Dr./LTC Bert Reay English, born July 27, 1936 in Great Falls, Montana passed away from natural causes Friday September 1, 2017 in Great Falls. Bert attended Great Falls High School and furthered his education with an undergraduate degree from Western Montana College in Dillon, MT. Bert then went on to achieve a Doctorate in Optometry at Pacific University. He opened his first Optometry practice in Great Falls, MT at the Holiday Village Mall in an office space on Piccadilly Lane in the late 1960s then Polson and later Helena. Bert retired from practice in 2003.
He married Sharon English (deceased 2009) in 1957 and together they had five children: son Daniel John (deceased 2017) and wife Tammy and their daughter Samantha (Matt) Tribble and son Zachary (Shannon); daughter Diana and her daughters Libby and Corgan; sons Toby (Di) and his six children Xander, Elizabeth, Emily, Madeline, Abigail, and Levi; Andrew (Kristin) and their daughter Kaitlin and son Jordan; and son Matthew and partner Paul.
Bert and Sharon divorced in 1984 and Bert later married Mary Phyllis Neild in May of 1985.
Bert served in the Oregon and Montana Air National Guard from 1955 to 1984 initially as a Radar Intercept Officer in the back seat of the F89 Scorpion accruing 1,800 hours. Upon leaving his flying career after aircraft conversion LTC English served multiple functions within the MANG. He retired after 29 years as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Bert belonged to and volunteered his time to several community and civic organizations including the American Legion, Shriners, Elks Lodge 193, Uptown Optimist Club, and Disaster Preparedness for the Montana Air National Guard.
Bert accrued 1,000's of hours in his different boats in the waterways of Montana and innumerous winter weekends snowmobiling throughout Montana. Upon retirement winters were spent with Phyllis in Yuma, AZ Jeeping and other activities. Over the years Bert and Phyllis spent their time between Montana, Costa Rica and Arizona. They especially enjoyed numerous friends and acquaintances in Costa Rica and Arizona along with their canine companions Angel, Alfie, Willard, Sam, Jett, and Paco. Bert and Phillis enjoyed snowmobiling, bowling, jeeping and of course boating whenever he could.
He is survived by his wife of thirty-two years Mary Phyllis English.
He is preceded in death by his son Daniel John, father John Byron, mother Evelyn English, brother Robert and his wife Carol English.
Bert's great grandchildren include Anna, Carson, Kree, Kole, Kennedie, Madison, Ryder, Addelyn, Atticus, Olivia, and the newest addition, sweet Nora.
Graveside services with military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 11th at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison. A reception will follow the service at the Fort Harrison Service Club. In lieu of flowers, Phyllis requests donations to be made in Bert's name to an animal shelter of your choice. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Bert.