In the early hours of January 21 Willie passed peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. He passed in the comfort of his family at the Holy Rosary Extended Care Living in Miles City. He was 93 years old.
Willie was born in Forsyth, Montana on September 8, 1928 to John Edward and Frances Bott. He was their second son of three children.
Willie was raised on the farm/ranch east of Rosebud on Sweeney Creek. He attended school in Rosebud graduating in 1945. After graduation he worked various jobs including threshing crews, coal mining and farming.
In 1950 he enlisted in the United States Marines serving boot camp in San Diego. He then transferred to Camp Lejeune for further training before being sent to Okinawa Japan. He stated he never cared for rice after the boat ride to Japan, said that was all they fed them. We suspect there was more to the story, being that close to Korea. However, he never talked about it.
Upon leaving the Marines he returned home to the family farm and purchased property farther south on Sweeney Creek to begin his own operation. In 1957 he married the love of his life Dorothy Mae Swart. They resided on the ranch raising three boys the first arriving in 1959. They remained there until the late eighties when they sold the ranch and moved into Rosebud.
Willie worked at the Peavey elevator for 18 years. He then worked for various ranches in the area and retired after working for Rosebud County mowing and at the cemetery in Forsyth.
Willie couldn’t set idle though, he had to always be doing something. So, his retirement was mowing and weed eating as many lawns in Rosebud as he could. He also cared for the Rosebud cemetery He took great pride in his lawn care and loved doing it. It had to be done even in 100-degree weather. He could be seen all over Rosebud with his mower and weed eaters. He wore out two riding mowers and we are not sure on weed eaters.
He enjoyed league bowling in Forsyth for many years. He was a life member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles and the Oddfellow Lodge. He also enjoyed playing pinochle (taught his children how to play) until his hands wouldn’t allow him to hold the cards. He also loved to fish. Catfish were his favorite. He thought nothing of setting the max set lines allowed and driving 20 miles each way twice a day to check his catch.
He was a devoted husband and father. They came first. His biggest concern in passing was who is going to take care of Dorothy. He was a generous, kind and thoughtful man.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents Ed and Frances Bott, brother Eddy Bott, sister-in-law Beatrice Bott, and grandson Chase Bott.
Willie is survived by his wife (of 64 years) Dorothy, sister Lillie Smith Missoula, sons Robert of Havre, Jim (Geneal) of Miles City and Ardis (Cheri) of Hardin. Grandchildren Dan Bott, Alicia (Richard) Erye of Billings, Clay (Brianne) Great Falls, Cade (Hannah) Bott Miles City. Great grandchildren Riley, Rhys, Joel, Roman, Corbin and Nora.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth, MT. Interment with full military honors will follow in the Forsyth Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Holy Rosary Hospice Program, 2600 Wilson St., Miles City, MT 59301 or to Meals on Wheels, 1010 Main Street., Suite 12, Miles City, MT 59301.