Daniel William Dimich Jr.

October 25, 1947

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October 6, 2020

Daniel William Dimich Jr.

October 25, 1947

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October 6, 2020

Daniel William Dimich Jr. (Bill, Pertz, Dan Jr.) died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep the evening of Oct. 5, 2020, due to heart complications.

He was born on Oct. 25, 1947, to Daniel W. Dimich Sr. “Danny” and Jean Engle Dimich. The first six years of his life, Bill lived in Red Lodge with his parents and younger sister, Diane, where they were surrounded by loving grandparents from both sides of the family and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. His parents owned and operated the Red Lodge Dairy as well as an indoor skating rink on Broadway. Bill had fond memories from a young age of helping his dad deliver the milk and his mom collect the payments for their Red Lodge area customers.

The family moved to Billings in 1954, so Dan Sr. could help transition his father’s “Mike Dimich and Sons Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company” franchise from its headquarters in Red Lodge to Billings. Bill began proudly volunteering and working at the family soft drink business on weekends and during the summers when he was 14.

A 1965 graduate of Billings West High School, Bill graduated from the University of Montana in 1969 with a degree in business and, upon graduation, took on a larger role in the family business. He eventually became a co-owner of today’s Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Billings. Bill always had a passion for the business and was especially proud of its humble beginnings. He greatly admired his grandparents, Mike Dimich and Sofia Teslich, who immigrated to America from Serbia in the early 1900’s and who, with their courage, perseverance, and strong work ethic, made a better life and created more opportunities for their family than they ever could have imagined. Bill was committed to carrying on his grandparents’ legacy. He was known not only for looking out for the company’s employees and their needs but also for cultivating relationships with the community’s business owners, especially the smaller ones. His ability to find solutions that could help others as well as his visual acuity, attention to detail, and desire for perfection were legendary. In a somewhat amusing way, Bill enjoyed the challenge of trying to place a Pepsi sign on every corner building in town and was actually quite successful in achieving this personal goal.

A “humble humanitarian with a glowing smile and a generous and compassionate spirit” is a fitting description of Bill. In addition to his work at Pepsi, he started his own residential real estate and rental business that focused on providing affordable living for those less fortunate. This business was never intended to generate much revenue but instead was meant to allow disadvantaged members of the community to buy their own homes via a long-term contract for deed. This endeavor had a positive impact on many! Some would say Bill did more for providing affordable housing than most government-funded programs.

He was a lifelong learner. To say Bill was an avid reader is an understatement, as practically every shelf in his home was dedicated to books. His travels were truly worldwide, and it was reflected in his artwork and memorabilia. He grasped each adventure with an open mind and was always curious about traditions and customs wherever he went. Especially meaningful experiences included his meeting Mother Teresa in person at her hospital in India, visiting the grave of Carl Jung in Switzerland, and touring the concentration camps of WWII. He enjoyed attending nationally and internationally known spectator sports, concerts, and plays and collecting antique cars throughout his life. Bill nourished himself not only intellectually, but also physically as he prioritized and valued daily exercise.

As his parents, Jean and Danny, aged, Bill had an unconditional, daily devotion to providing oversight to their senior care until they passed away. More recently, he and his sister, Diane, collaborated to honor their parents’ and grandparents’ lives through various sponsorships in the community. Bill was loved and will be dearly missed.

He is survived by his sister, Diane Dimich Gorder; brother-in-law, Mark S. Gorder; niece Julianna Gorder; niece Kristina Gorder MacKenzie, her husband Benjamin Roe MacKenzie and grandnephews Alex and Owen MacKenzie. Family members who worked with him at the Pepsi Company and who survive him include his uncle William Dimich and cousins Mike Dimich (Donna), Mitchell Dimich (Julie) and Tom Dimich (Pam). He is survived by numerous other cousins, including Mark Dimich, Dr. Linda Cox, Susan Greenshields (Hugh), Nancy Dimich Louvet (Thierry), Sandra Dimich Tunnell, and by maternal aunt Ilah Larson and cousins Scott Larson (Violet Wan), Linda Larson (Gerry Johnson), and Karen Larson (Robert Spencer).

