Calvin Russell McCafferty, 85, of Belt, died of natural causes at Peace Hospice in Great Falls on May 1st, 2019. Visitation will be Monday, May 6th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Rose Room Chapel at Croxford Funeral Home. Cal’s Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, May 7th at the Belt Community Church at Noon. A luncheon will follow the Funeral Service with Burial to take place at Highland Cemetery in Great Falls.
Born on February 28, 1934 to Bob and Lourena McCafferty, Calvin was the youngest of three children. He graduated from Belt High School in 1952. His graduating class remained close and organized gatherings almost yearly up to the recent past.
Calvin joined the Marine Corp immediately following graduation. While serving with the Marines, he was part of a Navy flotilla and was stationed in Hawaii. During this time, he earned the distinction of Expert Marksman.
Cal married Elaine Stenslie of Wolf Point on September 28, 1957. The couple lived in Belt and ranched while Elaine finished her nurse’s training in Great Falls. On May 1st of 1959, Cal and Elaine moved to Augusta and began ranching on their own. Two daughters were born to the family there. On May 1st of 1965, Cal and the family moved the ranching operation from Augusta to Stockett. Another daughter and a son were added to the family. On May 1st of 1971, Cal fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved his family and ranch to Tiger Butte, at the head of Neil Creek.
On May 1st of 2019, Cal made his final move to his mansion in the sky, which his family imagine as a ranch with bountiful springs and tall grass. It was Cal’s appointed day; it was Moving Day.
Cal loved to fly and owned several small planes during his lifetime. He flew so often that he built a landing strip and hangar on the ranch. His plane flying over the ranch was a common sight. In his younger days, Cal enjoyed riding broncs. Due to this passion, he was one of the founding members of the Belt Rodeo Association. He was also passionate about hunting and fishing. He enjoyed many pack trips into the wilderness with friends and family. Cal especially loved hunting and fishing in Alaska and traveled there many times, even flying there in his small plane.
Calvin is survived by his daughters, Carla Carstensen of Moses Lake, WA, Karen Lovrovich of Moses Lake, WA, Julie McCafferty of Belt; son, Russell (Carmella) McCafferty of Dayton, WY; brother, Bob (Jean) McCafferty of Belt; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
Cal was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine; granddaughter, Morgan Leigh McCafferty; his parents, Bob S. and Lourena McCafferty; sister, Betty Jean Miller and her husband, Wilfred; in-laws, Ole and Margaret Stenslie; and many other beloved friends and family members.
Memorials in his name are suggested to Peace Hospice of Benefis and Medallion Hospice.
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