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Richard L. “Dick” Zaharko 90 of Ryegate passed away Tuesday evening, October 13, 2020 in Wheatland Memorial Healthcare of complications from Covid-19. He was born October 16, 1929 in Billings, Montana, the son of Joseph and Sophie (Zawada) Zaharko. He joined the Navy in 1948 as an aviation machinist. On January 4, 1950 he was united in marriage to Ellen L. Hagberg in Livingston, MT. Following his discharge in July of 1952 he joined the Montana Highway Patrol and he was stationed in Great Falls where they made their home for 32 years. Dick was recognized by the Great Falls Exchange Club as Officer of the Year in 1980, citing especially his mechanical aptitude. In 1988 they retired and moved to Ryegate where they made their home until Ellen's death in 2015. He also served as county sheriff for over 4 years. Dick continued to live in Ryegate until entering the Wheatland Memorial Nursing Home in July of 2019.

Dick was an avid fly fisherman and spent a lot of time at Sheep Creek pulling in trout over the years. He also enjoyed camping and hunting. During drives with the family around the countryside, he could reel off all the folks and their families, often with recent news of the area.

He is survived by three grandchildren Richard Woods (and wife Julie) of Bellevue, WA, Lance Woods (and wife Stephanie) of Forest Grove, OR and Barbara Davis (and husband Jason) of Anchorage, AK; six great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law Pat Zaharko in OR, and son-in-law Tim Woods in Hawaii and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife he was preceded in death by his daughter Elizabeth (Betty) Woods in 2006, his parents and his twin brother Robert.

Full memorial services for Dick will be delayed on account of health concerns and will be held at a future date. Committal will be in the Resurrection Cemetery in Ryegate on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends may make memorials to the charity of their choice if desired. These may optionally be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at

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