Chuck White’s wonderful life ended on Aug. 8, 2020, in Kalispell, Mont. He was born Charles Cole White, the only child of Constance and Cecil White, in Flagstaff, Ariz., on May 1, 1932. Cece and Connie owned a ranch in Sedona during Chuck’s early childhood, then later moved the Bar-U-Bar Ranch to remote Skull Valley, Ariz. With no consistent public school near the ranch, much of Chuck’s early education came from his mother Connie. Chuck began his life as a cowboy and stockman under the guidance of his dad. He also gained a slightly different education hanging around the young cowhands in the bunkhouse. Connie and Cece made the choice to have him board in town with family friends through 8th grade to have some exposure to other kids his age.
The Bar-U-Bar moved to Miles City, Mont., when Chuck was 14. He thrived in high school as a Custer County Cowboy, played four years of varsity football, held leadership roles in FFA through graduation in 1950, and made friendships that lasted a lifetime. Shortly after graduation, the Whites purchased a ranch in Musselshell, Mont. While Chuck was making plans to attend Montana State University, Cece survived a heart attack, but Chuck had to step into his dad’s shoes to move the whole ranch operation to the new Bar-U-Bar location. College was no longer an option, and Chuck’s new role was as a full partner in the running of the ranch.
In his early 20s, Chuck’s main focus was on the ranch, but he also made time to rope in local rodeos with his new Musselshell friends. His beautiful gray quarter horse Bucky was one of many great horse relationships in his life. Not all his great partnerships were with horses. He also found time to fall in love with Marian Kozeliski who had recently graduated from Roundup High School. Marian and Chuck were married in Roundup in 1954. It was the beginning of what their children and grandchildren believe to be one of the great love affairs of all time. As their family grew, Chuck and Marian took over the ownership of the Bar-U-Bar. The Musselshell years were a time of hard work and incredible friendships. The neighboring ranches were owned by other young couples who were also raising kids and calves. Those families formed bonds that continue today.
The last major move of the Bar-U-Bar was to Pleasant Valley, a mountain ranch 45 miles west of Kalispell. This was a huge leap for Chuck and Marian, leaving friends and family to cross the divide to Western Montana. It was a dream ranch for Chuck but too remote for access to school once the kids finished 8th grade. The Whites moved the ranch for the last time to the Stillwater River near Kalispell where they became part of another wonderful community of West Valley friends. Full-time ranching gave way to other career chapters. Chuck and Marian were co-owners of Kalispell Feed and Grain, and Chuck later started a business as a financial advisor. Our family prospered and always had the good fortune to live and work in the country as ranch kids.
After Marian’s death in 2011, Chuck took on the responsibilities of head parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. He and Marian owned a second home in the SunBird community in Chandler, Ariz., and he continued to spend some very lonely winters there. On New Year’s Eve in SunBird in 2014, Chuck met a lovely lady, Marie Dosco, and they danced the night away. Dad felt his life had been blessed by a second true love, and he and Marie were together until his death. Nana Marie will always be part of our family and our favorite Canadian!
Chuck set an example for all of us through a lifetime of community service in Rotary, on school boards, church boards, and as one of the founding patrons of Samaritan House in Kalispell. He was a devoted member of Northridge Lutheran Church, and the power of his faith is an inspiration to us all.
Chuck is survived by his four children: Lindy (Jerry) Anderson, sons Adam (Melissa) Anderson and Daniel (Lacey) Anderson; Barb (Steve) Graham; sons Cooper (Brittany) Graham and Spencer (Jenni) Cruz; Ken (Gwen) White, daughters Katie (Bobby) Pfennigs and Mandy (Ryan) Pokorny; and Bob (Laura) White and their daughter Victoria. His great-grandchildren are Hayden, Sidney, Olivia, Jory, Riot, Vincent, Sebastian, Lea, Beau, Decker, and Charlie Jane. Chuck White left us all a legacy of positive attitude, hard work, fun times, and boundless love. We are forever grateful.
In light of the pandemic, we regret that there will not be a large gathering. A private family memorial will be scheduled at a later date. Memorials may be sent to Samaritan House at 124 9th Avenue W, Kalispell, MT, or Northridge Lutheran Church at 323 Northridge Drive, Kalispell, MT. @