(Jan. 10, 2008)
Ben Reifer, a native Montana son who lived for a time in Powell, died Thursday, Jan. 10. He was 78.
He was born to Matt and Regina Reifer in Sumatra on Feb 10, 1929. Ben received his early schooling in Jordan, Mont.. The family bought land and moved to Carbon County near Fromberg when Ben was 9 years old. He graduated from Fromberg High School in 1947 and married Edna Onken of Silesia in 1948.
Ben and Edna served a draft in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1956. They were last stationed near Chicago. Ben had said that the thing he liked most about Chicago was leaving.
Ben spent the greater portion of his life farming, ranching and raising kids. Edna passed away in 1995.
Ben married Judy Syndergaard and they moved to Powell in 1998. He called Wyoming the “lucky” state — lucky to be close to Montana. Ben and Judy provided care for foster children, raised garlic, trucked garden vegetables and Dorper sheep. Judy passed away in 2006.
Ben relocated to the Fromberg/Bridger area in 2007 and was happy to be back in Montana.
Ben is survived by the seven children that he had together with Edna, Malinda Reifer of Wichita, Kan., Joreen (Scott) Mills of Denver, Jake (Penny) Reifer of Baker, La., Karl Reifer of Wichita, Kim Reifer of Powell, Joe Reifer of Oswatamie, Kan., and Mj Reifer of Powell; a half-brother, Joseph Fielder of Tempe, Ariz.; seven grandchildren, Amanda Scharen, Benjamin McMurray, SKelly, (Kevin) Adkins, Sonya (Chad) Miller, Danny Reifer, Jeremy Reifer and Nicki Jo Jimenez, and six great-grandchildren, John and Morgan Miller, James and Dianna McMurray, Leilani Erice and Tucker Adkins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his two wives, Edna and Judy; his brothers, Kent and Raymond, and his sisters, Jaunita and Margie.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 16 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bridger with burial in Gebo Cemetery at Fromberg.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 305 Pryor Ave, Bridger, MT 59014.