Brent William Skramstad, 51, passed away peacefully Sept, 2, 2009, surrounded by his family and fellow musicians at home after a courageous battle against bone cancer.
Brent was born to Les and Norita Skramstad in Libby, Mont., May 30, 1958. In 1975, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and lived aboard the USS Racine for four years, traveling all over the world. Upon return, he resumed his musical career playing with his family and many friends for the next 30 years. In 1980, he married Loree Cole and to this union a daughter, Shyla Ann, was born. The couple later divorced, and Loree is now deceased. Brent attended Northern Montana College and finished college in Minot State University. While attending college in Havre, he met and married on Aug. 12, 1989, Julie Gallagher, and they just celebrated their 20th anniversary. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1990 and was stationed in Hawaii until August 1992 when he returned to Libby and then moved to Havre, Mont. In 1995. During his main years of employment he worked for Skramstad Logging, Champion International over-the-road trucking, Havre Sears store, Haliburton, BNSF and most recently, Hill County Road Department and playing music with the Milk River Band. Brent was a very avid outdoorsman, especially hunting and fishing, and was willing to give anybody a hand on any project. He was a simple man who put his family first, always making sure they were taken care of. He had a special relationship with all his nieces and nephews, whether it was watching cartoons, telling jokes or going to lunch. And you can bet your boots if you wanted an honest answer, you just had to ask Brent he would hold nothing back. He was a very honest and open person. Brent was born with a guitar in his hand. He really enjoyed his music and the family bond he had with his fellow musicians and groupies. Brent was preceded in death by his father, Les Skramstad; grandparents, Lewis and Rosie Skramstad and Ester and William Gardiner. Survivors include his mother, Norita Gardiner Skramstad; wife, Julie Gallagher Skramstad; brother, Brady (Yvonne) Skramstad; sisters, Laurel Porte, Gayla (Bob) Cody, and Sloan (Martin) Thompson; daughter, Shyla Skramstad; sons, Kyle O'Brien and Lester Skramstad; stepson, Ryan Gallagher; granddaughter, Kyrah O'Brien; stepgrandson, Andrew Gallagher; many cousins, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews; and his two special dogs, Buddy and Shadow. Brent will be greatly missed by all. A memorial for Brent was held in Havre Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, and his funeral will be in Libby Friday, Sept. 11, 2009, at 2 p.m. Memorials may be sent in Brent's honor to Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center at 40 W. 13th St., Havre, MT 59501; The Lincoln County Asbestos Relief Organization at 245 Cedar Meadow Rd., Libby, MT 59923; or to the charity of one's choice.