Betty Kesler, 90 years old, of Choteau, MT passed away at an assisted living facility in Great Falls on May 18, 2018. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm, Friday, May 25th at Trinity Lutheran Church in Choteau.
Betty Lou (Blunt)Kesler was born in Canton, IL on June 15, 1927. When Betty was 6 months old she came by train with her parents Carl and Lora Blunt to the Malta area. As a child Betty drove her horse "Ol' Beauty" hitched to a buggy to a one room school house to attend first grade and then moved up to a four room school house until eighth grade. Betty worked for a local abstract office after graduating from Malta High School in 1945. Soon after, she married her high school sweetheart, Floyd Kesler. They continued to live and work in Malta for thirteen years. During that time they had a daughter Diane and two sons, Ross and Bruce.
Wanting to get back to the country way of life, the family moved north of Malta and worked for a local rancher. With a desire to ranch on their own, Betty and Floyd leased a ranch near Malta and then Cascade near St Peter's Mission. Whether it was stacking bales, driving a team of horses while Floyd fed the cattle, fixing fence, moving cattle on horseback, cooking for the ranch crew, or doing the ranch books Betty did her part in putting together a working ranch. In 1974 the family moved to another leased ranch near Cut Bank. The winter of 1978 they leased the Flying U Ranch north of Choteau. In 1990 Betty and Floyd's dream of owning their own place with their sons became a reality when they purchased the Flying U. Betty continued to be the ranch cook and bookkeeper for many years. She was the host mother of many agricultural trainees from abroad that came to the United States to work and learn on a ranch. Betty loved to play jokes on them such as putting paper towels in their pancakes. She continued over the years to stay in touch with many of them. Betty loved the ranching way and was very proud of her family. She always said, "There's not a bad apple in the bunch".
Betty was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, the Teton County Cattlewomen and the Red Hatters. She loved working in her greenhouse and flower garden, playing cards, writing letters, relaxing with a good book, collecting friends, and could tell a Norwegian joke better than anyone. She took great pleasure watching her grandchildren in school events and especially showing their 4-H animals.
Betty was preceded in death by her father and step-mother Carl and Jane Blunt; her mother and step-father Lora and Arvid Dyrdahl ; a sister and brother-in-law Joyce and Stub Flesche; grandson-in-law Calvin Lane; and in 1999, her husband and ranching partner Floyd Kesler. She is survived by her daughter Diane (Tim) Kalanick of Fort Benton and their children, Dyke (Brenda) Kalanick, Kyla (Jack) Wright, Mylo Lane, and Ryan (Jason) Garman; son Ross (Susan) Kesler of Choteau and their children, Kristy (Paul) Leach, Cory (Renee) Kesler, Kyle (Carly) Kesler and Craig (Tegan) Kesler; and son Bruce (Leslie) Kesler of Choteau and their children Scott Kesler and Jenna (Carden) Moore, a sister Donna Dyrdahl of Choteau, and a niece, Renee (Wes) Koss of Malta. Betty is also survived by 21 great grandchildren and 1 great -great grandchild.
Memorials are suggested to Teton County 4-H, the Skyline Lodge of Choteau or a donor's choice.