William E. “Bill” McLendon 89 of Lewistown, joined his beloved wife Margaret “Margy” McLendon in heaven on Monday, February 22, 2021, he passed away in his sleep shortly after returning home from an extended stay in the hospital where he was being treated for heart problems. Bill was born June 13, 1931, in Georgia to Edward and Louise (Holt) McLendon. They moved to Montana when Bill was a freshman, and he graduated from Fergus High School in 1949. He married Margy Biehl on March 12, 1955, and together they had two sons, Clay and Mark McLendon.
Bill served in the Army Corps of Engineers for 20 years, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During this time, he served in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The family moved all around the United States, Iran and Germany. After retiring from the service in 1972, they returned to Montana to run the Big Coulee Ranch near Buffalo, where he was active in the Buffalo Church and Community Club as well as supporting his boys’ activities in Hobson. In 1996, they sold the ranch and retired to Lewistown, eventually moving to the Esplanade where he and Margy had lots of friends and good times. Bill enjoyed attending Coffee Call with his friends almost every day. He was also very involved in his community, including being a long-time member of both Kiwanis and the American Legion. Thanks to Margy, they were active members of the Fitness Center at the hospital for 24 years, where Bill mostly enjoyed the cafeteria.
Bill truly did love his family. He was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, and dear friend to many. His rumbling laugh could put a smile on anyone's face, as could his deep singing voice. He was happiest when fishing, hunting, watching the Yankees game, or sitting down to an all-you-can-eat breakfast. All these activities were made even better when he got to do them with his family.
“I loved my country and my family. My kids are my heroes.”
That is the obituary that my dear grandpa, one of the most talkative people I’ve ever known, wrote for himself. He lived a full 89 years, lived all around the world, proudly served his country, and had more stories to tell than we could ever count, but he summed up his life with those two simple sentences. We loved him, too. He was our hero, too.
He is survived by his two sons Clay (Cindy) of Great Falls and Mark (Darcy) of Lewistown; seven grandchildren Michelle McLendon, Kyle McLendon, Mathew McLendon, J.B. (Shaneal) Miller, Ryan McLendon, Haley (Luke) McLendon, and Cassie (Dearl) Kitch; four great grandchildren Tanner and Payton Miller, and Kael and Kiley Kitch; one brother-in-law Glenn Biehl; one niece Bev Biehl and one nephew Bruce Biehl. He will be dearly missed.
He was preceded in death by his wife in October of 2020 and his parents.
Memorial Services for Bill McLendon will be Friday, March 5, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church. Cremation has taken place with the Cloyd Funeral Home assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to CMMC Hospice or the American Legion and they may be left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.
Below is a Zoom Link for the service provided by Bill's Family.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 828 4635 5627
People call start calling in as early as 12:30 though there won’t be much to see but hey.