Pat was born St. Patrick's Day, March 17,1922 in Falls City, Wisc. to Milton and Ruth (Tibbetts) DeLong, the third of seven children. He attended school in Somers and Dayton and graduated from Flathead High School. At age 18 he worked at the railroad tie mill in Somers until he went into the military.
Pat enlisted in the U.S. Marines in October 1942 and served in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in August of 1945. He participated in operations at Cape Glouster, New Britain, Peleliu, Palau Islands, Okinawa Shima Ryukyu Retto. After being discharged he worked at the mill in Polson.
On July 6,1946 he married the love of his life, Betty Benson. They would be happily married for the next 68 years until Betty's passing in 2015. Initially, they lived in Somers where their first son, Clinton was born. In 1950 they purchased their cattle ranch in Hot Springs, Mont. and they had two more children, a son, Kelly, and a daughter, Darla. Family was very important to both of them.
In addition to having their ranch, Pat worked at the sawmill in Plains for 20 years, getting up early each morning to milk 10-12 cows before leaving for the mill. Ranching was Pat's passion, it was common to hear him whistling or singing a song while on his John Deere tractor. He enjoyed hunting bobcats with his hounds and fishing. Pat and Betty both adored the animals on the ranch and always had a special dog. The farm was their pride and joy; they resided there for 50 years.
Pat was an active member of the Hot Springs community. Pat served 18 years as a Sanders County Commissioner. He was a member of the Masons, the VFW, and served on the Chamber of Commerce. He was also on the school board and Chairman of the Hot Springs Refuse Garbage District. Pat went on to get his Brokers License and opened DeLong Realty on Main Street in Hot Springs.
After retiring, Pat and Betty downsized and moved to Polson, Mont. in 2000. Here they enjoyed the retired life and continued their love of gardening. Pat always followed politics closely and enjoyed a good political discussion, as all who knew him could attest to!
Pat will be very deeply missed, he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, father-in-law, son, and brother.
Pat was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents, Milton and Ruth DeLong; and brothers, Russell and Dennis. He is survived by his three children, son Clinton and wife Karen DeLong of Kalispell, son Kelly and wife Lori DeLong of Columbia Falls, and daughter Darla and husband Tom Allen of Kalispell; five grandchildren, grandson Chad and Gayle of Clancy, grandson Corey and KayAnn of Charlo, grandson Tracy and Andrea of Gig Harbor, Wash., grandson Marc and Brenda of Kalispell, and granddaughter Angela (Allen) Burns and Jeremy of Whitefish; seven great-grandchildren, Riley, Clay, Grant, Nathan, Greta-Marie, Aiden, and Emma; sister Theoria Engstrom; brothers, Darcy, Joe, and Don and numerous nieces and nephews.
A public gathering will be held at a later date in the spring as well as a private family burial service. To send a note of condolence to the family please visit buffalohillfh.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory.