BOZEMAN — Anthony “Tony” Hanzlik of Bozeman MT died Monday, October 5th at home, with his wife of 71 years by his side. In Tony’s 91 years on earth, his true loves were Margaret (Peggy) and Montana. The Hanzliks moved to the area with their three children in the summer of ‘70. Tony’s work as a sheet metal worker saw him travel frequently for jobs across the Midwest. After attending Wahpeton School of Science in Wahpeton, ND, he and Peggy lived in several places, including Rapid City, SD, Austin, MN, and Richfield, MN. Along the way, their family grew to include three children, Deborah, Paula, and Dan.
Bozeman became their home base, and from here Tony reveled in the opportunity to indulge in everything outdoors, including golfing, fly fishing, skiing, and camping in and around the National Park and forests. He was a proud season ski pass holder at Bridger Bowl well into his 70s. Those who were lucky enough to join him in his outdoor pursuits enjoyed watching both spectacular failures, such as the inaugural launch of his belly boat, and once in a lifetime successes, such as his Mulligan hole-in-one, on May 3rd, 1997. They also were blessed to be in the presence of a patient teacher, who quietly enabled others to capture the same joy he did while engaging in his hobbies.
Tony was a deft woodworker and all-around handyman, whose skills were in demand across the country by his friends and family. He lovingly crafted everything from small jewelry boxes to entire decks and walls of cabinets. He never said no, never complained that a job was too complicated, or would take too long. His generous talents have scattered a lasting legacy of visible acts of love in the presence of poured concrete stairs, a beautiful armoire, a place to stop and enjoy the outdoors.
Although hard things happened to Tony throughout his life, he never let them harden him. Pain was an old friend, and he bore it well throughout his last months. His sly wit and humor remained a hallmark of his personality until the very end, as well as his joy in being in the presence of his family, all of whom flocked to his side in the last few months of his life. As his strength dwindled, he was ready to return to a place he believed he had been blessed to visit as a young man in the aftermath of a life-threatening accident and was looking forward to the peace and beauty waiting for him on the other side.
Tony is survived by his wife, children Deborah (and Jeff) Wolf, and Dan (and Debra) Hanzlik, 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his 8 brothers and sisters, parents, and daughter Paula. He will be missed by numerous friends and family, including his family at Pilgrim Congregational Church, the rabble-rousers at the Bozeman Senior Center, and all those that “Peg and Tony” adopted into their homes and hearts. His legacy includes a love of Montana, an enduring model of love, marriage, and family life, and the enjoyment of a really great piece of fruit.
A private funeral service will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Compassus Hospice, and Pilgrim Congregational Church. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com