MISSOULA – George Kenneth “Ken” Root, 101, of Missoula, passed away Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Bee Hive Homes of natural causes.
Dad was born Jan. 17, 1914, on a ranch in Nimrod to F.l. Root and Alice Knight. As a child he attended Missoula schools and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1933.
On Aug. 20, 1938, he married Dorothy Marin in Missoula, and they celebrated 69 years of marriage before her passing in 2008.
In his earlier years, Dad joined the CCs, worked on a ranch near Frenchtown, had a job at a drugstore, did cement work and eventually went to work at the White Pine Sash Co., a job he held for some 38 years. He was drafted into the Army in January of 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1946. Most of his service time was spent in the Philippines.
Dad was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing, camping, getting wood, hunting and especially gardening. We will always remember the family picnics on hot days after work up the Grant Creek, and all the camping trips and summer vacations at Lake Mary Ronan.
Dad was a lifetime member of the Moose Lodge and served as governor in 1965. He also bowled with the Moose men, as well as other teams, and had a pretty good average.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy; his brothers, Bob and Herb; and his sister, Marion Cameron; as well as his oldest daughter, Sue, and his son, Donald, both of Missoula; and his youngest daughter, Joan Cote (Edmond) of Salem, Oregon.
He is survived by two daughters, Sharon (Louis) Schmelebeck of Missoula and Judy Owen of Helena. He is also survived by his sister, Doris Maher of Georgetown, California, and several beloved nieces and nephews. He is additionally survived by grandsons, Scott Owen of Missoula, Jason Schmelebeck (Deanna) of Gilroy, California, Cole Cote of Redmond, Oregon, and Blain Cote of Salem, Oregon; a granddaughter, Diane Zimmerman; great-granddaughters, Alicia and Leeanne Zimmerman of Helena, Ashley Schmelebeck and great-grandson, Brandon Schmelebeck, both of Gilroy.
Dad’s life was well lived – he worked hard and played hard. Imagine the things he saw and did in his 100-plus years. He taught us many things, shared many things, and gave us a family lifestyle to be cherished and passed on to our children. Although we must say goodbye, we feel an incredible loss, but we willingly welcome you into the hands of the Lord and all of our beloved family who have been awaiting your arrival. Goodbye, Daddy, we will always love and miss you.
We would like to thank the incredible staff at the Bee Hive, Dr. Davis, hospice and Partners in Home Health Care for their outstanding care, support and kindnesses to Dad and us during his stay at the Bee Hive. In particular, we want to thank Chaplain Dan, Tammy Eggleston, Stacey and volunteer Erica. You all had such a special place in Dad’s and our hearts, and we were fortunate to have you in our lives.
Cremation has taken place at Garden City Funeral Home, and per Dad’s request, there will be no celebration of his life.