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Walt Van Daveer
Walt Van Daveer

Walter Van Daveer passed away peacefully on Nov. 11, 2010, at the age of 94. He was born to Fred and Nellie Van Daveer on Feb. 2, 1916.

Walt was raised on the family homestead located on Van Daveer Road, south of Billings. He had many memories of growing up on the homestead: riding horseback to school, the Model T they drove into town to high school, the baseball field he built and the Blue Creek baseball team. His mother decided the field was perfect for a garden, so he had to find another place for his field. Walt was always at home and at peace in the Blue Creek area.

Following high school, Walt ventured to Seattle, where he was drafted into the Army in 1945. Upon discharge from the Army he went to work for a power line contractor in Billings. He and a partner purchased the company and built power lines and sub-stations across the Western States for 30 years. He was very proud of bringing power to rural residents of those areas.

After his retirement, he spent many hours of enjoyment in his garden where he always had a bumper crop of vegetables. He shared his produce with everyone. Family members remember raiding his raspberry patch, grape arbor and tomato garden. He also took up golf and with his brother, Jack, spent many happy hours at Par 3 or meeting for a game in Big Timber.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Frieda; sisters Mae Steffanich and Mary West; brothers Jack, Fred and Ralph; and companion, Mercedes LaBane.

He is survived by nieces, Judy Van Daveer, Linda Wolfe, Anita Schnebly, and Janet Dilard; nephews Jonathan, Mike and John Van Daveer and Lee Steffanich. Walt enjoyed a special relationship with great-niece Andrea Gause and her children Riley and Kathryn.

Walt was a caring and generous person. He was loved and admired by all his extended family.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or the American Legion. The family would like to thank the caregivers at Highgate Memory Care Cottage for the excellent care they gave him.

Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.

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