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Joe Litle

October 1921 ~ August 11, 2018

Service: August 22, 2018 11:30 AM
   Location: Bozeman United Methodist Church

Joseph B. Litle, 96, passed away peacefully of natural causes on August 11, 2018 in Belgrade. Joe was born in October 1921 in Wilsall, Montana to Orville and Grace Litle. Joe, his older brother Albert, and their parents lived in Clyde Park where Joe’s grandparents had homesteaded in 1885. Joe and his family moved from Clyde Park to East Helena in 1924 and then finally settled in Bozeman in 1929.

Joe attended Emerson Elementary School and graduated from Gallatin County High School (later renamed Wilson School) in 1938. Joe worked in the family grocery business from an early age. The grocery stores were located at several locations on Main Street.

Joe attended Woodbury College of Los Angeles for two years pursuing a degree in accounting, and then enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marines upon the beginning of World War II. After serving for four years on various Liberty ships in the Pacific theater he was honorably discharged at the end of the war. He then returned to Woodbury College and finished his degree.

Joe returned to Bozeman and joined his brother and father in the retail grocery business at Litles’ Modern Grocery Store. Later they transitioned from retail to wholesale. Joe continued in the wholesale grocery business until his retirement in 1984. Joe performed the accounting and much of the big-rig trucking for the business.

Joe loved music. He played violin in the high school and city bands. He also formed bands with other musicians and played at various locations including local schoolhouse dances. It was at one of these schoolhouse dances that he met Carla Ann Kundert. They were later married on Oct. 7, 1951, at the First Methodist Church in Bozeman. They raised four children.

Joe was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church and the Gallatin Masonic Lodge #6. Later he became active in the Montana State Old Time Fiddlers Association, square dancing club, pinochle groups and hiking with family.  He was a musician who enjoyed playing a variety of instruments including violin, fiddle, organ, accordion and harmonica. 

He loved and enjoyed his nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and attended many of their activities, such as volleyball, soccer and basketball.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife of 55 years, Carla Ann; sister-in-law, Nellie Litle; brother-in-law, Elwin Kundert; and sister-in-law, Roanne Kundert.

He is survived by his brother, Albert Litle of Billings; four children, their spouses and families, Beth Lamphear (Rodney) of Bozeman, Gary Litle (Linda) of Townsend, Carolyne Armstrong (Edward) of Mackay, Idaho, and Clinton Litle (Cheryl) of Bozeman; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express our appreciation and thanks to the caring staff at BeeHive Homes (formerly Elsie’s Assisted Living) of Belgrade for Dad’s exceptional care over the past three years.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 22 at United Methodist Church of Bozeman. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Bozeman Senior Center.

 

 

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