Donald L. Vegge, 73, Billings, left for his eternal home, February 16, 2020, at Riverstone Hospice House, surrounded by family.
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Don entered this earthly world on October 22, 1946, in Billings, to George and Nellie Vegge. He was named after his mother’s cousin, who was the first one in the family to die in combat during WWII. Don was preceded in death by his parents, George and Nellie Vegge. He is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Crystal (Brian Martin) of Billings; Justin of Janesville, Wisconsin; grandchildren, Heather, Matthew, Cameron, and Daizy Martin; Wes and Elly Vegge; and sister, Carol of Billings.
Don’s life was one of fulfillment as he lived deeply.
He graduated from Billings West High in 1964. His high school years were occupied by sports and music. He played the double French horn in the school band and also with the Billings Symphony. Don taught himself to play a carpenter’s saw with a viola bow. He shared this extraordinary gift playing at nursing homes, funerals, church and other functions.
Don loved all kinds of sports. He played slow pitch men’s softball on the Buck’s Bar team for eight years, which later was inducted into the Montana Softball Hall of Fame. Don also coached the Kings’ women’s slowpitch team.
Don served in the Air Force 1966-1970, being stationed in New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Alaska, which was a perfect fit for him as it provided many opportunities to hunt and fish.
Upon returning to Billings following his military service, Don worked for MDU before joining the Billings Police Force. From 1973 - 1997, Don seized every available opportunity within the police department serving as a motorcycle cop, bicycle cop, and being part of the SWAT team. As a result of taking a crime scene photography class, Don developed a passionate hobby of photography.
Being a resource officer at West High School was a very special time while serving on the police department.
During his police career, Don was instrumental in getting the Police Chaplaincy program started in 1978. Upon his retirement from the police department, Don continued to serve the city working with canine detection services, heading Security at Rimrock Mall and serving 13 years in the Billings Code Enforcement Division. In all of his years with the City of Billings, Don worked hard to make the city a better place to live and to raise families.
Don loved much. He married Judy, April 4, 1981. He provided many opportunities for Crystal and Justin as they came to discover their strengths and interests. Don gave graciously, not only to his family, but also to others.
As a code enforcement officer, he often helped people who were unable to take care of their code violations.
Don had a deep faith. He was very much involved with his church, playing his saw at worship services, being part of the church’s security team and participating in Bible studies. Don knew Christ was always with him and he lived his faith deeply.
The Vegge family expresses deep appreciation and gratitude for the tender loving care by his physicians and Riverstone Home Care and Hospice Services.
Suggested memorials are: Riverstone Home Care and Hospice Services, 2626 1st Avenue South, Billings, Montana, 59101; Beartooth Christian Ranch, 130 Trinity Trail, Fishtail, MT 59028; Boys and Girls Club of Yellowstone County, 505 Orchard Lane, Billings, Montana, 59101.