Longtime Bitterroot resident, Robert “Bob” Mendenhall, age 94, passed away Friday, May 12, 2023 in Hamilton. He was born at home in Stevensville on December 8, 1928, to Ernest C. Mendenhall and Ruby Long Mendenhall Miritiz.
Bob was raised in Darby, helping his father with the dairy operation and potato farm. He graduated from Darby High School in 1947. After working in California briefly, he returned to Darby and worked for Frank Jaquette’s Christmas tree business. This was when he met his future bride, Marian May Jaquette. On October 22, 1948, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a radio operator during the Korean War until his discharge in 1952. On June 6, 1954, Bob married his sweetheart, Marian Jaquette.
In 1955, Bob began a 28-year career, working for the Montana State Highway Department, where he served as the Section Head at Sula, and later in Hamilton, until his retirement in 1983.
Bob was an avid hunter and fisherman. He specialized in mountain lion hunting and big fish capture! He was an artist that excelled at lapidary, knife making and turning beautiful wooden bowls that now grace the homes of family and friends.
Bob served as a volunteer fireman in Sula and later volunteered at the Ravalli County Museum.
Bob is survived by his wife of 69 years, Marian Mendenhall and four children, Delia and husband Maher Gheith, Deann and husband Ben Lund, Debbie Hart, and Dwain Mendenhall. Bob enjoyed his six grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He is survived by his brother Dave Mendenhall and wife Lucille. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Ruby and brother Bill Mendenhall and sister Joan Hart.
A memorial service is planned for June 24th at 2:00 pm at the Faith Lutheran Church, 171 Lewis Lane, Hamilton. Reception to follow. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com
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