William Baxter McCleskey

August 17, 1940 ~ March 31, 2018 (age 77)

William Baxter McCleskey, at 77 years of age, peacefully passed on to “greener pastures” March 31, 2018.

Bill was born Aug. 17, 1940, in Kingman, Arizona, to Charles Westley McCleskey and Helen Elizabeth Farley. Bill spent time traveling with the family to California and then at age 13 he moved to Opportunity, Montana, where he attended Anaconda High School, graduated in 1959 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Bill worked on the ships in the radio shack and in Guam. While serving time on Guam he

played for the Navy football team.

Bill was discharged from the Navy at the end of 1963 and married Marlene Joyce Bucholz on June 27, 1964. Bill then attended Western Montana University in Dillon, playing football, basketball and baseball and graduated in 1968.

After graduation, Bill was hired in Columbia Falls to teach algebra,

geometry, trigonometry computer programming, and driver’s education at Columbia Falls High School from 1968 to 1994. Bill enjoyed coaching football and basketball and was an avid outdoorsman. One of his favorite jobs was working in Glacier Park during the summers. After they retired, Bill and Marlene

journeyed to Arizona each winter as snow birds and enjoyed their summers back in Montana.

Bill is survived by his wife Marlene, and their three children, Kari, Kris, and Mike. They have five grandchildren, Brendon, Jaelyn, Emily, Anna and Katelynn. He is also survived by his son-in-law, Gordy McCaig; two daughters-in-law, Jennifer McCleskey and Windy McCleskey; sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Jim Pettigrew; and sister and brother-in-law, Evelyn and Bob Brockman.

Bill was preceded in death by his father Charles McCleskey, mother Helen Farley, stepmother Mildred McCleskey, and son Bradly McCleskey.

The family will be having a celebration of life ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 4, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Columbia Falls, followed with a reception.

In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to be made in his name to the ALS (arterial lateral sclerosis) Foundation, Frontier Hospice,

Wildcat endowment, or Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Bill's family.

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