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William (Bill) Shope, 89

| January 31, 2024 12:00 AM

William (Bill) Shope, 89, passed away Jan. 17, 2024 surrounded by his family. Bill was born on Aug. 25, 1934, in Vanceburg, KY to Charlie and Gladys Shope.

In 1951 he married Thelma Leona Hobbs. They moved to Montana in 1958 with their three children (Chuck, Joyce and Doris). In the following years Bill and Leona had four more children (Jimmy, Billy, Lisa and Racheal). 

Bill went to work for the Bennett Mill in St. Regis. He owned the Standard Station and T&T Wrecker Service. Bill started Shope Logging with his son Chuck Shope which they ran until Bill retired. Bill was also employed at Sverdsten Logging Company, Bailey Logging, Lewis Construction and ACME Construction where he helped build I-90 running past St. Regis. Holy smokes he was even the sheriff of Mineral County at one point! Bill and Leona bought the Travelers Inn Bar and ran it until they divorced in 1981.

Bill married Juanita Smith where he gained two stepchildren (Rick and Donna Kruger). He spent the last 42 years with Juanita by his side. Bill and Juanita traveled while he continued working for ACME Construction and running Shope Logging. They lived in St. Regis until they completed their house in Haugan, and retired. They enjoyed watching the wildlife come through their property daily. They enjoyed taking drives in the mountains and visiting friends and family. You would never see one without the other.

Bill is survived by his wife Juanita Shope, children Chuck (Laura) Shope, Joyce Smith, Doris (Dan) Park, Jimmy Shope, Lisa Knight, Racheal (Kelly) Koke, Rick (Kim) Kruger, Donna (Joe) Kruger and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren. Carl Shope, Clyde Shope, Donald Shope, Earl Shope, Bo Shope and Paul Shope (brothers), Geri Shope, Mary Nolan, Rita Hauck, Debbie Pyles and Janie (sisters).

He is proceeded in death by Charlie Shope (father), Gladys Shope (mother), Billy Shope (son), Charles, Freddy, and Davey (brothers), Melvie and Rosie (sisters).

He will be remembered for his hard work, storytelling, quick wit, and infectious smile. Bill loved with his whole heart. He will be dearly missed by everyone who loved and knew him.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring.