Charles Merrill Pelton

One of the last old cowboys has gone to Heaven. Charles Merrill Pelton, 69, was born Nov. 3, 1944, in Billings to George and Forestine Pelton. Merrill passed away June 9, 2014, at his home in Billings after a long courageous battle with cancer.

He attended Fishtail Grade School and graduated from Absarokee High School in 1963. He excelled in sports and held the basketball scoring record at the Shrine Auditorium for approximately 30 years.

Merrill was involved in the livestock industry his entire life. He was employed by Drum Land and Livestock, working the feedlot in Billings, the KRM and Whitcomb ranches south of Malta, and also the Cottonwood Grazing Association in Whitewater for many years. Later, he worked for a number of feedlots and ranches in the Boyd/Edgar area, and, most recently, Thompson Cattle Company in Huntley. Merrill was an avid team roper/chariot racer, accomplished horseman, excellent horseshoer, and skilled AI technician.

Merrill loved to feed with his team of horses. He had a twinkle in his eye and was always up for some good fun and practical joking. He made many friends wherever he went. The last several years he spent many an hour at the Billings Clinic and wants those people who cared for him to know how much he appreciated their caring and friendship. He fought the good fight and was an inspiration to all of us.

Merrill married Lynn Green in 1964 and they had a daughter, Kim, and a son, George. They were later divorced. In 1973 he married Doris Heller and accepted her son, Heath, as his own. They were also later divorced. In 2000 he married Dawn Van Meter and helped raise his stepsons Waylon and Donnie Ray Van Meter. He taught them about cattle, horses, and how to be a man. For that Dawn thanks him.

We hope you are free of pain and worry, Mr. P. We all love you, and you will be greatly missed.

Merrill is survived by his wife, Dawn of Billings; daughter Kim Smith in California; son George (Laura) Pelton in North Carolina; stepsons Heath (Marlaina) Myers of Joliet, Waylon Van Meter of Bridger, and Donnie Ray Van Meter of Roberts; his grandchildren Cheyenne Rising, Kelsey Wade, Kendra Wade, Clay Pelton, Cody Pelton, Miles Pelton, Cade Myers, Bailey Myers, and Cotton Myers; and great-grandson Mini- Myers to be born in October. He is also survived by his sisters, Kathleen (Merrill) Ostrum of Absarokee, Sara (Steve) Kerr of Absarokee; brother Bill (Amy) Pelton of Billings; and nieces and nephews Venessa (Ken) Monson of Absarokee, Terrill Ostrum of Colorado, Darci (Harjot) Sachdeva of Texas, Marci (Bill) Mercer of Billings; Gerele (Shane) Schieck of Billings; Karmen Kerr of Billings, and Kandi Kerr of Billings.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Forestine Pelton.Memorial donations may be made to the Billings Clinic Heart Rehab Center or the Billings Clinic Oncology Center, P.O. Box 31031, Billings