George L. Pilgrim, 75, of Wilsall, Montana, passed away quietly at his home on Friday, February 14, 2020 after a 3- year journey with cancer.
George was born on March 1, 1944, in Chicago to Frank and Lucille Pilgrim. His father made certain that George attended Catholic school for his entire education. George graduated from The Creighton University in Omaha in 1966. With his business administration degree, he was recruited immediately to work at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago.
During high school and college, George thought traveling the world would be wonderful: throughout his career and life he found ways to do that. Eventually he did business in 76 countries, visiting some of them 15 or 20 times and making some lifelong friends along the way.
George had been interested in guns since his teenage years: he discovered competitive defensive pistol shooting in 1994 and went on to become the Montana State Pistol Champion from 2001 to 2007. He competed in other states and at the national level. He also won many competitions in three-gun (pistol, rifle and shotgun). George found great pleasure in mentoring up and coming competitive shooters, while continuing to beat them in events.
George was one of those rare people who make their dreams come true. As a young boy he wanted to live in the West: in 1990, with his enthusiastic wife Sarah at his side, they moved to Wilsall where they have lived since. He heartily embraced his life as a Montanan through countless adventures. He and Sarah traveled the back roads of the state to a greater extent than most. Fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing filled days year around. Life in Wilsall opened its arms to George; he was a friend with an honest opinion, he was an outstanding chef who loved to share, he was abundantly clear about his opinions, and he always had the punchline delivered with impeccable timing.
He was sophisticated, and he was down home. He was worldly, and he was local. Toasting life to the end whether that was hosting friends at his home bar or joining them at his favorite local watering hole, George lived fully. Ciao, George.
He is survived by his wife Sarah; his daughters Catherine of Chicago, Elizabeth of Valparaiso, Indiana, and Alison; his granddaughter Clementine; his cousin Les (Joyce); niece Margaret and nephew John; sister-in-law Martha (Frank) Haveron; brother-in-law Dean (Sheri) Hudnutt; and sister-in-law Elisabeth (Mark Bowman) Hudnutt, as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. A graveside ceremony will be held at the Wilsall Cemetery on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 2:00 P.M..
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in George’s name to one of these charities: Stafford Animal Shelter, 3 Business Park Rd, Livingston, MT 59047 or the Wilsall Scholarship Fund: PO Box 334, Wilsall, MT 59086 or Build a Better Wilsall, PO Box 141, Wilsall, MT 59086.
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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