The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

William F. Arvin


William F. Arvin, 89, of Havre, Mont., passed away in his home on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, 18 days before his 90th birthday.

He was born on Feb. 17, 1926, to William Arvin, Sr. and Eva Ree (Sisson) Arvin in Kansas City, Miss., their oldest child, later joined by one sister, Mary Ellen.

The family lived in Missouri until he was 9 years old, then they moved to Billings, Mont., because of the depression. His father's brother had a dairy farm there. His father and family worked there many years while the children were growing up.

He graduated from Billings High School in 1944. Following graduation he left for Farragut, with a group of friends, for two years in the Navy during World War II. They served in the South Pacific, the Philippines, Okinawa and Occupation of Japan on the USS Colorado BB45.

Upon discharge he worked with harvest crews until his friend, Ralph Queen, talked him into entering Eastern Montana College until 1949; when he acquired a job in Opheim, the beginning of a career that lasted 37 years.

After two years in Opheim, he and Beryl Omvig planned to be married. However, he had chosen an early release from the Navy in exchange for a "chance" that he might be recalled to finish the last 10 months.

The wedding plans were made, including the wedding invitations, that arrived just before the "notice" from Uncle Sam that said: "Report on May 29th" with the wedding to be June 3rd. He wrote for a 10-day extension. Being young and full of trust, and a lot of faith, the invitations were mailed out! The government granted him seven days, so the wedding was on June 3, and he left for Korea very early on June 6, on the USS Colonial LSD 18, mine sweeping off the Korean War.

He was discharged with the rank of Machinist Mate 3rd Class. He was shipped back to the U.S. after three months, where he was joined by Beryl in Coronado, Calif., back and forth until March when his time was served. He had to give up his teaching contract in Choteau to go to Korea, so what does a teacher without a job do in March but go back to college at Eastern Montana College, working in the summers and securing a job in Saco. For three years, while in Saco, he and his wife adopted their first child, Lee.

Next was a job in St. Regis, where he moved alone, as Beryl waited for their second son, William A.

He didn't care much for the mountains, so after two years they headed back to the prairie at Stanford, Mont., where their daughter, DeJana Rea, was born. After four years, in 1961, he and his family moved to Havre, where he finished his teaching career. He worked summers in construction, SCS (measuring land), county road and bridge crews, but every five years was required to attend summer school. When he retired in 1987, it took about a year of "retirement" before he got a job at Cenex, where he worked for 14 years.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Ellen (Beldon, DeBord) Bustle.

Survivors include his wife, Beryl; two sons, Lee B. of Great Falls and William A. of Havre; one daughter, DeJana Bucher and her husband, Doug, of Post Falls, Idaho; five grandchildren, James Arvin and his wife, Michelle, of Cheney, Wash., Thomas Bucher and his wife, Jennifer, of Post Falls, Anita Johnson and her husband, Jeremiah, of Glendive, Lee Arvin Jr. and Nathaniel Arvin of Great-Falls; six great-grandchildren, Raistlin Aleman, Liriel, Selene, Nathaniel Jr., Alexander and Sonata Arvin; one sister-in-law, Mary Ann Omvig of Billings; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. at the Lawndale Cemetery near Opheim, with Pastor George Sturm officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please choose a charity of your choice.

Bell Mortuary of Glasgow was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at


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