Richard (Dick) Brinton, 82, died at his home in Eureka on June 25, 2005.
He was born on July 25, 1922, at Brighton, Iowa, to Harry and Grace Brinton and the family moved to Libby when Dick was two years old.
He attended Libby schools and a trade school in Helena where he received certification in welding.
Dick enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served on an LST 452 in the South Pacific during World War II.
After receiving an honorable discharge in 1945, Dick returned to Libby and on March 1, 1947, married Kathryn E. Neils.
Dick and Kate had six children, Jeff, Barb, Marti, Jake, Jeanne and Bob.
After working in the woods for the J. Neils Lumber Company for several years, Dick and Kate opened The Blue Bear, where Dick became a proficient ping-pong player and the genial host of Libby's teen center.
In 1962, they purchased a 69-acre ranch at Eureka, where they ranched and farmed for 20 years.
A commissioner on the Glen Lake Irrigation District for many years, Dick was also a committeeman for the ASCS. In his retirement years, Dick enjoyed working in the senior Forest Service Program, where he put his welding and manufacturing talents to good use.
In his youth Dick was an avid horseman and hunter, loved the outdoors and was passionate about chasing wild horses. One of his favorite stories was of tracking a grizzly bear while hunting on horseback with a buddy in the Cabinet Mountains, only to realize that the bear was actually stalking them. A blizzard blew in and they became disoriented, ending up dropping the reins and letting the horses find their way home. He was 14 years old at the time.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Grace Brinton, sister Patricia, brother Robert and beloved son Jake.
In addition to his wife Kate, Eureka, Dick is survived by five children, 16 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and a host of friends.
Dick's love for the Lord and his family was evident. He was committed to his church and attended faithfully. The evening before he died was spent with his family, thanking the Lord that he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and knew where he would spend eternity.
Friends may call at the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home in Eureka from 1-7 p.m. Thursday.
Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 1, at the First Baptist Church in Eureka. Interment will follow immediately at the Eureka Cemetery. Interment services will be followed by a reception at the church.
The family suggests donations be given to the Wee Care Unplanned Pregnancy Center.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.