Obit: Habeck, Gary (1953 - 2008)

Surnames: Habeck, Richter, Schumacher, Zuelke, Roberts, Lobe

----Source: Marshfield News Herald, Marshfield, Wood Co., WI, Sun. 4 Jan. 2009

Habeck, Gary (22 Apr. 1953 - 28 Dec. 2008)

Gary Habeck, Corvallis, Mont., left this earthly world Sun. Dec. 28, 2008, at the University of Utah Medical Center, of the many complications suffered Dec. 21 when the strap on his tree stand broke.

He was born in Marshfield on April 22, 1953 to Arnold and Margie (Richter) Habeck. His early years were spent on a farm in Unity. Gary graduated from Stratford High School in 1971. There was always some kind of sports or daredevil activity during Gary's entire school life. Following high school, he attended tech school in Green Bay, becoming an electrician.

Gary married Linda Schumacher on Oct. 6, 1973. In 1979, wanderlust brought them to Darby, Mont., where they owned and operated Deer Mountain Wood Products. Because Gary worked as hard as he played, he was able to retire at the age of 35, and the life he lived in the next 20 years is one to be envied.

Gary's passion for hunting and fishing that started as a young adult never left him, always taking time off to go hunting each and every fall somewhere in Montana, and fishing the Bitterroot River and many lakes in Montana. Gary was an active member of the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association, always campaigning for the wildlife. His presence in that organization will be greatly missed.

Following retirement, Gary made several trips to Alaska and British Columbia for either fishing or hunting, always with great friends. He and Linda also made many memorable road trips throughout western and southern states. Through the years Gary and Linda built four homes. Remember, he still worked as hard as he played.

Bowhunting, always his passion, increased in his last years, and he spent thousands of hours sitting in a tree and watched hundreds of After hunting successfully for elk and mule deer for many years, his interest waned, except for the occasional try with a bow and he focused on white tail. After spending hours surfing the Web to see where his best chances were for a monster buck, his quest took him to Kansas and Iowa where he harvested some super bucks. Somewhere, between the fishing and the big-game hunting there always was pheasant hunting with his faithful canine companions. First Shadow, then his beloved Cheyenne who traveled with him to Kansas, and lastly his Bitsy May.

Shortly after moving to Montana, Gary's life with horses began. He loved trail riding, helping the neighbors move cows, brand or whatever he could do that involved horses. He and Linda raised some beautiful horses and sold them at the Salmon sale for the past 15 years. Gary developed a new passion with horses in 2003 when he was introduced to team sorting and later penning. He never looked back at trail riding again unless it was to condition a horse or chase a cow. It's there that the competitive streak he always had really came out. Those who rode with him will forever hear his voice: "go - go, ride - hard, go." It became Gary's mission to become a better rider and he continually strived to improve his horsemanship skills, how he communicated with his horses and the way they worked for him. He often spent hours in the arena riding his great horses, Spooky and Coyote, along with many other young horses he started. His circle of friends increased threefold with this sport. Gary also helped at cuttings around the area, mostly at the Never Sweat Ranch. He loved going down to the ranch and helping sort pairs, moving cattle in the spring, and especially finding the strays left behind during the fall gather. Anytime he spent the day on his horse and it involved cows, it was a good day, and he had a ton of them.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Arnold, and other relatives.

He is survived by Linda, the love of his life for 35 years; his mother, Margie; his sister, Sandy (Tom) Lobe, and their children and grandchildren; his brother, Guy (Kathie), and their children. Also by Linda's family, brother, Curly Schumacher (Sharon); sister, Diane Zuelke (Rod); and sister, Janet Roberts (Johnny). Gary was the favorite uncle to his surviving nieces and nephews and their families.

To try and name Gary's many good friends could not be accomplished on one or two pieces of paper, so please know that each and every one of you were so very special to him and he treasured his time with all of you. A favorite saying of Gary's was "conquer your fears." Gary communicated so much in his final days blinking at letters with his eyes and spelling out words, one letter at a time. One of the last was, "Be Happy." So I pass this on to all who knew him. Combine the two and remember that he lived his life while in the prime of his life and would only want everyone to do as much living as he did each and every day and remember the wonderful times you had with him.

A celebration of Gary's life will be Sat. Jan. 10, 2009, 11 a.m. at Daly-Leach Chapel, 1010 W. Main St., in Hamilton, Mont. Interment will take place at a later date. Another memorial service is planned for family and friends in Wisconsin at a later time.

Condolences may be left at

For those wanting to make a donation in Gary's name, you can make one to either Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association, P.O. Box 238 Hamilton MT 59840, or to the Gary Habeck Memorial Fund C/O Ravalli County Bank, P.O. Box 150 Hamilton, MT 59840 for a yearly sorting competition in his name.



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