Harry Luinstra, 97, of Choteau passed away December 30, 2018 at Benifis Teton Medical Center Nursing Home in Choteau, Montana. He was born December 18, 1921 at the family farm east of Choteau, the son of Annie and Jacob Luinstra. He attended Choteau Elementary School and graduated from Teton County High School in 1940.
On April 1, 1941 he joined the U.S. Navy as an apprentice seaman. In 1944 he married Virginia Kochman, whom he had met in Choteau. They were married at St. Joseph’s Church in Seattle, where Harry was stationed at the time at the Widbey Naval Air Station. In 1945 Harry left for Saipan. Virginia joined him the following year as a Naval dependent.
Harry was discharged from the U.S. Navy on January 28, 1947 as an Aviation Chief Machinist (ACMM) and returned to Choteau.
Harry became a partner in Luinstra Brothers farms and he and Virginia resided on the family farm until they moved to a new home in Choteau in 1953. As well as farming, Harry served for 20 years on the Teton County Selective Service board as Chairman, which included the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. For 15 years he served as a supervisor for the Teton County Conservation Board. He was a life member in the Veterans’ of Foreign Wars (VFW) and served a term as commander. Harry was also a member of the American Legion for 66 years.
Harry was a member of St. Joseph’s Church in Choteau and served on the parish council. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the 1/4 Degree Knights of Columbus. On their 50th wedding anniversary, Harry and Virginia renewed their vows at St. Joseph’s church.
In retirement, Harry and Virginia enjoyed traveling to Arizona for several winters to avoid the Montana cold. They enjoyed golfing, bicycling, dancing and shuffleboard. They also enjoyed and doted on the several dachshunds that they had over the years.
Harry is preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Virginia, who died August 1, 2013. He is survived by his son Jerome (Katie Pellett) Luinstra of Choteau and daughter, Carol Myers (Clark) of Longmont, CO and two grandchildren, Annie Luinstra of Spokane, WA and Jeremy Luinstra of Reno, NV.
A vigil service will take place Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 7PM at Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home in Choteau and a Funeral Service will take place Monday, January 7, 2019 at 11 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Choteau followed by a burial in Choteau Cemetery.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com