John Henry Handford Jr. Age 82, passed away at his residence in Missoula, Montana on December 13, 2021, after a long battle with lung disease, asbestosis, and a-fib.
He was born in Denton, Montana on September 28, 1939 his parents John H. and Agnes Hagdone Handford. The family later moved to Lewistown, Montana, and he lived there from when he was a little boy, until he enlisted in the Navy as a Seabee with a rank of E-4.
John later married his sweetheart Rita Jean Bosch, they celebrated for 58 years of marriage before his death. John and Rita moved to Denton, and he worked at Johnny's Conoco as a mechanic, and then later ran, and owned the establishment.
While in Denton they had a daughter, Rhonda Sue Handford. They then moved to Libby, Montana, where he was employed at W.R. Grace before he started to work moving and setting up mobile homes in Libby. While in Libby they had a son, they then moved to Missoula where he continued working moving and setting up mobile homes for Steigers and Matelich trailer sales. John also ran the V.F.W. #209 trailer park for 16 years with its 14 trailer spots.
John then moved west of town where then he got a job at Missoula Cartage for 25 years and million miles, before retired. While driving and making a living for his family he had another daughter Krystal Kay. He was proud of her, especially when she got to go on trips to Kalispell hauling chips and seeing the mills and meeting some of the drivers who hauled chips too. After retiring he would go up to truck stops in some cafes in town and have coffee conversations with friends. He enjoyed visiting with old drivers and people. He was a social man
John loved collecting trains and Seabees memorabilia and was always a very proud of Joe and Rhonda’s accomplishments.
John was preceded in death by his parents: John Henry Handford Sr. and Agnes Hagdone Handford; brother, Jerome Handford and three Half Brothers; parents-in-law, Melvin H. Bosch and Jean Bosch.
He is survived by his devoted wife Rita Bosch Handford; daughters, Rhonda Farnes and her husband Joe, Krystal Kay and a son; half-sister Genell Subak Sharpe of New York; two nieces and one nephew and their families; and his beloved grandpets: Rosie, Frosty, Pebbles and Jasper.
He will be deeply missed as a husband and a father. John always reminded his wife and daughters as they left to go anywhere. “Be careful drive safe and dad loves you!”
Heaven got another Remarkable Angel. We all love you <3
RIP Dad, Husband.
John will be inurned at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery with honors this summer. Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held next summer.