MISSOULA — Ernest Reynold Owen, Jr. (Ernie, Squeek) passed from this life on July 25, 2019.

Ernie was born April 14, 1936, to Ernest Owen and Ruth Fern Owen in Missoula. He spent most of his life in the Bitterroot Valley. He graduated from Stevensville High School in 1956.

Ernie married his high school sweetheart, LeeIda Sampson, on Aug. 10, 1956. They brought three children into this life, Dublin, Bruce and Becky. He worked in the lumber industry throughout his life, mostly as a fork lift operator.

Ernie enjoyed spending time with family and friends — camping and Sunday drives were favorites. He loved spending time in the woods, and was an avid hunter and fisherman most of his life. In his later years he enjoyed bowling.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, LeeIda (Sampson) Owen, his three children, Dublin, Bruce (Tina) and Becky Schwartz (Joe), as well as seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, two brothers, two sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by both parents, Ernest Sr. and Ruth Owen, a brother, Norman Byron, and grandson Joshua Compton.

Memorial services will be held in his honor at Garden City Funeral home, Missoula on Aug. 10, 2019, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at the funeral home.

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