Lawrence L. Gebhardt, 84, died Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at the Deer Lodge Medical Center from dermatomyositis, an auto-immune disease.
Larry was born Oct. 3, 1928, in Mildred, Mont., to Emmanuel and Rose (Gaub) Gebhardt. The family owned a ranch seven miles east of Mildred, near the first oil well in the Cabin Creek area. He attended a country school until sixth grade when his parents purchased a home in Terry to educate their family of three children.
Lawrence excelled in basketball. He was the Eastern Division Class C Free Throw champion in 1945 and was referred to as “Mr. Basketball” the remainder of his high school years. He attended Montana State University for two years. He was later called back to the family ranch because his father had been hurt. A year later he married Shirley Jean Furman. They had four children and were later divorced. He was employed for 15 years with Eddy Baking Co. in Great Falls. He married Mary Hoover Hickox in 1962. They moved to Deer Lodge in 1964 and purchased the McKee Greenhouse and Poultry Ranch. Lawrence began working for the Montana State Prison in 1964 and retired after 23 years.
He helped establish the Powell County Senior Center and served as vice president, president and served on the board of directors. He was a 49-year member of the Elks Lodge 1737 and served as exalted ruler in 1974 and as district deputy of Montana South in 1976. He was proud to be a part of the new Elks building. Lawrence is a member of the Christ Fellowship Church and served as elder and was currently on the board of directors.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Emil Gebhardt. Survivors include his wife, Mary; three daughters, Vicky (Mike) Trine, Rita McDonald and Shirley Gebhardt; son Lawrence Gebhardt; sister Dee (Sam) Braswell; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; sister-in-law Hollie Hoover; nieces, Becky White and Karol (Don) Charlson, nephews, Kelly Beausoleil and Chester Monson.
Ritualistic Elk services were held Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Christ Fellowship Church. Memorial services were held at the First Baptist Church followed by a luncheon at the Elks Hall. Memorials may be made to Christ Fellowship Church, Powell County Senior Citizens or Elks Lodge 1737.
Published October 17, 2012