Gary “Joe” Launderville September 3, 1938 – January 31, 2024
Joe was born in Anaconda and brought home to the Deer Lodge Valley by his parents Glenn and Dorthy Launderville. He spent his days on the family ranch doing Cowboy shit, with his sisters Patricia and Sandy. He was active in 4-H and FFA and graduated from Powell County High School. He loved the valley where he resided and spent his entire life.
He married a Deer Lodge Valley girl, Marlene Strickland in 1960 and together they raised four daughters. Joe was a man of many talents, but being a rancher was where his heart was. He raised cattle, sheep, horses, and a short stint with pigs, hay, and potatoes. He was a successful brand inspector for many years and was recognized for his dedication with the award of Brand Inspector of the Year.
Rodeo was his passion, as evidenced by the hours he spent either producing, planning for or watching a rodeo. In raising his kids, he was a 4-H leader, started the Racetrack Rodeo Club, was a founding member in the Montana Junior Rodeo Association and was President of the Montana State High School Rodeo Association for many years. He was instrumental in getting the National High School Rodeo finals to Helena. Joe started team roping in local jackpots and was a member of the Big 5 Rodeo Association. He spent many summers hauling his daughters, throughout Montana to junior and high school rodeos, where he met many lifelong friends. His greatest joy was being able to watch his kids and grandkids in all their endeavors. We spent the last two days before he passed watching Fort Worth and his eyes lit up when a Montana kid made a good ride.
Joe met Teresa in 1991 and they married in 1997, gaining a daughter and later two more grandsons. They enjoyed going to rodeos and going on their yearly Valentine’s Day trip to Jackson Hole to watch Paul Greaney compete in the chariot races. They spent many weekends at the cabin, one of their favorite getaways, cooking with the dutch oven. They traveled around visiting family and chasing the grandkids from one event to another. They enjoyed spending time with family and friends and enjoyed their time together.
He was a champion for all kids, often having extra kids either on rodeo trips or helping out at the ranch. After Joe “retired” from high school rodeo, he found much success traveling the state competing in pulling competitions with his team of Belgians, Pat and Mike.
Joe never knew a stranger and would run into someone he knew wherever he went. His eyes always had a twinkle, and usually a “fun” comment to everyone he saw. The friendships he made during his time were enduring, except when it came to the water fights. There was no way he was getting wet! Many wrecked pick-ups were testament to that.
Survivors include wife, Teresa; daughters, Jonelle (Jay Kyle), Tawni (Stan), Patti (Poncho), Darci (Jerry), and stepdaughter Tammy (Jerry). Grandkids, Houston (Rosette), Jessee, Jansyn, Bridger, Baylee, Halli, Cameron, Roy and Parker. Sister, Sandy; and several nieces and nephews. Brother in laws, Randy and Ronnie; and sister in laws, Janice, Karen and Pam.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Dorthy; sister, Pat; brothers in law, Rip, Gary, and Rod; sister in law, Virginia; along with many cousins and lifelong friends.
Celebration of Life will be held on February 7, 2024, at The Elks Lodge, 230 Main Street, Deer Lodge, MT at 1:00 p.m.
Memorials can be made to Montana High School Rodeo Association to 901 Kentucky St, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. or Draft Horse Expo in Deer Lodge P.O. Box 23 Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Joe.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Joe and his family.