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Obituary: Paul Dean Weingart - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Obituary: Paul Dean Weingart

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Oct. 5, 1931 – July 2, 2015

Kendallville, IN  ~  Bozeman, MT

A mountain of a man and a man of the mountains, Paul Dean Weingart, departed on his last safari on Thursday, July 2, 2015.  His beloved wife, Gail, was by his side.

Paul’s life was filled with outdoor experiences.  As a kid in Indiana, he hunted squirrels; as a young adult, he hunted elk and sheep and more in Montana and Alaska.  Soon Africa became his favorite hunting ground.

After four years as a Seabee in the Navy, Paul moved to Montana to attend and graduate from Montana State University (now the University of Montana) in 1957 with a degree in Forest Management.  His first Ranger District was Tally Lake in Whitefish, MT, and he thought he could spend the rest of his life there!

After his marriage to Gail in 1971, frequent safaris to Africa began:  hunting, photographic, adventure.

The backcountry and the mountains called to him.  Most weekends were spent backpacking (the Mission Mountains and the Spanish Peaks of MT); climbing mountains (Granite Peak and Mt. Cowan in MT; Mount Washington in New Hampshire; Mt. Elbert in CO); hunting (MT, Alaska, B.C., Africa); and skiing (everywhere he lived!).

But he also cared for the many communities in which he lived.  He was an active member of Rotary, Civitan, Masons (50+ years), the Bridger Bowl Board, Gallatin Valley Land Trust and Friends of Regional Parks (in both, he was the first Board President), American Wildlands, Eagle Mount Board, Bozeman Transportation Coordinating Committee, New Mexico Outdoor Recreation (received the National Association of Outdoor Recreation Citation Award in 1987), Society of American Forestry (National Chair of the Wilderness Working Group), AMC (life member), World Wilderness Congress (speaker and symposium leader).

Paul was a strong proponent of wilderness and public involvement, and this was evidenced throughout his 35 year career in the US Forest Service.  He was the team leader of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Study on the Clearwater River in MT (part of a national effort); Forest Supervisor of the Gallatin National Forest in MT and the White Mountain Forest in N.H.; in the Washington D.C. office working on RARE II (Roadless Area Review Evaluation) (for which he received an award from the US Dept. of Agriculture); as Asst. Director of Recreation in the Regional Office in Denver; and as Director of Recreation, Wilderness and Cultural Resources in the Regional Office in Albuquerque (nominated for the Chevron National Conservation Award in 1988).

After his retirement in 1988, he and his wife returned to Bozeman.  His involvement in Africa continued:  leading 9 groups of friends on safaris and conducting 8 Wilderness Management Training Courses resulting in 16 trips to 7 African countries.

Paul lived a full life – filled with the love of family and friends, career accomplishments and exceptional outdoor adventures.

In addition to his wife, Gail, he is survived by nephew, Steven McKay (son, Callum, daughter, Lauren) of Whistler, B.C., and niece, Susan Beach (daughter, Nicole) of Surrey, B.C., Canada. He is also survived by stepbrother, Bob Butts Jr. (wife, Doris, daughter, Debbie, grandson, Nate) all of Indiana.

His wife expresses special thanks to Drs. Hathaway and Spinelli, Spring Creek Inn Memory Care Community and Hospice of Bozeman Deaconess.

Memorial contributions in Paul’s name may be made to Eagle Mount, 6901 Goldenstein Ln., Bozeman, MT  59715; or First Presbyterian Church, 26 W. Babcock St., Bozeman, MT  59715.

A Celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Willson and Babcock Streets in Bozeman. 

Arrangements are in care of Dokken Nelson Funeral Service. wwwdokkennelson.com

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