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Obituary - Terry Dee Sather

BILLINGS - Terry Dee Sather passed away Feb. 28, 2023, in Billings, surrounded by family and friends.

He is survived by his adoring wife of 51 years (in fact, on March 21, it would have been their 52nd anniversary), Kathleen Faye Sather, and their devoted children and grandchildren, April Sather (Harper and Beckett), Amber Sather and Matt Banbury (August and Willie) and Ben Sather (Evey and Nora). He is also survived by his three siblings, Lynn Sather of Billings, Candice Dunn of Kalispell and Barbara Etchart of Glasgow, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Terry was born on April 1, 1949, in Glasgow, to Louis and Patricia Ann Geiger Sather. The oldest of four siblings, he was a big brother to Lynn, Candy and Barb. Louis (2016) and Patricia (2010) preceded him in death.

Terry had many cousins and spent his youth on his family farm, working to help his dad since the age of 8, driving tractor, harvesting wheat and barley. Growing up, he spent many a night on the farm trying to drown out the noise of the mice in his sleeping quarters by dialing in Milwaukee Braves baseball games on his shortwave radio. A lifelong fan of the Braves baseball franchise was born and, in fact, Terry's family surprised him on his 60th birthday with a trip to Atlanta to watch his beloved Braves. Besides being a sports fan, Terry was an exceptional athlete for the Glasgow High Scotties, playing football and basketball. He was also a talented musician, playing bass clarinet in the Scottie band, with some harmonica on the side! Terry loved music throughout his life! Whether it was Chuck Berry 8-track tapes in the pick-up truck, vinyl records playing Elvis Presley or Willie Nelson, you could always find Terry whistling and quite literally dancing with whomever was near (usually Kathy). Terry instilled a love of music in his children, for which they are forever grateful.

Terry made the decision to pursue a degree in education from the University of Montana, and earned his BA in 1972. He became a passionate lifelong Grizzlies fan. He returned to UM for three summers in the '80s and earned his MS in sports administration.

Terry and Kathy went to school together at Glasgow High School. During her junior year, he asked her to homecoming, and the rest, as they say, is the sweetest love story ever told. Married March 21, 1971, Terry and Kathy attended the University of Montana together, graduated and started their married life in Glasgow, where Terry was a newly minted physical education teacher. Two years later, their eldest was born (April Kathleen), and shortly thereafter, their middle child (Amber Dee). In 1977, Terry applied and was hired as the new physical education teacher for Havre elementary schools. Rounding out their family, in 1979, their youngest was born (Ben Terry). As a parent, Terry was the sweetest, calmest, most loving and centered voice of reason a child could ask for. Encouraging and loving to the core, you could not ask for a better example of a human to look up to. Terry was the definition of supportive, traveling across the U.S. to support his children in all the most important ways. For which they are forever grateful.

Terry and Kathy raised their family in Havre and became loyal Blue Pony fans. Terry spent 43 years teaching, coaching and refereeing youth in Havre and across the state. If one estimates he was to teach approximately 100 students a year, that is likely over 4,300 students and student athletes Terry worked with over his career. He also mentored dozens of student teachers, coaches and referees. He did so quietly and humbly, as was his way in everything he did. In 2007, he quietly entered the Montana Officials Association Hall of Fame. Or, he tried to enter quietly. His family, friends and community of referees held a party to celebrate the occasion. In the last years of his career, he had the privilege of coaching girls' basketball at Havre High. This provided so much joy to Terry, a perfect way to round out his career of working with youth doing the thing he loved so much.

Following retirement in 2015, Terry and Kathy moved to Billings and spent precious few years traveling and spending time with friends and family before the symptoms of dementia truly began to take over. Being Terry's eternally loving partner, Kathy visited Terry daily at Canyon Creek Memory Care. While the cruel disease may have ravaged the exterior, Terry remained the same sweet soul until the very end.

Please join us in celebrating this beautiful life at Grace United Methodist Church, 1935 Avenue B, in Billings at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 4, or a visitation at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., from 5 to 7 p.m. the evening before. Burial will be at the Highland Ceremony in Glasgow at 11 a.m. Monday, March 6, followed by a reception at The Cottonwood Hotel.

Memorials may be sent to Havre Public Schools Education Foundation, Terry and Kathy Sather Scholarship, PO Box 7791, Havre, MT 59501 or to a charity of your choice.


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