Monte Lerum

Monte Lerum, 75, of Galata, Mont., passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Glacier Care Center in Cut Bank on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 after his long fight with dementia. 

Visitation will be Thursday, Oct. 24, from 5-7 p.m. at Whitted Funeral Chapel in Shelby. Funeral services will be Friday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. at Devon Lutheran Church. 

A luncheon will immediately follow at the Galata Community Hall in Galata with interment at the Grandview Cemetery approximately 20 miles north of Galata near his family’s ranch. Memorials can be made to the James Halverson Memorial Foundation (Galata, MT) or Montana Alzheimer’s (3010 11th Ave N, Billings, MT  59101). 

Monte Dean Lerum was born in Minot, ND on Dec. 18, 1943 to Clifford and Doris (Rudd) Lerum. He was the third of their seven children. Monte’s family lived in many places around northern Montana including Galata, Ethridge, Augusta, Valier and Chester. Monte graduated from Chester High School in May of 1962.

After graduation, Monte moved to Raynesford, Mont. and worked at a gas station until September, 1962 when he joined the Army. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. for three years. After being honorably discharged, Monte moved back to Montana and took some drafting classes at Northern Montana College in Havre. 

While attending college Monte met the love of his life, Sharon Halverson. They were married on March 19, 1966 at the Devon Lutheran Church in Devon. They made their home on Sharon’s family ranch north of Galata where they raised their children; Bruce, Dean and David, and ranched for fifty-three years. 

Monte enjoyed looking at the crops he planted, calving season, and had a knack for rebuilding equipment. Monte retired from ranching just last spring.

Lerum was an avid trap shooter who traveled to competitions across the state. He really enjoyed golfing and was a member of the Marias Valley Golf Course. He could be often found practicing his golf swing in his back yard. 

Monte also enjoyed watching his kids and grandkids playing sports and looked forward to eating the local concession food at the games.

Monte was a member of the Galata Lutheran Parish, the Galata American Legion, the Shelby Elks Lodge, the Gopher Broker Investment Club, and a founding member of the James Halverson Memorial Foundation which has been a loyal supporter to many local charities. Monte served as a school board member to the Greenhill School, the Galata Elementary School and on church councils. 

Monte is survived by his wife, Sharon; sister, Vivian House; brother, Wes Lerum; sons, Dean (Carrie) Lerum and David Lerum; grandchildren, Caitlin, Lane and Nathan Lerum; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Monte is preceded in death by father, Clifford; mother, Doris; brothers, Gordon Lerum and Bruce Lerum; and sisters, Betty Heimbigner and Diane Lerum.

Condolences can be made to Monte’s memorial page at