Donovan “Bucky” Lee Hillebrand

On the evening of May 28, 2020 Donovan “Bucky” Lee Hillebrand, an avid fisherman, passed at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Mont., with family by his side. Memorial services were held Saturday, June 6, at the Shelby Fire Hall. Burial with military honors followed in the Mountain View Cemetery.

Bucky was born in Grand Forks, N.D., on March 28, 1950 to Floyd D. Hillebrand and Lorraine Knutson. 

After growing up in Shelby and graduating from Shelby High School in 1969, Bucky and childhood friend, Phil Cox, thought it would be a great idea to enlist in the United States Marine Corp. They completed boot camp and ITR together but then went separate ways. Bucky received motor transport schooling while stationed in Twentynine Palms, Calif. He spent time overseas in Okinawa where he was trained as a refueler for Huey, Cobra, and CH46 helicopters.

After several months, Bucky volunteered to move to Atsugi, Japan and cross-trained as a crew chief. He would then move to Danang, Vietnam and eventually to Treasure Island, Calif., where he was honorably discharged in May of 1972.

After arriving home in Shelby, Bucky worked for the City of Shelby for a year and a half. He decided to move to North Dakota and worked for Halifax Security and Pan Am.

In 1976, Bucky moved back to Shelby and worked for the post office. He went on to work for the Toole County Road Department for over five years until becoming an apprentice lineman for Marias River Electric.

Bucky would return to the Toole County Road Department after a few months. He operated many types of heavy equipment but mostly enjoyed operating the grader. Bucky’s favorite time of year was following winter months, he was able to build and maintain the gravel roads, especially the roads that led to his favorite fishing holes. 

Bucky was an assistant and scoutmaster for Troop #555 for 11 years and served as Lieutenant, Captain, and Chief for the South Toole County Volunteer Fire Department. He retired from the fire department after 20 years and two months of service and later retired from the Toole County Road Department in 2012.

Throughout the years, Bucky made friends wherever he went and was always wearing a smile. When not working, he enjoyed fishing, camping, or tinkering around the house and outside buildings. His love for fishing was very well known around the community but the exact location of his fishing holes were never found. Bucky’s true love was his family, especially his five grandchildren.

Survivors include his son, Jason (Kelly) Hillebrand; daughter, Jamie (Randy) Riehl; ex-wife and forever friend, Janice Hillebrand; five amazing grandkids, Isabella, Max, Matt, Kimmy, and Joey; sister, Noreen Anderson; brother, Dennis Hillebrand; and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Tom Anderson.

Condolences can be made to Bucky’s memorial page at