Raymond Fost, 99

Funeral service for Raymond Fost, 99, of Willard, will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 25, 2017 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker with Sheldon Sorenson officiating. Burial will follow at Willard Cemetery.

Visitation for Raymond will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, November 24, 2017 at Stevenson Funeral Home with a prayer service being held at 7:00 p.m.

Raymond passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family and alongside his devoted wife on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

Raymond Albert Fost was born February 3, 1918 to parents Albert and Ella Fost. He grew up on the Fost homestead and attended country school in Willard before completing his secondary education at Baker High School (Class of 1936). He then attended Montana State University, hitchhiking his way back and forth from Willard to Bozeman, before returning to the farm in the winter of 1936.

In the spring of 1942, he enlisted in the Army and joined the 369th Engineer Construction Battalion, serving under General Patton. During the height of World War II, he was promoted to Sergeant and traveled through northern Africa and across Europe, including countries like Algeria, Italy, and Southern France. He served as a construction foreman and was in charge of a squad of twelve men. During this time, he supervised excavating, grading, bracing, forms building, and backfilling for numerous railroad and bridge-building projects. During his years of service, he was awarded six overseas services bars, the European-African-Middle-Eastern Theater Service Medal, Bronze Arrowhead, and was a processer for the Good Conduct Medal.

Upon returning from the war in the fall of 1945, he met and married his wife, Jessie Bucklin. Together they had two daughters, Karen and Maxine, and raised them in their home a mile away from the old Fost place. Like his parents before him, Raymond and his wife became active members of the Willard Community. They were members of the Lutheran Church and served as groundskeepers for many years. Raymond also volunteered with the Montana’s Hunter Safety Program for ten years and was a 4-H leader for a number of years. Invested in all aspects of community life, he served on numerous boards such as the Willard Election Board, Farmers Union Board, the Elevator Board, and the Tax Appeal Board. He also was an active member of the Willard Community Club. Always willing to help others, when he returned from service he also spent time teaching locals how to weld.

Over the years, Raymond continued to keep busy. This included helping with daily activities on the family ranch, assisting with the running of the Willard Post Office, and helping with the MT Motel under the ownership of Brenda and Russ Stoddard. He was also an avid Spartan boys’ and girls’ basketball fan, making it a point to travel to all of the out of town games and tournaments to cheer on the teams. Even when the weather was too bad to travel, he and his wife would head over to the bowling alley to listen to the broadcast of the game. He was also an avid reader and long-time subscriber to the Billings Gazette. For over seventy years he looked forward to checking the market prices and weather forecast in the newspaper. At home, he enjoyed gardening, watching the weather, enjoying the birds outside his living room window, identifying the clouds as they floated by, playing pinochle at home and at card parties, and helping his great-grandchildren with arithmetic problems on the dining room chalkboard.

December 21 would have been their 72nd wedding anniversary. He was a beloved husband and cherished father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. He is preceded in death by his parents, Albert & Ella; sister, Marion and brother-in-law, Harry Hanson; his nephew, Russell Hanson; and great granddaughter, Harper Griffith. He is survived by his wife, Jessie Fost; his two daughters, Karen (Ken) Griffith and Maxine (Rod) Rost; eight grandchildren: granddaughter Brenda (Russ) Stoddard and children Lauren (with Jacob Stevens; Corvallis, OR) and Talon (fiancé Shanya Larsen); grandson Jason Griffith; grandson Mike (Brandi) Griffith and children McKenna and Quinn; grandson Jon (Billie Jo) Griffith and children Trevor (MSU), Chad, Ryan, and Tyler; granddaughter Carmen (Joe) Pennington and children Rooster, Pepper, and Jessica and her children Lyla and Tate; grandson Roddy (Juanita) Rost and children Jesse, Bo, Jolyn, Zoie, Cole, Clay, Kinch, and Rose; grandson Roy (Melissa) Rost and children Marriah (David) Ma, Jase (fiancé Savannah Tailleur), Dustin, Isaac, Dani, Rachel, Caleb, Hannah, Ky, and Kayla Kloetzke and her children Nevaeh, Isaiah, and Eirynn; and grandson Jay (Linda) Rost and children Bobby, Lukas, Rye Lynn, Erika, and Ashli (Bailey) Wiedmer and their children, Alan, Sierra, and Ryler. He is also survived by his nephew Randy (Val) Hanson.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.