Neil W. Cole passed away On Sunday December 26 at his home Ft. Belknap Dodson MT. On January 22, 1936 Neil was born to Marguerite (Sis) Burtch Cole and Elwood (Buck) Cole.
Neil was raised on the family homestead, 6 miles west of Dodson. This home raised numerous boys throughout the years. Neil would be joined by Elwyn “Wink” Cole and they along with cousin Frank “Skip” Cole would have many adventures. They moved to Butte for a short time, however, after his Uncle Frank was killed in the mines, they would move back to the ranch were Neil attended school and graduated from Dodson Public School. After graduation Neil did a short stint in the Navy. After his return he would work taking care of cows for his dad and the Spenser ranch and putting up lots of hay.
Neil met the love of his life and soul mate Laura Cole while ringing in the New Year at the Cowboy Bar in Dodson, Mt. They would marry on August 3, 1963. Neil moved on to take up his career as a heavy equipment operator. They started out in Helena, moving to Utah. They then moved back to Dodson to ranch for about 10 years during this period they opened their home to many. Laura’s son Mike Rocheleau would join them here as well as her niece Patty Hazen. Others came for shorter periods Laura’s niece Lorna Trotchie, nephew Kieth Trotchie. Elizabeth Trotchie would join the family and move with them on the next journey to Washington and then up to Alaska for the next 10 years from 1976 to 1986. Neil worked on the pipe line and moved a lot of dirt. They would move back to Dodson to help Neil’s parents. Neil would then teach himself to be a small engine mechanic and then move on to automobiles. Never to be one with an empty nest if you are able, they would adopt Neil “Bummer” Cole. Neil enjoyed this second chance to help raise another child, he enjoyed attending all the sporting events and was always up for a great visit. Neil taught Beth and Bum how to work on cars and what a good day of work was, he also instilled his love of animals to them. Neil became a lot like his dad Buck and stayed close to home not venturing very far, but he did enjoy helping his neighbors, especially Mark and Sarese. Neil was a great historian and story teller, his kindness and every ready smile will be greatly missed.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents Buck and Sis Cole, his brother Wink Cole and his wife Laura Cole.
Neil is survived by his daughter Michele (Ed) Adams of Stevensville, Beth (Troy) Azure of Chinook, son Neil L. (Bummer) Cole, Chinook. Grandson Buck(Earlene) Priest, Missoula, Granddaughter Rose Adams, and great-grand children Piper and Paxton Priest. Also, his birthday buddy Ben Warren.
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