On Dec. 26, 2019, the world lost a great man to AML leukemia.
Harry Ware McAllister grew up on a small farm in New Jersey, then moved west to Montana in 1966 in the hopes of adventure and went on to build roads, fight forest fires and protect thousands of acres of land to be enjoyed by generations to come during his 30-year career with the United States Forest Service. Harry’s talents and accomplishments stretched well beyond forestry. He built his own house with his own two hands, turning a tiny cabin into a mountain paradise. He authored five books, could cite U.S. history from the Mayflower to present day, and traveled to Europe, New Zealand and the Pyramids of Giza. He safaried across the Serengeti and even once sailed the Panama Canal.
In the same day, he could be strong enough to fell trees for firewood in the morning and then in the blink of an eye, soften to a big Teddy bear, while gently rocking his grandchildren to sleep. As adults, his children would recall that every time he said good-bye, his eyes would swell with big crocodile tears, not simply because he hated to see them go, but rather because he knew that the time spent together was special and fleeting. He was active in his community, he volunteered, he treated all with respect and he was genuinely keen to hear your “story.”
He was a husband, a father and a grandfather. He understood the importance of legacy and he listened more than he spoke.
Harry is survived by his wife Francy, their children John (Heidi McAllister) and Betsy (Josh Kurcinka), and his four grandchildren whom he adored.
A memorial service to celebrate Harry’s life will occur at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, at Risen Christ Catholic Church, Kalispell.
In lieu of flowers, Harry asked that donations be given to the Northwest Montana Forest Fire Lookout Association, NWMT-FFLA. P.O. Box 2704, Kalispell, MT 59903; or The Sunriser Lions scholarship fund, P.O. Box 903, Kalispell, MT 59903.
Friends are encouraged to vi ohillfh.com to leave notes of condolence for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harry W. McAllister Jr., please visit our floral store.