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Obituary - Gene Richard Dobrenz Sr.


Gene Richard Dobrenz Sr., age 88, went to the great roundup in Heaven on July 11th, 2018.

Gene was born June 30th, 1930, in Augusta, Wisconsin, to Esther (Livermore) and Henry Dobrenz. He was the only boy and youngest child.

Gene came to Montana alone when he was 15 to work with a relative on the Clack ranch. He traveled back and forth between Montana and Wisconsin before settling in the Hi-Line area for good. He said his parents and then sisters and their husbands followed him out here. He always wanted to be a rancher and worked most of his life around the Havre and Chinook area. He also had quite a hog farm going at one time.

On Sept. 22, 1951, he married Jennie Heath in Augusta Wisconsin. They had four children. Jennie passed away in 1989. In January 1992 he married Theresa Aafedt in Havre. They enjoyed 20 years together. Gene enjoyed playing cards, camping,fishing, hunting, family reunions, dancing, singing, country music and gardening. He always had a big garden and shared with everyone. He was a member of the Eagles in Havre. 

If he didn’t know you, he soon did. He had an amazing memory of everyone he met no matter what state he was in, he remembered their names and family details. He was always stopping and talking to people. There was a joke in the family, if we were to get somewhere on time, we told him an hour earlier because we ran on Dobrenz time.

Some of the high points in life were fishing in Alaska and the Pacific Ocean, traveling to Arizona to see his first love of his life Barb (they hadn’t seen each other in 60-some years), and his wonderful 85th birthday party in Havre. Every time he told people about it the number grew bigger, it must have been the fisherman storytelling coming out in him.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, son Jimmy, wives, Jennie and Theresa, sisters, Cecil, Mabel, Nellie, Annie and Marie.

Gene is survived by his sister Amy of Wisconsin, children Gene Jr. (Connie ), Mary of Billings, Flo of Missoula, eight grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren, stepdaughters, Jae (Dennis) of Minnesota, Julie (John)Troy of Great Falls;, stepsons, Ron (Mary) Aafedt of Bozeman, Jeanard (Karla) Aafedt, Mark (Denise) Aafedt of Anchorage Ak., Darryl (Jane) Aafedt of Wasilla, Ak., and numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, also his special friend Jeri Howard of Missoula who brought him great happiness the last few years. 

A celebration of life will held at the Eagles in Havre on July 22nd at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Chinook Senior Citizens Center. Cremation has taken place.


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