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925 S 27th Street
BILLINGS, MT 59101
Phone: 406-245-6427
Fax: 406-259-3558
Frederick Lenhardt

Frederick Lenhardt

Wednesday, June 4th, 1924 - Saturday, November 30th, 2019
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Obituary

My Father's Hands

My father's hands worked the land,
Holding the steering wheel of the tractor,
Guiding it down the long straight rows
Where corn or sugar beets would soon grow.

My father's hands held mine when young,
Helping me walk, and keeping me from danger
He nurtured and cared for his handicapped son,
Loving him through the many challenges to come.

My father's hands held mine in his,
A wedding waltz with the best dancer I know
My father's hands gave mine to his,
Embracing a son-in-law, an added friend.

My father's hands enjoyed a good cribbage game,
His sharp mind calculating a usual win,
Laughing and teasing were part of the process,
Followed by ice cream to comfort the win-less!

My father’s hands played the banjo,
Just enough to pick out a tune,
Selling a load of grain and returning with a mandolin,
Rhythm and music were always “in his veins!”

My father's hands became frail and weak
Struggling to grasp, unable to write
My hands became my father's hands,
Helping him manage his daily tasks.

My father's hands found a home in mine,
When struggling with his final breaths
My love flowed through my hands to his,
Grateful for his faithfulness.

Linda Staszcuk


My dad, Frederick Lenhardt, passed into glory on Saturday, November 30, 2019. He died at age 95 from complications of congestive heart failure.

Dad was born on June 4, 1924, to Henry and Katherine (Hein) Lenhardt on the family farm. This farm was on what is now Sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings. He will be laid to rest there as well, returning to the land he was born on. He attended Elder Grove School and Senior High in Billings, MT.

He was happily married to my mother, Helen M. (Slater) Lenhardt for 38 years. She preceded him in death. He was a farmer most of his life, meticulously caring for the soil, his machinery, his animals, and his family. He enjoyed playing cards, dancing and woodworking.

Survivors include his son, Mark Lenhardt and his daughter, Linda (Alan) Staszcuk, both of Billings, MT; grandsons, Andrew Staszcuk of Billings and Joey (Maria) Staszcuk of Bozeman, MT; and adored great grandchildren, Kaydee and August Staszcuk. He is also survived by his brother Clarence Lenhardt of Billings; and sisters-in-law, Corinna Slater of Laurel, Veda Fay of Alaska, and Doris Lenhardt of Billings, along with many beloved nieces and nephews.

When asked what was important to him, Dad replied “The love of family.” He grew up with 4 brothers (Adolph, Richard, Leo, and Clarence) and 1 sister (Elsie Kahler Kinsfater). He enjoyed playing pinochle with his brothers and working along beside them. He also loved his extended family and enjoyed many family gatherings. There was always laughter and happy memories made with “Uncle Fred.”

A celebration of Dad's life will be held at 11 am on Friday, December 13, 2019, at Faith E Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive, in Billings MT Please think of a special memory of Dad to share, either verbally or written. Smith West Chapel is in charge. A private burial will be held on another date.

Memorials may be made to Residential Support Services, 2110 Overland Avenue, Billings, MT 59102 or charity of your choice. A special thanks to Compassus Hospice for their help and care during Dad's final months. Condolences can be shared with the family by visiting smithfuneralchapels.com where a complete obituary is available.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, December 13th, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Friday, December 13th, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    Faith E Church
    Address
    3145 Sweet Water Drive
    BILLINGS, MT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Pastor Steve Strutz

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LT

Laurie Temple

Posted at 01:53pm
I will always remember family get-togethers at the Lenhardts; horseshoe games, playing around the yard (watch out for the ditch!), Aunt Helen's tasty lemonade, and, of course, Uncle Fred's laugh. Never will forget that laugh. Good times.
DL

Diane Ligon

Posted at 07:37pm
Linda and family,
What a wonderful tribute to your Dad, he sounds like he was a wonderful man. I had to laugh when I read the part about a $50 bill in his wallet, my Dad did the same thing and we nearly threw it out after his passing! You have many wonderful memories to remember him by. (Don't know if you remember me, but we taught together in Poplar many years ago!)
Diane Ligon (Shamley)
LS

Linda Staszcuk

Posted at 09:29am
Dad never owned a credit card, nor even a cell phone until the last few years. Still, he managed to do life, and do it well. When you were with him, he was fully present, looking at you in the eyes. His handshake was as good as gold, and he never retracted doing something he said he would do, even when later he wished he hadn't promised. He often said, "I don't like to do business over the phone." He would drive to a business, so he could actually talk to a person when he wanted their service. He was an honest, compassionate, and loyal man.

He had a heart for animals, too. Even when his garden had been attacked by critters, he would shrug his shoulders and say, "Well, they have to eat too." He
really wasn't into hunting for that reason, yet he didn't judge those who were. He loved sitting outside on his swing, and often told me about "that rabbit" he had trained to come near to him for "a visit." He whistled to the birds, and were sure they understood him.

Dad always kept a 50 dollar bill in any wallet he carried. "You never know when you need a bit of cash to carry you through an emergency." In his day, that was a good amount of money. He also kept every driver's license he owned, neatly stacked in one old wallet he had, which by the way, still contained a 50 dollar bill.

He was elated to hear of a great grandchild on the way almost 13 years ago. She and I often visited "Big Papa" on Fridays with a bag full of games to play with him. He loved playing "Old Maid" and "Chutes and Ladders" with her. Of course the visit had to end with ice cream. He was a man of laughter who dearly loved little children. He enjoyed "the little girl across the road" and always remembered her at Christmas with "a little something."

Dad loved his home and land. He took meticulous care of his yard until he physically couldn't do it anymore. It was more than an acre, so that was a chore for a man nearly 90. It was extremely hard for him to leave "the farm." A special thank you to one of his very best friends, Leo Schmitt, who mowed for dad, worked on his vehicles, and came to visit him at our home. Leo would take him for rides in the country, and even go shooting golphers. Leo and Pat, his wife, would take dad out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, Golden Corral, then back to our house for cribbage. Those were good days for dad. Leo, you were a blessing to us!

.

SR

Sue & Bob Riehl

Posted at 06:20pm
I have many childhood memories but as a parent, he gave me two special ones. When Kurt was a baby, Fred would pound on the table and Kurt would laugh and pound back. He was pleased to have a little one not be intimidated by noise and loud laughter. That laugh was a memory in itself of a man who enjoyed life. The other memory was of a time when we visited and we had told our kids not to be asking for things there. After a little while, Fred piped right up and asked “did you tell your kids not to ask for cookies?” He saw right through us our strategy and gave out cookies. A man who loved kids and showed it; and he will always hold a special place in our hearts. Sue and Bob Riehl
 
LS

Linda Staszcuk Posted at 09:33am

Thank you for sharing that. Warmed my heart this morning. Both mom and dad loved that their nieces and nephews brought their families to visit them. I remember dad asking one of Cliff's daughters, when they were little, "Who's the boss at your house?" Mom quickly shut that down saying to Dad, "Not an okay question! Your nephew won't bring them to visit you again." Linda
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