Peter James Stark, 56, of Whitefish, MT, passed away May 10, 2022 at his home.
Pete was born in Casper, WY on November 8, 1965 to James and Barbara Stark. Because he was in a U.S. Navy family, his childhood was spent in several places, including Wyoming, the Philippines, Washington, D.C., Bermuda, California and Poulsbo, WA.
He graduated from Buena High School in Ventura, CA in 1984 and earned a history degree from Washington State University in 1989. After college, he lived for 12 years in Spokane, WA where he spent his nights tending bar at Swackhammers, his winters skiing Mt. Spokane, and tending a good fishing hole the rest of the year. Pete moved to Montana’s Flathead Valley in 2001 where he settled in to raise his family, working in and around Glacier National Park.
More than anything, Pete loved being a father to his two sons, Henry and Isaac. They were the light of his life and he relished their time together, including at home, outdoors and with family. He had a superior gift for humor. Every chuckle he got out of a friend, his family, or a stranger was a “win.” Pete also had a special bond with his Labradors and, just like the people in his life, they loved him deeply.
Pete was close with his family and was always ready for a game of cards. Few of the poker hands seemed to ever go his way, but he somehow found a way to laugh at himself, and make others laugh, as he tossed his cards on the table.
He also loved spending time with his friends and had recently reconnected with some from his days at WSU. He was rarely seen without WSU paraphernalia and was fond of offering a “Go Cougs!” greetings to anyone he saw sporting the crimson and gray of WSU.
Pete enjoyed time outdoors, including floating the Flathead River, fishing, grilling and backyard fires. He was an avid reader from childhood and had a special fondness for historical fiction, trading in one paperback for another at his favorite local bookstore in Columbia Falls.
He is survived by his sons, Henry and Isaac; former wife Mandi; mother Barbara Stark; brothers Steve and Mike; Uncle Tom, Aunt Bev, Aunt MaryeAnne, Uncle Emerson; cousins Jeff Stark, Bill Read and Jim Read; and nephews Ethan Stark, Will Flynn and Garrett Flynn; and nieces Natalie Stark, Bridget Stark and Brenna Keesee. He was preceded in death by his father, James Stark.