Benny Roger Minow “Ben”, age 75, passed away in the early morning hours of July 21, 2020, after a short, but courageous battle with cancer. Ben’s wishes were to return home from Mayo, to the ranch, his home of 75 years. He was surrounded by his loving wife and children at the time of his passing. Ben had a passion for every facet of the ranch, but above all, he loved his family the very most.
Ben was born December 17, 1944 to Sam and Anne (Nenow) Minow in Miles City, Montana. Ben was born the second of four children. His childhood was spent working alongside his parents and siblings on the ranch in which his grandparents had homesteaded in 1913, after making the journey from Bulgaria. Early school years were attended at the Cross S country school, with high school continuing at PRCDHS in Broadus, Montana, where he held various positions for both his class and student council. 4-H participation and being a member of Rise and Shine club, was a way of social life and learning for Ben and his sisters. He was an active member of the FFA chapter for all four years and held the position of state Vice President. Both 4-H and FFA remained very near and dear to him, as he continued to mentor young people in both organizations throughout the years. After completing high school, he began college at Montana State University and graduated with degrees in Economics and Ag Business in 1966. While obtaining his degree, he was a member of the Alpha Gamma RHO Fraternity, Alpha Zeta and was head resident in the dorms. During his college years, he and Mary Lou Malone were married and their first daughter, Shelley, was born in 1966. While interviewing for jobs after college, he decided on a position with Caterpillar, but during interim, his parents asked that he come back to the ranch to help for the summer. The decision was made to stay at the ranch long term and eventually take it over. Years later, he always joked he was still at the ranch “helping out”. Triplet girls, Tammy, Teresa and Tracy, arrived in 1969, Stephanie was born in 1974 and finally a boy, Greg, in 1977. Ben and Mary Lou divorced in 1980. On August 27, 1983, Ben and Brenda (Potter) Giacometto were married. With this union, they blended their nine children into one family and in 1984, welcomed a daughter, Krista. Ben and Brenda were married just short of 37 years, through many ups and a few downs. Side by side, they worked hard to improve the ranch, trying to stay abreast of ag technology and advancements. In later years, they enjoyed traveling and spending time in Arizona with friends.
Diversity and a passion to serve his community was very apparent throughout Ben’s lifetime. He was strong in his faith and was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Broadus, where he was a member of the church council. He served in many different capacities, including the SCS, ASCS, School, Fair and FHA boards. Being a State Deputy Brand Inspector for 45 years, was a position he was very proud of. Brand inspecting led to the purchase of a portable scale, which he used for numerous ranchers. From there, he began his venture into trucking cattle and grain. In 1973, Ben earned his pilots license in a PA18A Cub. He loved flying and it gave him great joy to leave the ground to check on cattle, water tanks, pipelines, bulls, etc. or to fly over the neighbors house to give a wing wave. He didn’t know a stranger, loved good conversation and will be deeply missed. He was also proud of his Bulgarian heritage and ethnic dishes.
Ben is survived by his wife Brenda, children, Shelley (Tracey) Zastoupil, Tammy (Mark) Gnerer, Teresa (Dennis) Dorvall, Tracy (Gilbert) Speelman, Stephanie (Jestin) Nedens, Greg (Alicia) Minow, Krista (Josh) Graff, Tom (Donna) Giacometto, Roxanna Killens (Ira), Tammy (Todd) Rismon, 24 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Sisters MaryAnn Stabio, Pat (Neal) Sanburn, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Sam and Anne, brother John, brother-in-law Vic Stabio, granddaughter Kelsey and numerous family members.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at the family ranch, 18 Minow Rd., Olive, MT. These services are public and the family encourages anyone who would like to attend. Interment will follow in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Memorials in Ben’s honor may be made to the Broadus Volunteer Fire Department or Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Broadus. An FFA scholarship will be established in Ben’s honor at a later date.
18 Minow Road
Olive, MT 59343
Estimated time from Miles City to location is approximately 1.5 hours.
Heading south from Miles city on Highway 59, turn east on gravel road at Coalwood between mile marker 55 and 56 on Coalwood Road (GPS directions may label it Hay Creek Road still). Travel east for 7.7 miles until coming to a T, head north (left) for 2.9 miles down Mizpah Road. The Mizpah road will turn to the East and changes to Cross S Road, remain on this road for 3.6 miles until you come to another curve that heads south , passing by an old white school house. 1 mile after turning south on curve, there will be a black mailbox with a wagon wheel and Minow Ranch sign, turn East (left) and follow driveway into location 1.5 miles.
Estimated time from Broadus to location is approximately 50 Minutes- 1 hour.
From 4-way stop in Broadus, head East on Holt Street, it will curve and head North and change to Powderville West Road, going past cemetery. Continue on Powderville West Road for approximately 13 miles until T. Remain on Powderville West road curving towards the East (right). Travel 2 miles to Y in road where white signs with community member names are posted. Turn again to the North (left) onto Cross S Road. Continue on the Cross S Road for 8.9 miles until you come to black mail box on a Wagon wheel with Minow Ranch sign. Turn East onto driveway, go 1.5 miles to destination.