Stevensville – Theodore “Ted” R. McNinch, 87, entered into eternal rest surrounded by his family on February 13, 2014. He was born into this life on May 19, 1926 in Lima, Montana to Leslie and Annie McNinch. During his school-aged years, which were spent near Lima and Dell, MT, Ted developed a life-long love and talent for working with horses. Ted used these talents to serve his country during the Korean War in which he served in the mule pack division, making rank as a corporal. Following his time in the military, Ted returned to Beaverhead County working at the Johnson Saddle Shop in Dillon. It was during this time that Ted met his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan Wenger. They married on September 5, 1953.
In 1955, Ted’s strong work ethic and pioneer spirit took him from the ranches of the Beaverhead to the timber of the Bitterroot Valley where he, Joan, his daughter Maggie and son Jim started the Bass Creek Post and Pole Plant. The family eventually sold the post and pole plant to start another business in Bass Creek Logging. During his years as a logger, Ted’s family and crews learned from his example the value of honest, hard work as he often times worked the longest and hardest hours on any job. (In addition to being an incredibly hard worker Ted was a tremendous visionary as evident in the construction of one of the first de-limbing machines used in the logging industry.)
Although Ted took pride in his work, he took greater pride in working alongside his family, which he was able to do for most of his life. He found great joy in a job well done and he found significant meaning in a job well done with family. The seemingly meaningless tasks of everyday life found meaning when they were done with or for his family.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Annie McNinch, his brother, Dick and his daughter, Maggie. He is survived by his wife Joan; son Jim (Kari); six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren. A public visitation was held on Thursday, February 20 at the Whitesitt Funeral Home. A celebration of Ted’s life was held on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the funeral home. Interment with military honors followed at the Riverside Cemetery and a reception for family and friends followed at the Stevensville United Methodist Church. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.