Gene Grist

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Gene Grist

On July 21st Gene Grist passed away doing what he loved, working on the Diamond Ring ranch, surrounded by his friends. He was 74 years old.

Eugene (Gene) was born on March 11, 1948 in Miles City, Montana to Lyle (Bud) and Marjorie (Margie) Grist. He was raised on the Grist ranch north of Sheep Mountain. In 1971 he met the loves of his life, Norma Reed and her daughter Dawn. On October 10, 1972, they were married and soon after Gene adopted his daughter Dawn Grist. In 1973 Brad Grist joined the family.

Gene discovered leather working around the age of 15 while in 4-H. He became well known for his craftsmanship in the local area. His skills ranged from making and repairing saddles to tooling simple belts, clocks, purses and almost any leather project, including wall hangings, all the to way up to fancy Chinks for the rodeo cowboys. Gene's largest project was reupholstering the bar in Goplen's Bar and Cafe. One of his leather projects that made he used every morning with the coffee crew at the Four Corners Convenience store. Gene also enjoyed being a dealer for Montana Silversmith's and supplied the yearly numbered award/commemorative buckles for the Brockway Dairy Day Rodeo.

Gene also enjoyed the sport of bowling, Through the years he participated in leagues located in Circle, to Miles City and Glendive. He and Norma competed in several Montana State Bowling Tournaments in the Mixed Doubles division. Gene looked forward to his

Gene looked forward to his yearly hunting expeditions with his brother Bill and the rest of the crew in western Montana. Mainly to the West Yellowstone area in the Red Rock Refuge, and even one year to the Bob Marshal Wilderness area. Gene also enjoyed hosting our “Michigan Hunters” every year on the Grist Ranch.

In 1997 Gene and Norma sold their part of the ranch and moved into Terry where they bought Beanie and Edna Rogerson's Rock Shop and converted it into a Made in Montana shop and an outlet for his leatherwork. He later realized his skill in building custom barnwood frames. He even dabbled in boot and shoe repair.

Gene enjoyed driving the North Side bus route for many years. After moving to town he drove the Fallon bus route and many school and sport activity trips.

In 2003 he went back to his true passion of being a farmer and reluctant ranch hand on the Diamond Rng ranch west of Terry, Montana. Farming at the Diamond Ring entailed a slight learning curve. Coming from dry land farming to irrigated flat land he discovered the difference between plowing the fields in the standard practice to “Farming by going round and round in the field.”

He dotted on his granddaughter and several “adopted” grandkids. Gene also enjoyed playing board games with the family. His latest interest was learning to use a laser etcher, learning how to engrave on leather, glass and other items.

Gene was proceeded in death by his son Brad Grist, parents Bud and Margie Grist, his brother Bill Grist, and nephew Cory Grist. He is survived by his wife Norma Grist, daughter Dawn (Keith) Olson. Granddaughter Jordyn Olson. Sister In-Law Cathy Grist, Nephew Kelly (Amber) Grist, brother in-laws Bob (Bev) Hellman and Dale (Jaynee) Hellman.

In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations can be made to the Prairie County Ambulance Service.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 with family receiving friends from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm. A graveside will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. at the Prairie County Cemetery.