- About Us
Richard "Dick" Allen StrongMarch 7, 1929 ~ February 16, 2017 (age 87)
HAMILTON - Dad came into this world on March 7, 1929 ready to use his time to the fullest and he passed out of this world, just under 88 years later, on February 16, 2017 having done just that.
Dad was born to Clarence and Marie (Tonseth) Strong in Coeur d' Alene, ID. Clarence was an early pioneer in the U. S. Forest Service, so their lives revolved around the mountains and waters of Idaho and Montana. They bounced back and forth between Coeur d' Alene and Missoula while Dad and sister, Merilyn, grew up. He spent his younger days fishing, skiing and camping…the beginnings of a long life of tromping the mountains and wading the streams. Dad graduated high school in Coeur d' Alene and went on to earn a forestry degree from University of Montana in Missoula. He worked in the timber industry while in high school and then as a smoke jumper out of Missoula during college. He had many stories about smoke jumping and mom, Sandra, always teased him that it took and especially low IQ to be willing jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
After graduation Dad met and married Sandra Babcock. She was a city girl from Spokane, WA and he whisked her off to the mountains. His first posting with the US Forest Service was at the Fernan Ranger Station just out of Coeur d' Alene, ID where the family grew by two with the addition of daughters, Stephanie and Leslie. His next posting was to Spotted Bear Ranger Station in NW Montana. This was his favorite posting and he often commented he should have stayed there for the remainder of his career. We were able to return to Spotted Bear with Dad just last year for a much anticipated visit. Several other moves to MT and ID preceded the final posting to Hamilton, MT and the Bitterroot National Forest. The family loved the Bitterroot and thrived here. The years were spent camping, fishing, hiking and skiing with family and many good friends. His love of the mountains, and gift of same to his family, are his legacy.
Dad was a kind, thoughtful and loving parent and husband, son and brother. We, Stephanie Smith-Latham (Tony), Leslie Moore, grandchildren Christopher Smith (Chey) and Emily Moore, sister Merilyn, brother-in-law Jack, and mother-in-law Dorothy Babcock will miss him greatly and are fortunate to have had him in our lives.
What he would want of all of us is that we treat each other with kindness and respect and that we care for and preserve our home, the earth, for the generations to come. He would also thank all of his wonderful friends for their years of friendship, laughter, adventures, care and support…you know who you are.
The family suggests memorials be made to the charity of your choice. Some suggestions include: Hamilton Public Library, Trout Unlimited, The MT Wilderness Association.
A gathering of family and friends for Richard will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 11:00 am at his home at 1302 Westwood Court in Hamilton.