A beloved family man and friend was lost to us all on Nov. 12, 2011. John M. Den Herder passed away after a valiant battle with cancer. 

He was preceded in death by his father, Peter, mother, Dana, and brother, George. 

He is survived by his dear wife, Gloria “Pat”; his children, Robert, Vicki and Michael, and their spouses, Lyanne and Jacquie; grandchildren, Leah, Johnathan, Erin and Luke; and numerous great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Marge, Irene and Johanna on the East Coast.

John was born in Paterson, N.J., on July 9, 1929. When he was a young man he chose to serve his country proudly in the Korean War as a medical corpsman. During that time, Pat caught his eye at a dance, and they corresponded together, fell in love and were wed in Arizona. They were married for 60 years. He was stationed overseas during the war, and upon his return, he was stationed throughout the country and served with the U.S. Air Force and Navy. He was honorably discharged with the rank of senior master sergeant and settled with his family in Helena. He worked at the Fort Harrison V.A. Hospital and state of Montana as a lab inspector until his retirement. 

He and Pat have lived in East Helena and enjoyed the peace of their surroundings and family. He bred and trained beautiful Brittanies and Labs, which he had throughout his life. John loved the outdoors — especially hunting and fishing to running his beloved dogs. He was active in his community and served his fellow man. He was a 33rd Degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite. He was a lifetime member of The Disabled American Veterans and an advocate for all veterans. John loved a good political discussion and was a true citizen in all respects of the United States. He had a radiant smile, sparkling blue eyes and a quick wit that brought a smile or laugh to each of us. He taught his family that hard work is good and is a blessing.

As per John and Pat’s requests, there will be a private family service only and just a simple goodbye. In lieu of flowers, a donation in John’s name to any humane society is appreciated. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.aswfuneralhome.com

He stands in heaven waiting to welcome us and continue cherished relationships with family and friends. May we remember him always and honor him by doing service for our fellow man. 

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