CHESTER Reuben Harvey Halverson, 88, died Friday evening, Nov. 3, 2006, at the Liberty County Nursing Home.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chester. A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall. Reuben was born March 1, 1918, at Broadview to Harvey and Clara (Johnson) Halverson. Reuben received his formal education at the Liberty Valley Country School near Rapelje. During the early Depression years, Reuben worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps near Neihart. His family had moved to Belgrade, where he took a job as a telegrapher for the Northern Pacific Railway. He enjoyed his work for the railroad and eventually transferred to the Great Northern Railway system. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, he had worked for the railroad in Post Falls, Idaho, and several locations in Lothair, Shelby and Whitefish. Reuben enlisted into the U.S. Navy in February of 1943 and earned the rank of radioman 3rd Class. He was assigned to the ship U.S.N.T.S. Farragut and served in the Asiatic-Pacific and Philippine campaigns during the war. He received his honorable discharge in December of 1945 and returned to Montana. Reuben began courting a young woman, Doris M. Odden, whom he met before entering the military. They were married on March 3, 1946, at Dutton. The Halversons moved to Chester, where they raised a family of five. Reuben worked as the railroad agent at the Chester depot until his retirement in 1978. They lived in their Chester home until three years ago, when they moved to the Wheat Country Estates. Because of failing health, Reuben transferred to the Liberty County Nursing Home in July of 2004. Reuben was an energetic guy who liked to stay busy. In addition to working for the railroad, he delivered freight. In the summers, he worked as a painter and helped local farmers during harvest time. After his retirement, he worked for Wanken Farms, ran a small engine repair business, served as maintenance man at the Sweetgrass Lodge retirement facility, and worked as caretaker of the Lions Park rest stop in Chester. He also volunteered and worked hard in many community projects. Reuben served for a term as Chester mayor and as city councilman for many years. He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council and taught Sunday school. He volunteered as a Boy Scout leader and Little League coach for many years. His other memberships included the local V.F.W. Post and the Chester Lions Club. Reuben enjoyed taking adult education courses, including typing, bookkeeping and woodworking. He loved to sing, listen to music, and play the harmonica. He was an active member of the Music Makers and sang in a local barbershop quartet in years gone by. He enjoyed his big vegetable gardens each year and sharing his produce with family and friends. He also liked to play cards, especially pan, and in his later years, crazy 8’s. Reuben loved fishing and hunting, and taught his children and grandchildren how to be good sportsmen and safe hunters. Some of his favorite hunting grounds were along the Marias River at Cockrell Bottom, so it seems fitting that he asked his family to scatter his ashes in that area. Reuben was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Harold Halverson. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Doris Halverson of Chester; sons, Kenneth (Jan) Halverson of Soldotna, Alaska, Larry (Martee) Halverson of Springfield, Mo., and Gregory Halverson of Manhattan, N.Y.; daughters, Karla (Gerry) Kulpas and Janis Chipman, both of Chester; sisters, Lois Berreth of Billings, Lorraine Miller of Spokane, Wash., Maxine Mercer of Twin Bridges and Marjorie (Chuck) Pemble of Billings; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces. Memorials may be given to the Chester Swimming Pool fund, Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis funds, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Liberty County Hospital and Nursing Home, or donor’s choice. Cremation and arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.