Austin Darkenwald


Austin Darkenwald


Austin Darkenwald
Austin Darkenwald

Austin Darkenwald was born on March 27, 1926, in Valley City, N.D. His family moved to Billings when he was a small boy. He was the youngest of four boys of Adele and George Darkenwald.

Austin married Peggy Berryman on Sept. 4, 1948. This September, they would have celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Their marriage was a loving example to all about their commitment to one another. Peggy and Austin have three sons: Mark, Doug and Scott.

Austin served in the United States Air Force during WWII and came home and graduated from the University of Montana in 1950. He started his business career with Exxon upon graduation and rose through the ranks for seven years. But Montana called him home. Being the consummate entrepreneur that he was, he quit a secure and stable job and took the leap of faith to come and go into business for himself. He soon found himself starting a company called the Montana Petroleum Company, which evolved into a chain of convenience stores and truck stops operating in Montana, Wyoming and Eastern Washington. He had a universal reputation amongst his employees and peers as being an exemplary businessman known for being fair, honest and just being very good at his chosen vocation. He sold his company to Cenex in 1985.

Community service was very much a part of Austin. He was the president of the Billings Chamber of Commerce and served on the boards of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, Rocky Mountain College, First Interstate Bank, and as president of the Intermountain Oil Marketers Association.

Austin’s faith in Jesus Christ was fundamental to his life and who he was. He was in the same small group Bible study for over 40 years, and he and Peggy attended the King of Glory Lutheran Church. He was charitable in spirit and giving. He also enjoyed the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous for several years.

Upon retirement, he and Peggy moved to Big Fork and Arizona, and then came home to Mission Ridge here in Billings. The family wants to thank the staff at Mission Ridge for all their loving care and support. And to thank the doctors and nurses at the Billings Clinic for their incredible kindness and wisdom and care in Austin’s final hours, when his heart simply wore out after 90 years.

Austin and Peggy have six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and a flock of nieces and nephews and extended family.

Austin will be missed by all he knew and all whose lives he touched. But he went in peace to be with his Lord and Savior, confident that he and Peggy will be together again.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 4125 Grand Ave.

Leave a Memory or Condolence

8 thoughts on “Austin Darkenwald”

  1. Donna Harrison

    So sorry to hear of Austins passing. You are in my prayers. I will remember how Austin, as a truly kind and gentle soul.

  2. I did not know Mr. Darkenwald. I learned of him through my father-in-law, Carl Yantis. When our second son was born, we were having a hard time picking out a name for him. Carl related to us his friendship with Mr. Darkenwald, and what it meant to him. We prayed that our son would grow to be the man that Carl described to us as Austin Darkenwald. We named him Austin Rudell Lord. Austin in honor of Mr. Darkenwald and Rudell for an uncle that I loved very much.

    May God be with all the Darkenwald family.

    Jane Yantis, Carolyn and Bob Lord

  3. waynetta corneau

    my prayers are with you peggy and all your family. I too remember how Austin was such a dear friend to our family..

  4. Michael L. Foley

    Austin, somehow I thought you’d live forever. Instead you’ve raced ahead and beaten me to the finish line. You ran the good race and followed the rules honorably. You earned your reward and final rest. Well done, Austin, I am grateful for the fellowship we shared and I will miss you.

    Dougy Dynamo, I feel sad for your loss. You and your father shared a special bond and closeness. It was always easy to see how much your father loved you and the respect you held for him. Your father was s good, kind man and he will missed.
    Michael L. Foley
    Thursday Men’s Meeting

  5. My condolences. Austin was considered an example of how to be successful yet remain a gentleman. Mark Noennig

  6. Doug and Family, My condolences to you all. Worse part of getting older is loosing the ones we love. May God bless you all and give you comfort.

  7. Peggy and Family,
    George and I were so sorry to hear the news about beloved Austin. His enthusiasm was infectious. He always brought a smile and a laugh to us in conversation. You are in our thoughts and prayers, and we are comforted in knowing that Austin is with Jesus.
    Our love, Carol

  8. Peggy,
    Sorry to hear of Austin’s passing we have great memories of Austin, John Ruedi and Paul. Austin always laughed and had a good story to tell. You are in our prayers.
    Bunny and the Allen family

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *