Posted 5/27/14 (Tue)
Leslie (Les) Judkins , 86, of Bridger Mont., died peacefully in his sleep at home May 17, 2014. He was born July 19, 1927, in Banks, N.D. to Jay and Borghild Judkins. He was the eldest of eight children and with his four brothers and three sisters grew up on a farm near Banks. He was baptized and attended the Banks Lutheran Church and attended the country school graduating in June of 1942 from the eighth grade. Leslie left home at age 16 and worked with his brother Jim at Amerada Petroleum Corporation on a seismic crew. While working on a road crew near Sanish, N.D., he met the love of his life Maybelle Pittsley.
On Aug. 28, 1948, he was united in marriage to Maybelle in Watford City, N.D. The best man was the brother of the bride, Glenn Pittsley. The maid of honor was the sister of the groom, Barbara Judkins. Leslie found work in Watford City with the Standard Service Station and then with Farmers Union Co-Op. They welcomed their first son, Gary Leslie on Aug. 1, 1949, in Williston N.D. On Jan. 18, 1951, their second son, Donald James, was also born in Williston, N.D. Leslie was hired in 1952 to work in the Gallagher grain elevator. On July 2, 1953, they welcomed their first daughter Wanda May, in Watford City, N.D. He become employed by E.H. Walrath & Sons as manager of their grain elevator, and moved the family to Bridger, Mont., in the fall of 1954, where they have made their home ever since. Their second daughter, Julia Ann, was born Feb. 25, 1956 in Billings, Mont. Later followed by another son, born Sept. 7, 1957, in Red Lodge, Mont., named Ernest Lynn, and in the same hospital their last child, another son, Douglas Jay, was born Dec. 20, 1958.
Leslie worked for E.H. Walrath & Sons for over 32 years until it closed October 1987. He had a great eye for photography and owned and operated Bridger Photo where they photographed numerous graduates of Bridger and surrounding communities, weddings and of course never missed a chance to photograph their own children and grandchildren. The house was always over flowing with pictures! His other passion and business was Bridger Fur Co., started in 1973 with the help of their sons Don, Gary, Ernie and Doug. With their help and his grandsons, the business thrived and is still operated today. The Bridger Fur Company store in downtown Bridger was operated solely by him, Maybelle, their son, Doug, and daughter-in-law, Joan.
Leslie was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt, fish and trap under the beautiful Montana skies. Nothing lit up his face more than seeing his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He never missed an opportunity to share his jokes and life experiences with everyone that he met. He will be remembered as being very generous and positive with a friendly smile. Leslie loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and was thankful for what the Lord had blessed him with during his long life.
Leslie is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Maybelle Judkins of Bridger, Mont.; his six children, Gary (Gerri) Judkins of Hamilton, New Zealand, Donald (Monique) Judkins of Orofino, Idaho, Wanda (Larry) Sticka of Whitefish, Mont., Julie (Darrel) Krum of Belfry, Mont., Ernie (Cindy) Judkins of Belgrade, Mont., and Doug (Joan) Judkins of Bridger, Mont.; sister, Barb (Bob) Arthaud of Dickinson, N.D.; brother Jim Judkins of Libby, Mont., brother Jack (Wilma) Judkins of Troy, Mont., brother Charlie Judkins of Libby, Mont., sister Elaine (Virgil) Laasch of Cut Bank, Mont., Ilene Felland of Sandpoint, Idaho, and great friend Terry Handeland, of Bridger, Mont.; grandchildren, Larry Jr. (Michel) Sticka of Livingston, Mont., Jason (Jennifer) Krum of Belgrade, Mont., Trina (Errin) Glencross of Kalispell, Mont., Justin (Kjerstina) Krum of Reno, Nev., Jennifer (Justin) Holzworth of Belgrade, Mont., Jeramie (Jessie) Krum of Belgrade, Mont., Joshua (Mia) Judkins of San Francisco, Calif., Tyler (Scottia) Judkins of Belgrade, Mont., Christopher (Emily) Judkins of Great Falls, Mont., Jonathan (Amy) Krum of Big Timber, Mont., Daniel Judkins of Wellington, New Zealand, Timothy Judkins of San Francisco, Calif., Walter (Amy) Jones of Bothell, Wash., Danielle (Peter) Oudenhouven of St. Louis, Mo., Ashley Roshitsh of Boise, Idaho; and 31 great grandchildren.
Leslie was proceeded in death by his parents, Jay and Borghild Judkins, brother Duane (Fairy) Judkins, and two great-grandchildren; Meah Anne Krum, Paxton Leonard Sticka.
In lieu of flowers memorials in his name may be made to the Montana Rescue Mission in Billings (montanarescuemission.org).