Nov. 18, 1936 — Aug. 19, 2019
Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Courtesy photo
            Bruce Yanzick

Absarokee — Bruce Yanzick, 82, passed away surrounded by his loving family Aug. 19, 2019, at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colo., due to complications from cancer. We were blessed to set his spirit free to join his son, Zane Floyd, who was taken from him in an automobile accident in 1980.

He was born in Spearfish, South Dakota, to Steve and Elora Yanzick on Nov. 18, 1936. He had seven brothers and one sister. The Yanzick family moved to Ronan, Mont., in 1950 to continue dairy farming. He joined the Navy in 1955, working on the HVAC systems of submarines.

While working on various ranches in eastern Montana, he met Theo Bickerdyke and they married on Aug. 19, 1961. To this union he was blessed with four children, Zane, Cody, Scot and Fay. Bruce and Theo began their lifelong dream of ranching west of Red Lodge in 1967 and finally settling west of Absarokee in 1979.

Bruce was a director of the Stillwater Valley Watershed Council, member of the Montana Stock Association, member/director Beartooth Stock Association, member/director of the Stillwater Wool Growers Association, and was a Stillwater ASCS (FSA) county committeeman.

In addition, he also had an incredible work ethic, passing the same trait on to his children by enlisting them to help with hauling small square bales by the truck load, custom fencing by pounding steel post the old-fashioned way, and picking rocks with the magic 10 finger rock pickers (our hands). Our family motto could have been “The family that moves hand line sprinkler line together stays together.”

Bruce enjoyed pitching horseshoes, going fishing if given a chance, and ranching. Bruce was a man of faith, ruled with an iron hand, and a gentle soul. We will miss you Dad!

He is preceded in death by his son Zane Floyd, parents Steve and Elora Yanzick and four brothers. He is survived by his wife Theo; sons Cody (Sherry) of Green Bay, Wisc.; Scot (Ronis) of Nye; daughter Fay (Nathan) Espeland of Roscoe; six grandchildren and seven (with a newbie on the way any day) great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, at 1 p.m. at the Anipro Event Center, four miles south of Absarokee on Highway 78. Anyone is welcome for a short remembrance following at the Rosebud Cemetery. A reception will then be held at the Anipro Event Center.

We’d like to thank all the doctors and staff who treated Bruce over the weeks at Swedish Medical Center, with a special thanks to Dr. Omar for his compassionate guidance during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to Stillwater Valley Watershed Council or Absarokee Community Foundation.