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Howard John Ruppel was born March 7, 1933, in Twin Bridges. He died on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at the perfect age of 80 on the day of the “Brawl of the Wild” where his Grizzlies won. Mr. Ruppel died from complications of pneumonia in Miles City with all his children and wife by his side.
Mr. Ruppel was born to Ellen and John Ruppel in Twin Bridges. His mother died when he was 3 years old and he was raised by his Aunt Margaret and Uncle George Jacobson in Deer Lodge.
Mr. Ruppel attended grade school in Missoula and Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School where he was a standout track athlete holding records for the 440 yard dash. He then graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in business in 1955.
His first job was with the bank in Great Falls and then an office supply business. He owned his own business in Home Improvement where he travelled the states of Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. He was known as a living legend in the aluminum siding business.
Mr. Ruppel married Joyce Mason and they had four children together, Mason, Sharon, Ruthellen and Matt.
He then married Cheryl Covarrubias Holmes on Jan. 4, 1985. She brought to their marriage three children, Dena, Art and Tom. Howard and Cheryl Ruppel made their life together in Miles City.
Mr. Ruppel enjoyed painting with pastels and oils and was quite accomplished. He loved to fish, golf and watch the Montana Grizzly football team. He travelled from Miles City to all home games and got to watch them the Saturday before he died. Mr. Ruppel was an avid fisherman with an encyclopedia of knowledge of streams, lakes and reservoirs throughout the entire state of Montana. A master of rod and reel, no fish was safe. He was quite a history buff too. May the legend of Mr. Ruppel live on in the stories you tell.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl of Miles City; and children, Mason (Lisa) of Seattle, Sharon (Guy) of Missoula, Ruthellen of Butte, Matt of New York, Dena (Curtis) of Belgrade, Art (Kim) of Livingston and Tom of Carrolton, Texas; 12 grandchildren, Madison, Haley, Eva, Kyle (Britt), Colin, Lauren, Mason, Blythe, Cheryl, Jordan, Mackenzie and Damian; as well as one great-grandchild, Harriet, the daughter of Kyle and Britt of Seattle, about whom Mr. Ruppel was very excited.
A family memorial service was held on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Burial and a memorial service will take place in Twin Bridges at a later date.
Memorials for Mr. Ruppel may be made to Gideons Faith Fund Program.