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Thomas Carrol Jarland
Tom Jarland

11/25/1947 - 1/25/09

EAST HELENA - Thomas Carrol Jarland, 61, died peacefully in his sleep at home in East Helena on the afternoon of Jan. 25, 2009.

Tom was born, a bit prematurely, on Nov. 25, 1947, to Lewis "Bud" and Edith Winn in Glendive. Sister Toni joined the family two years later. Their parents divorced while Tom and Toni were small. In 1952, Edie married Walt Jarland and, for all intents and purposes thereafter, they were his children and he was their father.

In 1954, the family moved to Billings and bought a house on Nimitz Drive. Tom was a boy's boy and loved all things athletic; while he was naturally good at all sports, he excelled from a very young age at baseball. Not only was he a star in his mother's eyes, but also on all the teams for which he played. He was a valuable member of the Billings All Star Team year after year.

Tom graduated from Billings West High in 1966.

He joined the Navy in 1967 and served a three-year term in the Philippine Islands. Shortly after returning home, he met Gayle Blevins. They were married three months later on Sept. 12, 1969. Following in the footsteps of his father, Walter Jarland, Tom first apprenticed under and then worked with Walt and became another great acoustical ceiling tile installer for the next 40 years.

Tom and Gayle had two children: Jennifer on Feb. 7, 1971, and Jacob on Oct. 7, 1974. Tom and Gayle were divorced. In 1978, with his second wife, Debbie Bloom, Tom went north to Alaska, which he always termed "The Land of Plenty and the Last Frontier"! Tom took his trade with him and spent the next seven years working his trade before returning to Billings. No matter where he lived, Tom always worked his trade and, for the past four years, Tom has lived in East Helena with his partner, Mary Routon.

Tom lived for hunting and fishing the beautiful Montana mountains and streams. This was his passion and he could always catch the fish … when everyone else got skunked … and Tom's eagle keen eyes could always spot the elusive game.

Tom's kind heart and love for family always brought him home.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Bohn, Boulder, Colo.; his son, Jacob Jarland, Byron Bay, Australia; his grandson, Izak Jarland, Byron Bay; his sister, Toni Jarland, Phoenix; his lady, Mary Routon and her sons Jacob and Paul, East Helena; and his extended family of nieces and cousins who loved him dearly.

God knows how you will be missed, Tommy.

Memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Smith West Chapel, 304 34th St. West.

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