John Michelotti

John Joseph Michelotti, 64, of Billings, passed away Monday afternoon, Nov. 18, 2019, surrounded by his family.

John was born on Feb. 4, 1955, in Billings. He attended military high school at Marmion Academy outside of Chicago. Following his graduation from high school, he attended the University of San Diego and obtained his Mortuary Science degree in Los Angeles. In 1976, John returned to Billings to continue the legacy of the funeral home started by his father and John Sawyers.

In 1998, John served as President of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. He played a vital role in opening the door for funeral directors of all races, nationalities and countries. Later that year, he opened Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park. A statue and kidney-shaped pond were built to commemorate his father, who passed away from kidney disease shortly after opening.

From Kamchatka, Russia, to Nunavut, Canada, John immersed himself in local cultures and religions while pursuing his true passion of hunting. His motto was: “Don’t surround yourself with yourself.” John cherished time spent with family and friends at his cabin just outside of Glacier National Park. He enjoyed photography, golf, playing pool, classic rock and cheering on the Boston Bruins. And he was always down for a good banter!

John was preceded in death by his father, Bob. He is survived by his mother, Helen; brother, Jock (Connie); children, Ali and Seve, and Alida and Ceci; the love of his life, Alison; and his dog, Lucca.

The vigil will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at St. Pius X Church, 717 18th St. West, followed by a burial at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.

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