Tony Vogel, 51, of Great Falls Montana passed away peacefully on December 15th surrounded by his mother and loved ones.
Tony grew up in Seattle and all over Montana, always landing near his Mom. He has always been involved with learning the traditions and beliefs of the native tribes of the areas he was in while embracing his own Native American Heritage fully. He was an artist of many mediums. Matter of fact, his beading skills were commented on by an elderly woman who said, "I have been beading for 50 years. Your beading skills are better than mine and I'm good!" Tony was skilled in acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, pastels, leather work, and enjoyed tanning Buffalo hides to make various items from them.
He had a great love for animals and was given the opportunity to train service dogs. He enjoyed this so much even though a part of his heart would break when the dog was trained and left to do its job. He worked in forestry. He loved the outdoors and while he loved being high up in the mountains he was most at peace in Washington state sitting and watching the ocean waves rolling in. Tony was skilled in carpentry. He made and sold many pieces of beautiful furniture. He was given many awards for all his various art forms.
He was predeceased by his father, Sam Vogel, and survived by his much-loved mother, Tina Kujala.
He loved people. He was quick to smile and never missed an opportunity to crack a joke. He helped people when he saw a need. He loved to share his skills. Besides his artistic endeavors, he was able to teach guitar. Tony was diagnosed with ALS five years ago. He fought hard to keep his independence for as long as he could. Being independent was very important to him. He never complained. He rolled with the punches this awful disease threw at him. He was an inspiration to the people that surrounded him daily. Tony cared for each person that crossed his path. He took nothing for granted. Thank you was his most commonly used words.
Quoting one of his favorite musicians, Stevie Ray Vaughan, "What I am trying to get across to you; is please take care of yourselves and those that you love; because that is what we are here for, that's all we got, and that is all we can take with us. Are you with me?
* At the insistence of Tony's mom, she wishes you to know two things: 1) I wrote Tony's obituary and 2) a bit of our history together.
My oldest daughter and I lived with Tony and his mother, Tina, when we were all pretty young. Tony was 12 years old then. All of us have remained near and dear to each other. We have had 40 years of friendship and love between us. We Are family.
Since Tony always gets the last word "How bout them Cowboys!"
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