Lloyd Jon Trottier, 79, known affectionately to his family and friends as "Chief," passed away of natural causes on Friday, July 16, 2004, at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.
Chief was born Oct. 20, 1924, in Val Marie, Sask., Canada, the oldest of 10 children born to John and Annie Trottier. His early years were spent on the family ranch, where he developed his lifelong love for horses and living the lifestyle of a working cowboy. He later expanded this passion with a long and successful career as a saddle bronc rider in rodeo competitions from Winnipeg to Calgary, Cheyenne to Pendleton; if they had a rodeo, he rode in it. After his competitive years ended, he often kept his hand in by serving as a rodeo judge.
Lloyd enlisted with the Regina Rifles Regiment of the Canadian Army during World War II and served with distinction in England, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. While in England he met and married Christina Weeds. They enjoyed a wonderful horseback wedding ceremony in London, England. They had two sons: Robert and Patrick, before moving their family to Malta, Mont. in 1955. Lloyd began work as a lineman for the railroad. They moved many times and finally came to Whitefish in 1957, where a third son, Richard, was born. Chief continued line work for many years until retirement.
He will be remembered for many aspects of his life; his devotion to his grandchildren, a notorious sense of humor, impeccable dress, and his unselfish generosity and willingness to help others. He was extremely proud of his time serving on the VFW Honor Guard and his terms as a member of the Tribal Council in the Little Shell Chippewa tribes fight for federal recognition.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Annie Trottier, brother, Buzz Trottier, sister Laura DeMontigney and her husband, Emil, and sister, Irene Demerais.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Christina Trottier in Whitefish; three sons, Robert and Patrick Trottier, both in Whitefish, and Richard in Kalispell; his grandchildren, Robert's children Dale and Michael in Welpinit, Wash., Jacqueline in Red Pheasant, Sask.; Christina, Cody and Sara in Box Elder, Mont.; Patrick's children, Annie and Tanner in Columbia Falls; and Richard's children, twins Kenny and Kyle in Kalispell; a brother Jerry in Glenrock, Wyo.; five sisters: Joanie Curly in Everett, Wash., DeeDee Wirtzberger in Great Falls, Dolly Bellefieulle in Calgary, Alberta, Shirley Eklund in Malta, and Ruth Grunrud in Yorkton, Sask.; and by many nieces and nephews.
Lloyd will continue to be loved and missed by those who knew him. When the next Heavenly Rodeo rolls around, don't be surprised to hear a voice saying "Ladies and Gentlemen. Let's give a warm welcome to a local boy - coming out of chute #1…"
Keep your toes turned out, Cowboy".
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday (today) at the Austin Funeral Home in Whitefish with Rev. David V. Kauffman, officiating. Military honors will be provided by the United Veterans of the Flathead Valley.
A reception will follow at 4 p.m. at the Whitefish VFW Club.