Perry James Rhyneer passed away June 21, 2015, due to complications of cancer, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Perry (P.J.) was born in Billings, Mont., to E.J. and Verna (Bassett) Rhyneer on Jan. 10, 1948. He grew up and attended grammar and high school in Absarokee, Mont. P.J. attended Montana State University and graduated from Colorado State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1972.
In August of 1967 he married his high school sweetheart, Linda Dinsdale. Their son Dean was born in Bozeman while Perry was attending MSU.
After graduating from vet school, Perry worked in San Fernando Valley, Calif., and Coachella Valley, Calif., until 1974 when he moved his family to Townsend, Mont., and started Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic.
He also worked on the horse racing circuit in western Montana for 10 years. In 1989 he and Linda moved to Big Bear, Calif., and bought Bear Valley Animal Hospital. In 1992, P.J. partnered with another veterinarian and opened Animal Medical Center in Big Bear.
In 1995 they sold the practice to a corporation and moved to Coachella Valley, Calif., where he worked for VetSmart, Desert Animal Hospital, Valley Animal Hospital and VCA All Creatures Animal Hospital until 2013. In July of 2013 he was forced to retire from the veterinary field because of a spinal injury.
While in Coachella Valley, he and Linda started a western boutique mobile vendor business doing shows all over the western states. They also started a store, Country Club Cowgirl in Palm Desert, California which they ran for six years. After his retirement, they moved to Arizona in December of 2013 and in August of 2014 started Western Territory Company, a western boutique store in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Perry was very artistic. He designed and made jewelry, as well as leather tooling and made beautiful belts, purses and bracelets from leather. He and Linda resided in Cave Creek, Ariz., at the time of his death.
Perry was loved by everyone that knew him and respected for his honesty and easy going spirit. He will be fondly remembered by everyone his life touched.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Linda; son Dean and fiancé Natalie Melvin; grandson Zane Rhyneer of Missoula, Mont.; great granddaughter Annika Strand of Minnesota; nephew (whom he raised for 10 years) Shawn Dinsdale and Alane; great nieces Taylore Dinsdale and Alyssa Oakes; and great, great nieces Willa and Anniston Oakes, all of Townsend, Mont.; Very special friends, John and Jan Walsh, and Norm and Sally Bruce, all of Townsend, Mont.
A celebration of Perry’s life will be held in Townsend on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at the Trailhead Church, located north of Townsend on the west shore of Canyon Ferry Lake. Services at the church will commence at 11:30 a.m. with a luncheon gathering at the FishTale Tavern in Townsend to take place afterwards. Perry was cremated and Linda is keeping his ashes with her, so there will be no graveside services at this time.