HELENA Patrick Leon LaSalle, 70, died Monday, Oct. 2, 2006.
His funeral service was scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Fortress of Joy with interment to follow at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison. A reception was to follow immediately at the Fort Harrison Service Club. Pat was born in Havre on Dec. 14, 1935, while his family lived in the Bear Paw Mountains, to Patrick Joseph and Juanita Pearl (Clayborn) LaSalle. He spent some of his very young life there and attended the Shambo School. The family also lived in Kalispell, Hamilton and Helena, and Elmira, Idaho, where he first started high school at Sandpoint. He later attended Helena High School and from there enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve from July 23, 1954, to July 11, 1956. He enlisted so that someone else might not be drafted. He spent the Korean War in Tokorozawa, Japan, with a maintenance unit. Pat also completed eight years with the Army Reserves in Helena. Although he left Helena temporarily a couple of times in his adult life, he always maintained a home there and loved the wide open skies and the sunshine the valley had to offer. Prior to enlisting, he worked at Foley’s Mill and Carl Anderson’s Auto dealership. After his tour of duty, he was employed by the Mountain Bell Telephone Co. Until 1973. He traveled throughout the state putting in dial phones and worked throughout the state Capitol Complex and was often requested there for his excellent service. After leaving the telephone company, he and his wife, Sandi, began LaSalle Construction and Supply at the gravel pit on Custer and North Montana from 1978 to 1989. After they lost their lease on that site, he worked for Alamon Telephone Co. Of Kalispell and traveled extensively in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, California and Montana. In order to travel with him, Sandi homeschooled their youngest daughter. When the work and travel became too difficult, they purchased the Demersville School south of Kalispell in 1992 and remodeled it into a bed and breakfast, operating two seasons and then converting it into a fourplex that they sold in 1995. They also remodeled their place in Littlefield, Ariz., which they had for nine years before selling it this spring, another house in Kalispell and their cabin on York Road.
Pat and Sandra Fay Borup Mills were married Oct. 11, 1974, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Prior to that, he was married to Mazie Atkins and Clarette Tafolla. Theirs was a “his, hers and ours” family as well as foster children, a Japanese exchange student and some who just wanted to be part of their special family. Pat was a high-energy guy who worked and played hard. For many years he was involved in bowling at Capital City Bowl - both as a league player and a sponsor. He supported and played fast-pitch softball with several teams for many years - playing third base and then pitching until he was 50. His team won state championships twice and went to regionals in Portland once. He also was a good stream fisherman and could hold his own on the golf course. When he became unable to be so active and they were in Arizona for the winter, he liked to travel the state and to play bingo in nearby Mesquite, Nev. Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Sandi; son, Jon (Christine) LaSalle of Granada Hills, Calif.; daughters, Barbara (Tom) Kane, Candi (Steve) Mullenbach and Tina Whitaker, all of Helena, and Suzi (Matthew) Jackson of Mesa, Ariz.; 12 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Edwina Jenkins of Medford, Ore., Carol Wilks of Vancouver, Wash., Judy Pierce of Farmersville, Texas, Rita Anderson of Corvallis, Ore., and Bonnie Stevens of Helena. Memorials can be sent in Pat’s name to the donor’s choice.