Thomas Carranco

October 14, 1936

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October 21, 2020

Thomas Carranco

October 14, 1936

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October 21, 2020

Thomas Carranco passed away on Oct. 21, 2020, at the age of 84.

Born to Lupe and Loretta Carranco on Oct. 14, 1936, he was the third child of 10. He and his older brothers were best friends. He had a keen interest in basketball, and played for his home team at Rosebud High School. He worked for local farmers and ranchers until he was called to serve his country. He was sent to Germany, where he put his basketball skills to use, playing European teams when not clerking for the commander. When he was released, he came home to help on the family ranch. He was hired to serve the people of Montana as a highway patrol officer in 1967. He served them in Eureka and Billings for 26 years, retiring in 1993. He helped establish the Montana Hope Project to help ailing Montana children. He served his fellow officers on the Highway Patrol Association Board. He worked a couple other jobs before settling into his second career, selling cars for various dealerships in Billings. He loved talking to his customers and making lifelong friends with them. His motto was treating everyone with honesty and integrity. He was liked by all who knew him. You couldn’t go anywhere with him and not run into one or more of his many friends. He was truly a kind, generous, loving and giving man. He will be sorely missed by all.

He is survived by his wife, Cindy; his daughter, Jeanne; his grandson, Price (Kelly); his granddaughter Daye; his great-grandson Riggs; three brothers, Louie, Johnny and Charlie; five sisters, Helen, Mary, Theresa, Lucy and Carole; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and oldest brother Mike.

Services will be postponed until spring or summer, due to the pandemic.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Montana Hope Project.

Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.

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16 thoughts on “Thomas Carranco”

  1. When I joined the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office in 1973 I first met Tom and we became quick friends. We went on many calls together and I knew I could count on him to have my back and be a true professional. Our friendship lasted until his death. I passed along the news to the other retired Sheriff’s Office personnel. Here are a few of their comments.

    Mike Cherne:
    Right after I turned 18 I got a jury summons for JP court. I ended up being selected and I guess the others thought it would be funny to have the youngest jury foreman, yet. As it turned out it was a DUI case and the LEO making the arrest was none other than Tom. Who would know 5 years later we’d meet on the street again. My first impression held true, a true gentleman, like you said Dean.

    Dean Mahlum:
    I rode a lot of miles with Tom after getting off 4-mids at the SO. I never saw him one time raise his voice or be anything but respectful to anyone he came in contact with. A true gentleman.

    Debbie Harms:
    Tom and I have been friends for over forty years! He was always “concerned” about what was going on in your life, while never complaining about things in his life. RIP dear friend! You will be greatly missed.

    Patrick Downs:
    I worked with Tom for 3 years at Hertz Car Sales. What a fine gentleman. Just a pure pleasure to know and to work with. I’m sure he was a great asset to MHP.

    Sam Damon:
    I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Tom. He was always very kind and respectful and had a great sense of humor. He will be missed. RIP MHP 153

    Tara Holwegner:
    Tom was such a warm, caring man. He was always willing to help someone in need.
    We are all Blessed by having known him.

    Chuck Newell:
    Tom was a wonderful man! I even bought two or three cars from him while he was at Hertz. He treated everyone with respect and had a great sense of humor.

    Mike Boyett:
    Sorry to hear that. I always liked Tom and thought of him a gentleman.

  2. Tom Carranco was my first introduction as a new MHP officer to Billings in 1981. He had what I called “a command bearing “. He was an example of the professional Lawman. Soft spoken easy to be with, alway immaculately dressed in uniform or off duty. I learned so much from him about pride in the organization and how to present yourself to the public.
    Kind, calm, never saw him utter any word in anger. I made it a point to visit him at Hertz many times after we had both left the MHP. He was a mentor and inspiration and I am so saddened by his passing. MHP 153 a badge # and man I have great respect for.

  3. I worked with Tom in the early 80’s as a brand new MHP Sergeant. Tom was one of the officers in my detachment and a great representative of the HP. He took pride in his appearance with the public and truly had a servants heart. He was a great listener, tried hard to understand each person’s circumstance and make a decision that was in the public interest and upheld the oath he took. He had a great smile and laugh and made my job much easier. May Our Lord be with him and bring him and all his family peace.

  4. Tom was my first partner in 1978. Always admired his calm demeanor, his professionalism and his dedication to the mhp. If I needed help Tom was always there for support. My favorite partner. Tom would make coffee breaks interesting by assuring we all understood his point of view with diagrams on napkins. I will always be grateful for the example he provided me in my new career.
    Thanks for all the memories and especially your friendship.

  5. Melanie Shikany McCulloch

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. Tom was a very kind and caring man. He made our world a better place.

  6. Our Condolences from Rico Garza & Mariachis Del Corazon & the Garza family.
    I met Thomas when I was 14 and pops(Harold Garza) was playing Mexican music at an event where Thomas was sitting at a table. He asked me if I liked sports & if I would be playing Mariachi music with my pops very soon. Little did I know, when I turned 15, I was playing with the Mariachis. Since then I would have the honor of seeing Thomas & his family show up at our music events, Dos Machos Restaurant or we would play for the Carranco’s family events. Recently at his brothers Louie’s establishment in Laurel. My pops & Thomas were good friends & always teased each other when they met up. I will miss his big smile & kind heart. He is now with God our Heavenly Father. God bless the families. Rico Garza & the Garza families.

  7. After graduating from the Patrol academy, I rode many shifts with Tom and he was full of important information, both regarding the job and life! He was always calm, cool and collected and went out of his way to make sure I was aware of how to deal with the public and fellow officers in the correct way. He influence me in a very positive way and I will never forget that or him. He was the bar for me as a human and law enforcement officer and I tried to emulate him throughout my career. He was the most professional officer I had ever come in contact with! He was always concerned about how you were doing and I never heard a negative word out of his mouth. He will be truly missed and my sincere prayers go out to his wife and family.

  8. Joe and Jeri Dalbec

    We are so very sorry to learn of Tom’s passing. He was a Friend, a Co-Worker and a great person. May he RIP.

  9. I had the privilege of working with Tom for 15 years at Hertz Car Sales. As many have stated, he was a true gentleman. Tom was a man of integrity, and a pleasure to be around. We had many early morning breakfast bible studies before work, and his humble reverence for God was encouraging to me and all who attended. I’ll always remember his detailed stories of past adventures that included pen and paper to illustrate the setting. He leaves a fine legacy.
    I pray for comfort for his family as he rests in the arms of Jesus.

  10. I worked with Tom for years while he was on the highway patrol. We remained friends even after he retired. I have always respected and loved him. I am sorry for your loss.

  11. Tom and I were very close friends, we went to high school together he was a couple years behind me, We had coffee here in Billings once a month and Tom seldom miss a coffee , it was retired MHP. He will be greatly missed.

  12. We met Tom while he worked at HERTZ car sales. We requested Tom when we were buying a vehicle. Loved listening to his stories along with his illustrations. He was a very kind gentleman, who always looked out for others.
    We will miss you, Rick and Tami Folkerts

  13. Oh Cindy, I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks and just heard of Tom’s passing. I am so sorry! He was a great man, always so friendly! I send my love and prayers for you.

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