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American Patriotic 10

       


Thomas Gorton

July 21, 1941 ~ March 6, 2018 (age 76)

Thomas Dudley Gorton II, 76, “went home to be with his Lord” on March 6, 2018, at Kalispell Health Center, with his wife Rhonda by his side, after a valiant and intense 14-month battle against cancer. Tom was born on July 21, 1941, to Virginia and Kenneth Gorton. He grew up with four siblings in Flint, Michigan; he and his family moved to California during his high school years. Tom joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school. He served as an electrician on the USS Blue (DD-744), completing a Four-year term. Tom enjoyed a long career working for several telephone companies and also served as a park ranger for 10 years in California. He enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with his grandchildren. Tom is remembered for his smiling face, helpful hands and soft heart. Tom loved cars and found great joy sharing the amazing experience he had driving a NASCAR for 10 laps in Dover, Maryland, for his 70th birthday and seeing his family cheering him on! He traveled extensively all over the U.S. and went to Japan, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand (his favorite). He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Sue, and granddaughter Ellanore. He is survived by his wife, Rhonda; daughter Karri Gorton, Patti Schmitz, daughter Tamara, husband Paul Beauduy, grandchildren Paul Jr., Caitlin, Nicholas and Lucas; daughter Amanda, husband Ryan Geiger, granddaughters Rylynn, Cambrie, Everly; daughter Stephanie and grandchildren Zachary, Andrew, Ailyah, and Carter; stepson Stan Ottosen and wife Michelle, grandsons Renny, Torin, and Camden; stepdaughter Jackie, husband Rob Bourriague and grandchildren Sophia, and Dane; and sister-in-law Rose Ottosen and husband Don. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Tom’s honor can be made to Life Outreach International for drilling water wells (It broke his heart that there were people who did not have clean water), or to Glacier Bible Camp in Hungry Horse. A memorial service, including military honors, will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 12, at Bigfork Chapel, with Pastor Richard Stewart officiating. A light lunch will follow. The burial service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbia Falls, immediately following the lunch.

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