William John Aitken, 84, died peacefully on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in St. Ignatius, Mont.
He was born on Aug. 6, 1929, the youngest of 13 children, to James and Martha Aitken, who homesteaded south of Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow High School where he enjoyed playing basketball. He worked on and off the farm all of his life. He was employed at the Glasgow Sales Ring, Sinclair Produce, Farmer's Union Oil Co., Markle's, and Conoco Oil Co.
He loved to raise and break his own saddle horses. He would break difficult horses for other ranchers and took great pride in his work.
He was first married to Hulda Fuhrmann and later to Mary Crawford. His 44-year union with Mary resulted in many happy memories.
He loved to tell stories and jokes, and visit with anyone he met. He always had a smile for everyone, which made you feel special. When he gave you a hug you felt loved not just squeezed. His infectious laugh, broad smile, enduring dimples and the twinkle in his big blue eyes will long be remembered by his family. We are grateful for his love and enduring example of how to live well with others. He will be missed.
Survivors include four children, Margaret Godolphin and her husband, Sid, of Helena, Nancy Aitken-Nobles and her husband, Buddy, of Missoula, Larry Tade and his wife, Simone' of Silverdale, Wash., and Lisa Brieske and her husband, Tom, of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; stepchildren, Lynn Wetterling, Shirley Aitken of Missoula, Diana Dasilva of Orange Park, Fla., Patty Becker and her husband, Kenny, of Buffalo City, Wis., Clel "Crow" Crawford of Glasgow, Raymond Jr. Crawford and his wife, Linda, of Great Falls, and Bruce Crawford and his wife, Brenda, of Arlee; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one sister, Edna Brown and her husband, Gordon, who live in Glasgow.
The family appreciates Joyce Sample, his wonderful caregiver for over 15 months, his compassionate team from Hospice of Missoula, and Bruce and Brenda, his caregivers for his final two months. He was able to spend more time with his family because of the exceptional care he received.
He was preceded in death by 11 siblings; his wife, Mary; and four stepchildren, Mike, Broderick, Eugene and Marilyn Crawford.
Funeral services were held Friday, Dec. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church in Glasgow, followed by interment in the Highland Cemetery in Glasgow.
Bell Mortuary of Glasgow was in charge of arrangements.