Martinsdale rancher Jack E. Galt, 84, died of natural causes Saturday in a Great Falls hospital.
His funeral is 2 p.m. Friday at the Lennep church. Private family burial will follow on the 71 Ranch, Martinsdale. Twichel Funeral Home in White Sulphur Springs is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Louise Replogle Rankin Galt of Martinsdale; and seven children, Mary Ann (Don) Hill of Thayne, Wyo., Bill (Jill) Galt of White Sulphur Springs, Jackie (Dan) Rice of Great Falls, Errol (Sharrie) Galt of Martinsdale; Ben (Ericka) Galt of White Sulphur Springs; Kathy Galt of Great Falls, and John (Kelly) Galt of Helena; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Patsy Gustafson of Conrad and Fay I. Taylor of Shelby.
He was preceded in death by an infant son, Harry Raymond Galt; his brother, William Wylie Galt; and two sisters, Gwen Rispaud and Sister Mary Eleanor (Edna Ann) Galt.
Jack was born in Geyser on April 18, 1923, the fifth child of Errol and Florence (Johnson) Galt. He attended schools in Geyser and Great Falls, graduating from the Ursuline Academy. He graduated from Montana State College, now MSU, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
His college years were interrupted when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. He was decorated for his service in the European Theater as a medic in the 101st Airborne Division where he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne and Holland.
He completed college after the war and began his career as a cattle buyer and ranch manager for Wertheimer Cattle Co. of South St. Paul, Minn. He worked for them until the late 1960s.
He married Theresa McBride in 1951. They later divorced. He married Louise Rankin in 1967. He and Louise ranched in Southcentral and Eastern Montana.
He was a stalwart in Montana's GOP politics, serving in the state House of Representatives in 1973 and 1974, then in the state Senate from 1975 to 1989. He was Senate president during the 1989 legislative session.
During his 18-year legislative career he played a major role in agriculture, water and land issues.
He served several terms as a Republican national committeeman for Montana and was on the executive board of Montana's GOP.
Jack's first love was cattle ranching. He enjoyed gardening, his family and traveling.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mountainview Medical Center, 16 W. Main in White Sulphur Springs.
Express condolences at www.legacy.com/HelenaIR/.
Published in the Helena Independent Record on 9/10/2007.
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