Gregory Oliver Engellant, 67, passed away due to natural causes at his Great Falls residence on Friday, April 5, 2019. Cremation has taken place, and vigil services will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2019, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fort Benton. A funeral Mass will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Geraldine, with burial to follow in the Geraldine Cemetery. Greg’s family has suggested memorial donations be made to the Geraldine Community Ambulance, PO Box 123, Geraldine, MT 59446, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Benton Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements. Please visit Greg’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for his family at www.bentonfh.com.
Greg was born on January 22, 1952, in Fort Benton to Arnold and Madalyn (O’Hara) Engellant. He was raised in Geraldine, graduating from Geraldine High School in 1970. He continued his education at MSU-Bozeman with his best friend, roommate and cousin, Don Engellant, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Agriculture and Economics in 1974. Soon after graduation, Greg and a college buddy traveled to Alaska where Greg’s brother Ken and his family lived. While waiting for their Australian Visas to be processed, they worked at the Anchorage Airport. Once the Visas came through, Greg worked at an Australian Cattle Station several hundred miles from the nearest town in northern Australia; he had many stories about his time “down under”, and some of them were probably even true!
Farming and ranching were always Greg’s number 1 priority, and after his Australian odyssey, he returned to the family ranch near Geraldine. There he became involved in the family enterprise. After a short time working with the cattle and grain on the ranch, Greg and his brother Ken became involved in a farming project near Delta Junction, Alaska. There, they and Ed Giese cleared over 2,000 acres of trees, and soon were harvesting barley. Harvest conditions there were damp, and a drier was used on the grain before it could be binned. Greg was seriously injured in an accident with the drier, and he spent the next several months in hospitals in Fairbanks, Great Falls, and Craig (near Denver) recovering from his numerous injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.
Greg returned to Montana from Craig and lived in Fort Benton and Missoula briefly before he settled in Helena, where he remained for over 20 years. While in Helena, he was quite active in various civic activities, including the Knights of Columbus, Myrna Loy Theatre, and others. He also became a loyal Carroll College supporter, enrolled in several classes there, and attended most of their sports activities. He made Helena Cathedral his parish home, and attended Mass faithfully, as well as actively participating in the parish.
Greg moved from Helena to Great Falls in 2014, residing at the Bee Hive, Fireweed House. This allowed him to be near family and Geraldine, which he always considered home. His health had declined steadily for several years, and in January, Greg was admitted to Benefis while gravely ill. He recovered, and finally returned to the Bee Hive on April 2 this year.
Greg encountered many challenges throughout his life, in Australia, the Alaska project, but his primary challenge was his traumatic brain injury, incurred at age 30. He faced all of these challenges with amazing courage and fearlessness. To many, he was a hero and inspiration.
Greg was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Madalyn Engellant, and an infant sister.
He is survived by his brother Ken (Mavis) Engellant of Fort Benton; nephews, Kevin (Roxanne) Engellant and Daren (Melissa) Engellant; niece Shana (Chris) Diekhans; nine great-nephews; one great-niece; aunts, Blanche Engellant and Helen O’Hara; and numerous cousins.
The Engellant family gratefully thanks all of Greg’s caregivers at Bee Hive for their loving care and consideration during his stay. We also very much appreciate the professional and amazing nurses, therapists, and doctors he saw while at Benefis. The care and attention Greg received while recovering at the Grandview Rehab Facility was above and beyond. Thank you all.