Irwin Conrad Allen, 95, Ryegate, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2018, in Billings Clinic Hospital surrounded by his family and close friends. He was born on January 16, 1923, to Stanley and Carrie Rozene (Ullman) Allen on their homestead near Rothiemay. Irwin attended grade school at the Huffman Gulch School. After finishing his schooling at Ryegate High School, he worked with his dad on the family ranch in the Big Snowy Mountains. Irwin loved to share countless stories from the forty years he spent trailing sheep and cattle in the Snowies. He often said that he wouldn’t trade his experiences for a million dollars, and you couldn’t pay him a million dollars to do it all over again.
Irwin valued hard work above all else, but throughout the years he also found time for many hobbies. He greatly enjoyed restoring antique cars and tractors, woodworking, horn hunting, flying his Super Cub airplane, horseback riding, snowmobiling, hunting big game, writing his book, and fishing in the ponds on his ranch. Irwin was also an avid photographer, and he rarely went anywhere without a camera. He could spend hours reminiscing over his slides and photographs with family and friends. Irwin also enjoyed traveling, and some of his favorite photos were taken during his trips to Alaska.
Although he spent his entire life in the Big Snowy Mountains, Irwin never took the beauty of his surroundings for granted. For twenty years, he looked forward to hosting the Rothiemay Community Picnic each summer at the picnic grounds on his ranch. He enjoyed visiting with everyone who came to the picnic, and was grateful for the ability to share this special place with others. Over the years, Irwin purchased more land to expand the ranch established by his parents, which he operated until the time of his death.
Irwin was an active member of his community. He belonged to the Lavina Temple Masonic Lodge, the Al Bedoo Shrine of Billings, the Billings Scottish Rite, the Montana Farm Bureau, the National Rifle Association, and the Goggle and Duster Car Club. He was a proud supporter of the Upper Musselshell Museum of Harlowton, where he served on the board of directors since the mid-1980s. Irwin owned a Heritage Room at the museum, which he furnished with memorabilia from his early ranching days and antiques that belonged to his parents and grandparents. He saw many changes throughout his lifetime, and it meant a lot to him to be able to preserve relics of days long past for future generations.
Irwin is survived by one brother, Forrest Allen of Cody, WY; his housekeeper of 34 years, Loretta Swanson of Ryegate; the Capps family of Cody, WY; the Ullman family of Big Timber and Bozeman; the Magelssen family of Texas; the Gallagher family of Arizona; the Allen family of Wisconsin; the Long family of Billings; the Burgess family of Ryegate; the Cronquist family of North Dakota; and many other extended family members and dear friends throughout the country.
Services for Irwin C. Allen will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in the Perkins Chapel with committal to follow in the Harlowton Cemetery.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Upper Musselshell Museum, Ryegate VFD/Ambulance, Lavina VFD/Ambulance, or the charity of their choice; memorials may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313, Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com.