Helping families celebrate a life lived.


Services & Obituaries

Peggy Maichel
July 31, 1928 ~
August 05, 2018
Date of Service: August 14, 2018

Edward Komara
October 16, 1943 ~
July 30, 2018
Date of Service: August 16, 2018

Ronald Brandt
June 10, 1946 ~
June 27, 2018
Date of Service: August 25, 2018

Thomas Halpin
August 15, 1935 ~
May 19, 2018
Date of Service: August 26, 2018

Evelyn Halpin
August 14, 1937 ~
July 23, 2018
Date of Service: August 26, 2018

Joe Litle
October 1, 1921 ~
August 11, 2018

Doris Carr
September 11, 1934 ~
August 01, 2018

Steven Christensen
August 2, 1961 ~
July 28, 2018

Pamela Whitmore
November 7, 1953 ~
July 28, 2018

Angie Anderson
April 9, 1971 ~
July 27, 2018

Gary Hagen
December 31, 1940 ~
July 24, 2018

Louise Hires
June 10, 1937 ~
July 24, 2018


Mary Burkhart

February 28, 1934 ~ April 05, 2018

Service: June 22, 2018 1:00 PM - Outdoors
   Location: Burkhart Residence - 8830 Kagy Rd., Bozeman

Mary Biering Burkhart passed away on April 5, 2018, surrounded by her family and cousins.  She was the daughter of Harald Adam Biering and Mildred Elizabeth (Townsend) Arnold, born in Livingston, Montana, on February 28, 1934.  The night Mary was born there was no doctor in Bozeman to perform a cesarean.  They had to travel over the Bozeman Pass to the Livingston hospital to save Mary and Mildred’s life. A dramatic evening that set the stage for what would be whirlwind of a life well-lived.

Mary spent her childhood in Bozeman, attending school in the winter and working on the family ranch in the summer.  The ranch provided her with her trusted steed, Goldie.  The pair could be seen everywhere, including in route to the one-room LaMotte schoolhouse in Bear Canyon almost daily.  After graduating from LaMotte, Mary attended Bozeman High school.  Though Goldie would be her first choice, she traded in four hooves for the four wheels of the old farm truck to get to school.  In the fall of her senior year, Mary’s heart met another in the form of Bud Burkhart.  On June 22, 1951, she married Gerard “Bud” Story Burkhart in Saint James Episcopal Church.  They lived on the Story family ranch in the Gallatin Canyon, before Bud moved the family to San Luis Obispo, California, so he could attend college at Cal Poly.  Upon Bud’s graduation, the family moved back to Bozeman, joining Mary’s father, Harald Biering, in ranching east of Bozeman. The Spanish Peaks provided the setting for Bud and Mary as they raised purebred Herefords and foundation Quarter Horses.  Mary loved the Hereford cattle and as an avid student of genetics, she played a vital role in their breeding program.  She had several pet cows and the herd bulls would come when she called.  Mary never lost her love of riding a good horse.  She and Bud raised the horses they rode, they also sold many throughout the country and supplied breeding stock to a ranch in Monterey, Mexico.  She was proud of the two four-in-hand teams selected by Disney to lead the 1980 Rose Bowl Parade, pulling coaches, honoring Disney’s 25th anniversary.  

After the death of her father, they sold the ranch east of Bozeman and moved to Mary’s ancestral farm on Kagy Road.  There they raised certified hay and Quarter Horses.  The ranch would be her life’s work and passion.  You could often see Mary on her orange Kubota tractor going across the fields in search of any weed that dared to raise its head into her sight.  The ranch was not her only passion.  True to her dynamic personality, she was voracious reader and could match anyone when discussing history, politics, or the world in general.  She had no difficulty in setting one straight if one were steering toward the wrong direction.  If there ever was a person who personified moxie, Mary was it.

While raising cattle, horses, hay and the occasional hoopla, she and Bud raised a family too. Along with her husband, she taught her sons and daughter about loving the land and tending the livestock while instilling the importance of the heritage before them.  Her grandchildren were blessed to have strong relationships with her.  This blessing came to friends that quickly became family as Mary treated most as though they were already a part of the fold. The love of family is a hallmark of the legacy she left behind.

Mary was member of the Lily of the Valley, Chapter No. 4, Order of the Eastern Star, for over fifty years.  Her service through the chairs gained her recognition as Worthy Grand Matron of the State.  In October 2011, the Chapter voted Mary a Life Member. Her service extended to the 4-H organization of Gallatin County. Over the years of her involvement, Mary helped shape many young members into adults as a 4-H leader.

In September of 2017, Mary was able to travel to Washington, D.C. with her daughter, granddaughter, and daughter-in-law for the Koch family reunion.  As the Matriarch of the clan, she was the special member.  She thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of the trip and the memories shared and made with everyone. 

Mary is survived by her children, Robert (Gloria), Clint, and Kathryn (Marty); her sister, Debra Arnold Ferrin; her grandchildren, Kimberli (Ross) and Juaquin; Michelle (Chad), Rachel (Brandon), Drew, Elizabeth (Justice) and Nate; Matthew (Adri) and Meghan (Don); niece, Amber (Lance) and great-niece, Jernie Grace.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bud; her son, Richard; and her grandson, Dax.

Ever original, Mary did not want a funeral service. Instead, she requested a Celebration of Life.  Her hope of sunny days and hills thick with tall green grass will provide a joyful day in which to honor her.  She laughed about having to wait years for that to happen after this winter.  The Celebration of Mary’s Life is scheduled outdoors for June 22, 2018, on her and Bud’s wedding anniversary, at 1 p.m. at the Burkhart residence, 8830 Kagy Rd., Bozeman.

The family would like to thank Dr. Hensold, Kari Marley, PA-C; Whitney Pritham, Polly, and the rest of the staff at the Bozeman Cancer Center for their care and compassion with Mary.  While in the hospital, Mary received excellent care from Dr. Brown, Dr. Donahue, Clare from the Palliative Care Unit, Frontier Hospice and all the Nurses.

Per Mary’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the following organizations:  The Lily of the Valley, Chapter No. 4, Nancy Hopkins, P.O. Box 10747, Bozeman, MT 59719; Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, 1459 E. Cameron Bridge Rd., Bozeman, MT 59718; or to the Justin Cowboys Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.

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"Thank you for the wonderful care you took of my mother, father, and the whole family throughout her funeral process.  The service was beautiful, as was the video.  Thank you for allowing us to hold the reception there.  It was very comfortable and warm.  We so appreciate your caring, concern, and respect."

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