By HDN Staff
STEVENSVILLE Kenneth William Bangs, 86, died at his home in Stevensville Thursday morning, May 2, 2002, after struggling with congestive heart failure for more than a year.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday at the Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville at 1 p.m., with Jeff Olsgaard officiating. A reception will follow at 306 Pine in Stevensville.
Ken was born on the homestead of his parents, Will and Etta Bangs, 23 1/2 miles north of Inverness on May 19, 1915.
Ken received his early education at the Minnesota country school, graduating from Inverness High School in 1933. He attended college at Northern Montana College in Havre and the University of Montana in Missoula where he graduated with a degree in sociology and economics in 1941.
On Sept. 26, 1941, he married Norma Lorraine Prescott in Spokane, Wash. During World War II he worked as a welder in the shipyards of Bremerton, Wash., after which he returned with his wife, Norma, and baby daughter, Dorothy, to the farm in Montana. Ken taught one year of high school in Inverness, then spent the rest of his working life farming and raising a family of seven children. In 1980 Ken and Norma left the farm and traveled extensively after which they retired to Stevensville in 1983.
He was a lifelong and active member of the Democratic Party and the Montana Farmer's Union. He also served on the board of directors of the Hill County Electric Co-op, was an Inverness school trustee, and on the board of the Farmers Union Oil station in Rudyard.
His interest in people, developed during his years on the farm, continued during his life in Stevensville, where he often helped out friends, neighbors and the community with numerous projects. In his later years of retirement he developed a liking for golf and was one of the mainstays at the Whitetail Golf Course in Stevensville. He was a lover of reading, tending his yard and garden, playing bridge, discussing current events and traveling. Norma and Ken enjoyed trips to Australia, China, Russia and England. They also attended numerous elder hostels in the United States.
He was preceded in death by his wife Norma in 1994 and his older sister, Dorothy McMurphy of Albuquerque.
He is survived by his brother, Howard Bangs of Seattle; sister, Genevieve Schwartz of Chicago; daughter, Dorothy Leonard of Sunnyside, Wash.; sons, Collin Bangs and wife, Patsy, of Missoula, Richard Bangs and wife, Susan, of Littleton Colo., Dennis Bangs of Missoula, Bill Bangs and wife, Linda, of Missoula, Tom Bangs and wife, Carol, of Inverness; daughter Linda Dolar and husband, Jerry, of Salem Oregon; adopted son, Julian P. Stevens of Virginia; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Memorials can be made to the Minneota Friendly Club Scholarship Fund, The Montana Farmer's Union Camp Fund, or to North Valley Public Library, 208 Main St., Stevensville, MT 59870.