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Wayne Ray Veltri

Died: Fri., Nov. 8, 2013


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Wayne Ray Veltri

STEVENSVILLE - Wayne Ray Veltri, 76, passed away Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at home of prostate cancer. Wayne was born June 29, 1937, in Spokane to John and Betty Veltri.

Wayne was the oldest of his four siblings. Preceding Wayne in death was his daughter, Marie Veltri, in 2004; his twin sister Wuanita in 2007; his brother, Merrill in early 2013; and two brothers in their youth. Surviving Wayne are his wife Judy Fredrickson Veltri; daughters, Melodie Mahoney (Dan) of Homer Alaska, Merrilyn Papasodora (Jeff) of Wasilla, Alaska, and son Marty Veltri of Anchorage, Alaska; also his stepchildren, Phil Austin, Janean Clark (Jim) and Tim Strom (Dana), all of Missoula. He has 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Wayne worked hard all his life. This was the most important of his core values. Wayne began his working career as a teenager working on the Canyon Ferry Dam near Helena. Wayne was involved in the construction industry starting in 1957, induding heavy and highway construction, and commercial and residential construction. He was in the welding trade and was a member of the Pile Drivers Local 2396 on the West Coast.

In 1968, Wayne started the company VECO (Veltri Enterprises Construction) in Alaska. Wayne took on a partner within the first year, later sold to him, a deal cut short by VECO filing bankruptcy. Many years of Wayne's life were spent working on the North Slope in Alaska. He also worked on oil platforms around the world; working off-shore in Norway was one of his favorite jobs. His nephew referred to Wayne as a man's man, a real self-reliant, hardworking, decent guy who carved his way in the world by the sweat of his brow and the callouses on his hands. His talents in the garden and the kitchen are legendary in our family. To quote one of Wayne's dear friends, "You are the best man to ever walk this earth, and the best friend." Wayne was a true renaissance man.

In 1989, Wayne invented the back-massaging rocking chair and received his patent in 1994.

Wayne spent the last 25 years of his life living near Stevensville. He met his wife Judy in 1987 and in 1993 they started their home together, building and landscaping their little piece of paradise. There are a lot of good memories of family visiting here.

Wayne was adamant about not having a funeral. Respecting his wishes, the family is planning a celebration of Wayne's life barbecue in June of 2014, exact date and location to be announced later.

The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society, www.donatecancer.org/index, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718; Aspen Hospice, 107 Bell Crossing West, Stevensville, MT 59870; or the Bitter Root Humane Society, PO Box 57, Hamilton, MT 59840.

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Molly Hilburn
   Posted Sun November 17, 2013
Hi,
My name is Molly and I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with Wayne. I worked at the Napa store here in Stevensville for the last 8 years, and Wayne was one of my very favorite customers. It was always a good day at work when he came in. I actually mixed the paint for his old truck and helped him find alot of parts for it that noone else seemed to be able to find. I recently changed occupations and was shocked and saddened to see Wayne's obituary in the paper. As it turned out we had a friend in common from the north slope, Tom Hart. What a small world. We also enjoyed talking about gardening and he gave me some really good advise on my strawberry bed, I had the best crop ever 2 yrs ago. I will miss him so, he was a bright spot in my life. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please let me know when the BBQ will be, I'd love to come. Again I'm so sorry, What a wonderful person!

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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