Nature 14

William "Bill" Charles Molenda

February 6, 1942 ~ September 12, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Obituary Image


William Charles Molenda.

Bill was born February 6, 1942 to Charles and Helen (Abbey) Molenda in Hamilton. He crossed over the River Jordan on September 14, 2023 at the age of 81. At the tender age of two his father was killed in a logging accident and a few years later his mother met and married Pat Morris from Gibbonsville and the family grew up in the Darby area most of their lives. Bill attended Darby school all but one year in Butte. He graduated Darby High School in 1960 and Western Montana College in 1970. He pulled lumber off the green chain at Waleswood Sawmill to pay for college and then taught woodworking, drafting, math, carpentry and algebra at Darby High School for 17 years.

He met a beautiful young waitress, Verna Howerton at a dance at the Como Schoolhouse in the winter of 1969 and married her 3 months later accepting her three small children as his own. Together they built the family home just south of town where he enjoyed his woodworking and reloading shops. Bill was an avid hunter and fisherman as well as a local carpenter and handyman around town. His biggest joy was playing bluegrass music where he and Verna made hundreds of lifelong friends.

Our dad was on the mountaintop overlooking Trapper Peak and enjoying the day spent with one of his dearest friends when he was called home. As he would say, “What a way to go!”

He is survived by his four children; Earl Shewmake, Jeniece Howerton-Palmer, Marvin Shewmake and Grace Shewmake, his sisters; Judy McCrossin and Sharon Hoblitt, grandchildren; Eric Shewmake, Amy Englehardt, Ronald Vincent, Levi Vincent, and Samantha Fonken, great grandchildren; Alexandria, Nathan, Chance, Landen, Ariana, Ross, Colter, Ripp, Avi, Milo,Talon, Noland, and Luka. He was preceded in death by his wife Verna,his grandsons, Brandon, James, Todd and Chad.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 23rd from 3-6pm at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. A Celebration of his life will be on Sunday, September 24th at 2pm at the Darby Community Clubhouse with a potluck and music following. Contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Association or the Como Schoolhouse.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Charles Molenda, please visit our floral store.


September 23, 2023

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Daly Leach Memorial Chapel, Hamilton

Celebration of Life
September 24, 2023

2:00 PM
Darby Community Clubhouse
106 N. Main St.
Darby, MT 59829


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