Owen Neiter, devoted husband, loving and supportive father, cherished grandfather and uncle, beloved friend and mentor to many, passed away quietly, in his sleep, on March 15th, at his home, within the care and love of his family.
Owen was born in Forsyth, MT, on September 10, 1922 to Harold and Mary Neiter. He was raised on a ranch five miles west of Sand Springs in Garfield County. Owen and his sister Paula attended a one room school in Sand Springs, MT. Later he lived in the Public School Dorm, graduating from Garfield County High School in Jordan, MT. From there, Owen attended the U of M in Missoula, thus becoming a life long Grizzly fan.
In 1947, Owen and his parents moved to Billings where they purchased Northside Locker Plant, operating that business for over 25 years. Owen fell in love and married Marian Knutson January 14, 1950 and parted when Marian passed away, too soon, on January 8, 1980. They were blessed with four children and the happiness of a loving marriage and family.
Owen was a successful businessman, with an inviting and compelling personality. He was a lover of congenial conversation and companionship, an interested and compassionate listener, a concerned mentor, and a man who demonstrated an honest gratitude for his Friendships and personal relationships. Owen was a devotee of good music, when inspired singing a favorite song for all to hear, and enjoyed taking a many a happy spin around the dance floor. He was an avid reader. Owen especially liked to read about Montana, about the state’s color, heritage, and humanity. He was a fervent collector of Western and Cowboy Art. Owen was an avid sports fan. He loved sports, from the prep to the national level. Further, Owen Neiter was an enthusiastic supporter of personal, family, and civic educational development. As a parent, he was always immersed in his own children’s educational programs and functions. As a proud dad and grandpa, he vigorously supported his kid’s and grandkid’s school and sports activities: often traveling great distance to attend educational and sports events, sitting hours in school auditoriums and gymnasiums, transporting the high school wrestling squads and often offering mat-side Assistant-to-the-Assistant Coach support. Owen knew and enjoyed rodeo, in particular bull riding and PBR. He was great card player, though the big draw was the friendly companionship that the games offered. Owen Neiter was very committed participant in many civic and professional business organizations. He was active in the Montana Meat Processors Association and a past President of the National Association of Locker and Freezer Provisioners, a founding Trustee of Rimrock Foundation, a Board Member of the Billings Chamber of Commerce, and a MetraPark Board Member for six years. Owen Neiter was elected to two terms as Ward Four Councilman with the Billings City Council and served for six years as a member of the Logan Field Aviation and Transit Commission. He was a life member and past President of the Yellowstone Kiwanis Club, having thirty-four years perfect attendance in Kiwanis and a devotion to this organization’s public service. Owen was also a life member of the Elks Club, the Knights of Columbus, and twice served as Elks Club Manager. He was very involved in Mentorship and Adult Education programs, including participation in presenting workshops for Billings School District No. 2 Adult Education and as a Small Business Counselor/Mentor for Montana District SCORE, Billings Chapter.
Owen was never afraid of a good fight, either as a competitive pugilist, a determined contestant in sporting events, or in his conduct and philosophy toward the challenges of life. And always, Owen Neiter was the Consummate Gentleman.
Owen Neiter is survived by his sons Mark, Rochester, MN; Tim (Diane), Billings; Dan (Lynn), Billings; and daughter Mary Uecker (Eric), Sioux Falls, SD; his sister Paula Robertson, Billings; his long time friend and loving companion Carol Smith, Billings. Other survivors include niece Gina Neill and nephew Dick Stefani, for whom Owen and Marian were Guardians; plus eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; with many more nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Rimrock Foundation of Billings or the charity of your choice.
Cremation has taken place. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated 10am Saturday, March 24, 2012 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
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