David James LaValley, 90, died Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, He was at Northern Montana Hospital.
Funeral services will be at 11 a. m. Friday at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Joplin. Following burial at the Joplin Cemetery, a luncheon will be held at Kjos Hall. David was born Sept. 10, 1917, on the family homestead east of Joplin. He was the second of five sons born to Lawrence and Ida (Aasen) LaValley. David received his formal education in Joplin and Brady, graduating from Joplin High School in 1938. He married Garnett May Adams on Oct. 23, 1941, in Havre. In those early years they lived in Cut Bank where Dave worked in a scrap steel yard and in the oilfields during WWII. The LaValleys were blessed with four children. During the children’s school years they lived in Great Falls where Dave was employed at the Anaconda Smelter Company and served as head boiler fireman at Malmstrom Air Force Base. In 1963, they moved to the Adams’ homestead 30 miles north of Joplin. They lived and farmed in the Joplin community from that time on. Garnett died on June 15, 1999, at the age 80. They had been married 58 years. Dave remained on the farm for a short while, then moved to Havre to live with his son, Gary and family. He enjoyed his time in Havre the past eight years and maintained a positive attitude about life. David had recovered from colon cancer in 1996, then was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003. David loved to work the soil and reap its rewards. He also loved custom-harvesting. He had been active in the Liberty County S.C.S., where he promoted various farm programs and applied these new methods of soil rehabilitation. He served on the Farmers Union board and drove school bus for many years. During their years in Great Falls, Dave taught Bible school, served on the board at First Methodist Church, and volunteered as a Boy Scout leader. After returning to Joplin, he helped organize and coach the Big Sage Little League baseball teams. During his recent years in Havre, David enjoyed going to the Senior Center for lunch and watch people play pool. His hobbies were many. Dave loved music and dancing, watching old western movies on television, and reading local histories and Louis L’Amour cowboy books. In his younger days he enjoyed hunting and playing baseball on men’s leagues. He was an avid fan of high school sports, especially wrestling. He also enjoyed Skylights basketball, Seattle Mariners baseball, and Dallas Cowboys football. Dave loved to fly in small engine aircraft and enjoy the scenic countryside. These last years in Havre were special to David. He played an active role in the sporting and academic events of his two granddaughters. He also kept in contact with his other grandchildren to stay current on their many activities and adventures. Dave always gave to all of his children and grandchildren and he taught by example. He and Garnett helped other children, too, with many of life’s lessons. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; his son, Ron in 2001; and brothers, Mark, Glenn, Raymond and Paul LaValley. He is survived by daughter, Barbara LaValley of Portland, Ore.; sons, Gary (Yvette) LaValley of Havre and Dave (Brenda) LaValley of Milwaukie, Ore.; three nephews; two nieces; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.