Joseph Michael Backstrom, 62
October 19, 1959 – January 04, 2022
Joseph Michael Backstrom, 'Little Joe' to many, passed away January 4th, 2022. Born in Butte on October 19, 1959, to Bonnie and Terrance Joseph "Joe" Backstrom, Joe came into this world as a twin but was the only one to survive.
Joe graduated from Butte High School then earned his bachelor's degree in business at Montana Tech and his MBA at the University of Montana. He and his trumpet were a proud member of the BHS Band in its hay day and often shared stories about playing in the Rose Parade, at Evel's Snake River jump and of course the 4th of July parades. Joe was also active in DeMolay and was proud when elected to Master Councilor. Joe loved and had a wealth of knowledge about Butte's history, his family, and the many colorful people he met along the way. And though Joe left Butte a couple of times he always found his way right back to where his roots and his heart were.
Joe Backstrom was a lovable character whose passions included animals and classic cars. He kept all the neighborhood dogs and cats in treats and loved showing off the classic family cars; it was his 'happy place' he'd say. Visiting Joe in the garage filled with cars and history always left you with a smile and your dog not wanting to leave. Joe lost his last pet cat Bootsie some years ago and could never bring his heart back to having another; though you'd never know that by the many fury visitors he had, each of which he treated like an old friend.
It cannot go unsaid that Joe's smile and laugh will be terribly missed. "It's tough being the black sheep" he'd often say with a devious chuckle. I don't know that he was the black sheep, but if you ever spent time with him in that garage amongst the cars, animals, and Butte people he cherished, you'd know you were fortunate to be amongst his flock. Add the right mood and music and Joe would jitterbug if you kept up.
Joe Backstrom is survived by his brother Marty Backstrom, whom he shared a friendship and brotherhood with that no twin could have replaced. He is also survived by his sister Terri (Backstrom) Fagan, David Benedict and nephew, Gavin. He is survived by many cousins and dear friends, including Russ Backstrom, Joe and Angela Pagliero and Vicki Simmons Burns.
Butte is missing one of its many twinkling lights now, but Joe Backstrom will be celebrated at a later date when it is warmer and safer for people to travel. RIP Joe, smoke 'em if you got 'em! Thanks for the laughs, the stories, and the fun.