Robert “Bob” O’Lexey was born here in Kalispell on Feb. 19, 1942, to parents William and Ruby (Hall) O’Lexey, the fifth of six children. He passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 7, 2021.
He attended school and worked around the valley in lumber mills and for the forest service in his younger years. He then joined the U.S. Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam. Although a mortar hit and he lost his right leg on his third day there, May 11, 1968 … he still tried to convince the doctors to let him stay to “fight off the enemy while his fellow soldiers could get cover.”
Bob loved the outdoors. After returning from Vietnam, he spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, driving in the mountains. He often took his son and grandson hunting and fishing, although we often wondered if there was more eating and drinking pop than hunting or fishing going on!
Bob was a very kind, generous and giving man, maybe to a fault. It was not uncommon for him to pick up a random stranger and give him (or her) a ride to Missoula or to a motel, and pay for a night at the motel for them … no matter the warnings he would get from those close to him. We were always worried about him getting mugged, robbed, or worse. Bob loved to drive and drive and drive. One of his favorite places to go was around the Hungry Horse Reservoir to see wildlife, particularly bears. He just loved those bears!
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, his infant brother Billy Jr., his sister Vivian Vlasak, brother Richard, and also his beloved wife “Corky” O’Lexey, and his stepdaughter Katie Hardesty. He is survived by his daughter Melody Carlon of Choteau, son Travis O’Lexey, his stepdaughter Cheryl (Rudy) Hueneke, stepson Mark (Karen) Hardesty, and granddaughter Arisa O’Lexey, all of Kalispell, and many, many other grandchildren, nieces, nephews and greats. He is also survived by his brother Marvin (Mary) O’Lexey of Rock Springs, Wyoming, and sister Helen McLouth of Columbia Falls, and their respective families, as well as another stepson, Scott Hardesty and his family of the San Diego area.
Due to the Covid pandemic, we will have a celebration of life for Bob later this year with military honors. Details will be announced once they are finalized. He has been cremated and his ashes will be scattered along with his late wife Corky’s ashes, so they can be together again, in one of their favorite places in the woods.
A special thank you to those who took such good care of him at The Scoreboard restaurant and the Shamrock Casino.
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