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By Tristan 



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Obituary Willie Leroy Pyette, 83, of Chinook, retired business owner of Red Rock Power, passed away of natural causes at the Sweet Nursing Home in Chinook, Thursday, March 4. Rosary was recited on Sunday, March 7, at 7 p.m., in St. Gabriel's Catholic Church. A funeral Mass was Monday, March 8, 2010, at 11 a.m. in St. Gabriel's Catholic Church with burial following in Kuper Memorial Cemetery with military honors. Memorials may be sent to the Chinook Wrestling Club, the Gift of Life Housing or the charity of one's choice. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook. Willie was born in Chinook on Dec. 12, 1926. His parents, Peter and Clara, emigrated from Canada. There were five children in Willie's family, his brothers Pete and Jerome, and his sisters, Sybil and Mary Francis. Willie's family lived in the Chinook community where he graduated from high school in 1946. After high school, Willie worked for the Grazing Association in Chinook, riding and rounding up horses. Horses were his life-long favorite hobby and he loved sharing his hobby with his grandkids. From 1947 to 1951, Willie worked for the O'Neal Line Company, building powerlines in Montana. Willie enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1952 and served in the Korean War. Upon returning from the Korean War, he met his future bride on a blind date. He fell in love with Mary Pappas and they married in 1955. They lived in Chinook and started a family. Hard work and family were his life. Willie was an entrepreneurial selfmade man. Willie bought a farm in 1952, and in addition to working full-time as a lineman, he farmed the land, ran the north Chinook mail route delivery, broke horses and also had an excavation business with his brother Pete. He worked for Duty Construction for 19 years before starting his own successful powerline company, Red Rock Power, in 1977. He took great pride in the fact that he played a role in electrification of rural Montana. He worked with several of his children at Red Rock and was proud to have his son, Willie, and daughter, Claire, take the reins of Red Rock when he retired in 1995. Through his work he mentored many men and shared his passion for line work. He was a great teacher and tough boss. He took great pride in that he trained many linemen throughout Montana and Idaho who have made line work a career. He will be forever watching over the Red Rock Power crews. Family was very important to Willie. He always kept in touch with his siblings and felt it very important to be part of his nieces' and nephews' lives. He spent a great deal of time with his grandchildren and finally in his retirement years had the time to enjoy babysitting, fishing, taking trips and attending school events and activities for all his grandchildren. All the grandchildren's friends got to know him as "Gramps" and several visited at his home and in the Sweet Nursing home. He stayed committed to the Chinook wrestling program and followed friends and neighbors children well past his son's successful wrestling career. Willie was very active and loved animals. Up until the last few years he walked with his dog, Pepper, two miles a day. He took care of his horses and rode the quad around his farm. Willie was very active in the Chinook community. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4620, St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 44 and served on the Benefis Regional Advisory Board. He enjoyed driving Mary to all her meetings around the state and meeting new people. He loved to go to town and have coffee and visit with all the local folks. He will be remembered for his smile and upbeat personality. Willie is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary; five daughters, Patty (Hugo) Anderson of Cut Bank, Linda Pyette of Havre, Wilma Pyette (Dave) of Houston, Claire (Jon) Stoner of Havre, Wendy Verity (Greg) of Denver and son Willie (Melissa) Pyette of Great Falls; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, Becky Anderson and her daughter Nula, Hugo and Evan Anderson of Cut Bank, Gregory and Christopher Verity of Denver, Levi and Lindsy Pyette of Great Falls, Jon Reece and Rainey Stoner of Havre; and many nieces and nephews.


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