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Benard J. Weston the first son of Alice and Barney Weston was born at Thornton Hospital, Missoula, on November 21, 1927. In years to follow brothers Emery (Buzz) and William (Bill) joined the family on the ranch at Beavertail Hill. Ben lived at the Ranch his entire life never staying away from home for even one night, until his recent illness. Ben and his brothers rode the school bus to Clinton to attend Clinton Elementary School and then to Missoula County High School until he graduated in 1945. This was not the quick trip down I-90 that it is today. The old highway was two lanes traveling through Milltown. During the war the speed limit was 35 miles per hour.
Ben started milking cows with his Dad when he was about 11 years old and continued milking 6 cows every morning and evening for a good 50 years. Quite often he would miss the milk bucket, spraying in the direction of the cats and kittens in the corner of the milk barn giving them their expected treat. He started driving the Buck Rake behind the gray mare when he was 13. They continued haying with horses even after they owned a John Deere tractor. He worked 16 - 18 hours per day during calving season, as no cow was able to calve without him there to make sure everything was going okay. His nieces and nephews remember many a ride down out of the hills in the back of the pickup, after taking the cows out for summer pasture. Quite often he seemed to drive faster down the mountain than he ever did on flat ground. Uncle ranched and continued feeding cattle in the winter until he was 85 years old.
Sunday was Ben’s favorite day of the week. His brothers and their families would gather at the ranch each and every week to help out. They all enjoyed a big family dinner which his mother cooked on a wood stove. As they didn’t have a telephone until 1983 visiting was imperative. Family and friends were always welcome for a visit, quite often for a meal. As a lifelong Mason, Ben was a member of Ruby Lodge #36, Drummond for 68 years holding several offices including Master. For many years he served as Secretary for Bonita-Clinton-Potomac Grazing Association attending annuals meeting until just a few years ago. He was kind, a gentleman, had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. He always had a trusty dog at his side. He left us March 17, 2017 at the age of 89. The Weston Ranch was his life. Ben loved his family and friends. His body was strong until the end. He will be missed by all he knew.
Ben is preceded in death by his mother and father, Alice and Barney, sisters-in-law Nedra Weston and Delores Weston and nephew Bill Weston. He is survived by brothers Emery of Deer Lodge and William of Missoula, 7 nieces and nephews, 17 great nieces and nephews and their children. Visitation will be held at Garden City Funeral Home, Friday, March 24, 2017 at 10:00 am with funeral service at 11:00, reception and graveside service will follow. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences for Ben’s family may be left at sunsetfuneralhomecemetery.com.
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