Vernon Leroy “Buck” Tuttle, 77, of Great Falls, left this world with a heavy heart on July 24, 2019. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday September 21, 2019 at 2:30 PM at the Church of Christ in Great Falls, 1300 6th St NW, Great Falls, MT 59404.
Buck was born to James and Cleo (Fields) Tuttle on March 7, 1942 in Havre, MT.
Surviving family members include his wife, Bev Tuttle; Shane Tuttle of Great Falls, Heidi Goulet of Belgrade, Chantia Mitchell of Las Vegas, NV, Denielle Pavek of South Carolina, Theresa Balzarini of Vancouver, WA and 11 grandchildren; sister, Alaina Connelly and brother, Ronnie Tuttle.
Buck was preceded in death by his grandparents; mother; father; brother, Jim; and sister, Myrna Juhlin.
A note From Bev:
When Buck and I met, we were both in the process of divorces. I was divorcing an abusive alcoholic husband, whom I thank for giving me two beautiful – loving- supportive daughters who have truly been there for me through this time of loss of my only true love.
I met Buck in 1988 at the Westside Vets Club, as I loved to dance and would drag my sister Darlene and husband to go with me. When Buck came in with his mother on his arm, he really turned my head. Darlene said, “You and your cowboys.”
We dated for 4 month – danced – talked -cried many nights til 3 or 4 AM. Being a loving-compassionate gentleman, he never made a pass, or even kissed me during that time. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with him. We truly became friends before lovers, a favorite song, which he played on his guitar and sang to me was “Young Love.”
One of my favorite memories is one night when we went out dancing, he put his hat upside down on a chair. I was drinking a red beer, which I knocked over into his hat! When he saw the fear in my eyes (because of memories of my abusive husband’s behavior) he just picked up his hat, dumped out the beer, put it on his head and told me, “you’re better than any old hat.” He was my knight in shining armor.
Buck was a fantastic dancer. We danced millions of miles; we won a jitterbug contest AND a polka contest along the way.
We were married August 29, 1992 at the log house we had just finished building in Billings, Montana. He told everyone that marrying me was the only way he could get the land because it was in my name. We wrote our own wedding vows; part of his contribution was that we were “precious” to each other. Mine was that “every day with Buck was an adventure.” One of the biggest adventures was our gold-mining trip to Alaska. We were broke down more than we were up running. But Buck could jerry-rig just about anything to keep us moving along.
We worked hard building three log homes! Buck was an amazing craftsman. He built complete homes, including all the doors, counters, cabinets, beds, and log furniture to go in them. This building of things was his hobby.
Buck owned and ran Rocky Mountain Campers for many years before going to work as a Heavy Equipment Operator/Welder/Mechanic. He invented and built almost 500 bits that were designed to protect the horse’s mouths. He was truly a jack of all trade and master of all. He simply did it all. Which is quite an accomplishment for a man who only made it through the eighth grade!
Buck’s true passion was being a cowboy. My girlfriend always says that she thinks Buck was born about 50 years too late. Team roping was his favorite activity and he was quite good at it, winning many events. He won many saddles and buckles over the years.
Buck and I studied the Bible regularly and came to know and obey God’s word. We were both immersed for the forgiveness of our sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-38, Romans 6:3-4, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:20-21)
We attended the Church of Christ faithfully, which is something that helped him grow in his faith. I believe what Scott, our evangelist told me, from Psalms 103, about God’s character. (Lamentations 3:22 - 26) HE pardons all our sins and is a compassionate and forgiving God. He knew Buck’s heart and the pain he was suffering. Buck prayed every night for us and that God would take him.
Things started going downhill for Buck after his brain surgery to repair an aneurysm in March of 2013. He has had constant headaches since then. After the loss of his ability to do the things he loved, loneliness and depression took over; he just couldn’t stand the pain.
I am sad for the loss of my best friend and the love of my life. He will be in my heart forever. I am very thankful for God who is giving me the strength to carry on in his absence and for the prayers and support from my family and friends, and from all my brothers and sisters in Christ.
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