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Donald L. Steinhoff, 68, of Ryegate passed away Sunday June 20th, 2021 after a 6-year battle with renal cancer. He was born on April 10th, 1953 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, the 9th and final child of John Steinhoff and Agnes (Rooney) Steinhoff. His family moved to Montana when Don was 11 years old and he graduated from Conrad High in 1971. 

Don was a carpenter, a mechanic and a jack-of-all-trades, working on farms and ranches in the Conrad area. He met and married Carol Johnson in 1977 and between moves from Conrad and Havre, they had Shannon, Lucas and Travis before finally settling in Helena in 1984. Don and Carol divorced in 1989.

After being injured on the job as a carpenter for Dick Anderson, Don went back to college in 1986 and got his degree in Civil Engineering from the Vocational Technical College in Butte in 1988. After that, he worked at the Montana Department of Transportation until 2002, when he opened two businesses simultaneously. Quality Assurance Inc, a consultant for MDOT and Sleeping Giant Tractors Sales, a tractor dealership and repair shop.

He married Wendy Ochadleus in 1993; together they had a small ranch in the north hills of Helena, raising cattle until they divorced in 2003.

After moving from Helena, Don spent a few years as a welder in Manitoba, Canada before moving back to and working in Central Montana where he was employed by Dan DeBuff and 4-J’s Farm,  finally retiring in the Ryegate area. In September of 2012, Don began dating Kimberly Pankratz, and when the 2015 cancer diagnosis came, she became his caregiver and remained with him until the very end.

He is survived by his three children, Shannon (Bill) Copple of Helena, MT, Lucas Steinhoff of Denver, CO and Travis Steinhoff of Lubbock, TX; three grandchildren, Ever, Sophia and Daniel; companion Kimberly Pankratz of Ryegate MT, and four siblings, Delores (Jerry) Myers of Conrad, MT, Theresa Fiedler of Helena, MT, Dick Steinhoff of Shelby, MT and Vince Steinhoff of Moses Lake, WA; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and four of his siblings; Florence Keim, Arnold Steinhoff, Rita Caspers and Pauline Haskamp.

“Wish me a safe Journey to wherever I wish to go. And my heart’s desire when I arrive there. – Edward Louis Henry

No services will be held at this time for Donald Steinhoff, at his request, he has been cremated and a family gathering will be at a future date. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the charity of their choice and may 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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