Allan Gary Lien was born December 21st, 1936 and died February 20th, 2020. “Be well-prepared for winter weather.” In the spring of 1937, Al’s parents Norm and Viola placed him in a dresser drawer and left South Dakota for Absarokee, Montana. Norm was going to work for the Knute Homestead Farm, southwest of town. Allan learned to drive the 1940 pickup truck as long as it was parked on a hill, had to be able to get it out of gear to drive it.
In 1942, at 5 years old, Al went to Fishtail School, while his father worked at the Chrome Mines. He spent 1st through 4th grades at that location until the family moved down river to Absarokee on a rented farm. This is where he completed 5th and 6th grades.
Spring of 1948, moved north of Columbus, in the mud. Through 12th grade in Columbus, graduated honorably, had several scholarships and was encouraged to attend Montana State College in 1959. Watched the Fieldhouse being built, knew several of the construction workers. Al was first graduating class in the Fieldhouse. Fall 1959, drafted US Army Construction Engineers, US Sector in Germany. Returned to U.S. in 1962. Was asked to accept a job with the Agricultural Engineering Experiment Station. Did so in 1963. 30 + years in the field of soil, water, and farm machinery; Development. Married 1972 to Connie Kerr. Purchased land for horses. Over the years accumulated 82 acres. Exper St. closed June 30, 1993.
Rebuilt two-cylinder John Deere Tractors, raised beef and some dairy cows, made good grass hay, trained horses. Al did community service at Montana Winter Fair, West Gallatin Canal, Board of Adjustment, Gallatin Saddle & Harness Club, Montana Draft Horse & Mule Association, and the Association of Gallatin Agricultural Irrigators. Spoke eloquently at Gallatin City & County Commission meetings, especially regards to water quality and development issues. Had opinions that were shared with both public and private officials. Did not hold back. Allan told everybody, “everything that they needed to know.”
“It wasn’t a particularly long life, it wasn’t a smooth life. You loved your wife, family, friends, and the flag. Take care of what’s left of this old world – the land, the water. Be appreciative of technology that made life easier and the subordinate animals –covers most of it.
Al leaves his wife, Connie; brother, Raymond (Marge) of Absarokee; brother-in-law, Jim Green of Absarokee; nephew, Eric Lien (Julie) of Billings; niece, Brenda Huckert (Lon) of Bozeman; niece, Allison Green of Joliet; grand-niece Kendra and grand-nephew Tim of Billings; and grand-nephews Carson & Jaxson of Bozeman.
A graveside service will be held at 12:00 Noon on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at the Mountain View Cemetery in Columbus, MT. For those who would like to participate in the procession to the cemetery, please assemble at 11:00 AM at the Stillwater County Fairgrounds at 328 East 5th Avenue North. A reception will be held at the Fairgrounds immediately following the graveside service. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com