Our loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend, Donivan Lee Rosin, ’Doug,’ of Billings, sailed his ship home on Nov. 1, 2018, at 86 years old.
He was born on Dec. 30, 1931, at the family ranch in Fallon to Adolph ‘Shorty’ and Essie (Howard) Rosin. He attended high school through the ninth grade but later earned his GED and joined the U.S. Navy. He spoke fondly of the time he spent in San Diego during his training. Doug served in the Korean War as a first gunner on the USS Pittsburgh with his brother, Orville, and was honorably discharged after 4 years of service. He then returned to Montana and married the love of his life, Kathleen Jo Gaskill, on Jan. 12, 1957, in Billings. Together they raised eight children: Doug, Dan, Becky, Lynn, Vivian, Todd, Penny, and Andrea.
In the beginning of his career, Doug worked as a carpenter for several builders in town, including Hardy Construction. Eventually he went out on his own, starting Rosin Construction. There he apprenticed his four boys, who worked alongside of him learning the trade and taking over the business when he retired. Even in retirement, Doug always stayed busy, never letting the grass grow under his feet. He had a great appreciation for the outdoors, where he spent several seasons guiding hunters, where he hunted and fished himself, and where he especially enjoyed his last fishing trip this past summer. Doug had an ear for music and could basically play any instrument he picked up, including the drums, but ended up a guitar player.
Though sometimes a little feisty or ornery, Doug was an intelligent, generous man with a true passion for life. He was an exceptionally creative individual that was also extremely skilled with his hands, a jack of all trades so to speak. There was no task too big or too difficult for him to accomplish. Not only was he multi-talented, he shared these gifts with his family and friends, teaching his younger brothers, his children and his grandchildren many valuable do-it-yourself lessons. He taught Danny and Tommy Rye how to field dress, hang, and cut up a deer when they were 8 and 10 years old, giving him the title ‘The Meat Man’. Doug was best known as a master craftsman and carpenter, but when the work was done, he loved to fish, hunt, camp, play cards, tell stories, drink beer and an occasional whiskey, carve antlers, do mounts, make sinkers and jigs, tie flies, fix reels, build rods, smoke/pickle/can fish, refinish gun stocks, gun smith, garden, make homemade tomato juice and pickles (the best around), can salsa, and even read a bit. He was a true master of all of these things. Doug loved company and had a way of making you feel welcome in his home. He would greet you with a big bear hug, a firm hand shake or, if you were lucky, a smooch on the cheek. He might then break out some smoked or pickled fish, or maybe some pickles and a beer or two and then tell a joke or story and laugh his infectious laugh. Those who visited him felt relaxed and happy in no time at all. Doug (or Doonie, which many liked to call him,) christened so many with nicknames: Fur, Boone, Skins, Wiz, Berries, Monies, Bods, Red Buttons, Bombs, Katydid, Chi Chi, Billus Bri, Billus Aar, Fuzz, Feezer, The Mushrooms, Crawdad, No Knees, Tic-a-Too, Birdie Legs, Peck, Buffhide, Radar, and Pardner, just to name a few. There are more to mention, but if he liked you, you got one and you were special to him, and you know who you are. Doug had such an enormous influence in all of our lives, and we were truly blessed to know him. The void he leaves behind cannot be filled, but he has passed along his special traits to the fortunate ones. We are lost without you, Dad, but are overjoyed that you are reunited with Mom. We will carry on your legacy. Rest in peace.
Doug is preceded in death by his parents, Adolph and Essie; his wife, Kathleen; and his brothers, Orville, Dave and Darrell. He is survived by his siblings, Roger (Val) Rosin, Arlene (Gordon) DeSaveur, Oren (Linda) Rosin, Carolyn Hunt, and Tom (Linda) Rosin; and his children, Doug (Carol) Rosin, Dan (Kay) Rosin, Becky Rye, Lynn Rosin, Vivian (Lance) Kosmann, Todd Rosin, Penny (Micheal) Crumrine, and Andrea (Brian) Seaholm. He is also survived by 19 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, and countless other extended family.
A special thank you goes out to the staff on 3 Fortin at St. V’s for taking such good care of Dad during his final days.
Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 at Smith Funeral Chapels Downtown in Billings. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, at Smith Funeral Chapels Downtown with interment to follow at 2 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Reception afterwards at Lance and Vivian Kosmann’s, 4029 Kratz Lane. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be left at www.smithfuneralchapels.com