Jerry Choate

Born: Tue., Jan. 22, 1952
Died: Tue., Aug. 9, 2016


Funeral Service

11:00 AM Tue., Aug. 16, 2016
Location: LaFollette's Chapel


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Jerry Choate most recently of Sidney, MT, passed away, surrounded by his family on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at Billings Clinic in Billings MT, due to complications of a stroke suffered after heart surgery.
Jerald Howell Choate, was born in Burns, Oregon on February 22, 1952, to parents John T (known to all as Tom) and Ima (Howell) Choate. He was the third of 5 children. He had two older brothers Tommy and Gordon, a younger brother Gary, and the youngest, his sister Sharyn.
From a very young age, the outdoors held Jerry’s interest over everything else: including shooting, reloading, hunting, fishing, and playing sports.
He graduated from Burns Union High School in 1971, and soon joined the Army National Guard. He got a job as a millwright at the Edward Hines Lumber Company, where he worked until 1980.
On September 16, 1972 he married Pidgeon Root. They had two daughters: Jerri Lynn born in 1973, and Lorie in 1974.
The family moved to Battle Mountain, NV in 1981, when the mill closed. Jerry worked for the Duval/Battle Mountain Gold Company until 1989. During this time he formed many lifelong friendships, and found a new love for gold mining and assaying. He also earned his pilot’s license, and purchased a 172 Cessna, which he spent countless hours flying.
Leaving Nevada, he returned to Burns, where he went to work for Alan Bossout at Alan’s Repair as a welder and fabricator for a time. Later, he went into business with his good friend, Ed Ham, forming C&H Welding and Field Repair.
Jerry loved to cut lumber at the log-pond of the defunct Hines Mill, using his Wood-Mizer sawmill. He could see the beauty of the boards in each log before he cut them, and spent several years fine-tuning that talent.
On Thanksgiving of 1996, Jerry’s sister Sharyn introduced him to Katherine O’Clair. That Sunday, they had their first date: elk hunting. When he took a shot and missed, he told Katherine that he had something (which was in fact someone) in his eye. A second date followed calling coyotes and shooting pistols. They married on January 18, 1997, six weeks later.
Jerry’s love of hunting inspired him to open an archery and sporting goods store in Burns, called Shooter’s Corner. There he enjoyed spending time with old friends, and making new, while sharing stories over coffee, playing cribbage, and teaching people young and old how to shoot a bow. During this time in his life, he went on a moose hunting trip to Alaska, and experienced paddle fishing in Montana for the first time.
In 2008, Jerry and Katherine moved to North Dakota briefly, before settling in Sidney in 2009. He found it was a very different world here, and enjoyed learning the way of the land. He worked for Leonardite Products for a few years before taking a job at the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project. Most recently he was easing into retirement, buying, selling, and working on guns at Lundemo Firearms & Sports.
Jerry never lost his love of flying, hunting, fishing, guns, and of course, watching old westerns. He loved to sit with family and friends, sharing stories and memories.
He is survived by: his wife, Katherine Choate, Sidney, MT; his daughters, Jerri Lynn Choate and Lorie (Mike) Smith both of Culbertson, MT; his stepsons, Christopher (Katie) O’Clair and Joshua O’Clair both of Sidney, MT, and Jonathan (Amanda) O’Clair, Gilbert, AZ; his oldest brother, Tommy (Barbara) Choate, Burns, OR; little sister, Sharyn (Philip) Ochoa, Santa Rosa Valley, CA; his grandchildren, Gauge, Kynzie, and Remington, and his step grandchildren, Dylan, Shelby, Brooklyn, and Gavin.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents John T. and Ima, and his brothers Gordon and Gary.

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