Stevensville - Robert H. Sangster, 89, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2023, surrounded by loved ones on both sides of the veil. He was a longtime resident of Stevensville, and his influence will long be remembered. He was a rancher, electrical contractor, was elected to the school board twice, and served in leadership positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life. His folksy “Sangsterisms” will long be remembered, along with his work ethic, sense of duty, and love for his family and God. He was a “put your shoulder to the wheel” kind of man, but much of his service is largely unknown to all but himself. Many were the nights when he came home late, having been thawing pipes for neighbors, repairing water heaters for those in need, and quietly “getting done” whatever needed doing. Bob married his high school sweetheart, Norma Gilliland, on June 19, 1952. They were sealed in the St. George temple on October 14, 1952. They are the parents of five children: Scott (Brenda) Sangster, Glenda (Roger) Bardsley, Greg (Sherri) Sangster, Julie (Eric) Visser, and Adam (Andrea) Sangster. Bob had a successful electrical contracting business in California, but after several hunting trips to Montana, he and Norma decided to sell their California interests, and they bought a ranch with a crooked old farmhouse and a big barn in Stevensville. There, they raised cattle, hay, and children, and served in their church and community. They taught their children to work, to play and to “stop dummin’ around” or “a rock will fall on you.” Their children never did know who George Krankershank was, but any time Bob needed to refer to someone by name, either to make a point, to tell a story, or if someone’s name escaped him, George Krankershank filled the void. Bob loved to serve, and he served wherever he was asked to serve. He served as a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Scouter, a Seminary teacher, a youth leader, and in October of 1979, he was called to serve as the Stake President of the newly established Stevensville Stake of the church. Very shortly thereafter, he lost his wife, Norma, to cancer. Thankfully, in time, he met and married Sandra Mortensen, who brought three children along with her to the marriage. Rick (Alisa) Brinkerhoff, Dawn (Bruce) Boyd, and Keith (Terry Lynn) Sangster, filled their home and rounded out their family. Together, Bob and Sandy raised children and cattle, traveled the world, and continued to serve. As their three children grew and left the nest, Bob and Sandy decided to serve a full-time mission for the Church. When asked where they would like to go, they said they didn’t care – wherever the Lord needed them, they were ready and willing to go. And go they did – off to Armenia for 18 months. Just as they were preparing to return home, they received another call to serve as Mission Leaders of the Armenia Mission – for another 2 year period. After returning home from Armenia, a third mission followed, this one a service mission in Hawaii, where they served for one year at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Bob and Sandy continued to work hard, raising cattle and taking care of the ranch. Eventually they bought a second home in Arizona and became “snow birds.” Bob continued to “get it done”, whether in Arizona or Montana, working, serving, coaching grandchildren from the bleachers, and being the neighborhood handyman. He is a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. As Sandy says, “There will never be another one like him.” Bob is survived by his wife, Sandy, their children and spouses, 38 grandchildren, and 55 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry George Sangster and Madge Louise Waymire, his sister, Vickie Martinez, a granddaughter, Brooke Sangster, and son-in-law, Roger Bardsley. Services will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stevensville Montana Stake center, located at 100 Middle Burnt Fork Road in Stevensville, Mt. The family invites you to a reception at 10:00 a.m. at the church, prior to the service. Interment will be at the Victor, MT cemetery. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.
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