Nov. 5, 1947 — Nov. 23, 2018
Thursday, December 6, 2018
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John Stephen Simonich passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Nov. 23, 2018, with his family by his side.

John was born in Butte on Nov. 5, 1947, to Joseph and Ann Stajcar Simonich. John was the youngest of three children.

He attended St. Ann’s School, graduated from Christian Brother’s (Boys Central) and Eastern Montana College in Billings, Mont., where he earned his teaching degree and also played college football.  John loved sports and the outdoors.  He participated in track, baseball, football, archery, fishing and was an avid hunter.

After college, he joined the Teachers Corp. and was assigned to Hardin on the Crow Agency where he met Ivan Small and a lasting friendship was made.

John worked as a right-of-way agent for Mountain Bell. After a few years, the call of the wild won John over and he became a hunting guide in the Big Hole and Gardiner areas. John bought a paint contract business 25 years ago that kept him busy up to the last week of his departure.

John’s greatest joys were his two girls Cortney Gaved and Mandy Buckingham. He always encouraged their dreams and their love for rodeo, sports and school.  He attended all events and performances.  Mandy became his hunting partner and Cortney continued to excel in barrel racing.  He “popped buttons” when he spoke of them.  Almost two years ago, he became a proud grandfather (Papa) to little Walter John Gaved.

He was preceded in death by his dad Joe Simonich; grandparents Joe and Steffie Simonich and John and Mary Stajcar; uncle John Stajcar and aunt Louise Casagranda, and well as great aunts and uncles.

He is survived by his daughters Cortney (Travis) Gaved and their son Walter John in Nevada, and Mandy (Rob) Buckingham of Alaska; mother Ann Simonich, of Butte; brother Jim (Connie) Simonich of Big Timber;sSister Merry Jo (Rick) Smith of Kalispell; aunts Tina Stajcar, Millie Shott and uncle Earl Casagranda.

Your infectious smile, entertaining stories, zest for life, and sparkle in your eyes will be missed by many. You will be in our hearts and always remembered. The bears will live on for you.

Services will be held at St. Ann’s Church in Butte, Mont., on Dec. 15, 2018, at 11 a.m.

Lunch to follow at the Clarion Inn Copper King Convention Center 4655 Harrison Ave.

Memorials in his name can be sent to Butte Central or Butte Food Bank.