John Wallace “Duke” Restad, 93, died surrounded by his family on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at Saint John’s Lutheran Home, of natural causes.
John, lovingly known as Papa, is preceded in death by his wife. Catherine Restad; and his siblings, Felix, Lawrence, Nellie, Marge, Ruth. He is survived by brother Lee (Mary); his three children, Kristine Judd (Lawrence), John “Steven” Restad and Gary Restad (Janis); his four grandchildren, Emily Kate Lamson (Brad), Andrew Restad (Melanie), Adam Restad (Kate) and Anna McCurdy (Brian); and his three great-grandchildren, Estelle Restad, Hazel Restad and Duke McCurdy.
The youngest son of two Norwegian immigrants, Ole and Fredrikke, John was born and educated in Billings. Joining the army after graduating high school, he served his country during World War II in France, Belgium and Germany as a tank gunner in the 743rd tank battalion, and earned a bronze star and purple heart for his service. He was discharged as a corporal.
During his years abroad, he kept correspondence with his sweetheart, Catherine McGrail, and returned to Montana to marry in 1947. They shared 67 years together as John built his life and family, working for Lindsey Lumber Company.
John also had passion and skill for carpentry, building three personal homes here in Billings on top of his lumber career. After retiring, he continued to give his talents of woodworking by volunteering countless hours with Habitat for Humanity.
John was steadfast in his support and love for his family, providing and encouraging his children and grandchildren in all their activities. He never missed a band or choir concert, a cross-country meet or a graduation. He will be remembered for his loyalty, dedication and generosity.
A visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Lillis Chapel on the Saint John’s campus, 3940 Rimrock Road, following a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Habitat for Humanity or Saint John’s Lutheran Ministries.