Harold McCaskie, who was a farmer, engineer, hunter, optical shop employee, and raconteur died on January 18, 2015 at Rosebud Health Care Center.
Born in 1930 to Robert and Gladys (Yearous) McCaskie, Harold lived on the family farm near Vananda, MT and in Vananda until high school. His high school years were spent in Miles City, returning to Vananda after graduation. Entering College at Montana State University (Bozeman) in 1947, Harold became a member of the Pi-Kappa-Alpha fraternity (The Beer Kaps) that same year and did not graduate until 1976. Of Course, Harold’s on-campus years were only two. It was in college that Harold found his love of Jazz music and it stayed throughout his life. After being released from the Montana State system, Harold found employment in Coos Bay, Oregon at a restaurant and later an optical shop where the apprenticeship lasted for 1 year. After this, Harold returned to the family farm where he educated his many nephews and nieces in the areas of farming, farm equipment repair, hunting, first aid, high speed driving, and automobile repair.
A self-taught engineer, Harold acknowledged that he could fix anything except parking lot tickets. Harold always had a discriminating palette and in his early years was a regular customer of the Howdy Saloon, switching to the Blue Spruce/Bloomin’ Onion/Fitzgerald’s Restaurant after his matriculation from the Rimrock Foundation’s college of Advanced Dehydration. Always a forward looking thinker, Harold pioneered no till farming thirty years before it became popular, missing the current USDA guidelines only with respect to the use of chemicals. Harold’s proficiency with words was demonstrated by his five consecutive first place finishes in the “Vananda All City Crossword Competition and Grasshopper Pitchfork Fondue” from 1999 to 2003.
In 1974 Harold became the longtime consort of Alyce Kerr, and they found happiness with each other until her death in 1992. Harold is preceded in death by a sister, Helen Wayman, and survived by a sister, Grace Mosdal of Billings, MT. Harold is also survived by a cousin, Don McCaskie of Lakeview, WA; a niece, Kathy Mosdal O’Brien of Billings, MT; nephews, David Mosdal of Broadview, MT, Andrew Mosdal of Newport, CT, Robert Wayman of Billings, MT; friends Lori Kerr Hughes of Everett, WA, Lee Kerr of Tyler, TX, Alyson Wortel of Eugene, OR and by about half of the town of Forsyth, MT.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made through a gift to a favorite charity or through service to those in need.
Services will be held at the Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth, MT at 11:00 am on May 9, 2015.