Steve E. Hlebichuk passed peacefully on Friday evening January 29, 2016 at Valley Health Care Center.
Steve was born on Dec. 19, 1925, on the family ranch in Billings County, N.D. His parents, William “Bill” Hlebichuk and Monica Basaraba Hlebichuk, homesteaded about 10 miles north and west of Gorham, N.D.
Steve attended his first six grades of school in a one-room country school called Black Butte in Billings County. The family moved to Savage, Mont., in 1937, where he completed the 12th grade in 1944.
During the second World War, Steve served in the U.S. Navy from June 1944 to June 1946. He received Navy Basic Training at Farragut, Idaho, and had torpedo training in San Diego. He served the remainder of the war in the South Pacific, preparing for the invasion of Japan. He was at Subic Bay in the Philippines when Japan surrendered, ending the war.
Steve did farm work in the Savage/Sidney area, and one year at the Grain Elevator at Savage and Poplar. For a short time, he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad in Glendive.
In April of 1948, Steve went to work for MDU at Glendive in the gas production and transmission division. His whole career with MDU was in the construction and maintenance of high pressure cross-country transmission of pipelines and related facilities, such as compressions stations, to move natural gas from the gas fields to serve cities and towns in Wyoming, Montana and North and South Dakota. He started as a pipeline laborer in 1948, and was promoted to construction foreman in 1952. On July 12, 1952 Steve married Julia Pisk in Glendive. He was promoted to assistant construction superintendent in 1967, construction supervisor in 1977 and to field manager of the Glendive District in 1980. He retired in 1989 with 41 years of service.
Steve and Julie moved to Billings in 1990.
Steve is survived by his wife Julie, two daughters Stephanie Todd, husband Vance and grandsons, Evan and Collin, Leah Redmond, husband Justin and grandson Stephen and granddaughter Shilo.
Memorial Mass will be 11am Friday, February 5th at St. Pius X Church. Rite of Committal with military honors will be held in Calvary Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the services.
Memorials may be made to St. Pius X Church or to the Westpark Village Employee Fund, 2351 Solomon Ave, Billings, MT 59102.