John W. Schlecht, 82, died of natural causes on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at the Teton Medical Center Extended Care Center in Choteau, Montana.
John was born in Beulah, North Dakota on December 26, 1928. the son of Rudolph and Helen (Wolf) Schlecht and grew up on the family farm with his four brothers and one sister.
John married his wife, Joyce Schnaidt, the summer she graduated from high school. They all said it wouldn't last, but 60 years later they were still together.
John and Joyce moved to Billings shortly after they were married. John worked for the Burlington Northern Pacific Railroad as a pickup and delivery driver until a work related accident forced an early retirement. While in Billings, John and Joyce raised their two daughters, were active members of Peace Lutheran Church, and enjoyed spending time with their many friends and spent many hours camping and fishing on the Mussellshell River. In his later years, John especially enjoyed his morning coffee group, golfing at Pryor Creek Golf Course, the Bison Investment Club, and playing Hand and Foot. John and daughter, Cindy, could often be found playing a competitive game of cribbage.
John and Joyce moved to Choteau in November 2008. While in Choteau, John enjoyed making new friends at the Skyline Lodge, spending time with his son-in-law, Chris at the Reiquam family farm, floating the Missouri River, golfing at the Choteau Country Club and playing more Hand and Foot.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce of Choteau, MT, daughter Cindy (Chris) Reiquam of Great Falls, MT, sister, Esther (Alvin) Rasch of Bismarck, ND, brother-in-law Lloyd (Judy) Schnaidt of Dickinson, ND, sisters-in-law, Bonnie Schlecht of Wadena, MN and Florence Schlecht of Bismarck, ND, son-in--law, Chris Hartman of Dickinson, ND, two grandsons: Ryan Hartman of Minneapolis, MN and Tyler Hartman of Salem, OR and numerous nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his daughter, Ranae Hartman, his parents and his four brothers, Edwin, Otto, Wesley and Emil.
Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM Monday, October 31st at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Choteau, Mt with burial of his cremated remains in the Choteau Cemetery. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home.
Donations are suggested to the Gift Of Life Housing, % Benefis Health Care Foundation, PO Box 7008; Great Falls, MT 59406-7008 or Bright Eyes Animal Care of Choteau; Box 1342; Choteau, Mt 59422.
Online condolences may be left at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com