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314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
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Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Dean V. Vance

Born: Tue., Oct. 7, 1941
Died: Wed., Apr. 28, 2021


Vigil Service

6:00 PM Wed., May 05, 2021
Location: St. Mary's Mission Parish


Memorial Mass

11:00 AM Thu., May 06, 2021
Location: St. Mary's Mission Parish


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Stevensville  -  On April 28, 2021, Dean Vance peacefully passed away at age 79. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Stevensville. Dean was born on October 7, 1941 in Colorado to Ralph and Hope Vance. He went to school in Stevensville, Montana. After graduation, Dean became a logger and started a successful logging business. He also developed a variety of successful business endeavors. On September 17, 1962, he married his sweetheart Ramona Gonzalez. They raised one son, Mark, and two daughters, Krissy and the apple of his eye Tami. Dean had a passion for the outdoors and loved exploring the mountains and natural beauty of Western Montana. Dean will be remembered for his work ethic, love of family, his love of the· outdoors, and watching his grandchildren grow and participate in their sporting activities. Dean is survived by his wife Ramona, his three children, Mark, Krissy, and Tami (Hamper), and his seven grandchildren, Caleb Vance, Kyle, Luke, Taylor, Mark, Jake, Taryn Hamper, and his sister Mona Sandberg (Vern). He also had a fantastic and very handsome son-in-law, Kris Hamper. Dean treasured his many friends along the way, his extended family of dear nieces, nephews, sisters and brothers-in-law. A rosary will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Stevensville at 6:00 on Wednesday, May 5, and the funeral will be held the following day at 11:00 on Thursday, May 6, at St. Mary's. Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Dean to St Mary's Mission. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.

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Condolence Booklet

Mel Brown
   Posted Fri April 30, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of Dean's passing. My thoughts and prayers are will all you during this time. He always had a smile on his face, always. I don't remember a time whenever I would see him that he wasn't smiling.

Betty Landwehr
   Posted Sat May 01, 2021
Ramona, Mark, Krissy and Tami, I am so sorry to hear about Dean's passing. He was one of the kindest and calm men I have ever met! Always had a great smile. May God comfort you all at this very sad time in your lives. I know you all have very fond memories of Dean.

Judy Parker
   Posted Sun May 02, 2021
Dean was such a nice man. Ditto everything Betty said.

Carol Clark
   Posted Sun May 02, 2021
I was so very heartbroken to see that Dean had passed. I met Dean and Ramona at the Peak several years ago. They were two of my favorite people. Dean was an inspiration to me. No matter what life dished up, he and Ramona were positive and there at the gym, getting back in the game. So supportive of their family and grandkids, it was easy to see where their priorities laid. To Dean's family, may the love of our Lord and Savior comfort you in the coming days. I count it as a privilege to have met Dean. Truly a person I will not forget. Sending hugs to you as well, Ramona. You will be in my prayers.

Marshall Cromwell
   Posted Mon May 03, 2021
Short Story For Ramona & the Kids: In the summer of 1956, Dean started bucking hay bales when he was about 14 years old. Dean, my older brother Neil Cromwell and their good friend Denny Dickerson worked for George Ruffato north of Stevensville. They were paid 5 cents per bale, divided 3 ways. So they worked hard, fast and furious, sunup to sundown all summer long. At age 10, I was their truck driver. My job was to learn how to drive, without hitting any bales, and to slow down for the ditches! At the stack yard, I also counted the bales as they came off each truck onto the conveyor and delivered high onto each hay stack. I was paid $3 per day; I was going to get rich! And I loved every minute of it. Except one day when I hit a ditch too hard, and a lot of bales came off the truck, Neil picked himself up, ran over to the door and chewed me out, up one side and down the other. Some words I had never heard before. I felt pretty bad. After Neil got back onto the truck, and we were moving once again (Dean & Denny on the sides, Neil on the truck), Dean ran up to me all hot, sweaty, with loose hay all over his face, arms and chest, and said, “hey - don’t worry about it, good buddy, you are doing a great job; keep up the good work.” And then a wink and that big smile! I was feeling pretty low. But Dean made my whole day; and I never forgot it.

The next summer, Dean had his drivers license and was driving a GORGEOUS 1952 Ford Victoria, 2-door hardtop, green and white. On the front fenders, he had a neat decal of a snake coming out of a basket, with the caption “Booze Burner” over the top. At age 15. It was cool. And so was Dean. I worked with Dean for 3 summers, and between those 3 guys I learned more cuss words than most Army guys do in a career, and a lot more about sex than I wanted to know at the time. But they gave me some of the best memories of my life, including at lunch time when we drove down to the Florence river bridge (railroad), and we all jumped off that bridge repeatedly to cool off and have fun. Then back to work again. Hustle, hustle, hustle, as Dean would say... and I remember their record was 2,195 hay bales in one day.

Dean was one of the hardest working guys I have ever met. On many occasions, Dean would give me a call, asked if I would be willing to drive for him the next day (usually on a Sunday), we drove out to Ruffato’s ranch at sunup and started to work. All by himself, Dean threw the bales onto the truck, then stacked them 6 or 7 high, we then drove to the yard, and he offloaded them and stacked them, one by one, single-handedly. I was impressed! I helped some but not all that much. During that 3rd summer, we became pretty good buddies, in spite of the age difference. He was 17, I was 13, Dean treated me like his equal. He was always kind, polite, smiling, telling me jokes and stories, and had a heart of gold. I have always liked Dean, and over the years continued to respect him for who he was.

Based on how he treated me when I was so young and insecure, I’m sure as a father he must have been the best. May Dean rest in peace. And God bless you - Ramona, kids, grand kids - my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Scott Burke
   Posted Mon May 03, 2021
Ramona, Mark, Krissy and Tami,
I was blessed to become acquainted with your family nearly 40 years ago. Dean was quiet, strong, successful and extremely committed to his family. Looks like very little changed throughout his lifetime. Wonderful memories would pop into my head when seeing he and Romona attending mass at St. Francis when in Missoula. Keep Dean present through stories and fond memories. My prayers are with you. May he rest in peace.

Nancy Sue Johnson
   Posted Mon May 03, 2021
Dear Ramona and family my thoughts and prayers are with all of you and know this is a difficult time. May God's loving arms surround you all with love and peace every day. It was so nice to get to visit with Dean in recent years and the Griz Basketball games and connect with Ramona on Facebook. Love and Prayers Always to all of you.

Bekah Gatchel (Beckie Wiegand)
   Posted Mon May 03, 2021
I am so very sorry for your loss! I have fond memories of Dean; of you all. Many prayers, much love, huge hugs, and blessings for you all.

Bekah Gatchel (Beckie Wiegand)❤️

Roberta Nicholas
   Posted Mon May 10, 2021
Ramona, Mark, Krissy and Tami, I was so sorry to hear about Dean. I know how much you will miss him. He was one of the good guys. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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