Oct. 29, 1937-Jan. 31, 2018
Julius “Jules” R. Waber, 80, of Deer Lodge, Montana, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at his home.
Born Oct. 29, 1937, in Great Falls, Montana, his family soon moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where he graduated from Cretin High School. Returning to Montana, Jules received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Montana College and a master’s degree from Washington State University. His marriage to Louise Crabtree resulted in five children. His teaching career spanned 24 years and took him to schools in Montana, Arizona, Australia, and in the remote highlands of Papua-New Guinea. If you recall, it was in Papua-New Guinea that Nelson Rockefeller’s son, Michael, disappeared but they didn’t mess with Dad. His legendary beard was considered the source of his great magic.
Following his return to the United States, Jules realized a lifelong dream to follow his grandfather in ranching, raising cattle and sheep in the south Deer Lodge Valley. Many a valley youth benefited from his generosity by having a calf or lamb to raise and show at the Tri-County Fair.
In 1994, Jules was appointed to the position of Powell County Superintendent of Schools. He was subsequently re-elected and held this position until his death. A welcome site at the rural schools, Jules was always involved with “his kids”. From the annual spelling bee to the inter-school track meet, he was interested in keeping certain rural traditions alive. Always an advocate of education, Jules served on the National Rural Education Association, for many years as an executive committee member. His efforts were recently recognized by his induction in the NREA Hall of Fame. In his spare time Jules enjoyed trapping, hunting, and in more recent years serving on numerous state-level advisory boards.
“Jolly” Jules as he was known to many, will be remembered for his love of fireworks and his unique style. Never conventional, there are many stories that have taken on mythical proportions, from eating a frog sandwich, transporting a sheep across state lines in a 1970 Toronado, to dressing up as a 19th century school marm to celebrate Powell County’s centennial, his wry sense of humor will be missed.
He is survived by his by sons, Julius “Monk”, Duane (Maria), Ken (Karissa) and Pat (Terri) Waber; seven grandchildren, Taylor, Zachary, Parker, Derrick, Madison, Weston, and Halen; brothers, Glen and Phil (Claudia); and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Charmagne and parents, Julius M. and Pearl (Nantelle) Waber
At Jules request no formal services will be held but a Celebration of Life pig roast will be held in his honor at a later time. In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be sent to the Powell County High School Foundation-Julius Waber Scholarship.