Leo J. Cerovski

Leo J. Cerovski passed away unexpectedly early Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in Livingston. Leo had recently celebrated his 94th birthday with family and friends.

Leo was born at the family’s “Home Place” on Jan. 22, 1922, 22 miles northwest of Lewistown. The temperature was 22 degrees below zero and there were two of them, Lucille being his twin sister. His parents were George and Victoria (Vanek) Cerovski, of the Danvers Community, in Montana, and his siblings are Alice (Harold) Naylor, Anna (Jim Atkins) Levitt, and Paul (Dorothy) Cerovski. Leo attended Brooks Grade School, Warm Spring Creek Grade School, and Fergus County High School. 

In 1942, Leo purchased farm land referred to as “The Creek Place,” and his father co-signed his loan. In 1945, Leo married Evelyn Imsande in Danvers, Montana. Evelyn was from the Chippewa Creek area northwest of Grass Range. Leo and Evelyn had six children, Alan Cerovski, Joann Bird, Patti Berglin (Pat Shinn), Tony (Janet) Cerovski, Stephen Cerovski and Sharon (Jerome) Pester. Leo moved the family off of his farm near Danvers-Deerfield around 1959 to work for the Studebaker Garage and Farmers Union Shop in Lewistown. Evelyn taught grade school at St. Leo’s. In 1963, he moved the family again and became manager of the Park Farmers Co-op in Wilsall. Evelyn passed away on the Clyde Park School grounds in February, 1965, where she was the K-12 music teacher.  

Leo found new joy in Frances “Fran” Cox Bailey, the widow of Ray Bailey, of White Sulphur Springs. Leo and Fran were married in 1969 in White Sulphur Springs. Fran’s children are Jim (Rhonda) Bailey, Larry (Jacque) Bailey, Wally (Cheri) Bailey, Kathy (Leon) Vanek, Lynne (Trent) Browne and Helen (John) Fleharty. 

In 1970, they moved the family to Lewistown, where Leo owned and operated “Leo’s Texaco.” Leo also did shop work and car sales for Imperial Motors as he approached retirement. Leo liked anything mechanical and driving cars. He made time to take family vacations and sightseeing adventures with the family.  

Leo was a member of the Deerfield-Danvers, aka Dumb Ducks, baseball team (1940s), Deerfield Rifle Team (1950s), Wilsall Rifle and Pistol Club (1960s), Central Montana Trail Dusters Auto Club, Montana Pioneer and Classic Auto Club, Montana Cross Country T Association and the Elks Club. He loved hunting, fishing, bowling, playing pinochle, cribbage, puzzles, restoring automobiles, and playing with his kids and grandkids whenever they came to visit.  

Leo is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Evelyn; sisters Lucille and Alice; wife, Francis; sons Alan and Stephen; and grandsons Jeff Gibson and Patrick Vanek.

Leo is survived by his daughters Joann, Patti and Sharon; son Tony; stepsons Jim, Larry and Wally; stepdaughters Kathy, Lynn and Helen; sister Anna; brother Paul; grandchildren Colleen Morgan Dahl, Dennis Berglin, Kendal Berglin, Elaina Berglin, Jessica (Alex) Randall, Rebecca (CJ) Manska, Morgan Cerovski, Erica Cerovski, Melissa Pester, Samantha Pester, Larry Bailey, Jr., Waylon (Tabby) Bailey, Landa Bailey, Annie Bailey, Aaron Bailey, Vickie (Troy) Eades, Bobby (Dawn) Vanek, Kandi Vanek, Sara (Cory) Heller, Jonelle (Matt) Jordan and Kyra Fleharty; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be held in Lewistown. A viewing will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel. Vigil service and praying the rosary will take place that evening at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2 at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, with rite of committal to follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions in honor of Leo can be made to Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Creel Funeral Home of Lewistown, along with Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, is assisting with the arrangements. Leo’s family and friends can share memories and condolences online at www.creelfuneralhome.com.