Gerald Paul "Babe" Monson
September 20, 2017
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, at the age of 79, our beloved "Babe" left this world, surrounded by his children and friends, to be with his high school sweetheart, Darlene.
Gerald Paul "Babe" Monson was born on Nov. 5, 1938, in Rothsay, Minn. He was the sixth child of Julian Monson and Effie Halbakken. Shortly after his birth, the name Gerald Paul was dropped, and he became known as "Babe." He was baptized Nov. 30, 1938, and was confirmed on May 24, 1953, at the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow.
He and his family moved to Montana during Thanksgiving of 1944. He was a hard worker and started working at the young age of 8, cutting grass, snow shoveling, and as a paperboy. Throughout his years, he had many jobs from a ranch hand, sheep herder, hay hauler, bellhop, construction worker, pouring the runway for the Glasgow Air Base, laying water line, building the second powerhouse at the dam, beer distributor, bank loan officer and a tank driver in the National Guard.
He graduated from Glasgow High School in 1956. In December of 1959, he married the love of his life, Darlene Sundby. He and Darlene were involved with the Lutheran Church early in their marriage with Darlene teaching Sunday School and Babe serving as the treasurer. Together they raised three children, Lance, Lana, and Louis. He bought the Montana Bar in 1976 with a partner. He sold it in 1979, only to buy it back in 1982. Since then, they have run it as a family business, making friends with everyone who walked through the front door.
He made friends with everyone and frequently traveled to Minnesota for whist tournaments. He also hosted an annual whist tournament at the Montana Bar for 30 years. He would take annual trips to Vegas with his friends and family to bring a little piece of Cadillac Corner to Vegas. During the summer you could find him and his friends loaded up in the van traveling to all the eastern Montana rodeos. You could frequently find him shooting off the cannon at the high school football games and the Montana Governor's Cup. They had a 100-year celebration of the bar in 1999, which wouldn't have been complete without a horse poker run. Babe hosted the Catfish Classic for many years and was awarded the Aaron "Chappy" Chatten award in 2016. He was honored at the Northeastern Montana Rodeo in 2017 for his continued support of the rodeo association. The Cowboy Calcutta was a popular event for many years in the Montana Bar, which brought everyone together, and it was a great time for all involved. He was very proud of his Norwegian heritage and every May 17, he could be seen proudly marching the Norwegian flag up front street in celebration of Norwegian Day.
He is preceded in death by parents Effie and Julian; his wife, Darlene; two sisters, Evelyn and Donna; and one brother, Buster.
He is survived by three children, Lance, Lana, and Louie; three grandchildren, Paula and her husband, Landon, Ryan and Chase; a great-grandchild, Ryley; two sisters, Arlys and Vonnie; one brother, Leland; numerous nieces, nephews, and too many friends to count.
A celebration of his life was held at the Valley Event Center on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. with burial following at Highland Cemetery. The family hosted a gathering at the Elks Lodge following the graveside service.
Babe said it best when he said, "I had an enjoyable life; I met a lot of interesting people and I like them all."