LeRoy Besel, 83, a farmer and rancher, died Saturday, April 14, 2012, at Horizon Hospice Home.
He was born June 18, 1928, in Farmer, Wash., to George and Elizabeth (Fox) Besel. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church on July 15, 1928, in Farmer and confirmed April 2, 1944, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Laurel.
His family moved to Billings in 1937. He attended Allendale Elementary School through the eighth grade, then stayed home to help his ailing father with the family farm. He later served as a member of the Allendale school board and participated in construction of the new Allendale Elementary School in the late 1950s.
He married Gladys Rupp in 1952 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Laurel. There he farmed, had a feedlot and raised registered Angus cattle. He was voted Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Laurel Jaycees.
Mr. and Mrs. Besel sold the farm in Laurel and relocated to Red Lodge and Luther. They purchased a ranch and continued to raise Angus cattle. He was a member of the American Angus Association.
After a few years, he started faming again in Belfry and later in Forsyth. He was recognized as an Honorary Chapter Farmer from the Forsyth FFA Chapter. He then retired and moved to Billings.
Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Debbie Stringari of Belfry and Shirley Sept of Shepherd; two sons, Raymond Besel of Lewistown and Bob Besel of Buffalo, Wyo.; a sister, Clara Kammerzell; 13 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Services were held April 18 at Hope Lutheran Church in Lockwood. Interment was in Laurel Cemetery, and a reception followed at the Union Hall in Laurel. Arrangements were in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Memorials may be made to Hope Lutheran Church in Lockwood, 1911 U.S. 87 E., Billings, MT 59101; the Alzheimer’s Association, 3010 11th Ave., Billings, MT 59101; or RiverStone Hospice, P.O. Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103.