Thursday, May 12, 2022

Gene Arthur VanOosten, 73, of Reed Point, Mont., passed away due to a terminal illness at Stillwater Billings Clinic on May 2, 2022.

Gene was born in Pray, Mont., to Arthur and Shirley VanOosten. He grew up on the family ranch north of Reed Point. He attended school at Antelope Point, which was a small one room schoolhouse located north of Reed Point, through his 8th grade year and finished his schooling at Reed Point High School.

After high school, he went on to MSU Bozeman where he completed his bachelor of science in Agricultural Business.

Since then he has been running the Van Oosten Ranch along with his brother Bob. Gene spent 25 years on the Board of Directors for the local Cenex here in Columbus, for which he will be well remembered for the impact he made. Gene met his wife, Wendy Owens, in Cody, Wyo. They were married on Sept. 11, 1993. Gene and Wendy lived their lives out on the ranch Gene grew up on. They had two kids, Ashley and Cody. Wendy passed away in early 2016 due to cancer.

Gene and his son continued to live out on the ranch until Cody moved to finish his schooling. Gene spent his last few years running his cows up until the day he went to the hospital. He always had to have a herd of cows to keep himself busy, a few ducks, and chickens too. Gene was a man of a few words but had a heart of gold.

Gene leaves behind his daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Chance Conner. They have four children, Mae, Amy, Lucy and Jeremiah. Gene also leaves behind his son and soon to be daughter-in-law, Cody VanOosten and Cahill Stadel. He is survived by his brother, Robert, and his wife Charlotte VanOosten; and nieces and nephews as well.

Gene is preceded in death by his wife, Wendy, and his parents, Arthur and Shirley VanOosten.

A special thanks to various family friends and family members for the support and encouragement provided these last few weeks. Also a special thanks given to Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings and Stillwater Billings Clinic here in Columbus.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. at Columbus Evangelical Church, with reception to follow. The burial will be held on Friday, May 13, at 11 a.m. for family members only.