Sidney “Sid” D. Sulser, 85, passed away, early the morning of Sunday, January 21, 2018, while at RiverStone Hospice House in Billings.
Sid was born on July 12, 1932, to Ethel and Samuel Sulser in Augusta, Montana. He grew up in Great Falls with his brother Jay, where he attended Catholic School system through the first grade. Sid was never very fond of non-sports related uniforms and he did not think much of the knickers his mother had him wear to the Catholic school; sure enough, Sid was enrolled in the Great Falls public school system the following year. In 1951, he graduated from Great Falls High School. He attended Eastern Washington, briefly, on a football scholarship until joining the Air Force. He served for four years and is a Korean War Veteran. After his time in the Air Force, Sid completed his college career at Northern Montana College, where he met the love his life, Elaine Korb. Sid and Elaine were married in Malta in 1957 and, by the fall of 1958, they welcomed their first child of five into the family.
Sid and Elaine placed high value on education and spent their lives instructing children. With five children in the house, life was never boring, and equal emphasis was placed on education and involvement in school and community activities. Sid and Elaine raised their children to be hard-working and driven to excel. Sid spent the majority of his teaching career in Glasgow, Montana. He taught Earth Science, coached football, was a basketball referee, and spent his summers on the mosquito patrol and teaching driver’s education. Within 10 years, he had moved into administration, eventually retiring from his public school career as the Glasgow Middle School Principal. While Sid and Elaine relocated to Billings in 1990, Sid remained a loyal Scottie fan his entire life. His collection of Scottie ball caps is extensive and Sid rocked a trucker hat long before they were “cool” or “vintage.”
Sid was not quite ready to hang up the title of “Mr. Sulser” upon arriving in Billings; he held the post of Principal of St. Francis Upper Building for seven years. While there, he managed to not only have his youngest son as a student, but also his eldest granddaughter. The Catholic School Community in Billings was an important network for the Sulser family. In keeping with their Hi-Line roots, the close-knit Catholic Community helped the move to Billings feel like less of a leap.
In Sid’s official retirement, one would consider him a professional Griz fan, attending as many games as he could with either Elaine or one of his children along for the ride. Having his middle son play Griz football, a granddaughter run Griz track and a grandson recruited for next football season was surely a highlight in a lifetime full of countless hours watching his children and grandchildren compete in sports. He enjoyed watching everything from wrestling to basketball to football and from track to volleyball to softball. In addition to sports, Sid enjoyed watching his many grandchildren (12 in all) sing (college fight songs whenever possible), master instruments, and grow up pursuing their passions.
Traveling was always a part of Sid’s life, whether it was to see his children’s and grandchildren’s activities, to visit family and friends, to take a cruise in the Caribbean with Elaine, or to drive cars for dealerships — Sid preferred to be on the move. It has been said, that Sid loved maps so much he may have been the original inventor of the Google Maps concept — but on paper. In fact, as recently as this summer, he made a visit to the Billings Chamber of Commerce to update his collection with every available printed map of Montana — always thinking, “Where to next?”
He and his dance partner of 60 years, Elaine, lived and loved together. With all the ups and downs that come with living this life, Sid leaves a proud legacy to be carried on by his wife, children and in-laws, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends that have loved and laughed with him. We remember him for the strong man that he was and remain hopeful for the opportunity to see him again.
Sid is survived by his wife, Elaine; sons, Dennis (Val) Sulser and Mark (Jody) Sulser of Billings, Tim (Marianne) Sulser of Denver, Colorado; daughters, Patty (Kelly) Sherwin of Lakeville, Minnesota, and Jan (Rod) Ostermiller of Billings; 12 grandchildren, Maisie Sulser Handley (Mike), Ben Sulser (Brianne), Morgan Sulser, Gabe Sulser, Maxwell Sherwin, Hunter Sherwin, Grace Ostermiller, Ellie Ostermiller, Anna Ostermiller, Grant Sulser, Elizabeth Sulser and Charlotte Sulser.
Sid is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jay Sulser.
Vigil will be held on Thursday, January 25, at 6 p.m. at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in Billings. Funeral is Friday, January 26, 2018, at noon, at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, with a luncheon, also at St. Pat’s, following interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.