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Frederick C. Rathert 1940-2022

Frederick Charles Rathert passed away peacefully on September 8th at Faith Lutheran Home in Wolf Point, Montana, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Fred was born in Wolf Point in 1940, the son of Francis and Charles Rathert. He attended St. Olaf College, where he met and married his best friend and the love of his life, Kathy Jorgenson. After graduating, the couple moved to Missoula, and he attended the University of Montana School of Law. While in Missoula, Fred and Kathy celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Kristin.

The family moved to Williston, and Fred began law practice at the Bjella and Neff firm—later Bjella, Neff, Rathert, Wahl, and Eiken. They had two more daughters, Karin and Gretchen, and a plethora of pets, including Fred’s loyal dog Red and 100 pheasants.

Fred enjoyed hauling the family to horse shows and rodeos. He loved fishing. He and Kathy spent much of their free time trolling for walleye, and he was a member of the Whopper Club. And he was a passionate hunter. In his later years, Fred hauled his larger-than life goose decoys to the Montana ranch so he could snuggle inside the vinyl with his dog Red, and they would snooze between shooting at the gaggles of geese flying overhead.

Fred was an active member of the community and church. He was ombudsman for Bethel Lutheran Home, and he volunteered for the Rural Water Association and for the Medora Foundation, cleaning and repairing housing and facility grounds and delivering catalogues. He was a member of Gideons. Along with Kathy, Fred led Bible studies in prisons through the Kogudus Renewal Ministry and at the Black Gold camp near Williston.

Fred enjoyed traveling, and he and Kathy combined their love of service and history when they journeyed to Tel Dor, Israel, in 1992 for an archaeological dig along with their daughter, Gretchen. While there, ever the devoted father, Fred refused the offer to trade his daughter for 50 camels. He also went on several mission trips, including to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Fred will be remembered for his kindness and generosity, his integrity, his faith, his dry sense of humor, and his original recipes—yes, brownies and watermelon are excellent toppings on cereal!

Fred is survived by his two brothers, Bill and Chuck, his sister Donna, and his three daughters as well as numerous grandkids, nieces, and nephews.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, September 12 at the Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point, followed by a luncheon at the Sherman Inn. Interment will take place at the Greenwood Cemetery in Wolf Point. Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel of Wolf Point has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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