Richard E. Dauwalder

Born: Mon., Apr. 17, 1933
Died: Sat., Jul. 11, 2015


Graveside Service

9:00 AM Wed., Jul. 15, 2015
Location: Choteau Cemetery


Memorial Service

11:00 AM Wed., Jul. 15, 2015
Location: Grace Lutheran Church


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Richard “Dick” Earl Dauwalder, a gentle, soft-spoken man, passed away into the arms of his Savior with his wife, Lorraine, by his side on July 11, 2015 at Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau, Montana. He was 82 years old.  

On Wednesday, July 15, a private family graveside service with military honors will be held at the Choteau Cemetery at 9:00 AM. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairfield, with a luncheon to follow.

Dad was born at Teton Memorial Hospital in Choteau to Walter and Irene Dauwalder on April 17, 1933. He lived on the family farm in Bole, MT until 1941 when the family  bought a house in Choteau. He graduated from Teton County High School in 1951. After graduation, he attended Montana State College where he first took flying lessons and received his Private Pilot License. He was a member of the Bobcat Flying Club. This would ignite his life-long love of flying and airplanes. He went on to obtain his commercial license and his instrument and multi-engine ratings, filling three log  books with flight time. He could tell you anything you wanted to know about any  airplane ever manufactured.

His college education was cut short as he was drafted into the Army in April of  1954. He entered Basic Training in Fort Ord, California and in January of 1955 he  was stationed in Salzburg, Austria as a radio operator in the Army Security Agency. In March of 1956, he was discharged from the Army. He and his twin brother Bob had  bought a Volkswagon in Germany and had it shipped home with them. They drove the little 35 horsepower VW back from New York City to Choteau in three days. Once home, he and his brother Bob, jumped into the family farm with his  brother-in-law Bob Erickson, eventually taking over the family farming operation.

In 1966, the confirmed bachelor reunited with his childhood friend Lorraine Dale, and she became the love of his life. They married on July 15, 1966. An instant family was formed with Lorraine’s three children who he took in and raised as his own. Three more children would follow. In 1976, the family moved to Lorraine’s family homestead on the Sunny Slope Bench west of Fairfield. In 2001, Dick and Lorraine moved into Fairfield where they now live.

After retiring from the farming operations in 1987, Dad was a salesman for the John Deere dealership in Choteau, E.P. Ekegren, for a short time until he went to work for the Farm Service Agency in Choteau as their “field man”. He took great pride in measuring fields and grain bins accurately, never staking the wrong field. He enjoyed traveling around the county visiting and meeting with all the area farmers. He retired from the FSA in 2004 after 16 years.

During these years, from 1988 - 1995, Dad also drove the Choteau Bulldog Activity bus. Always being a “Bulldog at heart” he took great pride in getting the students and athletes to their various activities around the state of Montana safely and on time. This would prove to be one of the hardest jobs he ever had to retire from. He had many stories and many fond memories of all his “bus kids.”

After retiring, Dad stayed busy around the house helping Mom, mowing the lawn in the summer and shoveling the sidewalk and the driveway in the winter with his “awesome” snow shovel. He also loved adding flashlights to his collection and showing them off to anyone who would stop by. If you ever needed something pinched, a Leatherman could always be found on his hip. He and Lorraine also cleaned Kasper and Co’s office and Grace Lutheran Church for many years, only “retiring” this winter when his health wouldn’t allow him to continue.

Dick is survived by his wife of 49 years, Lorraine (Dale) Dauwalder of Fairfield, his sons, Dale (Julie) Hansen of Utah; Mark (Karen) Hansen, Ron (Cindy) Dauwalder and Jim (Caroline) Dauwalder of Fairfield. His daughters, Kari (Gary) Kasper and Amy(Mike) Mills, all of Fairfield. He is also survived by his sister Anna Lee Erickson of Choteau and his twin brother Bob Dauwalder of Dutton, 22 grandchildren and 39  great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Walter and Irene, and his sister Donna Faye Otness and brother Bill McManus

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, Teton Medical Center Foundation or a charity of your choice.


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Condolence Booklet

Don & Laura Schrok
   Posted Mon July 13, 2015
Don and I were sorry to hear of Dick's passing and our thoughts are with the family. He was a classmate of Don's throughout school and we both knew the Dauwalders family, all growing up in Choteau and having gone through school at the same time. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family.

Dale and Frankie Hanson
   Posted Mon July 13, 2015
We are so sorry for your loss of such a great man, I have such fond memories of Dick, when he worked at the FSA office, and our visits, it always amazed me on how many miles he could get out of his vehicles and his love of VW's. He taught me just how long a vehicle could last if you just took care of it. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Dale and Frankie Hanson

Lonnie & Sharon McCollom
   Posted Tue July 14, 2015
We are so saddened to hear about the loss of such a great gentleman. Sharon's dad worked with Dick at the FSA office measuring fields and bins, too. He thought the world of Dick. We at Leavitt Great West Insurance always looked forward to his visits with us. The entire community is going to miss Dick. May all of your good memories help you through this time. God bless you all.

Gary & Leona Hauer
   Posted Tue July 14, 2015
Sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking of all of you. Hope you can find comfort with the good memories you had with him.

Diane Offer VanDyke
   Posted Wed July 15, 2015
You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you with beautiful memories.
Your cousin, Diane VanDyke

Dale & Julie Hansen
   Posted Wed July 15, 2015
Although our families in Utah were not able to see grandpa as much as we had desired, his example of goodness, strength and love of the Lord will always be an inspiration to our families. We will miss his sense of humor, big smile, funny stories, and enthusiasm for life. May the Lord bless you with comfort grandma Lorraine and our family in Montana. May you find peace in knowing that families are forever. Love Dale, Julie, and Children

Pat Shetler
   Posted Fri July 17, 2015
Lorraine, I am so sorry. You are in my prayers as I know the parting is very difficult, no matter how ill Dick was. I am thinking of you and hope we run into each other again some time. I don't get to Fairfield very often anymore. Take care of yourself and God bless you.

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