GAITHERSBURG, Md. - Roderick Random Pressly, 79, died of natural causes on Friday, Aug. 27, 2004 at Gaithersburg, Md.
He was born in Havre on Nov. 30, 1924 to Hector "Jack" and Bertha
Pressly. Over the years, he told many stories about growing up in Havre with his
friends, especially Ben Kampf. The tales usually involved broken glass, a few bloody noses and a lot of laughs.
He left Havre High School to fight in World War II. Because of poor eyesight, he was turned down by every branch of the service except the Army. They promptly trained him to be a sniper. He was a sergeant in Gen. George Patton's Third Army. Like many veterans of World War II, he didn't talk much about his combat years in Europe. After the war, he returned to Havre and briefly attended Northern Montana College.
He married Margaret "Peggy" Blashfield on May 13, 1954. He began working for the Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company and started a family. A daughter, Carrie, was born in 1955 and a son, Rod in 1958. He and Peggy quietly celebrated their 50th anniversary last spring.
His career with the telephone company and AT&T spanned more than 37 years, taking him to Helena and Billings in Montana, Colorado Springs and Denver in Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah. He fondly remembered his work stringing telephone wires in Yellowstone National Park and the time he spent working on the team developing the NORAD center inside Cheyenne Mountain outside Colorado Springs.
His mother-in-law, Carolyn Ergenbright, came to live with them at the age of 82 in Salt Lake City and, upon his retirement in 1984, they moved to Arizona. He was surprised Carolyn was able to live with them for 22 years. They spent the winter months in Scottsdale and returned to Whitefish for the summers. His two favorite places on Earth were Lake McDonald and the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.
Due to their declining health, he and Peggy moved to Maryland to be closer to their daughter and her family. During the past year, he spent his time making sure Peggy received the care she needed and enjoying every minute he was able to spend with his grandchildren Ben and Katie. He spoke often of their achievements in sports, school and life.
He loved his family and everything Montana.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jack.
Survivors include his wife, Peggy; daughter, Carrie (Terry) Bazyluk; son, Rod (Stephanie) Pressly; four grandchildren; brother, Vern Volbright and Vern's son Garth.
Memorials may be made to The Glacier Fund, Glacier National Park, West Glacier, MT 59936.