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Ronald Lee Callantine

March 24, 1935 ~ January 10, 2020

Service: January 16, 2020 11:00 A.M.
   Location: Bozeman United Methodist Church

Ronald Lee Callantine was born in Livingston, Montana on March 24, 1935 to Lee Roy Callantine and Martha Elizabeth (Werner) Callantine. He joined the angels in heaven early Friday morning, January 10, 2020 at home in Bozeman, Montana.

Growing up on the family ranch at Pass Creek, north of Bozeman, his childhood and youth were filled with adventures and misadventures of many kinds with his family and friends he met along the way. He had many stories to share about his childhood and younger days and they were always shared with a smile and a bit of laughter too.

Ron attended elementary schools at Pass Creek, Manhattan, and Belgrade and attended Gallatin County High School graduating in 1953. During his “school years” he worked on the family ranch, part-time for Fox Motor Co., A&E Market, and Skrukrud Conoco. He attended Montana State College, leaving only to pursue an opportunity at Boeing in Seattle. During his time in Seattle he continued his education taking night classes at the University of Washington.

While he regretted not finishing college in Bozeman, the experiences he had at Boeing were invaluable. Ron worked on the advanced configuration B-52 electrical/electronics section and the Minute Man missile system ground support facilities among other projects while a mechanical designer/draftsman at Boeing and talked about that often.

Ron served in the Montana National Guard (U.S. Army) 1955-1956 and U. S. Army Reserve (inactive) 1956-1963 working on defense projects. He was honorably discharged in 1963.

On June 20, 1957, Ron married Charlene Niebel (Townsend) and they made their home in Seattle. After their son Kim was born in June of 1961, they moved back to Bozeman to be near family. In 1964 their daughter Kendra was born. Life was full of 4-H projects, building homes, and best of all snowmobiling with friends and family in Yellowstone every December.

During these years in Bozeman Ron worked at Montronics as a mechanical designer/draftsman, Montana State University Engineering Experiment Station as a mechanical designer/draftsman and supervisor of fabrication services, then helped start DTI (Development Technology Incorporated) as a co-owner and Vice President for Marketing and Sales. Ron then decided to pursue a career in construction and worked with his close friend Don Townsend at Townsend Construction then started R-C Electric and Plumbing.

Ron met his angel Peggy Wright in Havre, Montana and they married in Seattle on December 30, 1989. Peggy was a guardian angel by Ron’s side through every illness and every health challenge. Were it not for her, we would not have had Ron with us for these many, many years. Peggy followed him to Sheridan, Wyoming and Las Vegas, Nevada, then back to Sheridan when he worked for Sletten Construction. They raised her children, Erin and Bryce, during those years, would come back to Bozeman as often as possible to visit Ron’s mom, and would travel to see both Kim and Kendra wherever they were. After Ron’s retirement in 2005, they moved to Gold Canyon, Arizona for the winter months and had a summer home in Bozeman. Later in 2015 Peggy’s grandchildren, Ailis and Cavan, came to live with them and they moved permanently back to Bozeman to raise them near family. Ron was proud of his children and grandchildren and would encourage them always.

Ron loved to snowmobile, camp and travel and was always up for an adventure with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed traveling with Peggy after their children were grown and would have kept traveling, snowmobiling, and camping if his health had allowed.

Ron was a medical mystery, challenging doctors in every town he lived in. His health issues never got him down, always positive and kind to anyone who cared for him during his illnesses. He had a strong mind to his very last moments, but his body was just not strong enough to continue to maintain his stubborn nature.

A mentor to many throughout his life, he taught his children, grandchildren and others about work ethic and the importance of family. He encouraged us all to take a chance, to never have a “what if” regret, and to honor our past. He was known for his patience, encouraging and positive words, and his faith.

Ron loved the Callantine family history and shared stories and family nuggets every chance he got. He cherished the opportunity he had to meet long lost family and to visit with cousins from every corner of the country. Every conversation with Ron would fill a room with energy and laughter. It was a warmth like no other, a presence of humbleness and love.

Ron is preceded in death by his parents, Martha and Lee Roy Callantine, and his half-brother, Donald Callantine.

Ron is survived by his wife, Peggy; children, Kim (Leanne) Callantine, Kendra Callantine, Erin Rocha, and Bryce (Laura) Wright; and grandchildren, Adam White (fiancé, Lindy Henry), Aidan White, Mackenzie Osborne, Ailis Shoop, Cavan Shoop, and Liam Wright. He is also survived by all the Callantines in this valley and beyond because, yes, he is related to all of them.

We will have a celebration of life for Ron on Thursday, January 16 at 1100 A.M. at Bozeman United Methodist Church.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bozeman United Methodist Church, Bozeman Health Hospice or to MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) at aamds.org.

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