W. Earl Sheldon, 1929 ~ 2009

W. Earl Sheldon, 80, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, at his home in Fort Shaw.

Earl was born in Lewistown, Mont., July 4, 1929, to Walter William and Delores (McBride) Sheldon. They lived in Forest Grove. His father died when he was about 3 years old and his mother later married Ted Fisher.

The family moved when he was 7 years old to the Fairfield bench, where he attended school at Greenfield Elementary. School was not Earl’s thing so he started working various jobs and became a body man at the Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Great Falls.

He met G. Irene Graham at a dance at the Arogan in Fairfield and they were later married June 26, 1953 in Conrad, Mont. He worked a variety of jobs after their marriage and landed a home in Vaughn, where he worked for the Anaconda Smelter, Montana Concrete Plant, and was a custodian and bus driver for Vaughn School.

In 1978, he moved back to the Fairfield bench to watch after his mother. While there he was the custodian for the Sun River Valley LDS Church and bus driver for the Sun River School district. In 1993, Earl retired to the farm and became the handyman for the neighborhood.

Earl had a great love for cars, Harley Davison motorcycles and being a cowboy. He enjoyed keeping his cars and boots with a great shine. He was involved with the scout program for 49 years, was a member of the American Legion Post 130 and the Fraternal order of the Eagles in Fairfield. As much as he loved his cars his greatest love was his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Irene of Fort Shaw; four sons, Wes (Carolyn) of Mapleton, Utah, Ken (Shirley) of Vaughn, Mont., Mearl (DeeAnna) of Moab, and Neil (Christine) of Great Falls, Mont.; three daughters, Neidra (Herb) Phinney of Vaughn, Mont., Lola (Steve) Galloway and Jean (Mike) Kronovich both of Great Falls, Mont.; a brother, Teddy (Alice) Fisher of Helena, Mont.; a special niece/sister Alvena (Scott) Strum of Washburn, Ill.; 32-33 (any day now) grandchildren and 38-39 (any day now) great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather and his sister, Vivian Armstrong.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009 at 2 p.m. at the Sun River Valley LDS Chapel, with a viewing two hours prior to the service. Interment followed at the Manchester Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Boy Scout Troop No. 10 or the Sun River Ward LDS Missionary Fund, c/o Brad Opheim, 101 Edward Lane, Vaughn, MT 59487.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.