Odis Dow Overcast was born Aug. 24, 1924, on the family farm in Montier, Mo., to Abbie Dow Overcast and Waunita Karleen Waggoner Overcast.
When he was 6 months old, Dow and Karleen moved to the Milk River Valley, east of Chinook, Mont., where young Dow grew up. He spent his entire life there engaged in farming, ranching and the aerial spraying business. He passed into the arms of the Lord on Nov. 21, 2011, at 87 years of age, in the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home, where he’d resided for the last year-and-a-half.
Although his first name was Odis, he was always just known as Dow Jr. As a youngster, Dow attended the North Fork School and Chinook High School, graduating in 1942.
On March 21, 1943, Dow married Margaret Loewen, the love of his life. Dow and Margaret celebrated 68 years of marriage last spring, barely a week before Margaret passed from this life.
Dow and Margaret were blessed with four children, whom they raised on their farm in Paradise Valley, along with the sugar beets, cattle and grain. Both Dow and Margaret thought that the kids were the most significant crop they had to nurture, and both spent their entire lives as devoted parents.
One of Dow’s passions was flying. His dream was to be a fighter pilot in World War II, but it wasn’t to be. Being the only son on a farm requiring huge amounts of manual labor, and with a shrunken workforce due to the war, his lot in life was an agricultural deferment from military service. He always hated that; he wanted to go to war, too.
He learned to fly in the 1950s and started in the aerial spraying business in the 1960s. He absolutely loved to spray the crops. It was the closest he could come to being a fighter pilot. He was still actively spraying until he was 78 years old, which is quite a record considering the fact that he had several accidental “crash landings, ” including one in which the plane was a total loss. Dow walked away from that one with just a little bump on his head.
After turning over the farming operation to a couple of their sons, Dow and Margaret began spending their winters near Yuma, Ariz., in their later years, and enjoyed this period of their life immensely.
Dow was very reluctant to leave his life’s work behind, always wondering if the boys were doing things right, but finally came to enjoy the time off. In all, they went “south” for 17 years in a row, but he always helped on the farm whenever he was needed.
Dow was a devoted husband and father to their four kids
and was constantly teasing his grandkids. He was a quiet man of faith, and after losing his precious wife last spring, counted the days until they could be together again.
Although he will be greatly missed, he’s now at home with the Lord where he so longed to be, again walking hand-in-hand with his bride.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dow and Karleen; his wife, Margaret; and several brothers-in-law.
He is survived by three sisters, Maureen Taylor of Chinook, Pat Schmear of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas, and Trina Thielman of Chester. Dow is also survived by his son, Ken (Dawn) of Chinook; his daughter, Kathryn (RJ) Reid of Bozeman; and twin sons, Frank (Marcia) of Chinook and John (Memory) of Cut Bank, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Memorial services are to be held Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, at 11 a. m. at Chinook Alliance Church. Any wishing to send memorials may send them to the Chinook Alliance Church Kitchen Fund, or to one’s choice.