Antone F. O’Dea “Tony” was born on Jan. 20, 1925, in Anaconda, to George and Anna (Koch) O’Dea. When his father passed away in the 1930s, he moved with his mother and four brothers to the Koch farm in Sumatra. He graduated from Forsyth High School in 1943. He enlisted in the Army and served for two and a half years in the Army Medical Corp as a surgical technician. He served on an army transport ship in the Pacific Theater, as well as the European Theater of Operations.
After his service in the Army, he attended Eastern Montana College of Education, receiving a bachelor of science degree in elementary education in 1949. He then moved to Bakersfield, California, and taught for one year. He moved back to Montana and went to work for the U.S. Postal Service. After that, he worked for the Soil Conservation Service in Bozeman for six years and then finished his government career with the Indian Health Service in Billings as a purchasing agent for the Contracting Office as a Supply Management Officer for 32 years. He retired in 1980.
He married Lena Zagorda of Billings in 1952. They were happily married for 66 years. He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and golfing. He always enjoyed traveling to visit his children and grandchildren. He was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, American Legion and St. Pius X Council of Knights of Columbus.
Antone passed away peacefully Thursday evening, March 21, 2019.
He is survived by his wife, Lena; son Bob (Renee) O’Dea of Billings; daughters Anne (Richard) Jacobs of Des Moines, Washington, and Cathy (Rob) Flynn of Maple Valley, Washington; and his brother, John of Santa Barbara, California. He has four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and also his nieces and nephews of the Zagorda, Simon, Kennedy and O’Dea families.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, George, Francis and Paul, and his grandson Sam.
He was a very caring and considerate husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, and always enjoyed his time with everyone to have a good laugh and conversation.
Vigil will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 18th and Broadwater in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be sent to Compassus Hospice.