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Obituary - John Gorder Habeger


August 24, 2018

John and Ruth Habeger

John Gorder Habeger of Bozeman, Montana, formerly a 60-year resident of Billings, Montana, born in Rudyard, Montana September 23, 1921, to George and Evelyn Habeger, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at the age of 96.

A graveside service will be held in Whitehall Saturday at 11 a.m.

John was the oldest of six children and was so helpful to his mother in raising the other children.

He attended several schools along the Hi-Line and in Fort Peck when his dad was employed on the Fort Peck Dam. Later, the family moved to Havre where John graduated from high school in 1940.

John worked for the highway department in Helena, Montana, as a cartographer a few years before he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942. He was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and then sent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended college. From here he was sent to France, the Philippines, and then was discharged in 1946. He returned to Montana and joined the National Guard where he was commander and second lieutenant in the infantry. John later served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 32 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. During this time he was pursuing a full-time civilian career with the Bureau of Land and Management in Helena as an engineering technician and cartographer. In 1949, John was transferred to Billings where he retired in 1980 after 31 years.

John married his wife, Ruth Kountz, at the Saint Theresa Parish Catholic Church in Whitehall, Montana, in September 1949. They resided in Billings, Montana, for 60 years.

John was an over-50-consecutive-year proud member of the American Legion, serving as a chairman of policy and investment committee.

He was a lifetime member of the Elks, VFW, Lions Club and Army Reserves, where he held many affairs. John freely gave his time to all organizations and enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie with the group at their monthly meetings.

John was a member of the Saint Thomas Apostle Catholic Parish in Billings and Resurrection Catholic Parish in Bozeman.

John enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting and traveling, and was a pretty good carpenter. John and Ruth traveled extensively after retirement to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Egypt, and Israel.  

He is survived by his loyal Chihuahua Lupita, sister Carolyn Marquardt of Havre, brother Dick Habeger of Great Falls, nephew Dayle Kountz and children Kaylee and Cody (Bri) Kountz of Bozeman, niece Kris Kountz of Arizona and children Rob Kountz, Kim (Mike) Ramsey, Shane (Ann) Kountz, all of Bozeman.

John was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 66 years, Ruth, his parents, three sisters, five brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law, and his nephew Dick Kountz.


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