Celebrating the life of Theodore Frank "Ted" Benes
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Obituary for Theodore Frank "Ted" Benes
Theodore Frank Benes passed away on January 8, 1015, at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Billings of complications of pneumonia. He had been a resident at Eagle Cliff Extended Care where he battled Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Ted was born on December 9, 1926, in Lewistown, MT, to Lambert and Lidmilla (Hruska) Benes. He attended school in Christina, leaving after eighth grade to help with the family farming, but eventually decided he could make money working in the oil fields. He was working for Ike Taylor Drilling near Roundup when he met Sally. They were married on October 26, 1955, and he acquired a ready-made family with Sally's two teenager. When Taylor Drilling was sold, Ted went to work for Great Northern Drilling where he advanced to the position of Drilling Superintendent---quite an accomplishment for a man with a limited education. He enjoyed the opportunity of attending conferences outside Montana and seeing the latest and greatest types of drilling equipment. He was, however, NOT fond of sitting behind a desk! So, in 1970, he and Sally made the decision to launch their own business as Digger Drilling and bought the necessary equipment for drilling water wells. He knew ranchers who were desperate for water for cattle and felt like he could help provide them with some "liquid gold" as he always called water. Working on old (especially wooden) windmills was always something he enjoyed doing. They relocated the business from Billings to the Bull Mountains in 1986. Ted was a member of the Montana Water Well Association and filled the position of president for a number of years. He and Sally had some good times traveling to state meetings as well as attending national conventions in various parts of the country. He sold the drilling operation in 1989 to his protege, Dennis Vidic, and always enjoyed visits with him about all the latest developments in drilling. He maintained the well service part of the business until retiring in 1998. Ted was an avid reader and especially enjoyed historical stories about the old west. He was a life member of the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum and served several terms on the Board of Directors, some as president. He always encouraged visitors to take time for a tour and was very proud of its continued growth. After several occasions of being snowed in at their place in the Bull Mountains they finally agreed to move to Roundup in 2003, but the country was where he always preferred to be. A fall in 2009 resulted in several weeks of rehab after hip surgery. He then decided that he and Sally needed to return to Billings and they had an apartment at Sweetwater for over two years. They relocated to Aspen Meadows in 2011, where Sally still resides. Family was very important to Ted and he was proud to have been raised with five brothers and five sisters. Reunions were greatly enjoyed and he appreciated the efforts of his nieces made to organize time and locations. He enjoyed playing cards and was always ready to challenge his nephewes or grandsons to a game of rummy, cribbage or poker. He won most of the games, but always returned the profits. Ted was welcomed into Heaven by his parents, brothers Paul, Leo, Sam, Albert and Tom; sisters Marie Aastrom and Alice Wolfe. He is survived by his wife, Sally; stepdaughter, Bev. (John) Spek of Corvallis, MT; stepson, Jim (Karen) Langsather of Billings; granddaughter, Barb (Jon) Long of Ft. Collins, CO; grandsons, Brad (Sharon) Langsather of Elliston, MT, and Jason (Amy) Spek of Hamilton, MT; great grandsons, Josh (Brooke) Long of Renton, WA, and Baxter Long of Ft. Collins, CO, and great-great granddaughter, Aspen Rose Long of Renton, WA, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at Wier Funeral Chapel, Roundup. Funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 16, 2015, at St. Benedict's Catholic Chruch, Roundup, with burial to follow at Roundup City Cemetery. Donations may be made to Alzheimers Association, 3010 11th Avenue North, Billings, MT, 59101, or to Musselshell Valley Historical Museum, 524 First Street West, Roundup, MT, 59072, or to a charity of the donor's choice. The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staff of St. Vincent's Healthcare, Rocky Mountain Hospice, Aspen Meadows, and Eagle Cliff for the compassionate care Ted recieved. A special thank you to Liz at Eagle Cliff. Rest in peace, Grampa Beans.