Obituary: Ross Alan (Rafe) Friede
Ross Alan (Rafe) Friede, of Drummond, was born on February 7,1985 and passed away on October 8, 2022.
Rafe was born and raised as a ranch kid in Hall, MT. He loved football, 4-wheelers, and hanging with his many friends. He graduated from Drummond High School in 2003 and the very next day started his career in carpentry working for Jon Bergerson. Jon mentored and taught Rafe the trade. While with Bergerson Construction, Rafe worked on many different projects including homes in the Yellowstone Club. In 2007, Rafe moved on to Dick Anderson Construction and spent most of the last fifteen years building high-end homes at Rock Creek Cattle Company. Rafe’s craftsmanship reached far into the beautiful landscapes and historic buildings of America’s national parks. One winter he traveled daily via snowmobile from a campsite to a project at Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Lodge. In 2019, Rafe was part of a small group of elite carpenters selected to rebuild the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park that had burned in a forest fire. He took so much pride in his work and the people he worked with. Rafe’s co-workers recently reflected that it was a true honor and privilege to work with Rafe, and he was a great friend who was always happy and put everyone else before him - a true brother.
Rafe was a brother to many people. He was a “big brother” to Shanna Johnson, Sami Carlson (Browne), Mary Weatherford, as well as “brother” to the guys on the Valley fire crew, and all the people he worked with over the years. Rafe treasured his childhood friends and stayed close with them. Rafe happily welcomed one more sister into the family in 2019 when Kristie came into his life. He welcomed her with a big hug and had been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Rafe and his sister Jamie were very close Rafe called her once or twice a week on his way to the job in the morning and they would visit all the way to work.
Rafe took his role as a volunteer firefighter with the Valley Fire District very seriously. He responded to as many calls as he could and loved all of his brothers on the fire crew. He was actively helping with the planning stages of a new fire station and was so passionate about the project.
Rafe was kind, generous, fiercely loyal, talented, funny, and had the best smile and laugh. Rafe loved to jitterbug, golf, hunt, snowboard, and be with friends and family. He recently bought a smoker and enjoyed making food and sharing it with co-workers and family.
Rafe loved his family and friends and would always run to help anyone that needed it. He was close to his parents and spent at least a few hours each weekend with them and helped with anything they needed.
Rafe was also proud of each and every one of his family members. In the last 12 years, Rafe loved his title of Uncle. He participated in the lives of his nephews, Angus and Sawyer as often as he could. He attended most of their basketball and football games, school plays, and would take a couple days off of work each winter to go on the boys’ school ski trips. This last winter he taught Sawyer how to snowboard. Rafe helped Sawyer build a beautiful bench as a 4H project and lit a fire in both boys to build things. Rafe liked to do big elaborate things, so when Angus had to build a castle for a school project he enlisted the help of his Uncle. Rafe and Gus worked for several weekends building the most elaborate and well-built castle you can imagine. He was an amazing uncle, mentor, and friend to his nephews and they will always know how deeply he loved them.
Rafe was the kind of person who made the world a better place and he will be painfully missed by many.
Rafe was preceded in death by his grandfathers Earl Martin and Ross Friede, his aunt Lynne (Martin) Rigby, cousins Michael Friede and Samantha Martin, and his beloved dog Dammit whom we know was the first to greet him in Heaven.
Rafe is survived by his parents, Ross L (Butch) and Judy Friede of Hall, sister and best friend Jamie Stitt (John) and nephews Angus and Sawyer, of Helmville, sister Kristie Nelson (Doug) and niece Kyla and nephew Garrett of Great Falls, “Little Sister” Mary Weatherford of Hall, beloved grandmothers Lacene Friede of Seeley Lake and Alice Martin of Missoula, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 16 at 1pm at the Drummond High School Old Gym in Drummond, MT. A reception will follow at the Valley Fire Station in Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the organization Rafe served and cared about: Valley Fire District, PO Box 32, Drummond MT 59832.
Rafe’s family would like to thank the Granite County Sheriff’s Department and Valley Fire District, as well as the Drummond Public Schools and the many friends and family that have been here to support them during this hard time.
Rafe’s obituary may be viewed and condolences may be shared with the family at https://www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com/obituary/RossRafe-Friede