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Obituary: Sherman Henry Veltkamp

Sherman Henry Veltkamp.jpg
Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 07, 2024

Sherman Henry Veltkamp passed away from cancer February 20, 2024, in Kealakekua, Hawaii in the presence of his loved ones. He was born June 18,1937, in Bozeman, MT to parents James H. and Grace Veltkamp, the third of 7 children. He spent his childhood in the Churchhill, Gallatin Gateway, and Bozeman communities.

Sherm and his siblings’ childhood stories included riding horses to school, farming, and living and working in various locations throughout the Gallatin Valley. Throughout his life, he faced challenges with sheer determination, making the best of very tough times. In later years, the Veltkamp brothers made an annual run of every golf course within 100 miles of Bozeman. Sherm embraced various recreations, from snowmobiling in Yellowstone Park, the Upper Madison out of Ennis, Sedan, and Fairy Lake; boating at Canyon Ferry, moving cattle on horseback, running equipment, gopher hunting, and golfing. In his later years, Sherm and Eva wintered in Hawaii and gathered yet another host of folks proud to call him a gentleman and friend. Sherm dedicated his summers in retirement to helping his daughter and son-in-law on the ranch in Lewistown. Sherm loved swapping stories and continued his regular 5pm meetings with the guys at the Legion. Sherm was proud to drive the American Legion Bus in local parades. Sherm enjoyed being Grandpa—wrestling and building Legos, riding the 4-wheeler to check out fairy gardens on the hill, sharing smoked oysters, and inspiring another generation of great debaters. He delivered his most tender sentiments as short, handwritten notes in carefully chosen Hallmark cards. Sherm made and shared some of his best memories over a steak dinner and good whiskey. He was grateful for and deeply loved his family, good horses, loyal dogs, and best friends.

Sherm was a force to be reckoned with. He often quipped he couldn’t claim to be the smartest person in the room, but no one would ever outwork him. His determination and work ethic served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him. He was an instigator, enjoyed getting people “tuned up,” and most notably, the art of negotiation. Opinionated and a straight-shooter, his advice to his clients and community was well-received and respected, even if not always easy to hear. His dedication to providing for his family meant he often showed up to work with alfalfa in his hair and occasionally late for dinner or his kids’ activities. Also known for his swift exits from social events without even a word, he never left a phone call or a voicemail to his wife or kids without saying, “Love you, Honey.”

Sherm attended Manhattan Christian School through the 8th grade, attended Gallatin Co. High School, receiving his GED from the US Armed Forces; graduating from Montana State College (now MSU) with a BS in Commerce (Accounting) in 1964. Sherm was awarded an Honorary High School Diploma in 1997 from Bozeman High School “in honor of his many outstanding contributions to the youth of Bozeman.” He then presented daughter, Katie, with her diploma at the same graduation ceremony.

Sherm married Sharron Roseborough, in 1962 and from this union, daughter, Kim Grace and son, Joe Veltkamp were welcomed to the family. They later divorced. Sherm met and married the love of his life, Eva Denton, in 1977. Daughters, Katie and Christie were born soon after.

Sherm was a CPA in several accounting firms in the Bozeman area, retiring in 2016 after practicing for 52 years. Sherm was actively involved in many professional and community organizations throughout his lifetime. He served in the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce on the Board of Directors as Treasurer, and later President, and as a Green Coat Member. Sherm was appointed to the State Board of Accountants and Judicial Nomination Commission in the early 1980’s. In 1992 he was honored as the Bozeman Outstanding Businessman of the Year and in 1993, he was named a Centennial Alumni of MSU—one of 100 graduates named to the society of Centennial Alumni. Sherm was the 2020 recipient of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Guy Sperry Award.

Sherm served in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1959. His patriotism continued through his membership and service in the Bozeman American Legion Post 14, serving as the board treasurer and also a member of the honor guard.

Sherm is preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Grace; brother, Barney; sister, Dorothy and stepson, Rusty Foster. He is survived by spouse, Eva; daughters, Katie (Josh) Keehr of Bozeman, Christie (Burl) Williams of Lewistown, Kim (John) Grace of Spokane, WA; son, Joe (Ben) Veltkamp of Bremerton, WA; stepdaughter, Wendy (Albert) Dickson of Matthews, NC; sister, Carolyn Coke of Grand Rapids, MI; brothers, Vern (Nita) Veltkamp of Bozeman, Larry Veltkamp of Scottsdale, AZ, and Darrell (Shirley) Veltkamp of Vancouver, WA; brother-in-law, Duane Denton of Bozeman; seven grandchildren, Scarlett and Stetson Keehr, Max and Carson Williams, Ina, Eve, and Ethan Dickson; and beloved dog, Maddi.

Visitation will be held Wed, March 13 from 5 to 7 P.M. at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. Burial with military honors is scheduled for Thur, March 14, at 11 A.M. at Sunset Hills Cemetery, followed by a Celebration of Life at 1 P.M. at The Commons, 1794 E. Baxter Lane, Bozeman, MT. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Legion Post 14, 225 E. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715 or the American Cancer Society. The service will be livestreamed and can be accessed at www.thecommonsbozeman.com/live [thecommonsbozeman.com]

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]