Richard John DeVries was born February 10, 1937 to Arthur DeVries and Agatha Elings DeVries in Conrad, Montana. The oldest of five siblings, he grew up in the Conrad area and attended country school, Conrad elementary, junior high, and high school, graduating in 1955.
College found him at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas for one semester, Hope College in Holland, Michigan for one semester, and graduating from Montana State University (now University of Montana) with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1960.
He married the love of his life, Linda Jane Copley in Conrad on July 11, 1959 and to that union were born four children, Allan Richard, Cheryl JoAnne, Julie Marie, and Michelle Lynae.
During summers growing up, Richard worked on his grandpa and uncle’s farms. Later summer jobs included putting up steel granaries (many still there today) along highway 2 between Havre and Shelby on various farms. He also worked for U.S. Forest Service in Libby and Ennis. His first job with Bureau of Land Management was in 1960 for one year in Miles City, Montana. He then returned to Missoula and worked at the laminated beam plant at Bonner, Montana, then free-lance logging in Seely Lake, finally moving to Malta in December 1963 to work for BLM as a Range Specialist. Upon retiring from BLM in 1992, he was able to work at his real passion – ranching. He partnered with his long-time friend Rodney Kroon, his son Allan, and later his grandchildren until February of this year when he fell injuring his knee.
Richard was active on the farm, at church, especially in music activities, and in his flower beds.
In May 2020, Richard learned his cancer from 2002 had returned. After numerous surgeries and a courageous fight, he was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on December 1, 2020 at 7:37 am with his wife, Linda, by his side.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, Art & Agatha DeVries and two brothers-in-law, Dave McCracken and James Copley.
Richard is survived by his wife, Linda; four children Allan (Rhonda) DeVries of Malta, Cheryl (Ron) Wiens of Abbotsford, BC, Julie (Donnie) Flamand of Great Falls, Michelle (Dave) Winstead of Kennewick, WA; grandchildren Aaron (Angel) DeVries, Carmen (Wes) Salveson, Evan DeVries, Jason (Alanna) Wiens, Carissa (Cam) Krause, Trevor Wiens, Cailey (Joel) Mulder, Jasmine, Madeline, Olivia, & Amelia Flamand, Elizabeth, Caleb, Abigail, & Gabrielle Winstead, and eleven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, and because of Richard’s love of children, a donation may be sent to Benefis or a charity of your choice.
Benefis Foundation – Angel Fund
P.O. Box 7008
Great Falls, Montana 59406
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