PHILIPSBURG - On Tuesday, May 16, 2006, George Mungas, a dedicated husband, father, friend and Griz fan, died from complications resulting from dementia.
George was born Nov. 4, 1943, in Missoula to George and Margaret Mungas.
He was raised on the Mungas brothers' 2T Ranch south of Philipsburg. His father, grandfather and uncle homesteaded the ranch. George loved the ranch and spent his entire life there hiking the hills, looking at the Pintler Mountains and raising his family.
George graduated from Granite High School in Philipsburg in 1961. He then attended the University of Montana and majored in business administration. After a short tour in the Army, George returned to Philipsburg to work on the ranch.
He married Dana Skoglund in February 1964. He had two beautiful and beloved children from this marriage, Mike Mungas and Mona (Mungas) Boulet.
On Jan. 23, 1975, George married Sharon Barkell. George and Sharon had two wonderful boys, Craig and Joe Mungas. George and Sharon divorced in 2003 and remarried in 2006. They were soul mates to the end.
In 1981, George and Sharon started Mungas Co., a mining and construction business. Mungas Co. served as a contractor for Pegasus Gold Corp. In addition, the company did all of the reclamation work at the former Basin Gulch and Zortman-Landusky mine sites, which were some of the largest reclamation projects in Montana. George was proud of his business and all of his wonderful, dedicated employees, who were more like family than employees. He would get a twinkle in his eye whenever he would talk about the different projects the company was involved in.
That twinkle would appear again every August - the start of Grizzly football season. George was a true fan and attended nearly every game, both home and away. Every Saturday, he could be seen on the sidelines in the middle of the action jumping around with the players and coaches. He believed in the Griz, the concept of a team and the coaches. George, however, really loved the players and wanted nothing but the best for all of them. He sponsored the annual Grizzly football banquet and did much of the earthwork for the new field at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. He was a true, genuine man. This genuine spirit touched everyone who met him.
George's true pride and joy, however, was his family. He would literally beam when talking about his children and grandchild, Abby. He dearly loved his granddaughter Abby and glowed when he would take her riding on her horse. He was thrilled when Joe played football for the Griz and was named Redshirt Defensive Player of the Year.
Mike was his engineer and Craig his lawyer. His love for his kids was unconditional. His pride and love of family was so strong that any mention of his family would make him smile and his entire face would light up! George believed and taught his children that if you were going to do something you gave all or nothing. His license plate pretty much summed up his approach to life - IGO4IT.
There to meet George as he left this world were his father, mother, uncle Mitchell and dear friend, William "Billy" Munis.
George is survived by his wife and four children, Mike Mungas of Billings, Mona (Jacques) Boulet and beautiful granddaughter Abby Burns of Edmonton, Alberta, and Craig Mungas and Joe Mungas, of Missoula. In addition to his biological children, George is also survived by another one of his kids, Jack Owens of Missoula. Other survivors include his beloved cousins, Harry Helm of Port Orchard, Wash., and Susan Spencer of Bremerton, Wash.
In addition to his family, George is survived by numerous friends and dedicated employees, whom he loved and treasured dearly.
Dad, you were the best! Your impact on this world was amazing, and you will never be forgotten. We know that you will be watching the Griz this year from heaven and singing "Up With Montana Boys" and "Cottoneyed Joe," listening to Johnny Cash and driving your dream 1967 427 Corvette. We smile knowing you and Billy are betting on the Griz/Cat game. Your amazing spirit will always be felt. We "sure love ya man."
A service of remembrance for George will be conducted from the Granite High School gymnasium, at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20, with Father John Toles officiating. Interment will follow at the Mungas family plot of the Philipsburg Cemetery. Visitation/wake will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Philipsburg Chapel of KT Riddle Funeral Homes.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, are requested to the University of Montana Grizzly Scholarship Association, Missoula or the Granite County Medical Center of Philipsburg.
Services are under the care of the KT Riddle Funeral Homes, Philipsburg.
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