November 1, 2023
Leland Ernest Risa was born in Scobey, Mont., on Dec. 14, 1950, to Albin and Dorothy (Walters) Risa. He died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, in Glasgow, Mont., after a brief battle with cancer. Lee was baptized and confirmed at the First Lutheran Church in Opheim, Mont.
Family will receive friends at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Opheim Community Church in Opheim, with Pastor Scott Kiehn officiating. Burial will take place in Lawndale Cemetery in Opheim and a reception will follow back at the church.
Lee grew up on the family farm in Opheim, he graduated from Opheim High School in 1969 and then Montana State University-Bozeman in 1974 with a degree in Ag Production and was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Following graduation, he returned to Opheim and owned and operated, with Dorothy and stepfather, Theron, Northern Lites Ranch, Inc. In later years he continued with his wife and son.
He married Terry Ackerman on June 16, 1978. They welcomed twin daughters, Kari and Kristy, in 1981, and, a son, Bryce, in 1984. He followed his children's activities in school and 4-H. He cheered on his children, grandchildren, and the children of his friends. Lee continued to farm and ranch with his wife and son.
Lee was involved in many organizations in the Opheim community and in Valley County. He served as president of the Opheim Community Club, served as a board member on the Farmers Union Oil of Opheim, PRO COOP of Opheim, Northern Electric Cooperative of Opheim, and NorVal Electric Cooperative. He also served as a steer barn superintendent at the Northeast Montana Fair. In 2022 he was awarded the Commercial Producer of the Year award from the American Red Angus Association.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Albin Risa, Dorothy Risa and Theron Risa; nephew Tyler Risa; father-in-law Ted Ackerman; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He is survived by his wife, Terry, of 45 years; his son, Bryce, of Opheim, his daughters, Kari (Cowboy) Murch, of Glasgow, and Kristy (James) Miller, of Taylor, N.D .; grandchildren Rhett Murch, of Glasgow, Collin Grage, of Timber Lake, S.D., Callie and Karstin Grage, of Taylor, and Kaisen and Brysen Miller, of Taylor. He is also survived by his brother, Brian (Diana) Risa, of Blackfoot, Idaho, their children, Jessica and Travis, and their families; mother-in-law, Arleen Hughes, of Kalispell, Mont .; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, in-laws, and friends.
Memorial may be left for the family at bellmortuarymontana.com.