Celebrating the life of Dan "Hi" McCaffree
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Hi McCaffree passed from this chapter into his next on February 3rd, 2020.
Hi was born on November 9th 1923 at Star Mine east of Musselshell, Montana to Roy and Verda McCaffree. His early life was spent roaming the hills around the mine camp and swimming with his friends in the Musselshell River. He and his family moved to the small town of Musselshell in spring of 1936 when he was thirteen where he attended the local school.
In 1942, Hi left school to help on the family ranch while his brothers headed for World War 2. He was a true cowboy through and through and his stories were epic. Stories about breaking horses snubbed to his dad’s horse and getting his pants wet to “stick” better to the saddle. He was handy with a horse, cattle and a branding iron and in sheep camp he was revered for his raisin pies. He took great pride in stepping up when others were stepping out.
On August 4, 1943 he married the Dorothy Irene Miller in Bozeman. The two shared what can only be described as an authentic Montana love affair that spanned 74 years. Their lives together started in Musselshell with stops in Ellensburg WA, Lewiston, Libby, and Columbia Falls. He was a rancher, mechanic and successful in anything he put his shoulder into. Along the way he never met a stranger and friends old and new could count on him to listen or give sage advice.
Hi and Dorothy’s adventuresome spirit took them up the Alcan to Alaska with sister Doris and husband Bill. Finding the way to the banks of the Kenai and catching their limit of Reds day after day was a fond memory as was their retirement years in Arizona. Hi was the golf course marshal on a local course and was known for being a tough enforcer of rules.
Hi was strong as a bear and was blessed with mechanical and artistic abilities that belied his formal education. He was comfortable with a wrench or welder and found enjoyment in making Christmas wreaths, working with leather, gardening and nurturing his family. He was an exceptional athlete who found success in rodeo, fly fishing, bowling, water skiing and golf. Hi was also a worthy opponent with cards and took great enjoyment in roundly thrashing his opponents in any number of games.
From the start to the end Hi was a devout Christian who contributed countless hours to the church and those who needed a little extra help.
Hi is preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, his parents, and four siblings. He is survived by his three children Dan (Carol) McCaffree of Roundup, Marcia Balich of Plains, Paula (Brian) Claar of Wellton, Arizona and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
To plant a tree in memory of Dan "Hi" McCaffree, visit the Tribute Store.
10 4th Avenue West
Musselshell, MT 59059
175 South Musselshell Road
Musselshell, MT 59059