Surrounded by his loving family, Don passed away of complications after surgery at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula February 20.
Don was born in Butte December 4, 1931 to Richard and Mildred Best. He attended Butte High School and at the age of 16 joined the Army to serve his Country. He was stationed in Germany for four years.
Don worked for the ACM Company in Butte for several years.
Don and his family moved to Deer Lodge in 1960 to work as a Correctional Officer at the Montana State Prison. Then he operated the Texaco Gas Station for nine years. He then returned to work at the Prison as Food Director. Don retired in 1987 due to health issues.
Don’s life was hunting, fishing, camping at the Big Hole/Canyon Ferry, and spending time with his family and friends. Don lived life to the fullest. He was also a lifetime member of the Elks and VFW.
He married Margaret (Cookie) Smith in Butte on June 13, 1953. Together they had three daughters.
He is survived by his wife Cookie, daughters Sandi Kibler of Butte, Kathryn (Dan) Gutebier of Livingston, Connie (John) Reighard of Helena.
He had 10 grandchildren: Josh Pomeroy of Maryland, Cory Pomeroy of Washington, Nicole Glase of Missoula, Megan Kibler of Colorado, Jenni Goosey of Livingston, Erin Salley of North Carolina, Lynde Crump of Wyoming, Joey Mosley of Germany, Matt Reighard of Helena, Katie Reighard of Helena. Fifteen great-grandchildren and expecting number 16, a little boy in March.
Sister-in-law Gayle Best of Silver Star and Donna Best of Butte. Brother-in-law Bill Smith of Butte, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Leslie, Junie, Melvin, and Wally and great-grandson Ethan.
Cremation has taken place. There will be a Celebration of Life for family and friends at the Broken Arrow on July 12, 2014.
We all love you, including your little dog Griz.
Gone but never forgotten.
Memorials may be made to the Rialto Theatre, Elks 1737, Tina’s House, or the charity of your choice.
Thomas W. Tavenner
Thomas Williams Tavenner was born September 4, 1950 in Great Falls. Sadly due to heart complications he passed away in his home February 21, 2014 at age 63.
He was survived by his wife Kathleen (Munch), as he called her, married October 12, 1985. Step-mom Lue Tavenner (of Avon). Sister Peg Tavenner (of Hamilton), step-brothers and sisters; Jim, John, Joe, Judy, Janet, and Joyce Bignell. Along with brother-in-law George and Amy Irwen (of Minnesota).
Tom adored family and children, those of which he left behind were son; Eric and Monica Tavenner, sons; Tim, Tyler, and Tommy (of Billings), son; Jason and Paula Tavenner; son Jacob (of Helena), daughter; Tracy and Eric Klapan; daughter Ashlee (of Deer Lodge), and daughter; Lisa and Derrick Jones children; Kaderrick Jones, TayTay Patterson, Kelly Jones, Malik Jones, Jonah Jones, Kaylee Keaton, Elizah, Jerimiah, and Jr. (of Deer Lodge).
Numerous other nephews, nieces, and extended family along with best friends Merill Moorman, and Dan McKee were also left behind.
He was proceeded in death by his father Robert (Bob) Charles Tavenner, mother Ruth Williams Tavenner, father-in-law Walter Irwen, mother-in-law Betty Irwen and step-sister Kathy Bignell.
T.T. loved to hunt, fish, ride four wheelers, and go camping. He was a logger by trade and by heart, which he had done for over 30 years. The mountains were his home and provided him happiness. T.T. supported his grandchildren and children in everything they did throughout life. Tom’s love of his life, Kathy, meant the world to him. He made sure he would do anything and everything to make her happy. Terrible T may be gone, but never forgotten. Grandpa will also be deeply missed by his sidekick Sox (cat).
There will be no services for Tom, per his request. However there will be a Celebration of Life in his honor on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Deer Lodge for the public.