Leonard A. Motari, 83, of Great Falls, a former longtime general agent for Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Co. In Havre, died of natural causes Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, at his home.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at O’Connor Funeral Home in Great Falls. His funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, followed by burial at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls. A memorial service will be held in Havre at a later date. Leonard was born June 24, 1923, in Great Falls to Mary Ellen and Joseph Motari. As a young man, Leonard worked for the Anaconda Co. And the Civilian Conservation Corps. He also served in the Army during World War II. Leonard married Virginia Mae Hall on March 7, 1946. They lived in Great Falls, where he became a Pioneer Mutual Insurance Agent in the 1950s. In 1962, they moved to Havre, where they lived for 45 years. Leonard bought the Hi-Line Lanes and 300 Club. He also owned and operated the Dutch Shop Cafe, Grand Hotel and the Pomp Room Bar. In the 1980s, he bought Northern Tire, Buff N’ Shine and Mini Mart. Leonard later became a Pioneer Mutual general agent for the Havre and Hi-Line area. Pioneer Mutual named him Man of the Year 13 consecutive years. He was a member of the Order of the Diadem, sat on the Pioneer Mutual Life Advisory Board and on the Pioneer Mutual Life Board of Directors. He was the first agent to have his picture on the Pioneer Mutual Life Magazine for outstanding agent of the year. He also won numerous top agent awards and accolades. Leonard and Virginia moved to back to Great Falls in 2001 for health reasons. Leonard continued to sell insurance until his death. Leonard enjoyed bowling, fishing and attending family activities. He was a lifetime member of the Eagles, Moose, Elks and VFW. He also was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Leonard loved to be able to help people, was known for his sense of humor, his character and his unyielding love for his family and friends. Leonard was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Motari; mother, Mary Ellen Lucker; brothers, Lawrence and Pat Motari; sister, Catherine Bofto; and wife of 59 years, Virginia Motari. Survivors include his daughters, Beverly J. (John) Olson of Beaverton, Ore., and Linda M. McCartney (Tom Dashner) of Great Falls; sister, Patsy Wilson of Arizona; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren;five greatgreat- grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorials can be made to Sletten’s Cancer Institute or Benefis Heart Foundation.