Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

John Franklin McCulloch

1933 ~ November 18, 2019

John McCulloch, a person who hated to be a “stranger” to anyone, passed away Monday, November 18, 2019.  He lived 86 exciting years and tried to influence lives up to the end.

Born in Bozeman in 1933, he attended local schools, Gallatin High, and MSC. After a few years of college he decided he wanted to be a navy pilot and joined the military.  It was during his time of training in Pensacola, Florida that he met the love of his life, a southern belle nursing student named Sylvia Foutz.  They were married in 1957.  John flew large submarine detection radar planes around Pensacola and San Diego in their first years of marriage.  Their first son, John E. McCulloch, suffered from hydrocephalus and ended up in the naval hospital in San Francisco.  Because the doctors could not seem to help John E. there, Sylvia flew him up to Billings to see a specialist who saved his life but not his sight.  John E.’s blindness was a great influence on the family.

John and Sylvia later moved to Bozeman and then to Missoula where John got a degree in forestry at what was then MSU.  When he got hired as a forest ranger it was truly a profession he loved.  They lived in Livingston, Big Timber, Stanford, Neihart, and in the process had three more children…  Bryan, Bruce, and Beverly.  Eventually they were able to move back to Bozeman where John was able to manage the forests he had grown up with as a kid.  He attended several different churches in Bozeman and as a result developed a strong religious conviction which he shared with his family and friends. 

Tragedy struck the family when their oldest son, John E., got hit by a truck in Missoula after graduation from the U of M and was paralyzed and head injured.  It was John’s strong faith that brought the family through.  John moved to Missoula to be close to his son and it was then that the fires struck Yellowstone Park.  He often shared it was the highlight of his career to be able to lead planning of the Yellowstone fires in the 80’s.

Eventually he retired back to the Bozeman area and lived in Belgrade.  His faith in the Lord became stronger and he wanted to spread the good news.  He became an ordained minister at E-Free Church.  Tragedy struck again as the love of his life, Sylvia, contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease in her 50’s.  She died a few months later.  Sometime later, John married the beautiful Janet Hasbrouck in 2003.  John continued to work at E-Free Church for several years and became especially active in their recovery ministry where he helped dozens of chemical and alcohol dependent folks know the Lord.  His wisdom and jokes made him a hit with everyone he met.

He is survived by his four children…John E. of Bozeman, Bryan of Dutton, Montana, Bruce of Jasper, Alabama, and Beverly (Gallagher) of Jasper, Alabama; two brothers…Earl of Bozeman, and Ken of Bozeman; six grandchildren, Samual, Timothy, Naomi, Isaac, Amee, Matthew; and twelve great-grandchildren.  Services will be held at E-Free Church Monday, November 25, at 1:00 P.M.

Memorial donations may be made to the Gallatin History Museum, 317 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT  59715 (www.gallatinhistorymuseum.org/take-action); or Alive Again Life Recovery Mission, P.O. Box 10001, Bozeman, MT  59719 (www.aalrm.org/give/).