Fred Burnell, a World War II veteran, was the oldest child born to Herbert and Gladys (Carnahan) Burnell on March 13, 1924 in Kalispell, MT. His father was a World War I veteran; they both served in the same area in Europe.
Fred passed away at Community Medical Center on March 10, 2014 with his wife Patsy and daughter Valerie by his side.
Fred met his wife, Patricia Ann Teigen, while growing up in a small farming community outside of Kalispell. They lived across the road from each other, and Fred, being 11 years older then her, spent a lot of time helping her father with different jobs. They both went to the same grade school.
Fred graduated from Flathead County High School in 1942. He went to work that summer for the Forest Service manning a lookout, spotting fires and doing other tasks that went along with that job. In the fall he enrolled at the University of Montana, at that time Montana State University. In April of 1943 he was drafted into the Army where he served three years active duty before he was discharged.
Fred’s World War II Army service included attendance at the Medical Tech School in Washington, D.C. for training as a Medic. He then served in the European Theater until the end of the war. His awards and decorations included the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Upon his Honorable Discharge from active duty, he remained in the Army Reserve until a final discharge on November 17, 1950.
Fred enrolled in the University upon his return from the Army and graduated in 1951 with a BA degree in Forestry and a Minor in History. After graduating from college, he went to work for the Forest Service on the Flathead National Forest until 1954. He was detailed to the Lewis and Clark National Forest and later became a permanent employee until he transferred to Missoula as a Regional Transportation Planner in 1959. His specialty was making maps and working with maps. He did this until 1979 when he retired. He was also a very active forest fire coordinator during the summers, recruiting people for the various crew jobs and setting up fire camps. They didn’t set up fire camps the like they do today.
In the fall of 1953, Fred got together with this little girl (named Patsy) that he grew up with (he must have waited for her to grow up) and they were married on January 10, 1954. The rest is history!
After retirement Fred built a house on the west side of Stevensville and lived there until his death. He enjoyed living in the wooded area and watching all of the wildlife around the property. He often enjoyed a “toddy” or two with his wife on their porch.
Fred was a very proud 69-year American Legion member. The past few years he was a member of Post 94 in Stevensville. He was a 57-year member of the Masonic Lodge. He was a Past Master of Lodge 28 in Stevensville. He was a 23-year member of the Eagles Lodge 32 in Missoula. He was proud to be a member of these organizations. He was also the Chairman for American Legion Baseball in Missoula for 25 years; the Mavericks and Reds, Class A and Class B teams.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Helen Mauzey and his grandson Ernest Burnell. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Patsy; son Thomas of Bozeman and daughter Valerie of Missoula; two grandchildren, Grace Odell (John) of Littleton, CO and Herbert Burnell of Belgrade; two great grandchildren, Matthew Odell and Michael Odell of Littleton; sister Evelyn Shepard of Kalispell; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; his “in-law” family which are many; and all of his friends both young ad old.
Fred, you will be missed by your loving family and friends!
Services are pending and will be announced at a later date.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.