SEELEY LAKE — Gregory Joseph Triepke, 53, of Seeley Lake, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, following a brief battle with cancer.
Greg was born on May 2, 1964, in Great Falls to Richard and Joan Triepke, receiving the mother lode of charisma in his genetic package. In 1966 the family moved to Deer Lodge where the children attended Catholic School and Powell County Public Schools. While in school Greg was active in wrestling, fun, and sometimes academics. Greg was an awesome student if you were also a student and loved to laugh. Academics were way less critical than the all important social life.
Greg was a daring driver. He navigated high school with the huge green Buick LeSabre before the sporty X-11 and the S10. Later on came the Impala convertible, and anyone lucky enough to ride with him knows that he liked to go fast and free. From boats to cars to motorbikes to snowmobiles, you had better hang on tight if you were along for the ride.
Following high school Greg served in the Air Force for four years before professionally operating heavy equipment for several years. Greg had lots of impacts in his life; with trees, fences, mail boxes, etc. In his 20’s he experienced a life altering accident, being rolled on while operating a grapple skidder, ending up with a severely dislocated hip and back injury. He recovered partially but limped and was in pain for the remainder of his life. He never complained about the pain and will be remembered by those close to him as one of the toughest people on the planet.
His hands were far from handsome; they were a huge, gnarly, scared and calloused working man’s hands that could stick a microscopic screw in a watch and tighten it without tools. He was a woodsman and machinist, loved working on almost anything and was handy at everything!
In July 1993, Greg married Karla Gehrke of Seeley Lake and by miracle they produced their daughter Kalah. Greg was a doting father and grandfather and always put his child first. In 2016 Kalah and Dairic Hanson gave birth to a ray of sun in Greg’s life, grandson Sawyer Lee.
Greg and wife Karla separated after daughter Kalah was grown, at which time he reunited with his soulmate Susan Cantrell. Susan and Greg were one for the remainder of his life.
Throughout Greg’s life he helped more people than anyone we know. A simple call and he would be there, plowing snow, building decks, dealing with the boats and docks and repairing almost anything. Since he was a full time collector of “stuff”, he always had what anyone needed and was always willing to share with anyone in need. He was generous to a fault and enjoyed a wealth of love from friends and family.
Greg could manage a pontoon boot with a dozen children catching sunfish and perch. He was a master baiter, master unhooker and master of fun. Perhaps the only ones that are happy are the perch and sunfish in Placid Lake.
A celebration of Greg's life will take place today, Saturday, November 4 from 4-7 p.m. at the Seeley Lake Community Center.
We love you deeply Greg, you inspired us without even trying. Keep on going … fast and free!