Gordon S. Vanderpan, born Feb. 28, 1929 in Scobey, son of Weber and Petra Vanderpan, lost his battle with Alzheimers May 14, 2015 at the age of 86.
He was an outstanding student and athlete throughout high school starring in football, basketball and track. He also played semi-pro baseball for a couple of years after graduating from Scobey High School in 1947.
He married his high school sweetheart Jonet Crandell in 1949 and together they had five wonderful children. His was a full life spent working as an educator for close to 50 years – most of those years were spent as a successful teacher (Westby, Maddock, Redstone and Chester), and school administrator in Eureka and Baker.
Our father’s passion was music, of which he loved all kinds; ok … RAP … not so much. The band he was part of while in high school (Stardusters) and later on was famous throughout NE Montana (i.e. Plentywood, Glasgow, Scobey, Wolf Point, and small communities in between) is still remembered today as being one of the finest ever. All of the members were exceptionally talented musicians and could have played with any group, anywhere. Dad was asked to play with the high school band when he was in fourth grade. He told us of playing his trumpet along with the radio, night after night as the radio was all they had for entertainment.
Wherever we moved, dad found a band to play with and mom saved the money he made (Westby, Scobey, Havre,
Dillon, Eureka, Chester) which helped him pay for his schooling … and their kids’ clothes and food.
Gordon is survived by his wife, Jonet; three sons, Terry, Gary and Doug (Laurie); one daughter, Shari (Lennie); eleven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Petra and Weber; one sister, Margaret; four brothers, Walter, Vernon, Leslie and Arnold; one son, Jerry; and grandson, Lance.
A memorial service was held May 18, 2015 at Smith’s West Chapel in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The Fisher Center of Alzheimers Research Foundation, 110 East 42nd St., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10017.