Keith Wolverton, 81, died peacefully September 27, 2019, at his home in Great Falls, where he was being cared for by his loving family. He was amazingly courageous in the face of several illnesses that he had overcome.
There will be a memorial service for him on Friday, October 11, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel.
He was born to Jean and Roy Wolverton February 25, 1938, in Great Falls, where he lived for most of his life. He graduated from Great Falls High School in 1956, and was a graduate of the FBI Academy in Washington. D.C. In 1957 he married Shirley Birkenbuel. They had two daughters, Sue and Tari. They later divorced. He subsequently married Maxine Hexum, a music teacher at GFHS. Maxine and Keith had one son, Monte. Sadly, Keith and Monte lost Maxine to cancer in 2000 after a marriage of nearly 40 years.
At a reunion of the class of 1956, Keith was reunited with a friend from high school, Carole Osborne Lovinger, who had recently lost her husband. Carole's brother, Glenn, had been partners with Keith in the Sheriff's Department for 20 years and were best friends. Carole and Keith's friendship became love, and they were together for 17 years until his death.
They traveled a lot together both in their RV and on several trips to Europe, the highlight being a trip to Iceland, Keith's ancestral home where he met dozens of relatives he hadn't known. His new cousins welcomed him and Carole into their homes, gave them a bed, delicious food, and spent unforgettable hours sharing photos and stories about Keith’s heritage.
He joined the Sheriff's Posse along with his dad Roy, and his brother Boyd in 1962, and in a couple of years, became a Deputy Sheriff.
During his time as a deputy, besides being involved in the usual crime fighting, he was instrumental in starting the first Canine Academy of Cascade County. His dog, Sgt. Blitz, became a well-known crime fighter himself, even getting a few headlines and an obit in the Tribune when he died. Although Keith usually had a dog in his life, none was more beloved than Sgt. Blitz.
During the mid-seventies Keith, Glenn, and others in the Sheriff's Department, became involved in investigating strange occurrences reported around Cascade County and Northwestern MT. These were reports of UFO sightings, Bigfoot sightings, and cattle mutilations. Along with Roberta Donovan, Keith wrote a book called "Mystery Stalks the Prairie," which told the tale of these strange sightings. Although it is currently out of print, because of the continuing interest in these topics, it is being reprinted by Riverbend Publishing Company in Helena, with a new chapter by Keith and is expected to be out next spring.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.