John Arden Hauf, beloved son, brother, husband, father, friend to many, died from natural causes on Jan. 13, 2013. John was a man of great heart, conviction and humor, which he shared generously with all who knew him.
John was born in Mountain View, Mo., and moved to Huntley, Mont., two years later. As a teenager, he moved to Palouse, Wash., with his parents, where he graduated from high school.
He worked at the naval shipyards in Bremerton, Wash., up until 1942 when he and his buddies enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force, delaying his education for proud service to his country. He was stationed throughout the country and trained as an aerial gunner, but later assigned to C-47 and C-46 aircraft as a radio operator, making trips for several years over the Western and South Pacific. He made lifelong friends and later attended several flight squadron reunions.
After his honorable discharge from the service in November 1945, John briefly studied electrical engineering before discovering his passion for law. He attended the University of Montana as an undergraduate and graduated from the UM School of Law.
John met his wife, Mary Elwell, in Billings, Mont. They married Jan. 8, 1955, and by 1961 were blessed with four children, and then 49 years of marriage. They lived first on Silver Boulevard and moved to Ben Hogan Place (Yellowstone Country Club) in 1961.
He began practicing law in Billings in 1950 with Dillavou, Hauf and Forsythe.
During his 53-year-long legal career, he was a founding member and served as the ninth President of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, and as City Attorney for Billings. John also served as a founding organizer, original Trustee, and eventually President of the Montana Legal Services Association. John served in these roles during a time when justice advocates faced serious challenges, and was instrumental in advancing the cause of equal access to justice.
Throughout his life, John valued service to others, both formally and informally. He was appointed and served as a member of the Montana State Board of Investments. Most of all, he treasured his time and activities with the Masonic Lodge, Al Bedoo Shriners and the Chanters, Kiwanis Club, and the Elks. He also contributed to his community by maintaining an active political life, staying heavily involved in campaigns for both state and national offices.
Some of the highlights of his life include annual fishing and hunting trips with his dear friends and relatives. John enjoyed singing with the Al Bedoo Shrine Chanters (in which he served as a Past President), and followed college sports with a passion. John was a lifelong Griz fan.
Although he was privileged in his life to travel throughout the world, even reaching as far as Russia, China and Japan, John’s first glimpse of heaven occurred in his late teens on an initial trip up to East Rosebud. It was love at first sight and he returned frequently, eventually building a cabin at East Rosebud with his in-laws in 1959. He spent much of his life in this mountain-and-stream paradise and shared it generously with family and friends near and far.
John was predeceased by his wife, Mary Elwell Hauf; parents, John and Anna Brotzer Hauf; sisters Mary Hauf and Bertha Hauf Keepers Wells;, and brothers Harold (Sue) and Ronald B. (Irene) Hauf.
John is survived by his four children, Stephen Hauf of Santa Fe, N.M.; Kathleen (Don) Brown of Santa Clarita, Calif.; Ron C. (Ginia) Hauf of Kalispell, Mont.; and Julie (Charles) Primm of Edmonds, Wash. He also leaves behind grandsons Andrew, Jared, Evan, Daniel, Brian and Keegan; granddaughters Laura, MaKenna and Kyersten; and one great-granddaughter, Gwyn; sister Alma (Robert) Jones; sister- and brother-in-law Anne and Burtis Meyer; along with numerous grand-nieces and nephews, cousins and abundant friends.
John Hauf will be deeply missed, forever loved and remembered.
Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to a charity of your choice or to one of his favorites: Shriner’s Hospital for Children, attn: Development Office, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607. Please indicate donation in memoriam of John Arden Hauf.
The family will greet friends Sunday, Jan. 20, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Smith Downtown Funeral Chapel. Memorial services will be held Monday, Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m., also at Smith Downtown Funeral Chapel. Private inurnment will be at a later date in Holy Cross Cemetery.