Larry Edward Stoltz, 79, passed away on August 1, 2020, after a tough battle with pancreatic cancer. Born May 9, 1941, to Cliff and Wilma Stoltz, Larry was raised on the ranch north of Valier. He graduated from Valier High School in 1959, and from Montana State College in 1964. He enjoyed his time in Bozeman as a Bobcat and member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. Larry was drafted into the Army in 1965, and served a tour in Vietnam before returning home to take over the family farm and ranch.
In 1969, Larry married Robin McGowan of Highwood. They raised four children, along with wheat, barley, and cattle. He was very active in his community, volunteering as a member of the Knights of Columbus, the I.O.OF., and the American Legion, where he served as Commander for over a decade; and serving on the Co-op and Farm Credit boards.
Larry could often be found in his shop, where he rebuilt or re-engineered every piece of machinery he ever owned, as well as motorcycles and cars for his kids....because no Montana kid should ever be without wheels. The shop was also a gathering site for friends and neighbors, who stopped to drink coffee and solve the world’s problems. When not working in his shop, Larry liked to hunt gophers, boat on Lake Frances, and camp with his family. His children will always remember him cooking French toast on the Coleman grill, and the rest of the community will remember the beer pancakes he served up at many a local event.
Larry spent his evenings reading books or watching movies, and trying to get out of card games. He was big-hearted and generous, and always had time for injured animals and stray kids. Although he never officially retired, Larry spent his later years following his grandchildren to 4-H and sporting events across Montana, then returning home to introduce them to the newest old western in his movie collection. He treasured winters in Arizona, time spent with friends, and riding his motorcycle on scenic country roads.
A lifelong member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Valier, Larry is survived by his wife of 51 years, Robin (McGowan) Stoltz; his children Trent (Holly) Stoltz of Valier, Kelly (Dave) Crowder of Highwood, Gwen Stoltz of Choteau, and Craig Stoltz of Wolf Creek; his sister, Gail Stoltz; and grandchildren Jordan, Austin, and Cameron Stoltz, and Lauren and Braxton Crowder; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Janice.
A private funeral mass will be Saturday, August 22, at 10 AM at St. Francis Catholic Church. A ZOOM meeting will be available for the mass. Please call the funeral home for details.
A Public Celebration of Life and military honors will follow at 11:30am at the Valier Park.
Memorials are suggested to Emmett Ryan Legion Post #36, 4113 Rock City Road, Valier, Montana, 59486.