns.

His pleasure was in whatever made someone happy and he never met a stranger. Family fondly recalls how he was always making sure everyone was fed. His signature meal was a hot breakfast. He was extraordinarily private. If details are missed in telling his life's story, it is how he preferred it.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene; daughter, Lindy; infant sister, Diane; his parents; and siblings, Donald Duty, Doris Buchanan, Marvin Duty, and Jerry Duty. He is survived by Vickie (Jack) Duty of Reno, NV and Rod (Heather) Duty of Choteau; grandchildren, Casey (Lindsey) Craigle of Belgrade, Bailey (Bob) Cannon Dean and Marie Martinez all of Reno, NV, Will (Rae) Sutherland of Missoula, Ellie (Reid) Fleshman and Trent Duty all of Dutton, Joey Stockdill of Missoula, Jake Duty of Bozeman, and Claira Duty of Choteau; great-grandchildren, Kadyn Craigle, Qwinlynn Craigle, Delaney Martinez, AJ Martinez, Cashman Craigle, Bradley Fleshman, Emmeline Fleshman, and River Cannon Dean; youngest brother, Bennie Duty of Utah, and numerous nieces and nephews across Montana and the US.

Once his kids and grandkids were raised, Bob's best loves were animals. Memorials in his honor are suggested to Bright Eyes Care and Rehab Center (PO Box 1498, Choteau, MT 59422). Regards to the family may be sent to (PO BOX 1306, Choteau, MT 59422). Condolences for the family may be shared online at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Great Falls Tribune from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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