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Gary Lee Ranes

October 30, 1961 ~ July 10, 2018 (age 56)

Gary Lee Ranes, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.  He was born in Havre, Montana on October 30, 1961 to Molly Jo Schaefer Phares and John Eugene Ranes.

Gary was raised in Havre, Montana where he attended elementary through high school, graduating in 1980.  He loyally served the Havre Public School system as the Head Maintenance Specialist for 25 years, taking immense pride in his work.  Gary devoted special attention to the Blue Pony stadium, and the grounds were recognized by many as the best in Montana.  Gary always had an unusual sense of humor; many have fond memories of grabbing their door handle only to find a handful of Vaseline, the new mascot of Havre: the blue gophers, and the endless smiles that he brought those around him.  He touched the lives of employees, students, faculty, and every person he came in contact with. 

Gary’s true passion was the outdoors; hunting, fishing, camping, shed hunting, exploring, and bird hunting with his best friends and confidants, Gunnar and Oakley, his two loyal labs.  One of his favorite areas was Beaver Creek Park.  As he always said, “the hills are my pills!” 

In 1988, Gary married Betty Bailey and from that union, his twins, Chad Lee and Tiffany Marie were born in 1989.  They later divorced in 2004.  Through his dedicated service at the schools, Gary met the love of his life, Kristy Marie Fox in 2005.  From this, a blended family was created, and he gained two stepdaughters, Brianna and Kristawna.

Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents, Frank and Mary Ranes, his maternal grandparents, his father, John Eugene Ranes, his mother, Molly Jo Ranes Phares, his brother-in-law, Terry Otto, his nephew, AJ Ranes, and numerous aunts and uncles.  He was met at the gate by man’s best friend, Gunnar boy. 

Gary is survived by his true love, Kristy Marie Fox, his children, Chad (Katie & Braelyn) Ranes, Tiffany (Jason) Castillon, Brianna (Kris) Cote, and Kristawna (Travis) Martin.  His siblings, Tim (Lisa) Ranes, Kim Otto, Alan (Linda) Ranes, and Richard (Debra) Ranes; Lexy (Kyle & Zoey) Fisher, Amy Ranes, Jenny (Chan, Reese & Austin) Miller, Roger Otto, Charlie (Kyla) Otto, Chelsea Ranes, Tyler Ranes, Michaela Olivo, Jacob Ranes, numerous other nieces and nephews, and his “girlfriend,” Oakley Girl.  Gary couldn’t wait to be a Grandpa, and spent his last few years laughing with the joys of his life, as Olivia Scarlett Martin’s Bapa and Sophie Mae Castillon’s Papa. 

A celebration of life will be held at Fireman’s campground in Beaver Creek Park on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.  The family invites you to stay, camp, and share memories about the life of an amazing man.  Donations in Gary’s name may be made to Beaver Creek Park, 17863 Beaver Creek Road, Havre, MT  59501, Montana Back Country Hunters and Anglers, PO Box 9257, Missoula, MT  59807, or to Montana Mental Health Trust, PO Box 8666, Missoula, MT  59807.

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