Charles was born September 25, 1931 in Broadus, MT; the son of Benjamin and Georgiana (Headley) Patten. Charles grew up on the family homestead in Graham, MT, along with five brothers and five sisters. Charles remained on the homestead while his brothers were in the military. Through hard work and perseverance, he was able to expand the homestead into a full-fledged ranch by purchasing the Nash and Kramlich homesteads as well as the Washington Ranch. Charles and Marla Barnhart were married in 1953. Charles married Maxine Robinson in 1977. He was a leader to bring new energy to Montana as he served on the Tongue River Electric Cooperative board for many years. He was a member of the local Rifle Club, lifetime member of East Fork Roping Club, and a charter member of Cochran Grazing Association.
He was one of the premier drovers for the cattle herd of the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive of 1989. This inspired him to become a founding father of the Powder River Wagon Trains & Cattle Drives. He helped organize Montana Ranch Tours, and participated in every drive that was held in Powder River County until he entered the Powder River Manor.
Charles is survived by his wife Maxine of Broadus; two brothers, Whitney and Irvine; two sons: Ward (Darcia) of Broadus and Clayton (Tana) of Broadus; three daughters: Lawana of Bozeman, Marla Bea (Jerry) of Broadus and Kendra (Dan) of Broadus; step children: LeAnn (Steve) Rhodes of Broadus, John (Connie) Robinson of Broadus, Mike (Dixie) Stark of Darby, Sherlee (Richard) Santorno of Ronan and Dan (Cheryl) Stark of Thompson Falls; 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Monday, January 2, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Broadus. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Powder River Congregational Church in Broadus. Burial will follow in the Valley View Cemetery. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Henry Malley Memorial Library or the charity of oneÂ´s choice. Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home have been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.