John William McBurney 66 of Hilger passed gently from this world into the arms of his loving savior early Monday morning, December 10th, 2018 at his home after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer. Everyone witnessing his life at this time said how amazingly strong he was in this battle. He was a hard-working, loyal and honest man. He had a great sense of humor and always tried to use that to lighten things up for his family, friends and caregivers, even in the end. John was born July 28th, 1952 in Lewistown, MT the son of William (Bill) and Ethel “Snookie” McBurney. He went to grade school in Hilger, and graduated from Fergus High school. He was in the Army National Guards from 1971 to 1979, serving as a vehicle mechanic, his highest rank being a Buck Sergeant. He was also involved in the Jaycee’s. He met the love of his life, Sally Berg on a blind date and they married Aug. 16th, 1974. John worked at Central Feed for a spell while living in Lewistown. John’s true passion was working on the 3rd generation ranch with his father in Hilger where he spent the majority of his life. John had a good eye for quality in cattle as buyers often raved about how he took pride in the care of his livestock. John loved to observe wildlife. He enjoyed watching them on his ranch from the window of the house or when out in the pasture. John was blessed with two daughters who were his pride and joy. John loved his family, friends and grandkids, spending as much time as he could with them. He spent time teaching his daughters how to fish and hunt. He spent countless hours watching and supporting his kids and grandkids playing sports and performing in school activities. John was a volunteer firefighter with the Hilger Fire department for 30 years. John enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, camping, trapping, bowling, golfing, playing cards, practical jokes, and Pittsburg Steeler’s football. He became friends with pretty much everyone he met. He was always thinking of others first, always eager to lend a hand helping those in need and endlessly doing whatever he could to make the lives better for those he loved.
He is survived by his wife Sally of Hilger; daughters Christine “Chrisie” (Tahan) Wichman, and Jennifer (John Coslow) McBurney both of Lewistown; sisters Nancy (Melvin) Bawden of Lewistown and Ginger (Wayne) Eickhoff of Grass Range, MT; grandchildren Brock & Zack Hoots; numerous nephews and nieces; his beloved companion the family dog Lizzy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, uncle Douglas McBurney, aunt Jeanie Dodge Johnson, niece Bonnie Watson, father-in-law Don Berg and brother-in-law Donnie Berg.
Memorial services for John McBurney will be Saturday, December. 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Lewistown, cremation has taken place. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Memorials can be made to the Hilger Fire Department, Presbyterian Church or Hospice of Central Montana and they can be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences can be posted at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Holmes and staff at the Family Wellness Center, as well as the very caring staff at CMMC hospital, ER and the Hospice staff and caregivers that helped take care of John.