CHINOOK - John Thomas McMaster, 80, of Chinook died Tuesday Dec. 6, 2005, at Northern Montana Hospital after a long battle with cancer.
A rosary and vigil service will be Friday at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Chinook. Burial will follow at Kuper Memorial Cemetery with military honors. A luncheon will be held at the church immediately after the graveside service.
John was born in St. John, N.D., on June 6, 1925, to George and Bertha (Schneider) McMaster. John joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Saginaw Bay, a destroyer during World War II. John was awarded the American Pacific Theater of War Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater of War Ribbon with a Silver Star, Leyte Campaign, Lingayen Gulf Campaign, Iwo Jima Campaign, Okinawa Campaign, and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one star for enemy attack. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946. John returned home to North Dakota after the war, where he worked around the Rolla area as a farmhand.
He met Agnes Roles in Towner, N.D., in 1949 and they were married in 1950. John found employment with the Great Northern Railway in 1953. He and Agnes moved their young family that year to Havre, where John embarked on a 32-year career with the railroad, reting in 1985. John and Agnes moved to the Chinook area in 1959, where they raised 10 children and John took part-time work as a school bus driver and as a farm hand for Cliff and Muriel Pridgeon.
John spent his retirement at their home west of Chinook. John considered himself a rich man because of the love that was shared with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Alec, Lawrence and George Jr.; sisters, Bertha, Mary and Rose; and son, William (Bill) McMaster in December 2003.
Survivors include his wife, Agnes McMaster of Chinook; sons, Ed (Thelma) McMaster, Pat McMaster, David McMaster, Mike (Ronda) McMaster, all of Chinook, and Merle McMaster of Winslow, Ark.; daughters, Judy (Russ) Rhinehart of Billings, Pauly (Perry) Miller of Chinook, Marge (Greg) Cosmutto of Winneconne, Wis., and Susan (Dave) Armstrong of Havre; daughter-in-law, Patty Gilreath-McMaster of Laurel; sisters, Isabel (Rudy) Bozeman of Fort Shaw and Eva Berndt of Jamestown, N.D.; 35 grandchild-ren; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Memorials in John's honor may be made to Gift of Life, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406-7008, or to a memorial of one's choice.
Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.