Corvallis — Vance Thackeray Warwick, 98, died Aug. 19, 2012. He passed away while a resident of the Aaron Care Home in Corvallis. He died of the complications of Parkinson's and old age.
Vance was born at home in Havre, Mont., Jan 7, 1914, the fifth of seven children to Thomas and Rose Ellen (Thackeray) Warwick. All have passed away. His grandmother, Barbara (McCormack) Thackeray, died in her 90s, his mother died at 96, and two sisters lived into their 90s. His siblings were William James (Evelyn), Isabelle Jean (Walt) Conn, Sarah Ellen (Eric) Antonson, Thomas Arthur (Cecil), John Douglas, Barbara Mary (Robert) Kennedy.
Vance attended and graduated Havre schools and recalled as a Blue Pony football player the team traveling in the open box of a grain truck to play Kalispell. Tarps were provided if it rained.
He had stories galore of Havre’s infamous honky tonk days and of being a cowboy in the Bear Paw Mountains, mostly on his Uncle Arch Thackeray’s Ranch, taking showers under the Falls of Bullhook. He got a ride on Long George Francis’ horse. He explored Fort Assinniboine. He and friend Eugene Berry hopped a freight train to East Glacier to work on a Fox Farm getting his first introduction to Glacier Park.
Vance had a 41 year career as a clerk and truck driver with the Great Northern and Burlington Northern railroads. From cowboying, he went to the CCC’s in northwestern Montana. He got on the crew building the transmission lines to Fort Peck from Great Falls and then worked on Fort Peck Dam where he was transferred to a new crew just before his old crew perished in a tunnel cave-in. He went from working on the dam to the railroad.
In 1938. while stationed in Malta with the Great Northern, he met and married Helen Marion Keith. While working the Great Northern in Conrad, Mont., they had three of their four children.
Surviving children are: Vance Wesley (Rozanne), Orville Archie (Leslie) and Valerie B. (Kenneth) Reeves. Wife, Helen M. ; and son Kenneth Neal preceded him in death. There are 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grand children.
After Helen’s death from a car accident, Vance married the widow Ethel Louise Carrington, who had three children. They would also call him Dad. Ethel Louise and son James David (Jamie) Carrington survive him. Daughters Carol Louise Carrington and Jane Annette (Vern) Richardson preceded him in death. There are four more grandchildrenn and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces who all have made regular trips to the Hamilton area to see him.
A Mason, he was active with his first wife, Helen, in Eastern Star. He was a longtime instructor and range master for the VFW Junior Rifle Club in Havre. He was a steady churchgoer attending Presbyterian and then Lutheran churches. After retirement in Havre, he and Ethel, moved up the Skalkaho Creek in the Bitterroot Valley. They later became residents of Sapphire Homes and then moved to the very home-like and great staff of the Aaron Care Home in Corvallis. They traveled widely, but the trips to Glacier Park were always a favorite.
He cut and gathered his own wood into his 80s. He enjoyed seeing his kids and grandchildren participating in sports. He was an avid cribbage player and constant reader of western novels. His country humor, his stories, his hugs, his gentle, helpful ways, his prayers, and his heart-felt phrase upon leavings, “May the peace of God be with you, ” will all be missed.
A funeral is planned for 1 p. m., Friday, Aug. 24, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Mont., with Pastor Brenda Satrum officiating. Urn placement will take place at Highland Park Cemetery in Havre.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.