Martin Allen “Marty” Swandal, 83, of Wilsall, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, August 23, 2019.
Marty was born on October 28, 1935 in Livingston, MT to Chris and Ruth Swandal. He was raised along Flathead Creek in Wilsall. He attended Wilsall schools and graduated in 1954. He married his high school sweetheart Virginia Nelson on June 4, 1955 at Shields River Lutheran Church. They raised three children together Karie, Lyle and Rick. Marty spent his entire life in the Shields Valley, a fact which made him very proud.
Ranching was always an important part of Marty’s life. He ranched for 10 years for Bud Jordan. Marty and Virginia then bought their ranch on Flathead Creek near the Park and Gallatin county line. For over 30 years, Marty ranched alongside his father Chris and eventually his own two sons. In 1984, Marty and Virginia moved down the creek and built their house on the family ranch. He was a special community leader, and always willing to lend a hand to his neighbors. He served on the boards of the Rural Electric Associstion, Park Electric Cooperative and Wells Fargo Bank. He served as president of the Park County Stockgrowers.
While the ranch work was his number one passion, he had many other interests. He was an avid hunter, especially with his cousin and longtime friend Craig LaRango. He rarely missed a Shields Valley Rebel game and especially never missed one of his grandkids games or programs. Marty and Virginia enjoyed dancing, playing golf and traveling the world together. Above all, Marty loved his family and friends. He made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world. Christmas Eve was a special time in the Swandal family. Marty particularly enjoyed the fact that his family never missed Christmas Eve together. Every year Marty led the toast to his father Chris with Mogen-David and from this year on we will toast them both. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage and loved hosting relatives from Norway and especially loved his visit to Norway.
Marty was preceded in death by his parents, Chris and Ruth Swandal and his sisters, Barbara Carr and Carol Lemon.
He leaves behind Virginia, his wife of 64 years. His children Karie & Art Wiltgen, Lyle & Tara Swandal, and Rick & Kristi Swandal; his grandchildren, Chrissy (Wiltgen) and Jase Morris, Tyler and Malaree Wiltgen, Karalee Wiltgen, Cleve and Carrie Swandal, Callee (Swandal) and Chad Peebles, Jace and Mandi Swandal, Seth Swandal, and Nicki Swandal. He was also proud of his great-grandchildren, Savannah Johnson, Brooklyn and Dane Peebles, Miranda and Ryan Wiltgen, and Saylor Swandal. He loved his many nieces, nephews, and their families, including Becky Landis, Debbie Boyd, Joyce Anderson, Vickie Stefanik, Stan Carr, Scott, Mike, and Bob Lemon, Cindy Dallas, Cindy Christensen, Craig and Jason Swandal, and Dana McNamara.
A funeral service will be held 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 28th at the Wilsall Rodeo Grounds. Burial will follow at the Wilsall Cemetery. Reception and celebration of life will then be at rodeo grounds.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Marty's memory to our nephew, Ruger Stallard Support Fund, ℅ Bank of the Rockies- P.O. Box 2, Clyde Park, Mt 59018.
To send flowers to Martin's family, please visit our floral section.