A memorial service to honor Bill is being planned for a post-COVID time. Memorials may be made to the “Daniel W. Dimich Jr. Memorial Fund” at the Billings Public Library Foundation, Inc. located at 510 N. Broadway; Billings, MT 59101.

Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.

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15 thoughts on “Daniel William Dimich Jr.”

  1. So sorry to hear about Pertz’s passing. Pertz and I were always good friends and I appreciate the retirement party and trip he gave me. I will miss seeing him when I go to the plant. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Jim Moltzan

  2. Cathy Hanstrom Conaway

    Bill and I started 1st grade together and 18 years later graduated from West High. Then we ended up at the University of Montana together. Bill was one of the really good guys. He was smart, funny, humble, true to himself, loyal to his friends, intelligent and caring. He did so much for his “family” at Pepsi and his community. What I shall remember Bill for is his humbleness, he never blew his own horn yet he helped so many. Godspeed my friend until we meet again.

    1. He was one of a kind for sure. Miss the basketball games at his house and mine.

      He was one of the good ones for sure. Your old friend Tom H

  3. We were so sorry to hear about Pertz. He was great to work with and always greeted everyone with a smile. We’re glad we got to see him and the Pepsi family on our last trip to Billings. Mike & Jo Ann Rom

  4. Douglas Jenkins

    Mary Ann (Michunovich) Jenkins and I (Doug Jenkins) are so sorry to hear about your loss of Pertz. Our families have lost so much recently. Mary Ann’s mother Catherine Michunovich and my dad Al Jenkins were both recent losses, and given the long friendships among the three families, this is another blow. We always admired Pirtz for his generosity and quiet ways, and he lived an interesting and singularly full life. Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss. He will be remembered and admired by all who knew him.
    -Doug and Mary Ann Jenkins

  5. Pertz quietly did many nice things for people. I remember when he brought my son a souvenir from a Super Bowl game. I also remember when he took his dad to breakfast week after week. Pertz will be missed and my heart goes out to his Pepsi Family. David Claxton

  6. Linda Lee Carlson

    So sorry to hear about Bill. Enjoyed working with him when I was in the hotel industry. We had many good laughs together. Rest in peace Bill.
    Linda Lee Carlson

  7. I thought I wrote a great article on Pertz but, I was either banned or forgot to include something computer wise. I met Pertz in 1986. We had a lot of fun. Yet, both being unique people, we could fight for a year. He taught me so much, was way too generous to me and when I was his attorney, never a dull moment. I would like to get in touch with his Sister.

  8. My Dad always loved to go by the plant to visit with Pertz. I believe it was Billy’s warm, accepting nature that my Dad found soothing after my Mother was gone. I think I got my interest in rental housing from Pertz because he demonstrated how valuable a home is to those that don’t have much. He left the world a better place and I shall always miss his genuine smile among all the people and products at the plant.

  9. Ole and Marci Shafer

    It is with a sad heart we say goodbye to a person with a kind soul and a great neighbor. We enjoyed his visits about cars and local history. He will be truly missed.

  10. your a son of a gun. from the time you and I would load pepsi trucks so I could get a free freeze pepsi off the line to riding in your model A I wise you and I and stayed better in contact over the years since we shared so many times in my yard and yours. No fare checking out first since you were the one the eat all the healthy stuff and I at the frys from the Top/ See you later if we go the same direction. Your old friend Tom Pertz it may have been to some but Bill to me

  11. Just found out you checked out before me. Can not believe it as you ate the healthy stuff why ate ate the fries at the top. Miss the times we loaded the trucks with the pop so I could get a fresh one of the line of pepsi. One of your old friends /Tom

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