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American Patriotic 10


Thomas Charles Hillstrand

February 9, 1939 ~ October 30, 2018 (age 79)
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Thomas Charles Hillstrand, 79, of Great Falls, passed away on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.  A Memorial Service will be held this Saturday, November 3rd at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, 610 2nd Ave. N, Great Falls.

Born February 9, 1939 in Great Falls, MT to Chester A. and Leone I. Hillstrand, Tom was raised, educated and resided in Great Falls his whole life.  He joined the Navy after graduating from Great Falls Central High School, serving for two years on the USS Toledo.  He attended Gonzaga University for three plus years, majoring in Math and Physics.  Tom returned to Great Falls to assist his family in the care of his father who had MS.  After his father’s death he became involved in the MS Society, serving as both a local and state chairman, attending MS walks and conventions.

The Hillstrand family had a strong relationship with the newspaper and printing business.  Tom was an ad salesman for the Tribune for many years, as well as traveling the state while working with Credit Associates as a salesman. He worked for Paulson’s Building Supply for 20 years developing layouts and ads for the company. In 2008 he was employed by the Prerelease Center of Great Falls, working as a compliance officer.  He was still employed by them at the time of his death.

In his younger years Tom was an avid skier and member of the Great Falls Ski Club.  He bought a kit for a 20 ft sailboat which he built and sailed in Montana and the San Juan Islands.  He was good at projects, constructed a home with his wife, Vickie, doing most of the wiring, inside construction and finishing.  Tom was married for several years to Vicki Geodotti, helping to raise his stepchildren Melone and Tony.  He was a longtime member of the Great Falls Ad Club, assisting with the annual Charles Russell Auction, backstage, line up of the painting, sculptures, and other art items.

Many a holiday and weekend were shared with extended family members.  Tom traveled to the Flathead Valley on a regular basis in the summer months.  He was the one who usually took the pictures and videos. Tom had a special bond with his brother-in-law, Wayne.  He assisted with the upkeep of the Jensen family lake place.  Tom had a way of always wanting to do things his way!  He would say “NO” to other suggestions! 

Tom was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church.  He developed and managed the video recording, establishing visual display screens for the church services.  These were then posted on YouTube.  His CDs were used to store services for future reference.  He loved anything and everything about computers.  He even participated with these visuals this past Sunday.

Tom is survived by his sister, Kaaren Hillstrand Jensen and her husband Wayne Jensen and family.  He was loved by his nephew, Derek (Kristin) and family, Wylie (Kharyna) Jensen and family and niece, Nicole Jensen and children. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the Sletten Cancer Center. 

Condolences may be shared with the family at


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