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Obituary - Theodore "Teddy" Bruce Burfield


Theodore Burfield

Theodore "Teddy" Bruce Burfield was born July 25, 1939, in Havre, Montana, to Peggy (Hazel) Brown Burfield and Theodore S. Burfield, the youngest of their five children. May 4, 2018, at the age of 78, Ted passed away at home from COPD, surrounded by his family, a special day as it was his son Mitch's birthday and we knew he met dad to take him to his eternal resting place.

A graveside service will be held Thursday, May 10, 2018, at the Highland Cemetery in Havre, Montana, at 2 p.m., officiated by Duane Johnson. All are welcome to attend. A celebration of Ted's life will be held after the service in the Antique Room of the Mediterranean Restaurant.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Dog is My Co-Pilot, RezQ Dogs, or a memorial of your choice.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.

Please visit Ted's online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for his family at http://www.hollandbonine.com/.

Ted grew up in Gildford, Montana, spending his time riding his horse, Smokey, with his beloved dogs by his side. This began a life-long love of horses and blue heelers. You could find Ted riding all over the Gildford area with his best friend, Pat Conway. They developed a strong bond. Pat would sneak over and rescue him from the clothesline his mother would attach him to, in order to keep him from running wild all over town, which included climbing the Gildford water tower. In his youth he also enjoyed spotlighting rabbits, hunting and fishing. Ted discovered his love of farming while working with his dad on their family farm where he learned to build, repair and meticulously care for their machinery.

In eighth grade Ted met the love of his life, Diana Lee Johnson, at a Kremlin school dance, and, after four years of courting, they were married at the Kremlin Lutheran Church March 22, 1958. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their family.

Ted and Diana began their farm/ranch business when they purchased their own land and home in Gildford. Here they welcomed their first daughter, Darcel, soon followed by Mitch, Perian, Teddi Jo and Caron. Ted and Diana farmed and ranched for over 40 years. Ted enjoyed researching and planting new varieties of wheat, his cattle and working in his shop. Ted was a talented welder. There was very little that he could not fix or build. He designed and fabricated a cab for his new Case tractor and turned an old farm truck into a field service truck he named "Old Smokey." Ted shared his love of farming and ranching by employing many young people over the years to help with the work load. Many became lifelong friends, especially Rene and Ardis Hofstad and Sam Bird.

Ted had a love of airplanes that developed at an early age. He earned his private pilot license while in high school. With the help of his brother-in-law Duane "Peter Airplane" Johnson, Ted acquired his instrumentation license. He flew for many years in his Cessna 172.

In 1978, Ted became a realtor specializing in farm/ranch, and commercial property. He continued this profession through 2017. Purchasing the Mountain Holiday Motel in 1982 helped Ted to re-discover his passion for cultivating and he grew beautiful flowers. Ted later built his own greenhouse in Missoula and provided flowers and vegetables to his family and friends. He was especially known for his hanging fuschia and begonia baskets.

Ted was a talker, visiting with family and friends was one of his favorite past times. You could find him drinking Folgers, playing cribbage or pinochle, and BS-ing. He looked forward to vacationing every year in Glacier National Park to camp, boat and fish. Ted was an avid reader and loved books about Montana history, horses, Alaska and western fiction. He was always looking for new interests and new adventures.

Ted is survived by his wife of 60 years, Diana; his children, Darcel (Curt) Wesen of Glasgow, Perian (Chris) Smith of Missoula, Teddi (Paul) Johannsen of Whitefish, and Caron (Joe) Lavoie of Missoula, MT; grandchildren, Jeron (Sarah), Cole and Kara (Noah) Wesen, Andria (Rowdy) Weiss, Nene and Bobby Cutts, Jordan and Cassi Johannsen, Nicholas Salois, Christopher (Taylor) Lavoie, Taylor Jordan, Aeriel Lavoie, and Cody Weaver; great-grandchildren Austin and Sophia Weiss, Harper Wesen, Alexys Wittmayer and Dallas and Kinley Wesen.

Ted was preceded in death by his son Mitchell William Burfield; parents, Hazel (Peggy) and Theodore S. Burfield; his brother, William Burfield; sisters, Marilyn Welsh, Rita Dees and Patsy Burfield; and brothers-in-law Chet Welsh and Don Dees.


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