LEROY EDWARD MUCH
JUNE 5, 1945 – SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
Leroy Edward Much, loving husband, grandfather, and longtime resident of Helena, passed away September 19, 2020, after a 2.5 year courageous battle with Pancreatic cancer at his son Eric’s home surrounded by family. He was born in Lewistown, Montana on June 5, 1945 to Edward and Nellie Much.
Leroy was the oldest of six siblings. His younger years were spent in Harlowton where he enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting, and swimming in the Musselshell River at the boy’s favorite swimming hole. Some of his favorite times was working with Grandpa Jones on the T Bar J Ranch rounding up cattle.
Leroy spent high school years in Helena, where the family moved after his mother remarried.
He met his first wife, Virginia “Ginny” Lipes during high school and they were married in 1964. Leroy’s first son Eric was born soon after.
Leroy served in the Army in 1965 – 1966. While he was in the Army, Ginny passed away from spinal meningitis in 1966. During the time he served his country, Eric was cared for by his Grandmother, Nellie. When he was discharged from the Army, he joined the Navy to serve brother duty with his youngest brother, Robert. After his tour of duty in the Navy, he returned to Helena where he started work at the East Helena smelter.
In 1972, he met and married his second wife, Mary Jane. Together they had two sons, Bobby and Lee.
Leroy later met his third wife, Judy Haynes. They were married July 3, 1980 and he became a stepfather to Veronica (Ronnie) and Brenda Haynes.
They enjoyed camping with family and friends at Holter Lake. Leroy caught many fish while night fishing and loved to kneeboard and tube. He always had his grill so he could cook meals for the whole group. For many years Judy and Leroy would spend two weeks every summer camping and fishing with Dan and Twilla Steber along with family and sons, Bobby and Lee. Leroy’s mother, Nellie, also joined this trip one summer and she loved it.
Leroy also had a passion for racing and raced stock cars at one time. They never missed going to watch races in Belgrade on Friday nights when their nephews were racing.
Leroy was an avid bowler and joined many leagues over the years with life-long friends, Mick and Jane Liedle.
After Leroy retired from the smelter, he and Judy moved to Sidney, Montana where they bought a bowling alley. After the short time adventure of owning the bowling alley, he drove truck out of Fairview and later moved to Washington where he worked construction. They moved back to Montana a few years later.
One of Leroy’s final wishes was fulfilled when he traveled to Texas in August to spend time with Ronnie, his Texas grandchildren and visit Cabo San Lucas where he went deep sea fishing. His smile was so big when he landed his Tuna!
Leroy is preceded in death by his wife, Judy Much; parents, Edward and Nellie Much; stepdaughter, Brenda Lester and great niece, Emily Casey.
He is survived by his sons: Eric (Tami), Helena; Lee (Erin), Bozeman; Bobby, Manhattan; stepdaughter Ronnie (Scott) Chakales, San Antonio, Texas; brothers: Robert (Linda), Helena; Paul, Helena; sisters: Faylene (Jim) Nelson, Helena; Kathy Cook, East Helena; and Shelly Kaufman, East Helena; sister-in-law, Twilla (Dan) Steber, East Helena; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Special Friends, Helen and David Kitchen and family, Pinehurst, Idaho.
Lifelong and best friends, Mick and Jane Liedle, Helena.
Leroy’s Memorial Service will be held at Mountain Family Fellowship, 6145 N. Montana Avenue on October 23, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with a light luncheon to follow. Burial will take place at 2:00 p.m. at Fort Harrison Veteran’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to God’s Love or organization of your choice.