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Obituary: Garry Mentzer

Hello dear family and friends. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all for the condolences, prayers regarding the passing of Garry. I do apologize too if I hadn't contacted you personally.

Garry's obituary should be in the Missoulian in the upcoming days, as well be viewed on the web site of https://www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com/. I also attached a copy here as well. The services will be Tuesday May 4th at the Drummond Community Church in Drummond. Visitation will start at 10:00 am, Services at 11:00 am and burial at the Valley View Cemetery in Hall with full military honors. A pot luck will be at the Drummond Community and Senior Center in Drummond.

Garry A. Mentzer

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway”- John Wayne.

On April 27, 2021, one of Drummond’s native sons, Garry A. Mentzer, 78, took his last and most courageous ride as he rode off to heaven. His loving wife Debbie was by his side, as she has been for many years.

Garry was born in Missoula, June 26, 1942, to Claude and Dorothy (Marsh) Mentzer. One of seven children, his family moved from Arlee to the Flint Creek Valley in 1952, where the family Homestead at Barnes Creek was established.

Garry attended local schools in Hall and Drummond, and worked as a logger before being drafted in the US Army in 1964. He proudly served his country in Vietnam with the 85th Ordinance Company.

Upon returning to Drummond in 1966, Garry worked various jobs, including as a guide, an outfitter, and rancher, until finding his true calling as a cattle shipper. He was a hard worker, had a passion for cattle ranching and put his heart and soul into everything he did. In 1982, he established Mentzer’s Used Cow lot in Drummond and made Cattle buying and shipping his life’s work for 30 years. Garry had the uncannily knack to look at cattle in the field and guess the weight and be off by 5lbs. As a well-recognized Order Buyer for cattle, Garry served the local ranches for many years, and became a well-known and respected name in the community. His ability to make a friend anywhere served his business well, and he was able to send Montana beef to feed lots in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa.

Upon his retirement, Garry and Debbie took to the road! They went on many adventures together; visiting family, friends, attending reunions with his old Army buddies, and stopping at every roadside attraction in-between! Garry also loved a good rodeo, and attended as many local and PBR rodeos as possible. A true cowboy at heart, in his younger years he entered the rodeo circuit as a Bronc Rider. If you sat with Garry long enough, you were likely to hear about some buckin’ horses!

Garry was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Dorothy; brother, Leland Mentzer; and sister, Darlene Henderson.

Garry is survived by his devoted wife Debbie, step-daughters Jen (Jeff) Graf, Launie (Jeremy) Kohnekamp, and Kelly (Scott) Schoeps; his sons from a previous marriage with Gayla Brand, Gerry (Terry) and Greg Mentzer; brother Calvin (Harriet) Mentzer; sisters Doris Hildebrand, Wunonia Clawson, and Karol Parker; grandsons Tyler (Emily) Andrews with great-granddaughter Paisley, and Brady Andrews; many nieces and nephews; and he will be very much missed by special friends Horald (Carrie) Mitton and Rod (Bonnie) Conat.

Drummond lost one of its treasures. Garry was kind and generous, quick-witted; he had a great sense of humor; he loved a good joke; he loved to laugh and he and Debbie loved to dance. Garry never met a stranger; he was a story teller and will be dearly missed by many. The family is grateful for the loving care provided by Rio Kent, Harriet Held, and Frontier Hospice from Missoula; Brittany, Lou, Cory, David, and Ashley.

Services will be held Tuesday May 4th in Drummond at the Drummond Community Church, viewing and visitation starts at 10:00 am, services at 11:00 am, and grave side service with military honors at Valley View Cemetery in Hall at 12:00 pm. A pot luck reception will follow at Drummond Community & Senior Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations are asked to be made in Garry’s name to local organizations; American Legion post #125, VFW Post #8292, The New Chicago School Building Fund, or the Drummond Senior Citizen Center.

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