Lyle Rathman Achenbach, 80, of Billings, Montana was born on June 14, 1926, in Aurora, IL and was raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Hardin and Great Falls, Montana. He graduated June 6, 1944 (D-Day) from Great Falls High where he was a member of the state champion American Legion baseball team. Lyle enlisted into the US Army and served in the Pacific Theater on Okinawa. He was honorably discharged from the 8th Army Air Force in 1946. He then attended the College of Great Falls for two years and then transferred to and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Journalism. Upon graduating, Lyle joined Mountain Bell.
Lyle met his future bride, Jeannine Hoffman, after returning from the war while attending school in Great Falls, Montana. Lyle and Jeannine were married in 1949 in Great Falls. Lyle moved up the corporate ladder with the phone company and moved often while raising a family. He retired from Mountain Bell as the Eastern Montana Marketing Manager in 1984 after 31 years.
He is preceded in death by his parents Lester (Butch) and Blanche Achenbach. His wife, Jeannine, and his five sons survive him: Son Lon Lyle Achenbach, significant other, Kathy DeWayne, granddaughters Erin Achenbach, Leslie Boe, step granddaughter Anna Marie Sannes, great grandsons James Robert, and Garett Nol. Son Lary Achenbach, wife Catherine, grandson Kevin, granddaughters Shannon, Cady, and Adrienne of Vancouver, Washington. Son Lee Achenbach, wife Cynthia and step granddaughter Angie Miller of Keizer, Oregon. Son Loren Achenbach, wife Laurel and grandson Alexander Lyle of San Diego. Son Lloyd Achenbach, grandsons Trevor William and Lloyd Don (LJ) of Billings.
Lyle participated in many community services: He was a member and president of the Missoula JC’s. He was a member and president of the West Billings Lions. He was a member and president of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a social organization for retired Mountain Bell employees. He received the Pioneer’s Timothy Award for outstanding community service. He was also a member of the Elks.
Lyle had a passion for coaching baseball and basketball. He coached each son in both sports. He enjoyed watching the Billings Mustangs baseball team with family and friends and was a fan of Montana Grizzly sports. He was a founding father and president of the Billings Avenue D All Stars and a founding member of Christmas Wreath Lane. He always looked forward to one of his boys coming home to visit.
Lyle was known for his quick wit and humor. He liked to joke and kid people. He had the ability to calm a serious situation with a well-placed comment or observation. He enjoyed watching comedy TV and movies. His motto was “well, … that’s show biz!”
The family would like to give a special thanks to Lisa and others for their help during this time of sadness.
Funeral Services with Military Honors for Lyle will be held 1:00 PM Saturday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary.
Memorials in his name may be made to the ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION MONTANA CHAPTER, 3010 11TH AVENUE NORTH – BILLINGS, MONTANA 59101