So on June 15, 2023, Richard (Dick) Hay, age XCIV, used his quoin key to lock up the last page and wrote “30 on the hook and the last page is locked up.”
Dick was born in Coburg, Montana, on July 29, 1928, to Andrew (Dan) and Edna (Rich) Hay. He grew up in Savoy, Montana, and attended grade school in Savory. He attended high school in Harlem, Montana. During his high school years he served an apprenticeship as a linotype operator and printer at the Harlem News. He joined the U.S. Army and served overseas in the Pacific Theater and in Japan.
Following his discharge, he worked for the U & I Sugar Company in Chinook, Mont., for a short time, then moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he worked for the Post-Register as a linotype operator. On October 9, 1948, he married Mary C. “Tab” Griffith in Idaho Falls. In 1949, they moved to Hailey, Idaho, where Dick worked for the Hailey Times until he was recalled for active service during the Korean Police Action in the U.S. Army in August 1950. During the time Dick was in the service Tab and their son, Rick, lived in Harlem to be near their relatives.
When he was released from active duty they moved to Rupert, Idaho, in 1953, where Dick worked for the Minidoka County News. In 1954 they moved back to Hailey, Idaho, for the next five years where he was a linotype operator and outdoor sports editor. In October 1959 they moved to Miles City, Montana when Dick accepted a job with the Miles City Star as foreman. HE worked as mechanical superintendent during the major change over from hot metal printing to the offset printing method. He then served as manager of the commercial printing department for four years. He and Steve Jessen purchased the Forsyth Independent on 1 Jan. 1972 and he was publisher of the Independent until it was sold in 1985. In August 1972 he and Robert Tom started H & T Quality Printing in Miles City. He later purchased Mr. Tom’s interest and Dick and his wife, Tab, operated the business until April 1991 when they sold the printing firm.
In 1976 he at Tab started the Rosebud County Press in Colstrip, Mont., and sold the newspaper in 1985. In the 1980’s they purchased some full-blood Tarentaise cattle under the name Tongue River Tarentaise with Art and Sophie Olson. He served as publisher of the two newspapers until they sold their interests in all the businesses except the Tongue River Tarentaise which they operated with Wade and Tammy Olson for several years. He worked part time at M & H Convenience Store in Miles City until August 2015. He also served noon lunches at Highland Park School, which he started doing in 1992. He continued to serve lunches until the fall of 2017 when health problems forced him to give up one of the best and most enjoyable jobs he ever done.
He was a Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader for 20 years in Miles City, Hailey and Rupert. Both of his sons earned their God and Country Scouting award and one was an Eagle scout and one a Life scout. He was also a Little League coach and umpire for several years. In Idaho he was a certified Hunter Safety Instructor and worked with young people to pass their hunter safety tests. He also helped form a youth rifle cub in Hailey. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and bowling and “playing cowboy” at times. He was a member of the state champion bowling team in 1977-78. He both sponsored and played on the H & T Quality Printing team that won the city champion and also several league championships. He also served several terms as president of the bowling league. Other organizations he belonged to included Kiwanis Club, International Typographical Union, Montana Press Association, American Tarentaise Association, and the Montana Tarentaise Association. He was a veteran of WWII and served in the Army during the Korean Police Action.
He holds U.S. Patent No. 6,715,389 B1, issued April 6, 2004 for a Condiment Packet opening Apparatus, which he name a Brobrijac in honor of his “honorary grandchildren, Brooke and Brittnee Olson, and also his grandson, Jacque Wetmore. This was issued by the United States Patent office.
He is survived by two sons: Rick and his wife Helayne of Ada, Mich.; and Rodney of Omaha, Neb.; six grandchildren: Jessica Wetmore of Billings, MT; Keith (Sonny) and Jacque Wetmore both of Billings; and Aleksandra, Ashley and David Sherman-Hay all of Mich.; six great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandsons. Also surviving are his “two goodest and bestus friends” and honorary granddaughters Brooke and Brittnee Olson of Miles City and their mother Kym (Scott) Crevier, and honorary great-granddaughter Danika Pyle. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Two special friends who he enjoyed making birthday presents for: Dannon and Traven Olson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Tab; one daughter Caroline; two brothers: Blaine and Bill; five sisters: Marybelle Lease, Jean Neely, Ethel Birdwell, Alice Miller and Gloria Miller.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Interment will take place in the Eastern Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery in Miles City. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Miles City Public Library or to the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.