Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Don Arkell, 68

Don Arkell of Clancy, Montana, age 68, passed away Saturday, September 3, 2022, after an eight-year battle with cancer.

He was born on November 26, 1953, the son of the late James and Thelma (Mannix) Arkell. Don is survived by his loving wife Connie, son BJ (Kelly), daughter Shawn (Chester), stepsons Dan (Krista) and Jake (Olivia) McEachern; grandchildren Rylan and Ruthie McEachern; brothers (Vince, Roy, Ray, Ed) and sisters (Ava, Ruby, Sharon); numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless other loved ones.

Don was preceded in death by his parents (James and Thelma) and brother Scott.

Don was born in Deer Lodge, Montana, and spent his childhood in Avon, Montana. Later the family moved to Willow Creek, Montana, and then settled in Whitehall, Montana where Don finished high school. His youth was full of fun, pranks, and ranch work alongside his siblings and friends.

He started his career as a traveling diesel mechanic in Billings, Montana, and had two children with his first wife Carol Arkell before moving to Clancy, Montana. He worked many years as a heavy equipment mechanic for various mines including Montana Tunnels, and he ended his career with Mountain View Meadows.

He had a fulfilling career and loved to share his knowledge. His expertise in diesel mechanics was recognized by many.

Everyone who knew Don felt his big heart and helping nature. He was the kind of man who loved quietly and with few words, but the depth of his heart was palpable. He continued to work through chemotherapy and treatment, as quitting was never an option for Don until his retirement in 2018. His tenacity and hard work set him apart from many. He battled his disease with grace, sweetly stubborn to the end.

He was a huge fan of life. He loved animals, including his horses and dogs. He enjoyed time on his family's ranch and embraced hard work. He was passionate about classic cars; his 1964 Buick in particular was a favorite. Above all else, Don loved spending time with friends and family.

He was blessed to find a best friend and devoted partner in his wife Connie. They enjoyed countless adventures, finding the beauty in both the extraordinary and the mundane. Don enjoyed their travels, community, and quiet time together at their home in Clancy, Montana. They celebrated over 25 loving years together.

The family would like to thank St. Peter's Cancer Treatment Center (Dr. Weiner and staff) in Helena, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and Enhabit Home Health & Hospice team for their compassionate care during Don's battle with cancer. They'd also like to thank all of our family and friends for their support and prayers, including Todd and Emily, who offered their love and significant time with Don prior to his passing. There is much appreciation for all of his friends and neighbors who made him feel very loved. He had a life well lived, and he will not be forgotten.


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