Adam Schweitzer of Helena died of natural causes, Dec. 4, 2009, at the age of 89.
A viewing will be held Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at 6 p.m., at the Retz Funeral Home Chapel, followed by a vigil service at 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at 11 a.m., at the Cathedral of St. Helena, followed by a luncheon in the Brondel Center of the Cathedral. Arrangements are under the care of Retz Funeral Home in Helena. Mr. Schweitzer was born May 15, 1920, in Goldstone, Mont., the seventh of nine children, to Michael and Francisca Schweitzer. His first language was German. He only learned English after beginning school. He never had the opportunity to attend high school, but he had a lifelong thirst for learning that he passed on to his children and grandchildren. When World War II started he joined the Army Air Corps, graduating in the top 1 percent of his aircraft engineering class. After the war, he returned home to take over the family farm. In 1946, he married Kathleen H. McKernan of Box Elder, Mont. The family moved to Geyser, Mont., in 1954. Mr. Schweitzer was innovative and active in the farming and ranching community. In pursuit of better performance, he helped organize the Montana Beef Performance Association, and as director he helped start the first Performance Bull Testing Station in Montana. He produced the first Simmental calf born in the United States in October 1968 and held the first production Simmental sale. He was elected to be the Montana director for the American Simmental Association, and Schweitzer Simmentals were internationally recognized for producing the best polled fullbloods in the world. He won numerous awards including: grand champion with a bull named Montana in Argentina and had grand champions in Europe, Australia, Canada and Mexico. His final show was in Dallas, Texas, where he won world grand champion bull. While searching for a better market for his produce, he became involved with the National Farmers Organization and eventually became the national director for the NFO. Mr. Schweitzer was also active in his community outside of agriculture. Among his proudest accomplishments were organizing and creating the Geyser Rural Fire Department, serving on the local school board, serving on the St. Cyril Catholic Parish Council, actively participating in the Knights of Columbus and leading the Raynesford Willing Workers 4-H Club. He encouraged his children to get a good education. He was proud that all of his children attended college and pursued successful careers as doctors, real-estate agents, consultants, and governor. During his youth, Mr. Schweitzer enjoyed hunting, baseball and dancing. In his later years, he enjoyed world travel to countries such as Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kathleen of Helena; a brother, Frank, of Nevada.; a sister, Francis of Arizona; his children, Darwin (Sharon) of Oregon, Warren (Ingela) of California, Mike (Jolyn) of Billings; Brian (Nancy) of Helena, Walter (Cindy) of Helena, and Mary (Joe) of Ohio; 14 grandchildren and three great-grand children. He is preceded in death by six siblings and one grandchild. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association Montana Chapter at 3010 11th Ave N, Billings, MT 59101 or the Geyser Volunteer Fire Department at Box 102, Geyser, MT 59447. To offer a condolence to Adam’s family or to share a memory of Adam, please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com.