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John Vukonich
John Vukonich

JOLIET - John Anthony Vukonich, 92, of Joliet, passed away Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in Billings.

John was the son of Matthew and Mary Vukonich, born on the family ranch north of Joliet on June 5, 1916. John was the youngest of 14 children. John attended Shane Ridge School and farmed and ranched near Joliet all his life. He married Virginia Ruth Hull in 1943. In his younger years, he was also a heavy equipment operator, building government dams.

John was a Montana Brand inspector for many years, and served on the Joliet Cemetery Board. He enjoyed going to auctions, collecting antiques, working his Belgium draft horses and going on cattle drives. John enjoyed restoring old equipment and had an old-time threshing bee in 1989.

John is survived by his loving wife, Ruth, of 65 years; sons Jim (Marilyn) Vukonich and Larry (Merrylee) Vukonich, all of Joliet; daughter Sally (Cliff) Frank of Billings; seven grandchildren, Cody Frank, Casey (Barbara) Frank, Jimi Richardson, Mandi (Alex) Hernandez, J.D. Vukonich, Jennifer (Mike) Anderson, Andy Vukonich; and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings.

Visitation will be noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Dahl Funeral Chapel in Red Lodge. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Joliet Christian Church. Interment will be in Joliet Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the charity of one's choice. Memories and condolences may be shared with family at

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