COLUMBUS — Charles (Chuck) Evans Egan passed away from natural causes on Feb. 7, 2019. He was the second son born to Harold and Cora (Loyning) Egan on March 19, 1935, in Dr. Adams' Hospital in Red Lodge. Charles and Carolyn Heath were married June 10, 1961, with children Debbie, Michelle and Shawn born to this union. In 1967, Chuck and Carolyn relocated to Columbus where they raised their family and have resided since.
He began the first grade at the Loyning School on Elbow Creek in Carbon County with two classmates. After attending several elementary schools, he completed high school at Washakie County High in Worland, Wyoming. Following high school, he attended Montana State College graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education. His teaching career began at the Tongue River Boarding School in Busby, where he later became Principal and Assistant Superintendent.
A change in direction began when he started a career as a County Extension Agent in Glacier County. That was followed by 27 years of service as Extension Agent in Stillwater County. This brought many friends and fond memories where he often worked with three generations of several families. He obtained a Master of Science Degree from Montana State University and finalized his career in extension as Public Policy Education Specialist for the Montana Extension Service and the Department of Political Science at MSU. He also served for 10 years as Stillwater County Commissioner. For his decades of service, he was honored to learn that the Stillwater County Commission recently passed a resolution to name the Stillwater County Fairgrounds after him.
Chuck's dedication to serving his community didn't end with the workday or retirement. He served as chairman of both the Stillwater Historical Society and the Beartooth Area RC&D boards. Through the years he worked closely with Columbus Kiwanis, Stillwater 4-H Program, Beartooth Stock Growers Association, Stillwater Woolgrowers, Stillwater Development Council, and Stillwater Weed Control District and served as an active member of the Montana Association of County Agricultural Agents, the Montana County Extension Association and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Billings. Chuck was a devoted friend and neighbor known for his phone calls and drop-ins in good times, but especially in bad, to just see how you were doing. He was a good listener and a thoughtful conversationalist.
Perhaps his favorite role was as Papa to his nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild and the Murphy girls. He rarely missed a ball game and made each event -- even if it was the fifth, sixth or seventh one of the day -- feel just as special and important as the previous. In his later years, as it became harder to travel, his enthusiasm for their success never waned and his presence was felt in his daily calls and weekly letters. They are what he was most proud of in his life.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and his children, Debbie (Hans) Abbey of Billings; Michelle (Don) Oliver of Alpine, Wyoming; and Shawn (Jill) Egan of Meridan, Idaho. He is also survived by his brother Myles (Elaine) Egan of Billings; his aunt Violet ‘Sis’ Ekle of Columbus; and his uncle Ray Loyning of Bridger. Last, but certainly not least, he is survived by his grandchildren, Kiah, Ethan and Quinn Abbey, Austin and Alexis Egan, Lauren, Lane and Brian Oliver, Jessie (Henri) Foch and Ensley Foch; and his special friends Bill, Tammy, Loran, Macee and Harlie Murphy. The family would like to send a special thank you to Susie Smith for the love, compassion and all of the help she has been to both Chuck and Carolyn.
Chuck is preceded in death by brother Harold, his parents, Harold and Cora Egan, and daughter Lori.
A memorial service and celebration of Chuck’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, at the Columbus Middle School Gymnasium with a luncheon to follow at the Stillwater County Fairgrounds. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to the Museum of the Beartooths or to the youth organization of your choice as Chuck was always a strong supporter of kids.
Condolences can be shared with the family at www.smithfuneralchapels.com.