Lonnie Duane Brookshire passed away May 1, 2019 at St Peter's Health in Helena. He was born April 26, 1939 at home in Spokane Washington to Otis Alvin Brookshire and Violet Irene (Stecker) Brookshire. He was raised on a small farm next to the Spokane River near the Washington and Idaho border.
Lonnie and Phyllis Louise Carpenter were married in Spokane on June 4, 1960. At the time he was working for a drilling company doing foundation work for the Wanapum Dam before it was built on the Columbia River. During the next nine years he and Phyllis moved 17 times while he worked as a drill operator on foundations for dams and stabilizing ones that had already been built. They moved up and down the west coast from San Diego California to the Olympic National Forest in Washington. He was part of a crew who did foundation work from a raft in the middle of the Kootenai river before Libby dam was built.
Moving with a construction crew, pulling their small trailer house, was always an adventure. In 1966 their son, Destry, was born in California just before they moved back to Washington. The last move was to Helena, Montana in 1969 where their daughter, Dayle, was born, and where they finally stayed put. He worked for a foundation consulting company as a driller for some time after arriving in Helena. He took a drill deep down into one of the gold mines in the Elkhorns where a client was searching for more gold. He worked from a platform hanging halfway down a spillway on Hauser dam. He was very resourceful, could fix just about anything, and later went to work on the maintenance crew for School District #1 where he stayed until retirement.
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Lonnie was very outgoing. He was funny, loved visiting with people, partying, telling stories and jokes and providing entertainment. He said what he thought whether you wanted to hear it or not. A few folks didn't quite know how to take him at first but most became good friends.
Lonnie is survived by his wife of 59 years, his son, Destry, his daughter, Dayle, son in law, Pat Williams, and grandchildren, Dustin, Amanda, and David Williams. Also surviving are nieces, Sherri Rice, Teresa Bell, Olivia Brookshire, and their families.
Very special thanks to Dr. Thomas Weiner, the nurses and volunteers in the CTC, and to the nurses who took care of Lonnie during his final stay at St. Peter's.