Jesse Duane Rehard, “Duane”, passed away at Community Medical Center, Missoula, on August 23, 2022, after a brief illness. He was born in Billings on September 5, 1936, the first of three sons of Jesse Emmett and Helen Ruth Rehard. He grew up in Billings. He started college at Eastern Montana College in Billings then attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. He was drafted into the army before he finished college and was sent to Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, where he met the love of his life, Yvonne Flake. They married on September 13, 1961, in Waco, Texas and Duane, Yvonne and her three little girls, Karen, Connie and Cheryl returned to Montana. He obtained his BS in mechanical engineering in 1963 from MSU in Bozeman. Duane and Yvonne had three more daughters in the first few years of their marriage, Lisa, Terri, and Melinda.
Duane drove truck to support his growing family while attending college and until he obtained his degree and engineering license. His first job after graduation was at the Naval Shipyards in San Francisco. Later, he worked in mining, mostly in Butte and in Gillette and Rawlins, Wyoming. He was also an industrial electrician in the oil fields near Gillette for several years. He retired in 2001 and he and Yvonne moved to the Yellow Bay area of Flathead Lake. He loved the Yellow Bay community and was an active member of the Yellow Bay Community Club for many years. Duane loved trucks and motors and anything mechanical. He could tell you about every truck he ever drove in excruciating detail. He joyfully drove the Bigfork Fire Department’s antique fire truck in the Bigfork Fourth of July Parade for several years.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Emmett and Ruth, and his brother Bruce. He is survived by his wife of nearly 61 years Yvonne, all 6 daughters, Karen Gonzales of Polson, Connie Jonas (Ed) of Walhalla, ND, Cheryl Agan (Don) of Kalispell, Lisa Rehard (Mark Hubbard) of Polson, Terri Matson (Nathan) of Bellingham, WA, and Melinda Hartman (Wayne) of Lakeside, many grandchildren, many great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. He is also survived by his brother Wallace, sisters-in-law Ollie Mae Loggins (Bill) and Salina Miller and many nieces and nephews. He loved his family dearly and is loved by them in return and he will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.