Cover photo for Harley  J. Westling's Obituary
Harley  J. Westling Profile Photo
1937 Harley 2021

Harley J. Westling

March 28, 1937 — October 9, 2021

Harley John Westling, 84, lifelong Park County Resident and Rancher has passed away on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, of natural causes at the Livingston HealthCare Hospital. Harley was born on Easter Sunday March 28, 1937, in Livingston, MT to Gunner and Hilda (Bergsing) Westling as their only child. The family had homesteaded outside Wilsall in 1902. Harley was raised on the family ranch assisting his folks as a youth, which instilled in him, his lifetime commitment as a rancher and steadfast servant of the land. He attended the Pepper School, a one-room schoolhouse, through the sixth grade. He then attended Wilsall High School, graduating in 1956. While a senior in school Harley joined the United States Army Reserves on January 24, 1955. He would go on to earn the rank of Specialist Four, discharging honorably on December 31, 1962. During that period, he met a lovely young lady while at a party at the Cottonwood Reservoir north of Wilsall. He would go on to marry Elma Johnston, on Oct. 24, 1959. To the marriage Elma brought one daughter, Susie, whom Harley would later adopt. They were also blessed with the addition of three more children, Harlan, Kendra, and Carolyn. They raised their kids ranching, first at the Horse Creek Ranch and then moving to the Becker place in 1970. Harley and Elma would later divorce. There is one attribute that everyone knows Harley for and can appreciate about him and that was his work ethic. He worked hard, spent long hours doing so, and he made sure what was earned was not squandered!  Harley continued to develop his business interests in many areas throughout his life. He was a loyal man, loyal to his family, his friends and his neighbors. He was full of personality, he truly enjoyed working with his neighbors, breakfast at Val's, and lunch sometimes too, he was funny and a jokester and everyone just enjoyed being around Harley. Also, we must not forget that EVERY trip to town involved a mandatory stop for pie and coffee! In the evening time you would find Harley at the piano pounding out some his favorite old time tunes, all of which he learned to play by ear.We will miss you Harley and are grateful for the man you were.We will miss you Dad (grandpa, great grandpa, great great grandpa) and are grateful for the life you have provided for us.Harley leaves behind his children, daughter, Susie (Jim) Payne, their kids, daughter, Sheri Adams and her kids, Brooklyn (Trevor) Krzesnik and their son, Cooper, Tyler (Ashley) and Daniel, daughter, Loree (Penny) Payne; son, Harlan Westling, and his sons, Zack (Somaerah) Westling, with a little one due any day, Lily Pepper, and son, Tanner Westling; daughter, Kendra (Ty) Ferguson and their kids, son, Ryan (Macey) Ferguson and their son, Trey, daughter, Toree Ferguson; daughter, Carolyn (Andy) Devoto and their children, Jordan, Madison, and Caroline, as well as companions he has had over the years, cousins, countless relatives and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his (ex)wife, Elma.Memorials may be made to the Wilsall Scholarship Fund via- PO Box 334- Wilsall, MT 59086A funeral service in honor of Harley will be held on Friday, October 15, at the Wilsall Community Church beginning at 2:00 P.M. Viewing will be available at Franzen-Davis on Thurs. from 2-6 P.M. Burial with veteran's honors will be at the Wilsall Cemetery following the service. A coffee hour will conclude the events back at the Wilsall Community Church.Blessings to you all! Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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