Donald Ray Gouchenour, Jr. was born in Conrad, Montana on March 22, 1956, the second of 11 children. He was raised 42 miles east of Conrad where he loved his life ranching, farming, and riding motorcycles. He learned the value of hard work and the responsibility of caring for animals and working the land. Raising and entering steers in the Toole County Fair taught him trading and selling skills that he would use later in life. This, along with his self-taught mechanic skills, allowed him to buy and sell cars for a profit and as a hobby. He attended country school until seventh grade and graduated early from high school to work at a coal mine. He joined the Navy, and after completing basic training, served for several months until he was honorably discharged due to color blindness.
A proud lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Donald volunteered for two years as a missionary for the Church in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada where he learned about the culture of the local native tribes and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had the gift of healing and used it to bless and save many lives over the years. He had many missionary companions on whom he practiced hair cutting and became accomplished at cutting hair for himself and others. He was a warm and kind man, known for his good humor and jokes. He loved to laugh.
He married Debra Meyer from Calgary, Alberta and started his own family while farming in Montana for 14 years. He moved his wife and five children to Washington state where he ran feedlots with his high school buddy and worked as a school bus mechanic for the school district for five years. The family then moved back to Montana where he began his trucking career.
Donald lived a very honorable life, influencing many to do good. He loved everyone he knew and loved serving others. He was a prime example of doing everything with compassion as he wanted to follow his Savior’s example. He loved the Lord and he loved teaching the Gospel.
He passed suddenly on Sunday, January 31, 2021 after contracting COVID-19. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald Ray Gouchenour, Sr. and Rosemary Powell Gouchenour. Donald is survived by his wife, Debra; children, Kenneth, Russell, Jocelyn, Gabe and Ford; grandchildren, Samantha, Kaylin, Haley, Shelleen, Jenna, Cashton, Zachary, Amelia, and Kayson; ten siblings; and many other family and friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
A Public Visitation will be held on Monday, February 15, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Rose Room Chapel at Croxford Funeral Home. A Private Family Service will be held Tuesday, February 16th, followed by a Public Graveside Service at Hillside Cemetery in Conrad, MT at 1:15 PM. For those who wish to attend the service virtually, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation to Zoom.
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