The Montana Wool Growers Memorial Fund

Montana Wool Growers Memorial Fund

The Montana Woolgrower Memorial Fund (official name “Educational and Research Endowment Fund”) was established
in 1983 when over $100 was sent to the association in memory of Miles City sheepman/wool buyer,
Duncan McDonald.  A savings account was established for such a purpose and others, wanting to remember
longtime sheepmen, be they friends or relatives, made similar donations.

In 1984 the Board filed the necessary papers to make such gifts tax deductible and a three-person
board was appointed to oversee the account.  The original board consisted of
Don McKamey, Bill Lehfeldt, and Ralph Dreyer.

Funds must be used for educational or research purposes only and cannot
be used for expenses of the Woolgrowers Association.  The present board consists
of Jim Whiteside, chairman, John Baucus, and Bob Lehfeldt.

Those wishing to make a donation should make the check out to Montana Woolgrowers
Association Memorial Fund and send it to the following address:

Montana Wool Growers Association
PO Box 1693
Helena, MT 59624

You will receive a receipt and if the memorial donation is sent in
memory of someone, that person’s family will also receive an acknowledgement.

2016 Contributions:

In Memory of John C Paugh:
Virginia Cox
Douglas & Marilee Langhor
Gene Hondl
Kevin & Shirley Halverson
Phillips Creek Ranch-Mike & Themla Green
Sieben Livestock
Rodney Kott
Marshall & Gwen Haferkamd
Randy & Amanda Tunby
Mike & Cheryl Schudlt
John Helle
Sam & Nancy Ortmann
Jack and Kathryn McRae
Marshall & Gwen Haferkamp
Bob & Marie Lehfeldt

In Memory of Ed Smith:
Jack and Kathryn McRae
Bill Lehfeldt

In Memory of Dr. Bill Hawkins
Jack and Kathryn McRae
Bob Gilbert
Rebish & Helle Families
Kimberly Laden
John and Nina Baucus
Bill Lehfeldt
Marilyn & Gordon Darlinton

2016 Contributions:

In Memory of Gerry Devlin:
Phillips Creek Ranch-Mike & Thelma Green
Rebish & Helle Family
Pete Knutson
Montana Columbia Breeders Association
Sieben Livestock
Bill Lehfeldt
Bob & Marie Lehfeldt
Larry & Madge Pilster
Jack and Kathryn McRae

In Memory of Leonard Kramer:
Kimberly Laden

In Memory of Pat Goggins:
John and Nina Baucus

In Memory of Conrad Burns:
Bob Gilbert

In Memory of Bill Lehfeldt:
Bob Gilbert
Center of the Nation Wool, Inc.
Sharon & Clyde Parker
Arielle & Elaine Lammers
Jocelyn Brown
Larry & Madge Pilster
Bob & Marie Lehfeldt

In Memory of Jim Drummond:
Marilyn & Gordon Darlinton

Recent Obituaries


William H. (Bill) Lehfeldt
February 18, 1922 ~ October 1, 2016

(Click an Image to Read Obituary)


James Drummond, Sr.
February 9, 1921 ~ August 03, 2016

On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, a silent formation of B-24 Liberator bombers flew above Bozeman.  A single bomber dropped out of formation to fly at rooftop level where the last missing brother, a young lieutenant, strapped into the pilot’s seat.   The lone Liberator rose to rejoin the squadron, which soared home to the heavens, their final mission complete.

James Drummond Sr. was born in Anaconda, Montana, on February 9, 1921, to Scottish immigrants, Thomas and Jane Drummond.  He grew up on the Mount Haggin Livestock Ranch between Anaconda and Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School.  His youth was full of stories of tending vast flocks of Hampshire sheep, putting up hay with horse drawn mowers, buck rakes and beaver slides, and daily ranch chores alongside his brothers, Dave and Tom.

Upon graduation from high school in 1941, Jim enrolled in Animal Industry at Montana State College (now MSU).  His college aspirations were interrupted when he was called to the service of his country in October, 1943.   After a short 40-hour pilot training, Jim, along with a crew of 12 other young men in their late teens and early 20’s, began a journey across the ocean in a newly built B-24 Liberator to join with the 484th bomb group in Italy to battle Nazi Germany aggressions.   Jim flew 50 successful bombing missions at a time when over a third of the aircraft flying each mission did not return home.  On several missions all of the other aircraft in his squadron succumbed to flak or enemy fighters leaving his young crew the only Liberator to drop bombs and return to base.   He received numerous commendations as a pilot including the Air Medal with Oak leaf clusters.   After his 50th mission, Jim was deployed back to Texas to serve as an instructor pilot until the end of World War II.

