MISSOULA n John Calhoun Felton officially retired at age 85 at his home Sunday, June 15, 2008.
John was born to Robert and Stella Felton on March 25, 1923, in the heart of the Bear Paw Mountains where he spent his adolescent years. John attended welding school in Butte and then moved to Seattle to work in the shipyards.
In 1942, John enlisted in the Navy and served in World War II with naval and amphibious forces in the southwest Pacific. While on leave in 1943, John met Jean Allison in San Francisco; they were married Feb. 12, 1945. In September 1945, John received a medical discharge and the young couple moved to Havre for a short time, then to Spokane, and he began his career working in the construction business with Murphy Bros.
In 1966, John established Felton Construction Co., which led him to many utility construction projects in Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. With the need to save time and money, his company began developing, designing and manufacturing equipment to increase safety and job productivity. Thus, Felco Industries Ltd. was founded in 1981.
John bought 155 acres of land in 1969 with intentions of building a subdivision. After many setbacks, John finally brought his dream to reality with the creation of Mansion Heights.
On July 31, 1997, Jean passed away. He met and then married Emma Cooper July 15, 1999.
Preceding John in death was his wife, Jean; his parents; brothers, Charles and Harry; and brothers-in-law, Alfred Dion and Dean Welborn.
Survivors include his wife, Emma; and his two faithful Labs, Coco and Maggie; sisters, Ruth Dion of Bethesda, Md., and Nettie Welborn of Dillon; grandchildren from marriage to Jean, Charles Felton (Cindy) and Rick Felton (Lisa); several nephews, nieces, great-grandchildren, cousins and great-nephews and great-nieces.
John was an active member of the Masonic Lodge, a past master of the Missoula Lodge, a Shriner, a Jester and potentate of the Algeria Shrine Temple in 1993. He is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Spokane Shrine Hospital.
John lived life the same way he died, "his way," with dignity and with respect from those who knew and loved him.
A memorial service will be held at Garden City Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Friday, June 20, with Pastor Jack Oates officiating, with a celebration-of-life reception following at Joker's Wild Restaurant, 4829 N. Reserve St.
Memorials may be given to the Spokane Shrine Hospital, 911 W. Fifth Ave., Spokane, WA 99204-2901; or gifts can be made payable to the University of Montana Foundation and noted for law scholarships in memory of John Felton. Checks can be mailed to the UM Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807-7159.