Former resident of Choteau, Ulm, and Sula, Barney Keely, 80, passed peacefully in his sleep at the Missouri River Manor, in Great Falls on Friday May 11th. At the family's request, cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held at a later date. Cremation is under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home of Choteau, MT.
Barney was born August 30, 1931 in San Diego, CA, the son of Ronald William and Nell Ette (Tough) Keely. Barney moved to Montana at the young age of 15 and graduated from Darby High School in 1950. He was married to Rachel Elizabeth Lietz on May 23, 1954 in Great falls, MT.
Barney was a true Montanan: friendly, caring, and independent. He loved to hunt and fish. Barney loved to chat with his neighbors and lend a hand to anyone in need. He also enjoyed gun smithing, trapping, wood working and talking to all people. Barney was a member of the Choteau Lion's Club and Kiwanis Club and the Senior Centers in Helena and Great Falls. He was also a member of the Lather's Union and Carpenter's Union.
Barney was dedicated to his community and spent years as a volunteer fireman in Ulm for 23 years. He worked many years as a lather and carpenter. When he retired, he kept busy by "chasing after" his grandkids. He traveled around the state to track and swim meets and football games. Barney was an excellent neighbor, loving father and devoted grandfather.
Barney moved to Choteau in 1993-94 from Ulm, MT and then to Wolf Creek in June 2009 before moving to Great Falls in September of 2011.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Rachel of Choteau; children: Nellene Hickel of Wolf Creek, MT and Ronald Keely of Great Falls; a brother: Roy Keely of Boston, MASS and a sister: Ann Wildey of Hamilton, MT; grandchildren Anna (Henry), Sandra (Steve), and Andrew "Sully", Jennifer (Josh), and Danny; great-grandchildren, Keely, Tenly, Teigen, and Tristan.
Barney was preceded in death by his father, Ron, mother, Nel, nephew Andy and nephew, Allen.
Online condolences may be sent to: PO Box 262; Wolf Creek, MT 59684 and/or left at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com