Joseph Lawrence LaRocque, 90, a cattle rancher from Simms, died of natural causes April 5, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Croxford Funeral Home. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date.
Joe was born July 16, 1929 in North Dakota to James and Ann (Aiken) LaRocque. Joe moved to Montana for better work opportunities and settled in Great Falls. He worked at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company’s Great Falls smelter for over thirty years while simultaneously expanding the Sequist family ranch in Simms. He was constant support and help for his special mother-in-law, Verna, and was able to purchase the ranch from her in 1962.
Joe was a stockman who loved animals and was especially proud of his angus cows and calves. His responsible stewardship of the Simms Creek Ranch will ensure the land is healthy and productive for years to come. Joe’s work ethic was legendary; he was always outside calving out cows, swathing, baling, fixing fence, or irrigating. He regularly attended Western Livestock auctions and had many friends there.
Joe leaves behind many close friends and family. The LaRocque family wishes to thank everyone for their friendship and support, but especially the Gray, Styee, Nielson, and Lapke families.
Joe is survived by his wife, Elerine Sequist LaRocque of Simms; his daughter, Pamela (Dennis) Johnson of Billings; and two granddaughters, Camille Johnson of Simms and Austrin (Stephen) Martens of Billings. He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Larry Sequist LaRocque; mother-in-law, Verna Bloom Sequist; his cousin, Dave Johnson; and his brother and sister-in-law, Harvey and Babe LaRocque.
Memorials may be made to the Sun River Valley Historical Society or to a charity of one’s choice.
“Anyone can be a cowboy; few are cattlemen.”
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