John (Jack) Richard Reiding, of Choteau passed away March 30, 2021 at Teton Peak Assisted living in Choteau, he was 87 years young. Jack was born on May 30, 1933 in Great Falls, Mt. On June 5, 1933 he became the loving son of Richard (Dick) and Ruby Reiding. They lived on the farm in Farmington and he attended the Burton School until the he was in the third grade. They moved into town for the school until he graduated from Choteau High School.
After graduating Jack joined the US Navy and attended boot camp in San Diego. He was then sent to Sonar school for 6 months after which he was assigned to the USS Epperson. After 2 years and 3 months, he was re-assigned to the USS McDermet. On leave in September, he met his one and only, Ronda, where he fell in love with her and her beautiful little daughter Deborah. After a brief and distant romance they were married on July 9, 1955 when he was again home on leave. He returned to a different ship the USS Tingy and was discharged in December of 1955. While on active duty he spent three – six month tours in Korea. He had a 5 month tour for “Operation Castle”- a nuclear bomb test series. They observed several nuclear bomb blasts. He served three tours in Korea, two during the conflict and one right after. In 1959, Jack joined the US Navy Reserve. He served 31 years and advanced from Petty Office 1st Class to Master Chief. When selected for Master Chief he was the only Reserve Master Chief nationwide to be selected in his rate. He was also the first Master Chief in the state of Montana to be selected. He was designated Command Master Chief. He was a member of the National Selection board for Chief/Master-Senior Chiefs three times. The last board had over 6000 records to look at and only 600 could be selected.
After his discharge he and Ronda lived in Spokane WA until time to go home for spring planting. In 1956 before settling down to farming, he attended Brookings School of Agriculture in South Dakota which was a two year Ag school.
Besides farming he was very active,- as member of East Farmington school board, President of the Choteau JayCee’s, Commander of the American Legion. He also had been the funeral Chaplain for over 30 years, a position that he was most proud to serve. He was a member of Masonic Blue Lodge and held the office of Master twice. He was also a member of Choteau Eastern Star and held the offices of Associate Patron and Worthy Patron along with his wife. He was President of the Choteau Activities Board of Directors. He was a Little League and Babe Ruth Umpire for 15 yrs and a diving judge for the many meets that the Choteau Divers attended. Outside of the Navy, Jacks biggest love was the Choteau Ambulance. He was with it for 29 years, 13 as Teton County Director. He taught EMT, first responder and CPR classes. He was the instructor trainer for CPR. Jack loved working and teaching with the many people. He enjoyed that as much as helping the patients. Since Jack was on call for the ambulance so often and had to stay close to home, he spent his spare time in planting the most beautiful flower gardens, building a deck and fences around the yard to keep the deer out. After retiring, he and Ronda did a lot of traveling.
Jack is survived by his loving wife Ronda of 63 years, daughter Deborah(Tom) Edsel, Choteau, Robert (Terrie),Choteau, Clint, Choteau, Don Pope, Texas, and four grandchildren, Thad(Katie) Lensing, Billings, MT, Justin (Anna) Reiding, Dutton, MT, Jason Reiding, Choteau, MT, Kasha (Jer) Reiding, Choteau, MT & twelve great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home and Funeral Services will be held at the United Methodist Church in Choteau on April 10, 2021 at 10:00 am with burial and full military honors following at Choteau Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers donations in Jack’s name can be made to Friends of Choteau Ambulance; Teton County EMS, PO Box 610 Choteau, MT 59422 to help with education for new first responders or to the Choteau Baseball League.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com
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