ROBERT DAFOE obituary
Robert W. "Wayne" Dafoe, 86, of Chester died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005, at Liberty County Nursing Home in Chester.
A funeral service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Chester Alliance Church. A graveside service with military rites will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Whitlash Cemetery.
was born April 11, 1918, at Ithaca, Mich., to Ernest and Nellie (Peck) Dafoe. After receiving his formal education, Wayne began working in the tool-and-dye division at the Buick factory in Flint. He later completed a course in auto body repair at a local trade school. Wayne and a friend traveled to Montana on their Indian motorcycles in the summer of 1939 and he met Chester-area girl Mable Mae Hoffner.
Wayne and Mable Mae were married in Flint on Dec. 3rd, 1939. They made their home in Michigan for four years. In 1943, Wayne was inducted into the U.S. Army, and Mable returned to Montana to be near her family. Wayne served as a medic in Burma during World War II. When he received his honorable discharge in 1947, he came to Montana to be reunited with Mable. For a short while, he assisted with the ranching operations on the Hoffner ranch northeast of the Sweet Grass Hills. The Dafoes made their home in Chester, where Wayne owned and operated the Chester Body Shop from 1948-1959. When the Hoffners retired in 1959, the family moved to the ranch. In addition to raising Angus cattle, Wayne continued to do auto body repair work at his shop on the ranch.
After 39 years of marriage, Mable died of cancer on Dec. 28, 1978. Wayne remained a widower throughout the rest of his life. In 1983, he and Betty Lou Standiford became special friends and social partners until her death in 1988.
Wayne retired about 20 years ago, but continued to live on the ranch and help out whenever he could. In the 1990s, he began traveling during the winter months to Apache Junction, Ariz., where he developed a host of friends in a trailer park there. Wayne's health remained relatively good until three years ago. In October of 2003 he moved to the Wheat Country Estates assisted living facility in Chester. Wayne was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer. He entered the Chester hospital about a month ago and later transferred to the Liberty County Nursing Home.
Wayne's past memberships included the Chester V.F.W. Post, Havre Elks Club and Chester United Methodist Church. He had served on the Chester School Board for many years. Wayne was very proud of his military service.
Wayne enjoyed many hobbies, especially his artwork. In the 1950s, he started oil painting, then converted to pencil drawings. He was meticulous in his sketchings of people, animals, machinery and scenery.
He also enjoyed stream fishing, wildlife and hunting. He was social and enjoyed the events of his grandchildren. During his quiet time at home, he had constructed intricate model ships, completed many jigsaw puzzles, and even tried knitting. He had a nice collection of Matchbox cars, enjoyed Western movies, liked to read Western novels, and loved to play cards, especially pinochle and penny-ante poker). He was an excellent acetylene welder.
This past November, Wayne appreciated traveling south for the last time with several of his children and grandchildren to celebrate Thanksgiving in Elko, Nev., at the home of his grandson, Bill.
Wayne was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and a brother (Leroy).
Survivors include his sons, Hal (Gerri) Dafoe of Great Falls and Bob (Toni) Dafoe of Chester; daughter, Janet (Richard) Jonas of Great Falls; brother, Lionel (Marj) Dafoe of Burton, Mich.; sister, Arlene Jackson of Germantown, Wis.; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and many nephews and nieces.
Memorials may be given to the Hi-Line Health Foundation in Chester or to a donor's choice.
Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.