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Donald (Don) Leroy Sporleder was born April 25th, 1940 in Conrad, Montana. He was the 3rd child of Chester and Edith Sabins Sporleder. Don passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Bozeman, Montana on Friday, November 2nd, 2018, with his family nearby. Don bravely fought a battle against metastatic cancer but was ready to see Jesus and be reunited with his parents, grandparents, and sisters.
Don lived most of his life on the farm and ranch that his dad homesteaded between Valier and Conrad. He raised hogs in his growing up years, but later raised sheep, cattle, and an assortment of other animals. He also farmed alfalfa, oats, peas, and anything else that sparked his interest. Don was passionate about being a good steward of all that God had given him, and he wanted to share that with others. He was very creative in formulating new plans to make sure everyone possible could grow lawns and gardens without toxic chemicals, could taste pasture-raised beef and lamb, as well as free-range chicken. Don was serious about healthy food and protecting our God-given resources long before it was popular.
Don attended school in Williams and Valier before graduating from Conrad High School in 1958. During high school, he participated and excelled in basketball, boxing, and baseball. He also was very involved in FFA and student government.
After high school graduation, Don attended Prairie Bible Institute in Prairie, Alberta, Canada and received an associate degree in Bible and Missionary Training with a Pastor minor in 1962.
On September 11th, 1965, Don married Roxanne Williams, and they had seven daughters. They divorced in 1991.
Don spent years mentoring and teaching children through Child Evangelism Fellowship and other ministries. He even did a children’s television program at a local station in Butte, where he played guitar, sang, and taught Bible lessons.
Along with mentoring children, studying the Bible, and sharing the love and grace of God with anyone he met, Don was passionate about supporting the needy and those seen as “less than.” He always rooted for the underdog, whether in sports or in life.
He loved to visit with people and hear their story. A short visit meant at least a couple of hours! Don rarely forgot a person’s name or their family history and life story. He could recall details about someone that most of us would have quickly forgotten. He encouraged and supported friends, family, and strangers with his wisdom and engaging sense of humor. Very few people could walk away from him without being impacted in some way.
We will miss his stories, wisdom, jokes, and passion for his Lord.
Don was preceded by his grandparents, parents, sisters, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Survivors include his seven daughters and their spouses: Laura, Arlene (Robin), Amy,
Jana (Scott), Stephanie (Chip), Sarah, and Kristin; eleven grandchildren: Drew, Baylee, Mikaela, Jakob, Vanessa, Bennett, Benjamin, Will, Lauren, Abby, and Emily; brother Robert (Donna), and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins that were very special to him.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, November 10th at 11:00 a.m. at Pondera Valley Lutheran Church in Conrad. A luncheon and time of sharing will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
Private family burial will take place at Hillside Cemetery in Conrad. Asper Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pacific Garden Mission: pgm.org or 1458 S Canal St Chicago IL 60607; YNOP radio station: ynop.org or P.O. Box 2426 Havre MT 59501; the Great Falls Rescue Mission: gfrm.com or 326 2nd Ave S Great Falls MT 5940; or anyone that may be in need.
The family wishes to thank Compassus Hospice in Bozeman, especially Judi, and all of Dad’s dear friends who have helped out and supported us these past few months. We appreciate you so much!
Out of respect for the family, please refrain from wearing any fragrance at the memorial service.