By HDN Staff
William "Bill" Wesley Warneke, 59, died Monday, April 29, 2002, at a Great Falls hospital with his family by his side after a strong battle with lung cancer.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial vigil is 7 p.m. Friday at the St. Jude Catholic Church. Memorial service is 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Jude Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. Burial of cremated remains is to follow service at the Highland Cemetery. Fellowship to follow burial at the St. Jude Social Hall.
Bill was born on June 2, 1942 to Alfonso and Margaret (Connole) Warneke at Conrad. He attended elementary school and the beginning of high school in Pendroy and graduated from Choteau High School in 1960. He worked on numerous farms and area missile bases. He met his wife, Linda Cantin, in 1965, and married her on July 12, 1966 in Choteau. That same year, he joined the Guards for a six-year enlistment. To this union, three children were born.
Bill started his police career in July 1964 with the Choteau City Police Department. In April 1968, he became a patrolman with the Great Northern Railway in Great Falls. Bill was in Great Falls for about two months when he was transferred to Havre as a patrolman where he spent the next years dedicating his life to being a railroad agent. In 1987, Bill was promoted to special agent in Havre and just over a year later, he was promoted to special agent in charge of all of Montana. Along with the many duties that Bill had to perform for the railroad, he was also a firearms instructor. Bill was one of the first firearms instructors chosen in 1975 when the railroad started the program, and he remained an instructor for 19 years.
Bill was very active in the Havre community. He was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 1989 by the Optimist Club and was named Optimist of the Year in 1997. Bill served both as vice-president and president of the Optimist Club. He was very involved in the Optimist Club; he sponsored the Easter egg hunt every year and the Optimist Club booth at the Great Northern Fair. He was also involved in the Boy Scouts. He was instrumental in establishing the Law Enforcement Explorer's Scouts.
He was preceded in death by his father, Al Warneke in 1992.
Survivors include his mother, Margaret (Connole) Warneke of Choteau; brother, Dave Warneke of Great Falls; wife Linda Warneke of Havre; son, Robert (Jodi) Warneke of Great Falls; daughters, Barbara (Ron) Konesky and Lori (Jason) Warren, both of Havre; and eight grandchildren.
Memorials in Bill's honor may be made to Montana Cancer Institute, Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406 or Gift of Life Housing, Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of the Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.