Michael Chamberlain

Saturday, September 11, 2021
Michael Chamberlain

Michael “Mike” F. Chamberlain, 75, of Lewistown, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 after a long battle with the aftereffects of radiation for cancer treatment.

Mike was born June 26, 1946 in Great Falls to Lawrence and Leona (Doering) Chamberlain. He was the youngest of four children. The family moved to the Augusta area for a time, then moved to Twin Bridges before landing in Heath where they owned a ranch. Mike attended school in Heath through seventh grade, when the family decided to move to Lewistown where Mike then graduated from Fergus High School in 1964.

He married Barbara Walraven and they had a son, Cory, in 1965. After Barbara’s passing in 1966, Mike was drafted into the Army, serving for two years. He returned to Lewistown where he met Ramona “Monie” Kucera in April, 1969. She became the love of his life and best friend. They married May 24, 1969. After their daughter, Rhonda, was born in 1970, the family moved to Kansas for a short time where Mike worked as a long-haul truck driver. They returned to Lewistown permanently, adding to their family when their son, Doran, was born in 1974.

Mike worked numerous jobs through his lifetime. He worked for Mayflower, Peavey, drove grain trucks for his brother, did road construction, was a longhaul truck driver, and a logger for Roger Smith, Jim Cooper, and Berg Lumber, among others. Some have said he was the best skidder operator they have ever worked with. In 1980, he was involved in a logging accident that nearly killed him. Needing to find a new line of work led him to become a small business owner, successfully running three businesses, two of which he started.

Having already launched Chamberlain Chip Repair a year before his logging accident, he purchased a septic tank pumping business naming it Chamberlain Septic Service. After a few years, he and his wife then started Chamberlain Portables and sold the septic service business. Becoming busy enough with Chamberlain Portables they hired two excellent employees: first, Jim Dunnington and then Roger Thomas. With their help, and his wife’s, outstanding portable toilet service was provided to central Montana for 25 years. He was well known for his excellent customer service with Chamberlain Portables and Chamberlain Chip Repair.

In 2007, Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 tonsillar cancer. He survived, beating the cancer, and continued working his two businesses. By 2013 he was ready to semi-retire, sold Chamberlain Portables but continued to repair windshields when needed.

He was a member of the American Legion, the support group Men Surviving Cancer, and GTOAA (GTO Association of America). He loved cars, building four Pontiac GTOs in his shop, teaching his sons a lot of what he knew about mechanics. He had a reputation for his well-maintained vehicles. He also loved music, traveling, visiting his children and grandchildren, and working with his hands. He could have been an engineer in any field he chose with his innate understanding of how things worked and his attention to detail.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Leona Chamberlain; sister, Lorraine Riddle; two brothers, Larry Chamberlain and Dorn Chamberlain; his first wife, Barbara (Walraven) Chamberlain; son, Cory Chamberlain; a granddaughter, Ashley Chamberlain; and two grandsons, Aaron and AJ Ince.

He is survived by his wife, Ramona Chamberlain; their daughter, Rhonda (Clarence) Ince of Oak Harbor, Washington; their son, Doran (Monika) Chamberlain; seven grandchildren: Jessica (Ryan) Solberg, Candice (Tyler) Christensen, Brittney (Sloan) McCluskey, Breanna Chamberlain, Logan Ince, Elisabeth Ince, and Eleanor Chamberlain; eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Mike will be greatly missed by all who loved him.

A Celebration of Life for Mike will be held Friday, Sept, 17, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Creel Funeral Home. Memorial donations are requested to the Sletton Cancer Institute, CMMC Hospice, Prevent Cancer Foundation or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Mike’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.