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April 28, 1929-Jan. 19, 2019

Bill Riddle Hursh left this life peacefully on Jan. 19, 2019 at the Big Sky Senior Living Facility in Butte, Montana.

Bill was born on April 28, 1929 in Anaconda, Montana, the sixth son of Lynn Lewis Hursh and Rebecca Agnes Riddle Hursh and lived most of his life in the Anaconda area. He started school at Beaverdam School in Opportunity and graduated from Anaconda High School in 1947. Their home was located at the village of Mill Creek where they built a lovely home and there was lots of space for boys to run and play and hike and swim and he had a happy childhood with his brothers and little sister.

After high school he moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he attended Montana State University and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1952. In the summers he would return home and work at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company smelter to earn the money for the next school year.  Right out of college he was hired to go to North Dakota and help build a power line for a new dam that was being built. The Korean War was going on at that time and at the end of the summer he was drafted into the Army serving from 1952 till 1954 as a communication specialist on the hilltops of the Korean War Zone. He went back home after the war and went to work as an electrician at the smelter. He worked there from 1954 to 1987 working his way up to head of the electrical department of the smelter. He was in charge of much of the dismantling of the smelter when it closed down. He was the last to leave and he liked to joke that he was the one who “turned out the lights” on what had been such a big part of so many lives in Anaconda. 

Bill had many friends and was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. He was a wonderful uncle to his nieces and nephews and they have precious memories of the fun they had with him. He loved the outdoors and made picnics and hikes and excursions fun for everyone who participated. He always went all out to make Christmas a special time for the kids in the family who lived nearby. After he retired, he started growing a large garden and loved it. He gave vegetables to everyone he knew. He also traveled a lot and visited many places in the world. He had a boat which he really enjoyed and he loved to fish. 

He built a house in town for himself and our Mom after the Mill Creek community was evacuated and it served as a social center for so many get-togethers, parties, and reunions for the family and his many friends. On his 80th birthday they had a big party at his house, followed by an even bigger party at Georgetown Lake at the home of his good friends Bill and Judy Fink to which the whole family could come. It was wonderful! At Christmas time that year he fell and broke his hip and spent the next 2 ½ years convalescing in rehab centers and hospitals but he wanted to go home and he did.  After 6 months of challenging days the doctor said he could no longer live alone so he sold the house. He moved into the Big Sky Senior Living Facility in Butte, Montana and spent the next 7 years there. They were so kind to him and he really enjoyed living there. He is survived by three brothers: Wayne (Fran) of Waseca, Minnesota, Robert of Choteau, Montana, and Kenneth of Wise River, Montana, and one sister Lynne Corbett of Gooding, Idaho, and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers Frank, Dale, and Russell and one sister Ernestine.

Because we celebrated his 80th birthday at his home and at Georgetown Lake, in lieu of a funeral service now, we are planning to have a graveside service in April on the weekend of his 90th birthday to say our “goodbyes.” We will all miss him now that he is gone.

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