When the war ended in 1945, Jim returned to Montana State College to complete his degree in Animal Industry.  As a student at MSC, Jim was active in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity where he met many lifelong friends.  He was a Bobcat letterman lettering in wrestling his junior and senior years.  He was manager of the Little International Livestock Exposition, a student senator and the co-editor of the 1948 MSC annual, the Montanan.  His co-editor, George Watson, would eventually become his brother-in-law.   While at MSC, Jim became enamored with a young Kappa Delta, Betty Watson, who was the daughter of Irish homesteaders from the prairie of Eastern Montana.   The two became one and were able to continue their hand-holding and love affair for 67 years.  His final words in life were “I love you” to Betty.  Jim earned a Masters Degree in Animal Science at the University of Wyoming and returned to Bozeman to become an Animal Science Professor, Montana Extension Service Sheep Specialist and Director of the Montana Wool Laboratory.  He held these positions until his retirement in 1980.

Jim was involved in the Bozeman Community throughout his working career and long into retirement.  Jim was an active Boy Scout leader and eventually became chairman of the Mountain Valley District, BSA and on the board of directors of the Montana Council, BSA.  He served as the DeMolay Dad Advisor, a 4-H judge, a ham radio operator (N7HEU), and chairman of the doughnut shop daily coffee klatch. He was a Master Mason and member of Bozeman Masonic Lodge #18. Along with Betty, Jim was especially involved in the Lilly of the Valley Eastern Star where he served as Worthy Patron, and eventually served the State of Montana as the Worthy Grand Patron.

Of all his titles, Jim was most proud of “Dad” and “Grandpa”. In his later years his greatest enjoyment came from camping with his grandchildren, teaching them how to operate a swather or a wood lathe, or patiently standing at their side on the banks of a stream with a fly rod.   He was a man of principals and honor who loved his country, his family and anything “Made in Montana.”

He died peacefully surrounded by his family.  Jim is survived by Betty, his companion of 67 years; his brother, Tom (Ruth); sons, Jim (Leslie), Bill (Nora), Bob (Linda); and his grandchildren, Kris, Taylor, Brian, Rachael and Natalie; and a number of nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Dave.

Memorials may be made in his name to Montana Council Boy Scouts of America, 1902 W. Dickerson St. #104, Bozeman, MT 59718 or to the M.S.U. Foundation/College of Agriculture, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717.


Trenton Reil Meyer
June 26, 1966 ~ August 16, 2016

On the morning of Aug. 16, 2016, our beloved husband, father, uncle and friend, Trenton Reil Meyer, 50, passed away after a long and courageous battle with rare T-cell lymphoma cancer. Trenton was a true warrior. He never backed down from a battle and the doctor’s attested he endured more for much longer than any other person would have been able to. Although he is not here to see the overwhelming outpouring of love and support, it’s amazing to see how he impacted and inspired so many people in so many different ways.

Trenton was born on June 26, 1966, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. His family lived there for a short time before returning to Belle Fourche, S.D., where he spent his childhood and had many fond memories of growing up. Trenton was an outside kid. He spent countless hours catching pigeons (which he raised), shooting birds that bothered his pigeons and other birds, hunting, trapping and exploring the never ending gravel roads and rivers around town. Trenton attended high school for two years in Hulett, Wyo., and returned to Belle Fourche for his senior year. After high school, Trenton relocated to Billings, where he spent many years working in the wool and lamb industry, sheep herding and guiding in the back country, working at Stillwater Mine and eventually opening his own successful oil field service business.

Trenton married Jody Johnson on Sept. 9, 2000, and in 2004 they relocated to Red Desert, Wyo., to build a business, start a family and follow their dreams. They were blessed with three beautiful daughters Tess (7), Timber (2.5) and Teigan (1). Daddy made sure that the first word each of them spoke was “elk.”

As Trenton grew up, his passion for hunting became an obsession. He loved hunting deer, antelope and especially elk. He became an extremely successful archery hunter and this could be seen by the numerous trophy mounts at the family home, shop and numerous businesses that helped house them. When August came everyone knew Trenton’s mind was zeroed in on scouting for the biggest and best in the area and he would be hard to find.

Another passion held closely to his heart was his love of the sport of arm wrestling. He happened onto a tournament one night at a local bar in 1988 and he was hooked from then on. Through his arm wrestling adventures he had the opportunity to travel the world and win four World Championships and numerous national and state titles. For several years he was recognized as the best left handed super heavy weight arm wrestler in the world. He was respected and revered by many in the sport because he always took the time to help, mentor and train anyone who showed an interest. The sport gave him so many deep and meaningful relationships and it is amazing how the arm wrestling family takes care of their own, especially in situations like these.

Trenton is survived by his loving wife Jody; his three incredible daughters Tess, Timber and Teigan and many other family members and friends that loved and cared for him so much!