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Willie Figgins

February 11, 1925 ~ November 24, 2017

Service: December 02, 2017 10:00 AM
   Location: The Grantree

Willie Junior Figgins died at his home on Bohart Lane in Bozeman, MT, where he lived for 50 years. He was born February 11, 1925, in Bozeman, the 6th of 7 children to Willie Arthur and Reba May (Shelton) Figgins. He attended school in the Gallatin Valley when he was young and was raised out on Gooch Hill on a farm.

Willie served in the Army in WWII from 1943 to 1945 and was stationed all over the South Pacific including Okinawa.

On March 22, 1947, he married Dorothy Ann Williams in Livingston, MT, and by 1952 they had three children. Times were tough, and money was short, but they always managed to keep the kids fed and clothed. Bill, as some called him, became a ranch hand and they moved around the Gallatin Valley until 1960 when they settled in Bozeman and he started working for Teslow Inc.

In 1965 he was in a vehicle accident while hunting in the Gravellys and almost lost his feet. He endured over twenty surgeries by Dr. Losee in Ennis, MT, and was laid up for two years.

In 1968, Bill and his son, Robert, started Figgins and Son Excavating. In 1974 his youngest daughter, Rosalea, joined the business. The name was changed to Figgins Sand and Gravel Inc. Bob’s son, Don, came on board in 1986. The business was sold after 34 years to MDU in 2002, the same year Dorothy died.

Over the years Bill enjoyed many snowmobile adventures with friends and family. It was a sport he loved and with his brother, Carl, and a flask of vodka and grapefruit juice, they would whoop across the flats full throttle in pursuit of cowboys and Indians.

Bill also loved to hunt and fish. He processed his own meat. During the winter he made salami and sausages and smoked turkeys for the company customers. His (adopted son), Alan McGuire, who worked for the company for many years, was his right-hand man in the shop, cutting up and processing meat.

Bill adopted two cats when Dorothy died, and they sat on his lap and comforted him for years as he combed them. Caddy cat is still in her little swing waiting for him to come and get her.

Bill was an avid card player and Pinochle was the preferred game. For all but a year since 2002, Thursdays was cards day and supper was prepared for the players by Bev or Rosalea. Bill was very particular about his food. You fixed it the way he wanted it or he didn’t eat it, and he hated leftovers.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; parents; and five siblings, Reba (Frank) Ogle, Everett (May), Carl (Isla Mae), Earl (Clydice), and Dorothy (Ed) Kober. He is survived by his younger brother, Wilbur, of Salt Lake City.

Also surviving are five grandchildren, Robert Haines and Yadira, daughter, Frida of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Don (Julynn) Figgins of Belgrade, and their children, Samantha, Anna, Schanell, Sierra, Shane, Skye and Shelby; J.D. Bryson of Salt Lake City; Cody (Rob) Balke and their son, Colton of Belgrade; and Scott (Stacey) Abelin and their children, Sierra, Zayden, and Ava Rose of Manhattan.

Should friends and family desire, memorial contributions can be made in Willie’s name to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 11390, Bozeman, MT 59719 or the Gallatin History Museum, 317 W. Main St. Bozeman, MT 59715.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, December 2nd at 10:00 A.M. at The Grantree.

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