SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Dean Paul Studer “Dozer,” of Sheridan, passed away on May 6, 2013. He went to be with the love of his life, Connie, who died just 33 days earlier on April 3.
Dean was born on Dec. 16, 1935, in Excelsior, Minn., to Cel and Ralph J. Studer Sr. The family settled in Billings, where Dean attended Fratt School and then Billings Central, where he started his road to athletic greatness. Dean was a leader on the basketball court, and took great pride in the fact that he was the catcher on the 1951 HOF Legion Baseball team that won Montana’s first regional tournament championship. Dean’s greatest athletic accomplishment was on the football field, where he earned a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame and won his varsity letter playing in the same backfield with Paul Horning.
Dean and Connie were married on April 22, 1957, in Billings. After graduation from Notre Dame, Dean worked in the family construction business, RJ Studer and Son’s, a business that he and his brother Ralph and brother-in-law Larry Chouinard would eventually own and operate. Together, they ran Studer Construction until 1982, when they sold the business and started Briarwood Golf Course and subdivision. Dean took a deep interest in the design and layout of Briarwood Golf Course and the unique design of many of the holes.
Dean loved to tell stories about all of the adventures they had building highways in Montana and Wyoming, and he took exceptional pride in the family’s involvement with building Yellowstone National Park’s many roads and campgrounds.
Dean and Connie retired to the warm suns of Las Vegas from 1988 to 2000, where they met many new friends and enjoyed their time golfing and traveling. The mountains of Sheridan and the closeness of Billings and family brought them back north.
Dean was a founding member of Billings Area Catholic Education Trust (BACET) and Mayfair. He and Connie were devout members of the Catholic Church, and devoted much of their time and resources giving to others in need, including the Mount Carmel Youth Ranch in Clark.
Dean was preceded in death by his wife, Connie; his parents, Ralph and Cel Studer; sister Mary Scherger; and grandson Joseph Walker. He is survived by his seven children, Kathy (Craig) Wiggs, Chrissy (Mark) Walker, Colleen (Nels) Houghton, Caroline (Matt) Thelen, Cece Feltman, Dean (Lizz) Studer Jr. and Cynnie (Mike) Bradley; his brother, Ralph Studer Jr. (Cemie); sister Claire (Larry) Chouinard; brother-in-law Joel (Andrea) Long; sister-in-law Cynthia Foster; 26 grandchildren and one pending great-grandchild.
Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, preceded by the Rosary at 6:45 p.m., and funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, both at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Rite of committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Alzheimer’s charities.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.