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Gene Petersen

February 21, 1928 ~ May 10, 2018

Service: May 16, 2018 1:00 PM
   Location: Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel

Gene Leonard Petersen and Eleanor Louise (McGahen) Petersen passed away on May 10, 2018, together. Eleanor passed during the early morning hours, and Gene passed exactly 12 hours later.

Gene was born in Bozeman, MT, on February 21, 1928, to Martin Viclif Petersen and Lillian Reek Petersen, the first of three boys.

Eleanor was born in Gildford, MT, on June 25, 1934, to Vernon Calno McGahen and Florence Marie (Walters) McGahen, the third of four children.

Eleanor lived on the family farm until it was time to start High School when she and her sister, Ruth, moved to Bozeman to board with a family while attending school. She worked full time to support herself while going to school, graduating from Gallatin County High School in 1952.

Gene grew up at the mouth of Middle Creek Canyon on the family farm. He attended Bozeman Schools, graduating from Gallatin County High School in 1946. Following high school, Gene worked for various local businesses while rodeoing around the country. Gene joined the Air Force and was stationed near Fort Wayne, Indiana, as a drill sergeant.

Upon returning to Bozeman, he met Eleanor at a local bank where they both worked. They married on March 6, 1955. They had two children, Vicki in 1957 and Michael in 1960.

Eleanor worked many years in retail, retiring from Macys in 1998. Gene retired from the Bell Telephone Company and worked for King Tool as a machinist.

Upon retirement, they moved to Townsend, MT, to return to the small-town life. There they enjoyed gardening, landscaping, and caring for the many birds and animals they shared their space with.

Over their lives, both were very creative people. Eleanor excelled at cooking and needlework of all kinds, winning many ribbons at the Winter Fair. Gene made beautiful knives, belt buckles, bolo ties, and hat bands. He also won ribbons at the Fair.

Gene and Eleanor spent the last few months of their lives at Silver Springs Assisted Living in Townsend, MT.

Gene and Eleanor are survived by their children, Michael, Vicki and Dan Shyne; grandchildren, Tim and Vanja Shyne, Danielle and Chris Bovee, and Patrick and Krystal Shyne; as well as six great-grandchildren. Also surviving are Gene’s brothers, Glenn and Louise Petersen, and Kenneth and Cynthia Petersen; as well as Eleanor’s brothers, Richard McGahen, and David and Jeanne McGahen.

They were preceded in death by their parents; and Eleanor’s sister, Ruth Border and her husband, Bud Border.

Special thanks to the entire staff of Silver Springs Assisted Living for their kind and special care during these last few months.

Should you wish to make a donation in their names, please consider NAMI 555 Fuller Ave Helena, MT 59624.

A celebration of their lives will be held Wednesday, May 16 at 1 p.m. at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel. A private graveside service will be held.

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