BALLANTINE Lynda Ottun, age 55, of Ballantine, formerly of Rosebud, fought a long, hard battle with cancer, but with a deep faith in Jesus and a positive attitude, she was an inspiration and example to all around her. Lynda went home to be with the Lord on March 1, 2005.
Lynda Ottun began life on Dec. 12, 1949. She was the oldest of three children born to John and Eleanor (Freier) Harstad of Rosebud. She attended schools in Rosebud and graduated from Rosebud High School in 1968. She then attended business college in Rapid City, S.D.
Practically raised on a horse, Lynda helped her father with ranch work and the training and selling of ranch horses. She excelled in 4-H projects beginning at an early age. Lynda's passion was barrel racing. Riding a horse she had trained herself, Lynda won many titles in high school rodeos, including Montana State All Around Cowgirl as a senior.
Her love of horses and competition led Lynda to meet her husband. She married Jon Ottun on Sept. 13, 1969, in Forsyth. They competed in rodeos during the summer months and worked in the oilfields during winters before moving to the Harstad Ranch in 1973, where she continued to compete on weekends.
In 1977, Lynda bore her first daughter, Joeleen. In 1979, daughter Jaime was born. Lynda was a devoted wife and mother and cherished this role in life most. When the girls were old enough to ride, they all rode their horses together nearly every night.
Lynda qualified for the Northern Rodeo Association finals many times, as well as the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit finals. She also qualified for the Woman's Pro Rodeo Association finals in Fort Worth, Texas. A mother first, Lynda would always give up her good horse if her daughters needed a horse to run.
The Ottun family moved to Ballantine in 2000. As Lynda's health started to fail, she began announcing local barrel racing events. Her patented saying, "Nice run n new leader" added a touch of class to the sport she dearly loved.
Lynda was preceded in death by her sister, Peggy Harstad, and her father, John Harstad. She is survived by her husband, Jon Ottun and daughter Jaime Ottun of Ballantine; daughter Joeleen Ottun of Billings; her mother, Eleanor (John) Neurohr of Miles City; and her brother, Monty (Robin) Harstad of Pryor.
Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 6, from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Chapel of Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 7, at 1 p.m., at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth.
Interment will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the family lot in the Ballantine Cemetery in Ballantine.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Big Sky Hospice, 127 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59107 or to the Hematology/Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies, 2900 12th Ave. N., Suite 160 W, Billings, MT 59101.
Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Forsyth is in charge of these arrangements.