Keith Edward Stevens entered his heavenly mansion on Jan. 18, 2021, at the age of 91, at Marias Care Center, Shelby, Mont. after living a full life.
Keith was born March 22, 1929, in Forsyth, Mont., to Edward and Frances Stevens. He graduated from Forsyth High School in 1947. On Nov. 17, 1948, he married his high school sweetheart, Dorrie Perry. After working in the oilfield and for the Bug Ranch on Otter Creek, Keith and Dorrie purchased the George Brock ranch on Home Creek, Ashland, Mont., in 1953. Here they made a home for their three children, K.P., Connie and Tracy, with K.P. taking over the ranch in the 1990’s.
While on Home Creek, they maintained a beautiful home and yard. They remodeled and enlarged the log homestead house featuring rockwork inside and out. The yard featured rock formations, a fishpond, fountain and many flowers. Geese would make their home there and fly back every year.
Flying airplanes was always a passion for Keith, learning to fly at the age of 20. He purchased his first plane in 1950, using it on the ranch. In the 1960’s, he flew for the local Soil Conservation District checking crops. In the 1970’s he hunted coyotes from the airplane, shooting over 300 coyotes one winter.
Keith and Dorrie purchased the “fixed base” portion of the Broadus Airport in 1975. They built hangars and a lounge for pilots and visitors. It was the “gathering spot” for many Powder River County residents. Fly-ins and instructional meetings were held at the airport. Keith became an instructor, teaching many locals to fly. For over 17 years Keith flew for the Fish and Game biologist, counting wildlife. He also sprayed crops for local grain farmers and flew customers around the state. Keith continued to fly until his health made it a challenge.
Keith was always creative and artistic. The 1980’s brought a new dimension to his artistic work, wood carving. Keith carved birds with realistic likeness. His carvings were featured at the Charles Russell Art Show in Great Falls and at the Calgary Stampede. He shared his talent with others, teaching workshops and giving demonstrations. His work is cherished by all that are lucky enough to own one. He always signed his work with Psalms 91:4.
Keith was a faith-filled man, sharing his love of the Lord with others. He was instrumental in starting the First Baptist Church in Broadus, Mont., and then the Hillside Alliance Church in Ashland, Mont. He would preach sermons, teach Sunday School and lead the singing worship. Young and old enjoyed his “chalk talks,” again sharing his artistic abilities the Lord gave him. He was proud in the fact his children followed his faithful lead.
In 1998, Keith and Dorrie retired to Shelby. Keith enjoyed his retired years fishing, reading historical books, working in the yard and carving. Keith entered the Marias Care Center in 2014. Dorrie, his faithful wife of 69 years, left his side in 2017.
Keith is survived by his son, K.P. (Suzanne) of Ashland; daughters, Connie (Dick) of Broadus and Tracy (Rick) of Shelby; seven grandchildren, Ehrin, Lindsay, Chad, Kelda, Keegan, Morgan and Hannon; six great-grandchildren, Ashley, Haley, Tate, D.J., Zoe and Olivia; two great-great-grandchildren, Braxton and Berkley. Keith has one brother living, Reid.
Preceding him in death is a brother, Ronald, and sister, Lola.
Keith and Dorrie’s ashes will be spread at later date at their desired location.
Condolences can be made to Keith’s memorial page at www.asperfh.com.