Donald J. Topp, 87, of Cut Bank, left us all too soon on March 1, 2020 at Benefis Peace Hospice in Great Falls.
A vigil will be held on Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. and funeral mass on Wednesday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Catholic Church.
Don was born Aug. 17, 1932 in Holland, Mich., to Gertrude (Dykman) and Donald Topp Sr. He was the oldest of five children.
He graduated from Holland High School in 1950. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. He later joined the National Guard and retired in 1995. He was proud of his military career and his service to his country.
On Oct. 13, 1956 he married Donna Souter. They had seven children. Dawn, Jodi, Scott and Paula were all born in Michigan. Nancy, Bart and Mark were born in Montana.
In the fall of 1964 Don went hunting in Montana where he met a guy from Cut Bank. He returned to Michigan and announced he was moving to Montana. In June 1965, the family packed up and moved to Cut Bank.
In Cut Bank Don worked as the airport manager, as a brick mason and in construction. He mostly retired from construction but continued to do odd jobs for favored clients.
He had a heart of gold, frequently taking soup or food to others, chauffeuring those unable to drive, and loaning/giving money to those who needed a little help.
Don was a Boy Scout leader for many years and was awarded the Silver Beaver, a council-level distinguished service award, from the Boy Scouts of America. He served as chairman of the Glacier County Medical Center’s Board of Trustees and received the 1999 Health Care Trustee of the Year award. He was also appointed to fill an expired term as Glacier County Commissioner.
Don was always ready to lend a helping hand, volunteering time and money to many worthy causes. Because of his devotion to this community, he was honored as Parkview Senior Center’s Citizen of the Year in 1996 and the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Elks. He cooked at racquetball tournaments for many years. As Miss B. Haven in the Missed Cut Bank fundraiser, he kept the audience entertained.
Until his health started to slow him down, he liked hunting, golfing, going to the cabin in Essex, playing pitch with the guys at the Pioneer, visiting family in Alaska, Washington and Oklahoma, riding his bike around town, and going to various businesses where he loved visiting with people and swapping stories.
He enjoyed playing cribbage with friends and family until the very end. He won his final game Saturday afternoon, beating Scott and Chris, taking bragging rights with him to heaven where we’re sure he’s already achieved a 29 hand.
Family was very important to dad. After the doctor gave him six months to live in January, he wanted to have a living wake. He got his wish after his Feb. 3 health crisis when family members rushed home to be at his side. He rallied and was sitting up playing cribbage by the time most of the family and friends arrived. At one point there were 35 plus people at Hospice, sharing stories and laughter, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
He is survived by his wife Donna; daughters Dawn, Jodi (Clint), Paula (Dave) and Nancy (Mark); sons Scott (Garnett), Bart (Darci) and Mark (Jennifer); brothers Ken and Larry (Linda); sister Judy; grandchildren Teri (Ethan), Alyssa (Justin), Tomas, Michael, Tony (Liz), Cameron, Amanda, Shelley (Greg), Chris, Kelsey (Bryan), Callie (Klay), Chaz (Maddie), Courtney (Andrew), Nick, McKenzi, Augustus, Penelope and Matilda; great-grandchildren Braden, Kiona, Dallas, Gradee, Bentlee, Jerzee, Garnett (Renton), Alvian, Ledger, Emmett, Russell, Grant, and Drew, great-great grandchildren Cadence, Kobie, Hazel, and Quinn; numerous nieces and nephews and dear family friend Marie Palmer.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, sister Jan, nephew Kenny, and sister-in-law Donna.
Memorials in Dad’s name can be made to Benefis Peace Hospice, c/o Benefis Foundation, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406.
Dad was definitely one in a million. We miss you old man.