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Paul Mobley, age 53, of Olive, Montana passed away in his home with his wife and two sons by his side on April 14, 2022, ending a year-long battle with aggressive neck cancer.
Paul was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1969 in Miles City, Montana, bringing joy to his parents, John and Dee, and sister Julie. Later, sister Megan would be born, allowing Paul to gain the title of big brother as well. His early years were spent on the family ranch near Powderville, attending the Spring Creek country school until third grade. John and Dee bought another ranch in 1976 near Olive and moved there so the kids could attend school in Broadus. That required some adjustment for Paul, as he learned there were a few more rules to be followed (no more snowball fights at recess). Paul was smart and an avid reader throughout his life, but he never liked being in school all day.
Recognizing his uncanny ability to think like a deer, at the age of 17 Paul became the youngest person to pass the Montana outfitter exam. He ran a successful outfitter business and guided hunters for the next 25 years. Paul was also a zealous fisherman. He outsmarted trout in the Wyoming Big Horns, walleyes in Fort Peck Lake, and steelhead in Alaska and Idaho.
After graduating from Powder River County District High school in 1987, Paul worked summers in Yellowstone as a wrangler/stagecoach driver and winters in the Florida Everglades and Keys as a fishing guide. In 1990, he met Kristi Peters, who had come to work in Yellowstone as a wrangler, toting her English saddle, unaware that real cowboys even existed. Paul and Kristi both loved to explore the park, and that summer they went on many adventures together. On January 18, 1992 they were married and continued adventuring, living in Alaska for the summer and Costa Rica for the winter. Paul had friends all over the nation and it seemed any time they traveled, he would randomly run into someone he knew.
In the spring of 1995 Paul and Kristi came back to the ranch, and twin boys Luke and Logan were born later that year in October. Paul was a great dad. He loved his kids and told them so. When they were young he played games on the floor with them and took them out to feed cattle. As they got older, he took them fishing and hunting and shared with them his love of animals and the outdoors. He supported their activities and interests and encouraged them to be independent and true to themselves.
Paul believed in helping others. He never passed a person stranded on the road and would drop everything to rescue someone in need. He also believed in helping the community and served on the county Fair Board and the Library Board for many years. Most of all, Paul was a great friend. He loved to visit, valued others’ company, and always had a good story to tell.
Paul was kind and fun but also tough and strong. He worked through many injuries and illnesses, never complaining, just getting done what needed to be done. In the Spring of 2020, Paul received a life-saving liver transplant. He was very grateful for his second chance, and made the most of the extra time it gave him to do the things he loved: working on the ranch with Logan (with frequent visits from Luke), fishing, hunting and reminiscing with friends. In May 2021 he was diagnosed with neck cancer. He fought it with an amazing attitude, giving it everything he had, working through treatment and pain up until his last day. Just one day before his passing, he was in the dozer tractor, plowing roads and pulling vehicles out of snowdrifts.
Paul is survived by his wife Kristi of 30 years, his sons Logan (fiancée Morgan Weller) and Luke, his sisters Julie Bilbrey and Megan Mobley (Dave Bell), his mother Dee, his parents-in-law Kevin & Gay Peters, sister-in-law Liz Hynes (Sean), his uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces and all his friends that he loved so much.
Preceding him in death were his father, John Mobley, and brother-in-law, John Bilbrey.
At Paul’s request, he will be buried on the family ranch, out in his favorite hills next to his father in a pine coffin built by his sons.
Please join us for a Celebration of Life that will take place at the Mobley ranch on Saturday, April 30, 2022, with a short service to start at 3:00 PM. Food and drinks will follow. It was important to Paul for this to be an event for friends and family to get together and enjoy each others company, and he specifically requested a “party” in his memory rather than a funeral.
In lieu of flowers, Paul asked any donations be made to the Pam Ware Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Yellowstone Bank of Broadus, MT.