Justin Daniel Rehard, 42, of Colstrip MT, passed away peacefully after his heart gave out Tuesday, September 5th, 2023, at home with his champion (his mom) and best friend (his dad). Life was not easy for Justin. Medical challenges reared their ugly heads before he was one year old and pursued him his entire life. Despite the unending difficulties he faced, he exhibited bravery and was never one to complain.
Justin was born June 3, 1981. Joining a family with a mom, a dad, and a big sister, he made that family complete. Family was always important to Justin, his parents loved and cared for him. His sister, Brandi, was his fierce protector, and his granny, LaVerna carried him particularly close to her heart. Additionally, he was part of a cadre of cousins where life was never boring. When the greater family got together, whether in Luther, Red Lodge, or Billings, special memories were created. A trip (And trust me, it was a trip.) to Disney World in 1996 with his Auntie Cheryl, Uncle Alan, his sister, and four cousins convinced him more than ever that there was no place like home.
In 1998, Justin and his dad won a Montana state bowling tournament. For the second time in his life, he found himself in Florida, this time competing, along with his dad, at the national level. Together, they loved to fish, play horseshoes, watch football, and root for the Forty Niners and Grizzles. Justin was less successful, however, in convincing his dad to play all the new video games he had mastered.
Justin graduated from Colstrip High School in 2000. After graduation, he earned a welding and metal fabrication degree at the College of Technology (now City College) of MSU Billings. He spent some time living in Bremerton, Washington with his sister, Brandi and her husband, Steve. It was nice, but it wasn’t long before he followed his heart back to Montana. He moved to Billings, and for a time, worked for Sodexo, the food service provider at Billings Clinic. While working there, he always had a smile or joke for his co-workers and the patients he served. Unfortunately, it was during this time that Justin developed additional health issues. He was blessed to have a mom who dropped everything and moved to the big city to support him in his recovery. In 2018, having gotten more or less back on his feet, they returned to Colstrip where he lived out the final years of his life. Back home, he spent his time among other things, refurbishing old Tonka Trucks and being the best Papa, he could for his beloved cat, Sammie (AKA Mo-me).
Justin is survived by his mom, Terri, his dad, Dan, both of Colstrip Montana, his sister, Brandi (Steve) Cowan, their son and Justin’s only nephew, Johnny, of Jacksonville, Florida, and his niece, Lydia, of Washington State. Additionally, he is survived by his grandmother, Patsy Rehard of Luther. MT, his aunts, uncles, cousins, and multiple friends. He was preceded in death by his Grandpa, Ralph Rehard of Luther, and his maternal grandparents, Richard and Laverna Pilati of Red Lodge.
The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and army of specialists at Billings Clinic who cared for him his entire life. A celebration of Justin’s life is planned for October 7, 2023, at the Pilati Ranch in Red Lodge.