Philetus George ‘Pete’ Lapham left this present world and entered into eternal life on June 7, 2019. He was 89 years old. He was surrounded by loved ones when his body died from natural causes at the Big Sky Health Care facility in Helena. His body was cremated.
Pete was born May 28th, 1930 to Philetus Claude Lapham and Gladys Carol Fuller Lapham in Great Falls. He graduated from Malta High School. He and his brother Fuller Laugeman were long time residents of Phillips County.
Pete served in the United States Army from 1948-1952 and was a veteran of the Korean War. He achieved the rank of Corporeal. He was decorated with a Combat Infantry Badge, a Korean Service Medal, four Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart. He also had a Parachute and Glider Badge of Qualification. One of his best achievements, however, were the lifelong friendships that he maintained with those he served alongside.
When Pete returned to Montana, he married his sweetheart, Marlene Kirkaldie. They made their home in Polson where they raised their six children. Pete provided for his family by becoming a police officer and then as a logger. He was preceded in death by Marlene in 1977.
Pete began a new marriage with Jean Williamson Bauer of Finley PT. They made their home in Polson and eventually moved to Plains. They lived happily on River Rd. where they enjoyed ranching, animal husbandry, and gardening. Jean passed away in 2015.
Pete loved people and he had a myriad of lifelong friendships. He had a passion for books and reading of any and all subjects. His remembrance of facts and history was phenomenal. He could tell a dandy joke as well. Pete was well-versed in the arts of good conversation and hospitality. He was generous with his goods and time. He enjoyed the company of his beloved animals, too.
Pete was never a joiner — he followed his own path. He did make exception for two organizations: the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the International Assoc. of Turtles, Calgary Chapter. In his latter years he became quite interested in the Tea Party movement.
One of his great loves was little babies and he was blessed to have many in his life. He is survived by his six children, their children and step-children, and numerous great-grand children. Their names are as follows: Karen Lapham- Risa (Jason) Palm, Tracen, Bryson, Camden. Miles Mecklenburg, Sierra. Eudora Mecklenburg. Philetus Robert ‘Bob’ Lapham (Joann)-- Philetus, Kveon; Shane; Danyel, Josiah, Carl Colter. Holly Sanford-- Shan, Sedona, Everly. Aaryn, Eli, Cora, James. Jesse. David Lapham--Jessica; Tonya Boyd; Pete; Roseanna Friskorn; grand-children: Gage, Emilee, Ben, Natausha, Ruby, Tyler, Robert, Remy. Doreen Lapham-- Justin Tiland, Robert Tiland, Diana Tiland, (Chip) Truth, Takoda, Thomas (Christy) Lapham-- Weston, Reed.
The Lapham family would like to extend a welcome to any and all to come celebrate the life of our wonderful father on at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. We will be remembering Pete at the Rocky Point Ranch which is located between Thompson Falls and Plains at 106 River Walk Lane, Thompson Falls. A light luncheon will be served. We hope to see you there.