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Obituary - William F. Arvin

William F. Arvin, 89, of Havre, Montana, 18 days before his 90th birthday, passed away in his home on Jan.. 30, 2016.

A graveside service will be on Saturday, Feb.  6, 2016, at 1 p.m. at Lawndale Cemetery, near Opheim, Montana, with Pastor George Sturm officiating. Bell Mortuary is in charge of Arrangements.

Condolences may be left at

Bill was born on Feb. 17, 1926, to William Arvin Sr. and Eva Ree (Sisson) Arvin, in Kansas City, Missouri, their oldest child; later joined by one sister, Mary Ellen.

The family lived in Missouri until Bill was 9 years old, then they moved to Billings, Montana, because of the depression. His father's brother had a dairy farm there. His father and family worked there many years while the children were growing up.

Bill graduated from Billings High School in 1944. Following graduation he left for Farragut, with a group of friends, for two years in the Navy during World War II. They served in the South Pacific, the Philippines, Okinawa and occupation of Japan, on the USS Colorado BB45.

Upon discharge he worked with harvest crews until his friend, Ralph Queen, talked him into entering Eastern Montana College until 1949 when he acquired a job in Opheim, Montana. The beginning of a career that lasted 37 years.

After two years in Opheim, he and Beryl Omvig planned to be married. However he had chosen an early release from the Navy, in exchange for a  chance that he might be recalled to finish the last 10 months.

The wedding plans were made including the wedding invitations which arrived just before the "notice" from Uncle Sam that said: "Report on May 29 with the wedding to be June 3. Bill wrote for a 10-day extension. Being young and being full of trust, and a lot of faith, the invitations were mailed out. The government granted him seven days so the wedding was on June 3, and he left for Korea very early on June 6 on the USS Colonial LSD 18, mine sweeping off the Korean War.

Bill was discharged with the rank of machinist mate third class. He was shipped back to the U.S. after three months, where he was joined by Beryl in Coronado, California, back and forth until March when his time was served.

He had to give up his teaching contract in Choteau to go to Korea, so what does a teacher without a job do in March but go back to college at Eastern Montana College, working in the summers and securing a job in Saco, Montana. For three years, while in Saco, we adopted our first child, Lee. Next was a job in St. Regis where he moved alone as Beryl waited for our second son, William A. Arvin. Bill didn't care much for the mountains so after two years we headed back to the prairie at Stanford, Montana, where our daughter DeJana Rea was born.  

After four years in 1961 we moved to Havre, Montana where Bill finished his teaching career. Bill worked summers in construction, SCS (measuring land), county road and bridge crews; but every five years was required to attend summer school.

When he retired in 1987, it took about a year of "retirement" before he went and got a job at Cenex, where he worked for 14 years.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Eva Ree Arvin; and sister, Mary Ellen (Beldon, DeBord) Bustle.  

He is survived by his wife, Beryl; sons, Lee B. of Great Falls and William A. of Havre; daughter, DeJana (Doug) Bucher, of Post Falls, Idaho; grandchildren, James (Michelle) Arvin of Cheney Washington, Thomas (Jennifer) Bucher of Post Falls, Idaho, Anita (Jeremiah) Johnson, of Glendive, Montana, Lee Arvin Jr. and Nathaniel Arvin of Great Falls; great-grandchildren, Raistlin Aleman, Liriel, Selene, Nathaniel Jr., Alexander and Sonata Arvin; sister-in-law, Mary Ann Onvig of Billings; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please choose a charity of your choice in Bill's honor.


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