Thomas G. Carey, 93
March 2, 2022
With the sun shining brightly on the Bull Mountains, a place dear to his heart, Thomas G. Carey, Sr. (Tom) passed into eternal life on February 26, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife of 63 years and all of their children.
Born in Helena on December 9, 1928, to Frank and Mary Ellen (Gallagher) Carey, he was the youngest of 12 children. Being raised on the ranch with his best friend and sister Ellie was the basis for the stories of his wonderful childhood we loved to hear. His love for dogs followed him through his entire life. He attended grade school in Cardwell and graduated from Whitehall High School, then attended two winter sessions at the Butte Business College.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952, he spent time in Korea in an artillery unit north of the 38th parallel. He was honorably discharged in 1954 after the peace treaty was signed. He returned to the family ranch in the Boulder Valley to join his father and brothers in the operation which had been converted from sheep to cattle. This is where he would spend the remainder of his life and raise his own family.
On June 23, 1958, he married Helen Greutman in Williston, North Dakota. Over the next 63 years, their marriage was blessed with 8 children, 21 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. He was such a kind and caring man. Like his father before him, he was always generous and helpful to his family, friends, and those in need. He never met a stranger.
A prominent and civic-minded rancher and stockman, he served on many boards for years and stayed active in the agricultural community. He served as the area representative for the Yellowstone Boys Ranch, advisory boards and councils for the Selective Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Resource Conservation & Development, Soil Conservation Service, and Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service. He also served as a school board member for Cardwell School and belonged to VFW Post #4603.
Ranching was a family operation where everyone was involved with riding, branding, calving, changing pipe, hauling salt, and haying. He was a familiar face at rodeos where he enjoyed being part of his children's events. Hard work all week provided time for family fun on the weekends at youth rodeos, school activities, 4-H and FFA events, and many other family functions.
The last 10 years of his life were filled with many health challenges which he faced with grace and appreciation for the fullness of his life and the ability to spend his days with his beloved wife and family. Even in his last days, he enjoyed spending time with loved ones who stopped for a visit. Tom was a devout Catholic and a lifelong member of St. Catherine's Parish in Boulder and St. John the Evangelist Church in the Boulder Valley where his ashes will be interred at a later date.
He is survived by Helen, his loving wife of over 63 years; sons Tom Jr. (Lorie) and Chris (Sandy); daughters Robin (Mike) Smith, Heidi (Marty) Gagnon, Shannon (Paul) Smith, Megan (Buster) Bullock, Katy (John) Hansen, and Molly Carey (Mike Johnson); 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, many beloved nieces, and nephews and extended families.
Welcoming him to eternity are his parents, Frank and Mary Ellen, his parents-in-law Herman and Cecelia Greutman, his siblings Mary Ellen (Bill) Murphy, Lillian (Herb) Peterson, Francis, Agnes (Ken) Oeverndiek, John (Dora) Carey, Martin (Mary) Carey, Jo (Wahle) Phelan, Rose (EJ) Monahan, Virginia, Joseph, and Eleanor (Bud) Connell.
A rosary will be Monday, March 7, at 6 pm, with funeral services on Tuesday, March 8, at 12 noon at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 109 - 2nd Ave. East, Whitehall.
Memorials may be made in memory of Tom to the charity of your choice.