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Gary Lee Ovitt



Gary was born in Two Harbors, Minn., on May 28, 1942 to Wilfred Francis Ovitt and Mary Emma Coleman Ovitt (Pearson). He was second in a line of 13 kids. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on May 19, 2018. He fought a good fight of several health conditions, but finally surrendered to complications of diabetes and heart disease.

Gary grew up in north central North Dakota. He moved to Corvallis, Mont., as a teenager and eventually moved to Plains where he met his wife of 54 years, Linda Bartlett (Steinebach). They married in 1963 and had a son, Willy, and a daughter, Margi.

Gary worked and then owned and operated the Plains Chevron Service Station and Tire Shop in the 70's. He worked for a while at Diehl Lumber in Plains and then spent 20 years working at W.I. Lumber Mill in Thompson Falls. He drove a 966 machine, unloading log trucks. The mill changed hands a few times during this time. He retired when it closed in 1995.

Gary was one of the founding members of the Christian Missionary Alliance Church, where he served as a deacon for several years. He also often volunteered to offer help where needed at the church. Gary's faith was unshakable and was always there, no matter what happened. This was true up to the end of his life.

He loved spending time with his family, especially with his grandkids. He had a special bond with all of them. He loved the outdoors and especially hunting and fishing. He liked to watch NASCAR. He never missed many races while his son raced stock cars in Pablo, Mont. He loved tinkering in the garage with his son and grandsons.

Gary is survived by his wife, Linda Ovitt; son, Willy (Carolyn) Ovitt of Plains; daughter, Margi (Craig) Hermance of Belgrade; six brothers and four sisters: Rodney Ovitt of N.D.; Dennis (Helen) Ovitt of Plains; Tim (Karen) Ovitt of Wisc.; Doug Ovitt of Plains; Marilyn (Jim) Bergman of Minn.; Lona (Lowell) Trochman of Minn.; Winnie (Steve) Welty of Plains; Jay (Brenda) Ovitt of Minn.; Susan (Mike) Kankelfritz of N.D.; Glen Pearson of Billings; sister-in-law, Beth (Wayne) Vacura of Plains; brother-in-law, Jim (Jody) Steinebach of Evaro; sister-in-law Joan Thomason of Missoula; Susan Galarneau of Missoula; and Ginger (Keith) Faust of Helena. Grandchildren: Joshua (April) Ovitt of Penn.; Dylan (Jessie) Ovitt of Superior; Ethan Ovitt of Missoula; Andrew Hermance of Belgrade; Emma Hermance of Belgrade; Jessica Keeney (Jeff) of Plains; and Tyler Keeney of Ariz. He also had several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who meant a lot to him.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Wilfred Ovitt; mother, Mary Pearson; brother, Allan Ovitt; sister, Kathy Helland; and stepfather, Al Pearson.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Plains Alliance Church. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to either the American Diabetes Association, The Arthritis Foundation or Clark Fork Valley Hospital Hospice.


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