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Elroy Allan (Riley) Owens

| May 19, 2021 12:00 AM

Elroy Allan (Riley) Owens, 61, of Plains, Montana, passed away Saturday, May 8, 2021 in Kalispell, Montana.

Elroy was born Oct. 9, 1959 at Howard Hughes Hospital in Culver City, California, to Don and Helga Owens. He attended part of his elementary schooling in Eagle Rock, California.

In 1969 his family moved to Polson, Montana.

His parents divorced and in 1972 his mother remarried and moved to Plains. He graduated from high school in Plains.

Riley worked in road construction for a few years then enlisted in the Navy. He was assigned to an aircraft carrier. Home port was Oak Harbor, Washington.

He was trained to inspect the cockpits of jet planes. He spent 12½ years in the Navy. After a medical discharge, he went to school on the VA program to study auto mechanics and was also certified on heavy equipment. His repair shop was “Roy’s Auto” in Plains.

He married Deanna Hanks on Dec. 26, 1998 at his mother’s home in Plains. He acquired three children – Christina, Lisa & Ronald. He later adopted Ronald. He and Deanna bought the Wildhorse Bar, Café and Casino and own it at the present time.

Riley was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis about five years ago. There is no cure and no medical cause – probably genetic – as he had three uncles on his mother’s side that died from the same problem. In the past few months he had to give up the auto mechanics and working in the Wildhorse.

He is survived by his wife, Deanna; daughters, Christina Hanks & Lisa Hower of Spokane, Washington; son, Ronald (Dani) Owens of Bonner, Montana; Mother, Helga Martin of Plains; brother, Jan Norman (Melissa) Owens of Corvallis, MT; sister, Debra (Chester) Robbins of Plains; and stepbrother and good friend, Howard Martin of Plains; Aunt in Eagle Rock, California; eight grandchildren, two nephews, three nieces; one great niece and six great nephews; and a multitude of cousins and friends. He was much loved and will be greatly missed.

Riley was preceded in death by all grandparents, nine uncles, two aunts, one nephew; his father, Don Owens and stepfather, Walter Martin.