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John Franklin Munson

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John Franklin Munson
John Franklin Munson

HAMILTON - John Franklin Munson, 97, of Hamilton, died of natural causes Saturday, March 17, 2007, at his home.

John was born Nov. 6, 1909, in Martland, Neb., to the late Morris and Lydia Otte Munson. He lived in Flat Willow and Kelley, graduating from Winnett High School in 1929. He graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman in 1935. He received his master's degree in education from the University of Montana in 1954.

John served in the Montana National Guard from 1930 to 1933 and in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He married Grace Jaye Sauer of Tolley, N.D., on Dec. 26, 1935. He was madly in love and completely devoted to her for nearly 67 years. The couple moved to the Bitterroot in 1946. He taught school at Victor for 21 years and then at Corvallis. John eventually became the superintendent for Corvallis Schools. He retired from the school district in 1974. He also had a ranch where he raised beef and dairy cows. Many valley residents were the recipients of milk and eggs from the Munson dairy.

He was active in Kiwanis, the Grange, American Legion, PTA, Republican Party, national committee member of the Assembly of God Church, Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and National Arbor Day Foundation. John also contributed to many charities.

Even at the tender age of 97, he was a silent witness of steadfast faith. Your success and happiness, his greatest joy.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace; and brother, Carroll.

Surviving include his brothers, Gayle and wife Carol of Florence, and Ivan and wife Evelyn of Stevensville; sister, Virgene Gamble of Salem, Ore.; daughters, Karen Morgan and husband Tom of Portland, Ore., Gayle Ranney of Cordova, Alaska, and Sheryl Cole of Bremerton, Wash.; sons, John of Tucson, Ariz., and Jim and wife Lea of Hamilton; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday, March 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Daly-Leach Chapel.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Daly-Leach Chapel with Pastor David Delgatty officiating. Interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton with military honors presented by the Hamilton American Legion and the Marine Corps League-Bitterroot Detachment. A reception will follow the graveside service at the Assembly of God Church.

The family suggests memorials to the House of Praise Youth Program in Victor.

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