Paul Walter Hofeldt, 89, a lifelong rancher, died of natural causes in his Chinook home surrounded by his loving family on Sept. 6, 2008.
Funeral services will be at 2 p. m. on Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2008, at the Lloyd Sweet Auditorium at the Chinook High School with President Ernest Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in the Kuper Memorial Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to the Bear Paw Hospice, Chinook Senior Citizen Center or a charity of choice. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook. Paul was born Jan. 24, 1919, to Henry Clause and Alvina (Struve) Hofeldt in Chinook. He was raised with four brothers and two sisters on a sheep ranch south of Chinook in the Bears Paw Mountains. He attended school at the Maddox School and Lloyd School both south of Chinook. In 1939, he and his brother-in-law Harold Miller became partners and raised sheep. Then Paul met the love of his life, the People’s Creek School teacher, Doris Testerman. They were married on May 30, 1943, in Harlem. They spent the first three months of their married life in a little oneroom log cabin that Paul had built. In the fall of 1943, they bought the Charbonneau place located about four miles from Lloyd. They continued to buy more land and the sheep were replaced with cattle, first Herefords, and then to a cross of Hereford and Black Angus, then mainly to Angus. To this union three children were born, Karon Rose, Paulette Marie, and Dale Paul. In 1978, Paul and Doris formed a cooperation with their son Dale and their son-in-law and daughter Mike and Paulette Keller. Paul and Doris semiretired to a home in Chinook, and did some traveling, took some cruises, and visited other interesting places with friends. Paul believed in his community and volunteered his time and talents. Paul served as a school board member for School District #24 from 1953 to 1968, and in that time saw many changes. He also served on the high school District #10 school board from 1979 to 1982. In 2008 he was honored with a 60-year pin as an Eagle’s member and served 54 years as an Elks member. He had been a member of the North Central Montana Stockgrowers for several years, and served as a director. Paul also was a Montana Stockgrower and NCBA Member, attending both state and national meetings all over the state and nation. Paul was an active 4-H parent for 20 years, helping with 4-H and community projects. Paul was preceded in death by his parents; his seven-yearold sister, Margarita; sister Christine Miller; brothers, Roy (Helen) Hofeldt, Ben (Ruth) Hofeldt; sister, Hilda (William) Drugge; and brother, Lawrence Hofeldt. Paul is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris Hofeldt; daughters, Karon (Clint) Baertsch of Missoula, Paulette (Mike) Keller; son, Dale Hofeldt all of Lloyd; three grandchildren, Kari Kimball of Helena, Lisa Keller (John) Murray and Todd (Kristine) Keller all of Billings; two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Tyler Murray of Billings; three step-grandchildren, Shane (Pam) Baertsch, Shoni (Shawn) Ishler and Shaunna Wing; seven step-greatgrandchildren; a brother, Hans (Mary) Hofeldt of Chinook; brother-in-law Harold Miller of Chinook; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.