Mr. Anton Michael “Tony” Jochim of Inverness, MT went to join wife Audrey Marie in heaven February 1, 2020. Tony had just surpassed his 100 th birthday January 28 celebrating with family, balloons and accordion music.
Tony was born in Inverness, MT to Martin Sr. and Mariana Jochim in 1920 on the family farm south of town joining brothers Martin Jr, Jacob, and Frank and sisters Magdalena and Elizabeth. Shortly thereafter, sister Barbara also joined the family.
Tony had a mischievous streak but because he was the youngest boy, others had paved the way so Martin Sr. was well broken-in by the time Tony got around to his own antics. He began his farming and ranching career as a young man learning the ropes from Martin Sr. and brothers.
Tony spent most of his life in the Inverness area, though in his teens he and brother Frank joined the Civil Conservation Corps working for room and board in the Idaho Falls, ID area then returning home to farm.
From 1943 to 1945 Tony served in WWII as a B-17 ball turret gunner in the 305 th Bombardment Group; 225 th Army Air Force Base Unit during the European Theater Army Air Corp stationed just outside of London (Chelveston). He was decorated with the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Three Oak Leaf Clusters as Staff Sergeant.
Tony was an innovator inventing the rockpicker, meeting with Congressmen in D.C. (John Melcher and Metcalf) to present his ideas of a synchronized landing device for failed landing gear, and the creation of the EZ Grain drill filler. Tony met Audrey Hoffman on a blind date in Fargo, N.D. by the manufacturing company owner who purchased the patent for the rockpicker. They married in 1954 and enjoyed 52 years of marriage before Audrey passed. Tony volunteered his time, talents and treasures in many ways including the Sacred Heart Parish, School Board, Commercial Club, Public Television and Hill County Democratic Committee.
He loved farming, particularly with John Deere equipment, buying and driving new Cadillacs, and fishing on Lake McDonald for big “macs”. He and Audrey retired to West Glacier spending several years enjoying God’s most beautiful place on earth. Tony loved music—singing in the church choir, and entertaining all of us with both guitar and accordion performances!
Tony is survived by two daughters, Jean Edwards and Peggy Currie of Spokane, WA, wonderful son-in-laws (Doug and Keith), super grandchildren (Stephanie and Shelly, Bryce, Tony, and Cameron) and as of January 20 , his first great grandson Steel (Stephanie’s).
What a wonderful man and a wonderful 100 years.
A rosary will be said for Tony on Tuesday, February 4 at 3 p.m. at Hennessey Funeral Home on N. Division in Spokane, WA.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 5 at 3:30 pm at the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center also in Spokane under the direction of Hennessey Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be held in Havre, MT at Highland Cemetery at 10:30 am. under the direction of Holland and Bonine funeral home.
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