In memory of
Fred Leroy DesRosier Browning, MT. —Fred Leroy DesRosier, passed away on Tuesday at the Browning I.H.S. hospital due to heart complications. He was surrounded by his wife and children at his side. We are so lucky and feel very blessed to have had him in our lives for 91 years. Just 6 days ago, he celebrated his 91st birthday with a large gathering of family and friends. Fred DesRosier was born in Kalispell, MT on October 8th, 1925 to Peter Leroy DesRosier and Freda Campbell DesRosier; he was their only son. At that time there was no roads to Kalispell so his mother had to take the train. He spent his entire life in Browning and on August 24th, 1949 he married the love of his life, Ramona Croff DesRosier. They had six children: Michael (Joycelyn); Robert (Kim); Edward (Toni); Kathryn (Ramsey) Rink; Dr. Mary DesRosier (John Padgett); and Anne (Bill) Grant. Fred and Ramona have 31 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren. Fred became a father figure to his nephews: Louie and Richard Beaudry, and niece Lynda Beaudry. Fred lived a wonderful life, spending a lot of his early years with his grandfather, Fred C. Campbell (who was the first superintendent for the Blackfeet). He attended the dedication of Logan Pass and many other historic events while with him. He spent summers on his grandfather's ranch in Meagher County (White Sulphur Springs area), doing ranch work with a team of horses, even grading the county road with a horse drawn grader, his first experience as a teamster/operator. When the High School football season ended with Fred, the quarterback for the Browning Indians, he followed his father into the Second World War. He joined the United States Marine Corp. and became a proud Marine for the rest of his life. He was in the 2nd Marine Division/Scout and Snipers serving in the Pacific Theatre in many of the island campaigns. He was on a ship landing on Okinawa when it was sunk by a Kamikaze plane. At the war's end he served in Japan at Ground Zero after the second atomic bomb dropped and suffered the effects of the radiation as well as the terrible trauma of war with a piece of shrapnel, and malaria always a part of his life. He received his High School diploma on the Island of Saipan, where he is still honored to this day, and after returning home he attended Carroll College in Helena for a year before entering the workforce full time in a great many occupations: Government Trapper; State Game Warden; Bureau of Reclamation where he had to snowshoe from Babb to Waterton Lake each month in the winter measuring stream flows. He loved this place he grew up in and spent as much time as he could in the mountains, hunting and fishing, hiking nearly every trail and climbing every peak on the east side of the Park. He worked as a hunting guide, rancher, bus driver, truck driver, retiring from the Montana Dept. of Highways in 1980. Fred was a City Councilman, Police Commissioner, and served as a volunteer firefighter for 30 years. He worked as a fireman in the old hospital, where he also helped build it. But as a fireman and veteran, he was called on many emergency calls before there was ambulance service, even delivering 2 or 3 babies in our community. His life of helping others is why he is remembered and honored in Saipan, having rescued orphans from the combat and working many days and weeks to ensure they would remain safe and protected. His time in Japan after the A-bomb on Nagasaki was mainly to ensure the protection of the Japanese people at the war's end. His service to the community was also as a boy scout leader and took many into the mountains hunting, fishing and camping. He was a wonderful story teller and with his sometimes "first hand" knowledge of history was an excellent resource. He owned and operated Fred's Sporting Goods in the 1960's and the Summit Station Lounge and Supper Club in the 1980's. He was a devout Catholic and instilled those values in his children and grandchildren which will last forever as his legacy. A couple of his grandchildren wrote: "I will live the rest of my life trying to become half the man my grandfather was, he was the true definition of what a MAN is compassionate loving caring and respectful on one side… protector, hunter, provider, WARRIOR on the other. He will be remembered and missed by many." And another wrote: "I am at a loss for words... My grandfather Fred was such an amazing man, words cannot even begin to describe what he means to all of our family..this is unreal, my heart is broken...As I sit here with my 92 year old grandma Ramona and watch her be SO strong I am on the verge of losing it… We all love you so, so much grandpa. Life will never be the same" Fred was one of the last two living WWII Veterans still living in Browning and will be missed by his family and many friends.
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