David W. Lewis

David W. Lewis, 92, of Grass Range, passed away on Feb. 10, 2017 at the Central Montana Medical Center of natural causes. He was born on July 6, 1924 in Roundup, Mont. to Lena and John Victor Lewis. He attended rural schools and graduated as salutatorian of the class of ‘42 in Lavina, after which he ranched with his father. 

In 1949 he married Arclista Skurdal. To this union were born three sons: Marcus, Leslie, and Russell.

In 1952, David and his older brother Bill purchased a ranch 14 miles northeast of Grass Range and stocked it with Hereford cattle.They then bought the Bill Graber ranch in 1967, and David moved his family there. David and Arclista divorced in 1973. In 1975 he married Gunda Shaw.

David was passionate about his Herefords, but due to his extreme allergies to cattle and horses, he had to avoid working with them. He avidly followed his sons and step-children in high school basketball and track. One of Dave’s few self-indulgences was the purchase of a large TV and a subscription to the NBA games. He knew the players as well as he’d known the pedigrees to his cows, and above all, rooted for the Boston Celtics. 

Dave enjoyed a rousing game of pinochle, dancing at the Moose Club, and socializing with good friends and family. He was one of those rare people who never said a negative word about anyone. In turn, there were few people who didn’t like this quiet, kind man with a superior work ethic.

David was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Jack and Clayton; a sister, Eleanor (Walter) Newton; and step-granddaughter, Haley Wilkerson. He is survived by his brothers, William and Edgar; his sister, Helen Lehfeldt; his wife and beloved companion, Gunda; sons, Mark (Terry), Les, and Rus (Julie); step children, Gail (Larry) Wilkerson, Sarah (Bill) Brindley, Lafe (Amy) Shaw; seven grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. We will all miss this man who was such an example of simple wants and sterling character, yet we are thankful he can now breathe deeply, leap fences, and walk among his beloved cows.

A graveside memorial service will take place at a later date. Memorials may be given to the Grass Range Ambulance Fund. Cremation arrangements were under the care of Creel Funeral Home.  David’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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