Cover photo for William Lear's Obituary
1950 William 2019

William Lear

September 8, 1950 — September 21, 2019

William Ralph (Bill) Lear died Saturday, September 21, 2019 in Hamilton, Montana. He was

born September 8, 1950 in Choteau, Montana, the fourth child of Fay and Kathryn (Billie) Lear.

He grew up on the family ranch adjacent to Freezeout Lake.

Surrounded by loving parents, siblings, cousins, pets, and an exciting countryside to explore,

he had a good childhood. He fished the stream at Dupuyer, built snow forts in the barrow pit,

chased his younger sisters with worms, bedded down the sheep shed with straw during

calving, flew down the slope on the toboggan, rode horses ( one he referred to as Crowbait),

and milked cows. Later he became a skier and an expert at building symmetrical haystacks. A

hard worker, he was always there to assist his father on the many ranching tasks, in particular

building fences and fighting leafy spurge at Dupuyer.

In 1986 Bill moved to the Special Kay Ranch near Columbus, Montana. Here he tended sheep

and rabbits and did well in the country setting.

In 1994 he moved to Hamilton where he lived until his death. The staff at Ravalli Services

ensured that he had a quality life. He stayed active, enjoyed the work center during the week,

and local outings to fishing holes and parks. Also, he went on vacations with members of his

home, sometimes returning to the Freezeout Ranch and other times to Glacier. His sister Kay

brought him yearly back to his home. Nancy Pearson and her family joined them at Dupuyer

with 4 wheelers - making very special memories for all. Special caregivers from Ravalli

Services included Ashlee and Sylvia.

He was predeceased by a brother, Michael, and both parents. He is survived by a brother,

Jerry of Fairfield, and sisters, Mary Faye Langevin of San Ramon, CA, Kay Behrens (Ron)

Bellevue, WA, Ann O'Keefe (Mike) Casper, WY, Joan Campbell (John) Columbia SC, Lois

Giovanini (Bob) Billings, MT, and Nancy Pearson (Dan) Conrad, MT. Also he is survived by 20

nieces and nephews.

Donations can be made to

Condolences may be left on-line at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Lear, please visit our flower store.


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