MALTA - Claude Ezra "Ezzie" Ereaux, 61, a Malta businessman, died June 25, 2004, of a pulmonary embolism at a Great Falls hospital.
A wake will be on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Malta. A funeral service will be Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Malta High School gymnasium with the Rev. Jim O'Neil and the Rev. Joseph Retzel officiating. Burial will be in the Malta Cemetery. A reception will follow the funeral at the Tin Cup.
Ezzie was born on May 29, 1943, and was raised in south Wagner and Malta. He graduated from Malta High School in 1961.
Ezzie worked at the
Nicholson Ranch in Dodson from the sixth-grade through most of high school. After high school, he worked for the Larry O'Rourke Ranch, hauled mail on the Dodson route, worked construction for his uncle, Bill Burlingame, in Missoula, and drove truck for Waggoner Trucking out of Livingston. Ezzie worked for Petrolane for several years in Malta and in 1967 went into partnership with C.K. Hanson in the Conoco Bulk Plant. After purchasing the bulk plant a number of years later, Ezzie began building his bulk dealership into Ezzie's Wholesale, which now consists of locations in Malta, Turner, Chinook, Harlem, Saco, Hinsdale, Havre, Big Sandy and Glasgow. Ezzie also owned and operated the West Side Service in Malta, the Kid Curry, and a partnership in Marian Hills and the Tin Cup in Malta. Ezzie employed more than 100 employees throughout the Hi-Line area.
Ezzie loved people. He loved hunting and fishing and enjoyed entertaining and having friends with him. He was concerned for people and enriched the lives of all who came in contact with him. He had an excellent memory and was a superb businessman, who was respected by his peers, customers and employees alike. He also helped a lot of people, the local community and Hi-Line without fanfare or recognition.
Ezzie was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Ilene (Burlingame) Ereaux; granddaughter, Emily Rose; and sister, La Donna Itciana.
Survivors include his wife, Jane Ereaux of Malta; son, Robert Ereaux of Havre; brothers and sisters, Roger Ereaux of Saco, June (Jim) Fitzpatrick of Helena, Claris Darrah of Malta, Phyllis Harrington of Helena, Carrol (Jean) Ereaux, Roy (Marian) Ereaux and Byron (Lynette) Ereaux, all of Malta, Stella (John) Murray of Great Falls and Darla (Leo) Barthelmess of Malta; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to a local charity of one's choice or the Malta Fire Department.
Arrangements are by the Bell Mortuary in Glasgow.