Although we are broken hearted, we are comforted knowing that our beloved Edwin Lee Probert passed away as peacefully and gracefully as he lived his life.
Ed was born on Dec. 27, 1938, in Kalispell to Raymond and Lillian Mae Probert. He passed away at his home in Kalispell surrounded by his family on Feb. 4, 2020. He was overjoyed to have reached the age of 81.
Born as the fifth of 12 children, Ed’s childhood was not easy. He attended school in Columbia Falls but left at the age of 13 to find employment. One of his most memorable jobs was working with Larry Wilson at the Kintla Ranch. Ed loved to tell stories of his adventures, most of them involving cars or tractors.
Ed married Brenda Barrier on May 4, 1962, and they became steadfast and devoted life partners. After military service and honorable discharge, Ed worked for the B & B Bridge Crew and C & C Plywood/ Plum Creek. Ed often wore an “Honest Ed” hat to work that Brenda made for him because it made his coworkers more likely to fall for his pranks. Brenda insists that they never had an argument. Clearly, they were completely devoted to each other but their family did enjoy their attempts at bickering. It always started with Ed reciting some tall tale, Brenda saying “Oh, Ed,” Ed nudging her in the ribs with his elbow, and ended with Brenda telling him to keep his hands to himself. He teased Brenda for going to bingo on Sundays, calling her the Gambler.
Ed and Brenda had three children, Sandee, Penni and Charlie. Ed worked three jobs at times to allow Brenda to stay home with the kids. Together they built a warm and loving home that became the gathering place for their extended family. Many celebrations and meals were spent at their table and Ed was very proud of his children.
Ed loved people, animals, the outdoors, and especially children. An injury at work in 1992 allowed him to enjoy the childhood he never had with his grandchildren. He was their playmate, constant companion, teacher, confidante and fellow adventurer. His patience was infinite and his ability to build any thing they desired leaves us with many fond memories as well as a backyard that remains a child’s wonderland. (However, the trapeze he built in the living room finally caused Brenda to put her foot down.)
Ed was always quick with a joke or an unexpected costume. He wore shirts with a pocket in the front that was always stocked with candy. His hobbies included woodworking, tractors, restoring his 1934 Chevy truck, bird watching, and working in his flower garden. Stray cats were drawn to his gentle spirit so he built a cat condo in his garage with light bulbs for heat.
Ed stayed with us for as long as his body would allow. His illness allowed him time to write notes expressing his love for us, for which we are grateful. He frequently said that he hoped to see family members who had passed before him, including his father, Raymond Probert; mother, Lillian Mae Probert; brothers, Victor, Jim, Dwayne, and infant Paul; and sisters, Carrol, Adelia Voight and Ruth Willette.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Brenda, daughter Sandra Lee, daughter Penni Chisholm, son Charles Probert, son-in-law Dean Chisholm, sister Charlotte Pederson, and brothers Don (Darlene), Kenny, and Raymond. He also leaves behind his most precious legacy, seven grandchildren, Haylee Sauer, Tristan Sauer, Madison Probert Jones and husband Greg, Mackenzie Probert, Henry Chisholm, Ava Chisholm, and Eddie Mae Chisholm. Ed also had numerous extended family members, neighbors and friends whom he also adored but it would cost us a fortune to list all of them.
Ed requested that no services be held for him. He suggested that all who loved him have a toast to him, maybe in Glacier Park. He also said that he wanted to be remembered for bank robbery so please feel free to have whatever kind of toast you choose. We suggest “Cheers to Ed and a life well-lived.”
If you wish to make a donation in his memory, he suggested the Veterans Food Pantry in Evergreen.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edwin Lee Probert, please visit our floral store.