William L. “Bill” Mendel, 85, of Winifred passed away Saturday evening, June 27, 2015, shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumor surrounded by his family in the Central Montana Hospice House. Bill was born November 19, 1929 in Lewistown, the son of Lewis E. and Florence J. (Fogarty) Mendel. He received his education in Winifred, graduating high school in 1947, then attended both MSU and U of M, majoring in Biology, Forestry and Science. Bill worked for the Fred Crow Garage in Winifred until enlisting in the United States Army in 1952 serving in Korea. Following his Honorable Discharge in November of 1954, he completed his education and graduated from the University of Montana then taught at Phillipsburg High School for 3 years. He held various other jobs, including fire tower watch, logging, construction and ski patrol. In the mid-60’s, he returned to Winifred to take over the Mendel family farm and became very involved in community activities, including Rifle Club, School Board and the American Legion. He also served on the Fergus Electric Cooperative Board.
Bill remained Winifred’s most eligible bachelor until meeting the love of his life, Lillian Carr/Selph. On June 12, 1968, he married Lillian in Coeur d’Alene, ID and became an instant father to her 6 children. A year later, they added a daughter of their own. They raised their children and ranched near Winifred. When Lillian passed away in 1987 Bill continued living in the family home he built near Winifred, spending his winters golfing in Hemet, CA. Bill could be found either golfing with his many friends at the Pine Meadows Golf Course or traveling with his brothers and sisters.
Bill is survived by four sons: Terry L. (Terri) Selph of Lewistown, MT, Steve T. (Tracy) Selph of Ridgecrest, CA, Tim R. Selph of Billings, MT and Tony R. (Lori) Selph of Lander, WY; three daughters: Artha Mae (Jim) Whealon of Anaconda, MT, Tammie R. (Garret) McFarland of Miles City, MT and Mary K. (Dale) Herman of Billings, MT; four brothers: Jack (Judy) of Spokane, WA, Tom of Kempner, TX, Martin of Helena, MT and Edward of Sacramento, CA; three sisters Florence Kettering and Mary Mendel of Lewistown and Kathy (Dwight) Phillips of Bozeman, MT. He enjoyed his 23 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian; granddaughter, Nicole; and special brother-in-law, Chuck Kettering. Bill will be dearly missed by his family, friends and numerous calcuttas he supported.
Friends may make memorials to the Winifred Endowment, Hospice of Central Montana or the charity of their choice and left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.stevensonandsons.com or www.cloydfuneralhome. com.