Edward Louis Sokolich, 82, passed away peacefully, September 20, 2020. Edward was born April 15, 1938 in Whitehall, Montana to Edward Francis and Jessica Barbara (Leach) Sokolich, he was one of three children.
Edward spent his first years of life living in Chinook with his family, he was very involved with the Catholic faith and served as an Alter Boy in his Parish. Edward’s family moved to Anaconda where he attended high school. Edward was very musically inclined. He could play almost any musical instrument. His favorites were the saxophone and the harmonica. He was 1st chair for saxophone in high school and played the harmonica every weekend during “jam sessions”. Edward graduated with the Anaconda Class of 1956 and in 1958 he attended the National School of Heavy Equipment Operation in Weiser, Idaho and received a certification in Heavy Equipment Operations.
Shortly after high school he met his first wife Josephine Wandler. The couple were married in 1960 and they had one child, Robert “Bob” Sokolich. Edward was drafted to the Navy on Nov. 29, 1961. He was stationed on the USS Paricutin for a little over a year. Edward was supposed to get his leave from the military and was held back the day before due to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Edward and Josephine divorced in 1966.
In 1967 Edward attended and graduated from Meat Cutting School in Toledo, OH. Edward met and fell in love with Sandra Miller and the couple were married September 4, 1971 in Elko, Nevada and shortly after they moved to Dewey, Montana. Edward and Sandra spent time attending rodeos in there earlier years. Edward was a team roper and loved to ride horses. Edward and Sandra had two children, Dana and Kristy, to complete their wonderfully blended family. In 1986 they purchased the Vineyard in Wise River, MT where they call home.
Edward was a heavy equipment operator for Hilde Construction and was a meat cutter for Ranchland Packing. When Edward wasn’t working he would always find time to cut meat for himself, his friends and family. Edward enjoyed going for ATV rides, hunting and fishing. He was always the camp cook at hunting camp; that is until after the day’s events he had to become the meat cutter. Later in life Edward enjoyed relaxing and he joined the American Legion. Edward lived his life to the fullest every moment knowing that “Heaven's his home, and he’s just here on a visit.”
Edward is survived by his wife Sandra Sokolich of Wise River; son, Robert (Tammi) Sokolich of Anaconda; daughters Dana Russell (Ron Ehman Jr.) of Choteau and Kristy (Doug) Tate of Butte. He is also survived by his sister Mary Jo Vandaveer of Marysville, Washington, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews, a number of close friends and his meat house buddies.
Edward was preceded in death by his parents and sister Lois Ann Murphy.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home and per his wishes no services will be held. However a gathering of family and friends will take place at a later date.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com
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